Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Today is Boxing Day and the post-Christmas sales are in full swing. I must be instinctively programmed for this significant day of excessive consumer spending because I found myself dressed and ready to go bright and early this morning. However, after doing a quick cost-benefit analysis in my head, I decided that the desire to avoid the crush of people outweighed any potential benefit of picking up a good bargain and I stopped myself walking out the door.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
As usual, I was the first one up. I quickly proceeded to wake up the rest of the house, jumping up and down in excitement. We then opened all our Christmas presents together. The rest of the family is now having brekky. I'm still stuffed from last night's dinner.
Monday, December 24, 2007
I have a rather small apartment in Melbourne which meant I had to leave a bunch of my stuff at my parents' place in Canberra. I'm not talking about trivial things like books and clothes. The stuff I'm referring to is far more substantial than that. I'm talking about a couple of large tanks of tropical fish, a pet cockatoo, the odd bonsai (or four), some carnivorous plants, a ton of fossils, and a greenhouse full of tropical orchids. To my parent's credit (and my complete shame for dumping the responsibility on them), they have not only managed to keep most of the live stuff alive but, in some instances, have had better success coaxing things to thrive under their care. A classic example is my Vanda denisoniana which I have had for over 10 years. I came back to Canberra on this latest trip to see it in full bloom. I've had the bloody thing for 10 years and not once have I managed to get it to flower for me. Grrrr...
Today was a day of wallowing in excessive feast. It started at lunchtime with a visit to a local yum cha restaurant here in Canberra. I tend to over eat at yum cha establishments....those tiny dumplings go down so very easily. The problem here was compounded by the fact that this was no ordinary yum cha restaurant. No. This was an all-you-can-eat yum cha restaurant. Many many dim sums later (not to mention the odd chicken feet), I was finally satiated (not sure if satiated is the right word here...'bursting at the seams' is probably more apt). Dinner was just as excessive. My parents tend to go over board. We had not only the good old turkey but also a huge christmas ham, salmon, prawns and a whole bunch of salads. I think I'm going to be eating leftovers for the rest of the time I am here in Canberra.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I love the National Gallery of Australia. Unusual for a national art museum, the NGA is quite a young institution and was only established in 1967. The building is arguably one of the best examples of brutalist-style architecture in Australia. The gallery has a great collection of modern European and American art (including the controversial "Blue poles" by Jackson Pollock). I love the big metal ball hanging outside the gallery (visible in the picture above). It is called "Dimonds" and is by kiwi sculptor, Neil Dawson. Dimonds is a replacement for another Dawson sculpture, "Globe", which was irrevocably damaged in a huge storm a few years ago (I think it was struck by lightning!).
Back home for Christmas. Been busy catching up with family and friends. Went out for lunch yesterday with Michael and Hanna all the way out in the sleepy hamlet of Gundaroo. Ooohoo. The food was great. I had rabbit terrine for starters and a confit of duck for my main. I tend to think of myself as a bit of a gourmand but, still, I had no idea, until recently, that a 'confit' (pronounced "Kon-fee") refers to an animal (usually poultry or pork) cooked in its own fat. No wonder I felt my heart palpatate as I stuck my fork into the succulent (duck) flesh.