Hodgkin in Hong Kong

This year marks the 40th anniversary of my first visit to Hong Kong when the tap water was brown and green and white stripy Tristars perilously glided into Kai Tak. Apparently it is also the length of time some local collectors have been purchasing Howard Hodgkin paintings. Taking that into consideration it is astonishing to […]

Shekou: The New Monaco?

‘I’ve seen the future and it will be, I’ve seen the future and it will be…’ Prince In China ‘boomtown’ is most definitely a byword for Shenzhen. Whenever I return my time is habitually spent re-visiting places of interest. Trying to fit everything in is sometimes a logistical non-starter and usually something is omitted (this […]

A Chinese Restaurant with No Rice

Yes.. you read that right. Allow me to explain. The other day I was out and decided on lunch at a classy eatery. It’s a little nippy outside – when you live in 35 degree heat for most of the year 19 feels cold – so although I had that horrible feeling I should move […]

Guangzhou: OCE Cafe @ One Link Mall

Spread over three floors, OCE (Original Color Edition) takes its cue from what it calls the Nordic style but lets call it Scandinavian; clean, fresh, simple. It is not just a stylish clothes shop but also a cafe, bookseller and gallery located in one corner of One Link Mall; not Guangzhou’s biggest mall though perhaps […]

Notate and the autumn of 2000

  Nostalgia makes the autumn of fifteen years ago seem a serenely magical place yet it was if anything fraught with frenetic tension combining nowhere to live, a non-career and turning 30. I was just back from Italy and needed to finish my second book with only four days to do it. I did but was […]

St David, the Big Chair and the Life Machine

Bit of a special one today. First off, happy St David’s Day to anyone Welsh (and any Welsh admirers around the world) tuning in. If you don’t know, it is the national day of and for Wales. I expect the usual parade of a few druids marching around a damp Cardiff is still the highlight […]

Travelling Without Moving (The Home Comforts of Chinese New Year in Hunan)

Being in Chenzhou during Chinese New Year reminds me a lot of my great travel drought in the eighties (and a good proportion of the nineties). None the less despite the obvious obstacles I chose to conserve my funds until summer but mostly to explore my immediate surrounds here in Hunan as I haven’t had much […]