Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy flowers

Hey chia!

Awwww I lost my post!! So I'm re-writing this all over again! =(

First of all, Christmas over there seems to be getting better and better! So far, the most Christmassy thing I've seen here is in London Court:

Walking down London Court, I can almost see snow falling gently and into this intimate and quaint lane. However, the current weather indicates that it's very unlikely for that to happen. Ah... I would love to have a white Christmas. Somewhere magical. Whether it be in Bavaria or in NY or Canada... Somewhere where Christmas is REALLY Christmas. But then I am getting desperate, so I'll settle for a white Christmas anywhere!

In the mean time London Court is it for me, as well as these pretty fairy lights under the Aviary:

The Aviary is a new roof top bar in the city. If you ever come back, we gotta check it out. It's really nice for summer and those long afternoons, sipping on a sweet drink, having the sun slowly set before you and with the welcoming warm summer breeze at your back.

Oh! And regarding your question 2 posts ago, Yes! We all enjoyed the food we made at high tea! =D

The rest of this week has been ok. However, on Monday I was surprised by Kev with this delivery at my office:

They are sooo happy!! And they totally made me smile! And I am totally taking care of it do that they last longer!

My office now looks like a colourful jungle!

Hopefully Phyllis will be inspired to grow some flowers! It DID grow 2 new stems this week, so perhaps flowers will come too!


Hi Anna!
There is no school today thanks to a strike.

It's only 8.40am here but I have spent the last hour baking and currently writing out Chrissy cards! I actually am enjoying doing that! Love snail mail!

Today I plan to go to the post office and bank to sort out a few things and I might go for a nice long walk to the heath.

Have a good day :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas lights

Hi Anna

YUM! What a great birthday idea! Did you all enjoy eating your yummy creations? Did you get to keep the recipes as well? They all look scrumptious and I love how it's presented. Very neat and fancy!

Today we took the kids for an excursion to St Paul's Cathedral. I am exhausted and never would've thought I'd be one of those people falling asleep on the bus on the way home, but I almost did!

I had 5 children to look after and luckily we all survived! Can you imagine shuffling your 5 lot of children along with the other 25 and getting them from the underground tube, buses and crossing roads to get there? Nobody was left behind/ crushed by the doors/  fallen down the escalators or any scary scenarios! Phew! It was a lot of fun and I really liked it. They were superbly and surprisingly well behaved.

I got to check out the inside of the cathedral so that was a bonus for me! Next week we will be visiting the largest Hindu temple in Europe! I am really excited to get out and about and see new places :)

Anyway, from now on these are the beautiful lights that I see on my walk home. Pretty cool huh? I'm going to try and bring the Christmas to you since you can't be here! If I could, I'd also send some snow if it snows!

Monday, November 28, 2011

High Tea Cooking Class!

Hi Chia!

Awwww your winter wonderland photos really DO look like Christmas! I can imagine that when you go to Austria it's going to be even more wonderful! I am super jealous! Back in Australia, our weather is hot one day, then cold and rainy the next, which is no where near the typical Australian Christmas- where you are dying to hit the beach after eating Christmas lunch!

Last Sunday was quite a day! Shaz, Els, Kev and I bought Joyce a high tea cooking lesson at the Cooking Professor for her birthday.

So we all arrived at the school at 9.50ish, and were able to get our aprons on and start cooking. We were all split up into pairs or solos (as we had a small class with only 9 students) and we were all given a different item to make.
Shaz, Kev, Me, Els and Joyce getting dirty in the Kitchen

Joyce was allocated eggs on brioche... it sounded quite hard because Joyce had to figure out how to boil an egg with its yoke still soft and semi gooey, but without it being not cooked. Eventually she found the perfect consistency and was able to start cutting them up for her brioche.

That's some nice chopping
Joyce's finished product!

Els and I were allocated sandwiches. Now, I volunteered sandwiches because I was daunted at the idea of messing up one of the other dishes. But our teacher informed us that making a good sandwich was very hard. And, it was! Els had to make smoked salmon butter, and I had to make my mayonnaise from scratch. We then had to prepare the fillings by cutting them to the size of the slice of bread, and then we had to slice the bread all neat, thin and the same uniform shape.

Els and I with our sandwiches
Shaz and Kev endevoured to make a banana and walnut loaf! However, I remember mid way through our cooking, I walked past their station, and saw them watching our teacher very quietly with a slightly goofy and smile as he was working with their bowl. I asked them what was going on... and they both just chuckled saying that they had a liiiittle bit of difficulties, and he was fixing it up for them. They finished up first though! And started to help us out.

