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FAMILY | WELLNESS | MOTHER’S DAY
the really useful magazine expat-parent.com
Mother’s Day gift guide Chefs’ secret family recipes
Mums’ musings The truth about raising kids in Hong Kong
Hello from the hot desk. Plus three things we love
Meet this month’s team
Virtual events this May. Plus our Mum At Home
Your monthly local news roundup
Things to know
May flowers in Hong Kong
Your ultimate Mother’s Day gift guide
Me & my big idea
Clean beaches and plastic free seas
How to raise a kid in Hong Kong
Health & wellness
Self-care tips to stay sane
Big night out
The hottest staycation deals this spring
Diary of an expat baby
Book chat with author Charmian Woodhouse.
Chefs’ favourite recipes from their mums. Plus dining news
Big day out
A family trip to Lamma
Life & style
Online classes to boost your skills as you stay at home
17 Scan and visit our website expat-parent.com
who’s in charge?
f there’s ever a time to be kind to yourself, it’s now. It’s been a little more than three months since we’ve hunkered down to practice social distancing. With all this extra time staying at home, it’s easy to feel disconnected and, well, fatigued. Self-care and self-love come first in this month’s magazine. Yes, you can let the kids roam wild and carve out some me-time for yourself. Turn to page 26 for ideas to pamper yourself and uplift your spirits. If you fancy something a little more extravagant, take advantage of the many staycation deals available right now and book yourself a weekend stay. Gemma Shaw spills her top picks on page 40. This year’s Mother’s Day may look a bit different. But despite all that is happening, we’re taking the occasion to celebrate all the incredible and strong mums out there. Find out more on page 20. In the meantime, just hang in there – I suspect we may soon see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Editorial firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Gemma Shaw
Editor Apple Lee
Contributing Editor Nicole Slater
Editorial Assistant Charmaine Ng
Design email@example.com Graphic Designer Vicky Lam
Graphic Designer Yankee Tsang
Sales & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org
3 things we love this month...
Director of Content Hilda Chan
Head of Digital Content Isamonia Chui
Partnership Manager Chrissie Ip
Partnership Manager Elaine Li
Crispy, soft, gooey
… cookies! New online bakery Cookie Vission serves up giant, fudgy works of wonder. Each cookie weighs 150g – yes, they are huge. Our favourite flavours are spiced s’mores, triple chocolate and matcha macadamia white chocolate. cookievission.com
Publisher Tom Hilditch email@example.com
Hong Kong Living Awards 2020 The results are in! Congratulations to all winners and thank you to everyone who voted in our awards. Check out Hong Kong’s best gym, restaurant, hotel, salon and more – as voted by you – on hongkongliving.com
Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
We could all use that extra bit of pick-me-up in these trying times. These free printable cards, designed by Marina Watt and Manshi Mehta, will cheer your kids up with their words of encouragement and help them cultivate a growth mindset. bit.ly/2XYIfqF
about the cover Hong Kong mums, Coco Chan and Jemima Callaghan, and their kids climbed some trees and striked a pose for our Mother’s Day-themed photoshoot. The beautiful cover is shot at Repulse Bay by Graham Uden. Read the full cover story on page 20.
Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong
HONG KONG hongkongliving.com Expat Parent is published by Hong Kong Living Ltd. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Expat Parent cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
Credit: Graham Uden
British-born photographer Graham Uden shot our beautiful cover this month at the balmy Repulse Bay. His more risky work has involved being held up by AK-47 toting ex-Khmer Rouge soldiers in Cambodia and squatting metres from Taliban trenches in Afghanistan. grahamuden.com
Hong Kong born and bred, Nabdeep Gill is always on a hunt for new restaurants and coffee houses in quaint districts. On page 26, she shares her favourite ways to relax and destress in Hong Kong â€“ because we could all use some pick-me-up right now.
Marina Watt has more than a decade of experience in communications and is currently studying for a doctorate in education. She enjoys writing about parenting and education for various Hong Kong publications. See what sheâ€™s up to at home this month on page 9.
Want to write for Expat Parent Magazine? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother’s Day Don’t forget to buy a gift - see page 16 for ideas.
The Spooners family shot by Nestology Studio
what’s on EVENTS PLANNED TO GO AHEAD IN MAY
Labour Day Let’s kick off the month with a public holiday!
MAY 6, 13, 20, 27
Night Tamar Meow Yoga Unwind with a midweek outdoor yoga class overlooking Hong Kong’s iconic harbour. 7.30pm-8.30pm. $180. Tamar Park, Harcourt Road, Admiralty. Facebook: meowyogahk
Finding Inner Strength An upside-down journey of transforming yoga practices with Victor Chau at The Yoga Room. From $850. victorchauyoga.com
Pottinger GreenRace 2020 Choose from a 15k, 7k or 4k trail at The 5th annual Pottinger GreenRace. 8am-1pm. From $200. Pottinger Gap, Shek O. runnerreg.com
Mr. & Mrs. Marshmallow
EVERY THU AND FRI
Roganic’s Baking Classes Bake soda bread and apple tart at this Michelinstarred restaurant’s first-ever baking workshop series led by Executive Chef Oli Marlow. $1,000. Shop 8, UG/F, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. roganic.com.hk
Menopause, Yoga + Wellbeing Workshop Learn, share and practice with other women experiencing the perimenopause or menopause. 1.30pm-5.30pm. $600. The Yoga House, 4 Greenpeak Villa, Po Lo Che, Sai Kung. theyogahouse.com.hk
Round the Island 60
EVERY SAT AND SUN
Race around Hong Kong Island and enjoy spectacular views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic skyline. 7.30am-7.30pm. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre. allevents.in
Mr. & Mrs. Marshmallow
A Finnish patisserie pop-up by Chef Eric Räty and his wife Can Räty serving freshly baked creations. Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun. testkitchen.com Night Tamar Meow Yoga
tell me more Virtual events in Hong Kong
mum at home
EVERY MON TO FRI
Live stream classes with Twinkle Dance Company Twinkle Dance Company is now hosting free weekday online dance classes. Adult dance classes are also available on their Facebook page. Free. twinkledance.com
EVERY MON TO FRI
The Oriental Spa Live Wellness Class Led by The Oriental Spa’s expert trainers, the classes include energising HIIT sessions and yang to yin yoga practice. Free. Facebook: thelandmarkmandarinoriental
MAY 1, 8
The Hive x Belvedere Vodka presents: Online Cocktail Workshop
Create perfect cocktails with different recipes each class. thehive.com.hk
UNTIL MAY 3
Spartan Virtual Race Beta Join the 5km obstacle sprint – social distancing style. The race features over 10 courses across Hong Kong for you to complete at your own pace. Free. bit.ly/spartanvrbetahk
Beef up your cocktail-making skills and learn how to make some delicious tipples to tide you over until social distancing is at an end. Lobster Bar and Grill’s Bar Manager Bob Louison will share his secret cocktail recipe at this virtual cocktail session. #ShangriLaAtHome Bob’s Cocktail Session: May 7. Facebook: islandshangrila
Hong Kong’s Ballet: Barre Classes Online Take ballet classes at home using only a chair! Expert dancers have put together a barre series to help others develop the grace for ballet. Free. hkballet.com
MAY 9, 23
Virtual Pizzamaking Party Black Sheep Restaurants’ popular pizza parlour Motorino is taking classes online. Pre-order your pizza making kit and cook along with Chef Luca Marinelli. $208. motorinohongkong.com
