30 March 2015

Another Birthday



…and another excuse to make our favorite mocha cake.
My mother-in-law flew in on her birthday and
we had this cake waiting for her.

Choc-cake-(1)

Whenever I make this cake, the kids always ask to lick the spoon, the bowl of unused chocolate ganache.  I let them.  Sometimes I might even join them.  Couldn’t get good Valrhona chocolate go to waste now, could we?

27 March 2015

In Search of Green



It is so nice to stumble upon a big, grassy area in town where we could potentially have a picnic.  I don’t know if it’s always as crowded as it is in the photo, though.  The photo was taken during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a couple of Sundays ago, so there might have been more people out than there normally would be.  That said, my guess is that, in general, on Sundays and public holidays, it could get crowded.  That’s when most of the foreign domestic helpers are off and it’s such a great area for them to gather and hang out with their friends.  Between having a picnic with their friends here in this nice, green space, under the open skies, by the water and parking themselves on concrete plazas or the sides of office buildings, it’s a no-brainer.  I am glad that the city planners have seen fit to provide more green spaces for the public, instead of developing the land for more high rises.

Park-(1)

25 March 2015

One Man’s Junk



Zoë and I attended a high school fair with our friends a few of weeks back when Josh was away at camp.  There were lots of fun booths and stalls.  There was a haunted house, international food stalls, cotton candy, face-painting, bouncy castles… My favorite, though, were the various stalls that sold used books and games (part of their PTA's fund-raising).  One of the games Zoë picked was this game called Slammer.  I figured one couldn’t go wrong with a HK$10 (just a little over US$1) game.  Even if the kids end up not liking or playing the game much, I wouldn’t feel too bad.  As it turns out, both the kids have a lot of fun playing it and their friends who come over for play dates enjoy it a lot, too.  Score!

Slammer-(1)
 

 

24 March 2015

Spring



It seems that spring is finally here.  It looks like the warmer weather is here to stay.  The flame flowers are finally out!  Every year, the flame flowers are my sure signs that spring has arrived.  I have yet to get a good picture of the flame flowers, but hopefully this year will be the year.  I always see them from a moving vehicle and have never had a chance to get close to them enough to get a good shot.  The flowers are a special flame red and they really stand out from the light green leaves on the trees.  Until such time I am able to shoot some photos of the flame flowers, I give you these instead… (sorry, but I don’t know what they’re called, though).

Flowers-(1)

18 March 2015

Dew Drops



We’ve had a couple of extremely foggy, misty days.  This morning, even when I could hardly see anything out our window, I decided to push ahead with the hike that I’d planned with my friend.  Visibility was not very good, so I wasn’t able to show her the view that I’d promised would be there during the hike.  Nonetheless, we did see some other “views,” though.  We saw plenty (easily more than 10!) of spider webs along the way –big, fully formed ones, small ones, half-completed ones, picture-perfect ones, messy ones.  Many of them had droplets of dew caught in the threads of the web… so pretty! I wish I had my DSLR on me, but I didn’t want to lug it along, so I had to rely on my phone to take photos. 

Dew-drops-(1)
I was converting the image to black and white when

Dew-drops-(bw-1) 
I accidentally clicked on something on the gradient editor that gave me this image below.
There’s something about it that made me want to keep it.
The dew drops look like black pearls…

Dew-drops-(bw-2)

According to an app that my friend has on her phone, we’d hiked an equivalent of 12,000 steps and some 60+ storeys!  That definitely made me feel better and less guilty for the big lunch that we had afterwards.


 

17 March 2015

St. Patrick’s Day



We were able to take in a bit of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Sunday.  We’d missed the parade, but we were able to walk over to where they were putting together a show of sorts for all the people gathered in the park.  There were marching bands, with bagpipes, little girls doing jigs, a lion dance, people singing.  It was quite a merry gathering.

Bagpipes-(1)

And of course, there were lots of people wearing green, with fun head gear…

Silly-hat-(1)

13 March 2015

Cool Pooch



Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs. I grew up having pet dogs, but I don’t recall ever dressing any of them up –even the lap dogs.  Here, I’ve seen dogs (1) wearing sweaters in winter time; (2) dressed up during Halloween; (3) being pushed around in a pram, just like a baby; (4) wearing booties to keep their paws clean. I’ve even once overheard a doggie play date being arranged!

I finally got to check out a shop in Stanley that sells cutesy stuff for dogs (and cats?) while I was taking visiting relatives around.  This shop has different outfits for dogs and other stuff.  On display were different (plush) dogs wearing different outfits and some had shades on as well.  I’d thought the shades were just some toy shades that they put on the plush dog.  It turned out that they actually sell those shades.  What’s more, this couple actually got one for their dog.  The dog does look cute in them, but I wonder what it would say if it could talk…

Cool-pooch-(1)

11 March 2015

Writing



I was walking through one of the walkways that connected to the IFC Mall when I saw a long stretch of blue with white Chinese characters all up and down it. I was amazed to see that all the characters on that blue sheet were actually “made” (for want of a better word) with sand.  This old man would grab a handful of sand and very carefully let them flow from between his fingers and –voilà! –he forms a character.


Writing-with-sand-(2)


Writing-with-sand-(1)
 
(Also linking with Little Things Thursday and Black and White Wednesday.)

09 March 2015

While I generally aim for sharpness and clarity in my photos, I absolutely love softness and dreaminess when it’s called for.  For the longest time, I would just browse and look through images online and wonder how some photos get the creamy-dreamy effect.  I am still having fun experimenting and trying to achieve this. I’m not always successful, but once in a while, I get something that I’m happy with.

Cherry-blossom-(3)

Please head on over and visit with Becky (her blog) to check out her lovely soft focus images and then follow on through to the next one in our circle.  Once you are done visiting our circle, please check out our Facebook page and share your soft focus photos. We love to get inspiration from you!

04 March 2015

We have family visiting Hong Kong for the first time and I took them around a bit today.  It’s always great to go out and  play tourist.  It feels nice to look at familiar places with new eyes.

The photo below was taken while we were waiting to cross the street along Hollywood Road. 

Hollywood-Road-(1bw)
 
Here is the same image in color.  I can’t decide which one I like better.
 
Hollywood-Road-(1) 
(Also linking with Little Things Thursdays and Black and White Wednesday.)


03 March 2015

Night Hike



My friend and I were just planning a little walk to while away the time when our kids were at the scouts meeting. I’d never walked that trail before and was keen to check it out.  It was a pleasant-enough trail. The weather was just right. I could see different trails branching out from ours that we could further explore next time.

We started the hike at around 6pm.  It was still light out. But shortly in, I had to take out the flashlight.  We saw frogs along the path when there was still light.  Neither one of us was skittish about them. But on our way back, I saw something move across my path and my friend said, “Watch out!”  Because I couldn’t see well, I had imagined a snake slithering across and I hopped, skipped, and danced a jig for several beats before settling down. We both then realized that it was just another frog.  I had heard from other hikers that they’ve come across snakes during their hikes and that’s an experience I could definitely live without, thankyouverymuch!

Night-hiking-(1)

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