Saturday, September 23, 2017

Choosing to believe

So,  One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts chose to believe that he was not a British citizen. What a ridiculously weak argument.

This says a lot about the man, who also chooses to believe that climate change is not a reality.

It seems that Malcolm's reality is guided by beliefs rather than evidence.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Postal vote

Nathan and I both filled out our same-sex marriage surveys and have posted them back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

As a scientist, I see so many design flaws with the process that, whichever way the decision goes, it's legitimacy is vulnerable to being questioned.

We all know that the compulsory plebiscite was blocked by the Senate and the Government has decided to go for a non compulsory postal survey instead.

Naturally, this means that only the views of a portion of the population will be sampled because not everyone is going to return their postal survey. Gathering data on only a 'subsample' of the population is widely and legitimately used in science – provided that the design of the subsampling is scientifically sound. Herein lies my biggest issue. Those who choose to participate and return their surveys will not necessarily be representative of the population as a whole because they will be a self-selecting bunch of individuals, i.e., those who feel strongly enough about the issue to vote. If one is going to subsample a population, then one needs to randomise the sampling process. The ABS should know this. It's one of the basics of good scientific design.

The question being asked is also being confused. The 'no' campaign has been raising a bunch of questions that have very little to do with the specific question at hand, which is about whether the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry. Thus, if some people are answering 'no' because they don't agree with some of the other issues being raised (boys wearing dresses; safe schools program), then this potentially also calls into question the validity of some of the returned surveys.

I've only raised some of the scientific issues. There are, in fact, many problems that could affect the credibility of the postal survey, from undelivered survey forms to people filling out multiple surveys.

And that's the worry!


Friday, September 1, 2017

Canberra bound

I'm off to Canberra today. Lots of celebration going on this weekend.

Youngest sis and brother-in-law are inviting extended family for wedding lunch. Grandma's birthday is coming up. And, of course, it's Father's Day on Sunday.

I'm also going to have to (finally) clean my fish tank, which is still at my folk's house. I have only one fish left. Since it was already an adult when I bought it, it's at least 19 years old!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What the?

I know I should know the answer to this (being a biologist, after all) but I'm stumped.

I saw this photo in an interior design magazine and I'm trying to figure out whether the creature on the furry ottoman is an alpaca or not. I think the context (an alpaca in a London apartment?) is contributing to my confusion.


Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Trained

The dog has me well trained.

She stands on my chest every morning, willing me to wake up (usually before 6am).

I go downstairs to heat her food (Did I mention Truffles has mince, rice and vegetables for breakfast?).

She comes down when it cools sufficiently to eat.

After she eats, she goes to toilet, and then runs back up to bed.

No sleep ins for me.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Stylish

I don't care much for boxing but I do care for folks with a sense of style. And Conor McGregor has it in spades.





Dump

Nathan and I went to an open house inspection yesterday (yep, I might be soon moving to the suburbs...let's see).

The house was beautiful but I was perplexed I couldn't find the second bathroom/toilet.

The mystery was later solved when we figured out that the locked door leading from the laundry was, in fact, the toilet – and that another prospective buyer had been taking a dump.

It got me thinking...is it ok to be using the toilet for number 2s at an open house?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

All clear

Went to see my electrophysiologist yesterday. The second heart operation seems to have been a success and he hopes he will never have to see me again. The feeling is mutual.

On my way out of the consulting rooms, I received a text from Nathan saying his grandmother was in the same hospital getting some tests. I decided to go up to the ward for a visit.

Nathan's grandma is a fiercely independent lady who lives on her own in Inverloch. She had a fall in the bathroom ten weeks ago - and hasn't been right since. Nathan's aunt finally decided to take her to hospital here in Melbourne to see if they can figure out why she is still in pain.

Nathan's grandmother is all about appearances. She had her hair cut specifically for her hospital stay (though she complained that the hairdresser had cut it too short). When I saw her, she was wearing a necklace under her hospital gown. The nurse made her take it off for her x-ray appointment.

The most amusing thing of all was when she introduced me as her 'friend'. The nurse looked at me strangely to try to figure out the nature of this somewhat odd pairing of elderly caucasian lady and younger asian man.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

The ring


The poster for the horror movie says it all. Before you die, you see the ring. That's pretty much how I felt last weekend.

My friend and I were wandering along Gertrude Street and she wanted to go into a jewellery store for a browse. I obliged.