Mother’s Day baking Another popular quarantine past time, tune in for a live baking session hosted by Baking Maniac’s founder Ankrish Gidwani and learn how to make a cake for your mum this Mother’s Day. Recipe included. Baking and Decorating a Floral Naked Cake for Mother’s Day: May 9, 12 noon. Instagram: @bakingmaniachk
BOOK NOW SEPT 26-27
This is the largest outdoor health and fitness festival in Hong Kong offering over 80 yoga and fitness activities led by famed instructors. Central Harbourfront Event Space. irishkg.com
Postponed from the original March date, this yearâ€™s tournament is set to be bigger and better than ever! 55 Eastern Hospital Road, Causeway Bay. hksevens.com
IRIS: Your Escape
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
Shi Fu Miz Festival 2020 A three-day music and arts festival hosted by Hong Kong creative agency FuFu on the serene outlying island. Sai Yuen Farm, Cheung Chau. shifumiz.com
Creamfields Hong Kong The wildly popular electronic music festival is back later this year. From 1pm. Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District. livenationelectronic.asia
Safe hiking Recent social distancing regulations have caused an increase in hikers on Hong Kong’s trials. This has spiked the number of hiking related incidents in recent months, some fatal. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department recommend hikers “plan carefully and choose a regularly maintained path with clear directory signs, pay attention to the latest weather information issued by the Observatory and not to go hiking alone.” For more information and safety advice visit afcd.gov.hk
Postcards for a Plastic Free World
Indigo Living releases summer trends Interior and furniture store Indigo Living has just launched their newest seasonal looks. For spring and summer 2020, botanical florals, art deco and warm neutrals are in. Make the most of your time at home and give your abode a makeover with Indigo Living’s
Fly worry free With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on travel plans, Cathay Pacific is offering customers the flexibility to make free and unlimited changes to all new tickets issued before June 30, up to one year after the initial purchase. The airline’s usual fees will be waived and customers can alter their travel dates or pick a new destination as many times as they like. For more information, visit cathaypacific.com
new collection. Some standout pieces they have introduced include the Botanical Cabinet from the Botanical Home line; the Perry Chair from the Miami Chic line; and the Cooper Armchair from the Organic Luxe line. indigo-living.com
Working with design house Paper-Roses, Hong Kong-based environmental charity Plastic Free Seas has launched Postcards for a Plastic Free World. Three stunning wildlife artworks, which highlight the impact of Hong Kong’s plastic pollution crisis on our green sea turtles, whale sharks and Chinese white dolphins, can be purchased to help fund the work of the charity. Paper-Roses will be donating a portion of the sales of each set of postcards to support the Plastic Free Seas education programme in Hong Kong schools which teaches the next generation about the plastic-waste crisis. The postcards are professionally printed on recycled paper and are a great way to connect with loved ones during this time of crisis. To purchase, visit plasticfreeseas.org
Home delivery support for isolating elderly More than 40 percent of Hong Kong’s elderly live in poverty and are struggling to make ends meet. These elderly are more in need now than ever as they practise selfisolation and stay at home. Elderly centres, which stay in constant contact with these individuals to assess their needs, are usually a life-line for these vulnerable individuals. However, they are currently operating with dramatically reduced staff and struggling to provide the degree of support needed. To
help, local charity HandsOn Hong Kong is seeking volunteers to deliver Covid-19 relief packages to the city’s low-income elderly. These packages include necessity food items, as well as masks and hand sanitiser. Teams of two volunteers each will assemble Care Packages before delivering them to elderly households. HandsOn Hong Kong has taken all safety precautions and each volunteer will receive their own protective items. To volunteer, visit handsonhongkong.org
Visitor arrivals drop by 99% The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced 82,000 visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in March, a drop of nearly 99% from the same time last year. Before mid-March, the number of arrivals in Hong Kong was around 3,000 to 4,000 per day. However, from March 19 onwards, non-Hong Kong residents arriving in the city were requested to undergo compulsory quarantine, and subsequently, average daily visitors fell to about 1,000. March 25 saw a further dip as non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas were banned outright from entering Hong Kong. At the beginning of April, average daily visitors dropped to below 100. Whilst tourism may not be top on the priority list right now, the HKTB is working on several initiatives for Hong Kong’s tourism industry to take place after the pandemic abates. Plans include collaborating with retail and dining sectors to roll out promotional campaigns and more.
Matilda International Hospital’s new digital baby map Matilda International Hospital has launched a digital map dedicated to the Matilda baby community. The online map shows where Matilda Hospital babies currently are around the world. “We started to collect pictures in mid-October 2019 and have received over 280 so far. It is amazing to learn that Matilda babies now live around the world, from Asia, to Europe, North America and Australia, all united by
the place where they were born,” says Linda Burgoyne, CEO of Matilda International Hospital. “We are so excited to be able to reconnect with them and hope everyone helps spread the word, to enable the production of the Matilda mosaic.” If you were born at Matilda or are parents of Matilda babies, you can contribute to the digital map project by emailing your photos to email@example.com. You can view the baby map on the hospital’s website at matilda.org/MatildaBB/en expat-parent.com 13
THINGS TO KNOW
Bauhinia blakeana is the national flower of Hong Kong and appears on the city’s flag and coins. It symbolises the cross-cultural identity of Hongkongers and the concept of “One Country, Two Systems”.
Peony was once the Chinese national flower in the Qing dynasty and it is still considered China’s unofficial floral symbol. It traditionally symbolises the rejuvenation of life and spring.
Narcissus symbolises good fortune and the blossoming of unseen talents. It is a particularly popular flower come Chinese Lunar New Year as it is believed to help keep the evil spirits away.
There were once over 130 different types of wild orchids in Hong Kong. Nowadays, they are an endangered species and you can face a maximum fine of $100,000 and one year’s imprisonment if you’re seen importing or exporting the plant.
Known as the holy seat of Buddha, lotus symbolises purity of soul as it grows untainted from muddy lake water.
Things you need to know Hong Kong flowers As May flowers bloom, Nabdeep Gill explores different types of flowers in Hong Kong and their meanings
Lily means “happy union for a hundred years” in Chinese and is often gifted to women on their wedding day.
Plum blossom represents endurance and resilience as it comes into bloom in the harsh conditions of winter months. Widely depicted in Chinese art, it is named one of the “four nobles” alongside orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum.
