Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Two years ago, Nathan and I went to the US. We took a couple of weeks off to travel before going to New York where I had to attend a conference.

On our way to the US, we had a fantastic flight attendant, Tash, who looked after us extremely well. Coincidentally, she was on the same flight when we flew back to Australia several weeks later. We really hit it off. We found out that Tash was based in New Zealand and in the period that we were in the US, she had also gone on an American holiday with her friend. Ever since, both Nathan and I joke about bumping into Tash again. happened. On Monday, I flew to London via Dubai to attend the very same international conference as the one I attended in New York in 2014 (this year it's being held in Exeter). During the Dubai-London leg, a flight attendant came by to pick up my plates and she looked like Tash. When she walked past again, I called her and, sure enough, it was her! The chance encounter was all the more remarkable because I had been in Business Class this time and Task was working in Economy and happened to come to the upper deck to lend a hand.

Tash is now based in London and only flies between London and Dubai.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Weird dream

I had a really weird dream this morning.

I was on a ferry talking to an older lady who was with her two kids and her husband. I asked her whether she was from South America. She said she wasn't. Eventually, she told me that she was an Armenian gypsy. I then inadvertently insulted her when I asked if she was a Haredi Jew. I ended up having to find somewhere else to sit.

Hmmm, I wonder what that all means.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Melbourne architecture

A few month's ago, the world lost one of it's greatest architects. At the time of her death, Zaha Hadid's firm had a design for a building in Melbourne that was awaiting approval from the Victorian Government. That building has now been approved and, assuming the developers proceed, we can look forward to seeing this interesting building as part of Melbourne's skyline.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dream house

Having lived in Canberra and Helsinki, I've developed a liking for concrete buildings. If I were to move to the Brazilian rainforest, this would be my dream house...

It's out

Not only did I get to speak to the surgeon, but I ended having the surgery yesterday. They extracted a 2.7cm long fish bone from my abdomen. It was embedded in some fat. Pity they didn't take out the fat while they were at it.

Surgeon says I am still good to go to UK. I hope so.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pain in the gut

It seems that every time I've had to travel overseas for work in the past three years, there has been some kind of medical issue. Gout. Heart scares. That kind of stuff. shouldn't really come as a surprise that with a scheduled work trip to the UK later this month I find myself typing this post in hospital.

The reason for my predicament is truly bizarre.

It all started two weeks ago with lunch at a Greek restaurant in Oakleigh. I ordered the grilled snapper. It was delicious.

Then, this past Monday, I started to feel a sharp pain in my lower left abdomen. Hoping it would go away, I waited three days before visiting the GP. He suggested it could be muscular or an infection. He placed me on antibiotics. He also ordered n ECG because my heart beats suggested I may be in atrial fibrillation (a pre-exiting issue). This was on Thursday.

Yesterday, my GP calls me and tells me to go to Emergency. He confirmed I was in atrial fibrillation and was concerned my abdominal pain could have been linked (i.e. blood clot).

Well, it wasn't a blood clot. It was that snapper I ate two weeks ago. A CT scan reveals an object (most likely a fish bone) that appears to have made its way outside my digestive system (i.e. pierced through the intestine) and lodged itself in some fat in my abdomen. Terrific.

Talking to the surgeon today.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Nice discovery

My youngest sister is in town. I took the day off yesterday to hang out with her. After lunch, we found ourselves wandering around the streets of an industrial area in the north of the city looking for a cafe. We almost gave up when we turned a corner, found a discrete sign, walked through a courtyard and into a cavernous and hip cafe/coffee roasting venue. Only in Melbourne.


I read about this story in the Fairfax newspapers:

Briefly, family inherits vase from antique dealer aunt (surely a clue as to potential value?). Family uses vase as door stop. Family decides to get rid of vase at a boot sale but has change of mind and gets it valued first. Vase turns out to be chinese antique from the kiln of the Imperial court. Vase goes to auction. Vase sells for 650K GBP ($1.2 million AU). Family lives happily ever after.

I shall be visiting some boot sales when I go to Exeter later this month.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Shoulder issues

I injured my shoulder on the bus in March. I was hoping that the pain would just go away. It didn't. Finally I went to see a specialist. Turns out I have a torn tendon. The specialist recommends surgery. No heavy lifting for me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Is he gay or isn't he?

I have no idea sometimes.

Nathan and I have a favourite 'lifestyle' shop in the city (i.e. a shop that sells candles and home wares and stuff like that). The owner is the most camp and flamboyant person I have ever met. A few weekends ago, he introduced us to his wife, who also works at the shop. Up until then, we had always assumed she was his fag hag.

And then earlier this week, I was having lunch in the tearoom and one of my colleague's new grad students joined us. He was also extremely flamboyant. And also a woman. I am so confused. I think my gaydar is broken.

Umbrella, where are you?

I was on my way across campus earlier today. I wore my big puffy jacket and kept my small umbrella tucked under my arm.

Somewhere along the journey, my umbrella fell and I didn't notice. I decided to re-trace my steps on the way back to my office. No luck.

I guess an unbroken umbrella on a wet day like today is a welcomed gift. Oh well, I hope it went to a good home.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Greek lunch

Nathan and I went to Oakleigh for lunch today.

I had no idea it was such a Greek area and that there was such a high concentration of Greek restaurants.

Judging by the customers still eating at 2pm, those restaurants must do very well.

We chose one of the busier restaurant haphazardly. We weren't disappointed. Greeks do nice seafood.

Election musings

Like 15 million other Australians, I waited in line for my chance to vote bright and early yesterday morning. And then I spent the night with my eyes glued to the TV watching the ABC's coverage of the election count.

Nathan, who is sometimes more rationale than I, decided that visiting a girlfriend's place with two screaming toddlers and a very talkative husband would be a much more exciting way to spend his evening so he left me to my night of political TV paralysis.

Well...what a waste of my night.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

No parking

One of the negatives of apartment living is having to defend your car space from interlopers.

Some car space owners have clearly had enough.

Nathan and I came across this amusing sight when we arrived back at the apartment the other night.
It reads "Repeat after me...I should not park here".