Real ale, or the lack thereof

November 12, 2009

It is a great shame that so few people in Hong Kong seem to appreciate good beer. Mrs smog and I had an excellent evening yesterday with a couple of friends at Trafalgar where the ladies enjoyed Green Goblin cider and the guys had a thoroughly enjoyable ale tasting, but only managed to sample about half of the list. Green Goblin is real cider – not the artificially sweetened crap like Blackthorn or Strongbow, and without the nasty aftertaste as well; the ladies enjoyed it very much, although Mrs smog does have a bit of a sore head this morning! Read the rest of this entry »


Meyado / Meretec / MITL / Martin Young – A Cautionary Tale

November 9, 2009

One of the banes of one’s life as an expat is the frequent calls from often very persistent “Financial Advisers” who claim to be able to offer all sorts of ways of enhancing one’s wealth. Unfortunately, bitter experience has taught me that the only people’s wealth they tend to enhance is their own – and the best example of this for me is the “Meyado Private Wealth Management Group“, a UK-based group who were active in Hong Kong in 2001 to 2003 and succeeded in extracting quite a bit of wealth from me before they were run out of town by the Securities and Futures Commission. It is clear that I was far from alone in this, and there are various sites on the internet where others have expressed their displeasure over the years with Meyado (there were more, but apparently Meyado has resorted to legal action to get some taken down). The latest such attempt to get a critical mass of people together to go after Martin Young (the CEO and owner of Meyado) and his cronies has now appeared at http://www.forespoke.com and I wish it every success. Read the rest of this entry »


Some short book reviews

October 30, 2009

It’s been a bit quiet here on the blog, not least because life has been like that too. Apart from the odd bit of hiking (with crappy visibility, so no pictures) I’ve been trying to make inroads in to the pile of books beside the bed, so here are a few quick reviews. Read the rest of this entry »


Po Toi

September 18, 2009

I had a great trip yesterday to the island of Po Toi, which for some reason had never really occurred to me as a place to go in my 10 years here. Which is a shame because it’s a beautiful place and somewhere to which I’ll definitely be going back. Apparently it’s very busy at weekends, and during the week there is only one kaito each way on Tuesdays and Thursdays (leaving Aberdeen at 10am and Po Toi at 2pm), but the main restaurant was open, and while we were there they had two other parties of gweilos as well – one from a yacht and one from a junk.

The journey by kaito is part of the attraction. These little ferries are part of the wonderful thing that is Hong Kong’s public transport system.

Kaito in Aberdeen harbour

Kaito in Aberdeen harbour

(Click on any of the images to open a bigger version in a new window/tab.)
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iTunes Political Correctness Gone Mad

August 24, 2009

This is utterly ridiculous… I just noticed that iTunes, in its wisdom, has replaced the cover artwork of The Pros and Cons of Hitch-hiking (Roger Waters) with a version where the woman has a black block across her bum, thus: Read the rest of this entry »


A cracking read

July 30, 2009

Occasionally I pick up a book that holds my attention so well that it just gets read cover to cover in one sitting (fortunately my semi-retiredness means that staying awake all night isn’t a big deal). The latest such work is Craig Murray‘s Murder in Samarkand (known in its American edition as “Dirty Diplomacy“) which I thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in the “War on Terror”, British diplomacy and politics, or Uzbekistan. (Apparently the US version names a few more names directly since it doesn’t have to deal with the UK’s over-protective libel laws.) Read the rest of this entry »


If you go down to the woods today…

July 10, 2009

… you’ll find something quite fascinating, if you happen to be on Section 3 of the Wilson Trail (at distance post 026, grid reference KK163701, just above Ma Yau Tong), as I was yesterday.

There is a large collection of brightly coloured sculptures featuring people (apparently of various races) and animals, many of them labelled in English, as well as a shrine with some sort of deity in it. The sculptures are getting a little dilapidated, but the shrine itself is still clearly maintained on a regular basis. Here are some examples:

A very big tortoise!

A very big tortoise!

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