Sunday, October 04, 2015

I grow old

Last year, I turned 50. I travelled a bit, walked a lot, ate even more. It was a good year.

This year, I turned 51. My father died, my mother is in a nursing home, my dog is going through chemo, my eye got layered for a torn retina.

Last year, I caught up with my junior college cohort. We were all ageing well.

This week, I got news that the younger brother of one of the guys is in an induced coma, possibly brain dead, after a fall in the gym fractured his cranium. I remember him, we were friendly, the older brother was dating a friend of mine. They later got married. And now, the children are grown.

When you meet people when you're 16, you never think what you're going to be in 10 years, who you're going to marry, how many children you're going to have, how you are going to die. And now, all I can think of is how the years have gone by, and how a family is wondering why daddy isn't home from the gym.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Looks like stuff that's too bitchy to post on FB will end up here

Home at midnight after a night's work, and choosing with care what to wear for an all-day work retreat tomorrow that starts at 9am on a day off, and which features a lunch that my Muslim colleagues cannot eat. The boss said he wanted to take this out of office so I'm feeling free to dress out of office.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Me, keep calm?

I see two problems with this.
1) I don't just want to listen to David Garrett, I need to look at him.
2) How to keep calm when looking at a rock god? Even when he's playing Paganini?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day dinner

Closest I can get to seafood in Japan ... lobster from Boston, and oysters from Canada, pasta presumably from Italy (but a lot of the pastas here are Australian) ... in any case, a cosmopolitan meal :)

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I can't believe I published a whole series of posts on Japan and never had one on the food. So here's where I go overboard ...

Green tea binge ... cake, ice cream and chocolate 

One-woman one Michelin Star kushiage restaurant. We had to look very hard for it in a warren of back streets. Apparently, that back street had the highest concentration of Michelin Stars in Osaka. It had limited seating, mostly at a counter, and we were lucky we could get in without a prior reservation. We had to wait an hour though -- we just wandered around the area in that time. And ran into a Singaporean couple who came to make a reservation for another day. They told us that they had just eaten at a restaurant so exclusive next door, they had to ring a doorbell for entry. So we promptly got reservations there for another evening.

The prettiest salad I've ever seen

Kushiage gives new meaning to fried things on sticks

Kuromon Market

A fishmonger at the market had a sit-down corner so of course we sat down .. with crab, lobster and sea urchin.
I went back the next day for a seafood bowl breakfast. And that was after a paper cup of fresh soya milk and a scallop grilled then served on its shell as a plate. 

Grill-your-own Matsusaka beef. Richer, i.e. more marbled than Kobe beef. We had to make reservations days in advance and toggle our schedule a bit to suit.
Garlic rice, and perfunctory grilled vegetables.

Beans and rice from the market, eaten under cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle, in my own one-person hanami. The hanamis around me were more elaborate. Some of them had barbecues set up. 

Green tea and macaroons at the hotel in the afternoon, a quick pick-me-up before heading out again.  I was impressed in Melbourne with their McDonalds for having macaroons. Osaka impressed me more. These two came from the 24/7 Lawson chain of convenience stores, and at only 200 yen. And came with a wet wipe for you to clean up after your snack.

Not chocolate bars but bath salts
I had no idea what this is called, but it's a wafer base, spread with mayo and some other sauce, and topped with a fried egg. There was no way to eat this without making a mess.

Strawberry fields forever ... in all sizes, and all sweet. The largest ones were the size of golf balls, and those were priced individually instead of by per punnet.
I heard about outrageously expensive melons, would this be really expensive for a melon?

Good tea needs a beautiful cup. Enjoying green tea mixed with fresh roasted rice, Kyoto style,  at home the morning after I got back.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


This was the most difficult post to curate. I have hundreds of photos of cherry blossoms -- pert ones, droopy ones, white ones, pink ones -- so much so that my memory card was full less than halfway into the trip. How could I possibly pick the nicest ones to upload here?

Hanami parties under the trees. These were low tables set out by food vendors. Most groups just brought their  own groundsheets. And the preparations were elaborate. It wasn't just bentos and six-packs. Many had a hibachi going.

I've heard that hanamis can be raucous affairs. Well, there were groups of students singing and clapping. But they all arranged their footwear neatly before they let go.


"A thousand trees with one glance"

Osaka Park

She was posing for wedding pictures.

Even the turtles were admiring the sakura.