Can You Hear The Whispers of Your Soul?

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." Ah such a wise man that Oscar Wilde!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Melbourne's Monday Morning Tragedy

Melbourne's a relatively safe place, but who can really predict when mad gunmen run around assaulting and killing people? Who would know when and where tragedy may strike? It was a Monday morning, mostly everyone in the city is in a mad rush to grab a coffee, to go to work, or to hop on a tram, train, or cab. Imagine a bustling intersection, imagine the sound of cars, the sound of the traffic light, the sound of quick paces. These are normal, one does not even stop to notice. But when a gun shot is fired, people will scramble. Several gun shot sounds reverberated through the busy surrounds of Melbourne's business district almost half past eight this morning. It is what appeared to be a row between a man and a woman..... he was trying to grab her as she gets on to a taxi. A man who was only trying to help got killed, another who tried to aid was also shot and is seriously injured. As for the woman, she was shot in the abdomen.

With the gunman still at large and Melbourne CBD blocked off at many sections, it was hard to feel at ease as we all went through our day to day activities. The shooting is said to have been the worst in Melbourne in 5 years, and it happened between Williams St. and Flinders Lane, not very far from where our office is. A memorandum went around to avoid going into the city or to clients' sites if possible. At the end of the day, people have to leave the security of their offices and go outside to go home. Being a worrywart, I kept my fingers crossed that the man seated across me in the train is not the crazed person who just tried to kill three people (and successful with one) in the morning.

See news at: shooting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Business and Pleasure

The past three days have been long, under-the-pump days at the client site. Normally under this kind of circumstance, I will be more than keen to go straight home and to my bed at the end of the day. However, being interstate for work this week kind of makes one want to have an outside exploration more than just going back and crashing in the lonely hotel room. Nevermind the king-sized bed and the jacuzzi / spa, my colleague and myself have obviously made the decision to ignore the physical and mental exhaustion and just go all out to try some restaurants.

And ahhh... it does give a bit of an incentive that South Australia has some good wineries... and of course it will be an utter waste not to indulge in SA wine while we are here. Shame that we don't have the weekend in Adelaide, else we would have planned a trip to the Barossa Valley. But well oh well, I wouldn't be complaining because for the past few dinners, we've had some pretty good South Australian wines.

One of the reasons why I'm putting this down on the blog is to ensure that I remember the type and year of the wine we've had - as I am surely going to want to stock up on those. Last night we had dinner in the hotel, had lovely seafood entrees, and I had a very nice mandarin-glazed duck with dates and lychees. Oh yum. But topping that meal was the wine that we had. I normally would go for a merlot, but that choice of cab sav was pretty awesome. It is quite rich in flavour, yet very smooth. The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Ebenezer from the Barossa Valley, SA. will definitely go into my stock. To digress from SA, but still on wine... one of the recently discovered favourites of ours is the 2003 merlot from Punt Road at Yarra Valley. The winery ran out of stock! And we've kind of given our last bottle of that vintage away... not knowing that they wouldn't have any stock left. Have to check out Dan Murphy's. That's a mental note, by the way.

This evening saw us on a bit of a hike to find this restaurant suggested by the hotel concierge. Not paying attention is quite worrying when venturing out to search for a place one has not been to - and in an unfamiliar city at that. Finally we found Lago's, an Italian restaurant situated by the river and which has a nice water and city view. I must say that the antipasto and herb focaccia were excellent, more so than the main. My colleague H made the right choice in wine. Something we've never had before, but giving it a shot was definitely a good call. We had the 2006 Chapel Hill Unwooded Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, SA. Pretty young wine, I personally didn't have very high expectations of it (not that I'm qualified to critique nor would claim to have a seasoned palate), but I know what I like and what I don't, and this one turned out to be quite nice - still fruity and easy to drink... and yes, without that often not-too-pleasant oaky taste. With just us two girls sharing a bottle - we were quite content. I wouldn't mind more if only we didn't have to wake up early for work tomorrow. Oh well...

A reason to go back for a real tour of South Australia may be on the list, some time... perhaps when they have their local festivals when food and wine are abundant... =) Other than those, I've no real desire to be in the city of Adelaide for holiday - a bit of a contrast to Melby's pace.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

The Past Week...

"A" once mentioned that when one does things consistently, regularly, for 22 times, then it becomes a habit. Don't ask why it is the number 22 - apparently he read it somewhere, or he's just pulling my leg. Anyway, so I have been trying that out...sorta stick to some proper routine. I am not a "routine" kind of person; if there's one thing I find utterly boring, that would be doing the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, every single day. But according to A, my personal psychologist and motivator, that's how you build up habits that you want to see in yourself. Arrgggh whatever. See, I'm not so good at sitting down with a textbook or a learning module, especially if the font is quite small and in black print. And oh, especially if there are no pictures. Classics and literature are a different thing. One doesn't always get to just do the things he's good at. Sometimes he's forced into something he doesn't want to do, nor have the patience to, but will be beneficial for him. I had no choice but to grudgingly put into my schedule the "study hour" for the past week and a half - normally from 10 - 12 in the evening. It hasn't quite reached 22 days but I don't reckon I would last any longer doing that. So what if I can't sit still? The past weeks have been exhausting.

The simple habit I stick with are my early morning coffee - making sure that I sit down in peace and quiet with a large steaming mug for at least 15 minutes. But even that, I need a variety of taste in beans and strength in the coffee - Brazil, Colombian, Goroka, or Jamaican - never to plan what I am having.

