Monday, 29 September 2014

Wedding dilemma update.

I touched base with my friend who gave the wedding invite.
The invite was for me alone. The only reason why she did not invite my partner was due to numbers limitations at the venue. She was super apologetic and said that if other invitees don't come, that he would be first on the list. My fella is super understanding about this also.

You've probably all heard about the sad and frightening events in the south-east of Melbourne recently. There is probably very little I could write about it that hasn't already been covered in detail, but it makes me sad.

There is a lot that is confusing about it. How could this boy, who has spent most of his life in Australia and with fairly limited life experience, developed such hateful views. Was he ill, psychotic, drug-addled?

What did he think he was doing, rushing at an armed pair of police officers with a knife? Was he thinking of martyrdom? Was he thinking at all?

The fallout is already occurring. People protesting Islamophobia. A poor lady (presumably a hijab-wearer) had her head slammed against a train carriage. What a hateful, filthy act.

Religious Muslim women are often targeted; their faith is patently obvious. It's ironic that they don't seem to be the ones fighting the holy war. Islamophobia meets misogyny, perhaps.

Phrases like "high alert" and "be vigilant" and "increased security" are bandied about in the media. Fear makes the community like decisive action from hard-liners. We send military might into the disaster area, with no clear endpoint.

And what worries me is that our hard line leaders start looking like good blokes, much like George W. Bush did in 2003. "You are either with us, or against us" he said.

I don't have a solution here, but I do worry about the way things are headed.

I suppose climate change and a $7 medicare surcharge are a little moot if we all feel we are under threat of being blown to smithereens.

I have seen very simple but very powerful instances of kindness, compassion and tolerance between cultures and religions. Can we not start with this?

Anyway that's my slightly addled thoughts for the evening. I have been having terrible tension headaches recently and my scalp and back are sore. I might take my achy carcass to bed.

I hope you are all well, and that you are blessed and stay safe x

And thankyou to all those that visit and comment; I don't often reply but I love reading them and receiving them. Thankyou for listening. Link to your blog if you have one, and I will come visit.

Monday, 22 September 2014

A rant, a dilemma and a miscellany.


First the Miscellany.

I went to rAdelaide for my conference. The conference was great; there were good practical things I learned which will change my practice (or at least stop me from looking at my junior blankly when they speak of a new medication).

I stayed in the Hilton Hotel and I recommend it. Those who follow @cillajean79 (think most of the readers of this blog do) on Instagram will have seen the view from my room.

I would love to travel a bit more around Adelaide, namely to the Barossa and other great food and wine regions, and to Kangaroo Island. To have a Bacchanalian road trip!

I got to meet the gorgeous Heidi of Adelaide Villa. Lovely to see you H!

I ran a 10km fun run on Sunday. Lovely day to run on the banks of the Yarra.

Now the Rant.

I am at a ranty time of the month.

Is it just me? Have found that my PMS is getting worse as I get older. Or perhaps I just have better insight into my peaks and troughs as I age.

Being the scientist that I am, I had a thought about it. My amateur reproductive physician view is this:

We spend most of our (reproductive) lives bathed in lady-hormones. These add to the milieu that allows us to nurture children etc. It's for the sake and safety of the species.

By and large, I am a fairly patient person. Forebearant. I have learned to let small annoyances go, and bite my tongue. I will go out of my way for people.

1-2 days per month I have far less tolerance for fuckwittage. I still bite my tongue but it gets harder to do so. I may well up in tears. The impulse to take to inanimate objects with a blunt objects is strong. That's the time when those lady-hormones are at their nadir. If I am not being annoyed, I am fine.

So basically that time is not one where we are more bitchy, but one where we are far less inclined to deal with the shit that we usually encounter with a smile and good humour.

Amirite, Ladies?

Now the Dilemma.

I have a work friend who is getting married. She is going the whole hog. Designer dress, great location, even employed a wedding stylist. It's a big deal. That's her prerogative.

She has spoken about having to limit her numbers, given that the price per head for the reception is high. There are people in our workplace who may not be receiving an invite (haven't scoped it out yet). I had not expected an invite. When she was explaining the cost and need to limit numbers I told her it was ok not to invite me (then gave her advice regarding cheaper catering and spit roasts).
The invite came, but only my name was on it. Do I presume the invite is just for me, not my partner? That is what I thought...

She has only met him a handful of times, too.

I respect her right to invite who she wants, and am happy for the invite. I have not yet raised it with my fella.

You already know my view on what wedding I would want; an inclusive one. Kids too. It's a celebration of love, after all.

What is your view on the etiquette of wedding invitatitions?

PMS...yay or nay?

What did you get up to this past weekend?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Domesticity. Soothing banalities.

Hey there.

Melbourne is in that phase of glorious then foul spring weather. We are currently in the foul stage. Should come good this weekend.

I will be off to Adelaide tomorrow, for a conference. Looking forward to it. Good to have my brain fed.

I suppose that this is a late "what I did on the weekend" post. After all the gallavanting and glam of Singapore, I think the fella and I really just craved a bit of time in our new home, tending to it, basking in it. Just doing some normal, simple things.

Saturday I went to my old mate, Princes Park, and did a couple of laps (2.6 to be more precise, about 8.3km). It was the longest run I had done in a while, it was as slow as all get out but I enjoyed being out in the fresh air and sunshine. My other old friends.

I saw the movie "Predestination", with Ethan Hawke and an Aussie newbie, Sarah Snook, who was brilliant. It was an absorbing movie, very original. I recommend it.

Sunday was spent on domestic duties.

I don't consider myself a domestic goddess in the slightest however I am slowly getting more domesticated.

