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Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year's Eve

Accomplished a number of tasks on the last day of 2009
1. Sent out Happy New Year greetings to my mentors and friends
2. Sent out my revised chapters to my supervisors
3. Sent out the enbloc letter
4. ... ...

The rest, I think I will leave for the new year lol. As for now, just let me relax and enjoy the last few moment of 2009 in peace, quiet and reflection. :)

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Revision - Last?

I am done with revising Chapters 1 and 3. But I am stuck with revising Chapter 2, my literature review. Don't know how to cut! It's all my hard work lol. Never mind, I still have another day to mull over it. :P

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Colourful Ideas

Green is sure one of my favourite colours! :)
Your Ideas Are Green

When you think, you think on a global scale. You have a very broad view.

You never forget that we are all interconnected, and you're concerned with the impact of your actions.

Your ideas tend to revolve around how to make the world a better place. You are very socially conscious.

You tend to dream big but think small. You like ideas that you can immediately put into action.

Monday, 28 December 2009


Today is the deadline for the submission of the research grant application. My PI sent me the latest version of the proposal last Friday. I just needed to make sure the formatting is consistent and all the relevant documents are present. By 11am, I submitted the application. A real relief. :)

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Brain Food

I have been writing for most part of the day, yes even on a Sunday. No choice, have to get the revision done by the end of this month.

We went out for dinner at 6:30pm. The girls chose the venue, Kuishinbo Japanese Buffet Restaurant at Great World City. Just happened that Kuishinbo is now having a Hokkaido Fair. Paying adults have a special Hokkaido platter that comes with half a grilled lobster, uni (sea urchin), abalone salad, ikura gunkan (fish roe), botanebi (botan shrimp), hotate (scallop). However, as I don't take raw food, I could only eat the grilled half lobster and the abalone salad.
There were other dishes like roasted turkey, potato mentai, hotate (scallop) butter yaki, lobster fried rice, ostrich egg with oysters, king crab, hairy crab and many more.

After dinner, we had a quick walk around before going home at 8:30pm where I continued with my writing again.

Saturday, 26 December 2009


Writing, writing, writing...

That's the story of my life now...

Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas!

I received a number of smses today from friends, even from as far as Australia, wishing my family and I a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks, my friends! :)

Here's wishing all of you a Happy Christmas and a Wonderful 2010! :)

Hwei Ming

PS Went out for lunch, no, not Christmas lunch, just a simple lunch at a Japanese restaurant before rushing home again to work on my dissertation revision. Under tremendous stress to finish my revision before the end of the year which is like 6 days away...

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

We basically stayed at home. Didn't go out for dinner unlike last year. I am always the one who made suggestions where to go for Christmas Eve dinner, New Year's Eve dinner, etc. I decided to take a break this year, as it is tiring always being the one deciding where to go for meals and such. I thought the girls' father might look into it. How wrong I was. He just couldn't be bothered... :(

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I have got work all lined up right into the first month of the new year.
1. Dissertation revision
2. Handbook chapter
3. Artifact tagging
4. Analysing data
5. AERA papers

Trying to stay calm...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Busy Still

Hmm, thought I would be done and could submit the proposal today. Looks like it is not possible. We are still waiting for a few more CVs to come in, especially those of the external consultants. Well, we still have a few more days. The deadline for grant proposal submission is 28 December.

Monday, 21 December 2009


It is that time of the year again. No, I am not talking about the festive time lol. I am talking about submission of grant proposals in my research centre. :P It is now a mad rush for everyone to get everything done properly. As usual, I am in charge of working on the budget and the budget justification. Not really my cup of tea because there's lots of calculation involved and I am lousy with math hahaha.
But I have to admit maybe because I have been working on the budget for the past few proposals, it was kind of easy working on the budget for this new proposal lol. :) And I guess a sense of achievement too because I am lousy with math! LOL. :D

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Accommodation AERA

I have a reply back from the accommodation I sent my inquiry to. I have decided not to book from the AERA's list of hotels. Instead, I am booking a studio apartment from Brooks Tower Corporate Apartments.

