Friday, December 26, 2008

Caribbean Market, Southern Star Observation Wheel and Santa's Workshop

We brought mum to Carribean Market last Sunday. It's located near the Ferntree Gully and Wheelers Hill area. The market only opens on Wednesdays and Sundays and they offer a huge variety of goods ranging from clothing, fresh produce, lollies, plants, art and crafts, household goods, tools, prints, shoes, toys, giftware and bric-a-brac. A live band was playing that day and we've gotta say they were really not bad in their singing.

Carribean Market
They also had rides like: a train which runs along the lakes, a jungle boat ride which Mum, Ying and I took and the chairlift which brings you from one end of the lake to the other. It was a hot day but we had fun. Mum bought some treats for Jasper and we were pretty amused by the "bully stick which is actually bull's penis. heehee... :p We also saw a salamander a.k.a four-legged fish with legs. I think I turned a shade darker after the sun that day.

I was on leave from the 22nd Dec onwards and so mum and I took another day trip to the Docklands and the city because the Southern Star observation wheel is finally open. But not before we took a quick trip to St. Kilda beach where we had some gelati to cool down.
St Kilda Beach
It was funny to see Mum in her jacket (to keep her hands out of the sun) when everyone were in bikinis or swimwear. We took a short walk along the beach. There was also an indoor salt bath or something, and you can look into the swimming pool from outside. Seemed funny to have a pool just next to the beach? :p And yes there were lots of hot girls sun-tanning too.

Southern Star Observation Wheel, Docklands Melbourne
Lucky for mum, the "ferris wheel" was opened just on that Saturday before. And surprisingly though, it was not at all crowded on the 3rd day of opening. Mum was saying, if it were in Singapore or Malaysia, people will be lining up around the block. :D Anyway tickets are AUD$29 for adult and my non-expired "student pass" got me concession price of AUD$23. It was air-conditioned inside and although the view wasn't that great at all, it was just an experience I guess. We were supposed to look at the camera in the capsule after us and it would take a photo of us, but bad luck that the camera wasn't working. :(

Docklands and Myer Christmas Santa's workshop, Melbourne
We met Santa along the way and decided to take a photo with him. He was giving away free candy too. :p And just outside on Bourke street, Myer had their usual annual Christmas displays on the windows. I don't know if it's the same theme for every year, but this time it was Santa's Workshop. Basically it's like a display of moving puppets and miniature buildings. There was a line if you want to catch a closer look, but mum and I were lazy, so we just took photos from the outer section. :p

It was a tiring but happy day and later, we met darling after work and went home with him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A visit to waterfront city at Docklands and Crown Casino's christmas splendour

Mum, Ying and I went out to Docklands last friday to see The Southern Star observation wheel which is more easily nicknamed Melbourne eye just like the london eye. It's located at the Docklands and also houses new retail stores there which they call the Waterfront city.

It was disappointing though because mum and I actually wanted to take a ride on it. Tickets were about AUD$29 per person I think, but it wasn't opened yet. It was funny because they recently had an opening ceremony, so you would have thought that means it's open? :o Even then, most of the shops there weren't opened as well, so only a handful of shops to walk around. The "soon to be" opened stores had posters and funny things stuck on the shop front to indicate what kind of goods they sell.
Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
A view of the Southern Star observation wheel from the Tram stop. Trams 48 and 86 from flinders street and bourke street respectively bring you there.

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
A white christmas tree outside the row of shops which kinda reminded me of Bugis for some reason, Ying also said the same thing. The weather was scorching hot that day lah, not at all a "snowy" christmasy feeling.

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
As mentioned the unopened shops had a display of images with a combination of things pasted on them to tell you what kind of shop it would be. For example this would probably be a hair dresser or a shop selling hair products. We also saw one that had lots of bowls and cups pasted on the wooden boards.

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
A snap shot on the second level. Note the shops at the back, most of them on this level are also not opened yet. The white building on the top right are apartments. Imagine staying at one there! You wake up every morning, walk out to the balcony and what a view you get! :D And also all the shopping temptations nearby!

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
We met darling at Crown Casino when he finished work. After dinner as we were walking towards the hotel lobby to watch the Crown Christmas display, we passed by this seafood restaurant with such an ENORMOUS crab that we just had to take a photo.

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
In front of some of the christmas decorations with mum. See the glittering Crown logo on my right. heehee. :D That's like a super gigantic "glass" ball or bobble decorations that you hang on Xmas trees.

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino

Southern Star Docklands and Crown Casino
The choir which performed so many wonderful christmas tunes.

