How do you give good news? Can you bear to hold it in? Do you fashion a crazy way to reveal it?

I had some good news for the girls this week, news I could barely contain it was so rad, that I decided to share with them in a memorable way. Wanna find out what it was? Come and check it out…. (Eeee!)




Here we are at Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle House. I did not make that name up. It’s a great place, on Dominion Road, introduced to me during a dumpling tour run by Eat Auckland (they do really sensational, informative, tasty tours, just quietly). Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle House had been our first stop on the tour and they wooed me with their delicious lamb and fennel dumplings, cartoon covered tabletops and disdainful service. I think they’re just playing hard to get.


In my excitement, leading up to The Big Reveal, I ordered a ton of food including the famous dumplings – both the seafood and the lamb and fennel, steamed mushroom and vegetable buns, crispy spring onion pancakes and spicy shredded lamb flatbread “burgers”. The kids loved, um… mainly the spoons.





After lunch we told them to sit up and wait for a present, which, of course, had them wriggling about like popcorn in a pan. We handed them an orange box each, tied with a big yellow bow. The excitement was palpable. The silence highly unusual.





Inside the box was…





A GIANT fortune cookie! As big as their head! Dipped in chocolate! Covered with sprinkles! Heart sprinkles! So many exclamation marks! And inside the fortune cookie was…




A message.

And the message said…




Can you believe it?! They can’t and, to be honest, my head is still spinning. B1 said “Is it real??”


When I asked what they thought about it their replies were “nice” and “good”, bless them. They are clearly still processing the news. They were very happy with the fortune cookie though and the bow on the box which B2 promptly donned as a snazzy headband.


The back story to all this is that when I lived in Macau I wrote a picture book for an orphanage, Cradle of Hope. It told the story of the orphanage’s beginnings, almost thirty years ago. The book was a project that stalled and started several times as we engaged illustrators and lost them, sourced donors and publishing experts. Finally – over seven years later – we have the perfect illustrator, Mahé Correlleur (a.k.a Hill by the Sea), and team of experts and enthusiasts and the book is about to be published. It will raise funds for Cradle of Hope and the children that reside there. So, so much more on that book and that story later (!) but to cut a long story short: I was invited to the book’s launch in October. I initially said a firm “no”, but after several late-night discussions with Matt we decided I would go. And take our two biggest along for the adventure! Eeee!


Back to The Big Reveal….


After opening the cookies we left Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle House (I just like writing it) and headed to Hulu Cat for bubble tea. The girls ordered “strawberry slushie with grape jelly” (if you’re going to give a kid a cookie the size of their head, you’re not about to quibble about sugary drinks, right?) They were pretty happy with those and whilst slurping on the car ride home B2 suddenly declared “Thanks for lunch, Mum! And the biscuit! And the special milkshake! And…taking us to China!”


The news is slowly seeping in.


Going to Hong Kong and Macau with two little ones is going to be an adventure. We are going to miss Matt and bubba B3 to the point of tears (I get very anxious even thinking about that part). But I am excited too. Excited for the girls to see China, to experience food and smells and sights unfamiliar to them. To take them to Cradle of Hope and Hong Kong Disneyland and everything and everywhere in between. To show them the places I remember from when we lived there and stay with the good friends we have missed. It’s going to be nuts. As nuts as a head-sized, chocolate-dipped, heart-sprinkled fortune cookie. And how very fortunate we are.


Hannah x


P.S. I got the ginormous fortune cookies from this store. The team were so helpful and fast and the cookies were most delicious. Highly recommend for all your Big Reveals. (Not sponsored. Just enthusiastic.)