[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: March 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Born again!... partly

When my doctor told me I could start drinking alcohol again (no spirits yet!), I was excited yet intimidated at the same time. It's been a solid 6 months since I've had a drink, and three years of on-and-off drinking. The ability to get pissed again was outweighed by worries of my 'capacity' to get pissed haha. Anywho, what better way to ring in the good news than on St. Patrick's Day? That's my long lost cousin to the right, also from Dublin.

Ah... finally I can stop ordering soft drinks or whatever when I'm out... not that I care what others think but it's good again to have that freedom to choose. I'm still off certain food types, however. I was treated to a lovely outdoor lunch in Pak Sha O Village in Sai Kung but I had to turn away the mango, prawn cocktail salad...

It also has psychological benefits. That love interest is fading to its last drops and my eventual trip to Beijing in May will be the proverbial nail in the coffin. Although some new events have manifested itself recently, I won't advantage of it or retain hope... I really just give up. She's the last straw. I'm sick of love. I'm more sick of myself, really.

At first I was quite apprehensive about going to BJ in May, partly because of my medicinal prioritiy here in HK and the fact that I have to er, sort myself out in terms of living expenses...

But I knew a change in surrounding and being away from here will do me a lot of good. That's why I'm willing to swallow the rent... I know it's wrong to think this way, that's why I thought I was going for all the wrong reasons because I really don't give a shit about Olympic sports and don't fancy BJ too much anyway. But when I told other people/journos that I'm heading up there they were quite happy for me and some jealous!

I've reconciled that this is a good move irregardless. I have no idea what to expect in this foreign environment for 4 months - even my flat arrangements so far are dodgy - but at least it'll keep me on my toes, which is all I can ask for really. Getting a tad too comfortable and reptitive here in HK.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A nice trend

In this year so far, 2 publishers have requested to use two of my photos for their books:

Picture of Tuen Mun landfill for "Discovering Biology 6" of Time Publishing (Hong Kong), an educational book for secondary students.

Picture from Sai Kung pier for "Live & Work in China" of Crimson Business. It's for the Sai Kung section of their book for expatriates.

Sure, I don't get any money for it but it's great to know people, especially publishers, have taken a liking to my photos. Ironically, I wasn't try to be particularly artistic when I took these two photos. The landfill one was from my shitty camera phone while the Sai Kung one was just really random - didn't even notice the cloud effect till afterwards.
I find that my creative works have excelled in Hong Kong, much more so than in Ireland. Be it photography, writing or filmmaking. I guess I never really 'tried' back home. Which really makes me wonder...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Long lost cousin and childhood friend

How's this for catching up?:

A cousin, Rosanna, who I grew up and practically treated as a sister, but drifted apart for at least 8 years due to pesky family squabbles.

And a childhood friend/classmate, Garry, I used to play with around my neighbourhood, but lost contact for at least 14 years.

And now they're both dating and here on holiday in Hong Kong! And their hotel is across the road from me! This weekend being the first time we've got drunk together (twice), and still not even St. Patrick's Day yet... ugh. Still, it's good that we can share a taxi home!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More openings at Asia Television Ltd.

Don't know how, but I've become my ex-company's unofficial recruiter! Not the first time I've posted this...
There's an opening for an entry-level reporter at the English News department:
Candidates should have a strong international and local news sense. They will be required to voice on-air stories so they must be fluent in English.
Experience would be an advantage but it is not essential as on-the-job training will be given. There may be some anchoring opportunities for the right candidates.
Anyone interested should email:
Suitable candidates will be invited for writing and voice-over tests.
Also, another opening for a part-time proof-reader/subtitler/editoral assistant: (never had a proper title).
He/she must have strong English reading & writing skills (British English) and will proof-read all reporters' scripts before they are converted to subtitles on air.
Other duties include transcribing a weekly 30-minute talk show, Newsline, and adding subtitles to it.
Successful candidates will be earmarked for promotion to reporter. Great way to get your foot into the broadcasting industry.
Pay is $8,000, Monday to Friday, 3pm-8pm. Email to same address above.
ATV has recently relocated to Tai Po Industrial Estate. Much cooler office than when I was at Kowloon Tong!
On a personal note, all the staff at English News are a great bunch of people. Couldn't ask for a better team to work with. I miss you guys!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From left to right: Me (Feck!), Will (Drink!), James (Arse!), Michelle (Woman!)
Well, unfortunately we had the mishap of incompleting the race because we were just too slow. Actually we did cross the finish line but our time was not registered. Our dearest captain Michelle was injured and suffering from cramps just over half-way into it so we were reduced to almost a snail's pace. My heart did drown when we were deemed 'incomplete', but no blame was placed on Michelle who felt a bit embarrassed. We finished as a team, and that's that. You're only as quick as the slowest person, so they say. But nevertheless I enjoyed running the gauntlet and 2 months of measly training put to the test. My legs are surprisingly okay! Right leg's still a bit stiff.
The article is by my friend Cassandra for Daily 10, a children's newspaper. Unfortunately she couldn't print our team name, hehe. What if kids start asking what 'Feck' and 'Arse' means??
Now I want to find a new physical sport/hobby. I enjoyed running and jumping across the rocky and jagged trails immensely, so maybe something in that area.