Here's Shaz being helpful:

Shaz craddling her loaf of bread.

Finally, we were able to plate up our high tea tiers.

We served fruit scones, sandwiches, banana and walnut loaf, Christmas cake and chocolate eclair, together with the egg on brioche.

Our high tea tiers nearly finished!

Our table! I love the tea cups! They also had matching tea pots!

Winter Wonderland

Hi Anna

I've been having fantastic weekends!

Last night I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It's where the annual largest Christmas market of London are held and there are rides, food stalls and games!

I was absolutely DELIGHTED and felt like a kid all over again. I couldn't stop grinning! I made the mistake of forgetting my gloves and my hands were aching with cold the whole night. It helped to have two cups of mulled wine though! It was the first time I tried it and I really liked it. It's like piping hot red wine with cinnamon, cloves and a bit of orange infused in it. Very comforting and definitely a better alternative to coffee/hot chocolate/ tea!

Face looking too round for my liking here! I hope it's the angle!
  I wanted to try the gingerbread but I couldn't find one in the shape of a tree or a gingerbread man! They sold ones that looked more suitable for Valentine's!
A little disappointed that the gingerbread were in ugly heart shapes. 
Some of the rides
 And of course the HIGHLIGHT of my life.. well I don't know maybe not of my life... I do have lots of highlights in my book of highlights but anyway, seeing these REINDEERS would definitely be one of the best highlights!

I've never seen them in real life before and I've always thought they were fictional just like Santa. Imagine my surprise when I was walking home from the heath in the morning to come home to the entire street outside closed and set up the Christmas markets. How amazing is that?!  Apparently they will have the stalls set up every Sunday for the lead up towards Christmas. They've also put up some Christmas lights but I haven't seen them on yet. 

I've never really gotten into the Christmas spirit until now! I hope HW will enjoy it all when she comes! Not long now!

Sunday, November 27, 2011



I saw my first reindeer EVER!! WOW!!! I couldn't believe my eyes and I thought I had to blog to tell the whole wide world about it! I was walking back from the heath and on the street below my flat they had set up some Christmas markets and they had reindeers in a pen!!!

Totally made my weekend!!!!
Pics to follow when I duck down again with my camera!!!

I'm SOOOO HAPPY! Thank you reindeers :D

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feeling the love

Hi Anna

Oh the only love I've been feeling lately are from my students! Haha! Just kidding! Actually no I'm not. And the other day one told me I was pretty very randomly. AWww! Nice change from being told that you look like a ninja.

She couldn't figure out how to spell Miss O!! Oh dear!
I've stopped making dinner the last few days and it's actually helped me get to bed earlier. I spend too much time in the kitchen. I've been having leftover tomato, vegetable and minced beef soup for about 3 nights in a row and surprised I'm not over it! I could be onto something...

Friday tomorrow! YAY! Get well soon and all the best to Kev and his car hunting :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Hey chia!

We can be buddies! While your all sniffles, I'm all zoinked.

Since yesterday, I've been pretty exhausted. It could be because I've been waking up at 5.30 every morning this week. Monday to yesterday was by choice. Monday I had a funeral to attend, and then Tuesday and Wednesday I went for runs to the beach. However, this morning. I laid in my bed wrecked.

Anyways, on some fun note, Kev has started looking at some cars! We went to the dealerships last night and had a test drive of 2 potentials. I have my heart set on one, though the other car was pretty alright too. But the decision is Kev's, so I don't want to influence him too much (though I think he could tell from my attempted muted excitement, which one I loved.) I totally loved the first car we test drove, and if Kev ends up with another car, I know that my dream upgrade car has definitely changed from being merely a newer Honda Jazz!

But Kev's still shopping. So there are more cars to have a look at. I'll let you know which car he ends up getting, if he does end up getting one.

Until next time sniffles.

- Zoinked.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hi Anna!

The video you sent me was the HIGHLIGHT of my day!!!! It was so magical watching Alicia walking down with her brother, and her exchanging vows with Michael. It made me feel as if I was there! I might've gotten a little teary watching it too! Alicia, my high school buddy that lived just around the corner! How things unfold with time. I'm going to start getting sentimental.... oh dear!

Plus your photos make me envious that you were all there to witness this special occasion. What a beautiful day for the wedding.

Congratulations once again Mr & Mrs B!

Not so good for me. I've been down with a terrible cold the last couple of days. Yesterday was at it's worst and I was tired and cranky and my joints ached. Arghh!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alicia & Mike's Wedding

Heya Chia!!!

