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Liz Nettleton

liz Nettleton Hong Kong

Expat Stories!

Tell us a little about yourself, 

Where do you live now and how long have you been there?

We’ve been living in Hong Kong for 16 years. We’ve also lived in the UK and before that, Sydney.

What do you love about Hong Kong?

 I love the quintessential Hong Kong: hiking in those glorious mountains, the lazy days on the water and that we’ve always felt safe here. Whether it be wandering home from a party at 2 am or letting our (then) 11 year old get a taxi back to the ferry after netball training.

What I cherish most though are the extraordinary women I’ve met. They remind me to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary and that there is always a moment to be grateful for, no matter how bad the world may seem at first glance.

How is it different from your home country?

Less than you might think. Family and friends, hiking and finding a reason to be near water (even though I will do anything to avoid getting wet) remain priorities. I miss my garden, though.

What frustrates you about your Hong Kong?

The policy that buses must not use headlights when driving around our local village (and often beyond).

hong kong
hong kong skyline

The CoronaVirus

How has the CoronaVirus affected you?

Like everyone, we’ve had to reframe our expectations for 2020.

Our daughter was working in a boarding school in the UK but is now working as an intern for my firm and living at home with us (not exactly complaining about that though).

It bothers us that we don’t know when we’ll see our son (who is at University in Sydney) or our parents again and to be fearfully superficial, it kind of sux that our 50th birthday plans have been scrapped.

Are you in self-isolation, lockdown or are you social distancing and what rules do you need to follow?

Schools have been closed since mid-January, and we’ve been working for A & B teams in offices and wearing facemasks everywhere for a while. We’re limited to public gatherings of no more than four people, and the bars have now been closed. Restaurants are expected to manage at ½ capacity, and takeout is the recommended option.

Eleanor found the 14 days of quarantine pretty hard, especially as without sunshine and exercise, recovering from jetlag is a tougher ask. She was remarkably buoyant throughout the whole thing though and all of us working from home was awesome.

What do you find the hardest about your situation right now?

I’ve had to put my broom in the cupboard and stop flying. I’d love to pop over to Sydney to see my family and friends, and I’m pretty sad my grand European adventure has been cancelled. Still, my baby is home, and my HK friends are also grounded so I get to spend time with them (we’ve not always been very good at planning visits to the children so that we’re in town at the same time).

Isolation tips

Do you have any tips for anyone in lockdown or self-isolation?

Eat healthy food, sleep to a normal routine and work out how you can exercise inside. We’re loving our puzzles, board games, challenging our sense of normality with an episode of Tiger King each evening and eating as a family without exception.

What are you doing differently now compared to a few months ago?

I’m not on my broom every month! We’re cooking a lot more, playing more games and spending far more time together than we have in a long time. It’s heavenly!


jenny buck

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