Thursday, July 31, 2008

another month of posts - day thirtyone

I've got good news! I got a six-month extension to my contract! Thank you God! It has been pretty stressful being at work not knowing if they will continue to keep me on... they said they would but it doesn't really matter until it's all been keep into paper. So today the paperwork was officially processed. Phew! It's such a relief... and now I can safely go on my end of year around the world trip without worrying about job hunting.

My cousin and her little son came over from Melbourne for a week-long visit. I got to catch up with her a little tonight... while playing Monopoly - the Disney Pixar version. Oh boy, that game really gets people's blood pumping. I love how when my cousins are together we often end up playing boardgames, mahjong, gin rummy, etc... Gotta love the family bonding through gambling and game tactics.

It's come to a close for the month of posts... I do apologise for the sporadic postings. The week without the internet connection at home really threw the progress out of whack. Looking back at the past month, even though I have been trying to not do too much, there still was quite a bit happening and I had discovered and learned some new things ie making cheesecakes, reignited my interest in Australian film, love the new albums by The Vine Band and Hillsong, I actually like watching the Tour on tv, etc...

Things I'm looking forward to this weekend:
- Going to watch the Wheelcats play.
- The Bledisloe Cup is being played in Auckland.
- Spending time with my Melbournian relatives.
- Feast... the monthly event that church encourages everyone to get involved with by inviting others to share a meal with you... my connect group will be having a feast I mean fiesta!
- Youth on Friday night... gotta love the young generation get passionate for a cause.
- My friends getting married... Mark and Kayi in Wales, and Alison and Drew in Colorado!

received in july - this beautiful japanese tea container from sydney

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

another month of posts - day thirty

Just a quick post... been thinking about the interesting way we now communicate and interact with one another... with mobile phones, text messaging, emails, blogs, forums, online networks etc, are we interacting with people less and less face-to-face... does that make the relationships formed more or less personal? Is it healthy to want everything in an instant? There are so many services nowadays online that delivers news as soon as it has been broadcasted out into emails and SMS... Do we really need to know all that is being broadcasted/updated? Are we becoming a society that just wants to be in the know of everything... literally everything and anything? Hmm still thinking...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

another month of posts - day twentynine

My gong gong was admitted to the hospital today. He hasn't been feeling all that well for the past few weeks... reckon he had a viral infection, lots and lots of coughing, lack of appetite, the list goes on. Anyway my aunt and uncle came over from Melbourne today coincidentally so they got to visit him at the hospital. Seems like my gong gong is just dehydrated but is also pretty weak at the moment. Hopefully he'll be able to leave the hospital soon. Having him at the Murdoch hospital has brought back memories of little Dominic as that was where he was born just two months ago. Sigh! This thought has been in my mind all evening.... 'Life is so fragile and we are not the ones in control of it.... God is'.

Currently loving:
- monthly curry nights with Jono and crew.
- 'Along With You'... a song off the new Vine album... love Alison's voice in it too.
- colour laser printers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

another month of posts - day twentyeight

Ooh I discovered Wordle... it's a 'toy' that generates word clouds using text you enter... it brings out the typography geek in me. Below is one from the gallery.

Also currently loving:
- City Homicide... one of the best aussie shows I've watched in ages.
- Sashimi... gotta love a bit of raw fish.
- Canapes... can be hideously fiddly to make, but tastes amazing... well I made some for the first time on Saturday and they turned out alright.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

another month of posts - day twentyseven

The Vine Band's new album 'From Ashes to Beauty' has finally reached my hands. I received a copy of the CD and DVD in the mail this weekend thanks to Cliff for being my HK postie. This album is definitely going to be played on repeat for a very long time! I am really loving the songs!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

another month of posts - day twentysix

Christmas in July... it's quite a popular event here in Australia... it's a fantastic reason for people to enjoy each others company whilst eating and drinking... plus much better than doing nothing during winter. My work colleague organised the event at her house and we all brought a dish each and a kris kringle present. There were some of our current project staff and some older ones from last year and their partners, and it was lovely catching up with everyone outside of work. The food was really yummy... everyone's dish was just delicious! Special mention of the brandy butter... woah there was more brandy than butter in that thing! There was a quiz and prizes... man I was rotten with the quiz... found out that I didn't really know too much about Christmas. The kris kringle was great... I scored a LED flashlight (it's super bright! love it) And towards the end of the night, a few of us began a little attached to the tv as the last time trial of the Tour de France was being shown... such dedicated fans. Oh and as I was driving home with Megan and Rohan we saw a fox! woot woot.

