Any Umbrellas?

It’s been a funny old day. A very enjoyable farewell lunch (one of many this week) was the highlight. The low light was discovering my place of birth was unacceptable for an international driving permit. We queued for 45 minutes to get our permits and where it said ‘place of birth’ I wrote my town of birth. This was accepted. And then rejected. So I wrote Wales. Fine. And then not fine. Was Wales in Britain, I was asked. Well yes it is, for better or for worse. Finally the happy chappy behind the counter decided I had been born in the United Kingdom. Well I suppose it is a place but I do not regard it as my place of birth.

Then I made the rather gross howler of asking someone ‘how is your mother doing?’ I got the reply ‘she will probably die today’. I sympathised as best as I could. 94, he said. A good innings. The stiff upper lip of the British military man.

I also pondered on the blogging world for reasons that may over time emerge. Sometimes all is not what it seems. Cryptic I know but it is what it is.

We visited Lulu in jail and she seems to be quite settled but she was overjoyed to see us. I felt rather smug as she ran to me first. Most unusual. Then she was all over Mrs. Ha and looking rather sheepish as she realised the magnitude of her faux pas. A few biscuits were all it took to re-establish her loyalty and as usual I had to make do with a vigorous licking. Not a bad consolation prize.

Where, you cry with justification, are the umbrellas? Well I discovered a day or so ago that they are everywhere. Followers of HK politics will recall that the symbol of the universal suffrage movement was an umbrella, preferably yellow. The government has done its best to erase all traces of protest but I think it will be a while before HK is umbrella-free. I found 3 in a short distance on the waterfront. Look harder, CY, look harder. Here they are:Umbrella1


Umbrella3A little tattered and torn – how I sympathize – but irrefutable evidence that the umbrellas remain. They may just be being kept for a rainy day.


27 thoughts on “Any Umbrellas?

  1. I know you have no choice in the matter of the jail, but it broke my heart, when we put our family dog in there for a holiday (my family as a kid) and when we got our German Sheppard, my wife and I made the decision that she will never stay in one. As I said, not your choice, do not get me wrong.

  2. Oh, bureaucracy! Happy you were able to get your license anyway.
    “Australia’s not a state in America is it?” An actual straight faced question I was asked at a rural Maryland, USA Department of Transportation office. After taking a 3 hr drug and alcohol class and passing my driver’s test, I was granted a USA license. We still laugh at that question!!
    I hope you continue to blog. I’m not great at interpreting cryptic messages.
    All the best for your relocation!

    • Someone I know once entered the USA an wrote under profession: ornithologist. When he reached the desk, the officer stared hard at him and said: ornithologist? Is that some sort of terrorist group?
      I hope it is not apocryphal because it rings so true. I have refused to enter the USA since I was told to ‘go get myself an education’ when I confessed I didn’t know the address of my hotel. I tried to explain that I didn’t need to know as a man with a sign would be standing the other side of immigration. He would then drive me to the hotel and I assumed he knew where he was going. Neither did it wash that there was only one Marriott in town. Nope. Time to get educated.

  3. It’s a minefield all this paperwork! Pete and I are going through sort-of-the-same-thing right now. Amazingly as of this morning, we have proper grown-up Spanish social security numbers – it’s only taken a year but we are feeling well chuffed about it – oh, and we’ve registered with a doctor. But I totally understand about the form filling and finding the right word that will fit – it is like trying to square the circle.

    It’s funny the little jealousies that can occur over dogs affections. I always feel rather put out if C.Snout makes a bee-line for Pete instead of moi after an absence. It’s SO not right. Let’s not forget, that I was the one that ‘saved’ him from the penal system, I am the one that picks up the horrid, stinky Yule Logs, I’m the one that lets him creep in to bed in the morning and snuggle down between us……so when occasionally he forgets, and rushes in to Pete’s arms instead of mine, I do feel just a little bit put out. Maybe Lulu’s rush of blood to the head was a canny way of getting you to secure a new hairdresser when you are back in the UK? Dogs are very clever you know.

