Category Archives: adventures

On land, on water or in the air, my adventures in the world.

Patterns and Colour in Penang

We’re going back to Penang in the pictorial sense of things, as my feet are very much still in Brisbane.

My internal compass took a while to adjust in Penang or perhaps it was just subject to interference from someone who doesn’t have the same high calibre internal compass as I do. Anywho, there is an intersection in Georgetown that we will call the Octopus. It took us into its embrace and threw us out on a different tentacle each time. Never the tentacle we actually wanted to venture down. At the end of the Octopus ordeal we made it onto the right tentacle.  However, the photo below was from a journey we took on one of the wrong tentacles.  It was without a doubt the most colourful shop security “screen/door” that I saw during my trip. It was on a hardware store so it was in their best interest for it to look good at all times.

Colour explosion

 

Another day, we ventured into the heart of Little India in Georgetown in the search of a Saree shop with helpful sales assistants as Jo was in need of some Indian attire.  We eventually came to the Rao Saree Centre and the search was over.

Hello colour!

Hello oh so pretty fabrics!

Hello delicate embroideries!

Hello sarees that would probably add an additional 10kg to your weight due to the beading on them.

There was sights to see everywhere you looked.

Cottons. That were cheaper than chips
cottons!

Shelves, upon shelves that were groaning with sarees and this is just a small corner of the store.
Silks

Pretty blues.
Pretty blues

Jo picked out some fabric sets, got measured, I took photos and then it was a case of come back in a week or so to pick them up.

Another day we went up to Kek Lok Si. It’s a relatively large temple complex in the hills overlooking the eastern side of the island. From my bedroom window I could spy the Kek Lok Si complex from the complex we could just spy home. As per always, click on the photos to view the bigger versions.

The view from Kek Lok Si

As is usual in a temple complex there was plenty of colour and pattern.

Lanterns

Wishing ribbons

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Buddhas

Lotus tower

The rotunda at the Liberation Pond

 

After Kek Lok Si, we continued up the hill to see just what pushing the little car that would could take and enjoyed the fresh, cleaner air at Air Itam Dam. It was so green and lovely.

Air Itam Dam

 

Oh and look Miffy cheese!

Miffy Cheese!

Penang dua

Oh what to say and where to start.  I’ve now been home for 2.5 weeks. I went to Penang with a dodgy cough and came home with a dodgy ankle. I only started wearing heels part of the day at work  late last week, wearing flats for two weeks was almost as bad as the pain itself. If you told a 21 year old Helen that she would wear heels to work everyday, I would have told you were to go.  I possibly hated wearing flats more so because I had picked up two new pairs of work shoes in Penang and was very much looking forward to wearing them :)

I tripped walking out onto the balcony. Of course I would have to fall on my dodgy ankle, my poor left ankle. That darn right ankle always gets off scot free. Jo was at work of course but as per usual she put on her “oh Helen” cap and brought me home chocolate and ice packs. Not that we didn’t have enough chocolate in the place already but … (see previous post)

White Knight Love

Yep! A White Knight bar! Hadn’t had one of those in years. Super mint chocolate goodness.

What else did I do in Penang?

Well.

The birthday girl had a birthday and Easter. That meant more chocolate and presents.

Lukcy girl, birthday and Easter on the same day

We spent the day wandering round George Town and the shops. Nothing exciting or really interesting to report really.

Dinner though needs to be reported. There was roti! (and curry) for dinner at one of the makanans at Batu Ferringhi and then a wonder of the markets before a round of birthday mojitos at Bora Bora.  Roti! (the ! is always needed at the end of roti! because one always get chipper about the prospect of a roti! overload).

Roti!

Lychee juice, watermelon juice

Mo, Mo, Mojito!

 

Looking at my collection of photos, I’ll think I break this post here and save the touristy day that was Easter Monday for another post.

Ever since I got back, people have been asking me about all the exciting things I saw and did whilst in Penang (I didn’t visit Malaysia, I visited Penang, since I didn’t leave the island at all). My answer is that I didn’t go to Penang for a week of sightseeing and shopping but I went for a week of girlie hanging out with one of my dearest friends. This means a week of chocolate, movies, food, casing the shops, drinks and general girlie shenanigans. Sure there was a few little touristy things thrown in here and there but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Saying hello from Penang

The last five weeks have been fairly hectic at my new job, which is OK because I had expected it. There has been quite a few nights when I’ve sat down at the laptop and said I really must post an update or two but then it is a case of where to start again.

I’ll start here, in Penang where I am for a week visiting one of my dearest, dearest friends for her birthday. I flew out of the GC on Friday morning and about 12 hours later I was in a massive round of hugs with Jo at the Penang airport. Happy times.

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Air Asia was very good to fly with and on the GC-KL plane I think I had more leg room than I have ever had before.

We went out to dinner at Song River on Friday and had a very, very nice meal. The fried rice from the gum boots man was so smokely delicious and the satay from one of the other stalls was oh so good as well. We washed our meal down with watermelon juice and that was just like drinking summer.

