Saturday, 28 October 2017

Update on Barbara Yung's gravestone

Barbara's grave in June 2017

Hi all... My apologies for not updating this blog for more than a month. About a month ago, Rob Radboud informed me that our friends in Hong Kong couldn't find the place for Barbara's gravestone. Thus, possibly the gravestone will be moved to Mainland China. I somehow felt sad about it, because Barbara's hometown was in HK, and I'd love to see the gravestone installed in HK. However, of course I know that Lam Chak et al had tried their best, much more than what I could do from behind my computer in Australia...

Then I think two weeks ago Rob informed me again that now Andrew Chan will bury Barbara's gravestone in the same square of grave as her own ashes. It seems that there is a belief that it would be much better for Barbara's spirit if the gravestone does not leave her grave. It might be a Chinese culture, which I somehow understand and respect.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Vast Desert 大沙漠 Part 2


CLH et al went inside the house and found only one stone statue of Kuan Yin. They went out again when Little Phoa said that Stone Camel was so scared. CLH deduced that the blind Stone Camel realised who killed thos burglars. When Chor tai-gor returned to the crime scene, he realised that the Kuan Yin stone statue was gone. In its place was a pan full of braised beef that was so inviting to the hungry men. Always wary, CLH, Wu and Ki Ping-yan did not eat the beef dish. A dog barked inside and ate the dish without any sign of food poisoning. Still, our friends knew that whoever killed the burglars had not only left the food, he/she had annoyed these wanderers by releasing a dog who immediately ate the food. Disgusted, Wu threw away the beef dish outside. After a while, they heard a scream outside and realised that Little Phoa died eating the poisonous braised beef that Wu threw out of the window.

CLH now realised his enemy was the Stone Kuan Yin, a very skilful swordswoman who was also very good at the art of disguise. She killed the burglars and disguised herself as a stone statue. In the previous story, the Stone Kuan Yin also ordered Chiu Ling-siok to ruin her own face so that the Stone Kuan Yin remained the prettiest woman on earth (or at least in the Central Plains).

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Vast Desert 大沙漠 Part 1

The Gobi Desert (source)

As I’m watching nervously for Hurrican Irma to batter Florida USA (Hannah, stay safe!!!), I’m reading the second Chor Lau-heung novel from Ku Lung titled “The Vast Desert” 大沙漠. It’s over 200 pages of PDF as well, so I will try to finish reading it in 4-5 weeks. I read this novel in the Indonesian version; I suspect the translator is the same with the one who translated “Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea” 血海飄香. The writing style belongs to a slightly older period, perhaps the 80s, which in itself is nice to read, albeit a bit confusing at times. The chapter in PDF started with “Chapter 13”, which is weird. It does not follow the chapters in the last novel, which ended in Chapter 17. “The Vast Desert” has ended in “Chapter 28”, so it has 15 chapters. I’ll just assume Chapter 13 is Chapter 1 then.

Part 1 (Chapters 1-3)

After his adventure in the last novel, Chor Lau-heung returned to the Fragrant Boat in the hope that he’d get a delicious lunch from the girls. However, So Yung-yung, Li Hung-chao and Sung Tim-yi were nowhere to be seen. Upon finding a black pearl on top of a pile of yellow sand, Chor tai-gor’s blood boiled. He deduced that Black Pearl, the son of the Desert King we saw in the “Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea” 血海飄香. Black Pearl left a note: “You took my horse, I take your women.” Capitally disturbed, CLH rode his horse (well, Black Pearl’s) towards the Western Desert (I assume the Gobi Desert).

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Update on Barbara Yung's tombstone

Sina's news on initiative for Barbara's tombstone

Apologies for the slow update on Barbara's tombstone. Last night, Rob informed me that the Hong Kong fan-club has persuaded the local newspaper to upload news about relocating Barbara's tombstone. The news was published yesterday (5 September 2017). Some of the HK media that uploaded this news are HKON and Oriental Daily (this is the e-paper of Oriental Daily).

In the Mainland, Sina has also picked the news for their own website, as seen here. The title of the article implies that the tombstone is definitely going to be returned to Hong Kong.


We know this is not a certain case yet - I wish it is... so let's keep praying and trying.

