January 26, 2007

The Scent of the Sea

I like to try the perfumes and room sprays whenever I am at the shops. One of my fav, Crabtree and Evelyn has room sprays call Waikiki and Salt Air which I have not tried before. I wonder if they really smell like the air near the sea though I feel no matter how many perfumes and sprays we make, nothing could beat the real thing.
We are planning to go to the beach less than an hour drive from here soon. The coastline in Oz is so beautiful with its golden sandy beaches stretching for miles and miles. And so are the beaches back home. They each have their own allure... To me, there is nothing more delightful than walking on the beach, looking at the waves breaking and collecting seashells ( and in my kids case , building sand castles and hitting the water ). Will the Salt Air spray smell like the true scent of the sea in the crisp morning air? Oh, I wish... so that I can have a part of the sea with me when I am at home in the city.
I can still remember the scent of the sea at Sydney Harbour when we were there last month. The wind was blowing strongly making it quite cool though it was a sunny afternoon. I went to the river side next to the Botanical Gardens to look at the view there while dh and the kids climbed up the stairs of the Opera House to take pics . I inhaled and smelled the rather pungent salty scent of the saltwater lingering in the air. It made me realise that the sea was not too far away from the harbour. The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge looked quite grand and stunning that day.... but grander still was the harbour with the white sailboats, yachts and ships sailing through its river mouth.

*Update* Dd collected some stones and shells from a beach on the Gold Coast and I said she could make a potpourri with it. She washed her shells and stones and put them on our back deck to dry them under the sun. I had to bring them inside when baby raided them. The bathroom where I laid them suddenly bursted with the scent of salt air from dd's homemade potpourri!

January 24, 2007

Back to School

This week I had to walk down to the school and get my children's school booklist as school commences next week. That was the plan. I got them dressed and stashed some money in my pouch in case we made a detour to the shops after that. When I got the list, I realised that I had to make a payment to the office for resource contribution and booktexts. Of course. How absent minded of me not to realise that I would need more money for school expenses? After all, there was always something we parents had to pay or contribute to for our children each week of the school term. I had to admit to them that I didn't bring enough ca$h and may I possibly pay it next week (as I did not think a second trip down in scorching heat my idea of fun). Better stay home and alternatively ask dh if he could squeeze some time to make the payment before he goes to work.
Well, we did make a detour to the shops and on the way , we saw 4 humongous spider on their webs which they spun between a power line and a tree. We also saw some pink/grey colored parrots on the school field and some green parrots flying. (I have to look up what their proper names are) . I went to the news agency with the list of stationery and asked the newsagent if she could do it for me. She said she could and I asked if she could get some of the stuff ready while we wait , then that would be great. So she sorted the things and got the stuff ready for us even though there were a few interruptions when other customers came in to buy some things. At last when she managed to put all the things together and summed it all up, the grand total was almost $100 and I realised that I only had enough money on me for 1 kid's list of things. She suggested I get just one kid's list of stuff and pick up the other one later. This is unthinkable. I can't get just one kid's stuff . The other kid who didn't get one will sulk until he/she gets his/hers. I had to get both or none. I chose the latter. Again, I promised that dh will turn up tomorrow morning to make the payment... While we were there some of dear son's classmates and their mums also turned up with their list of stationery (which they obtained last term) to give to the newsagent to sort out by next week. We were all in the same boat of last minute shoppers and in my case, one forgetful mum short of ca$h..

January 21, 2007

One morning at Southbank

Today, we decided to go to Southbank, a buzzing popular local attraction near the CBD. Dh's officemates had been recommending it to him but we never got to go as we were always interested in going somewhere else. Well, since there were some activities held in conjunction with The 5th Asian Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery, I thought it was a good idea to have a look at the area. We parked our car at the basement and had a brekkie, then decided to stroll along the river bank. We didn't have a glimpse of any gallery or museum when dear son saw there... an artificial manmade beach near the river, and our program to see the gallery went haywire. Play dad took out wetsuits for the kiddos and after a change of clothes , they were all set to hit the water. They stayed there for hours. Luckily, there was a craft market nearby and I had a stroll with baby. I bought him a big hat to protect my precious baby from the glaring sun and sent him back to have some fun at the the beach.
There were some interesting things at the market. One lady was selling some locally made olive oil and spices. I am a sucker for Mediterranean food and had to see what was on offer. She demonstrated how to eat the dukkah. Use a toothpick to pick up some bread ( cut into bitesize pieces) , soak it into some olive oil and then dunk it into the dukkah spice mix. Yummy. I bought some dukkah and olives straight away. I also had a look at a stall that was selling swimwear with UPF 50. Full body attire swimwear is the rage in Oz to avoid over exposure to the sun. Funsunwear. The lady was willing to measure me and make a tailor made and full body cover swimwear for me. I had to take a raincheck. I already had a burqini I bought from a ahiida.com dealer.