The studio apartment will cost me US$175 a night which includes tax and complimentary wifi. There are more advantages in booking a apartment. First, by paying almost the same price for a hotel room from the AERA's list of hotels, I can get a whole apartment! :) Second, I can save on food cost as I can cook in the apartment. :) Third, I can save on laundry cost as there is a washer and a dryer in the apartment. :) Fourth, the apartment is only 2 blocks away from the convention centre and only 1 block away from 16th Street Mall, the shopping street! :) :) I am definitely happy with my find. :)

Conference registration - checked
Conference accommodation - checked
Air ticket - onto it :)

Saturday, 19 December 2009


When it is a cold and wet day like today, I just crave for a soup dish to warm me up. Juliane and I shared a Ramen set ($14.80) from Hoshigaoka Japanese Restaurant, Shaw Centre. The ramen set which came with a salad and california rolls was reasonably priced and quite delicious, especially the ramen in pork bone soup. :)

PS. I realised both my girls also love ramen.

Friday, 18 December 2009

AERA 2010 Denver

At the beginning of the week, my PI told me to register for AERA 2010 conference and to book accommodation too. Initially I was thinking AERA 2010 is from 30 April - 4 May and Early Bird registration doesn't end until end of March 2010, so what's the hurry.

I finally got down to doing the registration for AERA 2010 today. It was easy enough and I could book accommodation at the same time. There is a list of 12 hotels that have arrangement with the AERA conference to give special discounted group rates. :) However, when I tried to book the accommodation, I realised the 3 hotels that I were interested in didn't have all my accommodation dates available. That means I have to move to a second location after a number of days if I chose those hotels. The hotels that have my accommodation dates available are the expensive ones, e.g. US$200 per night exclusive of tax. :( Now I know why my PI asked me to register and book accommodation so early!

After spending a few hours searching and looking at alternatives, I think I might have found something. Going to fire them an email to make inquiries first before I make my decision. Hope it is what I am looking for.

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Forced myself to start on the revision of my chapters. Finally doing it.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


I attended Juliane's Parent-Teacher-Meeting this morning. When I saw her teacher, she has nothing but praises about Juliane. :) I am really proud of Juliane.

Her teacher is really impressed with Juliane's performance at the preschool's concert on 28 November 2009. She said Juliane was really confident and articulate as the emcee and she had a smile on throughout. She was also the lead dancer for one of her dance items and she led the dance beautifully. In class, Juliane is able to understand instructions and learns very quickly and she has leadership qualities as she helps to guide other classmates. Her teacher told me that Juliane has asked her for homework to do. Goodness, first I have heard of a kid asking the teacher for homework to do! Hahaha.

I bought the concert dvd and saw for myself Juliane's performance. She did excellent as an emcee and she danced really well, always had a smile on and boy, can she shake lol. :)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Jet-setting Family

We are one jet-setting family. I was away overseas for 8 days and returned on 7 December. My father was away overseas for 1.5 months and returned on 8 December. My mother has just left for Taiwan this afternoon and she will be away for 1.5 months. We just love travelling haha.

Monday, 14 December 2009

What is My Soul's Urge?

I haven't done Blogthings quiz for a while now. Never failed to amaze me just how accurate some of the results can be. My responses in green.

Your Soul's Urge is Adventure

You may be feeling a little bored and restless lately. But let's be honest... you're always feeling this way.
How true!

You have a true excitement and energy that other's can't match. You are a veritable wild child.
Too hyper, some would say of me haha. A wild child? Not really but I admit to being reckless and impulsive at times.

You love anything new or novel, and you love to be surprised. You'll say yes to anything that sounds like fun.
Yes, Yes, YES!

You love to travel and meet new people. You are open to anything, and you never judge. You're all about good times!
I just LOVE to travel - see new places, meet new people and learn new things.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Party at Downtown East

Marieann's classmate, whose mother is my former SCGS colleague, is celebrating her birthday today at eXplorerkid, Downtown East from 3:30 to 5:30pm. Juliane was also invited. It is the first time we have travelled that far and our first time to Downtown East. We were amazed by everything we saw lol. I have never seen so many eating places at one place!

