Thursday, 27 November 2008

Did you know that the flight to Hong Kong from New York is 16hours!!!

Sixteen hours!!

Someone at work told me that it's the longest single leg flight you can do. I have no idea if that's true, but I do know it's a bloody long time to spend in the economy cabin of a 777. It wasn’t so bad up to the 13th hour, but the last 3hours were absolute murder. I wouldn't recommend it. If I were to do a similar trip in future I’d be tempted to break it up in the middle somehow, or cash in miles and upgrade myself to business class. Ooooh that would have been lovely!!

Fortunately when we finally landed in Hong Kong it didn't take too long to get through immigration and we were soon on a train travelling to Central station on Hong Kong Island and from there we took a taxi to our hotel. Unfortunately our taxi driver was a complete numpty and dropped us off at the WRONG hotel, tsk, just what you don't need after a 16hour flight, but fortunately we didn’t have to struggle too far through the mobbed streets of Causeway Bay with our luggage to find our actual hotel and we were completely thrilled as we approached the entrance of the Lanson Place Hotel to see two doormen running towards us to take our bags. Bliss!!

Ah, I was so very happy to be relieved of my luggage I could have kissed them, although I doubt they would have appreciated it since the last shower I’d taken had been at 5am New York time – only 24hours earlier, but still I felt like a minger, so disgusting and definitely in need of a shower after travelling in the same clothes for all that time. I felt bad for soiling the air of their very elegant lobby.

Beautiful hotel isn't it. I can't recommend it enough are you are ever around Hong Kong way.

I always want to be one of those travellers who swishes elegantly, fragrantly and wrinkle free into a hotel lobby, but more often than not I arrive sweaty, crumpled and exhausted. The Lanson Place doormen however were the very essence of professionalism and didn’t wrinkle their noses at me once ;-)

After a revitalising shower we forced ourselves to get out and take a walk along the Hennessy Rd to see a view of the famous harbour. The guide book had recommended taking in the view from the bar at the Renaissance Harbour View hotel (the words 'harbour' and 'view' are in the very name, how could we possibly go wrong?), but I have to say it was disappointing and seemed too far west to get the full impact. Maybe if you are staying in a room on a higher floor of the hotel it would be better, but we could see more of the highway than the harbour, however after a refreshing Kir Royale cocktail and an appetizer of duck spring rolls we took a walk along the river and spectacular views of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Unfortunately my photos are hazy - well, Hong Kong was permanently hazy - and I was still figuring out the correct settings for my new camera, but here's a view looking back to Hong Kong Island from one of the piers.

And here's Kowloon

Anyway I'm going to pop off and get ready to meet my friend Nigel for our annual British Orphans in NYC Thanksgiving. We have a reservation at the Spring St Bar & Natural restaurant downtown. It's a pleasantly bustling restaurant on Thanksgiving and doesn't charge an arm and a leg like some places do. Afterwards we're off to swoon over Daniel Craig in the new Bond movie - well I am. Nigel's probably going to be fantasizing that he is James Bond - so I'll be back to post more photos later, that is if I get a chance before popping off to Austin tomorrow to meet up with Catweazle for the weekend. Eeek!! So excited!!

Happy Thanksgiving to any Americans reading by the way

Later kids :-)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

It's only useful as a paper weight

Well my good intentions to post about my long past vacation this weekend were scuppered yesterday by the sudden passing of my laptop - this post is written via blackberry. It will be brief as working with the tiny keyboard drives me loopy.

Ah well.

I don't have a home computer so I'm reliant on the IT department working their magic tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I don’t know where the time goes

I honestly don’t. I’ve been meaning to update the blog with holiday stuff from Hong Kong, Shanghai et al, but suddenly it’s almost 3weeks since I got back and not a sausage.


To be honest I was very busy doing not an awful lot the first week back in the US since just standing upright was something of a challenge. The flight back from Hong Kong seemed to trigger a bout of jet lag induced insomnia where I was just getting 4 or 5hours of sleep a night and I was pretty much a basket case for a week and a half and then in subsequent weeks I've been busy catching up on all the work I was incapable of doing while the sleepless nights took their toll. Emotionally the insomnia put me at a very low ebb and it didn’t help to discover Gobshite – significant ex of a couple of years ago who chased me for 9months only to dump me rather unpleasantly back in August 2006 - had only bloody gone and got married this past August.



How is THAT fair that the evil, lying shit found someone to marry him before me? I mean...I’m such a catch ;-)


He should be living in emotional purgatory until the end of his days that one.

Bitter?? Unforgiving?? Moi?? Nooooo, of course not ;-)

Hearing of his nuptials just caused a lot of old feelings to come flooding back. Oooh I was so mad. I walked around with a face like a slapped arse for a good week. The news also caused me to take stock of my own life. I think him having such a big change caused me assess what’s changed in my own since we broke up. Let’s see…

- I’m still working at the same company
- I’m still have the same job title
- Pretty much still have the same haircut
- I still live in the same apartment - although for NYC it is a bargain
- I'm still trying to lose that last 5lbs

I have to say I’ve been feeling as if I’ve stagnated of late. The constant flow of depressing news about the economy isn’t helping to lift my mood either. I learned on Friday while drinking wine with someone in the know that mass layoffs are pending in January. The words 'carnage' and 'bloodbath' were mentioned.


Fingers crossed!! These are not fun times eh.

On the plus side I do have an upcoming visit with the lovely Catweazle to look forward to. We haven’t so much as laid eyes on each other for 6months, not since we did our trip to Charleston back in May. It's not for want of trying, but with one thing and another it didn’t happen. However we’re still in regular contact and I’m popping off to Austin to meet up with him for the weekend the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I'm so excited :-) My first visit to Texas too. Tips and recommendations for Austin much appreciated if you have any favourites.