January 17, 2007

Play mum?

The kids are still on their summer vacation and so I am pretty tied up with cooking and cleaning up after them whilst kiddos watch more and more DVDs and also they seem to play endlessly. Dd sometimes want me to play with her and she would make a pitiful face and say "Mama, you NEVER play with me!". It is half true as I have lots of unfinished house chores to do and I don't really fancy playing after all that. But I obliged today and we played a little version of " monkey in the middle" in the corridor as it was scorching hot outside. Wow, it was fun and I felt energised but then after 15 mins it was back to mundane work and surfing the web after that. Lol. Dh sometimes argues that I should play more with kids (He relishes his role as play dad on weekends!) but I tell him I honestly don't see any mums I know playing with their kids that much. Mums are always cooking or housecleaning or doing chores inside/outside the house and some mums are not even around for their kids and they want me to be play mum? Can someone tell me how many play mums are out there playing ball/soccer with their kids?

January 09, 2007

Travelling whilst Muslim/Malaysian

A brother who has been an Aussie citizen for almost all his 20 plus years of his life told me he was detained for about 2 hours when he came back from his hols to Malaysia last year. The airport personnel asked him why did he choose to go to Malaysia? He told them that he likes Malaysia! He told me that he probably got detained coz he wears a kufi/kopiah on his head. So I guess they do some racial profiling on muslims especially supposed young single muslim men sometimes. The bro is married with 4 kids. This year if he gets detained by airport staff and if they ask him why Malaysia, he can say it is Visit Malaysia Year 2007!
I have some airport tales but not as dramatic as the brother's story. I lost one of my kid's metal spoon (why on earth did they confiscate that?) at heathrow airport once and a small penknife at the airport in Oz . I sometimes like to bring a swiss army victorinox penknife to cut open food wrappers for my children. My sister bought me a pretty flowery swiss army penknife from Switzerland when she went there in oct of last year and when I wanted to travel to Bangkok a few weeks ago, my dad being ever security conscious, asked me to surrender all sharp objects to him before boarding the plane. I gave him the flowery penknife and it is still in my dad's possession as I forgot to take it back. Anyway, I managed to buy 2 nail clippers at the airport terminal before I boarded the plane. My nails were bugging me. I had to cut my nails on the plane.
Well, the customs at the airports in Oz are more interested in the food products you bring in their country than anything else. We declared that we were bringing some food as usual when we came back from KL. Dh forgot to buy plastic wrappers with bubbles and so he stored some of the soya sauce bottles in our baby's clean nappies so that it would withstand the impact of bag handling at the airport. He was really serious in bringing the bottles of kicap/soya sauce as the ones sold in Oz were quite bland by Malaysian standard. However, it wasn't the bottles in the nappies that caught the attention of the custom officer. He immediately zoomed in on 4 packets of our 3 in 1 instant teh tarik and 1 packet of 3 in 1 instant nescafe and took them out of our food bag and stacked them outside. We hoped for the best when we saw this but in the end the whole 5 packets got confiscated as it had milk/dairy products in them. Dh was a bit stunned to learn that milk/dairy products processed in Malaysia didn't get to be on the list of countries that follow Oz's perfect hygiene standards. If only the 3in 1s were manufactured in Singapore. I bought the 3 in 1 teh tarik packs for dh knowing he loves teh tarik, the hot cup of very sweet frothy milky tea fare in Msia.(As for me, I don't drink coffee and I prefer tea with milk and no sugar). Poor dh, I guess he has to drink the normal bland aussie fare for the coming months.

January 06, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I'm back on line. Oh my! It is so good to be online again using broadband connection. I used someone's old tmnet account connection in KL and the speed really sucked. I mean it could not even download yahoo homepage. The earthquake off the shore of Taiwan probably had something to do with the phenomenal slow download of the internet too I gather. Who knows?!
Well, now I am back on the blog, I really don't feel like writing anything. *Sigh*. It feels quiet and surreal here after a few weeks living in the fast lane of KL. Anyway, I am so glad to be back home again. No more nephews to boot out of my room. Just my own flesh and blood.