Catch me reading an excerpt from my short story Shitstorm in the Hong Kong Writers Circle‘s 2021 anthology After The Storm at a Hong Kong International Literary Festival event at the Hong Kong Fringe Club Nov 12! Admission is free, but you do have to book as space is limited. The anthology will be published the same day or shortly after (definitely in time for Christmas!) and available to buy from booksellers, including Bookazine and Amazon. Bring on the festive fun! (Halloween feels more of a trick than a treat now you have to wear two masks!!)
I received an unexpected early Christmas present this week! The South China Morning Post will be publishing THREE of my humorous short stories in the Long Reads section of a festive edition of Post Magazine Dec 5th! 🙌
I originally posted that the stories were inspired by Sharp Pains before remembering that it was actually the other way round! Sharp Pains is back on RTHK Radio 3 next Tuesday (Oct 25) with brand new episode, Cats (a yowler!) …
Transference keeps on keeping on surpassing mental milestones: the indie feature film I helped co-produce (through Mental Ideas) is fast approaching 3.7M views on YouTube! Thanks to everyone who has watched and supported it! Had we charged a cent a view, we’d have actually broken even! But of course the film’s purpose was to raise awareness of important mental health issues, not to make money (as I continue to console Raff…🤣 🤣 🤣)
Can’t WAIT to see Raff‘s latest ingenious film Little Boxes, shot entirely on Zoom in lockdown! It’s racking up an impressive array of awards nominations, despite still being in post-production! Congrats Raff, producers Lee Boardman (my old flatmate in London billions of light years ago!), his gorgeous wife Jennifer James and the talented group of actors they train and mentor at their Manchester-based acting school/ company Actor Tribe who star in the film!
I’m hoping to catch up with Raff and Lee for a chat (on Zoom – ironically…) about the film on S2 of Mental Ideas on RTHK Radio 3! You can watch Lee playing Arron Banks in Brexit: An Uncivil War on HBO in Hong Kong now!
Staycationers take note: you don’t need to travel to plan a trip. Why not torture your ears with my psychedelic poem instead? War of Voices has just landed on the Voice Your Passion poetry channel! Thanks to wordsmith extraordinaire Dr. Ahmed Elbeshlawy for the kind introduction and for inviting me to read! His latest poetry book, Unappeasable Ghosts, is a precious gem and I can’t WAIT to interview him on S2 of Mental Ideas soon! The new series explores the mercurial relationship between mental health and imagination.
You can listen to me reading War of Voices for VYP below and buy the poetry anthology in which the poem was first published here! All the other poets on the channel are phenomenal so please don’t forget to subscribe!!! And if poetry’s not your vibe, Sharp Pains will be debuting on VYP from Nov 18 in weekly episodes! That should sufficiently lower the tone! 🤣
I went Trick or Treating last Saturday delivering delicious home baked muffins to the elderly in a square in Kwun Tong and at their homes close by! The muffins were baked by Home Kong Kitchen‘s resident patissier, Alana Ho, and our most prolific home baker Chriz Abert! Thanks to my friends at Amigos HK who arranged this sweet treat! The trick part was that elderlies who’d been vaccinated received an extremely cheeky complimentary poodle! 😂
Episode 13 of my highbrow humor column Sharp Pains broadcasted on RTHK Radio 3‘s 123 Show Sept 28 @2.30pm HKT! Guest hosted by the relentlessly chipper Todd Harding, standing in for Noz, this one’s a windy one and called Pajama Farty…
Excited to have been invited to perform an episode of my RTHK humor column Sharp Pains on Australian radio network CBAA‘s Breakfast Show. I’ll also be chatting to the show’s presenters about fighting mental health challenges with humor. Big thanks to CBAA‘s Abe Killian for inviting me! We’ve not fixed a date yet so keep checking this space for details of how you can tune in live or download it as a podcast!
Sharp Pains has been running on RTHK Radio 3‘s 123 Show for A YEAR!!! It’s also been published as a humor column in the South China Morning Post and inspired a collection of short stories for two anthologies, After The Storm and Tales From A Barren Rock. The first is set to be published by the Hong Kong Writers Circle and launched at the 2021 Hong Kong International Literary Festival Nov 12, while the second will be published by Blacksmith Books in 2022.
