Childhood memories of Sheila Lim

Sheila Lim
Sheila Lim
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Sheila Lim, 29, runs a healthy eating takeaway in Stamshaw, Portsmouth, but grew up in Hong Kong. Here she recalls some of their fondest memories.

What is your earliest memory?

In infant school learning to write Chinese.

What do you remember about your birthdays?

Every year my parents would give me a red packet in the morning which is an old Chinese tradition for luck. To complete the day I would cut the cake with my parents and my older sisters after dinner.

How was school?

I was born in Hong Kong and came to the UK with my family when I was 14. I spent my infant, primary and first year of secondary school in Hong Kong and the schools over there are totally different to the schooling here. In Hong Kong there’s a lot of home work every day, tests every week, plus two big exams every year. I would say school life was very busy in my childhood and every year I had to make sure that I was one of the top 10 students in my class. My happiest memories were becoming a member of the Girl Guides and the Red Cross for after school activities.

What did you get up to with your friends?

I didn’t often get to go out and see my school friends outside of school time because we were all very busy with school work and after school activities. At the weekends it was always family time with our parents and relatives. In my childhood, I think I spent more time playing with my cousins than with my school friends.

What toys did you play with?

Barbie is the toy I played with the most. I think I had three different ones. Other than dressing up my Barbies, I also liked to play with a Barbie house which had a bedroom and a bathroom. To make it look more special I even placed a TV news studio set on one of the floors.

What did you watch on television?

In Hong Kong, children grow up by watching Japanese cartoons on TV.

Any clothes that stick out in your memory?

Every winter one of my older sisters would hand knit a scarf for me.

What was the naughtiest thing you did?

I think it must be the time when I pushed my neighbour, who was close to my age and lived on the same floor in the building as me, off the stairs by accident. That’s the only time my mum got really, really, angry with me.