‘Nothing much’

Precious stuff

What have you been doing today?  That’s a normal sort of question from one spouse to another I guess, when one of the pair has taken off to bright lights and city on the other side of the world for 3 months.

But today I’m glad I don’t have to answer that question, on a FB video, or What’s App call, where Mr P might notice a flicker of embarrassment as I mumble “er not much.”  For today, there’s no thing of substance to report.  I haven’t hired a junk or hiked the Dragon’s Back.  No Harbour Cruise, or Big Buddha, well not today anyway.

Today I made porridge, with bananas and blueberries.  The first cooking I’ve done in over a week.  And I brewed ginger, lemon and honey tea.  I washed my clothes, changed my bed, sorted my stuff.  And sorted my stuff.  And sorted my stuff some more.  For someone with so little stuff, I seem to spend an unproportionate amount of time tending it, as though each individual item were some small child or animal needing daily monitoring and encouragement.  But I noticed how happy each item made me as I lovingly put it back in its rightful place.  The 3b pencils, the little pots of honey and ginger tea, charging cables, the little key fob that reminds me of my beautiful Granddaughter Phoebe.  I don’t remember the last time I smiled when I changed a sheet on a bed.  A task usually done with lots of whingeing and complaining.

I was never a huge fan of Eckhart Tolle’s work, but the one thing I do remember is something about needing to build and tend one’s base camp if one is to climb mountains.  And over the years I’ve got good at this, building base camps, literal ones and my own internal one, that I tend through meditation, writing, reading, swimming, yoga, playing my saxophone.  

So no mountain climbed today my love, today has been about base camp stuff, so I am ready to climb the mountain tomorrow, maybe.

But I did head out, for hostel living can get a little claustrophobic, and joy oh joy I found a saxophone shop just one MTR stop away.  Hired me a saxophone and was given a book of Christmas songs.  And invited to go back and join one of the little offshoot groups, that informally play after group lessons.  

I then decided to go for my daily swim on the way home, walking with the sax, instead of taking the MTR.  Bit of a stupid idea, but I knew if I went back to the hostel I might not get out again.  And not an easy feat with so many shoppers on the street enjoying HK’s national pastime and me lumbering along with a big black case.  At one point I thought of stopping and seeing if the tide of fervent shoppers might just sweep me along, so tightly were we pressed together.

I wasn’t sure what I would do with the sax whilst I swam, sort of hoped I could leave it with the Security Office.  But no, lots of fast and loud Cantonese, lots of head shaking and pointing.  ‘You go down, you go down’ a cleaning lady interrupts my vain attempts to give the guard the borrowed sax.  So I follow her down to level 2, the training pool  area, wondering what I will find.  And lo and behold, a long bay of exceedingly large, lockable lockers, so big I could have got in one and played the damned sax.  

So here I am, home to HK.  I’m tending my little, temporary, base camp, and there’s no doubt in my mind.  Hong Kong, you got your prodigal daughter well and truly covered.  Thank you.

By backstagestives

Looking for my long lost family in Hong Kong
And previously....
Fell in love with coastal living 5 years ago. And moved to stunning St Ives. A place to create and grow and flourish. Got me a home and a job. And never looked back. Everyone talks and writes about the famous dead people of St Ives. Virginia and Alfred and Ben and Barbara and Peter and Wilhelmina. Well I thought I’d introduce you to some very nice folk, and they’re all very much alive and make St Ives a much the better town for it.

6 replies on “‘Nothing much’”

Wow you sound so comfortable and at home Laura. I know what you mean about base camp. I remember doing just that when I was living in a tiny room with Sarah. Everything we owned fitted in two drawers and we had to eat as we shopped as there was nowhere to store our food. But treasuring what little we had was very important. Love reading your blog. So full of emotions, some nearly forgotten, that most can relate to. Huge sister hugs xxx


Hey. I know about using the Co-op as my fridge, and the charity shops as my wardrobe, as you know. Been in training for this moment for the last 5 years. I love how the blog is bringing me so many stories, like weaving a tapestry, mine and others stories all coming together. Miss you and thank you for replying, can’t tell you how much it means to ‘hear’ your voice. Love L x


There’s a nice story …. A line of lockers, each one with something going on inside … Narnia-esq … Opening doors and deciding which world to climb into … I’d definitely spend some time in one which had a yoga lady playing sax! I’m imagining you upsidedown, standing on your head playing the sax with Dorey watching on x


Narnia, what is it that Clarissa says about Narnia in Bedtime Stories?. Long live Clarissa. Long live stories, bedtime and otherwise. There’s definitely a feast of stories to be had in Hong Kong Kowloon Park swimming pool lockers. Many of them. Big ones, but also loads of little ones. You can add your own padlock for extra security if you want, if the story needs to be kept extra safe, on top of the refundable 50p safekeeping.


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