War of Voices will be on the Voice Your Passion poetry channel on YouTube Oct 18! Thanks to Dr. Ahmed Elbeshlawy for inviting me to read and for sending me his latest poetry book, Unappeasable Ghosts. Looking forward to interviewing Ahmed on S2 of Mental Ideas soon, which is shaping up to be a cracker with a stellar line-up of guests! This time the focus is on the mercurial, symbiotic relationship between mental health and imagination.
Home Kong Kitchen has been creating a difference for Hong Kong’s homeless collecting items you would find in a wash bag for a special Mid-Autumn delivery to ImpactHK! The project was inspired by a chat with Impact founder Jeff Rotmeyer who lamented that although HK provides excellent public showers, they don’t provide basic amenities like soap and shampoo. Thanks to HKK’s incredibly generous community, we collected enough amenities to fill over 100 bags!
The wash bags were designed and sewn using recycled cotton by a team of 7-16 year olds spearheaded by my aspiring costume designer 15yo niece, Mia Shroff! 🙏 Check out some of their incredible designs below! Thanks to fashion designer Evgeniya Menassa for providing guidance and allowing kids who don’t have access to sewing machines at home to create the bags using her facilities. Guess who we’ll be inviting to create this year’s Christmas Gift Socks? (Yes, I am already thinking about Christmas!!!) 😂 🎄 🧦 ✨
This was a stunning team effort by Homekongers aged 7-70! Thanks to all who contributed to our cutest project yet! 💜 💜 💜
This one’s a hairy one and called Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow…
Something magical happened to me today that illustrates that magic is real and all around us. I received an email from a former fellow inmate at the Priory Lunatic Asylum in Bristol, where I graduated with a First in bipolar disorder in 2011. He was an addict and I gave him my lucky token with Carpe Diem engraved on it because it seemed to me (rightly or wrongly because I was very manic) that he had an even bigger mountain to climb than I did. The token was given to me by a friend and mentor who passed away from an aneurysm some years ago. But his magic lives on because he gave it to me and I gave it to another who gave it to others. We all have magic but it only really works if you share it with others. Never forget that you are magic and to pay it forward with a simple act of kindness. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
After reading my first poem for the first time at the HKU Libraries Reading Club and miraculously resisting the impulse to sing it, more potential peril looms this week when I’ll be sneaking into the studio and recording War of Voices for Dr. Ahmed Elbeshlawy‘s Voice Your Passion poetry channel! The poem will be up Oct 18!
Another amazing accolade from my friends in the migrant community: a certificate of recognition from Bethune House for being Top Fundraiser canvassing for their Coins for Bethune appeal! Delivering breakfast to the residents of Bethune House is one of the highlights of my week and I could not be prouder to support their inspirational work sheltering migrants in need!🙏 🙏🏽 🙏🏿
Thanks to everybody @HomeKongKitchen (especially Mojo who did most of the dog work) who gave so generously to support this brilliant initiative raising funding for migrants in Hong Kong! 💜 💜 💜
Catch me hosting Mental Ideas spinoff Mental Love Stories on RTHK Radio 3‘s 123 Show with the brilliant Noreen Mir from September 2021! The weekly strand celebrates unusual love stories and explores the impact of the pandemic on relationships and mental health. The guest list is now almost complete and TBA soon! Catch up on Series 1 of Mental Ideas HERE!
My latest Sharp Pains humor column aired last Tuesday (June 29) on the 123 Show. If you missed it, please don’t fret, pet! You can still catch it on RTHK and all the usual podcast places. This one’s a sticky one and called Bake Fail…
Episode 10 of my humor column Sharp Pains broadcasted June 29 on RTHK Radio 3‘s fantabulous 123 Show @ 2.50pm HKT! If you missed it, please don’t cry! You can still download it as a podcast by clicking any of the links below! This one’s a sticky one and called Bake Fail. (Although it was technically introduced by Noreen Mir as a Fake Bail. 🤣)
Home Kong Kitchen‘s cheeky mascot Mojo has been awarded 1st Place for his efforts canvassing for Bethune House Women Migrant’s Refuge with his Coins For Bethune appeal. Many generous individual campaigners and community groups took part in the fundraising initiative but Mojo (with a little help from Home Kong Kitchen‘s incredible community of human donators) somehow managed to raise the most cash! What a Pup Star!