At the moment, we're still hoping that Lam Chak et al in Hong Kong will be able to secure a place for Barbara's tombstone in HK. If by October (which is next month) we have not found a place, we need to ask Andrew Chan if it's okay for him to store the stone in Cambridge first until we find a place in HK. Funds can be raised for that storage as well; some Mainland fans have contacted me, stating that they are willing to donate some funds for the storage. If anyone would like to contact Rob directly, his email is rmmmm1959 at hotmail dot com.

The rest of the Sina article is under the break. It says that Michael Miu and Felix Wong have been contacted, but so far there has been no traction. I hope we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. I have also embedded a YouTube video I found just now about this news. Xinhua also put this news online, see here (Thanks to Rob Radboud for the link).

Update 13 September 2017: Friday last week (8 Sept), Lian He Ban Bao (a Singaporean newspaper) published the news about Barbara's tombstone. Last Saturday, Rob Radboud sent me the scans. The scans are below the break, courtesy of Ann (Singapore).

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea part 4

This post summarises Chapters 11-16 of the "Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea" (血海飄香) of the Chor Lau-heung series. I have wrapped up the story and provided my short commentaries as well. I like the story, and I hope you like it as well!

The horse reminds me of the desert horse Chor tai-gor used in this story. Source: Xue Daixun

Chapter 11 (CLH tracked Ling-siok)

Chapter 10 ended with Chor Lau-heung evading Kaypang Pek-giok-mo’s poisonous claws by feeding his opponent the painting he carried inside his robe. Yet, Pek knew that the roll of paper was important to CLH, thus he didn’t want to give it so easily.  Despite CLH’s verbal tactics, Pek got nosy and opened the roll to see what was in it. He frowned.

“Why do you keep a painting of the late Leader Jin-lo’s widow?”

CLH couldn’t believe his luck. The beautiful Chiu Ling-siok apparently married the late Kaypang leader!

Yet, she apparently had changed her name into Yap Siok-tin, for Pek didn’t recognize who Chiu Ling-siok was. Pek also said that Mrs Jin had always been an amazing and pious woman, such that the sinful Pek admired her. CLH thus deduced that Chiu Ling-siok had turned a new leaf after marrying the former Kaypang Leader.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea part 3

This post summarises Gu Long's "Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea" Chapters 8-10 (total 16 chapters). I have finished summarising Chapter 10, and I am approaching the end of the story. Should be able to wrap the summary this weekend. 

So far, the mystery here is about a letter... (Source)

Chapter 8 (CLH finally found a clue)

Chor Lau-heung dove into Tay-bing Lake, pursued by the hypnotised Fell Cut. Here we learn again that Chor tai-gor was an excellent swimmer and diver (duh, his house was a boat!), and he was very fast and agile in the water. CLH almost effortlessly immobilised Fell Cut underwater and brought him back to the lake shore. CLH then dove back to the lake and pursued the harpist, who turned out to be a white-robed monk playing the zither on a small boat. The monk didn’t seem to realise that his zither had a lethal effect to Fell Cut. The monk was none other than Biau-ceng Bu-hoa, the monk CLH saw in Chapter 3 (Bu-hoa = flowerless). The monk recognized CLH despite the latter’s disguise. Giving up, CLH unmasked himself.

Chor tai-gor then explained to Bu-hoa how three people had recognized him today. The first one was the monk himself, the second one was Fell Cut, and the third one the killer. Bu-hoa threw away his zither into the lake upon hearing Fell Cut’s name for the latter was a murderer, hence Bu-hoa’s zither has been tainted (for Fell Cut had heard its melody). Bu-hoa later discussed the killer’s Jinsut; that it originated in Arab and was brought to Japan via the Mainland.  CLH returned to the lakeshore, installed Yat Dim-hung safely on the branch of a large tree, and returned to Kilam. He reintroduced himself properly as CLH to Leng Chiu-hun (who just woke up with a prostitute sleeping in his bed – gosh…). Leng reported that he heard of a stranger monk in town (named Thian-ing-cu) who wore a long thin blade as a weapon.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea part 2

Since Chor Lau-heung is apparently a controlled drinker, I now feel that
this gorgeous art by Xuedaixun is appropriate here

Continuing on last week's summary of "Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea" (Chapters 1-3), here I post the summary of Ch 4-7. This Chor Lau-heung story from Ku Lung was written in 16 chapters, so I should be able to cover all chapters in four posts. From Chapter 7, each chapter seems to be quite long, hence it does take me a while to read and summarise each chapter.

