#610 theoldmortuary ponders

‘A city can be many things, it’s people and their stories, urban experiences and how it is represented and seen by others. A place is made up of these qualities and impressions and is larger than the sum of its parts.’

This was the starting point, or inspiration for people leaving an exhibition about architecture and art in Hong Kong in the seventies and eighties. Members of the public were encouraged to use words or pictures to explain their relationship with Hong Kong, and then create a wall of art. It also seemed, to me, a good way to start a blog.

My starting point for Hong Kong was always Victoria Harbour, Chinese Lanterns and The Peak. When I was young I had an Uncle who travelled. Occasionally he would come home with gifts. Notably a night light featuring Victoria Harbour in the 1960’s. 10 years ago when I first travelled here Victoria Harbour was as exciting in real life as it was when I was 5 and the lights on the Pearl River were represented by pinholes in a lampshade.

Victoria Harbour May 2023

Chinese Lanterns because my jewellery box featured a large Pagoda with many doors or lids that had little lanterns as knobs.

The Peak was harder to replicate from my childhood memory. My travelling Uncle gazed wistfully out of a hilltop rainforest, in the black and white photos we had in our house, to remind us of his distant existence on The Peak. I have been to the Peak many times in the past 10 years and failed to quite replicate that feeling. But global warming has changed the weather for May and we found a trail we had not done before, along the Lugard Road. The Rainforest and the rain were suddenly recreated.

Hannah’s story begins with her birth and her parents, who had lived in Hong Kong and Asia for 16 years. Not for them the Peak and its aspirational dwellings but the hourly burly of Sham Shui Po.

And now, for the past 10 years Hong Kong has become the home of our family.

We come here, when there is not a global pandemic as often as we can.

Which ties this blog up as neatly as this aerial root in the Rainforest.

Who could guess how long ago someone tied this root in a knot. Many years ago when it was soft and pliable. Now it is rock hard and helps to hold a high tree on the rocky edge of a precipice.

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