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Then it was back to the apartment to natter about the last 3.5 months and for me to get mothered, “now that you’ve finished your Lemsip you can go to bed”.

You see, I came home from a trip to Sydney for work three weeks ago with a dreadful cough. I’ve not felt unwell other than having for the first week a quite moist productive cough and rounds of coughing fits that would see me gripping what ever was closet to me so I didn’t cough my self to the moon. The second week it became a fairly dry cough but still massive coughing fits and my voice continued to sound well not the normal sweet voice I normally have. At the end of the second week the lower left side of my chest was causing me so much pain that I thought perhaps I had cracked a rib. Off to the doctors I went and after getting checked out to make sure it wasn’t anything more sinister it was confirmed that I had most likely pulled the muscles in that part of my chest. I was put on a cough suppressant and some antibiotics. The cough suppressant worked reasonably well to reduce my coughing fits to little piddly coughs. Well until I got to Penang of course and a day of travel and contrasting weather caught up with and the coughing returned in force. A cup of lemsip though and a good steam though managed to push the cough away again to just tiny coughs. The pulled muscles though not so fun. It hurts to laugh and well we do a fair bit of laughing. Still pain is the name of the game and whilst I could get some plastic surgery done whilst I’m over here, I don’t think they replace muscles yet. It is just a waiting game.

Yesterday we went to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion which is a museum of Nyonya life in the early heyday of Penang. Part of the museum is a Chinese jewellery museum which wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped as well it had been some time since the jewellery had been polished. The rest of the museum made up for it though, there was ornate furniture decorated with mother of pearl and some exquisite embroideries and very nice door handles and good turn of the century English floor tiles.

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We then had a “scenic” walk round Georgetown before arriving at a shopping centre or really a “sweet Holy Grail of air con”. It was then a “scenic” walk round a series of connected shopping centres before a “scenic” walk to another shopping centre where I was looking for something an old coworker had asked me to bring back for her.

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After that mission we hopped back in a taxi and headed back to the area where Jo lives to go to a shiny new shopping centre where we had lunch. One thing that Jo and I have in common is a love for hot food so we both ordered a curry laska for lunch that she had had before. One thing we didn’t think of is that my poor throat after three weeks of coughing is pretty scratched up. :( Curry laska not such a good idea. Some gelato made it better though.

Back to the apartment then for some couch/movie/chocolate time and I finally watched Finding Nemo. Yes, I had never watched it. A few laughing coughing fits later the movie was over.

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We had dinner last night at Bali Hai. We had a freshwater fish steamed Hong Kong style. It was lovely. There was obligatory coconut water out of coconuts.

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After dinner it was time for some tropical berry mojito shakers at TGI Fridays whilst we watched children play in the water light show in the piazza and listened to a local trio whilst we of course nattered some more.

And that was my first 24 odd hours in Penang. Today is a big day as not only is it Easter Sunday, hello chocolate and hot cross buns but it is Jodes birthday :D. Which is the reason I’m visiting :)

I’m still on Queensland time, so I’m awake waiting for the birthday girl to rise.

Feb-ru-ray, the first ten days but no cake

I’ve got four days left at my current job before I embark on a big change and go off to be an accountant. I’ve made three cakes to farewell others in the last 10 days and I’ll be making another one tomorrow night for one of the guys who is posting out on Wednesday. All those cakes will be in another post shortly…

Kings Beach

 

On Saturday I went up the coast. After having my farewell party the night before. I was very good and only had four drinks all night. One of those was a frozen apple pie cocktail. That was divine  Just like drinking an apple pie. So, so, so good.  Saturday was not classic beach weather but the water was nice and the waves were quite decent. An old Woodfordia friend was having a vintage garage sale on Saturday -> thus the reason for the trip up the coast. I picked up the most divine Osti shirt dress. So, so divine and just the loveliest colours. A photo may appear at some stage.

Last drinks with Chan

 

Going back to the day before, Friday. Friday marked Chan’s last day working for the company and it marked a week left for me with the company before I change jobs as well. Big things abound for the both of us this year. We’ve been desk buddies etc for the last 18mths :( We met up for one last coffee at Pour Boy, the best coffee consistently in our end of town.

Taking the first box home

 

I took my first box of stuff home the other day. That’s the first time it really hit me that I’m changing jobs. Nothing says change like packing up five years of your work life and then walking out the door with an archive box filled to the brim. I’ll bring another box home tomorrow and that should be just about everything I think.

Pantone 7689

 

I’ve got my eye set on a few events later this year which mean I need to get my fitness back to a pre-uni and pre-flood level. I moved away from Asics GT 2100 series that I’ve lived in for the past x years and picked up a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 9. OMG, I enjoyed my Asics but these shoes are like playing in a whole new ballpark. They’re light, just the right bounce and by darn they are blue.

