Tourist for a day: Shipwreck Galleries, Fremantle ,Western Australia

Ever since Bonnie Blue came roaring into my life, I have been waiting for exams to finish and a free weekend to do some touristy things. Well, this Saturday was perfect weather and off we went to Fremantle, fondly referred to as Freo by the Perthians. On a side note, since I was still getting used to Bonnie, I had the Bestie’s hubby as a passenger to boost up my confidence. Having dropped him off to slave away at work, I went off to be a tourist for a day, after all, I had lots of hours to kill until he finished. What I did with Bonnie Blue, you may ask. Well , we left Bonnie Blue safely tucked away under the shade of a tree on a side street .Yes , Bonnie is of the four wheel variety that guzzles gas when she is hungry .

My destination for the day was the WA museum, housing the Shipwreck Galleries. The museum is home to hundreds of relics salvaged from ships wrecked along WA‘s coastline, including the original timbers from The Batavia, a ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). There are also artefacts from the Dutch Shipwrecks Zuytdorp , Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. Even though being wrecked due to striking a reef, the Batavia has a story of mutiny and murder. You can read more about it here

Entry to the museum is by donation and photography is allowed. Which is why I am not going to write too much about what I saw, but instead I will let your eyes feast on the pictorial presentation. Make sure you have lots of time on hand, because there are quite a lot of displays and galleries. I think I spent about 3 – 4 totally captivated hours looking at the exhibits and reading about them.

After the Shipwreck Galleries , I spent my day gallivanting about the town , as Freo is full of things to see such as the markets , the Maritime Museum and of course , the Beach . And if you get hungry, there are numerous places to choose from. Freo is a great place to be a tourist for a day.

How to get to the Shipwreck Galleries:

The Blue Cat (not the four legged kind, but a free bus service around the city), will get you there, get off at stop number 17 which is almost at the doorstep of the museum.

.(Toured on 17/10/2015)

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Of Cake, Candles and Birthday Wishes

“ Every day , every birthday candle I blow out , every penny I throw over my shoulder in a wishing well , every time my daughter says ‘ let’s make a wish on a star ‘ , there is one thing I wish for : Wisdom “

     –          Rene Russo –

We all make wishes on our birthdays, but do they ever come true? Well, yesterday was my birthday and I feel like waxing eloquent on the topic. Birthdays are special days for anyone, even though some of us pretend it’s just another day. I used to celebrate just like everyone else, complete with balloons, cake, candles, but lately I have been converted to be a pretender. My normal practice is to take the day off work so I don’t have to face the barrage of questions about ‘ birthday plans ‘ , but being rather disorderly this month , I forgot to take the day off , and ventured out to office yesterday , with my fingers crossed , hoping no one would remember. Now don’t get me wrong please , I love being spoiled with hugs , flowers , chocolates , and random gifts , because I know they come with love from all my dear friends , but I think because none of my wishes come true , I dread the thought of blowing on a candle for a futile purpose. And then I think, maybe it’s just the wishes that I make, maybe they are not meant to be. Or is it just me and my fate? Maybe I need to borrow the luck of the Irish…Or should I have wished for Wisdom …

As a little girl, I would count the days until my Birthday. As an adult, it has become a reminder of time gone by, and wishes not coming true .But being an adult, should I even think of wishes? So I guess a Birthday is another day for the child in me to come out , but instead of waiting for the postman to come by with Birthday Cards , I wait for the notifications from Facebook to see who has posted on my wall , text messages , and phone calls . And I keep wishing for that one message, the one I know would make my day, the one that doesn’t come. Not yesterday , not today and not tomorrow , no matter how many candles I blow , how many pennies I throw , how many stars that fall down , I guess I should have wished for Wisdom ..

And then I come home , thinking I should watch a movie , I select “ 13 going on 30 “ , only to realise it’s about a teenager wishing to be 30 on her 13th birthday , the difference is she uses wishing dust instead of blowing on candles . So maybe I have been using the wrong medium to convey my wishes to the Birthday Genie, or should I have wished for Wisdom?

Deciding it’s time for a new movie, I look around and my eye catches the day’s mail on the dining table. I dive into it and unearth a card from my parents. Reading it, I realise, maybe I was their wish come true and I become a believer again.

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Yes, it is definitely time to gather more candles, pennies and wishing dust. I am going to stare at the sky, and wait for falling stars every night. I am going to make a wish. A wish for Wisdom.

P: S If you know someone who has a birthday coming up, don’t forget to wish them, because you never know, that maybe their birthday wish.

Sinful Fried Rice

Coming from an Asian household, my mother expected me to learn to cook at a very young age. Unfortunately for her, she could never coax me into the kitchen willingly, although I did love going shopping for Aprons. When I moved Down Under in early 2008 this was a major dilemma that I faced, and my admiration for who ever invented two minute noodles increased day by day. However early last year , the latent MasterChef in me awoke , all because someone requested chicken soup , request being the polite word here , the actual word would be “ challenge “ . I discovered a hidden talent in myself, the ability to cook and bake yummy treats. My mom says it’s an inheritance from my maternal grandfather who passed away before I was born and I say “Thank you, Grandpa “.

