Showing posts from November, 2008

The Sense of Just Being

We work smart and we play hard. Then we long for a time out with no structure, no deadlines, no compulsion and no limitations.

The day begun with passing rainy showers with the occasional lightning. I could hear rumblings from the sky, and felt the heavy weight of humidity hanging there, undecided and restless. Never mind, what a good opportunity to have a lazy start on a Saturday morning.

When I had enough of being in a state of neither full sleep nor an awakened state, I made the coffee and got mesmerised by the on-going and live reporting on telly from two different cities in southern Asia. Travellers frantic on getting out of a city airport that had been occupied by protesters in their thousands. Hotel guests trapped in the rooms they checked in a few nights ago but only now had been released by police and the army. What has the world come to?

I lazed around the lounge reading for leisure, instead of some required purpose. The skies still looked dark and uneasy outside. I loved l…

A Touch of Lisboa

It had been a rainy and windy morning. The leaden skies threatened to colour our inner selves, but with a touch of spice, a touch of laughter and a touch of custard, that Sunday turned out to be any thing other than cloudy.

In an unassuming suburb of inner city Sydney, I was brought down memory lane. Joyce, Charmaine and I may have started with dessert at breakfast, but we continued to see familiar things from our past to enrich the culinary journey and tour of things essentially Portuguese. Tarts with caramel (pasteis nata) in La Patisserie sat side by side with ricotta creations and other well crafted pastries. I could feel a bright and light sense of homeliness created in this bakery. Fernando insisted on a hands-on demonstration of pressing the thin dough in little flat cups. He showed his innate love of his role in the kitchen through his humorous interaction with each of us, When he chatted, even in a group, it was as if he was talking only to you.

There were passing showers bu…

The Most Relaxing State

Researchers and scientists have tried to study and analyse it. They may even have tried to replicate it. However, this is not a matter for sequential breakdown or controlled experiments. This is more of a case of a personal dimension, a moment of not the meeting of the stars and the moon in the heavens, but the alignment of the right physical, psychological and physiological elements in a hallmark moment belonging to the inner soul.

Many strive for this state - when both body and mind are caught up in a feeling of content. This may arise strangely enough after we have been put through much pressure and challenge, and on overcoming them, we glide into another world inside ourselves, when the frailties and temporariness of external things are of mere relative unimportance, and our whole internal navigation and sensory system suddenly bask in the realisation of the true dimension and purpose of existence.

Lounging on a sofa, after a week of my adrenalin rushing for both the right and wro…


The first Tuesday of November. Besides the requests for raising funds to help fight prostate cancer and depression in men, in the midst of all the busy routine at work, three things happened. Three remarkable events.

The first was the announcement of another decrease in the Australian interbank interest rates. This was the third time in a row that offered potential relief to borrowers and mortgage debtors in costs after a long period of gradual but relentless increase in the price of getting funds to own a home. The one in October exceeded speculation and expectations by seeing a drop of one percent - and now another 0.75% was reduced. The world and the country was heading towards economic recession. There is prediction of a drastic increase in the jobless rate whilst inflation seems to be still strong in a nation of just 21 million. Yet Australians collectively poured around AUD51million in gambling bets for the sole Flemington horse race known as the Melbourne Cup.

The second was th…

Across the Adriatic

Nuance, taste and texture. How flavours are combined to enhance the overall sensations of sit-down dining. Add the ambiance and the mood. And one may then have a truly relaxing meal.

On the Friday evening of Halloween this year, the three of us had Italian. Eu-gene and Sheridan had come up from Melbourne, and it was a good opportunity to catch up. Al dente spaghetti that were infused with the light yet wholesome savoury feel when mixed with fresh vongole juices. Top up with well marinated tender lamb cutlets that were not fatty but just lean right. For starters, we had thin crust pizza from a stone oven. For dolci, we finished off with hazelnut gelato and two types of biscotti. The crowd built up behind us with a crescendo of easy chatter. Haberfield has its regulars, even after the delis and specialist pastry shops closed, and even if Leichhardt beckoned with its more intense night life not far away.

The next day we decided to spend the afternoon mainly in Sydney's north shore, m…