Mock Orange carpet

 

Just like almost every other house in SQLD, the  mock oranges have flowered and then of course it rained so off came all the petals. Will have to give the patio a very big clean on the weekend as those petals almost bake onto to the tiles. Fun times. People keep commenting on the scent when they visit but I smell nothing :(

Chocolate Nachos

 

Chan finally had dinner at Catcus Jack’s after hearing the rest of us at work rave about it for for the past few years. Chocolate Nachos, so, so, so good. One time we will go to Cactus Jack’s and have dessert first I think.

North Burleigh Beach

 

Last Sunday, I finally got my beach wish for the summer. Blue skies, great weather, open beaches, perfect water temperature and darn decent waves. I’ve tried a couple of times this summer to go to the beach but every time I’ve been thwarted by crap weather, closed beaches or last minute plan changes. The girls at work near on couldn’t believe it that I finally got my beach day.

Ladies

 

Just loved this detail on the Ladies change rooms at North Burleigh.

Strawberrry Jam

 

I picked up a tray of strawbs at the start of the month for $9. Hello strawberry jam!

Strawberry jam, testing for set.

 

Strawberry jam, cooling so I can test it for set.

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Strawberries, sugar and lemon juice waiting to become jam.

Washing Jars

 

Glass jars all washed and waiting to go in the oven before they get filled.

Walking with the walking foot

 

And one last picture for this lot. A snipped of one of the baby quilts I’m making at the moment :) Just love that May Gibbs fabric.

There we have. The first ten days or so of Feb-ru-ary in photos.

A visit to the Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens

In the family I’m from a stroll round the local Botanical Gardens is always in order when one goes visiting a new town. There’s new plants to see, old ones to admire and just a lovely time strolling the paths.

Of course one of the few things on my must do list for Christmas in Hobart was a visit to the Gardens. le Sigh. I love those gardens. I didn’t get to fully explore the Japanese Gardens this time, just had a quick rush in to take photos of the Ginkgo biloba.

Ginkgo biloba

Oh and a little snap of the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum cv. Utsusemi) as well.

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum cv. Utsusemi)

Highlights included this Rhododendron Azma in the Rhododendron Terraces

Rhododendron Azma
Mum and Margaret did a lot of this. Botanising we call it, both of them with their BSc hats on.
Mum and Aunty Margaret botanising

 

My favourite area of the garden on this trip was probably the Deciduous Lawn and the Oak Collection.  I had a very nice time taking photos of backlit leaves. The angle of the sun in Tasmania makes it so nice for taking backlit photos.

Like this one (unlabelled tree).
Backlit Leaves
or this one (English Oak Hybrid (Quercus x robur))
English Oak Hybrid(Quercus x robur)
or this one (Pyramidale Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)).
Pyramidale Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
My most favourite photo of the outing was this one, a very quick photo as we got back to the cars. Taken just like that because the light was just right. My cousin Erica and her little bear.
My fav photo of Erica and the little bear

 

Aren’t they just special?

If you want to check out the rest of the photos from our jaunt to the gardens, head over to Flickr to my Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Set

 

A trip to MONA

Coffin of Iret-Heru-Ru Egypt, Late 26th Dynasty, C. 600–525 BCEPulse Room by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (2006)Pulse Room by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (2006)bit.fall by Julius Popp (2006–7)bit.fall by Julius Popp (2006–7)Unkown person waiting and reviewing
The Memory Theatre of Giulio CamilloTumbuan (Body Mask) Middle Sepik Region, Papua New Guinea, Iatmul People, Early 20th CenturyHead by Sidney Nolan (1940)Candle Describing a Sphere by Jason Shulman (2006)Bubbles by John Kelly (2005)Danse Macabre by Stieg Persson (2006)
Mask Of The Spirit Panjurli, The Tusked Boar Tulu Nadu, South Coastal Karnataka, India, 20th CenturySkinflint by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984)Barkcloth RoomBark cloth RoomBarkcloth: Masi Kesa Possibly Cakaudrove, Fiji, Probably 20th CenturyBarkcloth: Masi Kesa Moala, Lau, Fiji, Collected pre 1970
Barkcloth: Masi Kesa Moala, Lau, Fiji, Collected pre 1970BarkclothDoor Jamb from the Tomb of Nefer-Wenet Probably Saqqara, Egypt, Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty, 2345–2181 BCEBarkclothUntitled by Jannis Kounellis (1991/2011)Hanging Man/Sleeping Man by Robert Gober (1989)

MONA 2012, a set on Flickr.

The Museum of Old and New or really a place full of crazy old stuff and even crazier new stuff.

One of my must do things whilst in Tasmania for Christmas was to go to MONA, sadly I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to on my visit to MONA but still I did see a fair bit.

It confirmed me that the detail in barkcloth is amazing, Sidney Nolan was nuts, you really can just take anything and call it art.

Such as this.
Queen (A Portrait of Madonna) by Candice Breitz (2005)