Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Time for my bi-annual whinge (the last time I posted was in February...yikes). A long time between drinks but it has been quite a week and I felt I needed to get it down on paper (or electronic tablet device to be more accurate) for prosperity!

Just in case anyone reading this is not in fact related to me, let me preface this by telling you I am 20 weeks pregnant. Keep that in mind and consider that to be at least 70% of the cause of my current emotional state.

Sadly, my father in law has been battling cancer for a little over a year and though he's a fighter it doesn't look like he'll get to meet his first grandchild which breaks our hearts. It was with this information fresh in my mind that I waddled off to the office Christmas party last Friday in the muggy rain...I lasted until 8pm. As it was early enough to catch public transport home I waddled back up the street to the bus stop and promptly threw up on the street AND LET ME TELL YOU if you throw up on the street, on a Friday night, in December, people will not stop to help you. No matter how pregnant you may look they will assume you are drunk, not legitimately ill!!

So I jumped in a cab and ended up with a driver who proceeded to ask me the following questions:
"What is the meaning of Christmas?"
"What is Santa?"
"What is pitch?"
All of which I answered while covered in my own vomit...

Fast forward to Tuesday when I received a call from my mum informing me that my dad had managed to break his thumb and slice the flesh to the bone requiring 15 stitches...stress levels rising. Dad being a chef I assumed he had a kitchen accident but alas no, he was doing something or other on the roof...of course.

This left it up to mum and my darling husband to collect a shipment of champagne my parents imported from, um, champagne, at the docks at 7.30 this morning. In the meantime I was also at the docs (doctors that is) being informed that my bump was measuring too large for my dates - the fact that I had a perfectly normal ultrasound on Monday did nothing to dissipate my panic and I promptly freaked out and dissolved into a million puddle of tears in the back office of the clinic where they were hiding me. This prompted my GP to consult a private obstetrician in the end and it seems like there's nothing to worry about but everything was just building and building until I snapped...yeah. Word of advice ladies, if you can possibly go private all the way, do it!!! It is worth the money!!

To top it all off, as mum lugged her load of champagne home a wheel came off the trailer - mum is fine (as is the wine)!

So we've had quite the eventful week/month/year and have certainly earned our Christmas break! Look after each other and here's too a safe and happy holiday!! Please enjoy this photo of my cat as a break dancing elf - it's my gift to you x

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Too Cool for School...(Prawns) & a Visit to the Colonel

Firstly a gripe. A newly engaged colleague of mine (we'll call him DPB) was telling me of a recent experience at one of Melbourne's most popular eateries. DPB and his fiancé were given a substantial gift certificate to said eatery and as regular customers decided to make use of it straight away. They enjoyed a lovely meal (no one is arguing with the quality of the food) but could only manage to spend half of the voucher in one sitting. After handing over the voucher to settle the bill DPB and his betrothed were informed that they were "all square" and they could be on their merry way. "Pardon me my good man," said DPB "but I believe you are mistaken. Our gift certificate was for x amount, we spent y amount, are we not therefore owed z amount?". "No," replied the waiter, "we don't re-issue certificates for balances unspent. If we did that we would be constantly writing certificates!" ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME????

1. This is the most absurd policy I have ever heard of.
2. Surely it is not only absurd but illegal
3. They have lost a good customer because of this.

The restaurant has received the "y" amount paid by DPB's generous friends, therefore they are entitled to goods and services equal to that amount. The audacity and arrogance on display here beggars belief as far as I'm concerned and they won't be getting my custom anytime soon either! I don't mind queuing for a table (although this particular diner does take bookings), I am happy to fork over hundreds for a meal but what I get in return had better be worth it. Technically being asked to spend $300 on what would otherwise cost $150 just because you have a certificate is utter stupidity. Luckily the happy couple had the good sense to order up on the drinks...and leave them on the bar.

On a happier note - who's paid a visit to colonel tan's? The funky little Thai restaurant at revolver upstairs is going great guns. The food is simply fresh and delicious. Order the Bangkok bolognese and a refreshing cocktail, you shan't be disappointed. Sit at the bar or pull up a couch. Thursday night is locals night (that's tomorrow!) so if you live in the south yarra/Prahran area be sure to take your license for a discount. This little gem pumps new life into the term cheap & cheerful.

