Thursday, November 29, 2012

the grand buffet

Well, having just returned from my breakfast, I can certainly see why it is the best in Norway. In fact, it is the best breakfast buffet I have ever had (and the best thing is that I'll get to have it again tomorrow morning, and the morning after that too). It was bloody amazing. They had separate 'stations' dedicated to cereals and breads, waffles and pastries, eggs (e.g. fried, scrambled, poached, custom-made omelette), fresh fruit, freshly squeezed fruit juices, chacuterie, fromagerie, poissonerie (and pretty much every other kind of '-erier' you can think of). Apart from one poached egg, I pretty much spent the last 40 minutes gorging on the wide selection of Norwegian smoked and cured fish.

large tasty mammals...Norwegian style

I am finding it exceedingly difficulty to settle into the time zone on this visit. Anyhow, what better way to whittle away the wee hours of the morning than to update one's blog. I left Oslo yesterday for the beautiful city of Trondheim. So far, even though I am here in Norway for work, I must say that the visit has been a real culinary treat. The seafood here is magnificent...they even have whale on the menu. Apparently, whale is very tasty but I'm not sure if I can bring myself to eating it (even though its meant to be a tightly regulated and sustainable fishery in Norway). Anyhoo... speaking of large tasty mammals, I had moose for dinner last night. I was told by my hosts that it was a roast leg of moose. Actually, it was a portion of the leg of a moose (I'd imagine an actual leg of moose would have had difficulty fitting into their oven). Talk about yum. I had no idea the meat would be so tender. It was flavourful, melt-in-your-mouth and juicy...everything you could possibly want out of a piece of meat (the secret, apparently, is to cook it on very low heat). Anyhow, I have been assured that the culinary ventures will continue this morning...evidently the hotel I am staying at does the best breakfast in Norway but alas, I still have two hours to kill before the restaurant is open.

Monday, November 26, 2012

darkness in Norway

The days are short at this time of the year. Mid afternoon feels like early evening and early evening feels like the middle of the night…probably not helped by a long, sleep-deprived flight. After gorging on Norwegian fish cakes for dinner (purchased from the local markets), I was sound asleep by 7pm.

Oslo and Munch

It was pretty warm on Saturday afternoon when I left Melbourne. About a day later, I found myself arriving in Oslo at the other temperature extreme (- 1 degree to be exact). I am staying with my friend, Marianne. After dropping off the bags at Marianne’s apartment and a quick shower, we decided to head out to the Munst museum. As the name suggests, the museum is dedicated to the works of Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch. The artist’s most iconic painting is The Scream.
There are several versions in existence, one of which was on display. The security at the museum is one of the most extreme I have ever seen for art gallery. Visitors firstly have to go through an airport-like security system (x-ray machine for bags, walk through metal detectors), and several glass gates/barriers before entering the security camera-laden gallery spaces to see the paintings. Leaving the exhibition requires visitors to pass through two addition security gates. The reason for the heightened security? A few years ago, the museum fell victim to a brazen theft of several Munch paintings. Still, the system in place seems a bit of an over kill to me.

orchids at Changi

I enjoy going for a bit of a wander around Changi airport. Apart from the benefits of walking after a long flight, there are lots of pretty garden beds scattered throughout the airport. Here is one planted with nice orchids.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

scandinavian bound...again

I'm off to Norway today. I've never been before so I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be a very quick visit though (back in Oz already by the following Monday). I'll spend the first few days in Oslo visiting my friend, Marianne, before heading north for work. Marianne has already warned me that it will be cold but I had a look at the weather forecast and it looks like Canberra winter temperatures to me so I think I'll be alright. The University that invited me will be paying for the trip and my hosts have promised to take me to a nice sushi restaurant when I am there. Should be fun.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I fell in love with the Finnish textile and design store Marimekko when I was living in Helsinki. Every time I go back to Finland, I would invariably drop into a Marimekko shop (or three) to check out their home wares, fabrics and bags. of last week, I no longer have to haul my purchases half way across the globe: Marimekko has launched its first stores here in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne). Nathan and I popped into the Melbourne shop today and went on a buying frenzy. Here I am checking out the cushions:
A lovely purple, red and orange cushion for the festive season:
Me modelling the tea towels and oven glove that I'm not sure if I will use:


My Swedish friend sent me this link a few days ago. I believe it has gone viral. In any case, I think it's a very clever (and funny) way of communicating the issue of marriage equality.

Friday, November 16, 2012

visit to the vet

We took Truffles to the vet today. Nathan and I were hoping to go to the clinic of our favourite vet blogger, Dr Nic, but unfortunately the lack of a car meant that we had to search for a clinic closer to home. The good news is that we managed to find a vet within walking distance. And he seems very passionate about animals. In fact, he spent the first minute with his face buried in Truffle's face, while Truffles vigorously licked the vet's nose and lips (As much as Nathan and I love Truffles, even we don't let Truffles lick us on the lips). We probably would have said something though if the vet proceeded to sniff Truffles' butt but fortunately he didn't. The vet was very good with the Truffles so we've decided to bring her back there for desexing in a few week's time.

she can be cute when she behaves

crime scene

The victim (a bromeliad):
The suspect:
Caught in the act:

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Meet the new addition to the family. Truffles is a Scottish west highland white terrier cross.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I saw these sexy spider orchids yesterday at a florist in Fitzroy and decided I had to get them. Fortunately, they survived the very windy walk back home from the tram stop.