click on images for more pics

Friday, July 25, 2008

another month of posts - day twentyfive

I think I still have a job... well at least for a little while longer. My work has been undergoing a review and restructure and it has affected the project I have been working on for the past two years. The review was supposed to have concluded in April, but we did not hear of any news until this week. It has been really difficult working and not knowing how the things we were doing were in the grand scheme of things. But thank you God for helping me secure my job for a bit longer... my contracts of late have all been on a month to month basis because nothing could be made concrete due to the review. Yay for work.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

another month of posts - day twentyfour

My current top five songs: (in no particular order)
- 'Healer' the powerful song written and sung by Mike Guggliemucci in the latest Hillsong album... been bringing tears to be eyes every time I listen to it.
- Cheap Trick - 'If You Want My Love You Got It'... I heard the song sung by Paul Dempsey (Something For Kate) and Triple J's Doctor in the morning show's Like A Version and just loved it... plus the tune was stuck in my head for days after that.
- Sam Sparro - 'Black and Gold'... this disco tune has been airing lots through the radio stations... it is sooooo infectious... And I discovered that this guy is the son of Chris Falson. (This man also has the hottest pair of metallic purple oxfords)
- Flight of the Conchords - 'Business Time'. Those two kiwis make me laugh.
- 'New Soul' by Yael Naim... catchy tune and honest about learning and making mistakes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

another month of posts - day twentythree

Two months now... Still missing my little Dominic.
the proud auntie, dominic and his daddy

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

another month of posts - day twentytwo

Buildings that have caught my eye recently:
Dubai, the city which has been developing some incredibly amazing architecture lately. The latest in the works is 'The Dynamic Tower', an apartment building designed by David Fisher. It is an 80 storey building, and each level can rotate 360 degrees at voice command, and power-generating wind turbines between each level making the design more energy sustainable.

The Beijing National Stadium 北京國家體育場 aka the Bird's Nest 鳥巢, has been in the news not only for the unique design but also for the fatalities related to the construction process. The stadium will be where the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be hosting the opening and closing ceremony as well as the main athletics events. It's innovative structure consisting of the web of twisting steel sections that form the roof (hence the nickname Bird's Nest) was a collaboration by architects Herzog & de Meuron, ArupSport and China Architecture Design & Research Group.

CaixaForum Madrid, Spain, is not only for art-lovers (it is an art museum) but also an architectural spectacle. It's designed by Herzog & de Meuron to appear as if the building has been lifted off the ground, and my favourite outside feature of this building is that it has a 24m vertical garden! I've been eyeing the interior designs too and they are just so beautiful.

Monday, July 21, 2008

another month of posts - day twentyone

What? A day of rest from the Tour de France?! I was really looking forward to watching more cycling before bedtime tonight. I think dad and I have managed to lure Sarah into watching the Tour de France. Of course there's also Rupert Guinness, one of the reporters who contributes to the SBS coverage who has been providing us with endless amusement wearing those Hawaiian shirts of his... it's a different bold print each day. What is up with guys and Hawaiian shirts? I'm not too sure that it should be a fashion staple... and can one really wear those shirts day in day out????

Sunday, July 20, 2008

another month of posts - day twenty

Church's theme for this month has been 'Jesus, Light of the World'... tonight adam spoke and illustrated his message by using the camera lens and how the iris of the lens funnels light into the camera. Adam also shared his personal life story and it was really powerful. Reminded me of Matthew 5:13-15, and how light may be all around, but when it is surrounded by darkness, light becomes a focus point. I pray that my life will be more and more saturated in His light and that I will be able to have more opportunities to be His light in the lives of those around me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

another month of posts - day nineteen

Tri Nations Rugby has started this season. My whole family has been getting into it. Sarah bought tickets for a group of us to watch the Wallabies against the Springboks at Subi Oval today. I've never been to a live rugby game before, so it was a really great experience for me... dressing to support my team, taking the train into the stadium, then walking down to Subi to get some food before the game, sitting in a full capacity stadium next to quite a big contingent of Springboks fans (two of my friends amongst them), freezing in the upper stand, watching my team win! woot woot! We also had an impromptu belated birthday celebration for Shannon at a coffee shop after the game before we all headed back to suburbia. Can't wait for the Wallabies versus the All Blacks game this coming Saturday!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

another month of posts - day eighteen

Raspberry swirl cheesecake... that was the recipe I found in an old edition of delicious magazine. I decided to give it a test run tonight and brought them along to my friend's house. It was very well received with our strong cuppas of Irish Breakfast, fluffy blankets and us sitting on the comfy couches while loving every moment of Strictly Ballroom... wow I had forgotten how spectacular that movie was... one of Baz Luhrmann's earlier works.