Hibiscus blooms in many colours from pink to bright orange. It symbolises wealth and fame and acts as a symbol of personal glory. In Chinese medicine, hibiscus is a cooling herb to clear summer heat and promote appetite.
ChloĂŠ l'eau eau de toilette $780 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk
Mother and daughter heart split dangle charm $699 from Pandora hk.pandora.net
Yummy mummies Gorgeous gifts for Motherâ€™s Day. By Nicole Slater
Mrs Elegant vase arrangement $1,580 from M Florist mflorist.hk
Fruit acid peel $660 from Vinoble Cosmetics vinoble-cosmetics.asia
Shangri La crystal vase $2,500 from Katharine Pooley Boutique katharinepooley.com
Rose garden gift box $310 from La Maison du Chocolat lamaisonduchocolat.hk
Miscoso primo ecoffee cup $160 from LiveZero livezero.hk
Eternal flower smartphone case $379 from Swarovski swarovski.com
The ritual of Sakura renewing collection $390 from Rituals rituals.com
Perrier JouĂŤt Belle Epoque RosĂŠ 2006 Champagne $1,798 from Vinoble vinoble.hk expat-parent.com 17
ME & MY BIG IDEA
Plastic free seas Dana Winograd and Tracey Read help save Hong Kong’s coastlines – one beach at a time. By Apple Lee So what’s the big idea? Plastic marine pollution has been a growing issue around the world over the last few decades. Much of the plastic that ends up in the ocean and on coastlines came from singleuse packaging. We started Plastic Free Seas to combat this global problem, locally.
How did the idea come about? Every day, there is a shocking amount of plastic that washes up on Hong Kong’s beautiful beaches. In 2007, we organised a community beach clean-up at Discovery Bay, where we live, which helped to remove over 1,500kg of waste. The success of this one clean-up galvanised our spirits to do more and we came up with the idea of Plastic Free Seas to raise awareness about marine pollution.
How has your charity evolved in the past seven years? We have worked with over 180 schools and reached more than 66,000 students through talks, workshops and events to date. Our team has also expanded and now includes a fulltime Chinese-speaking staff that oversees our local school programme.
Our goal is to expand our reach within schools and empower more students to take waste reduction actions within their schools, family and social networks. We will continue advocating for stronger government legislation to reduce plastic pollution and working with corporations to develop strategies for implementing waste reduction.
What are you two currently busy with? We have just launched an exciting fundraising collaboration with Paper-Roses who have designed three beautiful watercolours of plastic-impacted local marine life: a Chinese white dolphin, a green sea turtle and a whale shark. The watercolours have been printed as postcard sets. Our goal is to encourage 18 expat-parent.com
Dana Winograd (left) and Tracey Read (right)
people to write to their friends and loved ones during these difficult times of isolation while supporting a plastic-free future. You can purchase our postcards at plasticfreeseas.bigcartel.com
Any top tips to go green in Hong Kong? Our top tip at the moment is to use reusable, washable face masks.
What’s next for Plastic Free Seas? We are just about to launch an updated new website featuring more resources for educators and information for everyone. We are also developing a very exciting technologybased education programme. For more information, visit plasticfreeseas.org
Credit: Baljit Gidwani
What do you hope to achieve with Plastic Free Seas?
me & my big idea
C ST OV O ER RY
Four mums share their triumphs and tribulations of starting a family in Hong Kong. By Charmaine Ng
R VE Y O R C TO S
Coco Chan Coco Chan is a serial entrepreneur and mum of an active seven-months-old baby girl, Harper. Throughout the years, she founded Voltage PR, Wellness Warriors HK, and most recently, online spiritual wellbeing portal OMSA. Coco’s favourite family day out in Hong Kong is anywhere in nature. “Whether it’s a short hike or a day at the beach, my husband Dan and I always find important lessons to teach Harper among plants and wildlife,” says Coco.
Conscious parenting Her parenting style is relatively laid back and she hopes to raise Harper in a more conscious manner. “We want to raise our child to have strong values,” Coco says. “At the end of the day, we want our daughter to be a kind and thoughtful human being. We don’t know what life will be like in 20 years and don’t believe that the current educational system is equipped to prepare them for what the future holds. But, with a positive moral compass and a strong set of life values, we’re sure she will navigate the waters ahead with ease.”
Raising a family in Hong Kong Both Coco and Dan grew up in Hong Kong and loved it. The city, an international hub that welcomes citizens from all over the world, “is able to pave an opportunity for children to be familiar with interacting with vast cultures and people on different levels, like at school or at work,” says Coco. As a firm believer that it is important to know one’s ancestral heritage as well as get along with other cultures, she “is grateful that Harper, who is of Scottish-Chinese descent, lives in a place where Chinese culture is rich”.
Daily routine during the coronavirus During the last stages of her pregnancy in the summer of 2019, Coco migrated her business online, which meant she was able to avoid many of the initial problems that the onslaught of the coronavirus brought for small businesses. The only thing that has changed is the frequency of which she socialises with other families and friends. “Harper is only seven months old so we don’t bring her out too much for safety reasons,” Coco explains. “But we do visit our siblings over the weekends so she gets some playtime with her cousins and gets to leave the house. FaceTime and Zoom have made it easier for my family to ‘hang out’ with others virtually. Not quite the same as in-person interaction but it’s a way of connecting during these times!” expat-parent.com 21
C ST OV O ER RY 22 expat-parent.com
R VE Y O R C TO S
Katie Abraham moved to Hong Kong from Melbourne, Australia with her husband Anton in 2009. She is a performing artist who has been trained as a dancer, teacher and singer. When she is not teaching dance or fitness, she likes going on junk trips or visiting the beaches in Shek O and Mui Wo with her husband and two sons, Max and Axel.
The perfect balance One of the biggest benefits of raising a family in Hong Kong for Katie is that it has the perfect balance of living in an ambitiously rapid and exciting urban city, varied with alluringly healing nature and outdoor adventures. “It’s such a treat for the kids to eat lunch across the harbour at West Kowloon Art Space, then go for an evening hike up to Victoria Peak,” she says. “I love that Hong Kong is such an international city and it’s wonderful to see my kids growing up in such a multicultural community.”
Strong support system When it comes to bringing balance in her life, Katie is grateful for her support system. “I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband who’s been very patient with my volatile career. Our helper, our delightful friends and the diverse Hong Kong community all help to keep things in harmony,” she says. “It’s a lifelong journey of finding balance between family, work and for me specifically, artistic expression.” Despite the challenges, she finds that building a daily routine for herself and the kids is essential to bringing order to the chaos. Even if Anton is frequently traveling for business or if she is working on a show for an event, it’s important that her children have a sense of normalcy and security.
