Sabbatical Ended

The opening of the embattled and postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics also marked the end of my self-conducted (half) Sabbatical. Thought about continuing the rather fruitful Sabbatical till the end of year, but it felt like the right time now to finally get myself out of this marathon pandemic rut and get serious with my life. I shall reserve the right to continue the second half of the Sabbatical for when I visit Canada later (hopefully before year end).

Ordered another budget 3D printer and four spools of filaments to accelerate the papertube furniture project I started experimenting with during the Sabbatical. I still see great potentials with the idea, but not quite sure how to turn it into a sustainable venture yet. Will see how opportunities unfold in the future, meanwhile more R&D work still needs to done before I’m comfortable offering the prototypes as real commercial products.

I’m probably thinking too far ahead at his point, my plan for next week is to cleanup the studio and prepare it for more serious design work in the near future!

Sketch… Sunday Service

A Packed Week

Joined my fellowship b/s for lunch on Tue. after my calligraphy class. Went to see a movie on Wed. with some fellowship brothers. It’s good that they still didn’t seem to see me as an outsider even though I stopped joining my Friday night fellowship since the pandemic started more than a year ago.

The pandemic had got me thinking more about time. Instead of spending my Friday evenings repeatedly discussing and sharing my faith with b/s who share the same faith, I want to use the time to put my faith into practice and help others in need. Signed up to do some volunteering work during my regular fellowship time, saved 30 unsold bread from a bakery to provide meals for the homeless. Felt good to be able to offer my kindness to those who may need it. Will see if I can turn this new volunteering experience into a more regular habit.

Signed up for a whole day of sharing sessions on Sat. to learn more about the legendary King of Kowloon. My friends and I find it very interesting. Stayed to see the related Ink City exhibition next door, serendipitously bumped into another old friend who came looking for us after the sharing sessions.

Managed to keep up with my running practices on Mon. and Thu. evening despite the hot and busy week. The tiredness brought by the packed week finally hit me early Sat. night and I was put to deep sleep for a record 10.5 hours!

Sketch… Sunday Service

Keep Running…

Not much had happened this past week (relatively speaking). Hundreds of pro-democracy district councilors call quit before the anticipated disqualification by the government. Apparently, it’s now a crime to serve the community as long as you are not pro-China. The city’s atmosphere continues to feel depressing and suffocating and I continue to try ignoring it all and indulge myself with digital fabrication work…

Woke up at around 0230 on Thursday to catch the Euro Cup semi-finals (England vs Denmark). Last time I watched a soccer game was probably already back in the last FIFA World Cup (2018)! It felt quite refreshing to watch the excited and cheering expressions of mask-free crowds during these depressing times albeit the worrying spread of the virus.

Met and caught up with an old neighbor and friend for dinner on Thursday. Must have been at least a year since we last met? We chat about whether we’ll leave the city for good, this seems like a common topic when friends meet nowadays.

It wasn’t easy, but I managed to push myself to keep up with my running routine. Ran 2 nights, slowly but steadily improving my stamina. Aside from the much needed endorphin, it felt good to go offline for the hour or so and worry nothing other than just run. In these depressing and suffocating times, seems like the best thing to do is just to keep running.

Sketch… Sunday Service

Canada Day

There are a few commonalities between my 2 homes – Hong Kong and Canada. Their flags are colored in red and white and include a symbolic flora, and they both share a public holiday on July 1st. In HK, the handover of a colonial democratic government to a brutal dictator regime on July 1st 1997 was an anxious sad day for many Hongkongers, especially so when witnessing the recent happenings since the national security law was imposed a year ago. In contrast, July 1st had been a day of celebration for Canada since the country was founded on that day over 150 years ago.

I chose to celebrate Canada Day quietly in HK with the indulgence of brush-and-ink. I first finished my weekly calligraphy homework before decorating my new DIY papertube lamp with some encouraging words to remind myself not to slack off. Went for an evening run after dinner, the dopamine was badly needed to help me cope with the suffocating atmosphere in HK.

Found out today that Canada will be lifting its quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers entering the country, a good sign that I may get to go back to run a marathon in October. It’s good to have something to look forward to in this gloomy suffocating city.

Sketch… Sunday Service

A Death Blow To Appledaily

The sad week noted on my earlier post turned sadder still. The only pro-democracy newspaper media company, Appledaily, folded and printed their last newspaper on Thursday after being raided by police and had their financial accounts frozen the week before. They printed a record 1 million copies and it was already sold out when I went downstairs to buy bread at 0930. Luckily, my sister searched around town and found a copy for me.

The brutal death blow to Appledaily signaled an end to any hope of democracy and press freedom in the city. I remember asking my sister a few years back when we should consider moving back to Canada, she answered firmly saying the death of Appledaily will be a good indicator. I didn’t quite understand her logic back then, but I awfully understand the sad truth now that it happened in such a short time. To make the matter worse, those in charge of the killing of Appledaily were promoted just a couple of days after the last newspaper was published. With the now second-in-command of HK having a police background, the city has officially become a police state, favouring security over basic human rights of freedom and justice.

Have been feeling really low in the last few days like many others in the city. I made an effort to finally pick up my running practice again. Ran on two nights, the exercise and its associated dopamine released seemed to ease my mood a little. Needing to pick myself up from the rut, I searched and found that there’s still a possibility that a marathon can take place in Toronto in Oct. if the pandemic continues to improve, that would be a very good time to visit my other home and catch up with my old family and friends there. This sure is something to look forward to in midst of our current darkening city.

Sketch… Sunday Service