Sunday, April 21, 2013


I had a really nice flight from Helsinki to Singapore (and 'yes' it was on the plane with the marimekko livery). I even managed to get some decent shut eye.

I'm now relaxing in Changi. I've discovered the wonders of the airport shower facility at the 'Rainforest Lounge'. Well worth the $8 (it even comes with a complimentary beverage afterwards). I feel completely rejuvenated and, of course, I'm now thinking of food.

Update: In the 30 mins since I published this post, I've managed to eat a bowl of mee siam and a plate of chicken rice (with extra meat). In my defence, the mee siam was a very 'small' portion.


I'm already at Stockholm's Arlanda airport waiting for my flight (I arrived 5 hours early). I had planned to walk around the shops but that took all of 20 mins. Thank God for free wi fi in the terminal.

Was hoping to get a final taste of Scandinavian food but there are only 3 restaurant options in the terminal (and one of them is a Starbucks)....I should have done more homework.

Speaking of homework, I have been once again keeping a close eye on Finnair flights via in the hopes I don't end up on one of the crappy old ex-air france planes.

The good news is that one of the planes (OH-LQG) is still enroute to Helsinki from Deli and the other one (OH-LQF) just left for Shanghai so it seems I will be taking one of the newer planes from Helsinki to Singapore.

I'm hoping it will be OH-LQD, which was repainted last year with the distinctive Marimekko poppy design 'unikko'.

(yes, flying is boring and I need to keep myself occupied with trivial things).  

Friday, April 19, 2013

tropical house

I finished my work engagements today and decided to check out the tropical glass house next to the University. There were a few things in flower, mostly orchids. There are suppose to be poison arrow frogs free-living in the glasshouse but, alas, I didn't see any. Here are some images.

I head back to Oz tomorrow night – less than a week after I arrived.

Hambergs fisk

It was wet and gloomy today so I decided to work in my hotel room. I set up the lap top on the windowsill, which overlooked the cathedral (much nicer than working behind the desk).

Given the huge breakfast this morning, I managed to survive the day without the need to break for lunch. However, by late arvo, I had decided it was time to grab an early dinner.

By now the sky was clearing so it was a perfect opportunity to head out to find Hambergs Fisk. I've had a craving for seafood since arriving in Sweden and had found the place doing a search of potential restaurants the day I arrived.

Hambergs Fisk is an interesting place: part restaurant, part fishmongers (the latter gives the impression that the seafood must be super fresh).

I ordered the 'assortment' of house specialities for starters (poached salmon, cured salmon, shrimp in mayo, quiche with roe, seafood terrine). Delicious. This was followed by a delectable bouillabaise with a sizeable portion of garlic aioli on the side (all of which ended up in the soup, of course). Amazing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I had a new dining experience today. A savoury cake or smorgastarta. It was quite an eye-opener...a cake smothered in cheese, mayo, meatballs and shrimp (with layers of ham and pate in between). Apparently it is very traditional. To me, it looks like something a contestant from the Biggest Loser would try to sneak onto the show. I wanted to take a photo but, alas, the whole thing was devoured in half an hour so here is a picture of a healtheir-looking version I got off the internet (at least there are more vegetables in this example):

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I arrived in Uppsala yesterday morning local time. This is the view from my hotel room. Every European city seems to have a grand cathedral.

I went exploring the town soon after unpacking my bag. The weather was crappy (drizzly and cold) so I headed to the nearest H&M for shelter (and retail therapy). A new shirt and pair of trousers later, I went looking for a place to eat before heading back to the hotel for a 'quick' nap that lasted 8.5 hours. This, of course, meant that I woke up at 10.30pm local time and couldn't get back to sleep. Silly me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

50 shades of grey

I have just arrived in Helsinki. Not long to go before my flight to Sweden (the last of three to get to my final destination).

At this point, I wish to thank my family (again) for the amazingly well-considered gift of noise cancelling headphones several Christmases ago. The head phones came in handy (once again) on my Singapore–Helsinki sector when the baby sitting behind me decided to scream at the top of his lungs for a sizeable portion of the 11+ hour flight.

I was surprised to see how grey it is flying into Helsinki this morning. There is still snow cover on the ground. I hope I don't regret my decision not to bring gloves and fur-lined hat on this trip.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Found out I will be flying in one of the newer Finnair aircraft from Singapore to Helsinki (rather than one of the crappy ex-Air France planes). I'll be on this very aircraft in fact (sporting the 'one world' alliance livery). It's so pretty.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sweden bound

Off to Sweden tomorrow. Am closing monitoring flight radar to see exactly what Finnair plane I'll be getting from Singapore to Helsinki (I am hoping it is not one of the two crappy ex-Air France planes with the dodgy seats and impossibly small tv screens).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

a huge relief

I went to the GP earlier in the week to get my prescriptions in order prior to my trip to Sweden on Sunday.

