Back from Hong Kong…. finally!

My business trip to Hong Kong gained another six days thanks to the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic ash cloud and the closure of UK/European air space. I got quite excited at the prospect of rerouting to Spain and sailing back on the Ark Royal, or getting the Trans-Siberian train, but in the end the lovely ladies at the BA office in Hong Kong got me on the second flight back that left once the skies reopened. I landed at LHR at 6am this morning, and spent a fair chunk of the day completing expenses and insurance claim forms…..

The only downside about the extra time was that it meant I didn’t get to spend my birthday as planned…. no family brunch at The Diner in Shoreditch! But Simmons & Simmons friends in Hong Kong and London made sure that I had a great day on Sunday.

Getting a big bunch of flowers from S&S at the hotel was a great way to start the day and after a lazy lie in with newspapers and tea, I strolled down to central HK to meet Adam and family and Kelly and his wife for a lovely (“mostly veggie”) dim sum lunch, complete with a card and gift, cheesecake birthday cake and candles! I feel very lucky to know such lovely people in HK and in London.

Then over to Kowloon on the Star Ferry to explore the sights and shops. I phoned Phil en route and he told me one of my birthday presents is a “driving experience” – Silverstone Aston Martin here I come!

Strolled around Kowloon taking in the prom, park and night markets – and got a call from my dad and brother and families as I was perched on the prom taking in the harbour and the ferries, all lit up in their evening finery. Them singing Happy Birthday over the phone to me was a *lovely* end to my birthday.

Very glad of the BlackBerry too! Not to mention Twitter and Facebook for keeping in touch with friends, and tracking developments following British_Airways and HeathrowAirport on Twitter.

2007 round up

I didn’t do a round robin letter this year, but as I always enjoy reading the ones that I receive I’ve succumbed: here’s a very brief round up of my 2007.

Reading

68 books read – from S is for Silence to The Closers; mainly the usual mixture of fiction (predominantly modern / historical / crime) and autobiographical travel.

Travel / Holidays

Big trips

  • Iran – on a Wild Frontiers recce tour, in May. Fantastic.
  • China – an October fortnight travelling with Hazel from her dad’s Shanghai base; plus a week of work.

Short trips and weekends away

  • Brecon Beacons – bringing in the New Year with Phil’s Bristol crowd.
  • Forty Acres – for the annual birthday parties weekend.
  • Saltaire – to catch up with Cat in early June
  • Seville – with Fiona and Catherine in mid June.
  • Walton on the Naze – twice (May Bank Holiday weekend and the week leading up to the August Bank Holiday weekend); both times a bit on the chilly/wet side.
  • Bristol – for Tim and Helen’s wedding on the SS Great Britain. Glorious.
  • Milan – for Jess and Mike’s wedding. We travelled there/back by train. Altogether very lovely.

Work

Still at Simmons & Simmons where I spent the first nine months of the year as the elexica editor and the last three seconded to a new role of Knowledge Management Business Manager.

Home and family

Still happily esconced in the Barbican with Phil; still happily doing Aunty Mary duties to Barney (10) and Rosa (8). Dad and Jean both well. I’m off to Hereford for a relaxing weekend with them in January.

Plans for 2008

Currently only features travel – 2008 is the year I’ll finally get to see some of the Silk Road in Central Asia. Nothing booked yet, but it’s The Trip for the year. Hoping to squeeze in a week in Libya too to maintain my one a year quota of visits to countries in the Axis of Evil. Luckily work have introduced the option of buying additional holiday…..