Oh my! Alicia's wedding was so beautiful! It was so sweet, simple and honest. I loved it, and felt so honoured to have been there to see Alicia tie the knot!

The venue was perfect, the weather was perfect, even the people were perfect!
The uni gang

Some of the Rossmoyne Crew that you may recognise
What wonderful moments! The 2 special moments for me was seeing Mike's face when he first saw a glimpse of Alicia when she started walking down the 'isle', with the warm spring breeze, under the clear sky, and a beautiful acoustic song (which I really want to find the name of it!), and when Alicia and Mike gave their vows. It made my heart melt, and my eyes go teary! I couldn't believe that little Alicia from first year uni, was getting married.

Mike seeing Alicia walk down the isle

Beautiful Alicia and her brother!

Alicia & Mike
They are perfect for each other.

Reception Dinner

Just like the ceremony, the reception dinner was intimate and sweet. Looking out onto the Swan, we were able to catch up with old friends, reminise on the old days when we were younger and naive, and of course, celebrate Mr & Mrs B!

Terry and Clem at our table

Mr & Mrs B cutting the cake

What can I say, there is something magic about weddings.

Another super weekend

Hi Anna!

Oh you got me so excited that as soon as I got home today I hopped online to see if there were any reports of Alicia's and Michael's wedding! Can't wait to see them!!!!

Thanks to the the time difference, while the lovebirds were getting hitched yesterday, I was fast asleep. When I woke up, I texted you to get some details of the wedding! During the day I kept wondering what the couple were up to and what you were doing. I was also trying not to be sad that I wasn't there. Haha!

I spent the first half of the afternoon at Portobello Markets in Notting Hill but I didn't find what I was looking for. Then I went to Stratford to meet a friend. This is the suburb of the Olympics!!!!! I still have to pinch myself and break into bouts of joy thinking of the millions of people pouring into London to see the Oympics. I'm going to be in the city hosting the 2011 OLYMPICS! I didn't walk up to the stadium but I had a quick glance at the surroundings from the newest and largest shopping centre ( Westfield as in Westfield back home!)  in Europe which is near the tube station to the Olympic stadium.  I didn't think it was that massive at the time but in hindsight I bet I didn't even cover half of it. I didn't take any photos because I felt that it might not be very interesting and was just another mall and had all the big brands that you'd find on Oxford Street.

Straight from there I went to Shoreditch to meet Dom and her friends for Vietnamese. My first taste of Vietnamese in London and I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty and authentic the pho was. I miss Vietnam! The street where the restaurant was located on was filled with lots of Vietnamese eateries and is unofficially known as Pho Street.
Nice big bowl of pho with sliced beef!!
Dom and her friends. Some of them are her housemates too. They were either Australian or New Zealanders and were a whole lot of fun!
We also went for drinks and dance and I had the most MOST tantalizing mojito ever!

At about 11.30pm I decided to call it a night and catch the last tube home and it made me really happy that it was easy to get home. I also love London because you can wander around late at night from a venue and there are always people around and you never feel unsafe. I chatted to a lovely (maybe a little drunk) couple from France and we walked to the tube station together. I'm finding that London is such an international city and there are so many people from all over the world coming to London to work.

The last two weekend has been super and it has made me feel love this city more. I think a lot has to do with me getting out and doing things with friends.  From now on I intend to make the most out of each weekend because there is lots to do and see. I'm more than 1/4 of my way through my visa here :(

You'd think I'd be sleeping in on a Sunday morning after being out the whole of yesterday, but today I woke up nice and early at 7am and decided to make sushi. It was beautiful outside and because it was so foggy I imagined that it was snowing while I was making my sushi. It was serene and breathtaking!
Outside my bedroom window in the morning
Can't say the same for my sushi. Never am I going to be silly and boil sushi rice with extra water. Tomorrow for lunch I will be having the rest of my soggy sushi :(

At 11am I met up with Lauren and Claire and we went to Spitalfrield markets. It was Lauren's first time at the markets and she loved it! There were awesome vintage/handmade/secondhand/food/ everything! We had a lot of fun browsing through the stalls for Chrissy presents.
Love the talent of Londoners!

Lauren went CRAZY and bought a whole heap of scarves here!
And the price to pay for having two super weekends in a row is a partially blocked nose, sore throat and a cough.

Totally worth it though :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Hi Anna!

