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Showing posts from December, 2008

Truly, Madly, Deeply

Right: Developing Pomegranate from my Garden
You are obviously in love.

Every detailed thing that Darling does for you, you note and analyse like
a school lab frog - but I don't blame you, only to wish you receive
the love you deserve and that both of you are protected if things don't go the
way both Darling and you want.

I am sure you are in love because you lap up the good advice that Darling
gives you - like a little puppy, I must say. That is a sure sign of
the goodness of a positive relationship, in that it motivates you
further to do things that you know you want and you should, but just
require a little gentle push to actually do it!

You must be in love as well because you get all truly glad inside your
heart just to know that Darling is happy. Love, as I understand it, is
self-less, makes the lover forget his existence and willingly submerge
into the consciousness of the loved one. How well is the loved one
willing to infuse the dimension of this existence with you?

What is age and…

Sunday Outings

Alex Higgins has grown up. He tells me that he is now in Year 10 at school. Alex lives in an enclave of southern Sydney that overlooks the sea, perched up on a cliff top. I catch up with his Dad as well. Little William has brought back a tiny strawberry after a walk with his uncle and aunt, who got hitched recently, first in a Phuket Buddhist Temple, then in the registry in Parramatta and soon to beholding their reception at Chateau Carlingford.

The afternoon was getting oppresively hot and humid. We were in a green house portion of an Austrian-German restaurant in far north Sydney. The food was excellent, including my fav duck, pork knuckle, potato au gratin and the lightly batterred fish. After lunch, my group of four riding in the same car secretly diverted to the nearby Ba'hai Temple, strikingly white and laced with lattice windows with a beauty topped by its harbour lighthouse top. This is the first time in many years that I have seen the building of prayer in sunny daylight.

Highlights of the Year

Maybe I over think of what can be improved, or what needs to be done going ahead, that I unfairly forget about the existing good things in my life, especially for the past year.

The annual medical test taken bravely after a weekend of feasting for Christmas had a good outcome. Interest rates had come down in recent months at almost the same pace as banks had raised it earlier without care for their customers. I have a vibrant team synergy at work. I enjoy responding to the challenges thrown at me in surprising contexts from a few smiling hyena types who snarl only behind my back.

The car had not given problems, except for some unexplained sounds, and I thought I was winning the war against garden weeds. More rain had fallen in an apparent break of the drought where I reside. The views of the neighbouring hills, either with a clear blue sky or topped by cloud and fog, continue to provide inspiring vistas when I come out of my front door, and I can feel the ocean breeze from where the …

On a One-Horse Open Sleigh

Love works in strange ways.

Like finding the right house or the dreamed of car, it can be a logical result or just a sincere surprise when we least expect it. Logic can defy the choice, feelings arouse the instinctive and the bonding defies whatever convention that may apply to it.

Rouselavata had been trying. He had retained sufficient hope to not unnecessarily close any window of opportunity. At the same time, he had developed a workable sense of realism in whom he preferred and what could translate further into a meaningful relationship. All these may seem hypothetical and good in theory, and unless he could apply all these in one real example, it remained good only in planning and on paper.

One week it all came together. Someone turned up. Someone who could click so well with him in his interests of music, style of mingling and getting to know each other. Someone who added to stability and a heightened sense of living. Someone who made Rouselavata glow inside and made him share his n…

Joyeaux Noel

The dessert spread could have been sufficient. White Sago in Malacca sugar; steamed nine layer cake; a large Australian fruit platter that had mangoes, grapes and more; Straits Chinese cassava pudding; the white top over green in a concoction literally called 'beautiful face", accentuating its over all smoothness; freshly baked curry puffs; and longans iced in jelly cubes from Singapore. We had more choices for high tea than in the Inter-Continental Sydney.

This was preceded by the mains that reflected the heritage of those who sat around the table. Fresh noodles swam around a prawn-based light spicy and tasteful soup in har mee, garnished by pork cuts, chili kangkong vegetables and prawn fillets. Glutinous rice had been boiled with two different types of fillings in the servings of chang, traditionally served in the Aussie mid-winter and associated with the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. Indian pancakes prata were eaten dipped in a robust chicken curry cooked with well cooked…

The Year That Nourished

It is still fresh in my mind - the tingling and heightened sense of what it means to enjoy what life can offer. This does not necessarily mean partaking the sensations of untried fruit or stepping into a corner of the Earth that was previously inaccessible to us, but much more. It leaves in me an inner gulp and something that remains to nurture and encourage me, a planted seed that allows me to rely upon for potential and continuing growth and a contented source of not just memory but spewing happiness.