Fighting cancer Three years ago, Katie was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She faced one of her biggest parenting challenges to juggle between taking time out for her own self care whilst raising a four year old and six month old baby. “Making time for myself rather than worrying about everyone else has not always been my strong suit,” she says. “I could not have dealt with that battle without the love and support from Anton, my family and friends. But I also had to find the courage and strong will to live within myself.” Since her battle with cancer, she has practiced a deep gratitude for the life that she has. “It’s not always an easy task but for the most part I just try to see the goodness in the world and find the fun in whatever I do.” expat-parent.com 23
C ST OV O ER RY
Jemima Callaghan Seven years ago, Jemima Callaghan and her family of five moved to Hong Kong from Australia. She now operates her own textile business, Lost Property, and homeschools her children, whilst her husband, Scottie, runs their coffee business, Fineprint.
Homeschooling Jemima’s homeschooling journey began because she had a child in the local primary school system who was struggling with reading and writing in English as all her
classes were taught in Chinese. At first, the mother of three was reluctant to become a homeschooling mum, especially given the challenges of a day-to-day life whilst running her own business. “I couldn’t possibly manage being with my kids all day and teaching them – what would I teach them?” She says. Jemima tried replicating the school system, but that didn’t work and after lots of trial and error, the family finally found a way to learn that they are all mostly happy with. “The huge plus for homeschooling is that we can spend so much time delving deep into topics that we want to learn about and have more time for slow mornings, lunchtime swims and art all afternoon,” says Jemima. “It helps that we have the ‘non-attendance’ team from the
EDB follow us up regularly because we had been enrolled in the local system.”
Living in Mui Wo Mui Wo wasn’t the first place Jemima and her family stayed when they arrived in Hong Kong. Their first home in the city was in Discovery Bay, which “was a great neighbourhood for small kids, easy to make friends and get around”. Later on, though, when her family decided to ditch the comforts of a salary job and go out on their own, they made the move to Mui Wo for its beautiful surroundings and the relaxed village life it entails. “We love Mui Wo for the great community and the surrounding beaches and mountains,” says Jemima. “We can go mountain biking, SUPing, hiking or swimming in rock pools, all within 15 mins of our house.”
Connecting with her Latin American roots For Veronica, being so far away from her family is the toughest part about raising a child
in Hong Kong. When she first moved to the city, she spent a lot of time searching through Facebook for Venezuelan families who were in the same boat. She even met her broker through a Facebook group! While settling in, she also joined the Association of Spanish Speaking Women, a membership club which conducts social and educational events including dinners and workshops. Now, she has an amazing group of friends from Latin America who are great at keeping her in touch with her roots. “Geographical distances don’t matter – it’s what you make out of them,” she says.
Raising a third culture kid Lessons learned from living in multiple countries have become a part of Veronica and her husband’s identities. She hopes that when Liisa grows older, she too will be inspired to
travel and experience the world for herself. “I think we’re very lucky in that we have access to travel at a very young age,” says Veronica. “Hong Kong is great for its proximity to nearby Asian countries, making travel easy and convenient.”
Work-in-progress Veronica has been working full-time and freelancing for a few years, so accommodating work at odd hours is something she is used to. She also hired a helper, Analyn, when her daughter was six months old, a move that has certainly made balancing her life easier. “Overall, I have found that becoming a mother has made me better at organising my time. Somehow, I procrastinate less. But, I must admit that I still find it hard to have me-time – that’s still a work-in-progress,” she says.
Credit: Little Islanders
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Veronica Sanchis has lived in London and New York before moving to Hong Kong with her husband Mikko. They now live with their adopted rescue dog, Capa, and their two year old daughter, Liisa. When she is not spending time with her family, Veronica is busy working on Foto Féminas, her personal project and an online platform to promote the works of Latin American and Caribbean women photographers.
R VE Y O R C TO S
HEALTH & wellness
Self-care in self-quarantine Nabdeep Gill suggests ideas to pamper yourself when youâ€™re feeling overwhelmed
Vivienne Tang finds calm with meditation
HEALTH & wellness
Nurture your green thumb
With social distancing in place, many of us have put a hold on visiting beauty and massage parlours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t throw on a robe, put on some zen music and pamper yourself from head to toe with a DIY spa day at home. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can even DIY your own face masks using kitchen staples like oatmeal, honey and cucumber. Otherwise, our favourite beauty brands LUSH, Rituals and Vinoble Cosmetics will have you sorted with bath bombs, bubble bars, body scrubs and more.
While not all of us live in large houses with gardens, we can all make room for one or two potted plants in our living space. These indoor greens are an instant mood lifter and can help to sweep away some of those coronavirus blues. If you’re new to gardening, there are now indoor garden kits with automated LED lighting and watering like the Veritable Smart Indoor Garden to help you grow your stress away. store.moma.org
Credit: Mark Lehmkuhler
DIY spa day
Spend time in nature Hong Kong has the perfect mix of concrete jungle and lush forests that allows us to take a break from urban life when it all gets too much. Taking a walk outdoors can help to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit, disconnect yourself from the distractions of the world and reduce anxiety by quieting the mind.
Sweet healing While Hong Kong remains in semi-
lockdown, many have turned to quarantine baking to relieve stress and pass time – as proven by the shortage of flour and whipping cream at the supermarkets. Baking is the perfect activity to switch your mind off from distracting thoughts and simply focus on following the step-by-step instructions of a recipe. expat-parent.com 27
HEALTH & wellness good tune always puts you in a better mood and moving your body allows you to let loose the unexpended energy from being cooped up in the house all day. Make this into a workout by taking an online Zumba class to pump your heart rate up.
Founder of Destination Deluxe Vivienne Tang shares tips on staying healthy at home
What exercise routine do you recommend? Everybody’s different and needs to find something that excites them and motivates them. At the moment I’m doing martial arts-inspired home workouts in my living room. If the weather allows, I mask up and go for hikes. I also have a “secret” meditation spot in the forest near my house.
Inhale and exhale with Delia Leung
Chant om Meditation is a powerful antidote to anxiety and stress. You can try different breathing exercises and even incorporate your mindfulness practice into parts of your daily routines like eating mindfully or walking slowly to increase awareness of your surroundings.
have seen the Netflix hit show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, you’ll know that having a clean space is essential for your physical and mental health – or simply put, sparks joy! Once you’ve started organising your home, it can help you gain a sense of control over your life and declutter your mind too.