4 legs are clearly better than 2 when it comes to enticing passers-by to part with loose change. Mojo himself is currently unavailable for comment as I just kicked him out to negotiate me a better mortgage with HSBC. He will be handling all my financial affairs from now on. But he did ask me to convey his delight at having been made a woofbassador for Bethune House.
Thanks to everybody who supported this brilliant initiative to raise funding for migrants in need! 💛 💛 💛
The poem was published by Proverse and Chinese University Press April 22, 2021 after winning a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize anthology, Mingled Voices 5. A film of the event will be available on the Proverse/ HKU websites.
I have to admit I’m a little nervous about this. Not because I’m a nervous public speaker. Just because War of Voices is the first thing I’ve written where I don’t hear my own author’s voice AT ALL! Whose voice do I hear? Unfortunately, it’s Aled Jones’ voice, circa 1980s, when he sang the Christmas hit, Walking In The Air.
Why is this bad? Why do you think!!! Because I sound nothing like an 8 year old choir boy with an angelic voice. I sound, at best, like a cat that’s being strangled slowly to death by a python. So I guess my greatest fear is of breaking into song midway through the reading.
Your prayers that this will NOT happen on Thursday are very much appreciated at this difficult time.
So happy and honored to have been awarded a Happy Homes Award on behalf of Home Kong Kitchen by the Mission For Migrant Workers! 💜 🙏 💜 What an incredible way to celebrate HKK‘s first birthday! Doubly honored to be receiving this award at the same time as the inspirational Daisy Tam and our friends and collaborators at Breadline! Daisy and I intend to sink a cold one in celebration with our amazing volunteers at the earliest opportunity!!! Thanks to the MFMW and all our migrant friends!
You can read more about the Mission’s incredible work supporting and protecting the human rights of migrant workers in Hong Kong here: https://www.migrants.net 🇵🇭 🇮🇩 🇭🇰 Look out for an interview with me and Daisy on the MFMW‘s Facebook page to be uploaded soon!
You can now watch Transference for FREE on YouTube, where it has already received over 1.7M views!!! So proud of my involvement as a co-producer of this feature-length indie film to raise awareness of mental health! Congratulations Raff (director/ male lead) and to everyone who worked on it since its conception in 2019! 🙏 🙏🏽 🙏🏿
Can’t believe Home Kong Kitchen has been baking, collecting and delivering bread and other treats to Hong Kong’s homeless, migrants in crisis and refugees for A YEAR!!!! That’s a lot of dough, amigos!
Thanks to all my homeless friends, incredible team of bighearted Homekongers, and inspirational collaborators and beneficiaries, including Breadline, ImpactHK, Bethune House, Loved Flock, Christian Action HK, Refugee Union and the Mission for Migrant Workers for being part of my first culinary miss adventure!
Here’s a few of my favorite faces and memories from the past year! Happy 1st Birthday Home Kong Kitchen!!!
Whether you’re a keen home baker or would like to donate a shop-bought loaf a week, help out as a delivery driver or as an artist on our sustainable bread boxes, Home Kong Kitchen would LOVE to have your support! Please take a mo to fill in the form below or email email@example.com! Thank you for your kindness and support! 💜💜💜
Woohoo! My first attempt at penning a poem was published April 22, 2021 by Proverse Publishing and Chinese University Press and my copy arrived today! Mingled Voices 5 is an anthology of poems on the theme of ‘Hunger’ by poets around the world that won or were shortlisted for the 2020 International Proverse Poetry Prize.
All the featured poets are incredible and I can only put my own inclusion down to a fortuitous accident or a moment of drug or alcohol relapse on the part of the editors. 🤣 Mingled Voices 5 is available in paperback and as an ebook. It’s free to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited!
The 2021 Proverse Poetry Prize is now open for entries! This year’s theme is ‘Shielding’ open to interpretation any way the poet chooses. Submissions close June 30, 2021!