I probably took more video captures as compared to photos because it was better to capture the animated moving performance. It was Crown's annual christmas show where the tree "talks" and then puppets pop out from the tree and the carousal turns with dancing puppets and stuff. And then Santa Clause pops out from a carriage on the carousal.

Gosh it's just so much easier to show it on the video, which I hope (I will not be lazy and upload to youtube) so I can post it up here. Meantime enjoy the photos first... :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tigger (Denise's visit), Chapel street bazaar and "Build-a-bear" workshop in chadstone.

Dear tigger Denise came to visit a couple of weeks ago. She was here with her sis and her parents for a holiday. We managed to do a bit of catch up and had lunch at Oriental Spoon, a Korean restaurant opposite Melbourne central. It's funny how you can not see or chat to a good friend for awhile and yet when you meet, there is no sense of unfamiliarity at all. ;) Wished we had more time together, but ah well, every amount of time to chat is valuable enough.
Denise and Melissa at Melbourne Central
Jay Chou Capricon and S.H.E FM
And she brought me the newest Jay Chou - Capricon and FM S.H.E albums! Super happy! They are so expensive to import from Hong Kong or ebay. Especially love Jay's new song - "稻香:Dao Xiang" which is about how people should be contented and with what they have and treasure their love ones and also "时光机:Shi Guang Ji" - Time machine; him playing the cute Doraemon guitar in the Music video. :) S.H.E this also had a few meaningful songs like "宇宙小姐:Yu Zhou Xiao Jie". It's saying girls should love themselves for who they are, something about inner beauty. And I love "安静了:An Jing Le"- a typical love song about a guy not being able to commit.

On Melbourne Cup day (4th Nov), we met up with wang-wang for lunch and then he brought us to this "hidden" bazaar along chapel street. Never knew they had a bazaar there, it was a walkway between the shops that you turn in and boom, there's this place with all these old vintage stuff for sale. Some stuff were old and some were new, but we mostly just browse through as some of the items were pretty costly.
Chapel street bazaar
Chapel street bazaar
Chapel street bazaar
Chapel street bazaar
Chapel street bazaar
Grabbed myself a love novel for $10 and the Guitar musical box for $12. Liking that the musical box is probably one of a kind now judging from the age of the box. The box had a "Made in Hong Kong" label on it which meant it was imported. It plays Elvis Presley's "Love me tender" and is still working perfectly fine, the guitar sort of turns around a small stand as the music plays. A real "romantic" ornament for the room. :p Heehee...

Over the weekend on our usual trips to Chadstone, we finally passed the "Build-a-bear" workshop. I remember playing the game on my nintendo DS ages ago and always tried to picture how the real shop would look like. Basically, you pick the "skin" of the teddy bear or animal you like (they have dinosaurs, a zebra, polar bear, rabbits and more!) then you bring them to the staff and they fill them up with the stuffing. Then you can buy clothing, shoes, hats and accessories for your newly created stuff toy. It's so cute lar...
Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear
There were these bunch of kids, (I think they were on a group trip or something) and they each held a stuff toy while they sat along together for a group photo. I just had to take a shot of them too, it was such a cute sight. I have a few teddy bears and have recently bought two more; one christmas 2008 white bear and the brown colour Target bear. So of course I was tempted to "build-a-bear" for myself too! :p But darling said he'll get me one another time. So heehee, I'm counting on him for it...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's about time to upgrade the blog and template!

Howdie people, seeing all the new templates and cool functions that others have on their blogs, I guess it's about time I upgrade mine too! So off with the too-cutesy pink and blue banner which I didn't really like in the first place and on with one of the free blog templates. Haven't really got time to design a new template myself, it's all about using DIVs nowadays.

Anyway I shan't get too technical. Stay tune for more updates in the next week or so. Alternatively please "Follow my blog" and you'll be notified of my updates (I think!) :P. Works for blogger / gmail subscribers I know. :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mum's 60th Birthday Celebration - And yeah she doesn't look her age! :p

We celebrated my mum's birthday just a couple of weeks ago at Fortnums restaurant in the Dandenong Ranges. We initially wanted to bring her to Miss Marple's tea room, the usual place with delicious scones and dessert, but they don't take bookings. And not wanting to risk having having a long time on that nice sunny day, I guess second best was good enough. :p (P.S: Ang Mos like to drive up there to have tea on sunny days and that day was just beautiful...)