Currently loving:
- spending quality hang out time with my girlfriends
- food magazines
- sleep

Thursday, July 17, 2008

another month of posts - day seventeen

It's officially started for the year... that is my annual knitting season has begun. I picked up some wool from the shops on the weekend and I dug out the needles and away I've been going. It's been very therapeutic doing a little knitting while watching tv. I like to knit but I have to admit it's limited skills... I only know how to knit scarves which can be pretty boring. Can someone please teach me how to knit other things? How does one do all the fancy cabling, scalloping, circular stuff with the 3 needles? Still so much to learn!
pic from

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

another month of posts - day sixteen

Just wondering... Is there a proper way to stay warm in winter? How much heating should one use? Is it justifiable to heat the room until it feels like you're on a tropical island? I reckon it's a pain in the neck to layer on clothes as I usually end up unable to move my arms properly etc... but at the same time I am saving electricity and gas... sigh decisions decisions.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

another month of posts - day fifteen

The swimming pool in the backyard has been removed... now in its place is a whole tonne of sand. The parentals decided it was time to dig out the pool as the cost of running it was too high with the water bill, chemicals, maintenance of the pump etc and the fact is we don't use it very often... it's a shame as the times we have used it there were some good times. Now for a little reminisce and some daydreaming of what the area will look like in the near future (it definitely won't be just a sandpit).
in the days of the swimming pool
Currently loving:
- 'Carried to the Table' by Leeland

Monday, July 14, 2008

another month of posts - day fourteen

Throughout all the weekend services at church there were guests from Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH) who spoke and performed in each session... Last night, Mike Duncan spoke about the emotional poverty and the devastation it can cause. I guess it's no coincidence that I have had this topic revealed to me more recently... even through novels. I pray that God will continue to guide and show me how to love, have compassion towards others, teach me to forgive and how to relate. I feel so blessed to have an amazing girl friends around me who encourage, inspire and support. There are so many hurting people... and I pray that we may all reach out even just a little to those around us and make a positive difference in their world.

Below is one of the bracelets that church is selling to help raise money for the UNOH mission work in Klong Toey, Bangkok.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

another month of posts - day thirteen

Tour de France.... never thought I'd ever watch people cycle, but I have to admit I have been hooked on the Tour this year. Dad and I officially started watching the sport together last year on tv and I have been learning lots about the tactics the riders and teams use to win the different stages. I'm still not 100% percent sure of all the rules and the routes but this sport has definitely got me glued to the television. I'm amazed at how fast these riders can travel... the commentators reckon down certain descents they can be travelling at 120kph and often the average pace is in the mid 50kph and over 100kms per day! It's simply insane! Although I have to say what is up with the winner of the yellow jersey only winning a stuffed animal? At the end of each stage the other winners have little trophies and plaques... weird. Think I need to read up on this a little more...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

another month of posts - day twelve

It's my cousin Syl's daughter Kimberley's first birthday party. The little girl was very excited about seeing lots of people show up and dote on her, plus not to mention she got to rip open all the wrappings of her new presents. Her grandma who couldn't attend as she was in KL joined us on skype briefly to check out the party vibes. The highlights of the party for me was seeing Jac eat profiteroles with chopsticks.... and the agar agar kuei that my cousin Evelyn made... wow it tasted just like the ones I've had before in Malaysia... not bad for a first time attempt!

Friday, July 11, 2008

another month of posts - day eleven

I am not able to upload this post directly online as the internet connection at home seems to have collapsed. Do you reckon it may have something to do with the poor electricity circuit around the house? Either way the back end of the house (the section around my bedroom) needs to have an electrician have a look at the circuitry as my bathroom lights don't seem to like the exhaust fan... yes very dodgy. How much do we rely on technology these days... an non-expert will just use electricity without asking how it works and how it's wired around the building etc, and when the electricity shuts off (often unexpectedly) we all freak out and alternative solutions seem so inconvenient... Same applies to the internet, we have (well up until tonight) a wireless system at home, so mom and dad at the other end of the house are able to check stuff online without all the cables poking out and around the place. These days, we switch our computers on and the internet is often automatically connected on... to think back just 10 years ago most of us had to plug in a phone line to a modem for some dial-up action. And the new iPhone came out today in Australia and supposingly there were people lining up outside the shops just to purchase one... this new phone is supposed to have all sorts of funky functions ie camera, 3G connectivity, plays music and videos, acts as a pda, etc... and just 10 years ago, calling people using a mobile phone was kindda a big deal. Oh how things change and how often we now update our technology... if only I knew how to make technology work better and get the internet connection going again...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