    Andrew, cryptic won’t do. Please spit it out whatever it is!! No one on here will be able to rest until you do 🙂

  4. I admire the spirit of those hidden umbrellas. As always, I hope that truth and freedom will out.
    It must be disconcerting to find that your birthplace has been swallowed by the United Kingdom.
    As to blogging, I hope you will continue. I have heard dark tales only hinted at by others. Perhaps it has become a playground of predators. I get the feeling that all is not as well as it could be with you. I do hope I’m wrong.

    • Melissa, I think all is well. They say the 3 most stressful things in life are bereavement, divorce and moving house. We are simply overwhelmed at the moment but it will pass. Blogging gives me a daily break and a chance to play with words and photos. I shall see how it goes as we switch countries and time zones. 😊😊

  5. Do keep blogging please – I enjoy the mix of words and images together with my coffee in the morning, and I would not know how to get out of bed otherwise!

  6. Well now, Andrew. Cryptic and all matters only to you and I can well understand if you stop blogging. But I hope that you do not. Just take a break. Perhaps you need that. You can always turn off comments as some bloggers do and just post your photos and what ever you have to say. That was you spend much less time at the computeer.

    I tell myself what in the name of Sam is the purpose of making nice exchanges with folks that I/we don’t even know. But even though I don’t actually know anyone, I’ve built a mutual rapport/support with two of you and you know who you are. I would not trade those cyber friendship for anything.

    I’m on my soap box now so I have a few more things to write about blogging. It’s a way to learn about people, cultures, see the world through wonderful photography, and most importantly for this writer, it helps to keep my mind sharp although it seems I most likely come across as dull.

    About the US. What you wrote is only the tip of the ice berg. Geography is no longer being taught and someone told me that some schools are not providing history books. One of my husband’s helpers once insited that Chicago was a state. What in h— is that about. Many Americans are getting smarter about how to use a gadget but know nothing about how this planet was created and how the governement works, and what causes wars and, the list goes on.

    • Good thoughts, Yvonne. I too have some valued relationships established over the internet. They are mutually beneficial and based on respect and I count you amongst them.

      I will be forced to blog less as we move but eventually I hope to get back in the swing of things. I learn a great deal through blogs and I love the range of quality photography that can be found.

      Education is a challenge everywhere. It seems teaching methods have changed. I see people who are brilliant in one particular area but have no breadth at all. Others seem to be disenchanted. Maybe the reduced job prospects turn them off. The well-rounded, insatiably curious children of yesteryear seem to be scarcer these days. Perhaps though it is a natural tendency to believe our days were better. I don’t know. But I do know that I feel an attachment to my place of birth and that is my home town, not the United Kingdom.

      • Yes, the friendship/relationship is mutual and I hope that you knew/know that you are one ot the two I mentioned . Thank you. You are so correct about young people not being well rounded.

  7. Well, umbrellas offer protection and in Wales they might come in handy. Who know what the future holds/? Watching cricket perhaps?

    What a little heartbreaking story of Lulu. The little rascal’s loyalty bought by biscuits? Milo would not so easily swing around and knows how to install guilt more than anyone.

  8. As the deadline for your departure gets closer, I hope there are many more highlights and less low lights.

    Thanks for the update on the Umbrella movement. I was wondering since we haven’t heard ‘boo’ in the news lately. Too many other things going on, I guess.

    • Well the government wore them down eventually Joanne. They obtained injunctions to clear the sites and it fizzled out. None of the underlying problems was solved and the government is now making life difficult for the protesters in small, irritating ways. I think it is just a matter of time before it flares up again.

  9. Murphy can sometimes get confused about the pecking order around here. Mary Beth is the major food giver and is home with him much more than I, but he makes a bigger fuss when I return home than for her.

    I guess the stickers are a way to keep the fire burning.

    It’s amazing the lack of basics in the consciousness of people today. I am glad that you got it all sorted out after a fashion.

  10. Who knew you were picking up the dog, I had to read the comments, I thought you were visiting someone who was in prison. Andrew you are a hoot,couldn’t you have just said the dog had been in th kennel, I don’t know I guess it’s just been that kind of day, is there snow there too. Oops
    As always Brain Freeze

  11. I hope the rainy days are so frequent as to render the umbrellas constantly needed.
    It won’t worry you, after all, Andrew …

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