Whenever the family reminisce - and as I get older, this seems to happen with more and more frequency - one of my most remembered magical moments happened when the family lived in Hong Kong. The family will groan to hear the story again but as it is a memory I will never forget and it is Storytelling Sunday over at From High in the Sky, I am going to share the magic with you here.
Christmas in Hong Kong was very different than the one's spent in the Yorkshire we had left behind. There was no snow for starters. At the Child Development Centre where I worked, we duly stuck cotton wool balls on the window panes and the children marveled at this pretend snow. Down in Central, there were lots of Christmas decorations glistening in the sun. The ferries were dressed with fairy lights as they made their regular journeys back and forth across the harbour. And it was warm! On our first Christmas morning there in 1984, we walked on the beach and paddled in the sea.
We spent many happy Christmas times in Hong Kong. Sometimes family came out to spend that special time with us, and at other times, we shared the day with other families who were far from home. All those memories are very dear to my heart but there is one special time, you know the kind, when the goosebumps appear and your heart feels fit to burst, and this is the story.
Often after Christmas, we would go on holiday. There were so many amazing places to visit. This particular year, however, had been spent in Hong Kong with friends. A turkey dinner was cooked on the day, a game of rounders on the beach on Boxing Day, lots of neighbours dropping in for festive cheer, the usual fun stuff that happened out there.
For New Year's Eve, we had booked to spend it on Middle Island, which was just off the shore of Deepwater Bay. There was a barbecue, dancing, games on the beach for all the children. And, remember, it was warm. To get on and off the Island, the Yacht Club had a small launch that ferried you back and forth. It was already magical. After a wonderful evening and when the children were drooping with sleepy eyes, we summoned the ferry boat and set off over the dark, glistening sea to the opposite shore. I had my back to the shore, looking towards the Island when all of a sudden, a mist rolled in enveloping it. At that very moment, a Welsh friend of ours, stood up on the boat and started playing his bagpipes. The mist surrounded us and then left as quickly as it had come and the indigo sky was revealed and a full moon appeared. Somehow in that split second, home had come to us and reminded me that no matter where you are in the world at Christmas and New Year, being with loved ones is what truly matters the most.
Now, grab yourself a drink and pop on over to Sian's blog and enjoy some truly remarkable stories.