Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this archive

I heart Kings Cross

I heart Kings CrossIf there is one thing that I am missing quite badly after leaving London it is the lovely London Stitch N Bitch crew, and as I typed this one of their newsletter just popped into my inbox! I missed the lovely ladies, the weekly meet ups at all types of venues around London and finding out what the Knit the City knitters are up to as they spread their knitting love around London.

I heart Kings CrossWhile looking around for a local knitting group to join, I came across the Iheartkx website. Inviting all knitters to attend one of their knitting circles for the month of September, the various knitted bits and pieces will be used as part of a public art project around Kings Cross.

THE PROJECT

Every year City of Sydney commissions a major community-based public art project as part of Art & About. This year, Reef Knot’s ‘I Heart Kings Cross’ project was chosen to engage with the truly diverse and spirited community of Kings Cross as well as local artists.

Over two months Reef Knot will collaborate with a team of artists to run assorted knitting circles in Fitzroy Gardens and other local businesses. Then, in early October 2009, the finished pieces will be installed throughout the Cross in a celebration of colour, tolerance and diversity.

‘I Heart Kings Cross’ will be installed from 10-25 October.

I heart Kings CrossFrom memory this was indeed the biggest collaborative knitting project that I have seen in Sydney. By mid October, expect to see sometimes dodgy but always lively Kings Cross be covered in knitting.

If interested, there are several knitting circles meeting up on various days of the week, with the biggest group meeting on Saturdays from 10:00-16:00 at the Fitzroy Garden in Kings Cross. More details can be found here.

We’ll be right back once the hours are aligned

We'll be right back after this jetlagSo many photos to to upload and process, I can hardly believe that everything that happened, did took place. A little dazed about being back, nothing has changed aside from the addition of the new SmartGate at Sydney Airport. It was the first time that I used the gate, and as you needed the new chipped passport (and be over 18) to use it I was one of the very few from my flight who can use it.

It was mildly amusing to have one of the Customs officer dragged me from the customs line once he spotted my passport, and asked if I was over 18 before gleefully ushering me to the nearest gate and watched excitedly as I scanned my passport. I’m guessing the gates are still a novelty even for them…

Long days of summer

Goodbye Primrose Hill (for now)

In the last few weeks I experienced some of the best summer days in this side of the world so far. Hardly a cloud in the sky for days at a time and I managed to get a tan while bumming around in the various parks scattered in central London. It’s amazing how much happier Londoners are when the sun is out, rather like Snow Day though not as inconvenient.

The weather held for both days of Blur’s concerts at Hyde Park. Although we were too far away to see them on stage, the screens made up for the lack of visual. It was a rather amazing concert in terms of atmosphere than anything else with possibly the most efficient beer tent in a gig. You were ushered into line, yelled to come and order your beer or cider and ushered out within minutes. Quite inspiring really. I was a little disappointed that Vampire Weekend was not part of the support line up for Thursday, but blur was in fine form that night.

Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera thinking that it is likely to be confiscated, but by now there should be plenty of photos flooding the web.

A taste of London

Taste Festival 2009

Third week in London and all the moving around between different states of limbo made me forget about blogging. Take Taste Festival for example I went two weekends ago and barely had time to sit down and cull the photos let alone write about it properly. Strangely enough the weather remained sunny two weeks ago and if the weather channel can be believed London is in a middle of a HEAT WAVE (!!) for the next glorious week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of July will be as clear and the Blur concert this Thursday will not be an excercise in mass shower.

Anyway back to Taste London 2009 at Regents Park where the number of people crowded in small sectioned area has to be seen to be believed. It was X‘s birthday and going to taste was part of the celebration.  I waited for X and J before we ventured in with out wad of crowns. I didn’t know what to expect, only with a very vague idea that it was similar to the Food and Wine Fair back home with the added pleasure of an entry fee. At around £20 for a general entry it was not the cheapest food event I have been to, particularly with all the added crown vouchers you will still need to purchase in order to buy the meals from the various stalls. The price didn’t stop me from trying it once, particularly as  a number of the restaurants do have their iconic dishes on order and the idea of having access to a smorgabord of the best London can provide was too tempting to miss.

Taste Festival 2009

We first wandered to Benares and ordered their Tandoor smoked lamb chops with mint chutney, recommended by my housemate as the value for money buy. Somehow our nose led us to another lamb dish straight away with a cool cocktail of strawberry and rum being a welcome break in the middle.

Taste Festival 2009

The second lamb dish wa from Benja a 10 hour low cooked Lamb in Yellow Curry accompanied with cucumber relish. The meat was so tender that it melted the moment it toucher our mouth and much to our delight we notice that we ended up with a bigger portion that expected. That was when we realised that travelling as a pack of three girls had its benefits, all shared dishes we ordered onwards were big enough to feed all three of us.

Taste Festival 2009

There were quite a number highlights that day that it’s actually really difficult to blog about it from memory without salivating. The Ledbury’s celeriac baked in Ash with Hazelnuts, Summer Truffle and a Kromeski of Wild Boar was amazing. There was so much flavour packed in this humble root that it made me look at it in a completely different way.