I dropped the kids off and went to get a cuppa as I was freezing. I had forgotten to bring my jumper. :( Being a woman of habit, I went back to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to get my African Sunrise tea latte despite having so many other options around. :P While sipping my latte, I read my JR Ward book. Once I finished my latte, I wasn't feeling so cold anymore and it was 5pm. I went back to the birthday party at eXplorerkid and discovered one of the mothers was my primary and secondary school classmate! Our daughters happened to be close friends. After the party ended, the girls and Marieann's close friend played an extra 30 minutes at Ball'O'City. We left for home at 6:20pm. Once in the taxi, both girls kept telling me it was the best party that they have attended lol. Not long after, both knocked out due to the good "workout" they have had lol.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Girls' Day Out

It's just the girls and I this weekend.

The girls and I went shopping at Isetan for birthday presents as both of them are invited to a birthday party tomorrow. They are pretty excited about it. After a while, they managed to pick out the presents. Once the presents were gift-wrapped, I went to Pet Lovers Centre to look for a feliway diffuser. Unfortunately, the store no longer sells it. :(

I made a mistake asking the girls where they wanted to have lunch. They said in unison, "Green Frog!" (Green Frog = Sakae Sushi). Sigh. We shared several plates of makimono and gunkan sushi and a Teriyaki Chicken Ramen. Ok lah, at least the ramen was not too bad lol.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Happy Birthday, YM

It's my brother's birthday today.

Happy Birthday, YM. May it be a day full of happiness, warmth and love.

Hugs and Kisses,
All of us in Singapore :)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Back to Work

It is strange going to back to work after a break. Frankly, not used to it, still in a holiday mood lol. :P Hopefully, it will be right soon. :)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Had a few things to settle... Seemed like there are more things to do after a break and this is only personal stuff. I hate to return to office to see the pile(s) of work waiting for me... :(

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I am Back :)

I have just returned from an overseas conference. Sorry, I couldn't update my blog during the time I was away as it was inconvenient. I will backtrack and update the days past.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Flying Home

My dear friend took leave to send me to the airport for my late morning flight to Melbourne. She is a blessing. :)

The flight to Melbourne took off on time and I arrived in Melbourne by 3:25pm. I still had another 1.5 hrs to spare while waiting for my flight to Singapore. I browsed around the shops and read my book. By 5:15pm, I was on board the plane. However we didn't take off until 6pm because there was some problem with the luggage. :( The journey was pretty smooth, no turbulence of sorts, kind of boring lol. :P As usual, I had my diabetic meals. :)

It was already 10pm when I arrived in Singapore, 10:45pm when I arrived home via taxi. In the taxi, I was suddenly missing Australia a lot. It was my home once too, in a manner of speaking. I hope I can go back again and soon.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Sun and Fun (Shopping FUN!)

As promised, my friend drove past Eagle Pier on our way to Gold Coast. She was so right! The Sunday Market is a real disappointment now. :( I hope they would restore the Sunday Market to its former glory once the constructions are done. She also warned me about more constructions in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Sigh. What's with all these "urban renewal"??!! :(

We met up with another uni friend and we had lunch together at Surfers Paradise while chatting about our days in uni. Ah those were the good old havoc days hahaha. :P We spent some time walking around the beach before going for more shopping at Pacific Fair! Hahaha. Yes, other than catching up with my uni friends, I am also catching up with the shopping malls that I used to frequent in Brisbane and Gold Coast. :P

I love this photo as I happened to capture a seagull in flight :)

Christmas Tree at Pacific Fair

PS I think I got sun burnt. :( Forgot about how strong the sun is in Australia, especially at Gold Coast.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

More Shopping

I think I didn't had my fill of shopping yesterday haha. My friend and I went to the city again. I was tempted to go to Indooroopilly Shopping Mall but thought it might be making it too rushed haha. We had lunch at Coffee Club, Eagle Pier. I had the chicken and mushroom lasagna. Yum!

After lunch, we walked around the area. I was surprised at the changes. There were quite a number of construction going on. I had actually wanted to go to the Sunday Market, Eagle Pier tomorrow. But my friend told me it wasn't like the Sunday Market we once knew, only about 1/4 of its original size due to constructions going on. What a bummer! :( I love the Sunday Market. Anyway, my friend said she could drive past Eagle Pier for a look at the market before we head to Gold Coast tomorrow to meet up with another uni friend. I guess I had to see the reduced Sunday Market for myself.

