Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rusty metal, duck tongues and Eurotrash

Caught up with a friend/work colleague on the weekend. Took him to yum cha on Little Bourke Street. He had never been before. Decided to be adventurous and try something exotic so we ordered the steamed duck tongue with sea cucumber. Not bad but I don't think my companion enjoyed the sea cucumber much.

After lunch, my friend headed off to the camera shop and I walked down to Flinders Lane to check out the latest exhibition by Swan Hill artist, Lorraine Connelly-Northey at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi. LCN uses found metal objects to craft amazing aboriginal 'string' bags. It was an amazing exhibition. Couldn't resist the urge and bought some pieces. I know Nathan will have a good laugh when he sees them...rusty bits of metal fashioned into art isn't everybody's cup of tea.

Caught the last hour of the Eurovision final on Sunday. Brought back memories of twice being in Finland when Eurovision was on. The second time I was there, Finland actually won. This time round, I thought Ukraine and Sweden were the best. I guess I'm a sucker for those over-the-top camp dance numbers!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fits and giggles

I know I shouldn't laugh at other people's misfortunes but what I witnessed this afternoon could easily have been in a comedy sketch. And I only laughed afterwards when I was well away from the situation so that makes it ok (except for the people who saw me giggling to myself uncontrollably...I'm not sure what they were thinking but they kept a wide berth on the foot path).

I was at a work-related course today and during the afternoon tea break, the seven people in attendance were all standing around the coffee machine, eating buscuits and chatting amongst ourselves. Suddenly, I hear a girlish shreak. It was the plump english history professor. He had somehow managed to spill a cup of tea all down the front of his jumper and was bent over double like an inverted letter "L" frozen in place for what seemed like an eternity, busily flapping his jumper to try and cool the spilt tea. No one knew what to do so we all stood around watching him trying to distance his body as best as he could from his wet jumper. Eventually, a couple of people had to help him remove his suit jacket and jumper. It wasn't terribly funny at the time but somehow, 2 hours later, I got into a giggling fit....the girlish shreak, the flapping arms, the two innocent bystanders tugging at the professor's clothes. It was all too much for me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Judging a book by its cover

Sat opposite a large, burly guy on the train today. There was obviously a softer side to the rough-looking exterior for the man was totally engrossed in the contents of his novel, Pride and Prejudice.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Man on a mission...

I was a man on a mission on Sunday. After 3 years of impeccable timing, the battery on my watch finally died and I needed to drop it off to a specialist watch dealer to get the battery replaced. The whole process takes about an hour which provided me with ample opportunity to (A) spend the various gift vouchers I received for my birthday and (B) shop for a present for a friend who just received her doctorate. Yay!

Shopping vouchers were ridiculously easy to spend. The day before, Nathan and I had been wandering around Melbourne Central doing some window shopping so I already had an inkling of what I wanted to get. So...first stop was to David Jones where I bought myself a nice long sleeved shirt (which I will have to hide from Nate who has a habit of stealing my best shirts to wear). Next, I headed to the Saba shop on Collins Street and bought myself a nice hooded sweater. Was served by a very cute sales guy who reckons that the winter collection at Saba this year was the best ever. Big call but the clothes certainly were nice.

I then headed off to Aero design on Southbank (yes...I was crisscrossing all over the CBD) to buy my friend the graduation presents. This was followed by a trip back to Little burke street to have lunch at my favourite roast duck place (mmm...succulent duck). By then, it was time to go back to the watch place, pay my $90 and get my watch back. Done. I must admit I was a bit embarrased at the watch place. It's one of those shops that has to buzz their customers in through a security door. I treat my watch like abosulte shit and it showed. I promised the guy to get the watch serviced the next time the battery died. I walked out of the shop with watch in hand and shopping bags in tow, wandered up Collins Street, just in time to hop on the tram.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chai and taxidermied animals