More pics


Saturday, March 08, 2008

OK! So the big-wigs are up for the idea of sending me to Beijing... *if* I can manage to find a place to stay... irregardless if it's free or paid by myself. So now I'm digging up any contacts, friends and family who may help me out. Guess I'll just sit down and scrounge through some websites to find some cheap accomodation.

I'll still have to leave in late April/early May and be there for at least 4 months. When I first heard this I admit I was a little apprehensive. That is a long time... and in Beijing of all places! But I'm ready to face this task. My sentiment was boosted today after those resurgent thoughts of wanting to get away from here for a while.

Flinging myself to anywhere for a couple of months seems really good right now. Not too long though, I think I might miss the convenient luxuries of HK! Yet, I want to go up there for all the wrong reasons... to be honest it's really because I want to detox myself from HK and from all the people I know. Not because I have a problem with any of them but leaving this environment for a while would help clear my mind. I've wanted to get away for so long... going back to Ireland last Christmas wasn't really a break after all. Going/Working in a foreign environment and relying on yourself to get by in an unfamiliar atmosphere would be a good distraction.

Oh, and covering the Olympics would obviously beef up my CV.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Olympics hopes dashed

Today my fears of not being able to cover the Beijing Olympics have finally been realised. Stingy bastards aren't willing to put up for the accomodation costs. Tomorrow I'll propose the idea of paying for my own costs... it's such an opportunity not to be missed.

What's even more ironic today is that the press registration for the Equestrian event has passed (a month ago!). My editor naively thinks we can still use a camcorder and make something viable out of it without accredation. Not to mention the fact that all the broadcast rights have been siphoned by the TV stations.

Fuck the Equestrian anyway, if my proposal doesn't float and there's no chance in hell I'm getting posted to Beijing, it's time to change company... I mean, going to the olympics was the one highlight for me here. Staying henceforth has oficially become pointless.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This song sends a shiver up my spine...

I noticed the song after I watched Closer - and what a depressing film that was.

For me it stokes fear of rejection and love forlon. I've heard stories of individuals unable to get over their ex-partners for years and dwindling into an 'emotional coma' - a term I had mentioned before. My first realisation of this was of my cousin Edmund, who was dumped by his first girlfriend when he was a teenager and subsequently spiralled into depression and isolation. He's about 27 now and still does retain some of those characteristics. Perhaps that's just his personality now but when I saw him again last Christmas it reminded me of his sad story. No-one can confirm if he's still grieving over that ordeal all those years ago.

Perhaps I can take comfort that so far I have been spared from the aftermath of any significant long-term relationship. Seeing how Edmund suffered during all those years had made me cautious. To be in a state like that is so fearful to say the least. And listening to this song (and video) reminds me of the cruel flip side of love. Sure, I know some people can get over their ex's quick and hop from partner to partner with ease. But I'm patient and constantly keep my guard up. Ironically, the two people so far in my life who've I let my guard down for... were unrequited affairs. Not from rejection, but I guess quite simply loving the wrong person at the wrong time.

For this current girl I'm slowly closing up again as it were, beckoned by the lessons learned from the first. As much as I thought of severing the friendship thus ending all hope, I think that's the coward's way out. And I know it's cruel to say such things... especially when I'm confronted by such a beautiful soul who did nothing wrong except to be the wonderful person that she is. This attachment blossomed so quickly and freely, and that's why it's so hard to get over it - it's like the harder you get hit the bigger the damage. And because I'm so ashamed and self-hating for being like this, I want to defy these feelings for her and stop being such a hostage to myself. Fuck, I've got so many things I want to do and places to go, I don't need this shit.

Performed by my compatriot Damien Rice.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

"Worm food for thought"

This episode concerns the use of earthworms to recycle organic waste into fertiliser, a process known as vermiculture. Is this ingenius or what? Sunburst Biotechnologies takes in over 90,000 tonnes of waste a year and produces 45,000 tonnes of certified high-grade fertiliser known as vermicast... which is basically worm excreta (poo!), and according to David Ellery fruits and veggies grown using vermicast is much more juicier!
90,000 tonnes is a lot alright, but that equals just over a week of waste Hong Kong produces.


"Flipping the big green switch"

Here's the second episode of my environment series... an interview with Catherine Touzard, co-author of Going Green in Hong Kong - the first English guide to all things good & green for the city.
The location's at Discovery Bay, a place known for its cleaniless and sterile facade. Unbeknown to me, Catherine took me for a short walk to a beach that's practically awash with rubbish. On the way we even passed by a quaint organic farm.
Unfortunately Catherine did have a LOT to say on the topics I raised, but such is the fickleness of video editing I had to cut almost 90% of it.
Well, here's what's left of it.