Archive for January, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

Posted in General on 26 January, 2010 by juniper76

Happy Australia Day everyone!

If you’re Down Under, I hope you’re enjoying the public holiday.  If you’re elsewhere in the world, 26 January is Australia Day!

Officially today is about commemorating the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and the establishment of the British colony.  But, for most children in Australia, today marks the end of the long summer holidays that started before Christmas.  For most Australian adults it’s a day off work to head to the beach or to gather around a BBQ with family and/or friends.  It’s also the day Triple J broadcast their Hottest 100 from the previous year (as voted by listeners).

If you’re into history, check out the Wikipedia entry on Australia Day as a starting point:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day.

If you’d rather listen to music, check out Triple J’s website instead:  http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/.

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there and back again…

Posted in General on 18 January, 2010 by juniper76

No, this isn’t a hobbit’s tale.  My sister’s Hen’s night was on Saturday night, which, for me, meant a quick weekend dash to Sydney!

If we take one quick step back though, I mentioned in my last post that we’d been looking for shoes for me to wear to the wedding.  Well, that Tuesday afternoon shopping expedition was unsuccessful, but I found these on Thursday night:

My bridesmaid dress is “pistachio” in colour, so soft gold was what my sister wanted and I finally found a pair!  I’m told they’ve got a “kitten heel”, but, as someone who just doesn’t wear heels, they’re all I can handle!  Why all the urgency to find the shoes?  I needed the shoes for my trip to Sydney because I had a dress fitting while I was down there…

Anyway, back to the main post…

So, off I go to Sydney!  I started the trip by arriving at the airport early, only to have the flight delayed by an hour!  I’ve hardly ever had that happen, but of course it happens when it’s going to stress me out the most.  Initially our flight was delayed by 15 mins because the plane arrived late from Sydney, but then another flight was cancelled (due to mechanical issues) so they kept us there (on the plane) for another 45 mins while the ferried across passengers, luggage and additional catering.  I understand it, but I still wish it hadn’t happened.

But things improved from there.  This was one of those rare occasions (for me) when the plane approached Sydney airport from the north, so I had this view out of my window just before we landed:

Not bad, heh?

So, after spending Saturday morning sorting out my bridesmaid dress (sorry, no photos! :P ), we had a brief rest before heading out for the Hen’s night!  My sister’s bridesman (yep, “man”, not “maid”) organised the event since he knows the venues in Sydney and I haven’t got a clue.

We started the evening at Bungalow 8 on Circular Quay.  There was a beautiful afternoon breeze coming off the water and it was just a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

This was the view from our table (that’s Star City casino in the background behind the waterside building):

There was food to soak up the alcohol ahead:

There were bubbles:

More bubbles:

And did I mention bubbles?

This was the view from where the bouncer was standing:

Once the sun started setting, it was time to head to Hugo’s in Kings Cross for cocktails and dancing!  It was dimly lit (as you’d expect) so I don’t have any good photos for you.  You’ll just have to imagine it!

So, after a busy weekend, it was time to head home (and leave my hung over sister to her own devices):

We just had to wait for this plane to land and then we were on our way:

Damn these meagre snacks on afternoon flights!  I knew I should have left later for the complimentary wine!

Actually, it was just right for how I was feeling at the time…  ;)

Clouds!

The Pacific Motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast:

This stretch of concrete road got me my job almost 7.5 years ago (they needed a graduate to work on the project – if they hadn’t gotten the project, my job wouldn’t have existed), so I have a fondness for it!

And then it’s home sweet home!  The Brisbane CBD and Brisbane River:

Sorry, between the sun and the dirty window, it’s not a good picture, but it’s still home!

dinner and a drive…

Posted in General on 18 January, 2010 by juniper76

I’ve been waiting almost a week to write this post.  I wanted to put the photos in, but I used my parents’ camera and they finally emailed the photos to me today!

Last Tuesday was my Mum’s birthday (36, she tells me!) and we went out to the French restaurant she’s been raving about for the last year.  I’ve got to say, the food was delicious!

DH and my Dad ordered from the menu, but Mum and I decided to go for one of the set menus (the most expensive one of course!).  Of course, the one we picked was a 4 course meal!  Needless to say, we’d bitten off more than we could chew, but we made a damned good effort at it!

We started with a duck terrine (sorry, no photo), which was nice but I can’t say it excited me.  Next on the menu was oysters.  I didn’t feel like those so they were kind enough to substitute a French Onion Soup for me.  I’d been wanting to try a proper French Onion Soup for a while, so I was very glad to have the opportunity.  I was a little surprised when it arrived.  Whenever I’ve seen French Onion Soup on tv, etc, it’s been a relatively small serve.  This is what turned up:

It was huge!  And, for the record, it was delicious!!!

The two entrées were followed by a sorbet and then the main I’d been waiting for – duck!  I love duck!  I’ve loved it ever since the first time I had it at around 8yo!  However, I was astounded by just how much meat there was on the plate:

That’s apple underneath the duck and the orange thing was some sort of pumpkin thing, but I have no idea how it was made because it stood up by itself.  The gravy and the mushrooms were soooo rich that I couldn’t finish it all, but it was fantastic!  I’ve never seen so much boneless duck on one plate though and I’m still impressed!

After all of that came dessert.  The menu we’d selected included a sample plate of desserts.  It included 2 sorbets, some apple tart, chocolate mousse, crème brûlée and some sort of rum-soaked cake:

OMG, talk about divine!  The mousse was too rich to finish and I ended up leaving most of it.  I wasn’t overly fussed on the cake, but the sorbet and apple tart were lovely.  But it was the crème brûlée that stole the show for me!  If we go back, I’ll be ordering one of those next time!

