Image may contain: plant and outdoor

Last night she was playful like a puppy,
Tearing a sponge into pieces,
Throwing up a bone to play catch.

One day up, the next day down.
Just now she staggered up the steps,
But Stephen had to carry her down.

Her days may really be numbered.
It is not going to be an easy winter.
She got two raw chops instead of one.


Tin Liu, HK, 2018.12.30



One of those mom tales … Christmas

No automatic alt text available.

We had a rather eventual Christmas. Of all things, we had to be busy with the septic tank. The tank is full and the sewage pipe was blocked. Dirty water (from the toilet and shower and kitchen sink) seeped into our shower cabin.

I had to look for someone to clear the pipe and empty the tank in the middle of the night, at 11 o’clock, on 23rd. The guy we used to get for the job said he was fully booked. Desperate me suddenly remembered seeing some posters with phone nummber at the back lane. I went out to look for them and I really found some.

This new guy said his schedule for emptying the tank was also full. But he could come and do some initial clearing of the pipe. And with that, hopefully the matter could be esaed. The tank could be emptied on Christmas Day. An angel.

We felt relieved for the night, knowing someone would come on the next day. The guy did come and did some clearing, but alas to no avail. So, not that much peace at heart on Christmas Eve. And with high expectation we waited for Christmas Day.

The septic tank is at our neighbour’s backyard, five houses away, where the steps come down. And they are having a garden party today. The poor house owner was very much disappointed that it had to be done on the day of his party. I told him I had considered not using the bathroom and cleaning up the back lane (where the dirt flows out) for another day and ask the cleaning agent to come tomorrow (26th) . But then I am afraid we might have to take the risk of the tank overflowing in the middle of the merry-making..

A good thing he is a reasonable man. To pacify him, I gave them a Panettone meant for our Christmas celebration, with a note to explain the cleaner was coming not at noon but at 1:30.

The cleaning team arrived puctually at 1:30. Yes, quite extraordinary for HK standard. Yesterday he even called to say he would be one hour late.

At around 2:30 pm, we handed the backyard back to our neighbour. He was happy. So were we.

No merry Christmas as such, but yes, a happy one. 🎄

A Christmas with a functioning bathroom and toilet! What luxury!

Wish All a Happy Christmas!



One of those mom tales … Brakes

2018.12.12_Tin Liiu_Maria

One of those mom tales …

For 50 years I have been rehearsing this scene in my head: going down a long slopy road with no brakes.

But what happened this evening did not happen on a long down-hill road, but where we live, a short slopy road.

I have devised the strategy of steering the car to go zigzag at low gear. But this road of ours is far too narrow and far too short. I could switch to L-gear but there was no way to reduce speed by going zigzag.

Gott sei Dank! The road is a little wider towards the last stretch. I could slow the car down a little by manoevring a slight curve.

Gott sei Dank! There is a house at the foot of this hilly road. So, as the car slid out of the slight curve, I could direct it towards a side-wall…

And, just as the car was about to hit the wall, I turned the car away, letting the front side rub against the rugged wall to brake.

Apparently the 20-ft wall was too short for braking purpose, but, Gott sei Dank, where the wall ends is the side of a few stoney front-door steps.

The bumper bumped against the top step and the car stopped.

I turned off the engine and re-started the car. Strange. The brakes were there again. To be on the safe side, we still decided to cancel our original trip downtown and took the car to the mechanics workshop downhill instead.

With a scratched front side and a hole in the bumper and some metal almost touching one tyre, our sturdy old auto managed to arrive at the workshop together with us in one piece. After parking the car in the dark compound, I called up our dear old mechanic.

‘You don’t know what that little red light is for? The brake warning indicator, I think. Brake fluid leakage maybe? In any case, leave your car where it is. Not safe to drive. I will come and bring it down for you tomorrow morning.’

Gott sei Dank! We had no accident on the way down.

It had not yet started to rain and Stephen was along, so it was a really nice little walk home uphill.


2018.12.05 Tin Liu, Sai Kung, HK

Foto credit: Maria Del Pilar Marcapiña

Easy Travel Dawei

Sam the Man tours

My Philippine Life

A foreigner shares his Philippine experiences

Floating Piano Blog

Creative people floating ideas about learning, music and technology.


A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Translations about social issues: China

Just another site

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

Glimpses From The Garden

Marlene A. Affeld - Observations, Thoughts, and Musings