Archive for December, 2005

Ho Ho Ho….. oH oH oH

December 26, 2005

Christmas

Hey everyone – Merry Chrissy from Nav & I. Hope it was a good one!

We celebrated Christmas eve with Nina & Mum at Aunty Molly’s place, followed by Christmas Service at the Perth Christian Centre. It was nice catching up with Sarah & Jenna & meeting Joel, Peter & Suelynn.

For Christmas dinner, mum cooked turkey, roast potatoes & pumpkin & prawn salad. All very yummelicious.

….

We’re now bursting at the seams as you can imagine – with all the feasting! oh oh oh….

But no worries we’ll work it off tomorrow at the post-christmas sales – lots of running & panting I’m sure :p

Speaking of food – read Fast Food Nation I’m almost at the end of the book. It’s about the ‘dark-side’ of fast food – namely Maccas. The first few chapters are pretty interesting – giving the background of the founders of Mc Donalds & how fast food all came about – drive ins, car-hops & there’s even mention of Col. Sanders (founder of KFC). Towards the end though, it gets gory – they mention the behind-the-scenes of the beef slaughter-house – blood from the cows & the workers!!! Suffice to say,
I’ll be avoiding burgers/fast food for a while.

I must try to catch ‘SUPER SIZE ME’, Nina mentioned  there was a feature of an experiment of fries from ‘M’ & a local deli & how ‘M’s fries still looked fresh n perky after being left in the jar for a few months, whilst the local deli’s decomposed – as it should. Freakin scary eh!

Advertisements

Rottnest Island

December 20, 2005

Rotto_collage_f

Visited Rotto yesterday – it’s been such a long time since I recall visiting the island. My mum said the last time I visited, I puked during the ferry ride, fortunately that didn’t happen this time round.

A 25min ferry trip from Fremantle, we arrived at Rottnest before 10am and settled for some sandwiches  and coffee. A table away was this 70 plus lady whom I swore resembled my PE teacher from highschool, Mrs O’Connor. Not 100% sure if it was her (it’s been 13yrs since I graduated!) I took a chance to ask whether she was a PE teacher – to which she replied YES at Mercedes College. She’s still going strong, I remember her being such a fiesty yet enthusiastic PE teacher 😉 I told her she’d be proud of me as I’m now an active gym-goer. She said it’s funny, as many non-sporty students end up being sports enthusiasts later in life. Interesting.

…..

Anyways, Rottnest (which stands for ‘rats’ nest – as the early settlers mistakened the cute quokkas for rats) is a popular tourist attraction – known for it’s beautiful coastline, lakes & water sports. Aside from swimming, most people hire bikes and cycle along the coastline – which is no easy task! Aside from the RPM class, I’ve truthfully not riden a bike in AGES – not since the childhood days. Whilst Nav showed off his leg strength, Nina & I struggled at certain points of the hilly paths – both trying to catch our breath & figure out the gears. It was however thrilling when we had the advantage of the downhill paths and the winds behind us – effortless…

…..

The views of the coastline were absolutely breath-taking, the waters soo clear & glistening, but icy-cold! As much as we love the sea, the weather was a bit overcast & the water was just toooooo icy. Later though we succumbed to the aqua hues which was beckoning to us.. Not much to see though – aside from lush sea vegetation – it’s definitely not as happening as Tioman.

…..

After 3-4hrs of cycling, we settled for some tucker (Aussie for food) and Nina saw half a dozen of her highschool teachers – hee hee – I guess it was Teachers day out or something.

Anyways, it was a nice day trip out, the 3 of us had a relaxing and enjoyable time. Rotto is a place to add to your checklist should you head out to Perth during Spring/Summer!

Azure Blue Skies…….

December 18, 2005

Freo_1

Finally, the summer heat has kicked in and the skin is slowly getting a tad darker 🙂 It’s been less than a week in Perth and yup Nav & I feel very relaxed…

Here are just a few snippets of what we’ve been up to…

The Priceless Family Portrait 🙂

Family_05

Adrian ended up flying back to Melbourne on the 14th Dec, and my sister flew in 13th Dec – so the ‘Chen’ family were again a complete unit for a half a day 🙂

…..

Skye & Mummy

Nat_skye

Caught up with Nat & Skye, it was my first time being acquainted with Skye – she’s so loveable. Me thinks she looks like the baby on the Geber (baby food) packaging, she’s got such gorgeous blue eyes. Can’t wait to see her again!

