After the death of Barbara’s stepfather, Roderick (who Barbara called her uncle) took care of Barbara and her mother. With his job at the launderette and also drawing portraits, Roderick provided sufficient income for them all. Barbara's mother's savings had been spent on the medical care of Barbara's stepfather. Roderic’s income made it possible for Barbara to attend Rosaryhill School. To save money, Roderick moved in the apartment with Barbara and her mother (11).
An exceptionally strict upbringing for Barbara followed. She was expected to perform well in school, which meant working hard after school hours. She wasn't allowed to have boyfriends because they would only distract Barbara from her school work and that could have a negative influence on her school performance. After school she had to come straight home (11). Her schoolmates also thought that these regulations were very strict compared with their own house rules. Barbara also complained about this to her friends and told them that her lack of freedom made her feel unhappy (14).
Barbara stayed regularly in an apartment in Century tower, a luxury complex near the peak district, a friend of her mother lived there (14).
Childhood photos show that friends did come to visit her.
The photos also show that she had two small dogs (19).
In a video in 1985 she says that she got a dog from her teacher(18).
“Once a teacher said to me if I come in the top three of my class, she would give me a puppy. So I studied very hard. But I failed marginally, I only managed to get 4th place. I was very disappointed. That evening, there was a knock at the my door and it was the teacher. The teacher presented me with a puppy, not a toy one but a real one. I was so happy jumping with joy.”
I can’t remember that she ever told me this.
Her childhood photos show that she visited famous places in Hong Kong, such as Tiger Balm Garden
and The lion statues.
In one picture in which Barbara is about 13 or 14 years old she is standing next to the at that time well-known actress Nancy Sit Ka-yin (薛家燕;) (26). Barbara is wearing a red corsage meaning that she was an important person in that meeting.
But most childhood photos are taken in her apartment where she poses next to paintings painted by Roderick. In a lot of these paintings Barbara poses as a model (19) .