I'm not a jewellery wearer but I did appreciate the craftsmanship of the pieces in this particular store. In fact, my eyes almost instantly gravitated towards a beautiful (and large) silver stag beetle ring. Maybe it was the biologists in me but I was mesmerised. So, of course, I asked to try it on.

Big mistake.

The ring got stuck.

At first, I think my friend and the store owner thought I was joking. And I assume people do occasionally joke about these things. But it was no joke. I tugged and tugged and it just wouldn't come off. I then contemplated just buying the thing to cut short the embarrassment ($500 isn't that expensive, I thought to myself).

The store owner, ever the professional, rushed to the back of the shop and returned with a bottle of hand wash. He squirted some of it onto my finger. But nope, the ring was still stuck.  

He then retrieved a bottle of water and ushered me outside onto the busy sidewalk. By this point, I had seen the ring and I truly wanted to die.

Fortunately, water did the trick and I managed to slip the ring off my finger. I politely handed it back to the shop owner, apologised profusely and quickly made my exit.

Friday, July 28, 2017

One nation - or more?

Well, the current Australian Parliament has descended into quite a mess.

And it's all because of section 44 of The Constitution. Who would have thought? I don't even remember spending that much time studying that particular provision as an undergrad law student, although I do remember learning about the citizenship rule. Regardless, I bet law students (and their lecturers) across the country are having lots of interesting class discussions right now.

Malcolm Roberts from the One Nation party is an interesting case. I find it rather amusing that he is now having to 'defend' his allegiance to Australia, when the One Nation party has consistently made it their platform to spew the kind of divisive vitriol that has forced people like myself (i.e. migrant) to have to defend, time and time again, my own allegiance to Australia.

Just deserts.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Snail's pace

I felt well enough to spend some time outside the apartment today.

Nathan and I started with brunch at the South Melbourne Markets. We took the dog with us, which turned out to be a mistake. It was a very cold morning and dining al fresco was a bit too "fresco" for me. The dog enjoyed it though. She is a Scottish terrier cross after all.

After brunch, we dropped the dog back home and headed into the city to visit a designer furniture shop where I had my eyes on a designer quilt cover I had seen online. Unfortunately, the specific quilt I had in mind was not in stock and so the sales person had to check availability from one of their other stores.

Question: How long should it reasonably take for a sales person to do a check online? Well, in this case, it took almost an hour. It wasn't noticeable at first because there were lots of other amazing things in the shop to keep us mesmerised. But after 40 minutes or so, it started to become a bit of a drag. Ok, to be fair to the sales person, I also asked about a velvet cushion that was sitting in the showroom. So...1 hour to find out the availability of a quilt (I have no idea how much it will cost) and the price of a cushion.

Meanwhile, Missy Higgins (i.e. the singer) came into the store to ask about a chair she had ordered and had to wait because the sales person was 'busy' attending to us.

At some point, the sales person gave up and asked me for my contact details and said they'll be in touch.

After seeing this message on their Facebook page, I won't hold my breath. It seems that snail's pace is their trademark:

Very upset!!! Ordered 3 pendant lights 15 weeks ago, with a due date of 14 weeks. Heard nothing from them around due date, so I rang on the day before this date, spoke to someone who told me they would look into it, and she would ring me back, 2 days go by-nothing. So I ring again, and spoke to someone else, he said he would let me know as soon as he knew what was what. He did ring back within 10 minutes, told me they would be available from the Wednesday of the next week, so I said we will be in on the Thursday. Guess what, made the trek in, and NO pendants! They don't know where they are!!! So at this point in time, we have spent nearly $3000 On pendants we may never see! Bad form XXXXX!!! Our architecture recommended them, makes her look bad as well!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Resting at home

I was in hospital having my second catheter ablation on Monday.

Hopefully the procedure works this time, and will fix the terrible arrhythmias I've been having over the past couple of years.

Having already undergone the same procedure in March, I knew what to expect this time around.

I rocked up to the hospital, got lost (again) trying to find the right room, and changed into my hospital gown. I got fitted with the various electrodes, had a cannula put into my arm, and was wheeled into the catheter lab where I was put under general anaesthetic.

When I woke up again, it was all over. I was taken into my hospital room to recover and, as the anaesthetic worked its way out of the system, I began to feel better and better.

On Tuesday, I got to go home.

Nathan has made me promise to take it easy over the next week. The last time, I did too much too soon and that probably contributed to my gout flare up. I've learnt my lesson. I'm at home in my pjs with the dog watching TV. I'm trying not to attend to too much work stuff.

I won't know if the operation has been successful until a few weeks have passed.