I even did GARDENING.

I know. I don't know myself either.

I spent an hour and a half pulling weeds and giving the shrubs and roses crew cuts. That's 85 minutes longer than I've ever spent on gardening in the past. Who knew decapitating shrubs could be so therapeutic! I have sore forearms from using the clippers vigorously.

Then after all that exertion, I went and did some cooking. We massaged some spices into a pork shoulder the night before, then put it into a slow cooker on the Sunday. The result was some very tasty pulled pork. This was served up for dinner when some friends came over.

Also cooked was a guacamole and some fresh tomato salsa.

For dessert, we had a chocolate, chilli and tequila cake. The recipe is here. You can't really taste much or any tequila in the recipe.

It is a really easy cake to make and I recommend it. It has a truckload of butter in it.

Yesterday was quite a draining day at work. Usually such a thing would send me ranting to whoever would listen, or into the chocolate/wine. Instead, I got home, and without even sitting down, I started on dinner. After about 10 minutes I forgot about my day. I find cooking tasks quite absorbing and often quite calming.

I am still quite happy to palm off the dishes to my fella though.

What is your favourite and least favourite domestic task?
What is the weather like where you live?
Do you have a super easy and impressive recipe that you use? If so, share.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Singapore. Segue to thoughts about weddings.

It's been a little while.
It's mainly that I hate typing on my iPad. I am home, with a proper keyboard, so here it is.


We just got back this morning. I can definitively say that a night flight (and the time traipsing around town awaiting said night flight) is far less stressful when one has had an upgrade to business class. Emirates do it well; they chuck in a transfer to and from the airport. Noice.

The purpose of our trip was to attend the wedding of one of my fella's colleagues. With the added benefits of being in Singapore. Which means good food, great shopping, great people watching, staying in a nice hotel with a pool and jacuzzi and oh, good food. It was nice to get warmed up after a cold winter and a halting start to spring.

I have been to Singapore a few times. It has a few memories, including some bittersweet ones. It was great to create some new memories of Singapore with my fella.

Memories of lounging by the pool, partaking of the pool bar (can still not abide drinks in plastic cups). Reading books on a banana lounge (thanks for the Burial Rites rec K!) Books are far more enjoyable when read by a pool, while drinking a drink from a plastic cup and being caressed by a warm breeze.

Memories of looking at ALL THE SHOPS and ALL THE THINGS! I find the window shopping both exciting and overwhelming. So much choice! I didn't buy a lot, just jumped on the "shooties" (half boot half peeptoe shoe) bandwagon finally. I was quite restrained. I am finally getting into a "don't buy it unless you love it" frame of mind.

Memories of doing a bus tour of Singapore. The fella loves those city bus tours. I am a convert. The cheesier, the better. Plus good to learn trivia.

Gustatory memories of the Food! Chilli crab. Black pepper crab! Salted egg yolk crab! Working hard to get all the sweet crab flesh and getting your fingers sticky in the process.

The Assam Laksa. The curry!

The yummy brekkies. Gotta love a brekky buffet. This one had fried chicken in it. This may be a controversial call, but I like fried chicken better than I like bacon, unless said bacon is very good bacon.

And there seems to be a bit of a trend toward Fries with Truffle aioli. I can taste it now. The culinary equivalent of world peace.

The peking duck pancakes, at Fatty Weng restaurant. Washed down with Tiger Beer. Singapore has great beer weather and Tiger Beer with Singaporean food is a great match.

Anyway enough about food, I'm getting hungry and I am on a post holiday detox.

Most holidays involve a touch of the local culture (as I am a classy sheila). We went to the Peranakan Museum. You can learn more about the Peranakan culture here. They gave the world Laksa. So said one of my Peranakan friends when I first met him.

The Arts and Sciences museum  near Marina Bay Sands was hosting an Annie Leibovitz photography exhibition. One of the most iconic photography "voices" of our time. She took the famous pic of a nude, pregnant Demi Moore.

And the wedding. As per Singaporean tradition, the wedding took place over several days and events, with multiple bridal costume changes. It was a lovely wedding, in the way all weddings are lovely. The bride looked beautiful.  I really was honoured to be included. The food was amazing, and the view was even better.

That sounded all a bit...trite.

Weddings are a bit of a bittersweet thing for me. First there is the thing about marriage being forever, how that stings when you have had a marriage fail.

The inevitable memories of your own wedding.

I also wonder whether the true emotion, love and joy behind a wedding gets lost in all the pomp and ceremony. Or is that just me? I hope the bride and groom had those great emotions in amongst the mandatory busy-ness of the period leading up to the wedding. I am sure they did.

The fella and I have talked about getting married. Both of us have been married before. Both of us have a little ambivalence about it. It's not off the cards, just not officially on them. We have committed in the second strongest way one can (the buying of real estate) and are planning an even bigger commitment.

We have agreed that, if we do get married, there will be no white wedding. No minister. There will be great music, with lots of dancing. Probably a Mariachi band and a Salsa instructor. There will be good wine and lots of meat, on a spit. Kids will be invited, as watching kids dance is wonderful. Minimal speeches, as we both do enough talking in our jobs.

Or equally we could just bugger off to Las Vegas and do it in a Klassy way.

Having said all this, I am not averse to diamonds. Some of the fella's colleagues (he works with a few wonderful women) have taken it upon themselves to see that one is forthcoming for me. So they told me over dinner and a few wines at the hen's night.

God love them.

Anyway that is enough ramblings.

What about you...
Fried chicken for breakfast? Yay or nay?
Bacon? Crispy or not?
Where do you stand on the topic of weddings? 
Favourite Asian country? 
Do you like Laksa.