It has been three weeks less a day since I uploaded my last blog and we are almost done with the first month of the Year of the Ox, though not quite. We had fine days with bright sun and blue sky and we also had heavy rains and misty days recently. It is great weather for flowers which seem to be blossoming everywhere, certainly in the parks downstairs, which has prompted Su and other photographers taking pictures all the time, which is good. Indeed, it seems that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has planned flowers shows in many districts, as opposed to a central and single one at Victoria Park. Su intends to visit at least a few of them, beginning with the one downstairs of course.
With the opening up of the gyms at our clubs, I tried to resume my workouts and at the same time continue with my rope skipping, not as religiously though. I recall that I made it a point to go to one of my gyms the first day they were reopened after they were all closed for some ten weeks. The gym was rather empty, possibly because members had yet to get used to it. I felt good after the session and I also had a walk in the park afterwards because it was a sunny day.
I managed to finish Obama’s “A Promised Land” shortly after the gyms were re-opened. A reader of my last blog had something to say about Obama’s personal involvement in military operations during his watch. For the record, and in Obama’s words in his book, the 1 May 2011 operation involving Navy SEALs raiding Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was “the first and only time as president that (he) had watched a military operation unfold in real time.” The key words perhaps are “watched in real time”. Obviously, he had sanctioned other operations, including sending more troops to Afghanistan and deploying resources to neutralize Gaddafi’s capacities to attack Benghazi, the latter of which he carried out while visiting South America.
One thing I picked up from reading Obama’s auto is that he never shied away from mentioning names. Indeed, he was rather straightforward, direct and precise, giving graphic details of the people he met and personal opinions on them, often gratuitously. I like the style and I may adopt that in my blogs and in the next memoir.
Still on my memoir, my friends in USA and Australia received their copies by air mail in about two weeks and those in Canada are beginning to get theirs after 6 weeks by now because there is no air mail service between Hong Kong and Canada. I am getting feedbacks from some readers. Some have alerted me to the typos and last week I had a corrigendum printed on a single page on A5, not that too many readers would bother, I believe, but good for the record, I think.
Today, the Society for the Relief of Disabled Children (SRDC) put out their annual signature fund raiser Step Out for Children, which under the pandemic situation, had to be organized on-line, with the assistance of an event organizer. They set up a booth to sell my book and I had offered to donate all proceeds of the sale to the Society. As part and parcel of the promotion, I was interviewed for about ten minutes in the afternoon during which I was asked the usual and obvious questions including whether and when I would publish a sequel.
It does seem that readers are generally attracted to details, the more the better. A young friend, for example, found that her elder brother and sister were also students in the primary school I had studied; while another friend asked whether a teacher in Wah Yan could have been related to one of his friends because of the surname. They were indeed.
Meanwhile, the social distancing requirements have meant that we have yet to be able to carry on the meetings and activities that we would like to, but that is to be expected, and we simply have to live with that. With the vaccination programmes coming up, we have made appointments and would receive our jabs next week. Until then, we wish you well, and I hope to talk to you again soon.