Caught up with two friends on Sunday morning for brunch at Globe, my favourite cafe place on Chapel Street. Being mother's day, I was a little worried that we'd have more than just the regular gay clientele competing for tables. Fortunately, we arrived at the right time and grabbed ourselves some seats. I wanted to introduce Zac and Suzy to the best chai in Melbourne and they were suitably impressed. Afterwards, we wandered through to the Windsor end of the Street for a sticky beak at all the weird curios at my favourite second-hend shop Tarlo and Graham. Being vegetarian, I wasn't quite sure how Suzy would react to the stuffed animals (zebra, antelope, camel and birds). I think I managed to convince her that they probably died from natural causes (after falling victim to the snare traps).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I have discovered that kale is a most versatile plant. Not only is it used as a vegetable (it belongs to the cabbage family), but is also beautiful in a floral arrangement. I had my local florist make up a bouquet for me this morning centred around a clump of kale. Looks terrifics. Am bringing it to a dinner party tonight. I guess if the hosts aren't into flowers, they can opt to cook it up for tea.


I wonder if I'll ever get my tickets booked to the USA. The travel providers we have to use here at work are absolutely incompetent. First they get my name wrong (what's the point of creating a travel profile if they don't actually refer to it??) and now they have me booked to return on the wrong day. Grrr...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The Finnish design icon, Marimekko, has released its Spring 08 fabric collection. I love kaakaopuu (Coacoa tree).

Looking through their continuuing collection, I also noticed this bold graphical print by one of my favourite finnish designers, Harri Koskinen. Koskinen is a very talented designer and has created a myriad of objects ranging from chairs to candle-holders to his famous block lamp which is represented in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I carted one of the block lamps back from Helsinki a couple of years ago. Might try and get hold of this fabric the next time I am back in Finland (end of year).

Monday, May 5, 2008

A cultural weekend...

Went to a wedding on Saturday and ate too much wedding cake. It's not my fault. Profiteroles were an excellent idea for a wedding 'cake'. The only problem was keeping the eager guests away from them until the appropriate moment had come. All the single women, of course, went crazy over the bouquet. Pity the poor middle-aged man who got caught up in the scrum.

Met up with some friends at the NGV on Sunday for the Sidney Nolan retrospective. Wow. I had no idea Nolan was such a versatile artist. I was quite familiar with his Ned Kelly series but some of his later works involving spray paint was completely foreign to me. And what an eloquent artist he was too (as a quote in the last room above his self portrait attests). Might go back when the crowds are smaller so I can actually see the painting up close.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

train debacle

Yes folks, yet another train debacle. This time the train I was commuting in crashed into a car. It was only a minor crash and no one was hurt. I blam the p-plate car driver who apparently was holding a coffee in her hand at the time (so said a witness who was on the train platform when the accident happened). Those of us inside the carriages were forced to wait for ages before any announcements were made. We then waited ages for the driver to speak to the police. After that, we waited some more while Connex arranged a substitute driver (who ended up being caught up in peak hour traffic). We waited again for the train replacement bus that was suppose to rescue us from our dilemma, but after the bus had arrived, the train had been cleared off the tracks, and we were forced to go back to the platform and wait some more for the next train to come and take me to work. Our train system seems not to have a standard set of contingency plans in place. On the plus side, after all this waiting, connex has failed (once again) to meet its monthly performance targets so I guess I'll soon be waiting for a free daily metcard to come in the post (not that it makes up for all the drama we have to go through to get one).

Flavour shaker

Friends and family must all have been telepathic this year. Just 2 weeks after I was introduced to the incredibly smartly-designed flavour shaker device at my friend's curry night, my sisters bought me one for my birthday. Yay. Now I can avoid buying a food processer and shake away like Jamie Oliver.

Friends at work, meanwhile, got me an amazing assortment of loose tea leaves just days after I was thinking I should go out and get some loose leaf tea (inspired when I finally cleaned out the pantry). Double yay.