I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Canberra

Geeze. Time flies and I've been very tardy with my blog posts.

Nathan and I both had a great time in Canberra.

On the Saturday, we met my sister's future in laws for lunch. They had flown down from Brisbane and are not fans of the cold so it was unfortunate that Canberra had record low temperatures that weekend.

After lunch, Nathan and I managed to get to the National Gallery for the Indigenous Art Triennial.

Well, strictly speaking, it has been about 5 years since the last triennial so the exhibition is really a quinquennial (Good to see that I'm not the only tardy one).

Sunday was the day of the actual wedding. Unfortunately, I had an upset stomach, which meant I spent a lot of my time dashing off to the loo but it was still a great day.

My sister and brother-in-law decided against a big Asian wedding so only immediate family members were in attendance.

Lunch was a multi-course degustation that took up almost the entire afternoon. In fact, the lunch went so long that my brother-in-law's family got changed into more comfy travel clothes at the restaurant and went straight to the airport afterwards for their early evening flight.

We went home for a couple of hours and then headed back out to a family dinner.

Friday, June 30, 2017

I'm back (but off again soon)

Four weeks in Finland came and went a lot quicker than I had hoped. I got back last Friday. Jet lag wasn't too bad this time around. I slept the whole day on Friday (and most of Saturday) and I was pretty much back to normal after that.

Nathan and I are heading to the airport again tomorrow. My youngest sister is getting married so we are going to Canberra. It's going to be a chilly weekend in the Capital. I'm bringing a good winter coat!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

European update

I've been busy doing fieldwork here in Finland. It's been nice getting out of the office and working outdoors in the fresh air. I love the smell of the birch and pine forests here. I've been spending quite a bit of time out on the water as we need to take a boat almost everyday out to an island where we are doing our experiments.

I took a break a few days ago and went to Berlin to visit my retired gallerist friend. After several weeks of healthy eating in Finland, everything went out the window during my visit to Germany. I had schnitzel and sausage and meat balls and pickled pork knuckle. I basically pigged out on pig.



Friday, May 26, 2017

No, no, no, no, no

I was sitting in a cafe and a man walked past. The first thing I noticed was his very smart blazer. But then I saw a belly button. Yes, the man was wearing a crop top under his blazer. I hope it's not a new nordic trend.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Northern lights

I arrived in Finland a couple of days ago. The flights over were fine. Of course, I had grand plans to work on the plane but that never happened. Instead, I watched a few movies and even managed to get some sleep.

The flight from Hong Kong to Helsinki was on an A350. It was the first time I had flown on one of those but I had read quite a bit about the plane's features, including lower cabin pressure, reduced noise levels etc. The only thing that stuck out for me though was the fancy overhead lighting, which Finnair was quite keen to show off with a northern lights 'simulation' as we were approaching Helsinki airport.

The normally super time efficient passage through the Helsinki-Vantaa airport was less efficient on this occasion thanks to a slow moving queue at passport control caused by a lady travelling on her own with seven unruly kids. I can't even imagine travelling with one child, let alone seven.

The airport now has a train connection to the city but old habits die hard and I ended up taking the bus.

Then it was off to meet my colleague at a nearby cafe for a smoked salmon breakfast.

Monday, May 15, 2017

European adventure

I'm heading to Finland next Monday. I will be gone for a month. It will be a work trip.

I got travel clearance from the cardiologist several weeks ago (and I'm hoping I will still be ok to go, despite the persistent heart issues).

I reckon the trip will actually be good for my health. I'll be out of the office, working on the shores of the Baltic Sea away from the frenetic pace of city life.

 Let's see.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Small change

I went to the chemist this afternoon to get some prescriptions filled and was standing in line to pay.

There was quite a bit of commotion with the elderly European couple already at the cash register. The gentleman was getting quite worked up and was shouting at the cashier. Meanwhile, the queue was getting longer. The dispute was over 95 cents (for haemorrhoid cream), which the man was refusing to pay.

I was just about to pull out a dollar coin when the guy's wife intervened and made her husband hand over the money. I guess she's the boss.

Meanwhile, Nathan was across the street getting a hair cut, which I later found out cost $85.

Don't order the kimchi

I went out for dinner with some friends the other night. It was one of those swanky Asian places targeted at Westerners. You know the type: trendy, fancy, and expensive.

We asked the waiter if she had any recommendations.

She rattled off the obvious dishes that had already caught my eye (pork belly, beef ribs).

Then, after going through the list of her favourite dishes, the waitress dished out a stern warning.