Taste Festival 2009

L’Anima’s fettuccine with wild mushrooms and summer truffle deserved a mention as it was more truffle than fettuccine. The lady who was shaving the truffle started laughing as I took a number of photos while she was measuring out the truffle and as a result we ended up with a little mound of the stuff. Taste Festival 2009

From ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE DORCHESTER we had the Chilled pea velouté and ricotta scoop, crispy hazelnut bread, which was a lovely entree dish for a summer day. Taste Festival 2009

As for most expensive dish of the day, nothing beats Launceston Place’s iconic ossetra caviar and parsley lolly at 10 crowns per gram. We were down to our last 8 crowns for the day and perhaps because they felt sorry for us, combined with the fact that it was half an hour to closing we managed to nab a rather heftier serving of 3 grams at the bargain basement price of 8 crowns. Taste Festival 2009

After four hours of continuos eating in the sun, avoiding elbows and over eager gourmettes we found a cuban bar serving martinis playing the entire Flight of the Conchords album. It can’t be a more perfect day…

Taste Festival 2009

Easter

Chain and church

Happy Easter  to you, be you church goer, chocolate eater, hot cross bun lover or whatever you are today. My legs are in pain from a dusk and nearly dawn I did last night, photos are coming, but in the meantime Jennifer Fallon’s latest blog entry made me smile.

Sunburst

In between wincing in pain while trying not to contemplate said pain I’m still trying to finish Vivian, but got a little distracted when I notice my ball of yarn has some rather nice texture once I use up half of the skein. Yes, I will try to be a bit more productive in my next blog, but I can’t resist to use these old photos from last year’s Sydenham to Redfern walk.

Caffeinated yarnage

Fly in the ointment

Fly fly away

The last two weeks had been a little stressful in a completely unplanned way. It all started early last week when I received an email stating that the Home Office had changed the requirements for the tier 1 (general) visa.

…tighten new criteria against which highly skilled migrants seeking entry to the United Kingdom are judged, by raising the qualifications and salary required for tier 1 (General) of the PBS to a Master’s degree and a minimum salary of £20,000

What this meant was that after 1st April 2009, the minimum education requirement for Tier 1 is a Master’s degree as well as a minimum salary of 20,000 per year. It was the first bit that threw me out completely, as with only a Bachelor’s degree and no likelihood of attaining one in 3 months this will take me out of the running completely.

It dawned on me that unless I would like to have any chance of staying within the UK beyond July I will need to virtually rip myself away from my job, my home and head home as soon as I can. It took the next few days to go through all the the different stages from denial, anger to hope. It wasn’t the best 48 hours of my life, but I am hopeful that I have enough points to apply for the visa under the old system.

I was appalled at how quickly they were planning to make the changes, and not happy at all that no further information was available regarding the new requirements. In a lot of ways it felt like a knee jerk response to the economic downturn and I wonder whether they will reverse it in the next three years.

If you are reading this and are thinking of switching to the Tier 1 visa, but do not have a Master’s degree it might be an idea to start thinking whether it would be of benefit to apply for your Visa before the 1st of April 2009. Yes, it’s a nightmare, but it does give you the chance to stay for longer in the UK.

 

 

Vivian and drowning in baked goods

Sunday brunch

Our kitchen is currently packed with enough freshly baked good to keep us carb happy for the rest of the week. My housemate is back to his baking frenzy and we currently have a small mountain made up of delicious rock cakes. After nearly losing a tooth and breaking my jaw in the process, my past experience with rock cakes had been rather rocky (ahem). Though this version is lovely and more scone like, definitely give it a go if you have a kilogram of flour lying around.

My suggestion is to have it smothered with butter and fig jam. I bought a giant jar of the most delicious fig jam from Carluccio’s and can’t help but spread the love on any roll, toast or bread like substance.

On the knitting front, redrice bubble and I are knitting Vivian as our knit a long. So far, we’ve frogged it twice, but loving the pattern itself. It’s interesting enough to be challenging, but there’s enough repetition for it not too be too frustrating. I have knitted it using Bendigo Wooll’s classic 8ply with the colour being coffee. It will end up being a lighter hoodie than specified, but figured that it will be spring by the time I finish this one.

Vivian in progress,

New Year fireworks finale

Happy New Year 2009

2009 opened with a bang for me. Definitely the best light show in Sydney in a long while and by pure miracle we managed to get a decent spot in Milsons Point without having to camp for the entire day. I remembered in previous years the fireworks were concentrated on a single location so unless you have a good view of the harbour or the bridge, you ended up on missing on half of the action. For some reason they managed to get the right combination of different locations and variety of fireworks to make the 12 minutes simply amazing. Add the no cloud factor and a smooth running bus and train system it was a great night all around.


New Year fireworks finale

Originally uploaded by mirvettium

This side of Christmas

365

It’s mental how busy life have been once the first week of December sneaked by. I have been taking photos, but just have not had the time to post anything eventhough a million different things happened in the interim.

I’m currently waiting around for my flight to go to New York. Feeling a little confused seeing familiar names in London but located in New York e.g. Soho, Greenwich. My head will probably implode when trying to convert the time difference from London to New York (they are 5 hours behind) and then trying to readjust when I arrive in Sydney (16 hour time difference betweeen NY and Sydney).

Wish me luck…

Feed me

For those who are interested or not…

http://www.livejournal.com/friends/add.bml?user=mirgraphy