…..

Rockingham Rocks!

Nav_rockingham

After dropping my dad off at Kwinana’s ship yard we drove along the Rockingham beach strip. Safety bay is a little treasure – it was pretty quiet, but the water was crystal clear and irridescent.

…..

It’s a Small World After All

Ag_wilma_1

Went to Freo, and bumped into Wilma, Shirlena & families. I knew they were going to Perth, but really didn’t think we’d cross paths! I remember bumping into my dear colleague Mrs Judy Wong in Kyoto, Japan – that was so uncanny!

…..

Despite frequenting the gym classes over here, our tummies are swelling – arggh…

The Food Cravings CheckList:

  1. Lamingtons
  2. Lemon Lime Bitters
  3. Cicerello’s Fish & Chips
  4. Meat pies
  5. Red Rooster/Chicken Treat
  6. Chocolate donut with cream & jam
  7. Pavlova
  8. Cheese (camberbet, blue)
  9. Caesar Salad
  10. Pasta
  11. Nectarines, apricots, strawberries,peaches

Home with Mum, Dad & Bro

December 12, 2005

Ad_mumdad

Ad_menav

Touched down 2pm today in Perth, greeted by mum & dad at the Perth International Airport….

So heres the brief rundown for day 1:

  • Baby Dino looks pretty good considering his arthritis, he’s still sooo loveable
  • I scoured Riverton Forum (the nearest shopping centre to my house) & recced the Bonds underwear, Jeanswest, and of course the chips & cheese section of Woolworths
  • Had dinner with Adrian (last saw my bro 2-3 yrs ago I think) parents & Nav at Sizzler – the salad bar totally rawks!

………

Adrian heads back to Melbourne tomorrow afternoon & Nina arrives tomorrow night. Sigh.. It’s so difficult getting all the family together – ah well, tis to be expected when all of us are living in different states/countries.

Sweating-it-out with Friends :)

December 8, 2005

Shox_w_andalu_anth_gold_8

This week’s been work-out week with friends 🙂

It kicked off with Ands (yes this gal has returned 😉 ) We did Leonard’s Body Pump at the unearthly hour of 7.15am on a Monday morning. And as much as I wanted to sleep in, I was glad that I joined her & Nav for the weights class.

In the evening, I returned for Body Combat & the class was FULL to the BRIM! Calvin covered for Andrew & man does he have the fighting spirit! There was sooooooo much energy in the class, everyone was ‘psyched’ and in the mood – by the third track everyone was exhausted.. I told Calvin I’ve never sweat so much in BC – it was awesome, especially after a long day at the office!

…….

Tuesday morning, Margaret (my new gym buddy) and I tried RPM (cycling class) for the first time. We went for dear Faye’s class. Faye says that RPM’s the most
effective way to lose weight  –  I believe her – it’s really not easy
and  I seriously thought I was going to fly off the stationary bike a
few times! With her own pedals and pro bike gear – she really created a
pool of sweat, sadly I didn’t – I couldn’t quite figure out the
gear/resistance knob. I’ll try and go for more RPM classes in future,
but boy was it painful – the legs and crotch area – I think I ached for
at least a day 😛

Tuesday evening Pearl joined me for Body Jam. She’s so cute, she thought she had a bi-monthly pass to FF, but it was to Planet Fitness – hee hee, still, I managed to get her in. She looked like she had fun in Jam and stayed on for pilates.

…….

Wednesday took a break…

…….

Then, today Tini, Eunice & I attempted MTV dance for the first time. The instructor taught us the basic choreography for the chorus of Madonna’s new ‘Hung Up’ video clip. For most of the session, I was a total clutz – unable to string most of the moves *sigh*, I was really tempted to walk out 😛 ha ha. It was funny cos I kept doing a ’round-house kick’ instead of the ‘swing’ kick to which the instructor snided "we have some combaters in the class."

Fortunately I hung around… There was this gorgeous ‘Christina Agileria’ look-a-like infront of us – she was really good – grooving with such ease. Towards the end of the session, I guess I managed to pick up a few moves successfully – but it was sooooooooo fun.

Anyways, this weekend is the launch of all the new releases for all the classes – I seriously I hope I can catch up after the 2 wk break in Perth. I checked out the FF (Cannington) schedule – they offer a few classes which Singapore doesnt offer like boxing, belly dancing and body attack. Navin is really excited about the boxing 🙂 I’m just curious to checkout the gym climate in Perth.

