Friday, September 14, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Hi Anna!

 You're on a blog roll!

Sauri and Saurus look very happy next to each other :) Plus your $1.50 post made me giggle. About a couple of years ago I found out Chia was a type of seed and since then I've had friends mention they've been having me in their breads and cereals! I'll have to try them one day. Maybe they have chocolate chia seed cakes. They sound more exciting.

I was dying to read your post on Exmouth! haha.. I liked how you surprised Kev. Surprises are fun but I never end up doing them in case it doesn't work out quite right. As soon as I read your post it made me dream about Bali/Thailand/Indonesia and all those sunny beachy places I've been to. Swimming, surfing, tanning and SCUBA DIVING. If there is one thing I would love to do in my next holidays is to dive dive and dive!!! Loved the whale photos and the story of you swimming with the turtle made me jealous!

And then you talk about what you plan to be eating in HK! How torturous! You're making me miss travelling. I hope you have a fantastic time stuffing yourselves and taking lots of pictures to make me envious.

 I tried running yesterday afternoon and I think I tore a leg muscle. Am I the only one that hates and skips stretching?

I know I've been lacking in posts. I'm finding it hard to find to blog about anything at all. . Not like there's a cool market to spend my Saturday mornings poking around for vintage items, or stumbling across a gay parade on the streets, or funny things the children have said in class. I do miss London for all it's quirks but like I tell everyone, I am LOVING the sunshine here. I will wander outside and lie on a bench to soak in some rays at every chance I get without burning myself. 

The last couple of weeks have gone by quickly. I've been doing things that do not involve shopping or digging deeply into the pockets. See below.

Found boxes of my colour pencils I forgotten I had

Love drawing birds
This photo was taken when I was on a safari in Sri Lanka to spot a leopard (haha) but we saw many other wildlife like this brightly coloured bird I forget it's name.

Just noticed my fat finger in the way of course lovely spread. I did antipasto which was slack compared to HW's homemade sausage rolls and fruit salad.

Somewhere in Swan Valley we found a picnic spot. We fell in love with the country and wouldn't mind being a farmer's wife. After we were done, we drove around for ages checking out suburbs in the midwest.  I am going to make it a point to go for more picnics!

This was taken in KL when I thought I was going to cut my hair that day
All tied up in a bun. I miss my hair bunning days.
I think I'm addicted to the quick editing filters on Instaram to fix up poor lighting. I wish short hair was easier in the mornings :(
PERTH from King's Park.
This was the inspiration for my painting
Acrylic on canvas. If I can do a better one I might enter a local art competition. Do help me if I become a little obsessed and anti social.

I think these are called strawflowers

How vibrant!
Random. Munched on these today. One thing they do not have in London are these rice crackers. Apart from Arnott's shapes, I missed eating these in London believe it or not!
There was also photos that we took that Friday night at 43 Below but none of them were very appropriate! Haha. Especially Kev and his v neck shirt.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

HK, work and Sauri and Saurus


How are you today?! Today I'm feeling average, but I am slowly getting more and more excited about Hong Kong! I think I am more so excited about the time off rather than the destination, as I've been there a few times already. Nevertheless, there are still things that I am looking forward to; the food; the shops... Did I mention FOOD?!

It's funny when you think about it. Only last Saturday, we were chatting about getting fit and losing the winter flab, and now I'm thinking the complete opposite! I'm craving dumplings, beef brisket, noodles, 'rou bing', those sweet Asian breads, and all other yummy Chinese/Hong Kong dishes that you can't really get here.

Admittedly, I've made sure that I've kick started my metabolism. In the last 3 days, I've managed to run a little less than 14km. I've been squeezing in runs in sunlight as much as possible, running at sunset as soon as I get home and then finishing up when the first few stars appear.

This week I've got a few CPD seminars. Tonight I have one from 5.45pm to 7pm, so it's going to be a loooooong day. Then tomorrow and Thursday I have sessions at 7am!

What you up to this week?

I thought I'd sign off with this photo that I took on Saturday at Kings Park. Thank you for giving me Sauri and Saurus! I introduced them to Kev and he was a bit sad that I had to take them off him.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I saw this while Kev bought breakfast yesterday before work. I tweaked it a little and it makes me giggle.

Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Surprise Trip to Exmouth

Me and Kev at Turquoise Bay

Hey Chia!

How was your weekend? How is the new car? You've been quite busy in your first week back!

My weekend was just fantastic. I can't explain how much fun it was surprising Kev with a weekend getaway to Exmouth for his 28th birthday.

Initially, it was pretty stressful and nerve wrecking. I just wanted to make sure everything was accounted for; flights, accommodation, car hire, Kev's work knowing he will be away on Friday and keeping it a secret.

So on Thursday night, everything was going to plan. I had packed everything (stealing Kev's clothes week by week) and had everything in my car. That night I planned to take our snorkeling bag out of his room while he was showering or something. However, while we were talking about our day at work and work plans for Friday, he mentioned the he had an important meeting with some people in Melbourne. I then started freaking out. The things running through my head: 'I thought his boss would remember about tomorrow? Did he get my message from today? What happens if Kev can't make the trip? Oh my god!'

I sussed him out a little more and Kev was adamant that it was an important meeting. It was when he eventually asked me 'why?' that I caved in with 'well, because you and I will be in Exmouth tomorrow...'


Kev's face turned concerned and I could sense some unease. I swear Kev's palms went instantly clammy.


'Yup...You and I will be in Exmouth tomorrow.' (I am nervously smiling at this point in time).