I mentioned I had experienced chest pains a few weeks prior so the doctor advised I do an ECG.

The next day, my GP contacted me early in the morning to tell me to see him right away. Apparently the ECG was abnormal. When i saw him, he said that I may have had a heart attack.

More tests were ordered, along with an appointment to see a specialist.

I went to the cardiologist today and everything checked out fine. What a scare.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

celebrity overload

So yesterday, on our flight back, Nathan and I noticed a lot of tv 'personalities' on our flight – from lifestyle presenters to soap stars. Today, we realised why: the Logies.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013


This is going to be an extra-long post (which happens when one has not had access to internet for three days but has plenty of things to write about)....

Nathan and I have been in Sydney. We booked the flights a while ago believing that we had a wedding to attend on Friday. Unfortunately, we got the wedding date wrong. Oops. Oh well. We figured we might as well go to Sydney anyway, especially as the tickets were non-refundable (and I will miss the actual wedding because I'll be overseas for work).

We arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning, dropped off our bags at the hotel, and headed straight to the fish market for lunch (priorities). Normally, I'd make Nathan walk but because of the rain, we ended up catching the light rail from Darling Harbour. By the time we had finished lunch, the rain had eased enough for us to make a beeline back to The Star for Adriano Zumbo's macarons (the 'popcorn' flavoured ones were my favourite). Then, it was a matter of wandering around the city to kill time before dinner, which consisted of pork ribs at The Hurricane (you can see what the priorities of this Sydney visit were going to be).

On Friday, we spent the day exploring. First up, was congee in chinatown, followed by a ferry ride to Manly. When we got back to Circular Quay, we took the train and bus out to Bondi for a walk (and a late lunch at Ms Chu's). In the afternoon, Nathan and I headed off to the Art Gallery of NSW to check out a photography exhibition there. That night, we caught up with the friends who were getting married at some Belgian beer cafe which specialised in beer (good for Nathan) and mussels (good for me).

Today, we caught up with fellow blogger Victor for brunch. Victor and I first met when he visited Melbourne (quite a while now). I had such a good time meeting up with him then, I've been wanting to to meet up again ever since. Unfortunately, my visits up to Sydney are usually really rushed or family-oriented. This time, however, I texted Victor ahead of time to organise an outing.

We ended up going for brunch on Crown Street and had a really nice time. Nathan later remarked that he found Victor really interesting and could have spoken to him all day.

Nathan and I are now back in Melbourne. Next weekend, I'm off to Sweden for work. More from there in due course...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Some sad news

Nathan called me earlier to tell me that our friend's partner had died in a car accident overnight. Our friend found out at work and was so distraught he had to be escorted out of the building. Andrew is now a statistic on the easter road toll. I'd only met him once, a few months ago when we had them over  for dinner. Andrew was such a lovely guy. Smart. Funny. I keep thinking about the night they came over and how much Nathan and I liked the guy. I remember him showing me pictures of his two shitzus (one of whom, coincidentally, is also called Truffles). We were suppose to do brunch in South Melbourne next time. It's all very sad.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter in the country

Nathan and I headed to Gippsland to spend some time with his family. We took the dog so she could run wild without risk of being hit by a car or a tram.

We headed off on Friday and decided it would be easier to take the commuter train to Pakenham and to ask Nathan's mum to pick us up and complete the rest of the journey by car (instead of taking the vline, which has stricter pet transport regulations). Anyhow, three metro trains later, we arrived in Pakenham. Nathan's mum was already waiting for us so we packed the bags, dog and easter eggs into the car and made our way to Warragul.

We spent Saturday at Yarragon, visiting with Nathan's dad. We went to the farm and let Truffles loose among the livestock (she successfully stared down a steer and then went chasing after the cows). Meanwhile, I raided the blackberry bushes and gorged on berries until my fingers were stained a deep purple.

We spent Easter Sunday at Nathan's sister's place. She made a fantastic roast lunch for us. We had planned to come back to Melbourne Sunday evening but had to spend an extra night because Nathan's mum had really bad back pain and we had to take her to hospital.

We arrived back to the city today. We (i.e. Nathan, me and the dog) are all exhausted. Truffles had a ball (she ate cat shit, chased mice, and generally ran around like a crazy bitch the entire weekend...and is now asleep on Nathan's pillow).

Luckily I get another day off tomorrow (a weird quirk of being an academic...we don't get the State holidays but we get an extra day over easter...go figure).

Oh...we are off to Sydney on Thursday (it was suppose to be for a wedding but Nathan got the dates wrong). Victor, I'll be in touch shortly for a possible catch up.