Sunday, 31 August 2014

Triple Football Bars, Psychedelic Hotel and Weather

Out last night for a meal I passed three bars next to each other, all with big TV screens and all showing the same footbal match. The different delays between the different sets made for interesting acoustical effects…
Looking the other way my hotel with its old style psychedelic lights 
This morning, the clouds bubbled up. 
Still 30º+C. off to teach a long day - the central courtyard of the college looks much better than it did in February. 
 Interesting flowers planted by the stairwell.
Went in search of a security person to unlock the teaching room (which turned out to have a malfunctioning air conditioning system - which we all survived) and I saw this series of posters on the noticeboard
Went over to the shops to get some lunch (no canteen open at the weekend in the college…) and passed under the wrapped tower blocks.
The view through the front of the college to the flats and cranes beyond. 
At the end of the afternoon, these flats looked very imposing against the dark and thundery skies (we had rain as well, but I didn't see any of the forecast lightning)
This day a year ago, we went to Westonbirt and then Walcot Street in Bath where we parked opposite this fountain and its unusual bollards. 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

August Evening Light, Teaching Again and Art Attack

It was a lovely light as the sun went down yesterday evening.
Looking straight out of my hotel room to the Hotel Icon, where we stayed the first time we came to Hong Kong in 2012. 
I even have a (side-on) view across to Hong Kong island, where I went last night to meet up with my former student, Hywel Jenkins and his wife Chloe for a nice meal and cocktail at Ayuthaiya.
This is where it is - in Tsim Sha Tsui, not the Himalayas!
Caught the train to Kwai Fong, and then the trusty 16-seater 88c bus to the college for my first session of teaching on this trip. Passed this tower block for the folks who live on the hill.
Past the container docks coming across to Tsing Yi island. 
More container unloading cranes. 
At the college during a break in teaching, I admired these flowers - sort of physalis-like? 
The tower ob the campus. 
After a successful afternoon's teaching and learning, time to head across the road to queue for half an hour to get the 88C back to the station. Tower blocks are still wrapped up, Christo-like.
The light this afternoon evening caught this gaggle of towers nicely. 
What every college needs - a plane at the entrance - for the Vice Chancellor's quick getaway? 
At the bus stop, some decorations left over from a celebration. 
Waiting for the train… 
On the way back through the subway from the trains, I popped into an exhibition of work from graduates at the University - some straightforward stuff, and some interesting.
I liked this - probably even more so if I knew what the writing says… 
Jewellery made from wire, hair and seeds 
Jewellery made from toothpicks 
Blue and white patterned boxes of tissues (about 100 in all) 
 A complete book of philosophical musings like this one - very deep! After that, I came back to the hotel to a glass of wine and two hours remote technical support for Su before going out for a supper of fish, bitter melon and garlic with rice - actually very tasty!
This day a year ago, I had done my knee in, so decorating consisted of just one coat of paint on the back door before I crashed out on the sofa.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Flying, Landing and a GromitFest!

Lots to catch up with from the last three days. Many thanks to Su for posting the blog while I've been travelling. My journey started on Wednesday, but before I left I took Bella for her morning perambulation and admired the continuing flowering of this ground mallow.
I also appreciated the way the sun filtered down through these leaves. 
Signs of Autumn on the way. 
Su dropped me down to the bus station to catch my coach to Heathrow. We went past the Abbey on our way out of town. 
Heathrow didn't offer too many photographic opportunities, but I was really taken with this view from somewhere over Europe as we headed East.
The first stop was Amman, where I had to wait a couple of hours for my connecting flight. Liked this roof design.
Our next stop some 8 or 9 hours later was sprawling Bangkok which was cloudy and steamy, it being monsoon season. Had to stay on the plane, so this is what I saw of Thailand. We plan to go back - for the food if nothing else :-)!
Arrived at Hong Kong after dusk. This is the apocalyptic vision driving in from the airport - very Bladerunner
I liked the clouds against the skyscrapers. 
Today I went to the Western edge of Kowloon, up Austin Road. I decided to walk there in 33ºC and humid conditions - so I was glad to find the shelter and quiet of Kowloon Park for some of my walk.
Lots of construction work going on around Austin MTR station - workers leave their hard hats in public spaces while they take their lunch break. Wouldn't still be there afterwards if it was the UK, I suspect.
An unfortunate labelling system for the accident statistics table… 
Looking across the traffic and construction cranes towards Hong Kong island - sums up the place!
My destination was the Elements shopping centre based above Kowloon MTR station. After the heat and humidity of the walk there, it was great to come into a giant shopping mall with an ice rink just inside the door.
Apart from getting some exercise after my travels, my motivation for going there was this character in all his many guises. 
 Just as well that I went today, for these statues are only there for another two days. From this point on, I'll mainly let the pictures of various Gromits speak for themselves

"Me Old China" - most appropriate, given the location :-)

 The creator's original!

Back to the roundabout, where the Gromits on the inner ring on the bottom tier were mounted on plinths that gradually raised and lowered. If the whole thing had gone round as well, it probably would have been too much!
 The roundabout from various aspects.

 The more I looked, the more Gromits I saw!

 Heading back out of the shopping centre…

 Last, but not least, and - again appropriate, given the setting: "Year of Gromit"
This day a year ago, we enjoyed a lovely mackerel sky in Bath at the start of the morning.