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Not Amused ?

Not Amused ?

In August Bangkok’s Big Chilli magazine opened with the short article – ‘Shocking Fate of Queen Victoria’s Statue’. They reported that the statue formerly in the British Embassy grounds had been relegated to the banks of a dirty klong (canal) along Soi Somkid in Central Bangkok:  ‘a forlorn and thoroughly undignified sight for such a historically important figure.’ In 1947 the British Mission in...

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The Golden Age of Luggage

The Golden Age of Luggage

Millets and Army & Navy Stores were the main suppliers of camping equipment in 70s Britain. Rucksacks were either army surplus, canvas with metal A frame or the popular Cobmaster brand in primary colours and distinctive external frame. Both had limited storage capacity designed for bedrolls and sleeping bags to be tied to the frame or under the flap. Water bottles, shoes and even pots and...

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Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up

 Thanks to Simon Ostheimer for posting one of my stories on his blog - Tales of the Orient under the heading 'Bottoms Up'. Simon is a travel writer and blogger who grew up in Hong Kong and is now based in Cambodia. James Bond 007 was arrested outside the Bottoms Up club by British agents posing as Royal Hong Kong Police officers in 'The Man with the Golden Gun'. The Bottoms Up club was a Hong...

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Print the Legend

Print the Legend

" With all my heart I still love the man I killed...."    Bette Davis in 'The Letter', Warner Bros. Pictures 1940 (Source: Getty Photos) In 2003 Hong Kong's ‘Milkshake Murder’ was a brief distraction from the SARS outbreak that dominated the news. Sixteen years later COVID-19, a more deadly respiratory illness, escalated to the level of a global pandemic. For Malaysians lockdowns, curfews,...

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The Shield

The Shield

Early 1900's postcard - British bobby on the Shanghai bund A Hong Kong Police detective badge sold last month on eBay for £3,913.75. The King’s crown, gilt metal, blue enamel badge bears the Chinese characters for investigator and GR Royal cypher dating it to between 1910 and 1952. There are no lugs at the back so it was probably carried as a shield in a wallet instead of worn on a cap. The only...

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Let’s Go Brandon

Let’s Go Brandon

From the 1920s until the 1950s China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city Shanghai (‘The Paradise of Adventurers’, ‘The Paris of the East’, ‘The Whore of Asia’) was the exotic backdrop for pulp fiction, novels, magazine articles and studio bound Hollywood movies. Arguably the best films were ‘Shanghai Express’ (1932) and ‘The Shanghai Gesture’ (1941) both directed by Josef von Sternberg. In May...

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The Road to Bang Saray

The Road to Bang Saray

In Bangkok I always pick up a copy of the BigChilli Magazine at the British Club on Silom Road. Published by Colin Hastings former editor of Thailand Tatler the magazine is aimed at ‘regular’ expats rather than the ‘hiso’ crowd. Alongside profiles of Hotel GM’s, incoming and outgoing ambassadors, ads for international schools and luxury yachts are interviews with some  interesting and eccentric...

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Ambush on Kedah Peak

Ambush on Kedah Peak

'I realise that the Police have been and are the spearhead of our attack as well as the main source of our defence against the bandits in Malaya.’ General Sir R.M.M. Lockhart, K.C.B., C.I.E., M.C., Director of Operations Federation of Malaya 1951-52 THE FEDERATION OF MALAYA POLICE Warrior Square next to Kuala Lumpur’s Lake Gardens is a monument to Malaysian police officers killed in the line of...

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About The Blog

About Blog In March 2020, after 28 years in Hong Kong, I moved to Penang as a base to travel in the region. The Covid 19 pandemic ended that plan and I spent much of the time re-reading books I had collected over the years. The only new book I bought was ...

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