And what's this thing about not going out on a week night because it is a week night, or a Sunday night because there is work tomorrow? Doh! I must admit, I have at one point dangled dangerously, close to falling into that queue. Then snapped back. Some times getting out to have a bit of air (and yes, a glass of wine, beer, or whatever) on a non-weekend evening does so much for one's spirits. Same goes for a retail quick fix, nothing beats the silly excitement of an impulse buy.

One of the main things I like about my job is that it is not desk-bound, well yeah I still use a desk, but not necessarily the same desk every day, and not necessarily in the same office all the time. Most importantly, the people I have to work / deal / rub shoulders with today, may not necessarily be the same people I see the next week. Work is always changing, and the approach is always different. I like that. No routine, not 100% predictable. At the start of a new assignment, it could be like stepping on unfamiliar grounds, but that's even more exciting. It doesn't really give me much of a thrill to know that I'll be able to do something because I already knew the drill, that my results are what they are because the work is already my standard familiar one. It just loses its spark for me, if it's that way.

"A" has been away overseas for 2.5 weeks now - I suppose he is the only constant one that I do not mind having.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ooops, Mind Your Slip

A colleague spotted someone at the client's wearing mismatched heels. Poor girl, I could understand that some times in our haste, we commit these laughable boo-boos. But oh well, one still gets through the day. All you can do is have a hearty laugh about it.

I have my little moments too. It was in one of those days when there was no cab in sight, and the train is about to depart in a couple of minutes. I was going back to the city office from the client's at some far-off suburb that I wouldn't even have stepped foot on had I not been assigned to this project. Anyway, with laptop bag on one shoulder and loads of other stuff on hand, I was practically running to the station, still with a bit of poise intact. However, one will very soon realise that the poise could just have been flung out of the window... because just before I hopped onto the train (thank God I caught it!), many staring eyes drew my attention to... errr, my skirt. Yes, the conservative corporate skirt which was supposed to be a few inches below the knee in length has some how come up to almost mid-thigh and has turned 180 degrees back to front! Que horror! No wonder the wind felt chillier at that moment. Had to quickly pull the offensive skirt down.

How to recover from such embarrassment? Duck into the farthest corner and pretend to read the newspaper. And announce it on your blog.


Monday, April 09, 2007

After the Move

So we've finally moved! The big day didn't come without glitches. First, the 3-tonne truck we booked was not available when we went to pick it up - some system issue with the rental car company! It was a long weekend and it was not easy to hire a truck. Good thing a friend of ours helped source from Europcar and we were able to get one fairly quickly. You say 3-tonne is too big? It wasn't - not with the amount of things we have. We went two rounds too. Second, my "forecast" of 3 hours moving was totally inaccurate for amateur movers like myself and my friends. It was more like 6 hours! In the future I would just hire professional movers, those guys can actually lift and move a whole fridge with ease and in one go. By the time everyone finished, we were all so buggered.

Spacious new place, but with hardly anywhere to walk on. It was a bit like that for about two weeks; we took our time filling the cupboards and organising the new place. If packing and moving are both pains in the bum, then unpacking easily comes as a runner up. There's the problem of being unable to find the things one needs (or tripping over boxes!) Things look so much better now - the first area that got the first fixing up was of course, the kitchen. The living area is still so-so, but it'll be fun to decorate. Since the old sofa set was thrown out, we're on the hunt for a new leather set. Everything will come together in due time.

This is a snapshot of how things look like even after a couple of days into moving in the new place.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

The First to Go........

Having to move is a pain in the bum. Of course, having found a nicer place is a bonus - something I am giddy about. However, moving is not just moving per se, moving is actually 90% sorting, packing, and cleaning up, THEN the actual move (where one can hire other people to work the muscles). I am not half-way through that first 90%... and my back is already killing me! Astonishing how one discovers the amount of junk that has been accummulated over the years, I certainly have an embarrassingly huge heap. They will either go to the bin or to the Salvos if still in good condition but will no longer be required.

Our good buddies throughout the years at Little Elgin Street... the company we've enjoyed not only a bit, but heaps... well, the memories are many, still empty bottles we will no longer keep... our evening friends were amongst the first ones to go... buh-bye!


Saturday, February 17, 2007


It took me quite a while to come to the decision of putting Max up for adoption. But as soon as I did, I quickly sent out an email to friends and acquaintances with an attachment of his photos and a brief background of the pet I love so much. It did not take long before I got calls and emails from people who expressed interest to take him. It was the weirdest feeling - like an in-between of protectiveness and hesitation. A tiny part of me was hoping that no one would satisfy the requirements I have set in order to qualify to adopt Max (therefore I would have to keep him longer...) That was emotions ruling. The logical department still won over and that is it's for his best interest to go to a family where he will get the attention that he needs, where he will have a lot of people around him, where he will be able to go for runs and walks everyday, where his playfulness will not be taken for granted. It is the best thing I can do for him, as I have already abandoned the idea of bringing him with me to Australia, an idea I have toyed with and researched on a bit previously, as per my post more than a year ago.

Last Saturday afternoon, my friend and her boyfriend (whom I have chosen to adopt Max) came by to pick him up. I wonder then and I still do now if he sensed what was going on. He didn't whimper or cry, but I was with him in the car. He literally leapt out of the van when we got to his new home, and excitedly "surveyed" the new environment, weeing at two or three corners! Fast forward - I left and I still remember how his puppy eyes look. It breaks my heart but I am comforted with the knowledge that he'll be well taken care of and *hopefully* he's happy.
Max during one of our fetch & drop play sessions