Here are some photos which I took of Story Bridge from Eagle Pier and of the city. There are quite a number of old buildings around with beautiful designs in the city. :)

Story Bridge and I

Post Office Building

The Central Station

Friday, 4 December 2009

Memory Lane II

Friday is late night shopping in the city! :) I always love shopping in the city. I remembered I used to pack all my lectures and tutorials into the first 2-3 days of the week so that I would have the rest of the week free to do grocery shopping on Thursdays (suburb late night shopping) and window-shopping on Fridays (city late night shopping) haha. :)

Since I was in no hurry, I lazed in bed lol. I only left for the city around 11am. I went to The Queen Street Mall. I visited The Myer Centre, Brisbane Arcade, Wintergarden, Broadway on The Mall, Macarthur Central... just taking in the sights and sounds. :) No lah, I wasn't shopping at those shopping centres that I mentioned. I really was just looking. :) I did shop but only at those shops which I used to frequent when I was studying in Brisbane lol. What can I say? I am a woman of habit lol.

City hall

Xmas decorations at The Queen Street Mall

In the evening, I walked over to the South Bank. It is my routine or if you like, my ritual lol. I always go to the South Bank after my city shopping on Fridays. At South Bank, there are quite a number of eating places and the most importantly, there is the Friday Night Market where you can find art, craft, homewares, collectibles, designer fashion and more. :) I took some photos of the city lights from the South Bank. Lovely views. :)

Victoria Bridge, Office buildings and Treasury Casino (building bathed in green lights)

Finally I decided to have dinner at Decks Seafood and Steak Restaurant. I was seated outdoors where the evening breeze was nice, cool and refreshing after a warm day. I ordered an Atlantic Salmon (AUD$31): salmon grilled with sautéed kiphlers and chorizo sausage topped with tomato and citrus salsa. It took a while for my order to arrive because it was quite crowded. But it was ok as I took the time to relax and enjoy the scenery, the breeze and basically, enjoy life. The salmon was beautifully done and went really well with the tomato and citrus salsa.

After dinner, I took a nice leisurely walk around the South Bank to take in the sights as well as to aid in my digestion (:P) before heading home. I felt very contented as I have taken another trip down memory lane.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Memory Lane

I decided to take a trip down memory lane. I took an afternoon flight to Brisbane. Another uni friend met up with me and put me up at her place.
It is really wonderful to be back in Brisbane. The last time I was here was in 2005 but as I was with the kids, it was a different experience. Finally I am in Brisbane by myself again as I was all those years ago. In some sense, it is as if I have come home.

It took me some courage before I could go back to my apartment at St Lucia where I spent 3 years of my life. I collected my house keys from a family friend who is looking after my apartment all these time I am away. As I stepped into my apartment, I was transported back in time. I saw the ghost of a younger me who was learning to live alone, learning to be independent, learning to be and finally becoming what and who I am today. Everything is as it is in my apartment. It was as if I have only left yesterday and have now returned home to continue with my life. The closets are still full of my clothes, the drawers full of my stuff, and the shelves full of my books. I thought I was strong enough to pack some of my stuff away but I found I couldn't. There is still so much emotional and physical attachment to the place where I grew up. But I needed the closure, I needed to say the good-bye I never got to say when I left back in the 90s as I have always thought I would be back and stay for good in Australia. I won't deny that there is some tinge of regret that I never followed through with my PRship. If I could turn back time...

I locked up my apartment again and left for The University of Queensland which is just round the corner. Again, I saw the ghost of my younger self walking along the sidewalk going to uni, attending lectures at the Forgan-Smith Lecture Hall, researching in the Undergrad and Main Libraries, walking round The Great Court, having lunch at the Main Refect and having exams and graduating in the Great Hall. It was wonderful to see UQ again after all these years. I hope one day, one of my girls can come and study at this great uni.

Me at The Great Court

Part of The Great Court

After visiting my apartment and UQ, my friend cheered me up by taking me to Nando's. :) There is now a branch just at the corner of Sir Fred Schonell Drive and Mitre Street. I had the Portuguese Paella. Bloody delicious! I will be craving for Nando's when I go back to Singapore. I wish they have Nando's in Singapore.

