Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Highlights

This is our yummy rummy Christmas cake which Tony's mum made. She makes these delicious steamed Christmas cakes with dried fruit which she has soaked in rum for at least a month. This cake didn't last very long, I tried my darnedest to prolong its lifespan by doling out a sliver every night after dinner to G despite his pleas for more. I managed to save 2 slices till Christmas evening where after dinner, the family came back to my place and had tea, Christmas cake, B's chocolate salami and truffles which she had made. All hand-made, all yummilicious.
This was of course dessert part 2 already as we had a seafood dinner and dessert was this glutinous rice with coconut ice-cream creation topped with a mint leaf, with dry ice special effects. Very dramatic.

The pretty table setting was at the lunch I had at B and F's. Lovely festive setting, delicious food, great company. G was under the weather and stayed in bed most of Christmas day but did find the energy to get up and enjoy the care package sent back with me. Except he didn't get one of F's coffees. I on the other hand, had 2! Christmas is all about food, family and friends - 3 F's and I guess the order in which I've listed them is a bit telling?

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Sydney - Exhibition

Amidst all the eating and drinking, we went to an exhibition opening at the gallery which was next to our old house on Cooper St, Surry Hills.

As usual, it was crawling with art students chugging bottles of beer and plastic glasses of wine.

We did a quick run of the show and the most interesting piece to me was the real-life models in Super Hero outfits. Not quite sure what the theme was as it was a whirlwind tour of the gallery
before we headed out to our next appointment.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

San Jose And Sydney - Related Through Food

My last few trips as told in photographs and captions!

San Jose: Undoubtedly the best meal in the entire week. From Left Bank, a French restaurant in Santana Row, this duck confit capped off the trip with (finally) a great meal before I took the 15 hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney.

Arrived in Sydney surprisingly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed having slept pretty decently on the flight which
was a HUGE surprise as I NEVER sleep on flights. At least not long, restful sleep that will make me feel like I've had suf
ficient rest. But I wasn't complaining as I left my bags at the hotel which wouldn't let me check in at 9 am. Then did a whole clean up in the bathroom, ditched jeans for summer wear and then met C for a lovely day out at Bondi beach. We had lunch then hit the markets where I bought this really kooky tank-top with feathers on the shoulders. I loved the black top with black feathers but bought the natural brown feathered top and subsequently regretted it. But the disappointment was made up with the Bondi to Bronte beach walk which was great as usual. A long cool drink awaited us at the end of the trek. Lovely day with blue skies and gorgeous-looking water.
Next event in this trip was the great meal at Lovedale, Hunter Valley where we had a lovely 3-course dinner. Lovedale is where they host the annual Lovedale Long Lunch and now I understand why. My main course was this yummy slow-cooked pork belly with a piece of crackling topping it off. It ended up being a communal crackling akin to a communal pipe, being passed around the table to the others who had not had the foresight to order this delicious dish so that they could get a taste.

Again, another enjoyable event in our Sydney trip was a dinner party at our friend's place in Glebe. Another amazing dinner whipped up by our talented friend, S who dazzled us with his professionalism as well as his balcony garden which supplied all the herbs and some of the vegetables.

There is much more that we enjoyed from our time in Sydney, as it was the first time G and I have been back together since we relocated to Singapore. It was a home-coming of sorts for us, as we wandered through our old neighbourhood and visited familiar restaurants and cafes and tried out new things and caught up with old friends. We missed so much of our old life but have so much of our new life to explore together.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Blue Jeans

I am not a jeans person, it's simply too hot for hot and muggy Singapore. Living in Sydney was a totally different story. It was de rigeur every day wear for the winter where one needs to keep one's legs warm and covered up. And preferably with a thicker material like denim.

But working in a tech company has changed what was formerly acceptable office attire. Most men come in jeans and polo shirts every day. Some women too. For me, jeans became the no-brainer default attire when one woke up too late, too tired to think of what to wear or just plain can't-be-bothered/not in the mood to try anything even the slightest bit fancy. The air-conditioning at work makes wearing them bearable for me.

I only have one pair of jeans that fit me. My black boot-cut jeans. However, after 4 years and wearing them every winter weekend in Sydney, the black is now faded to some sort of gray and G has been bugging me to get a pair of blue jeans. I was lucky that at the second shop I looked at for jeans, I found this pair of sleek-straight cut dark blue jeans.

I'm glad I didn't have to try on 100 pairs which was what G recommended one has to do to find a pair of jeans that fit oh-so-perfectly because jeans are one of life's fashion staples (according to him). So now, the sartorial aspect of my life can move on to more interesting things like why people at work do not appreciate my Chinese jacket matched with my black jeans and red snakeskin ballet pumps...

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Work Hard, Little Grasshopper

Isn't it a bit of a paradox when we say we work hard for retirement? What if we work so hard at jobs we dread and we never make it through to retirement in one piece? Is it still $1 million per person to sustain us for the remainder of our days till we kick the bucket? If so, how many regular folks will make it?

So many questions, so few answers.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Artistic Piles Of Books

We have books sitting in piles along a wall in the home office. According to Apartment Therapy, that is an acceptable way of displaying one's books. Well, all right if the decor experts say so. But I am still looking for a nice retro bookcase.

Today, we went to Likethatone and I saw a few that I like. The one at the
top of my list is technically not a bookcase. I am feeling a bit ambivalent about the tin panel which has replaced the original glass because the glass was a goner. I like the art deco curves and the legs. But G is not in favour as it is not a bookcase.
The second one is my favourite amongst the actual bookcases. The glass keeps dust off the books. But G tells me that in his world, bookcases do not have glass! If there is glass, it becomes a cabinet. He is happy leaving our books in artistic piles on the floor.

As none of them has evoked in me, the "I must have it" feeling, I think I shall wait a little.

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