Anyway I shall try my best to post some pics from my HK/Shanghai hols this weekend. I promise!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Whoo Hoo!!!

Wow!! Obama won!! That's such amazingly fantastic news I was hoping he would, but I didn't even dare think about it actually happening in case I jinxed his chances - yep, my thoughts are THAT powerful. I remember all too clearly how certain we New Yorkers were, back in 2004, that Bush would not get re-elected and how deflated we felt when the unthinkable happened, but that's behind us now.

Unfortunately sleep is still eluding me so I saw much of the election coverage. Last night I tried Deb's suggestion of wine since I hadn't been able to fall asleep before 1am these past few days.

"If you drink enough wine you'll be out like a light" she informed me knowledgeably.

"Although the downside is I'll have to deal with a hangover on Wednesday morning"

"Yes but it will be worth it because your body clock will have adjusted"

Since work is on the lighter side just now I decided to risk the headache and had a couple of, admittedly large, glasses of the Gavi white languishing in the corner of my fridge and was thrilled to find myself nodding off toMSNBC's election coverage - gotta love that Rachel Maddow - before 9pm. Marvellous. That Deb, she's a genius!!

I woke up feeling refreshed and well rested. I knew it was still on the early side as my alarm - set for 6.30am - didn't wake me, however I figured I could deal with it being 5am, or even 4am, since that would meant least 7 lovely hours of sleep. I turned on the lamp, sat up and squinted at my clock.


One.Chuffing. AM!!!!


I couldn't believe it. Ugh. Not in the least bit sleepy I gave in and went to see who'd won the Presidential race, handwashed 4 jumpers and scrubbed the bathroom. I tried to sleep again around 4am, but to no avail. I gave up at 5:50am and got ready for work.

It's going to be a loooonnnnnnnnggggggg day!!

At least my apartment is benefitting from my insomnia.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I've seen the view and it's hazy: Hong Kong Oct 2008 - Part 1

Dearie me I’ve been reeling with jet lag these past few days after getting back from my Hong Kong/Shanghai trip on Saturday evening. I’ve not been able to fall asleep before 1am, but then I wake up at 6am. It's a shame I didn't fly home in time for Halloween since the dark circles around my eyes are so pronounced I look like I've risen from the dead.

It serves me right for being so smug about it on Sunday. I thought I was doing so well, having arrived home at 9.30pm on Saturday, unpacked for a bit and then tumbled into bed around 11pm. I set my alarm for 6.30am to get up and do laundry first thing Sunday morning before meeting Lauren for brunch at 10am what with washing my smalls not being an option later in the day with the marathon runners slogging up First Avenue for much of the morning and afternoon and the street being blocked off. Not to be a big grumps, but marathon day can be a total pain in the arse if you have errands to do on the east side of First Avenue. I woke up around 6.20am before my alarm, however I wasn't best pleased when I walked into my living room and caught sight of the time on my DVR which said it was 5.20am.


Duh!!! What a numpty!! Having danced around my apartment to Santogold while unpacking on Saturday – just LOVE her album to bits - I'd completely missed the bit about the clocks going back an hour, so there I was wide awake at an ungodly hour of a Sunday morning. I killed a bit of time until the laundrette opened by making a big mug of tea and catching up on a couple of Grey's Anatomy episodes that I'd DVR'd and before I knew it I was engrossed in the whole Callie/Erica love-in thing – a storyline I was enjoying, but which I have just learned ABC have shelved!!! Idiots!! - and people having their innards scooped out and somehow it was 8.30am and time to get showered before meeting Lauren and I'd missed my opportunity to do laundry.


Good job I'd done a load of washing at the hotel in Hong Kong - do I know how to have a good time on holiday or what!!! – which was something of a necessity since Hong Kong was so hot and humid and we walked an average of 12miles per day when we were there (my pedometer came in useful for something. Melissa was quite obsessed with it) that I felt like such a minger when we got back to the hotel of an evening, so there was no way I was able to get 2 days wear out of my trousers as planned before washing them, in fact there were days when I fought a strong urge to take a match to my clothes, but thankfully there was no need for such drastic action since the hotel had a laundry room and I'd had the foresight to pack detergent. By day 3 our room lovely hotel room looked a bit of a sight draped in our smalls, but needs must.

Having woken so disgustingly early on Sunday I was convinced that I’d be fighting to stay awake come early evening and assumed that once I’d got through that bit I’d surely have adjusted to US time. Wrong wrong wrong!! I had no such luck since for some reason my body feels that I’ve needed only need 5hours sleep over the last couple of days whereas my mind is rapidly losing its grip on reality. I walked into the bathroom at work yesterday afternoon and the mirror literally rippled before my eyes.

I seriously need to get some sleep!!

It’s a hot bath with lavender, two Tylenol PM and a glass of wine for me tonight and a complete avoidance of any election excitement!!

I’ll post on the trip when I’m semi-functional once more, but here’s a teaser photo of the view from our gorgeous hotel in Hong Kong, The Lanson Place Hotel in Causeway Bay, which I can highly highly highly recommend. It was lovely, a member of the
Small Luxury Hotels of the World. I love those hotels, but it's rare that I can afford to stay in them. Fortunately The Lanson Place hotel was reasonably priced relative to the cost of other HK accommodations and well worth the money. The photo's a little hazy, but unfortunately we were denied a clear day in Hong Kong, so this is as good as it gets and does not in any way reflect my photography skills. Ahem!!