Vivid Sydney’s festival of lights

After a few years regrettably missing Vivid Sydney, this time I made a concerted effort to check out this year’s transformation of Sydney’s iconic buildings into canvases for lights and art.  [Working out in the suburbs, rather than the city, means that this sort of stuff requires a special effort!]

With nice balmy evenings and a festival vibe not far off new years eve, it was good fun wandering around and checking out some of the light/art installations dotted around Circular Quay and the Rocks.  Many of them required audience interaction, and the lights would dance to human movement.

vivid sydney harbour bridgeVivid Sydney Opera Housevivid sydney opera houseThe event was truly a photographer’s paradise, and I joined many others with their big tripods jostling for a good position to capture the spectacular light displays.

vivid sydneyvivid sydney customs house vivid sydney customs houseSometimes I forget how wonderful it is to live in this artistic city.  Sydney knows how to rock a festival!

Chinese new year is just an excuse to eat

This year I was away from my family for Chinese new year.  It’s one of the best holidays of the year in my opinion, just because it’s an excuse to eat seafood and receive red packets from my parents!

red packet chinese new year

My dad cooked up some of my favourite dishes, including sin qua with king prawns, scallops and squid, roasted duck, and Chinese broccoli (gai lan) with abalone.

sin qua king prawns squid scallops

Chinese roast duck

Chinese broccoli gai lan abalone

I hope the Year of the Snake brings all of you good health, fortune and prosperity!

Hello summer – we missed you!

This weekend finally felt like the start of summer, with glorious blue skies and temperatures rising above 30C.  After a few weeks of chilly nights and the occasional rain, it actually felt as though summer had finally arrived.

Of course, it wouldn’t be summer without music festivals, and my first of the season kicked off in pumping style yesterday at Stereosonic.

And it wouldn’t be a dance festival without the requisite hard-bodied, topless men covered in tattoos, who have no doubt been spending the last few months priming their shoulders and guns for this occasion.

With a headline like Tiesto, and other amazing acts such as Calvin Harris, Martin Solvieg and Avicii, we all had a great time and ended up quite sore from all the dancing!

Today’s sunny weather called for the beach visit, and even when we left at 6pm there was still a big crowd at North Bondi.  Summer is finally here!

Autumn delights

There is a definite chill in the air – winter is definitely knocking on the door here.  The disturbing thing is that the temperature has already dropped to what is a pretty bloody freezing temperature for me already, and it is only going to get worse!  It’s only October!!!  Scary.

It hasn’t helped the I have just spent a week diving in the Red Sea in gorgeous blue sky days and temperatures of around 32-35C every day.  We had some amazing conditions and saw hammerheads, oceanic white tips and even a dugong.

I also had a couple of trips to Germany during September – a trip to Berlin and then my first Oktoberfest!  I went to Berlin with my mate Rob to visit Simone.  We all volunteered together at ARCAS in Guatemala, and both Rob and I lost our respective World Cup bets with Simone (Germany trounced both England Australia…boo) so we flew to Berlin to buy her beers.

Simone was a great host and tour guide, and took us around the sites of Potsdam, Checkpoint Charlie, the East Side Gallery, the Brandenburg Gate and the Bundestag.

Oktoberfest was a fun few days of excessive volumes of beer and pork.  The beer tents were enormous, the beer was free flowing, the music was fun (albeit a bit repetitive!), although after a few days I was so blocked up from the diet of meat and potatoes and I went hunting for a Chinese restaurant where I could be guaranteed a serving of vegetables!

I’ve just started a new job with a wine company, so it’s nice to be earning money again.  I even get free wine!

Now to work out what to do and where to go for Christmas holidays!

The recap

Sheer laziness has prevented me from updating this blog on a more frequent basis, so I shall attempt to summarise the last two months into a list of achievements and non-achievements:

Successes in the last two months

  • Negotiated my first ever payrise after only 4 weeks into a new job
  • Picked up an 8-month old baby of my own volition without heart palpitations
  • Played in my touch football team’s (the Touchy Feelys) only win of the competition so far
  • Reunited with my long lost mate, Al, who I met on exchange in Sacramento
  • Attended Reading Festival for the first time and managed to survive without suffocating in the pit toilets



Failings in the last two months

  • Having my Highly Skilled Migrant visa application and subsequent appeal rejected on the basis of failing the English-speaking requirement
  • Dated several guys, none of whom particularly floated my boat
  • Was completely unable to get into any semblance of routine for taekwondo or salsa dancing.

Well, it seems as though the successes outweigh the failures so that’s something to celebrate.