Also open for submissions by Hong Kong based poets is RTHK‘s annual poetry competition. This year’s theme is ‘White’ open to misinterpretation any way the reader chooses! Entries close July 12!
Check out my new gig at Clever Films! CEO James Daly and his partners in horrific crime are producing a slate of intriguing horror movies following his horror producer debut with Let Us Prey, starring Liam Cunningham (‘Game of Thrones’) and Pollyanna McIntosh (‘The Walking Dead’). I am excited to have been offered a creative role as a script analyst and an opportunity to head the company’s ambitious social responsibility program – spending a generous portion of each film’s budget on social enterprise schemes that support marginalized people around the world.
Although Clever Films doesn’t accept unsolicited scripts, I’m happy to receive a one-page pitch! I rarely sleep and when I do, I tend to dream in horror anyway, so… 💁♀️
One little hit of dopamine I experienced last year was winning a place in the 2020 Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology for my first bash at writing a poem! War of Voices is my little rant on social media, populism and propaganda. The anthology, called Mingled Voices 5, will be published by Proverse and Chinese University Press as an ebook and in paperback THIS WEEK (April 22), but is already available for preorder on Amazon!
I’m also writing a humorous short story for the Hong Kong Writer’s Circle‘s 2021 anthology. This year’s theme is After The Storm. I seem to have been mentioned in the same sentence as ‘storm‘ quite a bit recently, which is either profoundly disturbing or deliciously serendipitous. If I don’t blow myself out, the anthology will be launched at the HK Lit Fest and published in Nov!
Transference, the bipolar love story I co-produced in 2020 with Contro Vento Films, was one of the first films to be shown at the 2021 Arizona International Film Festival, which kicked off April 14! Director and actor Raffaello Degruttola gave an illuminating webinar on his inspirations behind the film on Zoom @ 3pm PST on Saturday. If you missed it, please don’t cry! You can still catch it on the festival’s YouTube channel for at least another week!
Thanks to the festival for selecting Transference (originally for its 2020 film festival, which was cancelled because of COVID) and to the Tuscon Weekly for mentioning our micro budget indie film in their article about the festival!
I put my foot in it AGAIN – this time in my monthly humor column for the South China Morning Post, published in the Short Reads section of Post Magazine last week! The column is now a regular goofy companion piece for my RTHK Radio 3 humor column Sharp Pains, which broadcasts on the 123 Show the last Tuesday of every month. This one aired on the radio as Foot In It…
Is it my bipolar mind playing tricks on me or are there now more awareness days than unawareness days? What about an Unawareness Awareness Day? Has anybody had the awareness or unawareness to think of that? If there is an Unawareness Awareness Day, I am unaware of it.
NoooooooOOOOOOO! I missed Bipolar Awareness Day March 30! But I wish you all a happy Bipolar Unawareness Day today. To mark the unoccasion, I did some digging and found my elusive, best ever screenshot of Bipolar Express in Dropbox. You don’t get much more educaitonal than THIS!
Sadly, it was swiftly amended by somebody who doesn’t enjoy an amusing typo quite as much as I do. I guess I just didn’t see the point of subscribing after that…
Of course EVERY day is Bipolar Awareness Day if you have bipolar or care for somebody who does. And you shouldn’t have to face it alone!
Bipolar Hong Kong 躁鬱香港 started out as my humble blog in a some might say losing battle to try and keep myself sane. Over the past 7 years it has evolved into a leaderless movement of likeminded souls searching for enlightenment, empowerment and a platform to connect.
The group offers free, monthly support groups in Central and (since 2020) on Zoom for Hongkongers affected by bipolar disorder, their friends and families, including peer mentoring, the odd socially distanced social, and access to creative opportunities via Mental ideas. If you’re looking for peer support, a chance to vent and share ideas, join us!
Series 2 of my Mental Ideas Podcast (Oddcast??) will be back on the air @ RTHK Radio 3 in weekly episodes with a new twist, a live studio format and an electric mix of local and international guests in 2022!