Declutter your space
Got a desk piled high with jumble and a wardrobe full of unwanted clothes? If you
Put on your favourite Spotify playlist and kick start your own solo dance party! A
What are you doing to stay on top of your fitness game? Like everybody else, I’ve also had to readjust to the current circumstances. But it is reassuring to see that once you come to a place of acceptance, a new path can unfold in front of you. I work closely with an energy practitioner if I’m facing something big. I also do daily breathwork exercises and take cold showers à la Wim Hof to bring down my cortisol levels. How do you stay motivated? It’s important we do things that we love, things that still excite us. There’s nothing worse than having to do something we hate, when work becomes a chore. I always tell people to try to visualise and manifest their work being something they enjoy. Learn more about Destination Deluxe at destinationdeluxe.com
Made with love
Top chefs share family recipes adopted from their mums. By Apple Lee
Oca rosta Serves 4-6 Ingredients 1 young goose, 4-5kg 1 bunch of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage 200g butter 1 whole garlic head 3 anchovies 100g chopped salami Salt Black pepper 1 glass of dry white wine 4 dry apricots or figs
Davide Borin Executive Chef of Pici and The Pizza Project My mum Antonella is an amazing cook. Over the years, I’ve stolen many recipes from her. She never really had a recipe book on hand because she makes everything based on experience and her personal taste, like many home chefs. Everything was “a cup of this,” “add a spoon of that” or “a pinch of salt here.” For me, it was difficult to understand how she always nailed the right flavours. At my hometown Treviso, Italy, we have Oca Rosta (roasted goose) for the Sunday dinners when we gather around with family and friends. We serve this rich and indulgent dish with a side salad made of borlotti beans, raw celery and white onion sliced thinly. I still ask my mum to make it for me when I go home for the holidays. Davide Borin and his mum
1. Set the oven at 140°C as the goose requires a low baking temperature. 2. Clean the goose nicely and remove the interior portions if still there, but keep it aside for the sauce. 3. Stuff the goose with the fresh herbs and set on a wide baking tray before placing it in the oven. 4. After 30 minutes, when the goose has sweat out the fat, it is time to remove it from the oven. Wait till the goose has cooled down before breaking down the breast and legs with a kitchen knife or a big pair of scissors. 5. Re-arrange all the parts of the animal on the tray (including the liver and heart) and add butter, garlic, salt and pepper for seasoning. Also be sure to add the white wine for flavour. 6. The meat should simmer in the fat and make what is called confit in French. Add the dry fruit, anchovies and salami for a richer sauce. 7. Continue baking the goose at 140°C for one hour or until the meat of the leg falls off the bone. This is the best way to know when poultry is cooked. 8. Once the goose meat is cooked, set it aside and strain all of the sauce into a blender. Blend the sauce with some water until smooth. 9.Plate the goose with the sauce and serve.
Nathan Green Chef de Cuisine of Henry, Rosewood Hong Kong Shepherd’s pie is hands down the ultimate comfort food for me. This is something my mum makes me whenever I go back home to the UK. This dish brings back so many memories, from coming home after playing rugby in the cold to family time spent in front of the fire watching TV together. This recipe is based on how my mum taught me to make Shepherd’s pie. The truth is we don’t really measure anything – it’s all done by eye. My mum is a fantastic cook and she is great at making homely comfort foods. This has in turn influenced me a fair deal as everything I now create is aimed at taking my guests back to that place of love and comfort found from home-cooked meals.
Nathan Green and his mum
Vanilla rice pudding
Serves 4-6 Ingredients Mash 500g Agria potatoes 150g butter 100ml milk
Serves 4 Ingredients Rice pudding 450g milk 150g cream 100g rice, riz round 40g sugar ½ vanilla bean 1 orange zest
Shepherd’s pie mix 500g lamb mince 75g diced carrot 100g diced onion 50g diced celery 5g dried thyme 10g Bisto granules 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 250ml lamb stock
Pumpkin seeds 810g sugar 243g water 1000g pumpkin seeds 110g butter 5g salt
Method Topping 1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them roughly into 4 and try to make the pieces even sizes so they all cook at the same time. 2. Place the potatoes into a pan of cold water and add a tablespoon of salt to the water. 3. Gently bring to the boil and lower to a simmer, cook the potatoes until they become tender, a knife should go in without resistance. This should take about 12- 15 minutes. 4. Once cooked, drain the potatoes, allow them to sit in a colander for 4-5 minutes to drain properly. Add them back to the pan and add the butter, mash the potatoes well with a hand masher. 5.Once mashed, start to add the milk and beat with a spatula, season with a little salt and ground white pepper. Pie mix 1. Heat a heavy based casserole pan and add a little cooking oil. Once smoking hot, crumble in the lamb mince (fry it off in two batches) and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before stirring. Add a littles salt and pepper and start to stir. Cook the mince until brown, once browned, drain the fat off in a colander over a bowl. Repeat until all the mince is browned, do not wash the pan. 2. Add the fat from your mince back to the pan and heat it back up, sweat off the carrot, onion, celery and thyme until they
Guillaume Galliot Chef de Cuisine of Caprice, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong Growing up in Loire Valley, France, my mum always made me rice pudding with pumpkin seeds. I used to have this sweet dish for breakfast before school or as an afternoon snack. This recipe has my childhood deeply rooted in it. My mum has always encouraged me to cook whenever I was not in school and she is the one who inspired my love for food and cooking.
are nice and soft. 3. Now add the tomato paste and further cook on a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes. 4. Add the Worcestershire sauce, Bisto and lamb stock, bring to the boil and then add the lamb mince. 5. Bring the mix to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Place your pie mix in your chosen casserole dish, if it looks a little wet drain off some of the gravy. 7. Put your mash in a piping bag and pipe it onto the pie mix. I like to use a fork to rough up the top of the pie a little. 8. Now put the pie in an oven at 180°C for 35-40 minutes or until your potato is golden brown. Serve with Heinz baked beans.
Rice pudding 1. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk and rice to a boil over a high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 2. Add sugar, vanilla and zest into the mixture and mix well. 3. Stop the stirring with cold cream and let it rest. Pumpkin seed 1. Pour the water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar and heat over a medium-high heat. You can stir the pan to dissolve the sugar, but once the mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring. 2. Add butter and salt into the caramel mixture, and then add the seeds. 3. Mix all the seeds into the caramel and let it rest.