It all begins with perhaps one may view as ordinary events, but which to me are a source of my gratitude to unexpected events. Out of the blue one afternoon, someone took the trouble, all by himself, to organise a wholesome cake to celebrate on my actual birthday in front of whole group of people. And he even sang and led a song. Earlier at lunchtime,another surprise gathering was organised at my fav on-site work cafe and this function drew attendance from people I appreciate the frien…

Irony of Some People

The person with whom we want to avoid keeps turning up round the corner. Those whom
we miss so much seem so difficult to get near and catch up with. We put our heart and soul into something we have passion about and that is diverted from us into something trivial, or a molehill made into a mountain. We treat some people nicely and they bite back with an ungratefulness that animals don't have. We place our trust into an individual and that individual utilises the same trust to get us into an unfounded allegation.

We give out of our own free will and expect nothing back - but are quickly dropped once we are of no use to some short-sighted people. At times, I feel as if I am being challenged by parties that do not have any civilised sense of behaviour - and obviously think too much of themselves. Some pretend to make a show of smiling in front of us but bring out the sharpened knives behind my back. It may be all relative. They are even better than those who show their feeling of di…

Three Fishes

Do succulent fishes taste better with the bone, or without?

Nothing is as exquisite as when one bites into a lovingly made, melting yet crunchy, piece of grilled snapper. The marinade oozes its cooked flavours into the tongue and then I feel the relish for more, as the skin blends into the rich body of the piece inside the mouth. The fresh salads seem to bask glowingly in the juices dripping from the masterpiece. There are no bones to contend with, only the enjoyment of good company and the relaxing views of the quiet waters of a small marina beside some green slopes. I thought, after all the hard work in a job, this is what I live for. Maybe not just for the fish, but the ease and humour coming from someone enjoying the meal with me.

Another day, another fish - barramundi. Served with pilaf rice and induced with what was described as Persian spices, in the menu I had expected a fillet, but what was right in front of me on my plate was this whole long fish, baked to a torrid exotic fi…

Australia

It is a movie with expectation and preceding hype from the media, word of mouth and a sense of belonging. What is the reality?

Not based on any best seller novel, but with a background of historical fact, Baz Lurhmann has tried to capture the quintessential core of what it has meant to be Australian in the portrayal on screen of three structured episodes - the harshness and beauty of surviving and adapting to the tropical Australian countryside; the circumstances faced by the stolen generation, whereby Aboriginal-blooded children were separated from their families to stay with white adoptive parents; and the impact of Darwin being bombed by Japanese planes more than sixty years ago on the heart and soul of Australian society.

The cinematography offered splendid vistas of dry and wet landscapes in all their detail and stirring of the senses. The shots of people at the city ball and of the aftermath of a city besieged evoked of both Christopher Doyle and graphic digitisation. The runnin…

A Touch of Mexican

Over twenty over guys sat decked out along two sides of a long cantina table.

It could be a night out at college, or it was a gathering of a sports team. Whatever it was, where ever they came from, there was a camaraderie buzzing with them, easy conversation from relaxed mates and the food served quickly eaten with gusto. I thought a chap looked like Beckham, another reminded me of the Miscel I know, two were obviously brothers and the joker in the crowd had a sense of showmanship and effective expression about him.

Ee-lane had organised this outing into the land of burritos, thick pizza crusts, nachos, lettuce, lamb and chicken fillings and attentive waiters. The master of the laid back restaurant was traditional and came out to ask about the food and service -is everything all right? The waiters kept their cheerfulness despite a busy night and even if no sangrias or Margarita's had been ordered. My group favoured the quasiladdas, so tasty with the soft and aromatic fillings prov…

A Touch of Chinatown

Starting with the brunch of yum cha and finishing up with a ten-course home cooked banquet, the day had been celebrated with touches of Chinatown, in a country that partly shares the same time zone as East Asia and in a city that has seen radical demographic transformations in the past twenty years when compared to its previous two hundred.

Zilvers, located on an upper floor in a complex near the old Sydney Custom House and across the relatively new tram tracks of the Capitol Theatre complex, was already chock-a-block at 11am on a Sunday morning. The usual variety of steamed, fried and braised dishes, savoury, sweet, sour and more, came steaming hot or ice cold atop trolleys pushed between round tables of varying seating numbers. For some unexplained reason, the train of yum cha offerings stopped coming and then resumed with the same old tried ones instead of new ones to keep the palates of customers going. My table of four decided that that it was not worth being stuck playing the ol…