WOoo Alicia is getting hitched this Sat! Please make sure you post pictures (if Alicia doesn't mind!!!!) I'm SOO excited for her!! I hope it is a beautiful sunny day too :)

It hasn't been cold enough to snow in London yet. I don't know how they manage to freeze the ice for the outdoor skating arena but I love the idea of it! Today was the coldest day I think but it has been around maximum 10C and minimum of 7C. I've started to come down with a cough thanks to last Saturday night and not getting enough sleep. I can't remember what winter is like in Perth. Is the maximum around 10C as well or does it warm up during the day?

Amazing nails! Talk about shiny! Your volleyball photos remind me of ball photos in Year 12 because of the fake backdrop.

Anyway not much to report on my side of things. The children at school are learning about the Great Fire of London. It reminded me that one of the things I wanted to do here was to learn more about London's history and this weekend if I have time, I might spent a couple of hours in there.

I also made amazing pasta and glad I made a huge batch because I've been having it the last 3 nights and am not sick of it yet!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kings & Queens

Ah! Winter looks fantastic in London! I really like that photo of the window of Harrods! It's like spooky, romantic and christmassy all in one!

Your videos make it seem like you are still on holiday! And I wish I could be there too! How cold is it now? When will it snow?!?!?

On my side of the world, weather is warming up, however, there is still rain! Can you believe it? Rain in Perth! Anyways, last Friday Shaz and I made our way to Mandurah for the Kings & Queens indoor beach volleyball competition which was held in Port Kennedy on the Saturday. Friday night ended up being low key, with the two Bens playing 'golf' and the girls painting their nails!

Lauren has the biggest nail polish collection! And not only that, she can paint them really well too! We were painting our nails because Lauren, Shaz, Kat and I had decided that our uniform would be all black, and then one distinctive colour. Shaz took pink, Lauren took green, Kat took blue and I took yellow. So our nails turned out like this:

Team shot!


Lauren's signature 'ring finger'.

I don't know why, but having our nails painted in such pretty colours got me all excited!  It wasn't a big night though, as most of us were quite tired.

Game day was great fun! I was nervous at times because we haven't played in a team together before, but we did really well. Unfortunately, we came like 4th, and so we didn't win any prize money, but the game points were really close and yea. It was just fun all round.

Here are our team photos:

Pooped from our 7 games

Lauren looking unimpressed at us

Full action BABY!

Twas a great weekend!

Skating fun

Hi Anna!

I had one of the best weekends in London.

Lauren and I went skating on Saturday. I had HEAPS of fun! I loved it so so so so SOOO much! I couldn't stop smiling while I was skating. It's been ages since I skated. I remember the last time was with El and the PCEC crew. Gosh that would've been 3 years ago?

Eagerly waiting for our skating session to begin

Whee! Watch us skate :D

We didn't fall over yayyy!
It's incredibly exciting to experience the lead up to Christmas in winter. Everything is a lot nicer and magical compared to a hot dry summer. Loving the window displays in the stores and lights

Display in an antique store
Display window of Harrods
Lights on Oxford Street
I also got some winter items from Zara and Uniqlo. That store reminded me of you :) But my favourite purchase was from Top Shop.

At night it was Claire's birthday pub crawl in Camden. We were taken to 4 different places during the night and at each place we got a free shot of something. Thanks to this Sambuca is growing on me, and my cough is worse.

This is Lauren and Lisa doing a little promo haha! OMG my voice is RASPY!

There were about 50 or so that came along including Claire's friends. I also met a guy that went to high school with Drew. How random! I met lots of people and had lots of random conversations and my voice deteriorated  as the night unfolded. I had Claire's camera for a short while and it was fun taking candid photos. I also did a little bit of The Hangover and took random photos of strangers. You can have a look at them on FB. They made me chuckle when I looked at them again in the morning because I forgotten that I had taken them.

How was your weekend? I hope your hives have disappeared by now :(

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hives, Modo Mio and a moonlit night

Hey Chia!

Oh! Tintin! I used to read that when I was young too! But that was your very first 3D experience?!?! Oh wow! Yea I love it! It really brings the fun back into going to the cinemas again. I mean we all now have HD tvs, and HD computer screens, seeing a good quality movie is as easy as clicking a button these days.

But 3D... That's something. However, when I was at the AILA conference a few weeks back, one of the directors of another firm showed off his awesome new laptop, that came with... Yup you guessed it, 3D! It came with special glasses, and then you switch into 3D mode, and from that point onwards, I knew that video games will never be the same. It's so trippy!

