Showing posts from April, 2007

Feasting into Autumn

Zesty fish curry, eaten by me with the right hints of sour, spicy, coconut milky and peppery. It takes me to warm tropical nights, refreshing after a stormy downpour, with the breezes coming in at twilight from the coast. Fish head cheeks or soft fillet, what melts in the mouth also brings to the imagination of tales from the spice trade, of okra fingers simmering in the heady mix of chilli and paste, of onion slices melting into the subtle flavours of kallipillay leaf aromas.

This was no pavement side stall dish on a tropical isle, but in the dining room of a cousin's house in north-west Sydney. It might have been coolish outside, but the warmth of such soul food and good company provided a totally different ambience inside on this weekend night. Taken with hot Chinese tea or hazelnut-flavoured white coffee, the stomach feels the sensations of food and drink which are the products of multi-culturalism, not just as relatively recent novelties in capital cities of the Australian co…

The Postbox

My postbox is back in operation. The box that is standing in front of my house. During the advent of the Lunar Year of the Pig, someone had pulled it out of its position and thrown the box on the street. And this is not even a Sydney suburb.

I had then just put a shiny new label sticker requesting for no advertising material - thank you. That was in January, and now after the Easter holidays, I was back at the local Bunnings hardware store to get a repalcement sticker. I used to read the colourful, well printed brochures but am now weary of them. Hey it all adds to the cost of a product or service. The printing is of high quality and so must be the costs of producing them. There must be a better way of marketing!

With the internet and email, what turns up in a snail mail postbox are mainly commercial stuff, like bills to pay, magazines (if one still reads the hand-held version) and advertising materials. Whatever happened to the written letter from home or faraway? Thankfully, I still…

A Drive Away

The McKeoghs at Bald Hill Lookout
Last Sunday I discovered the enclave of Burrill Lake, South Coast, New South Wales, when I drove across the bridged road that is on the same level of its still waters. What caught my eye were the mounds of hills that lay beside the lake, all trimmed an even green and that reminded me of mysterious islands lying low amidst the clouds.

A drive away in my neighbourhood opens up vistas of discovery and impressions of delight. They may come around a bend after cruising through a country road, or surprise me after negotiating a steep incline. They may be man-made, like quaint building facades or unusual signs, but more often than not, they are part of the landscape and topography.

Bald Hill Lookout, near Stanwell Park and where a tremor hit only last week, offers stunning views of the Tasman Sea and the series of rolling hilly coast south of the greater Sydney area. Driving home at night always makes me look out at the fairy night lights of the Wollongong metr…

April Transitions

I am told that it is the best time of the year. I was convinced it is. Autumn in this southern climatory zone.
I live too near the tropics and too far from the true temperate altitudes. There are no brown falling leaves, and it still feels like summer. Bed quilts are only required in the middle of the night but no wardrobe changes are in the air.
Mid-April, and there has been a host of cultural occasions marked. Easter, Ching Ming, Songkran, the stop of daylight savings time, Anzac Day and the end of the Australian fringe benefits tax year.
Originally from the northern hemisphere, I have intinctively done "spring" cleaning. Not just at home, but also in the office and in virtual cyberspace. It feels good, and the cobwebs of the mind go along into the "delete" click and good-riddance bin. The Maz 6 is to go, so I have been visiting car yards in Wollongong - I like the convenience of having all the vehicle brands represented wihtin ten minutes drive from home.