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Shareing - Dec 2009

St Petersburg Sept 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope this sharing finds you well. It has been a while since we last wrote our update (May 2009). We would like to share with you what we have been up to in 2009, and as always, we also want to hear from you, what's been keeping you excited, busy, happy or sad, please drop us a few lines if you have time.

Some highlights of our year 2009:
- 2009 Travel: Reduced travel time (but not number of trips and countries visited)

- Numerous speaking / training engagements at University, Conference, Corporate training, Association and Clubs;

- Rented a tiny piece of farm land to grow vegetables;

- Eat more vegetarian meals, more meals at home and vegetarian cooking class

- Joined 2 associations (Lions Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong, Internet Professional Association - iProA) and founded 2 (Chinese Business Angel Network - Hong Kong, Independent Professional Association);

- Organized an English contest in Hong Kong (part of the national English contest);

- Deeply involved in Cambridge alumni matters as always;

- Despite the fact that most peers are married by now, still played Best man's role at some friends' wedding

- Becoming rather addicted to Facebook (and loving it! Look me up search "leglessbird")

- Made many new friends

- Advising an ISP/IDC/MSS company and a online affiliated marketing company

We are going to explore Myanmar (formerly Burma) in December and make a brief stop in Singapore.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2010!

Best regards,
Irene and Dominic

What we have been up to in 2009


Egypt, Jordan and Qatar - Dec 2008 - Jan 2009:
Already mentioned in our last update, our first proper trip to the Middle-East and loved it, despite roughness of using sleeping bags in open area during winter time for 4 of the nights.

UK, Greenland, Denmark and SwedenFeb 2009:
Also mentioned in our last update, the trip to the freezer! Great journey especially the night stayed in the Ice-hotel in Sweden.

A family trip to Sydney where we also spent a few days in the country side

Japan - June 2009:
While we are not travelling as much this year, we couldn't resist going abroad for Irene's birthday in June, we decided to go somewhere where not a lot of planning is required, we picked Nagoya as we got to know this place well enough during our language trip last year. We went to a very nice French restaurant in the Nagoya station tower called "Paul Brocuse" by the famous French chef. We also had a great time hiking on the country side from "Magome" to "Tsumago", and our still limited Japanese proved to be useful during this trip.

Macau - June 2009:
We went to Macau also in June with The French Alumni Association visiting the French Chamber of Commerce there and tried out some French restaurants, plus wine tasting at Alliance Francais, a nice weekend visit.

Russia, Latvia, Estonia and Finland - Sept - Oct 2009:
We have always wanted to visit Russia and the Baltic States. Irene has been planning the itinerary for weeks but needed to find a 2-week window. That window came near the end of Sept, the weather was starting to get cold but still bearable, though some people would argue you have to visit during the winter to get the true taste of Russia, we preferred our first visit under more humane weather condition. We actually visited 4 countries on this trip, Russia (St Petereburg, Moscow), Latvia (Riga), Estonia (Tallinn) and Finland (Helsinki). Contrary to our prior impression, it was actually not difficult to get by in Russia on your own (no need to join group tour) and it was also generally quite safe to do so. The Baltic states are all very beautiful, the people are friendly and have a high living standard. While Helsinki is also very modern and beautiful, we didn't find it very exciting. This completes our visits to all five countries of FINDS (Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden). Modern day Russia is not what I had expected from years of stereotyping by US production of films and "news" on Russia and former USSR, it was surprisingly easy to navigate our ways in the streets of Moscow, St Petersburg and their metro without knowing any Russians (though it would have been useful).

A friend has recommended an excellent vegetarian restaurants in Happy Valley called "o veg" "素苗" and we like it so much that we now go there 2-3 times a week and even order extra for take-away. There is no menu, everyone gets the same 3-course set, it is western style cooking using vegetables of many different colours, the chef even grows some of the vegetables from his own farm. Good healty food at an affordable price.

We talked about the idea of a small function called "Wine and Dine with Leglessbird" for quite some time and finally started it in June, which basically is a lunch/dinner event for catching up with good friends while trying out great restaurants, and we hope to do this on a regular basis. We have been reminded that we actually emphasis more on the "Dine" part and not the "Wine" part.

I have joined two associations

Lions Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong - serving the community especially on education related matters

Internet Professional Association (iProA) - represents the interests of the internet professionals and aims to serve the community through promoting technology, applications and education in Hong Kong and to reduce the gap in Digital-Divide.

and founded two

Chinese Business Angel Network (Hong Kong) - A network to provide early stage venture investment

Independent Professional Association - The World Of Knowledge Worker. To foster a community for independent professional to provide support to each other such as training, networking and service


Vice Chancellor's visit and Cambridge/PolyU Joint seminar (click on photos to read more)

Mentorship programs:
During July and August, I have been hosting four Cambridge Mentorship Seminars under The Friends of Cambridge University, co-organized with the student societies of Cambridge University, namely CUCS and CUHKCAS. The seminar topics were "CV writing and Interview workshop", " Doing charity work while travelling", "Management Consulting" and "Banking & Finance". The seminars were well received by the students and the recent graduates. (Read more)

Cambridge conference:
Organized by CUHKCAS and took place at HKU, the "Reflection" conference had an excellent list of speakers that include Dr David Li, Mr. Wong Yan Lung, Mrs Anson Chan, Mr Alan Leong, Dr. Louis Cheung and more. They talked about the 1st 60 years of PRC and Hong Kong's positioning.

