Nicole said I should post something. So for her entertainment, I am. I haven’t really felt like blogging much over the past couple of weeks. For those of you who don’t know (probably a lot of you, because I never really told anyone), the love of my life, my baby, best friend and dog Sayang died on the 15th of June. I think Bel & I will forever be sorry that we weren’t there with her when it happened but I suppose we have to try and hang on to the good memories, the ones that truly reflect the kind of dog she was rather than one I have engrained. The one where I walk out in the garden and uncover the blankets and she’s lying in eternal sleep in a cardboard box ready to be carried out into her grave. The story of how we ended up getting Sayang in the first place is quite an amusing one. Mum bought Sayang on a whim, without any consultation with my dad and I remember him being very cross about it, but she said that while she and her best friend were in the pet store, Sayang had kept staring at her with those “take me home” eyes so that she just had to get her. And I remember the power of her convicting eyes (can eyes be convicting ?). In fact she had a profound impact on each and everyone of us, even my (typical cold hard exterior, never sheds a tear, Asian) dad. And while Bel & I were at a friend’s house, she came home to pick us up with Sayang in her arms and my friend had thought it was for her ! I feel so blessed to have had such an amazing companion while growing up. In many ways, she is the epitome my childhood. I will forever remember and love her.
To end this sad post, I thought I should post something a bit ‘lighter’ cause’ not everyone likes talking or hearing about death. This is a chocolate cake made using Hershey’s cocoa with a Nutella filling (good call Bel). Bel & I have been baking a lot (pizzas, cakes, roulades), which is maybe our way of dealing with things. It’s been yummy. (Recipe to follow in possible next post)
I spent a lovely weekend in Perth to escape the horribly, rainy Melbourne weather. Oh, and also to pop in to visit a friend in Perth for his birthday. I honestly didn’t have any high expectations of what Perth was going to be like but turns out it’s such a beautiful place. Warm, cloud-less days (according to Tian, only one out of every ten weekends it’s miserable), sparse clean spaces, and pristine beaches. That would sum up my Perth experience. Plus kareoke and angry birds (it was mating season for the seagulls) ! Now I’m getting closer to crossing off my goal to visit all the states in Australia. All I have left is Tasmania & NT ! Photo overload ahead –>
attempted making cheddar, beer and mustard pull-apart bread (it turned out DELICIOUS !),
feasted on jelly custard with Nicole,
walked to work in my shiny black shoes,
and drank custard cider at Melbourne Food & Wine festival. There was also a free ferry ride from along the Yarra which I took advantage of (& thankfully there was no motion sickness). I’ll also be going to a 20 years, 20 canapes, 20 wines on the 10th which I’m excited about because I’ve never really participated in any of their events !
That’s all folks. And my weekend is over.
Sorry for the lack of posts. I started work the next day I arrived back from Japan and have been working in the new job ever since. It’s been fun and trying at times but I’m learning a lot. Last week was spent in San Remo where 19 of us supergrads soaked up the sun and learned a lot about the super industry and each other. I feel pretty lucky to be a part of this program & have met so many wonderful, inspiration, intelligent people. It’ll be interesting to see where I’ll end up by the end of the year. I also have another interstate trip to look forward to in March in Brisbane where I’ll be attending a conference for the major super funds and meeting lots of key speakers, industry leaders, and my mentor !
Besides all the traveling, eating, and working, I’ve been busking for the first time & also performed at Stage Fright which was absolutely nerve-wreaking and exhilarating ! I hope to perform again someday, whether it be on the street or on stage. Naturally I feel like a shy person (can’t tell can you ? :-P) and this year has really challenged me to put myself out there a lot more.
Highlights of the trip: Studio Ghibli & the cat bus, attempting to speak Japanese (crappily, but hey, at least I tried !), amazing food & cheap eats, the fashhhion, pretty men with stylish man bags, 10-story stationary stores (aka stationary heaven !), manga library, cycling through Kyoto, snow, super efficient trains which come every 2 minutes, and polite & attentive shop assistants. I’m sure there were more but those are off the top of my head !
Lowlights: Not being able to eat and drink on the street while walking/doing stuff. I know, I know — means less litter and less people eating smelly foods on trains but I must be so used to eating on the go that I don’t think I could do without for a prolonged period of time.
Weird lights: Japanese highschoolers following a very scared and timid Thomas who they asked to be in a photo with. They kept giggling and calling him “handsome” which amused me greatly at the time, particularly because he looked SO CONFUSED –> o.O. I was disappointed that no one ever came up and offered him a modelling contract though, which I hear is quite common over there if you’re Caucasian and at least six foot tall !
Here are a few photos from the past few weeks .. there are thousands so I just picked a handful !
