Rumour Has It

I’m struggling to write at the moment more like the last year I’ve struggled. I spent some time recently looking through old blog posts and gosh I used to write. Now I struggle to craft a few sentences into something resembling a story.

I’ve just spent the last ten  minutes trying to write an opening sentence about Saturday night. Instead I’ve written the above.

20130427_203849

Saturday night, I went to the Judy. ahh, the Judy for a show called Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele. Sam was in town so she came along, as did one of the nursies from my old work and her daughter. It wass a fantastic show. I would go as far to say that Naomi Price live was better than the Adele studio recordings. I like Adele, she write a good song and has an amazing voice but I often feel listening to the studio work that it’s just a little too equalised. I love music with good dynamics. Music where you know the singer is feeling those words from their toes to the every strand of hair on their head.

Naomi Price brought that oomph into the songs of Adele on Saturday night along with some cabaret comedy, some sass and some all round good times.

If you are in Noosa for the Long Weekend Festival or Melbourne for the Cabaret Festival, I strongly suggest getting tickets and going along to see an ah-mazing show.

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.

image

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

image

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

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

 

Graduated

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and the next couple of weeks are going to be just as crazy. I had a post typed up the other week when uni results were released but my phone ate. Suffice to say I did exceptionally well on the exam that I was sure I had bombed out on. Exceptionally well in the sense of jumping round the house like a Maasai at 6:30 in the morning excited.

 

Graduated!

Last Thursday night, I tripped the light fantastic across the stage of the Concert Hall at QPAC. Level of overall excitement that night? Oh, about 300%. This graduation ceremony meant 500 times more to me than my undergraduate ceremony Looking back at that post now makes me realise just how much I’ve changed in the last six years! To start with I now own more pairs of heels than I do flats! I also graduated with a full mouth of teeth (the fake tooth that I had back in 2006 broke the day before the ceremony). Just like my undergrad there was only a small number of people graduating with my degree (13 grads and 5 of us at the ceremony). Unlike my undergrad though, I knew just about everyone graduating with my degree (Graduate Diploma in Business – Professional Accounting) and those who graduated with the Masters as we’ve all done at least 75% of our subjects together. This of course meant that before the ceremony, during the ceremony and afterwards there was lots and lots of excited chatter, hugs, drinks and celebrations.

 

My dearest friend sent me flowers at work which of course made a bit of an emotional mess as it had been a roller coaster day at work. I also got some more flowers, cards, a graduation bear and a bottle of bubbles which made me feel very loved. I’ve had a lot of support from those I work with the last 2.5yrs since I returned from uni and as one of the ladies said “it feels like we are all graduating with you”, so true.

Graduation Flowers

The Accountancy school lucked out and got the evening graduation ceremony. Mum had arrived the night before and was ever so kind to drop me at work in the morning with all my accoutrements. I got ready at work, with a flat iron plugged in beside the ECG machine and a revolving stream of work mothers taking photos, rearranging my dress and what not else. Then it was onto QPAC for the real deal to begin. I met up with T who I started with two years ago and we went off to get robed and played a game of Cinderella trying to find mortarboard that were exactly the right size. Once we were robed it was time for a celebratory glass of bubbles.

 

Graduated!

 

There was then more bubbles and hot chips to give us fuel for the next few hours before we lined up for photos, photos and photos.  Before we knew it it was time for us to head back stage again for our final briefing. We thoroughly enjoyed walking the hallways of backstage at QPAC. It was quite something.  Seats were found on stage and then it was a briefing and then we watched our family start to stream in.  After a bit of waving and pointing Mum found me on stage.

I was the 182nd person to graduate on Thursday night. That was a lot of names to read out before me! QUT was live streaming the grad ceremonies but unfortunately only two people I know were able to watch the stream. For the rest of my family and friends the website kept crashing. 🙁 🙁 🙁

When the ceremony was finally over after much, it was time for lots more hugs, excited chatter and what not with another round of celebratory bubbles. Smiled so much all night. Then we had to return our gowns and head back to reality. Reality for me is just under seven weeks left at my current work before I head off into the big accounting world. Going to be a bit of a change!

Graduated!Graduated!

and that is how I graduated last Thursday night.

Bubbles and more bubbles means Uni is finished.

So I’m getting not so subtle hints from various people that since Uni is now finished I need to update my little place on the internet more often.

Yep.

Uni is finished.

I’m currently not so patiently waiting for my results. As I’ve mentioned previously, the two subjects I did this past semester were hard.  QUT also ever so kindly scheduled my final exam for 5:30 on a Friday night. It also earns the title of hardest exam I’ve ever done, both in my undergrad and postgrad lives. It was the exam where we all walked out at the very end of the time and looked at each other and just went “mmm, well that was fun”. Still it was the last exam and we celebrated like the good postgrad students we are with cheap bubbly and plastic cups.

 

We then celebrated again with a long lunch and more expensive bubbly  the following week after T had her last exam.  It was a lovely lunch, there was eight of us who started together two years ago and now we were all finished.  We’ve all gone or are going into very different aspects of the accounting/finance world but we’ve all toiled together over the past semesters.

 

Since then I’ve enjoyed doing a lot of sweet nothing. It’s been fantastic to no longer be reading text books on the bus to and from work or falling asleep on the aforementioned books. Coming home from work and just kicking back on the patio with a drink and watching the world go by. In saying all that I’ve also done a whole lot of everything else as well. There’s been road trips, cleaning, early family Christmas, shopping, gardening and hanging out with those dear friends who let me go radio silent during the semester. Now the count down is on to graduation and Christmas.