Anyway Fortnums served food similar to Miss Marples, apparently their scones were not too bad as well. But we were so filled with the main courses and surprised birthday cake for mum that we didn't bother trying out the desserts. Boy it was hard to find parking and it took quite awhile for the food to come too. But at least everyone was comfortable in the air-conditioned area.
Mum's Birthday at Dandenong Ranges - Fortnums
Some shots of the place, the people who made mum's day and also the yummy food. Let's see what was on the menu; Seafood platter with fish, scallops, prawns, squid and wedges, Salmon salad, and others not pictured include Steam barramundi with vegetables, Veal Pot pie and Quiche... Let's say the food was good, but it kinda made you sick if you ate too much of it because of the grease I suppose.

Mum's Birthday at Dandenong Ranges - Fortnums
Thanks to Ammie and weichao for buying the cake for my mum, I managed to sneak it pass her and got the waitress to keep it for us during the meal. Then afterwards, we even took the dessert menu and pretended that we want to order when the waitress brought the cake out to surprise her. After lunch, we took a walk at the pretty little garden at the back of the restaurants with a wonderful array of flowers in bloom and of course there was more cam-whoring as we walked down the road along the quaint little shops.

Mum's Birthday at Dandenong Ranges - Fortnums
Bigger group shot - Thanks to those who camed along to join in Mum's 60th celebration. :) A person turns 60 yrs only once in a life time so I wanted to make it a memorable birthday for her. If she was back in Malaysia, her line-dancing friends would probably bring her out for a huge party. :p They were pestering her for photos after the celebration and I think I should get them resized for her soon...

Anyway work's usual, getting a bit into the busy period now at CFA now that summer is approaching. Been busy lately doing the new website layout and getting it ready to be launched in end november. Till the next time then...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Personal Development Course - CFA Fiskville Training College 1-2 Oct

Time flies when you're oblivious to it. I remember it was months ago when I applied for the Personal Development course after the first catch-up with my supervisor. It felt so long ago and then whoosh, the day came and went just like that. Although the outcome of the course wasn't exactly what I expected, still it was good to be away from work, get some fresh air and meet staff from other regions.

Fiskville is about 90-100km away from Melbourne and on the western side of Victoria. Because we were driving from the south eastern side, the journey took extra long. And it didn't help that my other colleague who was driving "didn't allow" me to snooze while he drove. I think he wanted me to keep talking to keep him awake as well. :D Apart from being a venue for courses, The training college actually houses recruits who are training to be firefighters as well. So there are buildings and objects where they can set fire to and then try to put the fire out. A pity we didn't see any action in the 2 days there.

Personal Development Course - CFA Fiskville
We stayed in chalet-liked houses. There were about 7-8 rooms in each house and us ladies were all piled into one. The buildings were old like from the early 1900s and were newly renovated. I especially love the huge HD TV they had in the living room! Imagine playing Wii on that! :p The rooms were just exactly like hotel rooms though I didn't really sleep well probably cause of unfamiliar surroundings.

On the first day, it was pretty much a "get to know each other" time and also to find out what each individual wanted to achieve from the course. The trainer was very charismatic and her talks were very enriching and fulfilling. We each had a wooden board where we had to write down the excuses that we come up with to not go ahead and do what we want - self talk. And that was sort of like the "baggage" we had to carry with us for the 2 days.

Food was also like a never-ending abundance of supply. We were fed 5 meals a day! Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. It was food and more food. So some of us decided that we needed to take walks to burn off the calories! And we did, instead of driving or using the golf buggie like the staff there did, we walked the 1km back to the classrooms.

Personal Development Course - CFA Fiskville
Day 2 was much more relaxing because everyone knew each other better. And the massages we gave each other every couple of hours helped too. We would get into a row and massage the person in front(and then turn around) and you're supposed to wiggle and dance while you do that. :\ We continued with finding out our communication styles; whether we are visuals, kinestatics, auditorial or digital. Most of us have a combination of each and the others were happy to understand why it was so hard to communicate with their superiors.

And we were also allowed to "burn" and throw away our baggage from the day before. But not after we came up with a presentation for the trainer and did a little group dance for her. :p The second half of the day was spent partly in the lecture theater where at one point we all had to stand on the stage and sing an encouragement song together.

Lastly we had to write down the goals that we would like to achieve and set a date where we think we are going to achieve that goal and make sure we work our way towards it. We lied down on the carpet and then I think the trainer was using hypnotism to try and get us to relax. I probably fell fast asleep after like 5 minutes of the tape. :p We ended at 4pm-ish, exchanged our contacts with the people we were more familiar with, gave our hugs, said goodbye and prepared for the long journey home.

* Stay tuned for the next update on my mum's birthday bash in the Dandenong Ranges. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mooncake festival gathering, Jasper's got a facebook account and thoughts on the Mummy 3.