Guillaume Galliot and his mum
Flour and empower
Life’s a beach Maximal Concept’s Southside mainstays Limewood and Sip Song are offering a decadent Mother’s Day feasts by the beach. Seafood and BBQ restaurant Limewood is serving up a laid back family-style brunch with sharing plates like yellowtail crudo, five spice pork belly and a supersized pavlova for the ultimate sweet touch. Over at Thai eatery Sip Song, tuck into a bountiful eight dish lunch featuring signature courses like grilled beef short rib and roti pancake with BBQ pork neck. Repulse Bay. limewood.hk and sip-song.com
Meraki at home Meraki Hospitality Group’s brand new delivery service brings you signature dishes from their Soho restaurants Uma Nota, Jalan and Bedu for pick-up, or delivered straight to your home – at no additional cost. Their weekday lunch sets start from $100 and include popular items, like beef rendang, crispy fried market fish and chicken curry, while dinner is à la carte. meraki-hospitality.com
Chef’s table for four Test Kitchen has introduced a brand new personalised private dining experience featuring five distinguished local chefs. These chefs have worked at some of the world’s most renowned restaurants including L’atelier de Joel Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay Restaurants. The new chef’s table experience caters to only four guests at a time with your selected menu cooked right in front of you and the entire Test Kitchen space reserved exclusively for you and your guests. $1,000 per person. Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun. testkitchen.com.hk
The Nesbitt Centre, the inspiring organisation that helps adults with learning difficulties, has recently opened a brand new The Nest Bakery to showcase their delectable cakes and create more job opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live independently. The bakery is also supporting medical staff fighting against Covid-19 by sending a cake to hospital doctors and nurses for every $380 raised. 24 Mui Fong Street, Sai Ying Pun. nesbittcentre.org.hk
All things sweet Building on a successful pastry pop-up at the hotel lobby last year, Four Seasons Hong Kong has recently launched an online patisserie, helmed by executive pastry chef Ringo Chan. The new online boutique boosts handcrafted cakes and fresh pastries which can be ordered from the hotel’s e-shop for collection from The Lounge. shopfourseasonshk.com
Middle Eastern flavour bomb Hong Kong’s healthy eating haven Treehouse just got better. The plant-based, eco-friendly eatery founded by Christian Mongendre has expanded with a new Middle Eastern concept, Origin. Currently available for delivery only via Deliveroo in selected areas – including Central, Sheung Wan, Wan Chai – the new menu is inspired by food memories from Mongendre’s wanderings around the world. Dishes include sourdough pita, whole roasted cauliflower and halloumi salad. order.treehouse.eco
big DAY out
Life on Lamma
Alan Shaw and family take a leisurely stroll from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan GETTING THERE Around half an hour by ferry from Central Pier 4, Lamma Island feels a million miles away from the bustling business district of Hong Kong. You can take a ferry to Sok Kwu Wan on the eastern side of the island or Yung Shue Wan in the northwest. Ferries depart less frequently than to some of the other islands so be sure to check ferry schedules before you 34 expat-parent.com
leave home. The most up to date schedule can be found at hkkf.com.hk
Ferries run from Central Pier 4 and from Aberdeen. There are two ferry ports on Lamma Island, Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. From Central, ferries take 27 minutes to Yung Shue Wan and 30-40 minutes to Sok Kwu Wan.
FROM EAST TO WEST
for a morning coffee at one of the laid back bars around the bay. There are also a variety of shops selling snacks, souvenirs and handmade clothing.
Our route takes us from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan with plenty of rest stops along the way and a spot of lunch as we near the western side of the island. We disembarked at the seaside village of Sok Kwu Wan just in time
From Sok Kwu Wan, take the only path out of town, past a small temple on the left. The path turns right and continues uphill. From here youâ€™ll enjoy stunning views across Hong Kong
big Day out Island. Look behind and you’ll see the harbour town of Sok Kwu Wan fading into the distance, look ahead and you’ll spy a couple of small sandy beaches. Good news - this is where you’re headed. The path becomes shaded by overhanging tree branches and the odd spider’s web. Watch your face, you may be alarmed by the size of the spiders here; indeed they are a common talking point for hikers along this route.
TO THE BEACH After around 20 minutes, you’ll pass some public toilets which look oddly modern given the surroundings. You’ll also pass a sign for Lo So Shing Beach. For a refreshing break, head down to this pretty little beach for a rest and a swim. Here, there are more public toilets along with showers and changing rooms. The water in this area is relatively clear, despite views of Lamma Island Power Station, just a few kilometres away. After a cool off at the beach, retrace your steps back along the path you came for around 150 yards. One you rejoin the main path, turn left towards Yung Shue Wan. Here, you’ll find the gradient is predominantly uphill, but the incline is not steep and there is plenty of shade provided by overhead trees. By now you are very much in the midst of the Lamma jungle!
FROZEN PINEAPPLE ON STICKS You’ll come across a couple of small, rural villages with stalls run by locals selling cold beers and frozen pineapple on sticks. Keep on climbing and you’ll reach a beautiful pavilion jutting out over the sea. Take some time to observe the route you have come from and take in more stunning views of Sok Kwu Wan.
Alan and his wife enjoying lunch
From here you have the option to return the way you have come but in my opinion, it’s far more interesting to take in something new. Continue uphill. The route will take you past another pavilion on the west coast from where you can enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding islands, the power station and two more beaches which lay in the bays ahead. Good news. From here onwards it’s mainly downhill. The path changes from smooth concrete to large granite cobbles and foot traffic picks up as you get closer to Yung Shue Wun.
HUNG SHING YEH BEACH You’ll pass Hung Shing Yeh Beach, probably the busiest beach on the island. At the far end of this beach we stopped for lunch at Concerto Inn (concertoinn.com.hk). Daniel and the staff here are incredibly friendly and the food was delicious and filling (I’d recommend the fish and chips!) After leaving Hung Shing Yeh Beach, the remainder of the walk should take around 20 minutes, you’ll continue through some seaside villages and reach your destination of Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier. The walk from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan isn’t too strenuous, provides numerous opportunities for pit stops and takes in a number of sandy beaches. All-in-all, a great day out if you have kids in tow!
Lamma’s eightlegged residents Can you spot them all? Golden combfooted spider
Golden Orb weaver spider
Lamma Power Station
LIFE & STYLE
Learn at home
Online classes for picking up new hobbies. By Rik Glauert Study how it all began
Start clowning around
There’s only one thing everyone is talking about at the moment and now you can become an expert in it! Leading online education platform, Future Learn, has a three-week course in association with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to give you a better understanding of the virus that has shaken the world. futurelearn.com
Equip yourself with a new party trick and learn how to create stunning and hilarious caricatures of your friends and family with nothing more than a pencil. Renowned artist Court Jones will take you through the history of caricaturing and coach you how to create hilarious portraits which exaggerate your subject’s features. proko.com
Become invaluable at children’s birthday parties by schooling yourself in the noble art of clowning. The Clown For Fun and Profit course includes a brief history of clowning, advice on makeup and choosing an outfit, instructions on how to make your own props and how to find your true clown personality. udemy.com
LIFE & STYLE Get to know your pets Udemyâ€™s Communicate with your Animal Telepathically course promises to deepen and strengthen your relationship with household pets by using telepathy. We know that animals are good at understanding non-verbal communications, but this course pushes you to use natural intuition and psychic abilities to converse with your beloved furry friends. udemy.com
Time travel to ancient Egypt
Spruce up your home, professionally
With the future looking particularly bleak these days, avoid the news and while away your hours at home by jumping into a world of pharaohs, pyramids, tombs and temples. The Harvard class, Pyramids of Giza, available on edX covers everything there is to know about the ancient Egyptians from art to archeology, hieroglyphs to hierarchies. edx.org
Youâ€™ve probably never spent so much time inside your home, so take the time to make it as beautiful as possible by upping your interior design skills. The Interior Design Basics class on Skillshare guides you in finding your own unique style and then furnishes you with hints and tips on how to revamp your space. skillshare.com
LIFE & STYLE
LIFE & STYLE
It takes two to tango
Grab your husband, wife, live-in lover, housemate, or parent and have a crack at this flamboyant and sensual dance form. Dance Tango TV pipes lessons for all levels from the worldâ€™s leading dancers in Buenos Aires, Argentina into your living room. Be sure to move any breakable objects to a safe location before you start. dancetangotv.com
Fiit is our favourite one-stop-shop for fitness classes out there. It is described as the Netflix of fitness apps, with more than 500 on-demand workout programs including HIIT, yoga, bodyweight training, and pilates classes. It also includes training plans, progress tracking and leaderboards for those of you with a competitive streak. fiit.tv
Learn to cook like Gordon Ramsay All our social media feeds are full to the brim with home baking and culinary experiments. But, we recommend getting some hot tips from everyoneâ€™s favourite foul-mouthed celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. On the Masterclass platform, Ramsay will take you from basic chopping skills to constructing a full-on restaurantquality Beef Wellington over 20 video lessons. Unfortunately, being insulted and sworn at are not included in the package. masterclass.com
big NIGHT out
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Staycations are the new vacations. By Gemma Shaw
ith travel restrictions in full force across the world, most of us will be staying put in Hong Kong during the coming weeks. Since you won’t be able to fly out, why not indulge in a staycation in the city? Here are our favourite hotel deals on offer this spring.