Freshers' dinner:
I was invited to speak at the Cambridge University Freshers' dinner organized by CUHKCAS, I enjoyed talking to the freshers and the current students about the fun side of living in Cambridge and the purposes of studying at Cambridge, top of the list: To have the BEST time of your life! I also challenged the students to out-do my list of all the fun things I did during my time in Cambridge...Read more

Prince Philip Scholarship:
The Prince Philip Scholarship presentation took place at the beginning of Sept and I was invited as the guest of honour. We have one scholar this year going to Clare college to read Medicine. And I was happy to share about my time as a student in Cambridge and what I learned from that wonderful experience...Read more

CUCS Hong Kong dinner:
The annual dinner organized by CUCS took place at the Football Club. Professor Rossie Young was the guest of honour this year, and she shared her very interesting experience during her research in Cambridge in the 1960s...Read more

Continue to work on the web/telephone distance learning venture (formed partnership with Xi'an Jiaotong University this year and Beijing Renmin University) and a few location-free consulting projects.

Bank of East Asia International English Contest (Hong Kong)
I'm chairing an organizing committee of the Hong Kong chapter of The International English Contest, it is part of the China International English Contest supported by The ministry of foreign affairs of China and the British Embassy, and the Hong Kong competition is sponsored by Bank of East Asia, Lions Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong, Cambridge University Press and many other supporting units.
The contest aims to motivate students to promote Chinese culture to foreigners, hence using English as the communication language to help friends from other countries to appreciate our country, our culture and our people's way of life. The winners from the Hong Kong contest will be competing in a national final in Beijing with other students from all over China and the winners of the national final will be going to Britain on a culture exchange program including visits to Cambridge and London.

The Hon. Sir Ti-Liang Yang kindly agreed to be our head of judge panel.
Students demonstrated very high standard of English and general knowledge of Chinese Culture.

Photo highlight: Press conference:21 Sept; Round 1: 7 Nov; Semi-Finals: 21 Nov and Finals: 12 Dec 2009 (photos to come).

Dominic is advising a company in the ISP (Internet Service Provider), IDC (Internet Data Centre), MNS (Managed Network Service) and MSS (Managed Security Service) which has good infrastructure and relationship in Asia also a fast link connecting Europe and Asia.

He is also advising another startup which is in the online affiliated marketing business, connecting advertisers, online merchants, customer survey to customers and target audience through an extensive network of online publishers, such performance based model is gaining momentum in Asia, and is preferred by advertisers over just exposure (as in banner) or click through.

He also has been involved in starting a new diploma course with HKU Space.

Dominic spoke at the Cyberport Venture Captial Forum 2009
conference co-organized by Cyberport and various other organization. (Photos)

"Click on your business" Kornerstone training on IT cost saving (Photos and Read more)
Tolo Harbour business support group is organized by Chinese University to provide a platform for ventures and investors to come together...Read More


Due to the hot weather and occasional heavy rain on the weekends, we had not been doing any hiking at all...

Travel talk: Discovering Nepal. October to April is the best period to visit Nepal, we held a travel sharing session on Nepal in August to show friends about our trip in Nepal and we invited Bonnie, a friend and a keen traveller who has lived in Nepal for over 4 years to share her experience of the exciting country. She also talked about Tibet, yet another interesting destination.

A dinner event hosted by the Bauhinia Foundation
We attended a dinner event at the Bankers' club hosted by Bauhinia Foundation targeting graduates and students from overseas universities...read more
Happy Farm
We rented a tiny piece of land within a farm to grow our own vegetable (with the help of the warm owner, of course!). We are very excited about this...read more
Book recommendation
Book: Four-hour work week
I really like this book!
It is about attitude change towards the work-life balance and pursuing passions and life goals
It is about time-management, do things efficiently and effectively, not do work for work sake.
It is about freeing yourself from a lot of unneccessary constraint such as your boss, an office, even a particular location and a lot of the time-wasting/zero value generating activities.
Read more
Restaurant recommendation
o-veg 素苗
A nice vegetarian restaurant in Happy Valley
9 Shing Woo Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
+852 2893 3037
Read More
Movie recommendation
A revealing documentary about the food supply in the States (perhaps soon elsewhere too), highly concentrated food supply, genetically modified crops, hormone assisted growth in packed farm, the truth about processed food, packaged food on the shelves of Supermarket, control of seed supply.
Read more
  12/15/09 11:45:21 am, by Leglessbird   , 1967 words, Categories: 2 cents ,

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