Showing posts from September, 2011

Gatherings and Parties

Party time, and what to lay out to sustain, distract and amuse? Perhaps for a start, lay out bite-sized fruit slices, crispy nuts and the always appreciated cheese platter. Walnuts, apricots, chestnuts and more, even if they are not for Christmas. More healthy choices to nibble whilst holding a conversation - and a drink. Carving knives, napkins, biscuits and plates all add to the presentation (image above).

The choice of drinks depends on the crowd and purpose of event. Are they all twenty somethings, or older blokes thinking of the pub? We either settle for the optimal denominator, or attempt something special. We do not want staff members to break rules of the applicable code of conduct at end of year parties. At the same time, in this day and age, we may not want to be stiff upper lips at informal house gatherings. If we want some people to impress others, that has to be handled sensitively. Maybe Italian bottled mineral water is best, with less health issues. a bit of elegance and…

Dawn at Diggies, North Gong Beach, NSW

630am, on a Friday, is when there is a zen-like calm on North Gong Beach's Diggies Cafe and Restaurant. However, outside, as spring progresses, the sun is already up and running - and so are many nearby residents, cycling, running, power-walking, strolling or accompanying a trotting dog. As the light got more intense, the Tasman Sea remained steady. The staff at Diggies were already ready for the day and their first customers.

Nothing is as uplifting like a good new idea. I tried the Morning Sandwich (image above), as envisaged by Diggies - made up of fresh lettuce bites, juicy tomato slices, refreshing cuts of bacon, a tangy aroma of cheese and topped up with a deep fried omelette. I already felt like I was in the middle of a weekend - and my accompanying mates did too. We all felt the presence of the wood in Diggies at this time of day more than our previous times at lunch - before the crowds arrived, we felt how the layout and accessories provided flowed well with the time and…

Chatswood, NSW - The Concourse on a Rainy Day

Willoughby Council has embarked on an ambitious course in providing a state of the art facility in the heart of Chatswood - not just for Council meetings, community gatherings and the Council Library, but an exquisite auditorium for performance, plenty of space for the public to stroll and function rooms for other purposes.

I had the opportunity to visit the newly opened facility on a rainy and overcast weekend. Called the Concourse, I offer my image reflections at the start of the journey for this complex, and I am sure it will show signs of appreciated use in the near future. Utilities include the new Concert Hall, Theatre, Civic Pavilion and Studio, all a part of the Performing Arts Centre on The Concourse.

UOW Student Fitness Challenge


Libronz, Wollongong CBD

Misel and I had a great catch up one week night - and what a good suggestion he had in Libronz, along lower Crown Street in Wollongong CBD. The last time I had Spanish cuisine was at El Bulli (Elizabeth Street, Surrey Hills, Sydney CBD). Wollongong city centre was abuzz with more than its share of vehicular traffic that evening, most probably due to a gathering at a reserve park ocean side. Misel is more into diving at Bondi and spending more time with his lovely daughter - so it was good to be able to relax and even email a good mate in London, Dule.

Tapas come to the mind of many when we go Espanol - but the meaty mains we ordered were well done and turned out good. It is compulsory to have sangria to come with the meal. Tapas are akin to Korean entree selections served on small and delectable dishes. Spanish tapas originated in the Andulasian region. A variety of tapas choices exist - seafood, vegetarian, spicy, omelette, cheese, ham, etc - but consuming them is a ritual, echoing of…

Fight, Fright or Flee

Like the change of seasons, fortune can come in cycles. Not just in a material way, but with the flow of political winds, the throbbing of cultural transformation and moving socio-demographic patterns.

Individuals in power find themselves adrift. People who were labelled the underdogs can break free of their perceived serfdom. What was the custom for ages can be radically changed. Change need not descend suddenly upon the night like a silky wisp of dread, as in the stuff of legends, but gradually and surely, as a growing plant. On the other hand, change may have to be forced suddenly, under an apparent breaking point, like what we have seen this past year in the countries experiencing the so-called political Arab Spring.

The seeds of change can be sown long ago, and gestated quietly, away from public or media eyes. Most of us come to know of it only when the situation bursts upon the world stage in an eye-catching manner. Change had been underway when economic arrangements, access chann…

Spring time in Balgownie


Gathering at Pennant Hills NSW

The event was hosted by Jana and Slyvia Teoh, together with other members of the extended Teoh family in Sydney, NSW.