Sunday, August 30, 2015

Radio, Spring clean, and a bird rescue

It's been a busy day.

I had to give a radio interview this morning about my research. The station was close to Nathan's cousin's place so we decided to catch up with him as well. Nathan's cousin studied Indonesian politics at uni but seems to have found success as a musician instead. In fact, he had just arrived back in Oz after playing a few gigs in the US.

We were waiting for the cousin at a cafe and unbeknownst to us, the cafe was actually playing one of his albums. It was a nice coincidence – and the music was actually quite good (we now have several CDs).

Afterwards, we took Truffles off to the dog park for a run. We were feeling guilty leaving her at a dog motel for four nights last week (I think she was mildly pissed off with me when I went to pick her up last Monday morning). The wet weather last week meant that she has been confined to the apartment all week so it was nice to take advantage of today's 'good' weather to take her out.

After the dog park, we returned back to the apartment and noticed that it reeked of dog. So...Nathan and I spent a good part of the rest of day cleaning the apartment from top to bottom. I think it now smells a little better but I cant wait for the weather to warm up sufficiently to give the entire apartment a decent airing.

Later in the arvo, I met my Finnish colleague for a drink at a nearby cafe. We were seated inside next to the window and a magpie lark somehow managed to find its way inside and couldn't get out. The waitress (and the bird) were both freaking out. I asked for a towel, threw it over the bird and carried it outside.

"You look so calm", she said.

"I'm a biologist," I replied.

All in a day's work.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Nathan and I are in Perth this weekend. The main reason for the trip was to see the painting I loaned to the Art Gallery of WA (AGWA) for the Indigenous Art Awards.

We left early Saturday morning and arrived mid morning local time (love the way the time difference works in our favour going west).

After dumping our bags at the hotel, we made our way to Northbridge for lunch. I snapped a photo of this cute lion outside one of the buildings we walked past.
After lunch, we headed to the AGWA. Here is me standing next to my painting. Nathan was surprised I only spent 2 minutes looking at it (I was keen to check out everything else).
I love this bark painting depicting a wanjina spirit.
....and this non-indigenous painting by an artist who is based in Canberra. It's kind of crazy and I love the colours.
This painting was doing my head in. Nathan said it made him feel queasy.
After the gallery, we walked up to Kings Park. There were lots of pretty Western Australian plants in flower.
We had to head back to the hotel for a rest afterwards from all the walking (and the early morning start).

Later in the evening, we headed back to Northbridge (this time by taxi) to meet a biologist friend for dinner at a chinese restaurant. We ordered the snow crab and tried not to think too much about what these deep sea critters would have been eating in the wild (most likely this).

Heading off to Freemantle today.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pig feet and ginger stew

There are a lot of chinese traditions I don't quite understand. I guess it doesn't really long as they involve nice food.

Today, we got to enjoy one of those rare dad cooked pig feet and ginger stew.

Jiang chu is the name of the dish and legend has it dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The dish literally means 'ginger vinegar' and it is indeed gingery and vinegary. But the highlight is the soft, gelatinous chunks of stewed pig trotters, which both Nathan (!!) and I enjoyed for dinner.

The dish is eaten soon after the arrival of a new baby and is suppose to be a restorative dish for the mother. The rest of us just happen to be riding on my sister's coat tails.

Aside from the effort it takes to make and grow a baby, the dish is apparently very time consuming to make, which probably explains why dad doesn't make it every other week.

I eagerly await the arrival of the niece/nephew.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cake for everyone

My parents, grandma and youngest sister are in town to surprise my other sister and to greet the new addition to the family, baby Lauren.

I took my folks and grandma to the South Melbourne markets yesterday afternoon for a coffee and came across this cake shop. I must have walked past it a dozen times but never paid any attention to what was inside...until yesterday.
I don't normally have a sweet tooth but this display was too tempting. We got a tasting board to share. My favourite was the mango and coconut (second from left).

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Plant porn

Apartment living is great but I do miss having a garden. I find this interior quite sexy and tantalising. Makes me want to go out and buy some large cacti!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Midwinta ball 2015

Nathan and I had a great evening last night at the Midwinta ball. It was once again held at the Grand Hyatt. The highlight was definitely the people seated with us at our table. We didn't know any of them at the start of the evening but we were soon chatting and laughing and having fun. That pretty much summed up the whole event...friendly, joyful and fun.

Nathan now has a hang over.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Saturday. Midday. Collingwood. Nathan and I are trying to find a particular gift shop located in a small side street so I could buy a gift for a guest who is coming to my work to speak to my students in two weeks (I had something very specific in mind).

Unfortunately, when we found the shop, there was a sign on the door saying it was closed for 'renovations' (gone bust?) so we continued on our way back into the city.

There were a lot of drunken guys stumbling around in the streets in Collingwood at this time of day, some still with drinks in hand. They seemed very content...stumbling and laughing and drinking.

Salmon Saturday

We caught up with one of Nathan's former colleagues for brunch on Saturday.

We went to the Tassal salmon shop in Kew, which probably isn't the most obvious meeting place for brunch but the shop's cafe does have a rather nice brekky menu – and not everything has salmon in it.

The wait staff, while friendly, weren't terribly knowledgeable though. I ordered a potato rosti with poached eggs and a side order of smoked salmon. I enquired whether the salmon was cold smoked or hot smoked since the Tassal shop sold both. At first, the girl said that it was cold but they can heat it up if I wanted. After explaining that I was referring to the smoking process (rather the temperature of salmon), she assured me that the salmon is hot smoked. She brought out a plate of cold smoked salmon. Never mind. I like both.

After brekky, I went to the actual salmon shop and went a bit crazy with the credit card and carted home 4 kg of fish (including some hot smoked salmon), which I then had to squeeze into the freezer, as Nathan was insistent he did not want to eat salmon for the next 3 days (spoil sport).