Showing posts from April, 2008

Watching Trains Go By

We cook and eat daily, unless we choose to dine out. The newspaper is delivered outside the door, if not straight on to our computers. We get ready to go out and then wind down when we come home. Monday mornings and Friday evenings see repeats of traffic rush. Holidays mean double demerit points applied if we commit road use offences and get caught.

We do business or work, invest our finances and hope there is accumulation of wealth. We try to convert monetary wealth to meaningful experiences of love, marriage, parenthood and family. Day and night come as predictably as the seasons, not just of nature, but also in sports, community events, skiing, fruiting seasons, surfing and cyclic payments and receipts. Babies are born, mature people try not to look older and youngsters can't wait to grow fast to savour forbidden things. People come and go, people promise to try to keep in touch and others actually do. Some meet unexpected encounters and get transformed. Some plan and gradually…

Two Puppies

Last Saturday morning, two obviously boisterous puppies played on the road. They epitomized the playful part of their lives, but seemed to be engaged in a ritualised dancing sequence. I stopped my Forrester just in time in front of them, as they gleefully enjoyed each other's company so much so that they totally forgot that they were right in the middle of a man made road.

I caught the glint in their eyes - they could not have been more than 3 months, with a rich brown coat of fur and handsomely marked faces. I wondered, in a year's time, would they still retain their youthful lack of care and intense enjoyment of life? Maybe they had amazingly escaped from under the house fence and had been wanting for all these rainy days to just release their bountiful, but pent-up, energy and just savouring the freedom of running outdoors. Maybe they were just being themselves, without any inkling of what they should be, and had the freedom to do so. What is sure was that they were having …

Wollongong By Night

A regional town on the eastern seaboard of the Australian continental island, Wollongong may not appeal to some, day or night. Under the night sky, however, the Wollongong city lights do form a layered but flat cornucopia of twinkling electrical lights beside the darkness of the Tasman Sea. When you are in the middle of it, you do not realise or see it, but when you approach the city from the mountain top highway coming from Sydney or inland, the view turns up like a delightful surprise, especially after the pitch blackness of the nearby Royal National Park.

Looking up into the London sky often offers a grey lead colour, but putting up your eyes over the Wollongong area night sky suggests so many possibilities for telescopes, constellation identification and viewing of the moon. To an ex-Sydney sider like me, the heavens after twilight are definitely different and clearer. From Mount Keira, one can make out specific landmarks, buildings and roads.

Essentially a suburban conglomeration…

A Weekend of Three Restaurants

The Towon Restaurant in Chatswood, Sydney, is run by a Korean family who spent some considerable time in north-eastern China. The cuisine is primarily Chinese with a unique Korean accent. There is Chinese food from Malaysia, Singapore, California, the United Kingdom, Canada, Vietnam and Thailand - so I found it particularly interesting to try such a variation. Presentation from the Towon is outstanding. The serving staff wear a clean dark uniform - the neatness of the dishes presented is more than matched by the taste. At the table in the private dining room, we had Beijing duck with crispy skin so different from the usual fare of the China's capital. There was more than a strong hint of spices and chilli in Towon's creations.

The Metro in Wollongong CBD, New South Wales, offered what could be described as three-course Australian fare. For a mate's fortieth birthday, around 30 of us gathered to partake in the ritual of drinks, dining and birthday cake singing - we took up …

Some Things Do Not Change, and Others Do

I had been there countless times for lunch when I was based at the Advance Bank Australia in North Sydney. This was a venue for good memories, for good food and good company. Perched on the top of a slope before the road turns down towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge, depending on where a person approached, one had to climb up a gradient or just stroll on an even path. It must have been sixteen years or more since the owners started there, having moved from Milsons Point. The couple who ran this place now have grown up children, and the husband still maintains a youthful look, despite years of cooking inside the kitchen, for that was his primary job. I am amazed that many of the staff members remained loyal to Irene and her hubby after all these years. On the Saturday I visited aftre so many years, I found out that it was their last day of operation there. The place was crowded - we shared a common table with two radiographer British tourists, Daniel and Liz, who were brought there for …