………..

Shox_w_andalu_anth_gold_2nd

Just a few tips for those who are starting out at the gym group exercise (GX) classes…

1) Don’t worry about screwing up the moves, be it kicks, dance steps etc.. I still screw up, even though I go so often (*blush*) Even though you may feel intimidated by the pros/regulars – give yourself time. I’ve learnt that you have to be ‘thick-skinned’ and in a way no one really cares about how you move, everyones more concerned about their own moves 😛 Basically take it easy and learn to laugh at yourself 😉 Also, you have to let go of all inhibitions – especially in Body Jam – it’s all about letting yourself be free!!!

2) Be Kiasu (A fear of losing used to describe a person who is overly competitive) Wikipedia. Stand right at the front of the class, it’s easier for you to mirror the instructors. At the same time be warned, being at the front line, your more prone to correction from the instructors 🙂

3) Be heard! Scream, sing, yelp when prompted. Seriously – it somehow helps release the endorphins and helps you kick/groove better. But… again be thick-skinned, cos sometimes you might yell and may be the only one yelling (speakin from experience of course) 😛

4) Power in numbers.. It’s always good to gym with your buddies as I’ve mentioned earlier on. The ‘tribal’ spirit is effective – spurring each other on, yelling & laughing together, the bonding – it’s priceless. However, there may be times where your schedules may not permit you to gym together – but that shouldn’t prevent you from attending the classes. Initially I’d only gym if Tini or Ands accompanied me, then I figured – heck, I’ve gotta stop being a chicken & before I knew it, I was doing it solo – and it was actually ok. Anyways, after a while you’ll find yourself befriending the other regulars and your one big happy family 🙂

5) Practice makes perfect! Seriously, most people aren’t capable of mastering a routine after just one class, so just keep going for the classes & in no time you’ll be able to anticipate the moves even before being prompted.

6) And lastly quoting from Faye… you have to be passionate & determined!

P.s webs to check out:

1 Music to work out too
2 Check out the Nike women’s section – aside from the funky gear, some new tips on running

Till then,

the gym-nut signing off 😉

Kampong cat or City rat?

December 1, 2005

Cats

I took this pic of the kittens during our staff day trip to Muar, JB Malaysia recently. The kittens were happily playing with each other at this kampong* we visited. It kinda made me think…. these kits seem so content with their simple kampong life.

kampong (is a word in Malay and Indonesian language) which means "village" – wikipedia

City slicker or country bumpkin?
Despite currently residing in the CBD (central business district) & being an urbanite since birth, I often wonder if I could ever be a true ‘country bumpkin.’

I recall my visit to New Zealand in 1997 when I visited my uncle Robert in Palmerston North and stayed with him at the farm. The fresh, cold minty air and the green pastures were so surreal and perfect. I really fell in love with the country and returned to Perth with dreams of being a NZ resident, earning a living from making cheese and scented soaps – serious! I even went to the extent of borrowing a whole heap of soap-making books. Well…. that dream soon faded when I returned back to Singapore and eventually signed on with NIE 🙂

I guess my second encounter of ‘country/rural’ living was when I visited my relatives in Hainan this year. Despite sharing the bedroom with fat bugs and cockroaches, sharing meals with a cat & dog underneath the dining table and washing my hands from a plastic barrel…. I somehow learnt to adapt to this spartan life 🙂

Whilst it’s easy to temporarily depart from ‘reality’ I have to ask myself…..

  1. Am I be prepared to part with my centrally located 4rm parquet-laid flat?
  2. Could I survive on 1 pair of shoes for the rest of my life?
  3. Do I really want to eat Hainanese chicken rice 24/7?
  4. Will I go mad seeing sheep everyday & everywhere?

Hmmmmm…. I think not…..

City Slicker
I guess for now, Sushi-Tei is more appetising then chicken rice as a staple. Speaking of appetising, check out the desserts Mil & I indulged in this afternoon. After chowing down Project Bros. caesar salad, spaghetti bolognase & pumpkin soup we treated ourselves to Bakerzinn for dessert.

On the left is the warm chocolate cake with a spoon of vanilla icecream & on the right is a choice of 3 tapas – we chose lychee, creme brulee & berry brulee – totally divine & sinful…

Bakersinn