Are you tired of reading about all those clever, temporary expatriates, who buy a run-down dwelling in Provence or Tuscany; then spend happy years renovating it with the cooperation of laughing locals and rustic characters; eventually producing a home fit for Architectural Digest?
Are you weary of reading how these intimidating people concoct fabulous meals based on local produce; all worthy of inclusion in Gourmet Traveller?
Are you sick of chick lit with its stories of thirties singletons and their angst; who, in spite of many self-imposed hurdles get their man and fade into some glorious sunset?
Let's face it: that's just the beginning, the easy part.
It's time for some chook* lit about women who've 'got their man' and now have to keep him in spite of the pressures of acquiring property, furniture, businesses, cars, boats, children, school bills, in-laws, dogs, cats, birds, fish, tortoises, white mice, guinea-pigs, careers, peer group jealousies, corporate transfers, social disasters, credit squeezes, squeezable secretaries, failing health, mounting debt and culinary inadequacy.
Read Wendy McTavish's version. You'll feel better afterwards.
Wendy went to Hong Kong in 1966 just in time for China's Cultural Revolution. She is still there today, years after the 1997 Handover.
This book will amuse you. It may annoy you. But it will at least give the layman some idea of what it was like to live in Hong Kong during the last forty years.
* chook: Australian parlance for old chicken
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About the Author
Born in the middle of World War II Wendy is not even a baby boomer and the meaning of Post Modernism continues to elude her.
She was a child of the complacent fifties: "Leave it to Beaver" was on T.V. and the perfect home contained a working Dad and stay-at-home Mum, worried about the whiteness of her wash, lamingtons, pikelets and passionfruit sponge cakes, and starching those many petticoats that propped up the very full skirts.
The popularity of Brigitte Bardot and Gina Lollobrigida meant that a large bust was de rigeur so, like many others not well endowed, Wendy had to resort to very pointed rubber models which sadly dented upon close acquaintance.
Her happy and secure childhood in a small town in North Queensland, Australia, only seemed to encourage the belief that "the grass is greener on the other side" so, after an early marriage at age twenty-two years, she and husband Peter set sail on the good ship "Marconi" for Hong Kong, on one-way tickets. This was not done in those days. Expatriates were sent on contracts from their home countries and expected to remain unmarried for the first "tour" at least. Nevertheless, Wendy's Arts Degree from Queensland University and teaching experience meant she gained employment as did Peter, in the insurance industry.
From then on it was a life of fun and games, learning experiences, several setbacks and embarrassments and her transformation from naïve girl to a reasonably confident individual who became an enthusiastic traveler; and the start of a love affair with Hong Kong that has never faded.
From the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960's to the handover of the former colony to China in 1997 and beyond, Wendy continues to enjoy and observe the changing mores of the Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) and Asia in general.
The result: three much loved children, two grandsons, a forty-six year marriage, some disappointments and negative financial experiences, a short teaching career, a twenty-three year period as proprietor of her own real estate firm, a book and, in retirement, a burgeoning career as a writer of short stories and travel articles.
Wendy turned seventy in 2012 with the ambition of launching an opinionated blog that hopefully will prove amusing and informative: www.wendymctavish.com, but unfortunately, I've no idea how to log in...