I regret to inform you, Gentle Reader, that there’s been a killing done. It happened one evening, shortly after my previous filing from a Traditional Aussie Backyard, in which Your Girl Reporter crowed about the array of vegetables we had crammed into our brand new raised beds.
There was no malice aforethought, just incompetence and the over-zealous application of a seaweed emulsion without the necessary dilution.
Sally’s Gardening Tip: Work out how to use an applicator before you start spraying things on your plants. Continue reading
The Baxter residence in Hong Kong didn’t get hot running water in the kitchen until the late 1970s. From 1967, when we first rented the flat in Macdonnell Road, until 1978, when I was packed off to Brisbane, Australia to endure the final years of my education, we would have to boil water for all our cooking and cleaning needs. And drinking water too, of course, in the early years. Traditionally, only servants would have used the kitchen, so hot running water was presumably deemed an unnecessary luxury.
When I returned to Hong Kong for Christmas 1978 the hot water fairy had arrived in my absence. I have no idea what prompted the long overdue upgrade, but it says something about the world of my parents’ Australia that neither of them regarded a lack of hot running water as a deal breaker.
For your young Girl Reporter it was just another glaring neon announcement of the Baxter Family Failure to fit into any of the rigid strata of Hong Kong’s colonial society. As if being Australian wasn’t enough, we were not expatriates in the accepted sense of the word. The Baxters were in Hong Kong on local terms. Continue reading
The Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Soviet-era The Bright Stream turned out to be anything but a strident celebration of the nobility of labour. Instead it was the lightest, loveliest, funniest work I’ve ever seen. Continue reading