another month of posts - day ten

Another one of my friends is leaving Perth. I got to know Anna just before I moved to Perth via the 180 forum. Anyway caught up with Anna tonight over dinner, and we reminisced over our friendship. Looking back and now understanding a little more, God really has been control of our lives, and just how much He has blessed my life bringing awesome friends into my life...
- Five years ago moving to Perth was so daunting as I knew no one, yet somehow I managed to find a forum member from Perth and then got her connected with Ruth.
- When I moved over, Ruth and Anna were there for me, introducing me to their church, friends and Subi-ah-co (the butt of all jokes)
- Anna found a home at her local church and I've seen change to become a beautiful and confident woman of God. She's been a real inspiration to me.
- In this five year period, we have both become teachers... and Anna loves teaching so much that she's going to HK to teach.
- There has been much support and encouragement, lots of philosophising, and lots of laughter over food and drink.
- You know there's something more than yourself wanting to move to another city when you feel at peace, and when you start to get excited about moving on and experiencing new things.

Bon voyage Anna. I know God will be providing you with some new and exciting opportunities as you move out of Australia. oxox

at the moon cafe + anna & ann

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

another month of posts - day nine

I have been really blessed with friends that love, care, support, encourage and inspire me... One of these friends is Lari. I've known her since my Hong Kong days when we were both living there... When I moved to Perth, she had just started teaching in Esperance... a town 8-hours south of Perth. Because of this, we only catch up whenever she's Perth and often over some retail shopping, curry or coffee. I knew Lari had just arrived in town yesterday and invited her this afternoon (last minute planning) to a Kit Cosmetics event. It was just like the good ol' days where we would meander through the HK malls making beelines into the cosmetic boutiques and trying out the different makeup... We became familiar with some of the new products being showcased, and after much testing and sniffing we both decided to pamper ourselves with a couple purchases each. Thank you God for kindred spirits :)

Currently loving:
- Leeland - Beautiful Lord
- Australian Table (magazine)... helping me slowing build the confidence to cook more
- frozen raspberries

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

another month of posts - day eight

I heart China 中國. The country had been on my heart for almost a decade now. Something in me gets really excited when I think of the place. And I'm thrilled that everyone's getting geared up for the Beijing Olympics in August... I can still remember the day (back in July 2001) when it was announced that Beijing was going to host the 2008 Olympics, I was living in Beijing at the time and the whole city was just going nuts over the news. Everyone started buying up English language learning books, the city was being transformed landscape-wise each day, so much so that roadworks could look extremely different within just one day. I love the country's diversity... languages, foods, ethnic groups, geography, architecture, history, etc. It's been weird me living in Perth, and feeling that it's home, yet I'm still drawn to China. Guess I'll keep praying and see how it all pans out. In the meantime I'm getting ready for the Games. I'll definitely be watching the women's hockey as one of my friends will be competing! So proud of her woot woot! I'm currently fascinated and mesmerised by the Beijing National Aquatics Center (北京國家游泳中心) aka the Water Cube (水立方), the building is not only aesthetically whimsical (it was inspired and based on the structured of soap bubbles) but also has incorporated water saving and environment conscious features. A special feature of the building is the 'Bubble Bar' where visitors can touch the bubble membrane of the building... too awesome!

(Photos from Beijing 2008)

Monday, July 07, 2008

another month of posts - day seven

The weather has been pretty cold recently but I have been pretty impressed and amazed with the selection of flowers that have been available... some of the spring blossoms have already sprung up and are appearing in the shops like the daffodils (normally a late July/ early August bloomer) and ranunculus. And at home, we received a bouquet of cabbage flowers the other day... they are adorable! I'm not sure if they are the ornamental cabbages or ones you can eat them, but they look incredible. Back to the cold weather... the temperature drop has made me crave hot food and drinks... is it bad to have more than one coffee a day? well more the question of can I justify spending money on more than a coffee a day? have I become hooked onto this magical work kickstarter? (I have a creeping suspicion that the answer is a yes) As I have been dreaming about soups, I have been investigating how to make different soups, reading cooking magazines, surfing cooking websites, tv shows, checking out different restaurants etc... my weak observation: Chinese soups are much more broth-ier than Western-styled soups. I will now have to do some taste testing and some trial and error in the kitchen...

Currently loving:
- 打邊爐 steamboat (don't think I typed the correct characters) but I am loving dipping all my food into the boiling hot broth and eating it with an egg, some 沙茶醬 (satay/sacha sauce), 麻油 (sesame oil), 辣椒 (chilli)
- my electric blanket... mmm toasty