"Don't order the kimchi", she said. "It's SHIT."

I was rather taken back by her directness....and we heeded her advice.

PS. Both the pork belly and beef ribs were great.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Siamese twins

As a native English speaker, I take many things for granted that can be a source of puzzlement and frustration for my non-native English-speaking friends and colleagues. 

This week, a conversation I was having with a colleague got me looking into something that I subsequently found out is known in linguistics as an "irreversible binomial", or "Siamese twin." 

These are word pairings that appear in an irreversible fixed order. Examples include "salt and pepper", "ladies and gentleman", and "rock and roll". Flipping the order of these nouns would just be weird. The problem was I couldn't quite explain why we order them they way we do. Something just are the way they are, and I promptly directed my colleague to the wikipedia page on the topic. 




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Heart update

The specialist says my heart should really be settling about now. Unfortunately, it is not. I'll be seeing him in a few weeks time so will figure out where to from here. It's quite possible I may need to repeat the heart procedure (ablation). Encouragingly, the success rate is much higher after a repeat ablation.

I'm trying to get back to a normal routine. I just need to know my limits. I'm no longer able to run to catch a train or tram for bus and resolve to just waiting for the next one. I've got an overseas work trip planned later this month. I asked my boss to fly me business class (there is always a silver lining).

Saturday, April 22, 2017

heart problems

Unfortunately, recovery from the heart operation has not gone as well as I had hoped.

I've been getting really bad arrhythmias (i.e. rapid and irregular heart beats). In fact, I have been feeling worse than what I was feeling prior to the heart procedure.

Evidently, these recurrent episodes do not necessarily mean that the procedure has failed, as it is not uncommon to get arrhythmias while the heart is still recovering.

Nevertheless, the persistent and abnormal heart beats have been extremely unpleasant.  They are also very scary. After 3 days of putting up with my heart racing at 140 beats per minute, I decided to go to hospital, where they performed a cardioversion to basically stop and restart the heart. It worked for a few hours and then the heart started going crazy again.

Looks like I'm going to have to just deal with it and hope that the irregularities will settle down.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Milestone

Nathan and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary today (which is like an eternity in gay years). The day marks our very first date. We had pizza on Lyon Street. The date went for three days.

It's remarkable that we ended up in a relationship at all, as we are very different on so many levels. Nevertheless, these differences have worked out very well for us. And of course, we also share many things in common.

The last couple of years have been tough. Nathan's dad had to go into a nursing home and I've had recurrent health issues, but we have supported each other through of this – and no doubt a whole lot more into the future.

I love him to bits.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

After surgery

I had my heart procedure last week. Everything went well and I'm now resting at home. I think the heart and the point where they inserted the catheter in my groin are healing well. Unfortunately my right foot has decided to have gout issues so I'm hobbling around the house, dosed up on endone.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dogs bar

I caught  up with my gallerist friend at the end of the working week in St Kilda. We went to the Dogs Var. we bumped into my friend's neighbour (the one who cooks with pungent shrimp paste). They were chatting about the shrimp paste when I got back to our table. The neighbour seemed nice and was very apologetic. Oh well, my friend will be off to Germany for 6 months so I guess the neighbour can cook with as much shrimp paste as she wants during that time.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Shrimp paste and fish sauce

My poor gallerist friend. She moved into a nice apartment in St Kilda and has had nothing but trouble. She got permission to hang some of her artwork in the public spaces and two got ripped off the walls and were stolen. Then her storage space got broken into. So much for secure swipe card access into the building.

Her latest gripe has been about her neighbours downstairs. The bloke is British. His wife is Indonesian - and evidently the chef in the household. My friend has been complaining about pungent smells wafting into her apartment. Turns out to be shrimp paste and fish sauce. Even though I don't cook with those ingredients very often, I personally wouldn't have a problem but I'm used to those smells. I find cigarette smoke wafting into my apartment to be more annoying.

Given my friend's German heritage, I suggested she cook sauerkraut to block out the pungent shrimp paste odours in her apartment.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tentative steps

I took my first tentative steps out into the big wide world today following my medical dramas yesterday.

Even though I am now feeling fine, it was surprising how nervous I was walking out of the apartment. Rather than taking the stairs like I usually do, I decided to take the elevator instead.

And after running my errand, I came straight back home.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday morning drama

I ended up in hospital this morning. I was on my way to work and decided to take the stairs up to Collins Street. This is something I do almost every day but today I was in atrial fibrillation.