Darling and I took a long drive back to Gippsland two weekends ago for Mooncake / Lantern Festival or which is also known in chinese terms as "Zhong Qiu Jie". Boy I think it felt like ages since we went back and as usual I slept all the way. For some funny reason, the ride seemed pretty fast. Maybe because Jasper and I were sleeping most of the way leaving poor tubby to drive. :D It was a short but good trip and if only someone didn't want to keep rushing home for the Man Utd. match, we probably could have stayed longed. Anyway we did the usuals:

The food; nothing fancy, just nice home cook food and some char siew and siew yoke which Lex/Weichao brought from city. And Ammie made her yummuy dumplings again.
Gippsland Mooncake Festival Gathering - photo 1

And of course after every meal at every gathering, there's the "Group Shot". Though some of them like Reshme, Yihorng, Ivy hadn't arrived yet. *ssshhhh* it was because they were only invited for the lantern walk and not dinner. :p
Gippsland Mooncake Festival Gathering - photo 2

And here's all the preety ladies in waiting with their pretty lanterns all in a row, getting ready to go for the lantern walk in the park. Someone said it looked like a beauty pageant. ;)
Gippsland Mooncake Festival Gathering - photo 3

Back to the days of childhood, lighting lanterns and taking a walk with them. Irritatingly the "birthday" candles went off really fast and halfway throughout, everyone had to light new candles. We used to use those thickier candles when we were small, they were actually specially made for the lanterns and they fitted in the metal holder nicely too.
Gippsland Mooncake Festival Gathering - photo 4

And another proper group shot with everyone at Glen Donald Park (minus Ben cause he was taking the photo). Imagine the Ang Mohs walking past us and giving us the weird look. If you were looking from afar, I swear you'd think there are colourful lights floating by themselves. Because with that dim moonlight that night, the lighted lanterns were the only thing you could see. :o
Gippsland Mooncake Festival Gathering - photo 5

And of course we had to have mooncakes since it IS mooncake festival. This was the "higher" quality mooncake, so there was only 4 for like 18 of us! So everyone got about a slice each except for the greedy me who had 2 because it was offered to me anyway mah. :P Yum
Gippsland Mooncake Festival Gathering - photo 6
Alright and that is the end of the Mooncake extravaganza. The full album is on facebook.

Now if anyone does not know yet, Jasper has a FACEBOOK account now! Dom was the clown who decided to create one for him. I know he was pestering me for ages, but I was just too lazy. So all you Jasper fans, dog-lovers or just people who find our white furry prince cute, you can add him as a friend.
Jasper's facebook profile
P.S: Dom and I have shared rights to the account. So if you see any long-winded intellectual stuff written, that's from him. Any short, sweet and simple things written is from me. And yeah Jasper does "reply" your messages. I showed him his facebook account that night and he gave the screen a lick... haha silly cute lovable honey buns. :)

Anyway we also went to watch the Mummy 3 - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor over the weekend. Got to say 1 and 2 were better. The 3rd one sort of had not much depth into the storyline and 3/4 s of the movie was just really good CGI. And please... the wife of Brendan Fraser was so much more hotter than this one who tried to put on a fake british accent. Also for a couple who has an 18-20 year old son, they didn't seem like they have aged much over the past 20 years. :\

I also didn't like the fact that they took part of China's history and change it. Ancient Chinese history has always been one of my favourite and highly appreciated. So yeah too much discrepancies in the story like how the Terracotta warriors came about. And how can the 2000 year old witch and her daughter speak english?! :o Even if they did speak to the angmohs in English, they would be more comfortable to speak to each other in mandarin. Thank God they didn't make the mummy speak English too, I would have fainted.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An annoying person, Go for Gold Trivia Night and Lenny's farewell dinner

Boy was I annoyed by a phone conversation I had in the afternoon. For those who might know him, he was an ex Gippy student, a singaporean guy who has a hongkong girlfriend and they are always touchy-feely / over lovey-dovey in front of everyone. :o Now his name happens to start with A and because of that he's on the 1st location of my phonebook and I must have accidently dialled his number without knowing, the next thing I knew he called me back and asked me who I was. We said the usual hello how are you and then he said "Oh I'm surprised you're still here." And I was like "Ah yeahhhhh, I got my PR and stayed on..." What the hell? :X Arrogant shit who thinks so much of himself and think what? Only he has the ability to get PR and stay on? Gosh...

Anyway not to ruin my mood anymore, let's get on to other things. Last friday, we had a Go for Gold Trivia Night - A Company Event. I don't feel right calling my workplace a company because it's more of an organisation. Anyway here are some photos:
Trivia Night
It was held at the boardroom which is usually seperated into 3 meeting rooms. Basically it was a fund raising event for a charity, which was the cystic fiborosis this time. We answered questions about TV shows, songs, history, science and stuff and you can even "buy" answers when you need them.

