To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Hong Kong

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Middleburgh Down Town

Would you believe that I went looking for a horse yesterday morning in Lan Kwai Fong. And before you say it, I know that at night, you can find some real dogs down there, (so I am told), and the odd Sheila who could easily be mistaken for a nag. I was checking whether a Shatin escapee that I saw there last year ,outside a bar (and yes I was sober at time), was still there (So shoot me for being an optimist !!).

Alas it wasn't, so in the next few weeks I shall visit Shatin race course and KCR (on a race day) and do an inventory. The tourist office claim that's where the horses which were exhibited up to 2005 are "stabled". I am not convinced they actually know. Apart from LKW there is one grazing at back of the Cosmopolitan Hotel near Happy valley race track.(#14 the Floral Horse)

Of course the real purpose of going downtown was lunch to celebrate my birthday at "Harvey Nichols" bastion of empire in Central virtually opposite "Marks & Sparks".... And people wonder why there are some many qwaillos in central !!

We were joined by the reknowned food critic Wei Ling whose syndicated column apears amongst others in the HK economic journal. Well he was at the next table with his family. I had the "rabbit" and I must say, I prefered my meal at the Cosmoplitan. I chose not to share this opinion with WL .. I didn't want to influence him.

Before lunch we went to the cenotaph to pay respects and remember. The official ceromony is today but yesterday at 11 about a dozen people just appeared; stood in silence for a minute and then melted away. Quite moving really.

We also killed some time wandering around taking some photos (these are on the photoblog) and watching the tourists enjoying the polluted air. The Air Quality Index in Central was poor (as usual).

There was a group of happy(?) mainland tourists with their guide. He was showing them the sites ... well he was showing them where the sites used to be in this case a plaque identifying the site of a building which was demolished in 1933 which they all photographed. I am not convinced that they would not have prefered to go shopping.

The HK Office of Antiquities and Monuments is well organised. It is responsible for 80 historic buildings/sites and is big on plaquing others in absentia and has also arranged for heritage walk "plaques" to be embedded in the pavements so you can visit all the other plaques. Mind you there next to no useful info on the walks on their web site (like a list of plaques and or readable maps) nor can you download monument pamphlets although there is a pamphlet request form. I have concluded that they don't actually expect anyone to do the walks or visit the monuments .

My favorite plaque in the area is the one on the Pedder Street side of the Landmark buildingh marking the site of the shore line in 1841. If you look at a current map you would be scandalized at how much of Victoria harbour has "disappeared" and this without the encroachment due to the impending road and mall replacing the central ferry terminal

We didn't go for a last ride on the star ferry from central or wait for the party in the evening. I am however looking forward to coming back in the next few months when they have built the new mall and road to replace the existing Central ferry which closed last Night. It will be such fun looking for the plaque I expect to find it under the flyover or whatever and who knows..... I might even find Shergar

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