Colonel Tan's
@ Revolver Upstairs
229 Chapel Street
Prahran 3181
9521 5985

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Last night an iPad saved my life

Well. What to say? It's been a loooong time peeps and I have to be honest and say that since my last post I have not been moved to write anything let alone something worth sharing with the big bad world. But yesterday my best friend (aka that man i wed) gave me a little piece of technology I thought was primarily intended for Facebook and angry birds but as I shredded the wrapping paper squealing with delight I'm pretty sure I heard H say "now you have no excuse not to write". So here I am, 9 months after I last put finger to key, and I have to say it feels really great. The curse is broken....

"the curse?" I hear you ask, allow me to elaborate. 2011 has not been kind to us. Followers if this pathetic excuse for a blog will remember my last post in which I described our emotional state post miscarriage. A few days after that post I was contacted by the hospital and informed I had miscarried because I had a partial molar pregnancy. I wont go into the gory details but basically that meant I was at a risk of developing a very rare form of cancer and faced weeks of tests to make sure that wasn't the case. Evidently I'm fine but it meant we couldn't immediately move on with our lives and I was left feeling very uninspired for months. Since then we've copped a few more blows including a major hit recently when very close family member fell ill.

On new years eve last year one member of our party raised his glass and said "2011, the worst year on record. Sorry but I just have a feeling" and hence he cursed us (side note: the curser himself has had a great year). All jokes aside it's been a real bastard of a year but things are looking up and I'm feeling really positive about 2012. I have a great new job that I really enjoy, exciting things are happening for our friends and family and I'm looking forward to lots of adventures in the new year (and sharing them with you of course).

Well H is cooking duck so I'm going to crack open some vino and watch him do it! Merry Christmas!

Ps we were caught out in the crazy hail yesterday so have included some pics. We were driving and it got really scary, like gun fire! Hope all those British ex-pats I work with enjoyed their white Christmas they were missing so badly!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Such is Life

This is a highly personal entry but I wanted to share it with all the women/couples/families who have or may go through the same thing. Sometimes it helps to put these things out there - I know other people's stories have helped me. Sending love and hope to all of you out there.

Well it has been a while hasn't it? My apologies but 2011 has been quite a strange year for us so far. At the end of January H and I found out we were expecting a baby. We were overjoyed with the news of this much wanted pregnancy, hence life suddenly changed and every spare minute was spent planning and thinking about our new roles as parents.

But alas it was not to be. A week ago we were informed that we had lost the baby. Once again things suddenly changed and we were left not knowing what or how to feel. It seemed like yesterday we were just kids and now we found ourselves dealing with something very grown up.

Grieving after a miscarriage is a strange feeling. We hadn't even had a chance to adjust to the notion of parenthood when all of a sudden the little creature we couldn't wait to know was gone. We were left with a great feeling of loss but it was not the same as the loss of a relative or loved one. Our little person wasn't a person yet so it was like we'd lost a promise or a hope.

Our lives have changed though, not in the way we were expecting but in a new way. We've come through an intense sadness to learn something new about ourselves, about our relationship (a rare occurrence after 12 years!). It surprised me to realise that I assumed H's career would always come first. His refusal to miss a day or work has meant many a missed birthday, anniversary not to mention every single Valentines day. But those things seem trivial and unimportant now because I know that when I truly need him, he will drop everything to be with me - I mean literally drop everything, including knives...mid-service. His extremely compassionate, caring employers did make that very easy, even the week after an 18/20 review had them PUMPING with a new deg menu to boot!

As for me - well I've survived it. This pregnancy wasn't meant to be, in fact 1 in 5 pregnancies are not viable and the number of women close to me who have at one point experienced the same thing is astonishing. One person in particular who has helped me through this - L, you know who you are. Knowing all of the facts and figures does help you see through the grief with a rational, practical outlook. Something was not right, nature did its job and there is nothing to say we won't have a happy, healthy pregnancy in the future, a future we are looking forward to.

On that note I'd like to end by thanking my wonderful GP and the amazing nurses and doctors at the Royal Women's Hospital. The level or care and compassion we have received has been second to none and they deserve much more recognition than this.

Good night lovelies xx

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting off my BIG bum

After a looooooong hiatus I am BACK BABY!!

Stand by for about 3 months of catch ups!

PS. Sorry for being so slack and thanks for sticking around x

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Take a deep breath, and.....

Well, it's certainly been a whirlwind of a fortnight with the realisation of our long anticipated European holiday - oh the sights that were seen, the sounds that were heard and the MASSIVE amount of incredible food consumed! So bear with me as I walk you through two weeks of food, fun and several 'cheesegasms'.

