My apologies for the two weeks’ absent. Been doing very busy and productive trips with my amazing team back home. Anyway, I’m working on Part 4 of ‘Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix’, which I hope will be online this weekend. Meanwhile, these are two letters of Barbara’s she wrote in September 1983 and in October 1983 containing, among others, the Foundation 1984 series.
From the letters, I learned at least that she was considering either buying a house or investing in a small business (letter Sept’83), that she really cared about her extended family (particularly her mum) and friends, that Kent Tong also cared for her family (sending gifts, Sept’83), and that she liked puppies (letter Oct’83). The last bit somewhat fits the (sad) fact that there’s a little dog statue on her grave in Cambridge… she was apparently a dog lover…
I also learned about some internal problems with TVB (was that one of the reasons why Michael decided to leave TVB and the whole industry after Barbara’s death?). Barbara and Kent seemed to be in a good relationship during the Foundation making; they went to Singapore together afterwards.
What can you learn about her from these two letters, my dear readers?
Barbara's letter 26 September 1983
You have received the video tape I sent you? Have you rented the tape of "Sing Kong Yip Yip Yiu Bo Leung" in which I participated? I have recorded this show myself, but god-mother borrowed it for her daughter to watch, so I will send it to you after she brings it back.
Haven't received letters from uncle for quite a while, don't know how you all are doing? I am worried about you all, hope that you all can get along well. Mom, you should take everything easy, don't be stubborn. Also, please take more rest & don't be bothered by trivial matters. Uncle & auntie, please take care of mommy. Indeed, I really hope that you all can get along well. BTW, I have got the shoes & clothing you sent to me, Ken thanks for your gifts. Also, we asked Chi-Won to bring moon cake, beef jerky & melon seeds etc for you, have you got them?
I need to work overnight on Mid-Autumn festival, so I don't have time to have my dinner. Indeed, I don't have much appetite due to fatigue, so it doesn't matter. I have told my co-workers about uncle's past record in eating moon cake! Anyway, "The Sandwiches Man" will be finished on Oct 2nd. One week after, I will work for "The Foundation" with Ken, Wong Yak Wah & Miu Kiu Wai. Also, I will go to perform show in Thailand at the end of this year, & I will have US$2000 per night. How rich I will be!
Will mommy come back to HK? If not, I will come back to visit you all after the oversea show. I have been busy, & I have not met Ah Kiu for a while. She most likely will go to UK at the end of the year, since her visa has been approved. I am not in good mood recently, always up & down. After all, I have too much to think, & I don't know whether I should spend the wage of the oversea show on housing or investing on small business. I hope that my final decision won't disappoint myself at the end. Also, I worry that mommy would be too lonely, & I hope she can go traveling around when she have time. I am facing a dilemma, since everything on hands make me clueless. Nevertheless, mommy, please take good care of yourself, & please don't think too much. I hope that u can come to HK when you have time instead of staying bored at home. I always worry & care about you, especially during mid-nights. For my position nowadays, what should I do to obtain the ideal results in all cases? After all, once you are at work, there are many things out of your own control.
Sep, 26th, 1983
登台的錢買屋或做生意？~83/09/26．亭亭玉立的翁美玲與母親及老豆合照。 Spent wage of oversea show on buying house or investing in small business?
Barbara's letter 18 October 1983
Dear Mommy, Uncle & Shela,
I have received the pictures from uncle & I have given them to Wah Jai ( Felix Wong) I heard that May May gave birth to 5 puppies, so have you taken pictures for them? Are you going to keep all of them? When I come back next time, maybe they can form a line to welcome me home? How cute will that be!
The production for "The Foundation" has begun, & it should be done by the end of November. It's most likely that I will go to perform show in Thailand on December. Anyway, Ken & I are invited to go to an opening ceremony at Singapore on 19th this month, & we will be back by 21st. Thus, we are recently busy at practicing songs besides working on the TV dramas. Since I will be on my own for the show in Thailand, I cannot make any mistakes. I think I should be given the "honor of courage" this time!
I will participate in the coming anniversary show for TVB on 19th November, don't know what I will perform this time? Nevertheless, I am very busy. I have not met Ah Ku for a month, but we still keep in touch through phones. She asked me when I will be back to UK, so she can accompany with me. I think she probably wants to work in UK, so maybe you can ask Ling Chi to keep an eye for her.
Now, I only have one wish -- it's the opportunity to take part in films, but I don't know when TVB will let me do this. Indeed, Siu Si (The film company own by TVB) has invited Felix & I to take part in the film, " Fai Wu Or Chu". However, TVB only allowed Felix to work on the film, not me! How frustrating is it! Anyway, I know I can complain anymore. After all, I am the luckiest one among all since I entered the showbiz. People said that my case is really exceptional. It is because many people have to struggle for a long period in the showbiz before they are granted the opportunities, but now I can achieve that much in a short period of time. If I still complain, many people will beat me up! Now, I only worry if I can handle my job & keep on improving. After all, showbiz is very worldly; if you have no improvement, you are out. Also, HK people are materialistic, & they only care about fame, Anyway, I will take good care of myself, don't worry.
Heard that Shela is pregnant, congrats! I hope that you can bring uncle & us happiness, since children can really bring pleasure & joy to a family. I wish you all happiness from miles away. Also, mommy, you should take good care & take more rest. Remember to go to your health [appointment] on scheduled date, & take everything easy! Don't worry too much on trivial matters! If I can take time off, I will definitely come back, don't worry about me. Please take care, take care!! Also, please say hi to Dad & everybody.
Oct 18th, 1983
泰國登台自稱要捧勇氣獎~83/10/18 無論在螢幕或台上，亞翁與亞苗都有合作的機會。 Performed show in Thailand