Our run/hike on the Yuen Tsuen Ancient Trail today started from the concrete jungle at the far left of the photo and came up the ridge you see in the left foreground. After disappearing into some back country that lies behind this particular viewpoint, the hike finished at the foot of the bridges on the far right of the image. 9km in total with about 6km of running. All in all we were out for nearly 2 1/2 hours as the views demanded a lot of our time!
If you have been reading this blog for the last year, you will have noticed many changes to the lives of the writer and his family. A home in England has been vacated and property and belongings sold. Friends and family have experienced ‘goodbyes’ and tears have been shed. A new life in Hong Kong has been embarked upon and a boat has become a home. Ultimately there has only been one ‘driver’ behind all this change and that has been for the writer to become ‘The Driver’. Today, after a year in the making, that has finally happened. Can we all have a rest now?
Look beyond the obvious fun and joy in this photo and you will see a worrisome, dark line which cuts across the otherwise beautiful skyscape. Below the line is the muck and pollution emanating from the industry and emerging modern life of Southern China. By the end of this day, the filthy air had descended upon us and outdoor exercise had become an unpleasant experience. China is not guilty alone in this regard – Worldwide, everybody wants easily available, cheap energy and all the trappings of modern life that it brings and surely no-one can deny them that desire. Just as surely though, we must look beyond fossil fuels as the means of providing this energy – the joys of outdoor, fresh air exercise will be numbered if we don’t!
In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe wrote in his novel ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket’ a fictional account describing the wrecking of the whaling ship Grampus. In his tale there are subsequently 4 survivors on a lifeboat who eventually draw lots to decide who gets eaten in order to keep the other 3 alive. The man cannibalised in this story was named Richard Parker.
In 1884, in a real life tale which eerily mirrors Poe’s earlier story and subsequently was to have far reaching effects on English Law, 4 people survived the sinking of the yacht Mignonette and take to a lifeboat. In order to survive, 3 decide to kill their other companion and eat him. The man on the menu was the young cabin boy named Richard Parker.
My favourite novel of all-time is ‘Life Of Pi’ by Yann Martel. Pi is one of 4 initial survivors from a shipwreck that take to a lifeboat. Only 2 live through the story – Pi and a Bengal Tiger that may, or may not be Pi’s alter-ego. The Tiger’s improbable name just happens to be Richard Parker. We went to see the movie version of ‘Life of Pi’ and I was worried that it would not be true to the book. My worries were unfounded, the director Ang Lee has made a wonderful job of transposing the written word to 3-D film (hence the blurred look of the photo).