So through my cooking journey so far, I have searched high and low for the best and easiest fried rice recipe and this is one of the tastiest I’ve come across. Neither the recipe nor the video are mine, but done by Aasai Rasai, which happens to be a creation of the Bestie. The recipe uses basic ingredients, including frozen veggies, which in my personal opinion is a gift from the God of Convenience to all us busy corporate chicks. Also Fried Rice is a one pot wonder and is a premium choice of comfort food for me. There is nothing like enjoying a bowl of Fried Rice whilst watching a chick flick on a Friday Night. So when the Bestie did a cooking video on fried rice I could not wait to try it out. I have included a link to the video  for those who want to give it a go. Just a word of caution , this fried rice is addictive and you will be wanting more and more.

Happy Cooking Peeps !!

P:S  > I garnished mine with fried shallots ….

How do you “Unbreak “a Broken Heart ?

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there is an ocean of opportunity ..so let time heal the wounds

“Is it even possible ? “ , you may ask , because right now your heart is broken , into tiny gazillion pieces and trying to super glue it together again may look like a daunting task . But I say, it certainly is possible…trust me , I have had my fair share of heart breaks and so have a lot of my friends . In fact, I am yet to meet a person who has not had their heart broken at one time or another. But let’s get one thing clear , I am not just talking about heart break through love , you know that moment when the guy you loved for ages dumps you for another girl ( or vice versa ) , but other times as well , when you don’t get the promotion you deserve at work , or when your teenage child is all grown up and getting ready to leave the parental nest , yes , those occasions also cause this thing we call “ heart break “ .Of course , on a scale of 1 to 10 , it may differ on how we rate each of these heart breaks , with a broken heart caused by love possibly scoring the all-time high of 10 , and we would obviously not be feeling ecstatic like a gymnast who got a perfect score.

The first time I got my heart broken, I cried a river of tears and went on to get some hair of the dog that bit me, as a cure .Big Mistake! , I guess it only works on alcohol. That mistaken cure lead to more heartbreak, more tears and the ultimate fail safe…RUN AWAY!Yes , I ran way to a brand new life , where no one knew me and where my failures did not stare me in the face. Then there was the career heart break, where I had been eagerly awaiting for a certain vacancy to come up, and when it did, I applied for it, knowing I ticked all the right boxes and that it was well deserved. Did I get it?no …and let me tell you , there was nothing worse , at that time , than reading that letter which started with “ we regret to inform ..” , all my hopes came crumbling to the ground , and I found a little corner at work to cry deep gulping tears . Then someone very wise said to me, “there will always be other opportunities, when one door closes another will open “. Not being a parent, I have not yet had to face a grown up child heart break, but I am sure it hurts just the same.

The point is, all those heart breaks have taught me one thing, running away or hair of the dog, will not ease the pain. It takes time and patience. Sometimes new experiences, meeting new people, a new job, can make the pain blur a little, but it will be there in the background. But time will heal the wound, yes, you will have a little scar, but that too will fade someday. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stay at home and mope to pass the time , instead get active , get yourself out there , learn something new , open your arms out and embrace a new experience . All that will act as the medicine, but don’t forget, time is your doctor. It worked for me and it will work for you.

My City to Surf Experience

For those of you who do not know what City to Surf is , it is an annual event held in August in Perth .There is also a City to Surf event in Sydney , but my experience is of the Perth event.

Established in 1975 , it is a popular road running /walking and marathon event , consisting of distances of 4 , 12 , 21 or 42 kilometres . Participants have the freedom of choice , to walk or run whichever distances they prefer , from Perth CBD to City Beach . Needless to say I opted to walk the 12 km distance . The event is organized by the Active Foundation to benefit people with disabilities.

So , on the morning of the last Sunday of August , I dragged my chirpy ( not ) self out of bed so that I could meet the rest of the team at 9:00 am near the starting point . And believe me  , 9:00 am on a Sunday , is very early for this girl . People prepare well in advance for this event , but obviously my preparation was the 3km walk I did on the previous day , over to the Besties . Although feeling apprehensive at first , I did get into the spirit of things when I saw the massive crowd of participants eagerly awaiting the start of the event.

The first couple of kilometres was a breeze , that is , until we came upon the first hill . Somehow I managed to crawl up that first hill , but seeing even little children ranging from ages 5 or so onwards happily skipping along with their mothers , did make that crawl easier and of course , there was always the down hill walk to look forward to .Seeing the midway mark later on made me more driven and enthusiastic and of course the funny signage along the way helped too . Yes , I would have jumped for joy on seeing the 6km sign , had I not been so desperately out of breath.

Yet despite the uphill battles , I did manage to complete the 12km walk in 2:18:00 , and felt very proud of myself as I walked across the finish line . It was a very enriching experience , and at the end of it , I felt like a Lilliputian who survived a walk with the giants . Of course , being awarded a medal for completing the walk totally helped too !

P:S – I think I am even looking forward to doing it again next year ..