We may have spent almost $300 on a meal for 4 people, but I honestly felt it was worth every cent!  So, if you find yourself in Brisbane, check out La Provence at Coorparoo!

Oh, yeah, I called this “dinner and a drive…”, so where’s the drive?  Well, before dinner we did some quick shoe shopping in search of shoes for me to wear to my sister’s wedding.  DH and my Dad went to look at other things in our car, which left Mum and I with their car.  Since it was her birthday, Mum didn’t feel like driving, so I got to drive their car.  They have a Nissan Patrol 4×4 and I’d only driven it once before (on the open road, not in a poky carpark!), so it was very different to our medium-sized sedan!  But I managed to not scratch it or dent it or otherwise decrease its value.  It did take me a few goes to reverse into the first carpark we went to though…  Good thing no-one was watching!

I Inspired a New Blogger Award

Posted in General on 11 January, 2010 by juniper76

21reena created this new award to recognise the blogger who inspired her to start blogging.

I started reading Joy’s blog when we were both going through an IVF cycle at the same time.  I’d been thinking about blogging for a while, but it was reading her posts that finally inspired me to take that step from “thinking about” to “doing”.  This is for you Joy:

cruel and unusual punishment…

Posted in General on 11 January, 2010 by juniper76

Okay, I was going to write a post about the first day back at work and just how disinterested and unmotivated I am, but something happened on the way to the bathroom.

I work in a building occupied by a lot of different businesses and the bathrooms are shared.  There was a woman walking ahead of me as I approached the first door leading to the bathrooms, which, in and of itself, is completely unremarkable.  It was when she turned to hold the door for me that I saw it – there, embroidered on her shirt, “Lindt of Switzerland”.

Where’s my chocolate?!?

So, I checked out the building directory on the way back to my office and, lo and behold, Lindt have an office upstairs in the serviced offices!  I know there’s no chocolate up there, but that doesn’t matter!  The Lindt Lindor balls are my absolute, all-time favourite chocolate!  And what’s not to love:

Do I really have to sit here, knowing that potentially important decisions are being made upstairs?

Yes, I’m being silly and melodramatic, but isn’t that an improvement on morose?

Seriously, where is my chocolate?

wedding stress…

Posted in General on 8 January, 2010 by juniper76

A belated Happy New Year to all of you!  I’m hoping to see a lot more happiness in 2010 from all of us.  :)

The last couple of days have been consumed by one thing – my sister’s wedding.  Yep, I’m stressed out over a wedding and it’s not even mine!  To be honest, I didn’t go to this much effort for my own wedding…

Most upsetting have been the Facebook messages.  There was one asking me if I still want to be Matron of Honour because, with 6 weeks to the wedding, she’s worried about me fulfilling my duties.  She keeps re-sending me the list of duties!  I haven’t reminded her that, due to the same geographical challenges, she did not do any of the pre-wedding duties (ie invitation preparation, etc) for my wedding even though she was my one and only bridesmaid (technically my sister has two – me and a bridesman).  For my hen’s night, I arranged for 3 of my friends here in Brisbane to help her with the planning (and she now has a lifelong grudge against one of those friends as a consequence, but that’s another story) and I organised the catering, cleaned the house (we had it here) and prepared the invitations.  But back to the here and now, ultimately, regardless of the title, I’ll be doing the same things on the day – helping her get dressed (I’m guessing she won’t want the bridesman doing that), holding her flowers, etc – so wtf does the title matter?  I mean, seriously?  A rose is a rose by any other name.  Or, to put it another way, who gives a shit what I’m called?

And then there’s my dress.  We are picking it up when I fly down for the hen’s night next weekend.  So, being the clueless fashionista that I am, I didn’t think of needing the underwear and shoes to get the fitting done until she “reminded” me yesterday.  Of course, I’ve gained weight with all the IF treatments so the torsolette I wore for my wedding doesn’t fit any more.  Damn!  When it comes to underwear, a strapless dress and a big bust are not a good combination!  So, off we rush today to pick up a new one.  Good thing I know just the shop to go to.  But then there’s the shoes…  I know just the shop for those too, but they’re still closed for Christmas holidays.  They re-open on Monday, which is also the day I go back to work.  And since I fly down on Friday, that means finding a way over there after work, which in turn means making sure I finish work early one day to get to the store which closes at 5pm.  And I did I mention that I need to leave work early on Friday for my flight?  My first week back after holidays and I’m not sure how I’m going to manage to work the requisite number of hours.

And while we’re talking about hen’s nights and dresses, I actually bought a dress for the hen’s night!  My sister constantly complains about me not wearing feminine clothes and dressing down, so I bought a cocktail dress (it is a cocktail party, after all).  I haven’t worn a dress since 2001 (excluding my wedding dress), so it took me a while to think through the repercussions of that – 1. I don’t have any shoes that will go with the dress; 2. I don’t have a handbag for evenings since I hardly ever use handbags; 3. I’m going to have to get my legs and underarms waxed; 4. I need to find a cami to wear under the dress because a plunge bra doesn’t plunge far enough.  Have I mentioned I hate shopping for clothes and shoes?  And I’ve been meaning to start getting my legs waxed regularly for a couple of years now, but never get around to finding somewhere and making an appointment.

So, what all this means is that I’m completely stressed out.  And this is on top of the stress and depression I’m still dealing with from our cancelled transfer.  Not to mention my dread of going back to work on Monday and having to face the two people who know what happened.  If I hear one “I’m sorry“, “how are you doing” or “how was your Christmas” from them I may just lose it…  I’m not going to claim that’s a rational response, but it is how I’m feeling right now.