Awwwww! Christmas in Austria! Try to get to Germany during Christmas too! I hear it's wonderful in Germany! The Christmas markets are just marvelous for wondering around and getting into the good old festive spirit!

Me, my Christmas will be in Perth. How sad...


This week has been quite, well, interesting. First of all, I had been trying to manage this outbreak of hives! I broke out on Friday night at Andaluz after drinking a glass of red, and eating some bread with balsamic vinegar and some ocean trout (tapas style). All of a sudden, my neck felt warm and slightly bumpy and itchy. Didn't think much of it, and Kev took me home.

Saturday, the bumps and itch had moved to my jawline and cheeks. I thought to myself 'hrm?' But thought it would subside, and I went out on GNO. Here's a photo of me on Saturday late afternoon:

Sunday- bam! It got worse... By night time my whole face, neck and ears were burning and swollen. So Monday I went to the doctors, and was prescribed some steroid tablets. I returned to work on Tuesday, slightly better, but it's only up until today, whereby the puffiness and bumps have noticeably reduced, and now I just have peely dry skin.

Thanks to all the pharmacist friends out there who have given me heaps of awesome advice. Oh, and Shaz's mom who said I should stay out of the wind, and wrap the hive parts with something red =/

I have photos, but I look sad and puffy. So I'm not going to blog them =)

Modo Mio

Tonight, Kev took me out for a surprise! It was our 'date night' and our plans were to go to Hillary's for dinner. However, he detoured us, and next thing I knew it we were at Burswood, where he walked me to Modo Mio Cucina Italiana!

I've been wanting to eat here for a while, however I just never had the time or we couldn't get a booking. Here's is a photo of our entree which was rich and delicious!

It's called 'Involtini di melanzane e ricotta, salsa al pomodoro'. Essentially it is eggplant with ricotta, sundries tomatoes with tomato basil sauce, and it was wonderful!

Since the lighting of the restaurant was suited for an intimate dinner, this was the best shot I could get on my iPhone. The other dishes didn't take so well on my iPhone, but they were just as scrumptious. Comfort food at it's best.

Moonlit night

As I left Kev's place tonight, he spotted the moon, and it looked quite mysterious. More so than usual:

Tomorrow after work, I drive down to Port Kennedy to play in a Kings and Queens indoor beach volleyball tournament on the weekend. I hope I am all good by then!


Morning Anna :)

I'm impressed! I can now jog longer than 10 minutes.

On the way up the street I saw fireworks that went on for about half an hour! Where in the world would you be able to just happen to catch some fireworks? Apparently it is legal to buy your own fireworks and set them off. It was quite spectacular (not the fizzle pop kinda stuff) and a shame that no one else was bothering to look at them. Londoners sure make fireworks as exciting as brushing fluff from your coat.

That is all for today. Parent meetings tomorrow evening and I am suppose to be helping HW plan our trip to Germany, Czech and Austria!!! I've spent Chrissy in Singapore with her and New Year's in Egypt. How exciting that this year it may well be Chrissy in Prague and New Year's in either Salzburg or Vienna! Waiting to hear from you soon :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A childhood hero

Hi Anna!

Oh you have to stop tormenting me with your delicious food photos and restaurant reviews :P Great to see photos of the girls!!! I want a girls night out too!

Did you ever read Tin Tin comics or watch the cartoons as a kid? I clearly remember discovering and loving them and the mystery and adventures that he got up to with his dog Snowy. I loved the places his mysteries took him like Tibet and South America and it made me in awe of the world. I'm sure my brothers would remember how much we loved the comics and we would obsessively borrow and rush home from the library  to read them.

I've been dying to catch a  movie and upon hearing great reviews, I asked Lauren if she wanted to watch  The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn on Saturday night.

It was my first 3D movie believe it or not! I thought I'd get motion sickness but it was seriously action packed and a lot of fun. It made me nostalgic and a kid again! The animation and effects were outstanding and I'd highly recommend anyone to go watch it regardless of whether they've read the comics or not.

We went to the cinema at the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush and across the road was the hostel I stayed where I first met Lauren. I haven't been back since moving into my current place and it made me nostalgic again! Two bouts of nostalgia in one night!

We had dinner after the movie and then we headed to a pub to meet Lauren's friend.

Chicken and leek pie
I do like the frames! 3D glasses - lens = geeky? Or as Lauren puts it ;the teacher look'

During the day I also called home and it was so good to hear from my dad and my younger brother. Now that I'm older and living far away from home, it's made me miss and appreciate them a lot more. I wonder when I'll see them again!