Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hot breakfast

I had a tough night trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to settle The Little Guy to sleep.  So I decided to treat myself to a nice hot breakfast.

TLG and I headed to Wild Sage at Cammeray.  I had a bad experience last time I had dinner there (very poor service); thankfully this morning we were greeted by a cheerful and attentive waiter.

I wasn't particularly hungry so no bacon and eggs for me.


Field Mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, poached egg with ricotta cheese.

The combination of ricotta cheese and mushroom were surprisingly nice.  The asparagus looked a bit dried but they tasted yummy.  I was very happy with my choice.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where did the time go? part 2

Now, where was I?

---

The reality is that I have been a feeling a bit flat since our HK trip.  I felt that I was just going through the motions every day, and nothing meaningful came out of it.

I took some time to reflect on this, and I came to the conclusion that time is an increasingly finite resource and I was not using it wisely.  I don't have the same amount of down time as I used to, but I was still spending hours lounging around, surfing the net reading random websites, often till late at night.  As a result:

1. I don't get enough sleep and is tired during the day
2. I don't spend time on things that are more rewarding
3. I feel like I am falling behind on everything

There were nights where Mr Curious and I both sat on the sofa in front of a laptop (me with the netbook) and we weren't even talking to each other.  I realised that I was taking our relationship for granted.  We had a chat and we agreed to make an effort to spend quality time with each other.

It was a similar situation at work.  Instead on focussing on the task at hand, I was jumping from one thing to another.  At the end of the day nothing was complete and the to do list was getting longer and longer.  I decided that "enough is enough" last Friday - I did not allow myself to be distracted and spent the whole day finishing a piece of work.  I felt so much better afterwards, and I think the quality of the work benefited as well.

It all comes down to discipline.  It may not be a "feel-good" word but it is effective.  I need to stop spending my time frivolously.  There are so many things I can do that are fun and fulflling, like writing this blog :-)

Thanks for reading my rant, it is cathartic.  I guess this is technically my first "confession" on this blog!

Fun posts are not too far away :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where did the time go?


Dear readers

Sorry for the lack of posts.

I've been sick in the last week with a bad sore throat, lost my voice completely on Friday, and The Little Guy is more demanding.  One day last week we were at home in the morning, and he went and picked up his shoes from the hallway and handed them to me - meaning "I'm bored here, take me somewhere".  It was very cute, but at the same time I realised that I could no longer have a lazy day home with him.

TLG was also changing his night time sleeping pattern.  Before he was sleeping from 8pm - 7am give or take 1/2 hour which was very parent-friendly.  In the last week he started waking up in the middle of the night again, or between 5am - 6am.  Last night he was up from around 10:30pm, Mr Curious and I took turn trying to put him to sleep to no avail.  At the end TLG slept with me in the master bedroom and Mr Curious slept on the sofa (he was having coughing fits so didn't want to wake TLG up).  I really hope he returned to his previous sleeping pattern soon.

Well, the above are all legitimate reasons for my absence from this blog.  However, the reality is that I have been a ...

[This post was disrupted by Mr Curious asking for help because TLG was refusing to sleep.  This is not meant to be a teaser post but after over an hour of having TLG on my lap, trying unsuccessfully to get him to sleep in our bed, reading story affer story to him, staying in his room whilst he read himself, gently removing his books from his cot leaving him with his teddy bear (he can say "bear"! Very cute), and finally leaving him whilst he was still completely awake, I needed some brainless TV time.  So ... "to be continued ..."]

Sunday, April 18, 2010

HK diary 2 - Food (Local Fare)

Hong Kong is a fantastic place for food - street hawker fare to haute cuisine.

The first thing we had after arriving at our hotel was to buy some takeaway for dinner. I headed to Chee Kee for 2 serves of wonton noodles.

Photo: Openrice

I don't know whether my expectation was too high, or whether they have changed, but it was only OK.  Still miles ahead of any wonton noodles I can find in Sydney, but the noodles didn't have the same bite as I recalled, and the wontons were nice but not great.

The very first thing I ate in HK was not the wonton noodles though, rather it was a skewer of fish balls.  When I was a kid illegal hawkers used to sell them in carts, nowadays they are served in stores which are usually a little bit bigger than a shoebox.

Photo: Serving Fish Balls, on Flickr from cogdogblog


I had a choice of "hot" or "mild". The hot ones are cooked in a thick curry broth (the yellow ones from the photo above).  I enjoyed spicy food but I have my limits, so I asked them to dip a skewer of mild fish balls into the curry broth.  It turned out to be just the right amount of spice for me.  I liked the chewy texture of the fish balls too.