We kicked things off immediately upon landing in London. After a quick shower and costume change we met up with my little sister and headed east for brekkie in Spitalfields at St John Bread and Wine (offshoot of the Smithfield restaurant). We gorged ourselves on Old Spot bacon sandwiches (you can see me pictured here with my laughing gear wrapped around one!), porridge and prunes and poached fruit, yogurt and brioche. A perfect way to kick of for a couple of gourmet travellers!

The next couple of days were filled with treats from Hummingbird Bakery , great coffee at Coffee Plant in Notting Hill and tapas in Covent Garden before we crammed a few things in a bag and nicked off to Paris.

After scoffing a desperate microwave cheeseburger on the eurostar and catching a few much needed z's we made are way to the hotel. (A little note needs to be inserted here...I started writing this post in October and stopped after getting to this point because I needed to find the name of the kindly Parisian journalist who made our time in the city of lights oh so faboosh...H has told me a million times but it is very French and I cannot commit it to my hopelessly English speaking brain so the post continues and he will be known only as Mr Paris until I can correct it).

Update - The food writers names is Henri Yadan...YAY!

The Raddisson Trocedero was simply stunning. It was everything I hoped it would be. Classic French furnishings, perfect location! Henri met us before we had even checked in and whisked us away to L'Arc, a modern French restaurant in a prime position with the most perfect views of the Ard de Triumphe you will ever see. We ate like kings and banished all memories of the microwaved cheeseburger. Unfortunately I have no idea what we ate as we didn't order, we were just fed but the butter alone was worth the journey!

That night we ate at Michel Rostang - a hook up via H's employers..who also picked up the tab (it is always a concern when the woman - that's me - is handed a menu with no prices...) Again we were treated and ate like royalty. The wild duck being the absolute highest point among many.

We had only one full day in Paris and that was spent on a day trip to Versailles. A cycling day trip that is. I won't bore you with the details but let me say this...if you book a cycling tour please ensure you know how to ride a bike, otherwise there is a genuine risk that you will fall off said bike and scream the 'F-Word' at your husband in the middle of one of the most picturesque places on the planet resulting in American tourists 'tutting' disapprovingly...let's move on. We did have a fantastic picnic after a stop at the markets (pictured). This was also the site for the aforementioned 'cheesegasms', which involved H making very strange noises as we approached the many fromage stalls.

Our final night was spent at a newish restaurant recommended by Henri, Mini Palais. Again all French menus but very helpful waiters who confirmed my guess at 'chicken' and proceeded to bring me a bit of very fine roast chook...i mean le chook.

We were back in London 5 minutes before my bestie and her husband packed us in the back of the vauxhall for a mini-break in Cornwall which included a visit to Rick Stein's Seafood restaurant in Padstow. It DID NOT disappoint. There is a couple of pics here, yes that is a half lobster/full foie gras lobe salad. That was H's entree. And yes that is me attempting to fit the entire crab in my mouth at once, BRILL!

For our final few days we spent most of the time in pubs with breaks for visits to Borough Markets and a very speccy lunch at the Harwood Arms in Fulham, including English lamb shoulder, venison and grouse...yummers.

So that about sums it up, I'll spare you the emotional turmoil of returning to a place we once called home and still long to, and once again having to say good bye to my most precious friends not to mention my little blister (sister)...hmmm, maybe you weren't spared after all.

I'm sorry it took so long to wind this one up, i started writing in October and am typing now well into the new year but here it is...almost time for another trip me thinks!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sympathy Takes You Places

So yesterday's post got a few people a little worried (by a few people I mean my mother)! Don't worry Mum, I'm not about to fling myself of a bridge!

Not long after the post was published I received a text message from my cousin, fashion blogger @sarahstyle (for those of you on twitter). A little bit of sympathy will get you to exciting places these days, as my cousin was texting to say she had a spare ticket to Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Designer Series 3 and would I like to be rescued from another lonely night in? Ummmmmm, yes please.

So I heeled up, threw on my fab new trench coat and dragged my boring old butt into the Melbourne Town Hall, and MAN, am I glad I did.

It's all about who you know (and @sarahstyle seems to know everyone) we were seated on the floor, a mere metre from the runway and in prime position to see the fabulous new creations from the likes of Gorman, Wayne Cooper, Bettina Liano and Arabella Ramsay. The Gorman polka dot dress was a definite fave and I will be looking into investing into it (yes I see my fashion purchases as investments). It really was a fabulous was to pass a chilly September eve and a BIG thank you goes out to my beautiful cousin for thinking of me.

As I strutted my stuff back down Swanston Street, goodie bag in hand I found myself thinking 'a girl could get used to this' and I practiced my best runway walk all the way home. Now, if I could just grow 3 feet...and lose 30 kilos...