Happy Year of the Sheep (or Goat, or Ram)

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Happy Chinese New Year, apparently a new year lost in translation literally! Which is it? The year of the sheep, the goat, or the ram? A Chinese  friend explained to me the source of the confusion comes down to the translation of the Mandarin symbol for this year “Yang” to English. You see “Yang” without being qualified apparently refers pretty much to any hooved animal that eats grass. I decided to go with the sheep because I am a kiwi and well…NZ is home to more than 60 million sheep ( and 3 million people).

Your Caprinae animal of choice aside; Sydney happens to be hosting one of the biggest Chinese New Year festivals outside of Asia! This is mostly due to Australia’s close ties to Asia and the large Asian community here. The celebration thus far consisted of an exhibition of 90 rainbow coloured Terracotta warriors located in Circular Quay, colourful lanterns and food stalls have lined Darling harbour, twilight parades, and fireworks.

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>> There was lots of drumming and dragons dancing around Chinatown, unfortunately I was unsuccessful in my attempt to take a photo of the dragon but I think I might have succeeded in perforating my eardrums.

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>>And if you pass through the gate, you will have good luck and prosper for the entire year.

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>> I went to the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition with Kathy on Friday night in Circular Quay

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>> Greg and I checked out the Darling Harbour celebrations on Saturday, it was jam packed with people.

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>> The lantern displays were breath taking, and have you noticed how Greg traded in his England Cricket Jersey with the Black Caps one? Shortly after England’s abysmal performance against NZ last week!

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>> I loved taking photos of the reflection of the lanterns against the water.

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Whatever floats your goat; Happy 2015 Lunar year.

Keeping up with the new Joneses

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I have a beautiful engagement ring; it’s a Tiffany classic brilliant cut, one carat, D colour, VS1 clarity! If you have no clue what this means? Let me translate it to ya; basically a whole lot of Ka-ching $$$! One of my best friends had gotten engaged a year earlier than me and she got a 0.75 Carat……I simply had to keep up (or one-up) with her (poor Greg, literally!)….Funnily enough, our third friend got engaged after me and she got a 1.1 Carat!!!! Were we a bunch of silly 20 something year old girls? Most likely….but what if we were displaying a perfectly natural human tendency to want what our peers have? After all, isn’t this the underlying notion behind the idiom “keeping up with the Joneses”?

And while sadly my early twenties are long behind me, thankfully so is my lack of awareness of my consumer habits! I am certainly mindful not to let the Joneses influence them these days! This was until recently, when I heard, apparently, the Good Ol’ Joneses have turned minimalist, socially responsible and moved into an ecofriendly pop-up dwelling in Melbourne’s Federation Square on the 10th Feb 2015 (and until the 15th Feb 2015)!

You can read about the New Joneses Project here  and this is the link to it; www.thenewjoneses.com! Essentially, the project is a showcase of ideas showing people how they can do more with less, maximising resources and minimising waste. Unfortunately I missed out on visiting the new Joneses (Thanks to Hallmark Inc. marketing masterminds, remember I rambled about it here). Nevermind, I am sure the new and improved Joneses will be back…perhaps next time they can set up home in Sydney?  And I tell you what….those new Joneses I would happily live like.

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P.S. The photos are from my last trip to Melbourne, you can see more here, here, and here!

The Valentine ’s Day Grouch

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I have to confess; I am a bit of a Valentine ’s Day grouch! Yes, I do harbour strong anti “this National Day of Love” sentiments and its constructed formulaic romance! Regardless of my relationship status, I have too often walked away from this day either disappointed, irritated or annoyed,or all of the above.

In my flying-solo Valentine’s Days; I remember walking past the pink balloons, chocolate hearts and red roses….THAT I WASN’T GETTING and feeling ever so disappointed! Later on after being in a relationship, the disappointment did not subside, but was rather combined with irritation at this oppressive hallmark forced romance as the realisation set in; it is no more than contrived pinky red fever pitch hype!

Even now, though Greg and I treat V Day with mild indifference (we get each other small gifts at nominal cost, which are minimalist lifestyle appropriate, of course) yet somehow V Day still has the upper annoying hand!

True to our stance we had all but forgotten V Day is this Saturday….. In fact this weekend to us was no more than a summer’s weekend seemingly free from any major social engagements and would be ideally utilised for an overdue visit to Melbourne to catch up with friends! Only to find out, the crappiest of hotels in Melbourne are charging almost $400 per night on the Qantas website!!!!

We also ruled out cinemas and restaurants as entertainment options this weekend, as they will be chocker block! So here we go Valentine’s is ruining a perfectly good weekend….yet again.

Finally, we’ve made plans to catch up with our friend Angelina and head out of the city to Granville for some top notch charcoal chicken at El-Jannah…Not your traditional Valentine’s but finger licking good nonetheless :-)

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>>Greg gave me a single Red Rose

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>> We had our one Red Rose Ceremony just as painful as that of the Bachelor Show (because I made Greg hold the rose out on the balcony so I can take a nice photo of it….and well, yes, it took me a few attempts to get this nice “Bokeh” affect!)

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>> I made Greg this lolly Jar for V Day ( with the help of a Frolleague, thanks Atousa!) after a long day at work and when we’ve just had enough for the day…we decided to utilise the office supplies towards more creative ventures!

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