Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fuchsia in Seattle

My favourite season of the year is here – yes the Christmas and holiday season! This is always the time of year to relax and unwind, when the clockwork of the world stops for just a moment to let the little things like hot chocolate and gingerbread to take centre stage Or if you’re in Australia, this would be beaches and ice lollies! This season also marks the Saviour's birth - God's gift to us One thing I’ve been doing in the recent years at this time is going into our nearest Lindt store (everyone knows I looove Lindt!) and filling up one of their large Christmas boxes with my favourite flavours. I get so excited doing it each year and stuffing as much chocolate as I can to the satisfaction of my inner child

It is bursting at the corners! Hahaha help I’m so greedy…

This year I also got to spend my holidays in Seattle, in the United States Apart from being sick (you would not believe how sick I was ) for more than half the trip where I was forced to stay indoors, it was mostly quite enjoyable. Being in Australia, it is always summer during Christmas, so I thought this would be one of the rare times I’d get to experience a white wintry Christmas! It didn’t snow however during the time I was there, though it was definitely icy cold and wintry One thing to note about the weather there is that it is very much in contrast with Melbourne’s! Our notorious weather changes every single day – even several times within a day! But Seattle’s weather is constantly rainy. It is a little bit odd that when I wake up, it’s raining, I leave the house, it’s raining, I come back, it’s raining, and I go to bed, it’s still raining! It also rains really hard; my umbrella broke within the first week being there I had to get a replacement one promptly of course, and I won’t complain too much because I got one that is sturdy yet tiny enough to fit in my bag. The only thing is that the pink colour is way too bright for my liking but I wasn’t given too many choices at the time.

Pretty sure I’d never be lost in a crowd with such a bright fuchsia pink!

I visited the Space Needle on yet another one of those rainy days, as can be seen from the water drops on the glass in the photo. It is the city’s main tourist attraction and landmark. The panoramic view of the city from the observation deck was stunning! J suggested that we purchase the evening tickets so that we could see the city at night – such a great decision. I thought the night view of the city all lit up was incredible, and it seemed like the rain contributed to a sort of glowing effect around the street lights.

Incredible view of Seattle at night.

Also visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass, which is an exhibit of beautiful and elaborate glass art. The indoor exhibit showcased brightly lit glass art against a dark room, so that was really pretty. The outdoor exhibit didn’t disappoint either, with glass art forming part of the garden landscape.

Pretty but almost kind of scary – what if someone runs into the glass by accident?

The glass garden~

Close to the city’s waterfront is the Pike Place Market, where independent sellers display unique wares from their stalls. It is a lot like our Queen Victoria Market, except with a greater variety of wares and slightly bigger with several levels, though the paths are more narrow. There is also an amazing French bakery at the market, where I happily had my fill of sweet buttery French pastries!

Christmas decorations in Redmond Town Centre

I had a pretty awesome holiday overall, despite being sick and stuck indoors The place and travel experience was amazing and obviously there’s so much I haven’t seen and done. I must mention though that it is such a ridiculously long flight between Australia and America! When I was returning to Australia, I boarded the plane on Sunday afternoon and landed on Tuesday morning – I literally lost two days in the air (okay, including time zone difference). But worth it, right! Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and holiday season, and to more fun travels next year!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bundle of birthday sweets

My birthday has arrived again, as it is meant to every year! I haven’t really celebrated my birthday properly for many years now since I always either had examinations, or papers to write, or something to do during the time. I also have been shying away from making a huge fuss of this day because I’ve been feeling really old and almost slightly glum about ageing every year I think this age is kind of a strange time - you seem to be morphing into an adult with responsibilities and are meant to be having all sorts of concrete plans for life, but at the same time you’re kind of not quite there yet and are unsure what you’re supposed to be. Most people whom I’ve shared my concerns with about ageing have laughed and told me that I was nuts. It might be just me, I don’t know! But perhaps it may also be because I’m in a university environment most of the time now and most people I see are younger than myself, and I imagine them to be youthfully carefree and unperturbed by this thing called adulthood.

But anyway, enough of my depressing ramblings. This year I celebrated my birthday at this posh dessert bar that my sister and I have been wanting to go for a long time now This place is renowned for their creative desserts and only allows for bookings in advance. Initially, I didn’t think we’d be able to book this place as we made the decision really late to celebrate here, but I thought I’d just try calling anyway. Lo and behold, the really kind staff member said he was able to squeeze us in at the 8 pm slot so that was really amazing and made our day!

Dark chocolate sphere filled with ice-cream and chocolate drizzle, on a bed of sweet pistachio cake and yummy chewy churros! I really liked the churros – that was my favourite part of the dessert It also looked quite splendid coming in a huge bell jar and that also added to the fun of it! You know what they say; we eat with our eyes!

I think I enjoyed celebrating my birthday more than I thought I would. For once I managed to put aside age and put life into focus. I was able to temporarily shelve the idea of losing my youth, and concentrate on celebrating the moments I have with the important people in my life. It was most certainly a sweet birthday, enjoying the now and the presence of people whom you know love and care about you most.

The other part of sweet was tasting all the yummy desserts of course, but that’s a bonus!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

R U OK? 2015

The R U OK movement is in full swing on campus, with floating yellow balloons everywhere, free hugs (from a big cuddly bear!) , and volunteers handing out free food and asking “R U OK?” to passing strangers. Even the careers space was decorated with bright and happy yellow balloons, which I had to navigate around to get to the desk! For those who are wondering, the R U OK movement is a national day of action and aims to highlight how one little question can make a big difference to people struggling with life While the activities on campus were all thoughtfully planned and done in good intentions, the point was raised recently about how one particular method of approaching strangers to ask "R U OK" was far from welcoming, and instead created pressure for some to be falsely positive. I think it is extremely important that people need to feel safe and are in the company of others they are comfortable with before being able to open up about something as personal as their mental health, or even other emotional issues for that matter. This is one of the reasons why I find prying questions (without being approached) distasteful in general, because all intentions aside, it tends to ignore whether or not the other party is comfortable disclosing their issues to you.

Just so people can understand mental issues better, this comic artist Nick Seluk, has used illustrations to express what living with depression and anxiety is like. I think it’s really well done – take a look!