Interview now online at Adam Sheik’s Cantonese site

Filed in Press

There's an online text-format interview focussing on my experience with Cantonese over at Adam Sheik's Chinese (Cantonese) Help Sheets. Some of you learning Cantonese might find it interesting.

For the record, it is probably the most accurate of any of the interviews I've done because I wrote the answers and Adam didn't reword or edit them. Most reporters incorrectly recall details of the interview or bend the interview content with the intent to make it more interesting to their audience. Consequently, based solely on my own experience, you should always read interviews with at least a little scepticism. I have had a couple of interviews which were very accurate in their reporting but most veer off one way or another.

Piggy-backing neighbours

Filed in Hong Kong, Photo of the Day

This time last year, there was a spider population explosion. Hong Kong is host to a rather large black spider with a golden back. During this period known as 回南 'return of the southerly winds' last year, these black spiders could be seen everywhere.

This year, things are different. It might be that the weather hasn't been as wet for as long as it was last year. I remember last year and hope that we don't experience anything like it for a few years to come. It stayed wet here for almost two and a half months straight. Sunshine was rare. Water was plentiful, usually coming out of the tile floors and walls all around us. The dust mites had a great time which was unfortunate for my wife it turns out that she's quite allergic to them. She had hives for more than a month and they almost killed her; itchy red blotches all over her body and keeping her up at nights with the need to scratch.

Instead of spiders, this year we apparently have frogs. I've been hearing the ratchety sounds for a couple of weeks now but it was not until a few nights ago that I realised that the sounds belonged to frogs. We don't see many frogs here; Toads seem to be far more common; so it was surprising to realise that there were so many frogs around croaking away to each other throughout the night.

Last night, I walked out to the back garden area of our home to check on our rabbit Rose and suddenly saw one of those frogs. Actually, there were more than one frog. I couldn't resist the urge and immediately ran into the house to get my new high-powered torch (purchased in Australia) and my camera.

Here's what I saw ;-)

piggy-backing

One frog on top of the other. I remember my father telling me a few weeks ago while I was back in Australia that the female frogs are much larger than the male frogs so I suspect these frogs are mating, the male being the one on top.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

For the city dwellers, these are frogs, not toads. You can tell by looking at the feet which have suction cups on the end of the toes allowing them to climb surfaces like walls. My parents love frogs as do I.

The Chinese love to eat toad-legs, i.e., 田雞飯. I hope they know the difference between frogs and toads! If people who fancy 田雞飯 want to go hunting, I'd suggest they visit Australia. Some time ago, people introduced toads to Australia and without natural predators, their population exploded, so much so that many Australians now hate toads with a vengence. Some people even enjoy practising golf using toads instead of golf balls; not something that I personally would do.

Just finished filming: TVB’s 刑事情報科.

Filed in TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, WorkTags:

I've just finished filming 刑事情報科 at TVB. My role was a police inspector in a special branch of the police force which specialises in getting information about suspects. There were several groups in our department. My group was responsible for tracking people and getting photographs of their activities. Overall, the story was pretty good.

Two months of filming, I had just one day of on-location shooting and fourteen days of studio shooting. Because the police station set is so large, it takes up the whole studio and whenever it's set up, we have to try to film as many scenes as possible. The later days of studio filming were quite challenging, more often than not shooting from 7 at night until 5 in the morning. I'd get back home at around 5.30 to 6 in the morning and then wait until my wife got up for work so that I wouldn't disturb her sleep. Staying up all night really hurts and you spend much of the next day walking around like a zombie; limbs feeling loose and numb and a brain that doesn't want to work.

Most of my parts in the TVB series are very small, just a few scenes, so it's rare that I get to spend so much time with other cast members. This time was different and it was great. We the cast spent a lot of time working and waiting together.

Some people have emailed and asked me with which other actors at TVB am I most familiar. Those would be the actors I 'grew up with' at TVB. You probably don't know most of them. They include 林家棟, 黃德斌, 麥嘉倫, 游飆 and 王維德, all dedicated people. There are many other wonderful people at TVB that I respect and enjoy working with. In fact, there are too many to list. TVB has given me a lot in the last eighteen years. The opportunity to know and work with these people is just one of the things they've given me and I'm grateful for that.

TVB’s 潮爆大狀 is on.

Filed in TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, WorkTags:

TVB's 潮爆大狀 is on. From memory, it was filmed late last year. My part is very limited but if you'd like to leave a comment about the series, you can do so here ;-)

One thing of interest to those of you learning Cantonese perhaps is that most of my dialog in this series (all three scenes or so) was in Mandarin. One of my scenes where I promised work to the leading lady 唐寧 was not performed very well because I was struggling with the Mandarin dialog. Acting in a second language is quite a challenge. It took me 15 years to get accustomed to acting in Cantonese. Hopefully, it won't take long to do the same in Mandarin.

I wonder if the stock market will fall in the coming weeks? It is said that every time one of 鄭少秋's series is broadcast on television, the stock market falls. It'll be interesting to see if it happens again this time.