every year I plan to write a farewell at the end of the year, and every year I fail miserably at it. It seems to be a ‘dinner for one‘ joke (… the same procedure as every year…) and to be honest, I am ok with that. It gives me time to review 2015 properly.
I won’t lie, it was a very exciting but also challenging year. Lots happened, and a few things stayed the same. The biggest highlight is our little girl Lina, who just turned one!
Our cat Sam lives happily with us, in our new flat (yes we moved again, but we are still in Hong Kong) and we travelled to Germany, Japan and Thailand a few times in 2015. I made many new friends, and sadly also lost some (who moved away from Hong Kong). I finally gave in and cancelled my Cantonese lessons, but I did try to take more pictures this year – although more (Lina) portraits than (Hong Kong) street shots.
In January our world was turned upside down with the arrival of little Lina.
So needless to say that we spent that precious time at home, with our little family and also my parents who visited us. We did a few excursions, mainly to museums (such as the Hong Kong Museum of History and its fantastic exhibition about the Tsar and his family) and art galleries – and I used the time to write up some of the hikes we completed in December, visits to new restaurants (two of my favourites: Quest by Que and 22 Ships) and one of the best photo exhibitions I had seen in Hong Kong: Ho Fan.
In February, I completed a great jamu and abdominal binding treatment that helped me quickly to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape and made me feel much better and relaxed. Together with a few home yoga classes and the first of many mum & baby yoga classes I felt ready to battle the world – and that meant a busy period around Chinese New Year, with my mother-in-law visiting and lots of sightseeing and eating.
We did not celebrate all 15 days, but we had a very good time watching lion dances, going to the flower markets and lantern displays and looking at shopping mall displays to celebrate the year of the wood goat/sheep/ram.
And most importantly, our little hairy fellow Sam turned two years old!
In March, Lina and I ventured out and about. We tried out different playgroups and met her new best friend, Alessandro:
Apart from playdates and long walks, we spent our time visiting the Discovery Bay Handmade Market, went on a Wan Chai tour by Walk in Hong Kong that is very recommendable, admired art work at Art Central and Art Basel, and tried out new places for lunch including OVO Cafe, Pomme, Oh Food and our new favourite Japanese restaurant: Mizuki.
At the end of March, my mum came to visit us and little Lina again – and a great opportunity to visit the Kowloon Walled City Park again, as well as explore new (to me) sights in Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Wetland Park, the City Gallery and the MingCha tea house.
The weather was beautiful and we seized the opportunity to go on as many walks as possible, including this one from Deep Water Bay to Repulse Bay. I had never been to the Tin Hau temple there or had Lab Made Ice Cream before, so that was fun to try out.
We spent April back home in Germany, before we went on a short getaway to The Surin in Phuket.
Also in May I discovered new fruits: Chinese strawberry and Langsat. I ate plenty of ice cream (Happy Cow, ISEE and Ice’licious), and took Lina swimming (it was already sunny and hot in Hong Kong). I tried my luck again at the affordable art fair, but it was still too expensive!
June saw us travelling to Germany again, while we spent July in art galleries and in Tokyo (yes, these posts are long overdue!). Lina started to become much more active and mobile, and I had less and less time to blog!
In August, we picked up hiking again – and this lead us to the Dragon’s Back, Big Wave Bay and Shek O numerous times. We also re-explored the walks around the Peak and the Aberdeen reservoir areas, and I went a few times to Discovery Bay to meet up with new friends and their babies.
Fast forward to September and again, my parents were in town. Together with Lina we explored some museums that we were not familiar with. Off we went to the Racing museum, Mei Ho House and the Hong Kong Housing Authority exhibition. We enjoyed the new exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of History about the Rise of the Celestial Empire and the William Lim exhibition at the ArtisTree.
We also explored the area around the Peak more (thanks to this great book tip here!) and walked around Sai Ying Pun, now that it is so convenient to get to via the new MTR stops. We tried Craft Beer & Co and back in Wan Chai, Beef & Liberty.
We went back to Tokyo in October and I had big plans to write about this trip, together with our July trip, but that’s still in the pipeline. With an unexpected move and four weeks’ time to find a new place, I put my blog on the back burner. We managed to find a new place and move in within three weeks’ time (phew!) but that meant a lot of planning, logistics and a little bit of panic!
So far only my post about strolling through Akasaka is live. More to come. I hope!
November saw us settling in, a quick weekend trip to Bangkok, I tried a Tai Chi lesson with friends and lots more playdates and activities for Lina – including a visit to Disneyland Hong Kong.
Suddenly December arrived, and with that my parents came to us so we could all go for a week to Khao Lak (yes we love the Marriott there). We had an amazing time there, and then came back to a lovely Christmas and New Year’s period in Hong Kong – and with that 2015 suddenly ended and Lina turned one. What a whirlwind this year has been!