The actual climb up was fine but when I reached Collins Street and started to make my way towards the train station, I found it increasingly hard to catch my breath and started to black out. I had to lean against a wall to steady myself and it didn't get any better so I had to sit on the sidewalk. I then felt really unwell and ended up calling an ambulance. My shirt was soaked in sweat.

The ambulance arrived but was on the other side of the street so I asked a guy in a suit to help me flag it down. He made a half arsed attempt and then continued on his way. I guess he was eager to get to work. I ended up stopping a lady for help instead and the ambulance eventually found me.

The paramedics were terrific and had a great sense of humour. I was initially reluctant to go to hospital but they talked me into it. It was my first time at the Royal Melbourne. The facilities there seem to be much better than my last visit to Cabrini. A couple of hours later, my heart returned to normal rhythm and I got to go home.

Too much drama for a Monday in my opinion!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Birthday surprise

Nathan and I are in Canberra. We are here celebrating dad's 70th. It was suppose to be a series of surprises but as the weekend approached, more and more of the surprise had to be revealed (e.g. mum let the cat out of the bag that we were coming to Canberra.)

We are heading down to Tilba on the south coast of NSW so it was inevitable that we had to eventually let mum in on the secret and then to tell dad so they can plan the trip (our family doesn't do spontaneous things well).

My sister in Melbourne is also coming with her family. They are driving up and meeting us in Tilba and were suppose to be one of the surprises too but she had to tell mum to mitigate Mum's inevitable stress levels if she suddenly found out there were four extra people to feed (dad's already busy preparing food for Tilba. Yes, it's meant to be his birthday). Dad doesn't know that my Melbourne sis is coming so at least that will remain a source of excitement when we get there.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Blogger catch up

I'm looking forward to catching up with fellow bloggers later this morning. I've met Victor a couple of times previously and really enjoyed our previous catch ups (once in Melbourne and once in Sydney with Nathan in tow). I'll be meeting Andrew for the first time but I've been following his blog for years so it will be fun to finally meet him in person.

Luna Park wedding

Nathan and I went to a wedding last week at Luna Park.

I had no idea that Luna Park did wedding receptions, but I thought it was a really fun venue.

We were perched on the roof of the main cafe for the actual wedding ceremony, right next to the tracks of the big roller coaster. In between the sound of screaming roller coaster riders, the bride and groom managed to get through their vows.

I guess an amusement park is actually quite an appropriate venue for a wedding. It's full of wedding relevant symbolism (emotional roller coaster ride immediately comes to mind).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A morning at the museum

I had to go to the Museum for a work meeting yesterday. I stopped by at a cafe on Gertrude Street called Grumpy and the Dreaded One's Little Cafe of Awesome. True to it's name, the cafe was awesome and there was a lady with dreads behind the counter. And after my companion received his coffee, we realised that the bloke who brought out his drink is, indeed, a grump.

Spiders and how not to quit your job

A couple of interesting social media lessons for me this week.

The first concerns a Facebook post I made, in which I posted a picture of a big, hairy huntsman spider. Pretty innocuous right? Well, not if you have both biologist and non-biologist friends on Facebook. The reaction of the non-biologists was naturally quite predictable. Most people do not like spiders. The problem was that one of my Facebook friends happens to be a spider expert and took offence to the commentary and started writing comments about the people who wrote the anti-spider posts. Lesson 1: No more spider posts on Facebook.

The second concerns the resignation of a colleague, who told our boss that she would be resigning to take up a new position overseas. She initially wanted to keep things under wraps until she had the opportunity to inform her grad students. Once that had happened, I guess she posted something about her new job on social media (Twitter?). Well, the boss saw the post and had a dummy spit accusing her of undermining his reputation by making her resignation public before he had the opportunity to formally tell the rest of our Department. Lesson 2: Your boss probably follows you on Twitter.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

My new toy


I have a new laptop. Yay.

My last one is starting to fail me and I am too technologically incompetent to rectify the things that I'm sure can otherwise be easily fixed or updated.

Broken wifi and problems with accessing various websites (including those associated with my work) has led me to my brand new Macbook Pro.

The scary thing is that I'm beginning to worry that the new laptop might be a bit overly fancy for me. For example, what the heck is a thunderbolt port and will I be able to figure out how to connect my computer to the lecture theatre screens at work before the start of second semester? Oh, and how do I use my fancy trackpad?

I'm worried I might have simply traded one set of technological incompetencies for another.

I took my new toy out of the box last night but haven't actually switched it on yet.

In the meantime, I'm typing this on my old computer in the bedroom connected to a very long ethernet cable.

