Mullets, the mutual love of a cat and blade running in Hong Kong…….

It has been a wonderful few weeks and the eternal optimist in me is filled with love and hope.  Its hard to know where to begin but most importantly, the Australian Parliament has finally signed off on the same-sex marriage bill.  This was an historic moment of not only love and compassion but one of equality, dignity and the acknowledgment of the most basic of human rights.  I often wonder how beautiful our world would be if we stopped negative and hateful judgment of others and instead respected and encouraged their journeys.

Although not compulsory, just over 12.6 million people cast their postal vote with 61.6% of people voting YES and 38.4% voting NO.  I have so much pride in our wonderful county.

A little random rainbow chalk bombing never goes astray…….

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Rainbow over the Newcastle Marina…….

The city I love and very happily live in, burst with pride and a thousand mullets when the SuperCars came to town.  Now this has certainly been a contentious event which saw mass disruption, chaos and the divide of residents who were either enthralled or enraged by it all.   Whether you love or loath the SuperCars being in Newcastle, there was always going to be an upside.  And that is, you get to channel your inner bogan for a few fabulous days and that my friends, is never a bad thing.

190,000 people descended on Newcastle with car enthusiasts, petrol heads and everyone else mingling blissfully together under the most perfect of summer skies.  Cold Chisel headlined and I very happily discovered you can recognise when a bogan has come of age as they turn up to a Chisel concert in a well ironed Bintang tee.  Happy days indeed.

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‘I love ya Mossyyyyyyyyyyyy’……. 🙂

As the rains hammered down, we gathered at Roche Estate in the heart of the Hunter Valley.  Drenched to the bone, we hunkered down in our plastic rain ponchos and waited.  Then a slightly built man with grey hair and beard walked on stage.  It was Yusuf/Cat Stevens.

I do believe some kind of wonderful fell over the vineyard that night as the moment he began to sing, the rains stopped and they did not begin to fall again until after he left the stage.

That soulful voice, unchanged by the years, delivered messages of peace and tolerance, love and reassurance.  And those beautiful lyrics of yearning, question and hope uplifted the soaking wet 14,000 strong crowd.

He was haunting and humble and I fell in love with him all over again just as I had done in the 70’s.   I announced to my husband when I arrived home that I was converting to Islam.  He hid his shock at this revelation well I thought 🙂

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This beautiful image is courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald…….

I wrote a blog post recently, published 1st October, with part of the title being There are some moments in life which bring a rare loveliness…….. In that post I wrote of how women can very often face the obstacle of other women who are driven by an unfathomable meanness to destroy and I have also written, again based on my own experience, of how unspeakably cruel some women can be.  When such brutal persecution is targeted toward you, it will leave an aching chasm which makes one so very wary.  Ever vigilant, you develop a caution toward others which makes it near impossible to foster any new relationships.  In that post, I also wrote of my great fortune in meeting some remarkable and inspiring women and it was one of those women who sat right alongside me during the concert.  There are few things which have as much impact nor define and sustain our souls than acceptance, friendship and happiness…….and the mutual love of a Cat.

So back to our last days in Hong Kong and what more can be said of the home of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat and the amazing bamboo spidermen.  Yes indeed.  The scaffold workers of Hong Kong are dubbed ‘bamboo spidermen’.   The spidermen move about with such agility on what looks to be the most flimsiest of frame-work, all of which, is constructed entirely from bamboo.  It must take incredible skill and courage to erect these neat, intricate and very complex platforms and walls which hold hundreds of construction workers daily.  This very traditional building method, the use of long slender bamboo poles tethered together with Panduit ties, form the most amazing exoskeletons which are even used in the construction of the tall, ultra modern skyscrapers.  Again,  this is Hong Kong so effortlessly slipping between century old tradition and a very modern world……….

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The unassuming ‘bamboo spidermen’…….

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This bold city, which also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, comes alive after dark.  When the sun sets, the neon lights rise to assault your every sense with a glowing radiance of colour and energy.  Hanging overhead from the decaying facades of old apartment blocks and shops, there is such charm in this cityscape and I love the way the light from these incandescent masterpieces’ hits a wet pavement to become so very like a watery work of art.

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Very sadly though, and this is due in-part to the sterility of the digital age, these wonderfully iconic pieces of signage, the inspiration for many futuristic sci-fi films including Blade Runner, are beginning to disappear.

A final snapshot…….

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Every jewel store in Hong Kong sells these sweet gold pigs which represent sincerity and honor………..and a whole mess of affluent cuteness

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Our time over in Hong Kong we boarded a boat headed to Taiwan, a little over 388 nautical miles away.  And I would just like to point out that to drink rum at 8 o’clock in the morning does not make you an alcoholic!  It makes you a pirate 😉

And suddenly, there was nothing between Hong Kong, Taiwan and me but that incredible expanse of the China Sea…….xx

9 thoughts on “Mullets, the mutual love of a cat and blade running in Hong Kong…….