1-2. Tokyo CBD 3. 5am at the fish market 4. Udon ordered from a vending machine 5. Manga museum in Kyoto 6-8. Kyoto 9. Takoyaki 10. Donuts in Minami-Aoyama 11. Thomas posing 12. Statue in Studio Ghibli 13. Akihabara (electronics / bookstore district)
I hope you all are having a wonderful 2012 so far !
This post relates to goal #10.
Hello lovelies. I hope you are all lovely. I have just uploaded a video (since it’s been AGES) and also because I am performing at Stage Fright event so I need to practise a lot more. The website‘s pretty scant at the moment but you can check it out for more info about the venue etc. We are also having a fundraising pre-loved goodies sale (aka garage sale !) on the 14th of January (this Saturday). I will post a flyer underneath the video. We are raising money for Able Australia which aids people with disabilities. So please come and support all the wonderful artists & musicians as well as Able Australia by coming to the event. I would love to see you there !
Sorry I’m incoherent when I talk in front of a video camera. Skip forward to 1:52 for the ukulele-ing ;-)
On a completely different note, here’s what I’ve been doing in 2012 so far..
Christmas isn’t really a big deal in our family. We’ve never had a tree up and the 25th of December has always been spent in PJ’s (and the next few days after .. ). I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because my family isn’t traditionally traditional. And I suppose because my mum reckons that hoarding gift giving till Christmas sends out the wrong message to kids — you should give all year around (particularly to your children who will make sure you live comfortably in retirement :-P) ! True, we don’t get a huge sack of presents like my childhood best friend does every Christmas Eve (they’re European and we always celebrate at their place on the 24th) but I love the atmosphere, food, and just being together with everyone you love. That is what I look forward to the most at this time of year. Oh and did I mention my french mum’s coquis st jacques ! Yum yum yum.
As such I hope you’re all having as festive a season as I ! This month is flying by very quickly filled with Christmas dinners & experimental cooking, surprise 21sts, and gift shopping ! We’re nearly there public holidays :-)
I remember doing a gift guide awhile ago but stopped after one post. I just love buying presents & gift shopping so this Christmas here are some of my top picks and ideas for the clueless :-P
For the artist / architect ..
1. Palomino Artist Colour Pencils – Set of 12 / Set of 24
These are such stunning pencils. Highly pigmented and come in a very presentable, sleek wooden box. The Palomino Blackwing graphite pencil looks good too. NB. If anyone wants 20% discount at Notemaker, type in ‘popupsale’. The code is valid until December 31st 2011.
2. Pantone mugs set (Red & Pink)
I’ve been eyeing these for awhile. I think they look great in a set with all the different shades of pantone colours. I’m attracted to the beautiful colour choices and simple design. You can find them online at various sites and I’ve seen them in-store at Magnation too.
3. Terry Fan prints
I recently discovered Terry Fan’s artwork and I love how whimsical they are.
For the traveller ..
1. Monocle 12 issue special subscription
I’m not a huge magazine reader but I was hooked as soon as I picked up my first issue of Monocle in 2007. I’ve since been an avid fan & reader, and I think this would be a great gift for someone who likes to travel. I remember someone on youtube saying “if this magazine was human, it would be 007” haha ! It is sleek, sexy, and is packed full of information about current affairs, design, and lots & lots of stuff on traveling, with regular travel guide inserts to many different locations around the world such as Taiwan, Tokyo, and Madrid.
2. Snapfish luggage tag
My whole family uses Snapfish these days for ordering prints (as well as creating a family mug which we regret only ordering one since mum & I fight over it !) just because it’s so convenient and in terms of quality, it’s not bad at all. I recently found out that they’re doing luggage tags as well and while you might think it’s a lame idea, someone like my mum would love it as a frequent flyer !
3. Soaper Heroes – Travel Gift Box
I love love love Soap & Glory. Smells great & lingers after showering, plus the packaging is cute (although pink..).
For the inner girly girl (or your gf) ..
1. Christmas In My Kitchen Kit
Which girl doesn’t like to smell good ? And you can never have enough yummy smelling body wash for that matter.
2. Diptyque – Feuille de Lavande
I’m not really huge on candles but they are good for getting rid of nasty smells in the house (sometimes my cooking is the cause of this). You can find a fair selection at Mecca Cosmetica even if they are rather overpriced ..
3. Folklore plate set
Okay so my mum would probably prefer Spode or Alessi branded plates but I think these are rather cute.
4. Nars Limited Edition Sweet Disposition Mini Multiple set
You can’t really go wrong with Nars. High quality stuff & sucker for the packaging. Other favourites from Mecca include Escentric Molecules, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer or this Smashbox set, and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.