The Upper House The Upper House has recently launched an 40 expat-parent.com
unbeatable staycation offer exclusive to Hong Kong residents. The “24-Hours at Our House” package offers guests the chance to relax and enjoy this highly-acclaimed tranquil Asian residence, designed by renowned architect Andre Fu. Kick off the evening with complimentary drinks while taking in panoramic city views from Café Gray Bar on Level 49. Then, soak in the ambience over dinner at Café Gray Deluxe (included for guests staying in an Upper Suite).
Back in the room, enjoy unlimited on-demand popcorn and in-room blockbuster movies as well as complimentary access to the MaxiBar before collapsing into your plush bed. Bedrooms at The Upper House were recently voted among the world’s sexiest in a coffee table book published by luxury hotel travel club Mr & Mrs Smith! Early risers can take advantage of the in-room yoga mat and online classes or visit nearby Bowen Road for a jog along one of the
big NIGHT out scenic trails, then recharge with a delicious breakfast spread at Café Gray Deluxe. For weekenders with an appetite, Café Gray Deluxe’s brunch runs until 2.30pm with a new bottomless Bloody Mary offer. The “24-Hours at Our House” package is available from $2,880 per room per night until September 6 2020. upperhouse.com
St. Regis Hong Kong Can’t jet off to an exotic location? No worries. Escape for 24 hours and rejuvenate yourself at the exquisite Forbes Travel Guide-recognised five star St. Regis Hong Kong. The hotel boasts two Michelin-starred restaurants, a relaxing pool and spa and state-of-the-art gym. St. Regis Hong Kong is currently running a “24-hours staycation” package which includes guaranteed room upgrade, $1,000 dining credit to be used at any restaurant in the hotel, a Virgin Canto Mary for two in the St. Regis Bar and a personalised fitness training session for two. The “24-hours staycation” package starts at $3,888 and is available until August 31 2020. stregishongkong.com
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has recently launched a “Kids Stay For Free” package, which aims to give weary parents a change of scenery during extended school-free days in Hong Kong. Parents who stay in a Deluxe Harbour View Room or above will enjoy a complimentary connecting room for their kids. The package also includes a 20 percent discount on daily breakfast and in-room dining, as well as fun family activities, a scavenger hunt and hot chocolate and coffee art. The “Kids Stay For Free” package starts from $4,300 and is valid for two adults and up to three children aged 12 or below (or for a total
of up to three adults) until August 31 2020. fourseasons.com/hongkong
W Hong Kong Relax amongst contemporary comfort with a staycation at W Hong Kong in Kowloon. The hotel has recently launched the “Amp Up Your Stay” package, perfect for residents looking for a change of scenery. The offer includes complimentary breakfast, an inroom movie with soft drinks and popcorn, 50 percent discount for all items in the W MixBar and a lavish W Grab-n-Go basket filled with mouth-watering treats that can be enjoyed in-room or whilst soaking up some rays at WET DECK, amongst Hong Kong’s highest outdoor swimming pools. The “Amp Up Your Stay” package is
The Upper House
priced from $2,300 per room per night and available until June 29 2020. w-hongkong.com
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental The iconic Landmark Mandarin Oriental has recently unveiled the “Urban Escape” package designed to offer Hongkongers some respite in the heart of the city. The package includes complimentary room upgrade, $500 dining expat-parent.com 41
big day out
big NIGHT out
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
or spa credit ($1,000 for suite bookings), a hearty breakfast for two adults and one child, 25 percent discount at Amber, SOMM, MO Bar and PDT, as well as Le Petit Prince amenities for kids and a 4pm late check-out. The “Urban Escape” package runs from May 11 to August 31 2020 and is priced from $4,300 per room per night. mandarinoriental.com/landmark
dinner (additional supplement of $1,000) or an authentic Swiss gastronomic experience at Chesa.
The Peninsula Hong Kong Trying to come up with the perfect Mother’s Day surprise? The Peninsula Hong Kong is offering a “Be Our Guest” package which includes breakfast for two at The Lobby or inroom, $800 credit for use in The Lobby, Chesa or Michelin-starred Spring Moon, welcome amenities and a late 4pm check-out. For lovebirds looking to celebrate a special anniversary but unable to getaway, the “European Soirée” package could be the answer. This package includes accommodation in a Deluxe Room, one-way arrival transfer between your home and the hotel, breakfast for two in The Lobby and a choice of dreamy dining experiences including a poolside candle light
to offer local residents head-to-toe relaxation. The package comprises a 24-hour stay, complimentary upgrade to a Harbour View Room, daily breakfast for two at Grand Café, complimentary parking and a choice of benefits including $1,000 dining credit or a set menu for two at one of the hotels restaurants; One Harbour Road, Grand Café or Grissini. The “Escape 24” package is priced from $2,680 per room per night and can be booked for stays up until the end of August 2020. hyatt.com
The “Be Our Guest” package is available from $3,856 per room per night and runs until August 31 2020 while the “European Soirée” package starts at $4,880 available from now onwards. peninsula.com
Grand Hyatt Grand Hyatt Hong Kong in Wan Chai has created a rejuvenating staycation for the perfect weekend getaway in the city. The “Escape 24” package is exclusively designed expat-parent.com 43
Lantau life Charmian Woodhouse explores the rich biodiversity of Hong Kong’s largest island in her new book. By Nicole Cooley photos and so it was an exciting project for me to begin.
