- Category: Nigel Mckay
Some say I’m crazy, my wife just about keeps up – because I never stay more than 6-weeks in any one country, and usually much less.
I have an apartment 20-floors up in the centre of Guangzhou, Mainland China. The place they used to call Canton. Occasionally the pollution is so bad, I can just about make out the next building from the windows. And it never looks sunny from that height, but if I go outside at ground level without shades, I can’t see! The food is the best in the world though.
I have another apartment in a village near Fanling, Hong Kong. Much better there, and I have a rooftop with plastic grass for BBQs. The air is a little clearer, but nothing like it was before the handover from British rule. The countryside and hill views are refreshing, and it only takes 10-minuted mini-bus ride to the MTR station. From there I can be in Mainland China in 20-minutes, or Kowloon in 45.
In the UK, I have a flat in Norwich, the capital of Norfolk. It’s nice there. People are friendly and it’s usually sun and blue skies. The rustic garden with a willow tree, high brick wall and lawn is a novelty. Norwich is a fine city with a church for every Sunday and a pub for every day of the year. It is regarded as the most complete medieval city in Britain, complete with a 900-year-old castle, two cathedrals, a city wall, and cobbled lanes. And the quaint pubs with a huge selection of fine ales, like Adnams or Woodfords, are the best they come.
I also own a cottage by the river in Wroxham, a Broadland village on the River Bure, about 15-minutes east of Norwich. Usually it’s let out in the summer, but it’s nice to take the boat out from a nearly mooring there. Mi Mi and I often spend a night or two moored beside old pubs along the riverbank. In the 1970s they cleaned up the river and now otters and rare birds are returning.
The Norfolk Broads is Britain's largest protected wetland. Its rivers and lakes are home to many unusual habitats -mainly because the area in the far-east of England has changed little in the past thousand-years. Thatched cottages, churches with round turrets and windmills dot the flat marshland, interweaved by narrow rivers hidden by reeds. So different to China!