The collapse of an empire

The Standard. Hong Kong. p. 29. 21 March 2017.

The 2nd Story Writing competition.
Imagination is everything.

The Standard is organising the Story Writing Competition to encourage Hong Kong primary school students to compose the most interesting story they can imagine. While developing their creativity at a young age, students will also increase their confidence in expressing themselves and also improve their English writing skills at the same time.

The Competition offers awards to individuals who write the best stories. Well-written stories may also be published in Goodies and Junior Standard.

Seven plots of fiction.
1. Defeating Evil
2. Poor to Rich
3. The Quest
4. Journey and Return
5. Comedy
6. Tragedy
7. Born Again


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Six by six

If there's a 'meals I enjoyed' category in this blog, this would be my first entry.

Drip coffee, peanut butter and raspberry jelly sandwich at 12 midnight. The raspberry jelly was homemade (by my wife, of course) and is more like a compote than a preserve. Since there was a quarter cup of it left from our breakfast (my son wanted pancakes) I slathered it on top of the peanut butter as a last-minute resort. It was bliss. The kind that had Deerhunter's Comfort Me playing at the back of my mind.

Huddle weather

Weather Report
David Huddle

The vultures of this landscape came to call
this morning—found a bare-limbed tree outside
my kitchen window, settled in & held
my gaze, big tar blobs against a milky sky:
We understand you, their presence informed me,
And I you, I told them in silence.
                                                 Right now
this day can’t make up its mind—sun’s half out
but rain’s in those clouds. If it’s that cold wind—
driven stuff that swats your eyes like a drink
full of crushed ice thrown in your face, I’ll stay
indoors, count my failures & petty crimes,
loathe my life, and completely understand
why friends and loved ones keep their distance.
The barometer yo-yos my mental state—
one day I’m a happy old dude, kitchen
dancer, car-driving harmonizer, hilltop
walker delighted by the world.
                                                 Next day
it’s the big not, the mega-never. And where
are you breeze-blown death birds now that I need you?
This mean rain’s rotting the starch right out of me.
Come down from your perch, my beauties, I’m
opening doors and windows, I’m looking for snacks
in the back of the fridge. Here—try roosting
on this chair back. Please just sit with me
around my table. I’ll hold up both ends
of our conversation. It’s like forever
I’ve wanted to talk to you. Here—let me
turn off these lights—I know you like the dark.


Online radio stations: Radio and Le Son Parisien.

Music that's not on Spotify: Ryo Fukui - Scenery and Himiko Kikuchi - For My Buddy. The latter: It's the reception song you won't ever forget.

Jonathan Balcombe, an animal behavior research scientist, claims that "elephants keep mental tabs on thirty or more compatriots. Baboons bereave the loss of an infant and seek therapy by expanding their social networks. [...] And chimps trounce humans in a short-term memory task." But in Psychology Today, Lee Charles Kelly (a dog trainer) disagrees: “Most of these statements are heavily-skewed, ideological interpretations of data, not facts. And I think they can and should be looked at from a more parsimonious (and more scientific) point of view.” But I’m with Alexander Pope and Cole Swensen. Greensward is less about animal rights than about the possibility – no, the actuality -- of awakening through “a delta of nerves and rift.” link

Four days after losing Sean, I miscarried in a Bangkok hotel room. I was terrified; I had desperately wanted that baby. Losing it meant losing my last piece of Sean. link


The most voracious readers I know don't wait until the perfect serene moment to pick up a book...they read while waiting for the toaster to finish.