Chapter 4 (CLH taking a fake ID)

The Sin-cui-kiong swordswoman confirmed that the dead female was not part of her school. Also, a young woman in her school committed suicide after getting pregnant, just after the famous poison disappeared from her school. The woman (who finally revealed that her name was Kiong Lam-yan) gave Chor Lau-heung one month to find the thief and the murderer.

Not one to shy away from misteries, CLH accepted the challenge. However, he still had time to day-dream about Miss Kiong’s pretty face, such that Li Hung-chao commented that he “won’t find her beautiful anymore when she shoves her sword on your throat next month!”

CLH gleefully replied that Miss Kiong used no sword as a weapon, to which Hung-chao riposted as she battered her eyelids, “Ah, so she used a kitchen knife, eh?”

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea

Sorry for the two weeks' hiatus. Was still immersing myself in the blissful realisation that Candy and Terry were finally reunited, ahahahaha! But I'm back now!

This tai-hap has the Chor Lau-heung vibe to me (Source)

Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea - a Chor Lau Heung original story by Ku Lung

I’m currently reading an original story of Chor Lau Heung by Ku Lung (Gu Long) in Indonesian. It seems the original title is Xue Hai Piao Xiang (血海飄香, Hyut3 Hoi2 Piu1 Heung1), but the Indonesian PDF was only titled as “The Romantic Thief” (“Maling Romantis”). The literal translation of the characters should be “blood, sea, float/flutter, fragrant”, which may be loosely translated to “Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea”. The PDF is 212 pages, and I’m only on Chapter 3. But it’s actually quite interesting, such that I’m determined to finish it.

It will take some time to finish it, though. One of the reasons is because the names in the story is written in Hakka (Hokkien), hence I have to get used to reading through the names. I can recognize Chor tai-gor’s name immediately though (“Coh Liu-hiang”), as well as So Yung-yung (So Yong-yong), Li Hung-chao (Li Ang-siu) and Sung Tim-yi (Song Thiam-ji). For the benefit of the readers, I’ll try to summarise this story per chapter. I won’t bother with standardizing the names; I will just write the Hokkien names in Hokkien, except for Chor Lau-heung’s and his adopted sisters; I’ll write them in Cantonese. If Wu Tit-fa appears, I will definitely write his name in Cantonese as well.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

LOCH ep 39-52 contents and highlights

GJ's last meal with his Freaky (but lovely) teachers, Ep 43

My apologies for my absence last week; I was just busy with some private stuff… I also didn’t make anything special this week. One of the main reasons was because I have been immersing myself with another genre (J-manga), specifically on my recent awareness that a Candy Candy novel that rewrote Candy White Ardlay’s love story exists since 2010 (Candy Candy the Final Story). For those also growing up with Candy, you can read my reverie here. For those who don’t know what or who Candy is, and have no intention to read, perhaps I can direct you to the last few episodes of LOCH 2017? I haven’t finished uploading the episode highlights, despite the fact that it ended last April. My apologies, but at least now I have kicked myself to post this… next weekend I should be able to return to the old 1980s MB series once more.

Ep 39
Content: GJHR found the Book of Wumu; MNC jumped off the cliff to prevent GJHR from giving the Book to WYHL; YK mourning MNC; GJHR found Yinggu’s hut and got the instructions to meet the Southern Emperor

Highlight: MNC jumped off the cliff.
Downfall: Yinggu’s wig…OMG please rescue me from that wig…

Monday, 17 July 2017

Tinker Belle

The girl walked nervously towards the bush, her red bells tinkling merrily as she walked, betraying her trepidation. Upon arriving at said bush, she looked behind to see that no one was following her before entering the bush, carefully such that the branches did not unravel a single thread of her sky blue dress. The dress, as blue as the sky above the gentle river behind her, was, after all, her favourite.

The person she was waiting for was sitting in the bush, waiting for her, fidgeting. She tsk-ed.

“You know, Chor tai-gor is the thief here, not me! I don’t like this hide and seek!”