The new series explores the impact of mental health on relationships in a humorously irreverent, offbeat, poignant & uplifting way. Meanwhile, stay tuned for news of S1’s release on other platforms and a sponsored TV spin-off! ✌️
Larry Feign, my guest in The Depressed Comedian episode of my Mental Ideas Podcast (clip of us yakking @ The AIBs below), has a new book coming out June 28! Instead of being The Depressed Comedian, he is now officially Happy As Larry.
Larry is bestselling author of some 15 comic books and children’s book series The Fart Brothers, the latter of which he wrote under the pseudonym MD Whalen (until I outed him on air). Presumably, he feared it was a stinker. The Flower Boat Girl is his first historical fiction novel and the culmination of over a decade’s work. You can preorder the book on Amazon and read the first rave review of it here! 🙌
I am flattered to be mentioned in a few of his rants after casting him, aged 53, as a 16 year old boy in Miss Adventure meets Motorhead, which was shown on Funny or Die. Thanks to Chicago radio hosts WC Turck and Kerri Kendall for reminding me of our madcap little escapade gatecrashing a Motorhead gig @ Madison Square Garden in their preamble to an interview with Dan about the book last week!
Dan has experienced international success as an actor and screenwriter. He was a recurring guest in the Trolls Anonymous & Death & The Frozen Tundra episodes of S1 of my Mental Ideas Podcast and will be back again in S2! His debut book is really quirky, funny and the first in a trilogy based on his Facebook rants from 2008 to the present day. Enjoy!
Thanks to SCMP photographer Antony Dickson for an hilarious impromptu photoshoot on my roof, where for no particular reason (other than the weather was nice) we decided to recreate classic scenes from two of my favorite movies with my new poo Mojo Hobo Kaye!
I put my foot in it LIVE on RTHK Radio 3‘s fantabulous 123 Show in my first Sharp Pain of 2021! My latest humor column broadcasted Jan 26 @2.30pm HKT! Sharp Pains will be back in the Year of The Ox! Here’s hoping it will be a lot more lucky and a lot less plaguey than its Ratty predecessor!
Kung Hei Fat Choi!🐂
The Year of The Ox is upon us and to celebrate Home Kong Kitchen will be baking and serving cream teas for refugees @ Refugee Union in Sai Yin Pun THIS SATURDAY (Feb 13) from 2pm! Thanks to our collaborators @ Breadline for arranging this opportunity for us to mark the Lunar New Year in our own little way: the Cornish way!
Cream teas have been steeped in Chinese mythology and tradition ever since 400BC when Confucius tried one, overdid the clotted cream and sagely proclaimed “You are what you… think I’m gonna barf!!!” (His publicist later shortened the quote to “You are what you think.”) Here’s hoping the Year of The Ox will be a lot more creamy and a lot less plaguey than its Ratty predecessor!
If you would like to help me serve teas to refugees on Sat or wish to contribute baking or other gifts of cooking utensils, oils, pasta, rice, old clothes or laptops/ phones/ tablets capable of running the Zoom app (for refugee kids to do home learning), please fill in the form below! 💜
Kung Fat Hei Choi & Sun Tai Kin Hong! 🐂
Incidentally, I did consider serving cow pies instead of cream teas, but living in such close proximity to these feral beauties is enough to turn even the most un-woke meat-stinking Gen Xer vegan!
Also, I’ve got no idea how to bake cow pies. Is it flour, eggs, clotted cream, bananas?
View the gallery for this event: https://homekongkitchen.com/2021/02/15/lunar-new-year-events/
I normally pride myself on my ability to give at least a minute’s notice before a radio broadcast. But this one aired TEN WEEKS AGO, which is a dismal new record. This one’s called Flex & the City…
More pandemic black humor from the Hong Kong Government this week when we were advised to open all the windows (COVID-dispersing ventilation) and not to go outside (air pollution). But it’s not all doom and fumes! This means two new episodes of Sharp Pains have already aired!
Last month, I announced my pie in the sky intention of making, collecting and distributing 100 Christmas Gift Socks to the homeless! Thanks to the amazing generosity and support of bighearted Homekongers, I can only ever find one sock and that target was nearly trebled!!!