Another favourite hawker-style snack is "eggettes", which is Hong Kong's interpretation of waffles.  Once upon a time they were made with charcoal stoves.  I still remembered the cook flipping them around to make sure they're evenly cooked.  Nowadays they are usually made with electric waffle makers.  They are crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey inside.  I bought one for Mr Curious when I was out shopping one night, only half the pack made it back to the hotel.

Photo: http://gourmettraveller88.com/

HK has lots more on offer of course, like congee, HK style bakery, iced lemon tea (my favourite beverage in HK), pork jerky ... but that's for another time!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Short Break: Another Shiny New Toy

Mr Curious bought this at Myer yesterday - thanks to the Myerone 10% off everything discount.


It's an ASUS EEE netbook!  I wanted to buy one in HK but couldn't decide on a model when we were there.

It's still in the box, I'll have a play with it this weekend.

One of the reasons why I wanted a netbook is to blog when I'm on the bus to and from work - so it's kinda a gift for my readers too.

Can't wait to unwrap it :D

Thursday, April 15, 2010

HK diary 1 - Morning @ Victoria Park

I can't believe it has already been a week since our return from Hong Kong!  Time is running away from me.  I must write soon, otherwise my memories are going to fade.

Travelling with a small child makes everything different, including the places we visit.  Despite growing up in HK and visiting every 1 - 2 years, this was the first time I visited Victoria Park (outside of CNY eve night markets).

Victoria Park is in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong Island.  At 19 hectares it is the largest park in the Island - very modest compared to parks in Australia (Centennial Park is 10 times bigger) but in a crowded city like Hong Kong it is an oasis of fresh air.


One of the most bizarre scenes I ever came across was a group of over 100 women swinging their arms around - *ahem* I meant exercising.  There was an instructor at the front guiding the participants of the "moves". The rest of their bodies are completely still.  It was very surreal - such a shame that I didn't have my camera with me to capture it.  I guess it was good for them to exercise, but I'm not really sure of the health benefits ...

The tai chi exercises were much more interesting.  I like those exercising with a fan or a sword.  Very elegant.


The park at that time of the day is devoid of the typical HK person (who is busy at work).  The visitors fell into 4 categories: (1) seniors with their children or helpers, (2) expats with their kids, (3) kids with their Filipino/Indonesian maids, and (4) people exercising.

The phenomenom of foreign maids is still incredible to me, even though they have been in HK since the 80s.  The maids are so affordable (the minimum wage is $HK3500 a month which equates to $A500, and they are often paid less than the minimum wage), even families with modest means can afford one.

Of course maids have been around for a long time, but this is a city where maids are prevalent in middle class families as well as upper class.  I wonder how it affects the society?  Do children growing up in a household with a maid ever learn how to do housework?  How does having a servant affect their world view?  Would they have a stronger sense of entitlement?

Interestingly, Victoria Park is the gathering ground for Indonesian maids on their day off (usually Sunday).


Now - what should I write about next?  Shopping or food?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Single Man

I was going to blog about my trip to HK but didn't know where to start, so I decided to travel down a tangent and write about the movie I watched on the plane on the way back to Australia.

I didn't know anything about A Single Man besides the fact that Tom Ford directed it. I like watching movies that I knew nothing about - diving in without any preconception (I watched Fargo and The Crying Game in this manner - great fun, the latter was a shock!)

This is not going to be a proper review, just my random impressions. There are going to be spoilers though so stop reading if you are planning to watch the movie.

* Colin Firth was amazing. The lust and love in the scenes with his lover, the pain and anger when he received the phone call, the fury when he exploded in the lecture about fear and minorities. The Oscars nomination was well deserved.

* I also liked Julienne Moore (I was so touched by her performance in The Hours).  Her character was a tragic one - pining for someone who will never be able to love her the way she wants him to. I found the interactions between Firth and her fascinating.

* Anyone remember the awkward little boy in About A Boy?

Photo: thesun.co.uk

Well he is a no longer a boy ...

Photo: Courtesy of the Weinstein Company

What a hottie!  The sexual tension between him and Firth was palpable.  I found this interview when I was searching for the photo above - interesting read.

* The movie was beautifully filmed but the tiny screen on the plane didn't do it any justice.  Great debut by Tom Ford.  Good soundtrack too.

* I was disappointed by the ending.  It was too ... neat?  I guess it's meant to be ironic but I just didn't feel it. 

I may watch it again when it's available on DVD, if only for the eye candy factor ;-)

Did you see the movie?  If yes, what are your thoughts?

---

On a separate note, Mr Curious and BIL saw Kick-Ass tonight, they said it was great.

Shiny new toy

I missed writing this blog whilst I was on holidays, but it was also nice to take a break from the computer.  I think I was online for a total of 15 minutes for the whole trip.

Of course there are lots to share from the trip (which will come later), for now you can check out my belated birthday present from Mr Curious.

Photobucket

I'm a lucky gal :D

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