Before we actually called it a day yesterday we went down to the Pacific Lounge to see a number of Chinese artistes performing for us. First up was a pianist, very accomplished but very loud particularly as we were about 2 feet away from her, she was then joined by a young violinist who performed on the traditional 2 string Chinese violin and he was fantastic playing both traditional and classical tunes. He was sometimes a bit overpowered by the pianist who had a microphone stuck among the strings while his microphone was not placed close to his strings but all in all it was an admirable performance and he rightly deserved his long applause. He was followed on stage by a Chinese dragon that chased a ball around the room for some considerable time and he was accompanied by another Chinese group on drums and cymbals, all very dramatic but it would probably have been better in a totally darkened room lit by UV so that you couldn’t see the men with the poles running around. The dragon was followed by two ladies performing with ribbons, very beautiful but not my cup of tea and the closing act was by far the best. This was the Man with Fast Changing Faces and he was sensational, I still haven’t worked out how he did it but presumably it was by constantly ripping off one mask after another and sticking them in his pocket. However it was done so quickly and achieved each time that one of his long sleeves covered his face that it was impossible to see how he did it. At the end of the show he showed his real face and we assumed that he had taken off his last mask but no in one quick move he was back hidden by yet another mask. A great end to a great two days every minute of which we enjoyed and we are so grateful to Jessica and Nathan for taking the time out of their busy schedule to come and see us for they had more than a day sitting and sleeping in trains to get to Hong Kong and back. Thank you so much kids we really appreciated the efforts that you made and the time that you spent with us.
Because of the free internet in the Ocean Terminal we took the opportunity to go back to Jessica’s website and look at the pictures of her, Nathan and Sam at Harbin, Beijing and Shanghai. For those of you who haven’t seen them they are back in February and the blog title is Hrm but I can’t remember the date. Dig around on her website http://jessloveschina.blogspot.com and you will be able to find them. Be warned though there are lots and lots of pictures and you need around 45 minutes or so to see them all on the Flickr slide show. You might want to change the slide frequency to fast but it is well worth the time spent viewing them. Harbin is particularly spectacular.
The reason that I have spent so long on the introduction is that not much has happened today, we are both tired from all the Hong Kong walking and so we have spent much of the day just lying by the pool watching the world go by and laughing at the newcomers getting lost. We Round the Worlders are so much more assured about what we are doing and where we are going! Incidentally I took a look at the Arcadia Grand Tour 2010, it’s not Round the World – been there, done that and got the baseball cap – as it goes out via the Mediterranean and Suez and comes back via South Africa and Madeira, but it does go to many more places in Australia and has one stop in Tasmania. Very tempting but as Hilary said to me, “2010 is Hawaii, just concentrate on that,” and of course she is right but as my mother Alice used to say “When my ship comes in….” We can dream can’t we?
Today’s talk in the Theatre Royal was by Stefan Buczacki a regular member of the Gardeners’ Question Time panel and he promises to be good over the next few days, he is not with us for very long and will end with a question time for us so we will have to think of some questions for him. Today he was mainly concerned with Beautiful Gardens and apart from the classics such as Cothele he showed us much smaller ones and gave us some tips on how we can improve ours for easy maintenance. Tonight it is Captain’s Gala Night again as we have just started a new leg so it is back to the old DJ and bow tie but at least I have two new silk bow ties that I bought in Hong Kong to brighten my evening, who knows I might even match Hilary’s outfit whatever it might be. We will of course go back to see the Headliners Viva Vegas and we have been promised some new sets from them after Singapore. I suspect that we will not be late to bed tonight though as both of us have had difficulty keeping our eyes open today and I know that I nodded off in the gardening talk as well as the Singapore talk earlier. Here she is…..
Tiz I. First of all I want to say A very Happy Birthday to Ric and we hope you have had a great day. Now to the diary of recent events. Well I thoroughly enjoyed the show last night. What I want to know is why we have so many strings on our violins when this guy (last night) made such great music with just two! The two women doing the ribbon dance were absolutely beautiful, so graceful and they made the ribbons look like they had a life of their own. The changing faces man seemed to change his face mask while the sleeve of his cloak flashed passed his head. I tried and tried to see how he did it and where he put the mask that had disappeared! Truly amazing. He was accompanied by an acrobat who seemed to have springs in his heels. Even the entertainment officer said that this was the best local show she had ever seen on board! The dragon dance could have done with a little more space to spread out but the men operating the dragon were very limber – they frequently had to leap over another part of the dragon while operating their own section – they were so good. Sam is right, we are showing our age today. We both want to take a nap most of the time. It seems that all the members of our table (at dinner) have had a great two days in Hong Kong, we have spent all day exchanging stories about our exploits and how they loved the city but not the amount of steps. The city is built on the side of a mountainside – what do they expect? Great times. I was very reluctant to change back the remainder of our Hong Kong dollars. I would have liked to have spent the lot but my feet wore out before I could do that. We do have some great memories though – can’t beat that. I just want to say that I have not been laughing at the newcomers who are looking so lost on the ship – but I want to say that I am very happy to be so comfortable in these now familiar surroundings. Less than one month to go now and we will have to re-adjust to real-life, I still don’t know what use I will be to anyone after getting so used to nothing but relaxation! However, I do look forward to seeing you all again. Now I must go to shower and shampoo the hair to get ready for the Captain’s gala reception – yet again, still it is free wine and another opportunity to get a photo taken! Take care, God bless.
It looks as if we can’t connect to the internet tonight March 3rd so I will have another go tomorrow after Vietnam, sorry about that but it looks as if you are going to get two nights together assuming that they get the problem with the satellite fixed.