How did you make sure you wrote something every day? Each month there was something new to learn and write about. I carried a small notebook around with me and wrote in it when I had time and sometimes I would go to a cafe for some dedicated writing. The journal is not a daily diary, but it follows the change of the seasons as the year progresses.
How were you able to identify all the species of plants and animals? I discovered that there is a wonderful online community of people who are as passionate about the Hong Kong wildlife as I am. I was able to upload photos to the Bug City Hong Kong 2 Facebook group and email photos to the Hong Kong Herbarium. They helped to identify everything that I saw. The Hong Kong Snakes Facebook group is also excellent. I also did my own research online.
What attracted you to move to Lantau? I had spent some time living on Hong Kong Island and I was always drawn to Lantau for the peace and space that it offered. I enjoyed the city but knew that I wanted to live in a quieter area. The ferry only takes 35 minutes so living in Mui Wo was not too remote. I really enjoy being part of a community and you can find that in Mui Wo.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? I have three children, Joel (18), Tara (16) and Clio (14). My husband Jono and I homeschooled our kids because we wanted to travel and explore the world together and it’s been amazing. I teach music (piano, guitar and singing), I love to be creative and have a passion for trail running, open water swimming and kite surfing.
So, what’s the book about? Lantau Life: A Year on Lantau Island is a photo 44 expat-parent.com
journal. It is written in diary form and celebrates the beauty and diversity of nature on Lantau over the course of one year. It also gives a snapshot of what it’s like living on an island in Hong Kong.
What inspired you to start writing the book? When I started to explore Lantau, I was amazed at the diversity of the wildlife and plants on the island. There was so much to discover. I decided to start a nature journal at the beginning of the year. I love writing and taking
Most importantly, where can we buy your book? You can find Lantau Life: A Year on Lantau Island at the Bookazine stores, at Vibe Book and Music Store, Lantau Base Camp and the Mui Wo Village Bakery.
Books & podcasts
T. Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug by Lois Grambling
Five Minutes’ Peace by Jill Murphy
Still looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day present? Check out this fun and heart-warming story for some unexpected inspiration. This Mother’s Day, little T. Rex goes on a mission to find the perfect gift for his mum. This book is a gentle reminder of how the little things in life often matter the most – as in the end all T. Rex’s mum wants really is a hug from him! Available from Book Depository for $61.
This Mother’s Day, rediscover this classic children’s book that celebrates all mums. Like many of us, Mrs. Large just wants five minutes of me-time away from her three rambunctious children. One day, she eases into a warm bubble bath with her favourite breakfast and the morning paper, but it doesn’t take long for her overzealous children to cause a scene in the house. Available from Book Depository for $54.
For dinosaur fans
For peace & quiet
The Berenstain Bears: We Love Our Mom! by Jan Berenstain and Mike Berenstain With Mother’s Day right around the corner, Brother and Sister Bear put together a photo album that highlights the special moments the cubs have shared with their mum. This beautiful story reminds us to show our love and appreciation to our mums this Mother’s Day and every day. Available from Book Depository at $30.
For bedtime story lovers
PODCASTS Not Overthinking
This Hong Kong Life
If there’s one piece of advice we could all use living in these strange times of ours, this is it. In this podcast, Ali and Taimur Abdaal dive into subjects like social interaction and the human condition. Every week, the Irish twins from East London engage in productive, open-minded discussions about different aspects of social life – without overthinking or being too serious. Listen now at notoverthinking.com
Tune in for candid conversations with Hong Kong’s youths as they share their unique stories and experiences living in this dynamic city – including how they are adjusting to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. This podcast is hosted by KELY Support Group, a Hong Kong-based non-profit organisation that empowers young people to reach their full potential through workshops about mental health and positivity. Listen now on Spotify.
For young learners
On Purpose with Jay Shetty Gain new perspective on the current coronavirus situation with Jay Shetty’s inspirational podcast. Shetty’s weekly episodes bring you wisdom from doctors, CEOs and writers on how to better understand the global pandemic we are facing now. These fascinating conversations are sure to give you a boost in your efforts to make the most of this unpredictable journey. Listen at jayshetty.me/podcast
For deep thinkers expat-parent.com 45
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You may say I’m a dreamer Our youngest member of the team imagines a world without Covid-19
good things in life for the better of our city.
Imagine being earth-side during all of this virus baloney for pretty much most of your life. Imagine not really knowing what the world is like without it.
Life right now is not easy. It is not normal and it is not free. Life right now is different, it’s tough, it’s about making sacrifices. But there is hope to hold onto - as long as our hands are washed for twenty seconds while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and then sanitised for good measure, of course.
For me, life right now is normal. It’s like being born during a zombie apocalypse and becoming that bad-ass kid, not afraid of anything because, well, zombies are the norm. Zombies have always been there.
Ahh. Just imagine.
“Imagine” by Covid baby
So when this is all over, and believe me when I say it will be over, I am going to be that bad-ass kid. Not in the sense that I am going to run around with a bow and arrow, prepared to strike if necessary. But in the sense that I am going to live life, baby. Like, really live and be free for the first time ever.
Imagine there’s no virus It’s easy if you try Removing masks from faces More alcohol to buy Imagine all the people Livin’ as they please Ah
First, I’m going to go and see my friends. Well - first I will need to make said friends, seeing as I have never actually rolled around with a friend up close before. This virus business has certainly put a pin in my already nonexistent social life. But after I make friends I’m going to greet them with a big flap of my arms, throw some blocks across the room with them and then give a big old ‘MWA’ goodbye on the way out. Next - I am going to go ‘out out’. Not just for a quick walk to Fusion and back. Oh no. Fusion will no longer be my social hub. I mean, going out to baby play centres, restaurants and cha chaan teng after they have taken down those silly-looking roll-up banners and acrylic panels. On trains, buses and ferries without worrying about touching the railings and standing less than 1.5 metres apart from the person beside me. Beauty parlours, mahjong parlours – they’ll all be filled to the brim. Karaoke lounges, bars and nightclubs will bring a buzz back to our 48 expat-parent.com
Imagine there’s more people So many there are queues Loo roll is piled up higher Baby wipes and hand towels too
Thoughts and perceptions from the mind of an expat baby nightlife. ‘Open’ signs will be flashing, drinks will be free-flowing, flights will be available. All of these things mean mum and dad will have a little more skip in their step than before. Which means I may get to stay up a little later and play ‘just because’. But most of all, I can’t wait for the beaming smiles. I imagine the happy faces of people living life with ease. The cheeky grins from the lady at the cafe. The sneaky smile from the man sitting behind us on the bus. The smiles of people who no longer have to worry about loved ones at risk. The contented looks of a community of millions who have sacrificed the
Imagine all the people Livin’ virus free You You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday this will pass And the world will live as one Imagine small businesses Can open without doubt No need for greedy shoppers More friends just hanging out Imagine all the people Sharing all the world You You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday this will pass And the world will have more fun