It is a trip down memory lane for me. I have never realised I have kept so much of my feelings and memories back until I am back here again in Brisbane. I am glad that my friend gave me the space and time that I needed to be alone with my tears and my memories. Thanks. :)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

History and Scenery of Canberra

I engaged a tour guide to take me on a half day tour round Canberra today. The good thing about engaging a private guide is that the tour can be tailored to suit my needs as I have specific things I want to see and visit. The guide, Virginia pick me up in her car promptly at 9:30am for my 4 hours half day tour.

First, we headed out to Parliament House. Virginia brought me on a tour round Parliament House, and at the same time, narrating to me about the history and the architecture of the building, as well as the process of law-making. I saw the Forecourt Mosaic, The Great Hall Tapestry, the Marble Foyer, The House of Representatives and Senate Chambers. I was lucky. Both Houses were in session and I managed to sit in both sessions to observe the proceedings. One of the Ministers has the same last name as me and Virginia asked if we were related haha. I later saw the city view from the roof of the Parliament House. It was a great view and I finally understood why it is called the Parliamentary Triangle.

The Forecourt Mosaic in the foreground, the Old Parliament House (the white building in the middle) and The War Memorial in the background

The War Memorial and the Old Parliament House as seen from the roof of Parliament House

Next, we went to the Old Parliament House which now housed the Museum of Australian Democracy. Again, Virginia gave me an educational tour round the place. I saw the King's Hall, Senate Chamber, the House of Representatives Chamber, the Prime Minister's Suite and others which my memory has now failed me what they were lol. :P

Prime Minister's Office

On our way to The War Memorial, Virginia drove me round the Lake and the Embassies, went past the International Flag Display, The National Library, Questacon, the High Court, The National Art Gallery and Anzac Parade which are some of the iconic buildings and landmarks in Canberra.
The War Memorial is a very solemn place, it reminds one and all of the evil of war. I was explained to at The Hall of Memory what the pillars meant and the stained glasses depicted. As I walked past the Roll of Honour, it only serves to remind me even more starkly all the unnecessary deaths that war has caused. I also viewed the Exhibitions of WWI and WWII. What do you know, there is a section devoted to Singapore at the WWII Exhibition. It was close to 1:30pm when we were done with The War Memorial but we were not done yet lol.

The back of The War Memorial

The cloud looked like a halo on The War Memorial

The four pillars and the grave of the Unknown Australian Soldier in The Hall of Memory

The dome, full of symbolism, in The Hall of Memory

The stained glass, again full of symbolism and telling a story in The Hall of Memory

From The Hall of Memory looking out (can see Parliament House in the distant background)

Roll of Honour - red poppies are placed beside the names of deceased soldiers as a mark of remembrance

Virginia brought me up to Black Mountain Tower where I could see the 360 degree views of Canberra and the surrounding rural area. It was definitely a nice end to my tour.

Black Mountain Tower up close

Views from the Black Mountain Tower

Virginia, from Canberra Guided Tours, is a very experienced and professional tour guide and she is really knowledgeable too. Although my tour should end by 1:30pm, Virginia didn't just drop me back home. She is very professional and continued to show me places, hoping to show me as much of Canberra as possible. I only got home close to 3pm. This has been one of the most educational tours I have ever been on. I have really learnt a lot. :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Shopping and Work

As there weren't any presentations that were of interest to me until mid afternoon, I took a trip to DFO at Fyshwick. This is the 3rd DFO I have been to in Australia lol. I can really get good bargains here. :) I managed to get clothes for the girls and for myself lol. My best buy is a Gore-tex jacket from Mountain Designs for AUD200. :) Must give thanks to a good friend who gave me tips on what to get. :)

After the conference ended for the day, my colleague and I went for dinner at Pancake Parlour. I was surprised to find out from my uni friend that there is one nearby the conference venue. Pancake Parlour is my favourite restaurant in Australia. I will at least have a meal at Pancake Parlour without fail whenever I am in Australia. :) My colleague had Tabriz: crepes filled with ground beef cooked in red wine with herbs and onions while I had Crepe Escape: crepes filled ham and cheese and grilled pineapple. Simple food but tastes great! :)