  1. Katie

    Wow. It has been a wonderful few weeks. Love reading about what you get up to and how awesome were the supercars. Can’t wait till next year. Katie 💖 x

  2. Kristina Paviche

    Hi oceangirl. First up I have to say I really hated Hong Kong. Sorry 😯. It was way too busy and there are way too many people everywhere. We were pretty much getting pushed out of the way while walking along on the streets by the locals. We did do a harbour cruise but I found the water really smelly. It really was putrid and worse than anything I had ever smelt. There were some other aussies on our cruise and some Brits as well and we were all nearly sick with the smell. Plus it is a really hot and smoggy place too. We also had our credit cards frauded!! So it really isn’t a crime free city either. Shopping in those mega shopping malls though was excellent. The best ever so it wasn’t all bad. Did you shop there?? I think you are just more adventurous than us as we only ate in actual proper restaurants or at Maccas because we were told we would get really bad food poisoning otherwise. Did you get sick at all?? You didn’t say. In spite of hating the place I love reading your blog. It’s unreal some of the places you go and what you do. I said to my husband there is no way in the world I would get on a boat to Taiwan let alone go in a plane there 😎 so I can’t wait to see what you got up to there lol. Hope you and your family have a great Christmas. Kristina.

    1. Hi Kristina. Thank you for your great comment and there is absolutely no need to apologise for not liking Hong Kong…..and they don’t call it the ‘fragrant’ harbour for nothing. I was so sorry to read you experienced credit card fraud though. How unfortunate and no doubt it added to the disappointment of Hong Kong but I am glad you enjoyed the shopping malls 🙂

      I didn’t and don’t shop in the mega malls as I tend to just skulk around the markets if I really want something and its funny as the only time I have had a serious bout of food poisoning was at a restaurant years ago in Asia. On the whole, the turn over of food in the local places is so quick that I don’t think it really has time to spoil.

      I hope your Christmas has been wonderful. All the best for the happiest of new years x

  3. Roth the Viking

    I was livid when I read this. I was so angry I was shaking with freakin rage when I read what you wrote about some one. I can’t even say its name but this person is an Islamic sympathizer! We freakin banned this person from ever coming to the USA. This is the same so called peace lover who called for a fatwar on an innocent person! Unbelievable! Freakin unbelievable you actually put this evil person on a pedestal! You are basically saying murder is OK! Are you on freakin drugs! You may not care about what they did but I do. HELLO!! 9/11!! He’s an asshole who needs his visa taken away and ask yourself why he is suddenly wanting to do the music he walked away from! Simple. He needs money and where is that money going! This is all just a bake sale for Hamas! Seriously! Dick move on your part supporting this guy and writing about him! Where is your responsibility as so called informed writer!

  4. Hello Roth. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog.

    I guess I should begin in pointing out that I do not condone murder and nor did I say it is okay. I think you somehow misinterpreted my words. Now that is cleared up, I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that Yusuf/Cat Stevens did in fact return to the USA. It was during 2016 where the 2,800 strong crowd in the Beacon Theatre, New York welcomed him to shouts of ‘what took you so long’.

    Wanting to play music of peace and love to an adoring audience will no doubt heal the previously fractured relationship with his fans but as you say, some will not be willing to forgive so easily. That of course is your right just as it is mine to write freely about what I believe in without persecution but I also have the responsibility of how what I say is received. Again, I do not support murder or the tragic and deeply heartbreaking events of 9/11.

    I really don’t want to end on a nit picky note, however the word is Fatwa not Fatwar but perhaps that is neither here nor there now. I hope your rage has subsided somewhat Roth and that one day you manage to take a seat on that beautiful Peace Train. Thank you again for your comment x

  5. Roth the Viking

    WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. There is no freakin way on God’s green earth that asshole was here. It DID NOT come here! It has a lifetime BAN! I guarantee this DID NOT happen! Also did not say you support murder but you do support an extremist who does. BIG difference!

  6. Thank you once again for your comments Roth. I appreciate the time you take to respond and I also acknowledge the passion you have in believing you are right. I will however, have to burst your bubble as it is a fact that Cat Stevens played a number of events on his 50th Anniversary Tour ‘A Cats Attic’. The tour began in Toronto and ended (after playing eleven sold out concerts including New York, Nashville etc.) in Los Angeles.

    I think it should also be noted that a portion of each ticket sold and the proceeds of the VIP packages were (and continue to be for all of his concerts) donated to two charities. The donations are made through ‘Small Kindness’ and the benefiting charities are ‘UNICEF’ and the ‘International Rescue Committee’. No doubt this information is irrelevant as I don’t believe your stance against him will change no matter how much positive information I offer but please believe me when I say his tour of the USA was not fake news.

    Hope you have a great week Roth……x

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