Thanks to everyone who donated their time, energy, creativity and baking to Home Kong Kitchen in 2020! It’s because of you that HKK is collecting and delivering bread, bagels, muffins and other gifts to homeless people living in unlicensed shelters and refuges most days! We are also making weekly deliveries to Impact HK every Friday!
There are many ways you can volunteer for Home Kong Kitchen: you can bake a difference as part of our community of home bakers, you can make a difference as a bread donator, or you can create a difference as an artist on our sustainable bread boxes!
Thank you for your kindness and support! 💜 💜 💜
My virtual awards date was Hobo-dog Kaye (RIP 😢 – though he did at least wait until the awards show was over to do it). My attire was my dressing gown. The time was 2am. I’d run out of wine 4 hours ago so I toasted The AIBs 2020 with a cup of FUEL high protein instant porridge. It was an intense two-part awards program presented with unwavering gravitas. The lightest moment was when the AIB uploaded a mugshot of my leering face dementedly side-eying the award. Even I was scared my photo might glitch to life and shatter the screen of my iPad in a spontaneous smash and grab!
Luckily, it was all over before I could get in one good swing of my axe! Sky News StoryCast and Tortoise Media‘s My Mother’s Murder was announced the Factual Podcast category winner. Congratulations to the Association for International Broadcasting on two excellent awards shows and all the worthy winners! It was a bewildering honor to have been nominated and one of the highlights of my year (2020: sooooooooo gooooooooooooood!)
You can watch the 2020 AIBs live TOMORROW (Fri 13 – ha!) and next Monday (Nov 16) in a 2-part virtual awards event webcast at 11pm HKT/ 3pm GMT on the AIB’s website and Facebook page! My cheeky little Mental Ideas Podcast for RTHK Radio 3 is a nominee in the Factual Podcast category. As rank outsiders go, we are the rankest. (The program booklet below certainly provides evidence of that!!!) But I am still giddy with bewildered awe just to be included as a nominee at all!
You may have caught me looking slightly guilty a few weeks ago in the SCMP‘s Post Magazine chatting to the hilarious Kylie Knott about my tasty little Home Kong Kitchen initiative: Baking A Difference (geddit?) for Hong Kong’s homeless!
BLOWN AWAY by the response to this article, solidarity and generosity of Hongkongers mobilizing support to help the most vulnerable! This project has never failed to rejuvenate my spirits and restore my faith in humanity, bringing me together with so many inspiring individuals and organizations that epitomize the spirit of Hong Kong!
HUGE thanks to bighearted artist Juliana Kung for designing Home Kong Kitchen‘s emblem! It has everything I love: character, beauty and flying bagels! (Actually, I think they’re meant to be orbs, but I saw bagels. I see bagels everywhere now. They’re plastered on every billboard, graffitied on every work of art. Mona Lisa’s smile? Bagels. Munch’s Scream? Bagels. Birth of Venus? Bagels. Map of the MTR? Bagels. The New Fragrance by Christian Dior? Bagels. Leonardo’s Last Supper? What else?? Bagels.)
I’ve discovered every homemade bagel weighs the same as a brick and that lugging vast quantities of
bricks bagels around has really paid off in terms of honing my hump! (Sadly not the lovely lady lumps kind; more the Quasimodo kind…) If you’re interested in volunteering for Home Kong Kitchen, please fill in the form below! I’m especially keen to hear from volunteer drivers to assist with deliveries on a one-off or regular basis!
If you’re unsure how to pronounce my name correctly, this is it!! 💜💜💜
In this preview of a series of podcasts I am making about Hong Kong Writers Circle, I interview HKWC Chairman Chris Maden and Nathan Laurer, Chief Editor of the Circle’s 2020 anthology, Masking the City: Hong Kong in Allegory. The anthology (which has just received a rave review in the SCMP) is being launched at a Hong Kong Literary Festival event at the Hong Kong Fringe Club this Friday (Nov 13). It’s free to attend so check it out!!! The anthology is now available to buy at Bookazine and on Amazon!
For the next few weeks, up until Christmas, I’ll be posting an interview with a different author from the Writer’s Circle each week! Each writer will read a short excerpt from their allegory. Don’t miss it!!!