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A sorry tale of how Beijing's courtyards are being knocked down - and one artist's fight to save them

Zheng Xicheng , 71, has just published a collection of drawings of Beijing courtyard houses, in an effort to raise public awareness of the need to protect these relics.

Why did you publish this book? How did you come up with the idea?

Sunday, 14 June, 2009, 12:00am

Treasure what's left on our planet

We have been hearing horror stories about climate change and the extinction of animal species for years, but Home - a soon to be released documentary - prefers to dwell on the beauty of what is left.

3 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Home

Home

by Marilynne Robinson

Virago, HK$104

10 May 2009 - 12:00am

Utterly satisfying responses

The latest record from Italian-Japanese singer-songwriter Angela Aki is everything its title Answer suggests. She tells us her views and answers to the questions of life, love and music.

Inspired by the legendary Sarah McLachlan, Aki broke into the mainstream Japanese pop music scene with her refreshingly gentle and wonderfully soothing debut Home in 2006.

26 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

It's green for go as Belgravia gets state-of-the-art facelift

There's a quiet revolution on the domestic front in Island South - and it's just one of the ways in which the owner of Belgravia apartments hopes to clean up. Executives at Kerry Properties say the refurbished apartments in South Bay Road boast the first centralised vacuum-cleaning system of its type to be used in a residential building in Hong Kong.

13 Mar 2009 - 12:00am

New flats show touch of 'industrial chic'

There's a new stack of serviced apartments in Central. The Yin was opened on Thursday with a cosy cocktail gathering at its Wellington Street premises, in close proximity to the Graham Street wet market. Offering all the modern amenities any Blackberry-carrying executive needs in a slick rooming package, architect Philip Liao Yi-kang described its look as 'industrial chic'.

23 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Sunrise shines in 330-1 double

Dennis Yip Chor-hong had a brilliant day at the office, not only landing a 330-1 double with Sunrise and Local Power but seeing a return to form of two of last season's more promising horses as well. Sunrise, 12-1 winner of the fifth event, was the first leg of Yip's double and the second of a two-timer for Brett Prebble.

9 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Hail the hearty

While I don't like the cold weather, I love the food we tend to eat at this time of year. The following two main courses are easy to cook and the results are hearty and satisfying. The dessert is warming because of the ginger.

Honeycomb tripe with parmesan cheese (pictured)

1 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

More mid-priced gift hampers on offer

The multimillion-dollar Christmas hampers once exchanged by the rich and famous appear to have fallen victim to the financial crisis, but shops and hotels are hoping a range of less pricey gift packs will persuade people to spend.

15 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Critical mess

Kitchens are capable of hiding secrets. Behind those shiny cupboard doors, in hard-to-reach corners and the darkest depths beyond the sink, can exist all manner of strange and unusual things. And they can be just what we'd all love to have in our homes.

26 Sep 2008 - 12:00am

Diary of a renovator: sink or swim

Any flat flipper will know that handsome kitchens add value to homes. I don't intend to sell my place in the near future but as a typical Hongkonger I can't help but consider my return on investment. That was before I checked out the options.

29 Aug 2008 - 12:00am

Housing laws aim to aid poor

The State Council, the mainland's cabinet, plans to introduce new laws this year to create more affordable housing for low-income families.

But analysts say the legislation is unlikely to be the comprehensive solution the mainland needs to bring down housing prices.

18 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Aki set for another smash hit

Born to a Japanese father and an Italian-American mother, Angela Aki made her name among the list of popular J-pop singers with her debut Home, which sold over 500,000 within its first year of release in 2006.

Now with her second album, Today, Aki shows she still has what it takes to produce another success.

Today features 13 piano pop tracks written by Aki.

17 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Los Angeles

What's going on around the globe

An unmade bed might not seem the most obvious inspiration for an artist. But to Brooklyn-based Chris Doyle, staying at numerous hotels across the US got him thinking about the status of the bed and provided the impetus behind a solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

3 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

listening

Question 1

What did Mr Jones leave in the hotel?

Mr Jones has just got home after a business trip. But he left something behind at the hotel and he's phoning there now to ask if they have found it. Listen to the conversation and answer the questions.

1. What did Mr Jones leave in his hotel room?

25 Jan 2008 - 12:00am