Niamh Armitage

My name Niamh is pronounced neev. There is a long and dull explanation as to why but basically my parents are Irish and really didn’t think it through!

Children and ages? Three “girl-illas” aged 13, 10, and 7 (unlikely to make 8).

Where were you born? Wiltshire, England

Where else have you lived? Cyprus, US, France, Italy, Scotland, Canada, China (mainland)

How long have you been in Hong Kong? It will be ten years this summer.

Which part of Hong Kong do you live in?  Committed HK-Islanders and Southsiders, currently in Repluse Bay.

Are you working in Hong Kong?  Yes, I teach at Riding for Disabled.

What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? “Husbeast’s” job brought us and continues to be the official reason we are still here, but ‘hello?’ I live in a bubble with my own wife (helper). What’s not to love? Real life now scares me.

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? Random times of day, whenever I have a few minutes to scroll at speed.

What posts do you comment on and why? Those which are ignored (unless they are ones which Google is perfectly able to answer); those which I have had time to read the answers and have something NEW to add rather than repeating what has already been said 27 times; and those which makes me laugh. I may have a habit of clicking on notifications for “those” posts — you know the ones that you just know are going to blow up. That way I get the notifications before the mass deletion begins! Nosey? Much?

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? To always be polite. We live in a village, people, and you never know when the person with whom you were locked in mortal combat will turn up at lunch/as your class mum/as your fitness instructor (yikes)/as your neighbor/as the partner of your or your other half’s boss. Awkward.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? I was the 57th member (here are now more than 21,500 members). There have been SO many posts. However, I particularly love the ones where members openly mock themselves — being a mum is hard work sometimes, even in this city where we have ridiculous amounts of help available to us if we want it. We all need to let off steam sometimes and admit we are only human. Are you a “slummy mummy”? I most certainly am: My “girl-illas” are being raised mostly via benign neglect and a fabulous helper. I love to laugh at the mistakes I have made along the day and enjoy sharing other parents’ confessions. Laughter is always the best medicine (especially with a wine chaser). I also love those rare posts where the support is generous and genuine without nasty, snide-y judgments.

What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? Just searched my recent additions. It appears I am a know-it-all about many trivial things and mostly respond to others. I also like to share things that make me laugh or ask for restaurant/accommodation in areas with which I am less familiar. I will also ALWAYS request sightings of marmite when it mysteriously disappears from my local supermarket shelves. Oh, and I know all about organic milk!

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? The quality of life for my family and me. We have far more family time here than we would in our home location. The friends we have made are amazing. We love the travel opportunities on our door. And the food. Oh yes, the food. We are a very greedy family. We love to eat. You get the idea. As a family we have faced some health issues here, all of which have been dealt with in the most speedy and professional way we could ever hope for.

And frustration? Frustrations include the air pollution (although seems to have been better this winter), the loss of the amazing friends we have met. Why do you all have to leave, why? Oh, and the price of food in supermarkets.

On reflection though, the pros far outweigh the cons for our family.

What is your craziest Hong Kong experience?  They generally seem to include wine. And I think that for once in my life, I should generate an air of mystery and refuse to answer this one. I am also a coward who wants to keep my few, remaining, HK-based friends!

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms? Sadly, with a rather unusual name, yes. It generally makes me squirm, as I have usually said something asinine which, I found VERY funny.

Have you met any friends through Hong Kong Moms? Yes! How fabulous is that?! Real, live friends rather than “imaginary internet friends,” as my “husbeast” insists on calling them.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? LOADS! I am so nosey! Ifat Kafry Hindes…

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