I am sorry that I am way too late… we have already split and went our separate ways. I wanted to write you a proper farewell, but there was always something else coming up. I know that sounds like a weak excuse, but I actually had a very good reason to postpone my year in review blog post (more about this tomorrow).
But I can’t postpone it any longer, two weeks have already passed and we went our separate ways. Let’s reflect back why you, 2014, were one of the best years ever.
My parents were still here in last January and we spent great family time together, exploring Macau, visiting some new exhibitions and galleries and going on a Foodie Tour in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong, before we made our way over to Singapore.
We hadn’t been to Singapore together for 20 years, the city has changed so much! We walked around the city during day and nighttime, exploring some of the obvious sightseeing spots such as Chinatown and Arab Street, went on a night safari and made the most out of the Biennale (what a great show) by visiting the SAM, National Art Museum and Peranakan Museum. Of course, we also ate lots of seafood!
After Singapore, we went to Khao Lak – to relax a few days at the beach. We had a great time at the Marriott Resort (and yes, we all have been back there since our January trip, it has been THAT good and relaxing!).
We explored the surroundings, going to the old town of Sri Takua Pa, went to the Bang Niang Market, walked up to the Chong Fa Waterfall, visited the freshly renovated Khuelkhak Temple and swam in the little bay in the National Park.
Back in Hong Kong, my good friends from Seoul visited me and we celebrated the Chinese New Year together – but in modest style, given that they came with their toddler daughter! Still, we had a great time together – we ‘girls’ even went on a shopping spree and ended up buying some nice outfits!
In February, I visited the Bruce Lee exhibition, went to the very interesting Building M+ exhibition at ArtisTree, kicked-off with one of my new year resolutions to do more exercise and signed up with Pure Fitness. I even managed to squeeze in a little bit of MacLehose Trail hiking with Monica – before packing my bags in March and going to Jodhpur for another photography workshop with Gary from F8 Photography.
Needless to say that it was a fantastic trip and we had so much fun together – it was great to explore the Mehrangarh Fort, the back streets of the blue city and the desert trip to the Bishnoi village was a real highlight!
I even managed to squeeze in a trip to Bangalore, to meet my colleagues there and work a few days from the office in the Indian technology capital – but all the travelling took its toll, so by the time I was back in Hong Kong, I had a bad cold and was feeling horrible. It was really bad timing as we had tickets to see the Rolling Stones in Macau – and of course we went!
But there was little time to rest – once I recovered, my cousin and his partner came to visit Hong Kong for the first time, and of course we were all out and about together. We visited the Kowloon markets, the Hong Kong Park Aviary, went up to the Bank of China Tower and we ate tons! We had dumplings, went to Spicy Crab under the Bridge and ordered the spiciest crab on the menu, tried lots of street food – and finished off the days in bars, like the Gin Toneria (back then it was still a great, secret hangout place).
At the end of the month, I visited the Affordable Art Fair – a great event, but despite the name, the price tags were still quite hefty so I didn’t purchase anything.
Further, I learnt how to bake bread (together with my friend Monica) at the Mixing Bowl, hiked with Monica, Rik as well as the MeetUp group – and then came April and this was another busy month for travelling!
I squeezed in work trips to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur – and over Easter Patrick and I went to Hanoi. This was a great trip, I always enjoy being in Vietnam. This time, we took time to stroll through the streets, visit the Temple of Literature (my favourite place in Hanoi), eat lots of street food and drink delicious Vietnamese coffee.
In May I explored PMQ in Hong Kong, went on another treasure hunt (this time to Aberdeen) and together with Patrick we started looking for a new flat – as much as we loved living in Discovery Bay, we were tired of the ferry ride and ready to move to a new neighbourhood. I spent more time hiking at night than going to the gym, visited the Red Bull Flugtag with Rik and then at the end of the month, Patrick, Monica, Michael and I went for a trip to Bangkok.
June kicked off with another work trip to Singapore – but it was a special one, it was for our 10-year anniversary party and new office opening – and the new office was decorated with some of my best pictures! What a great honour for me.
Then we moved into our new flat – our cat Sam was initially not convinced, but now he loves all the new hiding places – and then I went back to London, Amsterdam and Munich with a quick stop-over at a very dear friend and her family in the heart of Germany.
Back in Hong Kong, in July, another friend visited – this time hiking buddy Simon, who has moved back to Canada. Together we went on several hikes, almost one a day until the one from Quarry Bay to Parkview (via Mount Butler, Tai Tam and Violet Hill) almost knocked us out, because of the bad weather and the length (we had hiked in the late afternoon, after a busy day visiting the Hong Kong Museum of History and Kowloon Walled City Park).
August saw me switching from Pure Fitness to Pure Yoga – a wise decision given that I continued to go to yoga at least 3 times a week until the rest of the year (I wish I could say that of my gym attendance!). I explored St Stephen’s College Heritage Trail in Stanley, hiked more during day and night …
… and took a nice holiday break in September. First we went to Khao Lak with Monica and Michael (again!), then we had a few days in Hong Kong, before we left for Seoul and Daegu, as we attended our friends’ wedding.
In October I was back in Munich – just in time for the Oktoberfest… and of course, to see my family and friends. Back in Hong Kong, in November I continued with my Yoga classes, met with old friends and made new ones (a shout-out to H-J and Baby Olive!), had great afternoon tea with Patrick at the Mandarin and went on a very interesting tour of Yau Ma Tei.
December, the final month of the year, was spent with my family again – my parents were visiting and we explored new galleries, hiked from Wan Chai to Aberdeen, ate at new restaurants and prepared for a new, exciting year 2015. More about this in the next post!
What continued this year? I kept going with my Cantonese lessons (but my Cantonese is still ma ma dei), continued with my ‘Interview with…’ series on the blog and played with our lazy, gentle and beautiful cat Sam.
2014 has been a great year – but 2015 is going to be even better. So let’s open a new page…