On hands and knees

Don't get the wrong idea.

I've spent a week stuck in my apartment because of a nasty gout flare up. At its worst, I was having to crawl on my hands and knees to get to and from the bathroom.

The week in bed did allow me to catch up on a lot of movies and I kinda went crazy watching queer movies (I exhausted half of our download limit for the month). Three stand outs for me were FreefallStrangers by the Lake, and Weekend

I also watched an interesting documentary called Do I Sound Gay? The latter was particularly surprising because I didn't expected to see my old (American) boss and colleague in the documentary.

My old boss is most definitely not gay (though he does have a very strong lisp). He also happens to be (along with his wonderful wife) one of the very first people I ever came out to, but that's another story.

Anyhow, it turns out that my former boss is the documentary filmmaker's cousin and made a cameo in the film. I emailed him to let him know that I saw him in a doco and he said that if he knew he was going to be an international star, he would have made a bit more effort to comb his hair on the day of the filming.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Exempt

There is a news story on the Fairfax websites about a woman who was told by a security guard to refrain from breastfeeding at the National Gallery. The Gallery has since apologised.

It did get me wondering though. Food and drink are generally prohibited in public gallery spaces – and for good reason. Should breastfeeding mothers be exempt? And what about other spaces where food and drinks are not allowed?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gong xi fa chai

Rooster


Tomorrow marks the year of the rooster in the Chinese lunar calendar.

It was interesting to read that the period around chinese new year also marks the largest human movement on Earth as hundreds of thousands of people make their way home to celebrate with their families.

I'm staying in Melbourne this year, having only just gone back to Canberra for Christmas and (Western) new year.

There are a lot of weird traditions and superstitions surrounding the lunar new year. For example, one is not suppose to cut their hair for a month.

You should also refrain from doing any house work on new year's day to avoid sweeping away all your luck and good fortune.

Another tradition is to consume copious amounts of things with auspicious sounding chinese names that are totally lost in translation. I'm talking about things like pig trotters, dried cyanobacteria, dried oysters, sticky cakes and whole fish. Yum.

Every kid's favourite tradition is, of course, to receive red envelopes of money from adults. For a long time, chinese new year was my one and only source of pocket money for the year!

As time has gone by, it seems that Australia has really embraced the chinese new year festivities. For me, I've become increasingly 'meh' about the whole thing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In pictures

Well, how bloody disorganised am I? It's taken a week but here is a selection of pictures from our recent vacation in Hong Kong.

Of course, for a fish fanatic, no trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to the goldfish market. I don't approve of the way the fish are sold though. Poor things.

 We caught the cable car to Lantau Island to see the big buddha. It worked out quite well because the cable car was shut the following day for 5 months for maintenance so it was a fortuitous decision to go the day that we did.
 I visited Macau for the first time. It was interesting to see the Portuguese influence.
 Also took a ride on the mid level escalator, just for fun.
Naturally, as a tourist, we went on the peak tram up to Victoria Peak. The crowds were horrendous...
...but the view was worth the wait.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hong kong

Nathan and I just got back from a one week holiday in Hong Kong. We had a great time. If Hong Kong was a person, I reckon he (or she) would be the teenager that sleeps in but comes alive at night and stays out late.

Cantonese is the worst of the three Chinese dialects that I speak but it was sufficient to get us around. I'll post more details about the trip (with photos) when I have access to my laptop (which I actually left in the office, so determined was I about leaving work at work during my holiday).

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Deserted

The University is deserted. Students are on Summer break. Most of my colleagues are still on leave.

I'm currently Acting Head of Department, which is why I'm going to be working for the next three days. Then I've asked a colleague to fill in for me for a week (as Acting Acting Head of Department?) when Nathan and I are jet off to Hong Kong for a holiday.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The vase

We went to Gippsland to visit Nathan's folks. We stopped in at his mum's place first.

Truffles knocked over a giant vase and it smashed.

Nathan's mum was very good about it but we felt bad nonetheless and offered to find a replacement. In truth, it was a hideous looking vase that looked like something from a $2 shop but evidently it was worth a lot of money. It had accidentally been damaged previously and had been repaired so Nathan's mum was very pragmatic about it. In any case, it was beyond repair this time around.



Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year greetings

Happy New Year!

I spent last night on a roof top balcony watching the fireworks with some of Nathan's extended family.

Best socks ever...

I spent Christmas in Canberra. Aside from spending time with my family, a notable highlight was picking up this pair of hungry caterpillar socks.