Kev continued his look of confusion and disbelief. I then revealed the weekend plans to him, including the details of how I got him time off work the next day. I asked him of his meeting will be ok, and he excitedly shrugged off his 'important meeting' saying someone else could do it. I was relieved but sad, as I had to forego my initial
plans to spring him with the surprise on Friday morning. But after Kev's initial shock had been worn away with excitement, I realized that perhaps it all turned out for the best.

Friday morning came quickly, and for the first time ever, Kev sprung to life when the alarm clock rang at 4am. I couldn't believe it. Kev, who usually requires unlimited amount of snoozes before properly getting up in the morning , was jumping out of bed singing 'We're going to Exmouth! We're going to Exmouth!'

And so we did.

As we approached Exmouth, I could see from the air that the waters were brilliantly blue. I was so excited and all I wanted to do was just jump in! I also saw these two dark figures in the water, and after looking at them harder, I realised that they were most likely whales! It was definitely a good omen for the trip!

We arrived at 8am and were met with clear skies and a warm breeze. I couldn't help but start grinning. I had missed feeling the intense Australian sun on my skin.

We then picked up our car (which was a tiny Suzuki Alto) and made the drive to Exmouth which was down the road (it was literally just down the road - 30 minutes down the road).

We're in Exmouth!

The road was a straight black line cutting through the dry red earth and the blue sky met the never ending horizon. Everything around us was flat, unchanging, and beautiful. It was as if we were in the middle of nowhere. 

Our trip was hindered by some wild emus

When we arrived in town, we checked in and went straight to the visitors' centre. We got the details of the best snorkeling spots, quickly shopped for food, and then made our road trip down the western coast to snorkel at Oyster Stacks and Turquoise Bay.

One important tip we were given by the tourist centre was to go to Oyster Stacks in high tide and Turquoise Bay in low tide. It didn't make sense until we got there.

Kev with Albi the Alto outside our Villa at Exmouth Escape Resort

Oh Chia! It was amazing! The waters in Oyster Stacks and Turquoise Bay were crystal clear and blue and the marine life just blew me away!

Oyster Stacks in low tide gets to a point where you can't even snorkel as you will not clear the coral! Kev and I were there for about 30 minutes before it got to a point where Kev and I were seriously concerned about scratching our bellies. So we got out and after talking to a couple on the rocky shore of Oyster Stacks about the different places to snorkel at, we made our way to Turquoise drift and then to Turquoise Bay.

Us at Oyster Stacks

So beautiful!

Kev chillin in Exmouth

The water at Oyster Stacks

Cool fish

Parrot Fish my favorite! They are so bright and colouful that I have to follow them!

Cool star fish

When we arrived at Turquoise Bay (after giving the Turquoise drift a go), we found that the water was still amazing, however, visibility wasn't the greatest at this point in time as it was still high tide, and there was a strong current. But it was still an awesome snorkel!

Me snorkeling through Turquoise Bay

On Saturday, Kev's actual 28th Birthday, we went on a Eco Tour with Ningaloo Blue. They are the coolest operators around! So well informed and so friendly! I started talking to Vi the photographer and she told us about all the things we could see. I also told her how it was Kev's birthday and he had never seen an octopus. She shrieked in delight and told us that she and the rest of the Ningaloo Blue team will find Kev an octopus for his birthday!

Kev and I on the Ningaloo Blue boat. I loveeeeeee the water in Exmouth!

On our first snorkel stop, Vi and the Ningaloo Blue team found Kev the Octopus that would make his birthday a special one. I unfortunately missed seeing it in action (I only saw him hiding in a rock) but Kev said he saw the tentacles and all. He was a very happy boy.

Here are some photos that I took on the day:

Underwater civilization

Awesome clam

On the boat we also saw a dugong, a spearfish, and 5 male humpback whales! They were so magical! I couldn't believe how huge they were! We got so close to them too! The captain of the boat tried to get us close but within the regulations, however, we couldn't control the actions of the whales and they came as close as 100m from the boat! It was amazing!!!! I loved hearing the noise that they make when they blow out tuffs of water, and the groan they make when they stick their heads out of the water.

Here are some of the photos that were taken by Vi that day:

Swimming around us

Coming up to check us out



It was just magical! I can't explain how much I loved loved loved the day! And Kev had such a great day too! He was so happy about seeing an octopus and the humpback whales. We were unable to see any whalesharks, as the season for them has ended, however, I know that we will be back for sure!

One other moment that was so so so special to me, happened on our second snorkel stop in the afternoon. The current was quite strong this time, and a lot of the group ended up returning to the boat. I remember swimming against it and continuously popping my head up to see where Kev was. There was one time where he disappeared, and I was like what? But then I looked at the boat and saw Kev waving at me. After that I was like oh! sweet! and I kept on swimming; focusing on reaching the others who were ahead of me. I saw some awesome yellow trumpet fish and other fishes along the way. Then, Amy (one of the snorkel guides) called out saying that she found a turtle! I swam to her and the small group that was there and saw the turtle swimming happily near the deeper corals. After sussing out the rest of the group (none of them seemed to be following it or wanting to swim with it) I decided to take a deep breath in and body dive to it. 

That moment was just magical. There was no sound, no breathing, just solid, translucent nothingness. The feeling of the freedom of the ocean and the beautiful fish and coral around me and the turtle was just out of this world. The turtle just had a quick look at me, blinked (which to me, looked like a wink =P) and then just continued on his merry way. He was totally chilled out compared to the other sea animals we had seen that day.

I really, really felt like a mermaid there and then. There is something so wonderful about snorkeling. The freedom of movement, being nimble without having all the air tanks and tubes hanging off you; your skin, your breath, it's just you and the ocean. 

Something Amy said later that day, really described what that moment felt like to me. She said 'there is something about the ocean and swimming in it, it cleans the soul.'