Trivia Night
These are few of my closer colleagues which I work with, all from the same department. It's too complicated to explain exactly which because we have too many departments!

Trivia Night
Other colleagues from other departments dolled up to the nines... heehee what a team! But they weren't the only team who had "team clothing", another table also had people wearing the same shirt. Too bad we couldn't be bothered.

Trivia Night
And like every CFA event, there's always the okay everyone stands up game, you answer questions and if you're wrong, you sit down and the last person standing wins the prize. I was the 3rd last to sit down, what a shame... haha...

Then darling and I also went for a farewell dinner for our dear Lenny. Like most of our close friends, he too found it hard to get a job here and so he opted to go back to Singapore for the job offers waiting for him instead. Here are some pics from the dinner:
Farewell dinner with Lenny
Lenny's friend Ash also came along. They call him the "guai-lou" because he and his parents have stayed in Hong Kong for more than 10 years because his parents were posted to work there. He's british and he's now studying in Melbourne and no he can't speak a word of cantonese. :P Something like tubby lar haha...

Farewell dinner with Lenny

It's such a sad thing that OZ makes it so hard for people who love their country and want to stay on here. We have had a few close friends who couldn't stay on because of visa or job issues also and now the same thing is happening to Lenny. :( Ah well ladies and gentlemen, we are still waiting for the day that you all will return here for good. And you should know who you are. :D

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Malvern Collectibles Fair and Darling's Birthday Celebration.

Darling and I went to a collectibles, hobby and memorabilia fair at the Malvern Town Hall a couple of weeks ago. As usual he was keeping me company as this was another event organised by the guys from the OZ Transformers forum. Even then, it was not all boring for him as it's the first we ever went to such a fair, there were some pretty fascinating old stuff that people were selling there. I took quite a few photos on my phone, but it was accidentally deleted because of some technical fault with the Nokia PC Suite, so I'm left with only one below and the other two were taken from Events Vic website.

Malvern Town Hall Collectibles Fair
The interior of the town hall looked something like a small version of Melbourne's Regent Theatre. It also had a 2nd level platform with seats for people to watch, I'm guessing musicals or performances in the past. Now I think they use it for community use. Found some old school McDonald's snoopy stuff that was sold in the 1990s!

Malvern Town Hall Collectibles Fair
And yet more stalls! There were about 50 or 60 over stalls I would say and other stuff you can find include lots of old and new Star Wars comic books, figures, Lego sets, video tapes, CDs and more! Seemed like people are pretty crazy about Star Wars. There were also signature products and old collector's item like Antique dolls, Beanie Baby toys, model cars from the 1980s and so much more! Also saw old porcelain tea sets, old board games, heaps of old movies and comics, toys and also other quaint elegant stuff.

Malvern Town Hall Collectibles Fair
And of course there were a couple of stalls selling a little bit of Transformers stuff (and were way overpriced for selling fake reissues). I found a nice little design coin purse from Russ for mum. It was made of silk-like material and had the drawings of 2 ladies on it and was brand new, paid $10 for it. And for myself, an old R2-D2 robot because he and C3PO are probably the only characters I like in Star Wars! I just have a thing for robots and that's that! :p And now I'm into Wall-E as well! (But that's another story for another day!)

We also celebrated the birthday's of darling, weichao and a belated one for Lex on 16th August. It was a birthday luncheon at Shark Fin's house in Melbourne. I thought the food was alright, for some funny reason, it didn't taste quite the same as before.
Yong's Birthday Celebration
Group photo taken by one of the "irritated" waiters as they were all waiting for us to get over and done with so they can clear up and go home. But the manager said we could stay as long as we want, and so we sort of dilly dally with the cake cutting. (Okay no lar, we didn't deliberately take our own sweet time lar!) :p

Yong's Birthday Celebration
Then in the evening, darling decided to give everyone (who could make it), a treat at Wah Kee, a Malaysian Chinese restaurant that we love to go and eat at Clayton. Usually we get our food in about 15-20mins, but because that was a Saturday night and we eat ordered individual stuff like Prawn noodles, Curry Laksa, Hokkien Noodles, Beef Hor Fun (I know I'm making you hungry! :D), the food took about 1 hour 30 minutes to come.

Yong's Birthday Celebration
Auntie was pretty apologetic about it because we frequent there very often and usually it's good service. But I'm glad everyone was happy with their food when it finally came. And to make up for that plus it was darling's birthday, she gave us a free banana fritter with 2 scoops of ice-cream. Yum, it was a food overdose day! :p