“Well…You’re supposed to be his adopted sister, surely you share the trait in hide and seek…”

The girl glared. Although she had been missing him earlier, seeing him sitting like a coward annoyed her. She snapped. “Shut up! Now tell me that you’re ready for this.” When the person she talked to mumbled, her blood boiled. She stomped her left foot and, as she said, “I knew it! You’ll never be ready!” she turned back to leave.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Jianghu meetings vs modern meetings

I'm still slow in updating because of my recent European trip... so pardon this short trivia. I have a fan-fiction in mind, short as it is, which I hope to post in the next weekend or earlier. Meanwhile, have a nice weekend, and please help us with the relocation of Barbara's tombstone! (Chinese translation is here).

Just in case the writing is too small:

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Chinese translation for our appeal about Barbara's tombstone

Thanks to Anna Zhou for translating this message for me. Anna used simplified characters, hence for our Taiwanese and HK readers, I also include the traditional characters here. My apologies for any mistakes in the translation. Also sorry for not uploading anything last weekend, I was knackered after the overseas trip...

朋友們,我和Rob Radboud需要你們的幫助。正如我前一篇文章中提到,Barbara(翁美玲)劍橋的家人將會更換掉之前的白色墓碑,添加她母親的名字上去。我和Rob一致認為之前白色的墓碑值得保留,而不是被丟棄......對我們而言,最好的去處就是Barbara在香港紀念堂。




Sunday, 2 July 2017

Barbara Yung's life in Cambridge

The CCAT art building where Barbara used to take her art classes

So the previous post was about my visit to Barbara's grave last week, accompanied by none other than Rob Radboud. This post is about the "Barbara Tour" I had in Cambridge with my knowledgeable guide, Rob. Click this to read Rob's report on this trip and click this to read our appeal to relocate Barbara's old tombstone to Hong Kong. 

I spent the first afternoon in Cambridge, a fine Thursday afternoon, visiting the CCAT (Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology – now the Anglia Ruskin University), about 10 min walk from the city center. CCAT was Barbara's and Rob's pre-university school back in the late 1970s. Rob showed me the place where he first talked to Barbara; a CCAT canteen that has now become a computer lab. He'd notice her already, the quiet Chinese student, always sitting by herself with a black note book, writing. But it was one day in that CCAT canteen that he first talked to her. He approached her and asked what she was writing. She looked up and, with a very bright smile, showed him what she'd been writing, in Chinese. 

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Relocating Barbara's old tombstone

Barbara's old tombstone will be replaced with a new one in two months' time

Guys, Rob Radboud and I need your help. As you may have read from the previous post, Barbara's family in Cambridge will replace her old white tombstone with a new one, where her mother's name will be scribed on as well. Rob and I think that the tombstone should be preserved instead of being thrown away... and the best place for us is Hong Kong, where Barbara's memorial tablet is located.

However, we have not found a person who can help us from the Hong Kong end. It will be a tedious task, involving surely permits and money, because transporting the tablet won't come as cheap. But as long as there is a will, surely there is a way.

Thus, please email me if you'd like to help with this endeavour. We definitely need someone who lives in HK, or at least frequently visit HK. The plan has to move forward in two months, say by mid August, otherwise the old stone will not have a place to go (i.e. will be abandoned). Considering the historical value of the stone, I highly recommend we try to raise fund and work on the bueraucracy to move the stone to HK somehow. 

Visiting Barbara's grave with Rob Radboud

Barbara's grave on Friday, 23 June 2017, cleaned and spruced

Last year in July 2016, when I first visited Barbara's grave, I wondered if I would come back there soon, if not at all. This year, I've been very lucky though, for I could come back there again. Double luck, because my visit to Cambridge coincided with the visit of none other than Rob Radboud, Barbara's former Dutch boyfriend (Thank you, Universe!).

Hannah introduced Rob and me through Facebook. Hannah was originally going to go to the UK as well. It would have been a wonderful thing to meet her for the first time in the UK, in Cambridge of all places. But, it was not meant to be, for Hannah had a personal thing to do with her family in the US. So it was that one cool Thursday summer (22 June) that my bus arrived in Cambridge and I met Rob for the first time. After some pleasantries, he directly took me to the CCAT (Cambridge College Art and Technology), now Anglia Ruskin University, and then to his old apartment where he spent a wonderful year with Barbara. The next day, we met again at Barbara's grave. This post is about the visit to Barbara's grave. I will write another post about other Barbara-related places I visited with Rob in Cambridge. (edit: click here to read that post)