The kitchen at our flat in Macdonnell Road in Hong Kong backed on to a dank, rat-infested space, a convenient landing spot for rubbish hurled from the windows above.
Mr Chan, the building manager, was a regular visitor and would organise workers to come and clean up the waste, set traps and write letters to the residents reminding them to use the bins.
On one of his visits, he called it a courtyard, which made it sound like something you could visit or stroll through, but we only ever called it ‘Out the Back’. I only ever went through it at a run and would have avoided the place altogether except for one very tantalising attraction. That’s where my father Jack Spackman had set up his darkroom. Continue reading
In faraway England a band of history enthusiasts was on the march, heading south towards a field near Hastings in the footsteps of King Harold and his army who made the same fateful journey 950 years ago in 1066.
The story is well known, and not just among the English. Your Girl Reporter heard all about it at Kennedy Road Junior School in Hong Kong. We made a mural of scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry for the classroom and I was inspired enough to think that one day I might be able to go to England and stand in the very spot where Harold fell with a Norman arrow in his eye. Continue reading
Once upon a time the general public was largely shielded from the wilder shores of the nuttiness which affects each of us in its own degree.
Those who frolic in the deeper end have always been well known to anyone blessed with an opportunity to come into regular contact with the public.
Journalists, politicians and cab drivers, for example, will all have their own nutjob stories.
Sometimes the journalists, politicians and cab drivers are nutjobs too. I’m making no particular point here, except that in the past most of society’s nutjobs have had to struggle for attention.
Once upon a time the wronged and the passionate, having exhausted all other avenues of redress, or sometimes sooner, would turn to their local newspaper. Continue reading