The Word Diver

74. Shameless Bebop Trumpet Blowing Cat

In Hong Kong, Literature on July 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

If you’ve enjoyed reading The Diplomat’s Fiancé, you might want to take a look at some of my recently published fiction (which is not to say that everything you read here is fact).

The South China Morning Post gave my short story Dion, and the collection it features in, an extremely generous review in early June.

You can buy a copy of Of Gods and Mobsters here, thereby owning Dion for eternity.

Also in June, my short story Happy and Glorious appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Review. If you don’t enjoy sport please don’t be put off by the footballing theme, this bittery vignette is a thinly-disguised reflection on changing times in post-colonial Hong Kong, albeit from a single, skewed perspective – that of Reg Garter, 39ish, immovable object.

This one is available online so feel free to share it with your friends far and wide. I’m honoured to be in a collection that presents an Asian perspective, despite being relatively new to this part of the world.

One more thing: as I’m (finally) establishing myself as a full-time writer and editor, I am changing my blogging nom de plum (plummy name) from The Diplomat’s Fiancé to The Word Diver, to better represent my often fruitless attempts to source new pearls of English on a daily basis.

The Word Diver will continue to share items of interest I come across in Hong Kong, with the usual bias towards literature and the arts, steamy photos, and tall tales of jungle runs and football in the heat. The new website can be found here:

Thank you for sharing this part of the journey with me. Enjoy!


73. Resist the Inevitable!

In Hong Kong on June 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

The song Biological Robots is just one of the wonders amongst my cousin’s musical soundscapes. Its refrain is compelling and its point unmissable. For me, the fact that we appear to be nothing more than swamp things in suits means we should do everything in our power to undermine the millions of years of behavioural coding we carry with us. Radical I know, but how else can we mark the progress of the species? By growing an extra foot here, an inch there? No, only by resisting the inevitable mentally, by living counter-intuitively – perhaps even at the risk of complete malfunction – can we test the extra grey cells we’ve been given (aka the soul?) and try to work out what the heck they’re for. Just a thought – one of those pesky, fluttery things we’re all uniquely burdened with.

Nabokov trying to capture your imagination

On my regular run, the plant life is expanding; big hungry palms reach out to the relentless elements. The butterflies are out in force. They don’t seem unduly worried by such things. Unlike Nabokov, I don’t think I could pin one down any more than I can my own, unravelling thoughts on such matters. To err is to be human; to fly is just too damn easy for some of our more carefree planetary cohabitants (bar that famous duck of course).

72. The physical impossibility of ducks in the mind of someone still floating

In Hong Kong on May 18, 2013 at 12:06 am


Giant rubber duckie, captured in the wild and proudly exhibited near our 32nd best shopping mall, we longed to get to know you…

Duck draw

…but, alas, you were unknowable.

Eye of the duck