We’ve moved many times in the thirty-five years that we’ve been together, my FAB hubby and I. When we first moved to Hong Kong, in September 1992, it was a terrifying experience. Everything was completely overwhelming, foreign and strange. It was also exciting, and wonderfully inspirational.
We had to wait for about two months before our furniture arrived – it may have been longer in fact, because we couldn’t inform the removal company where to send it to until we had an address for it to arrive at and as we lived the high life at the Island Shangri-La – a most luxurious, brand-spankingly new, six-star hotel in Pacific Place – for the first four or five weeks; it was getting on for mid-November before our furniture from ‘home’ came anywhere near us.
Moving to this newly-built apartment in Mid-Levels was a big step. We had arrived in Hong Kong with almost nothing – a couple of suitcases of clothing and some photographs to remind us what our children looked like, back in England, enjoying their boarding school. Even when our stuff did arrive, we had only packed the dining table and chairs, our double bed and some essential belongings – the bronze and rosewood cutlery we’d bought ten years earlier, our best china dinner service and a few other knick-knacks. We’d pretty much sold everything else we owned because we had no idea what we could or couldn’t actually take with us.
So the apartment was very strangely empty, even after our belongings arrived. We didn’t really notice because there was so much to see, so much to explore.
One of my favourite places to go was the Japanese department store, Seibu, which occupied a large section of two floors in Pacific Place. It was full of marvellous wonders and most invitingly, had a well-stock art-supplies area that, although a little pricey, seemed like an Aladdin’s cave to me. I spent many hours perusing the goodies and finally decided on some new watercolours and some pastel papers.
Amongst our treasured belongings was a gorgeous calendar with some British Wildlife photos, that I had been given by a relative some years before. Badgers, hares, squirrels and deer frolicked in each different scene. I had intended to put them together in a montage and mount them together, but I was intrigued by my newly-acquired purchases and decided to have a go at painting them for myself, from the photographs.
I finished six fairly quickly and we took them to the framer’s on Queens’ Road East. It took about a week, but collecting them, rushing home with them and seeing my art work hung on my own walls suddenly made this strange, noisy, utterly crazy city feel like home for the first time. Each time we went in and out of our apartment, they greeted us.
They have hung out together on the walls of every home we’ve lived in since then – nine in all (so far). They’ve greeted all our our children and grandchildren. They are like members of the family now. I hope you like them too.
As always, thanks for reading!