Showing posts from October, 2018

1st November, 3018

Yesterday we hiked around Lamma Island, where my mom and her husband Michael lived for a few years. Lamma is really jungle-ous, featuring big spiders that spin enormous webs across the paths, frogs that stow away in one's shoes at night, and of course the venomous huge centipedes whose bites liquefy flesh and feel like a blowtorch burn. One of these almost got me one night in August 1993, and this would have destroyed my reproductive capacity. I wouldn't be here writing this now. Hate those beasts as much as Tanja hates (delightful and innocent) squirrels. We headed to the Happy Valley racetrack last night to watch horse racing. We arrived an hour early, bought a pitcher of over-priced beer, and then at 7:15, the races began....     ... unfortunately, last night's races were actually held at the race couse in Sha Tin! Everyone at Happy Valley got to watch them simulcast on big video screens. About half of the folks in the stands had no idea this was to be the case. I gues

31 October, 2018

Just waking up, having a coffee. The past few days have been perfect in terms of weather. This really is the only time of year to visit Hong Kong and not die of heat stroke or whole body fungal infection. A couple of days ago, we took the nice, slow ferry over to our old home, Mui Wo, on Lantau Island. It's quite a bit more built up compared with 23 years ago, but still very pastoral and calm. IfI ever ended up living here again, it would have to be Mui Wo. We hiked around and were eventually able to locate our old apartment. The building is intact, but no longer has an unobstructed view of the field in front of it, due to a whole bunch of newly-constructed apartments. Still, nothing's really high-rise in Mui Wo, and it should still be a relaxed place for some time to come - except for people who have to try to pay down the multi-million dollar mortgages on even the tiniest apartments. Next we dragged Vincent way up in the mountains to Po Lin monastery, home of the Big Budd

26th October, 2018

Went for a nice hike, up and over the Dragon's Back, a moderate 8.5 km hike accessed by riding way east on the MTR, followed by a 20 minute bus ride. Transportation's still dirt cheap in Hong Kong, with a train ride still about $1. 70. The hike gives wicked views of the east side of the island, and finishes at Big Wave Beach, an attractive and clean beach with a decent break, allowing kids the chance to learn how to surf without getting clobbered by monster waves, or drowned by overpowering rip tides. After this, we headed back to Central and eventually located one of our memorable haunts, the Deli France cafe in World Wide Plaza, a building catering to Hong Kong's vast Filipina population. We'd always go there for coffee and a baguette, and when Nick was born, we put word out that we needed a nanny, and soon had a queue around the block of nannies wanting to work for us (the fact that Nick, a total cutie-pie at 3 months old was with us, might have had something to d

24th October, 2018

We arrived in Hong Kong last night, after a long-ass flight from YYZ to Chicago (thanks so much to Sheri for driving us to Pearson at 4:00 am!) and then 15 hours up and over the north pole and down through China to Hong Kong. I'd never flown this exact route before. We got to our AirBnB place, only to find it seemed to be a scam - there was no one there to meet us, and the security guard at the building, a public housing estate, had never heard of the host, and it would have been illegal to rent such a place to tourists Anyway. Fortunately, the folks there were very helpful, and eventually these nice kids helped us get to a nearby hotel - even paid for the taxi ride. We eventually contacted AirBnB, and they refunded our entire amount, so ultimately this experience has affirmed our faith in humanity. The Winland 800 Hotel where we stayed last night is a little out-of-the-way, so we'll probably find a place in Chung King Mansions, a crazy 4-tower complex in Tsim Sha Tsui, a m

18th October - Off To Hong Kong

We leave Monday morning. Our friend Sheri is giving us a ride to Pearson (thanks!), and we'll arrive at 6:10 pm Tuesday. We'd always planned on taking Nick back to the place of his birth; he'll certainly be with us in spirit. We flew out of HK in 1996, a year before its 99 year post-Opium War lease expired, and it was returned to the Chinese. I'm so curious to see what Hong Kong has become. Though we have a bit to do before our departure, we certainly welcome visitors up to about 6 pm Sunday. We're hoping this trip allows us to heal to some extent. Even 5% would help. We're still pretty wretched at this point. Thanks to Dave W. for the well-timed spaghetti dinner!

Thank You!

Thank you all for coming to Nick Greeson's Celebration of Life. We were blown away by the turnout. You all came together to give Nick the sendoff he deserved, and our family the support we needed during this horrendous time. It was great to see y'all up dancing.  Special thanks to Suzie F., Kerry B., Annette M. and Patti P. for providing such fantastic food (and loads of it).  Thank you to the Taylor family for hosting our event at Purple Hill Country Hall. Choosing them as hosts was not a mere business decision, as their family has been through similar hard times.   A big thank you goes out to the Proud Boys (North America-wide) who have been unbelievably supportive during this time.   We also would like to thank all of you who attended Nick's vigil in the hospital; I don't think we could have gotten through this surreal experience without you. On another note, if anyone has any pictures or videos of the celebration of life, it would be greatly appreciated as

Saturday Timeline (Tentative)

4:00-5:00 pm - Arrival 5:00-5:45 pm - Service, speeches 6:00-7:00 pm - Eat 7:00-8:30 pm - Acoustic Sets 8:30 pm-? - Electric Sets

Act Now For Cancer

It's recently come to my attention that I hadn't designated a charity for those inclined to help patients deal with their exhausting and often desperate cancer ordeal. Our charity of choice has been established by Nick's primary oncologist, Dr. Kylea Potvin, who's been so hardworking, compassionate and unflappable during these past six years: Act Now For Cancer This charity provides options for cancer patients in desperate situations. For example, a treatment may be available in the States, but is not funded by OHIP. Dr. Potvin set up her charity to address this kind of funding/logistical gap.  Thanks so much!  Matt Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.