Organic Hand

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My new home

Back again after a few weeks. Hope all of you are well.

In the few weeks that I've disappeared from posting, I've been moving into my new place and sprucing it up. The place is a secure apartment in Potts Point, near King's Cross station. It's rather central, and I usually walk everywhere - 25 minutes to the conservatorium, 15 minutes to the city centre. I'm sharing with another guy also called Adrian and from Singapore too. (More on him later.) So now, I've taken a few pictures for you guys to see.

This is what you see as you walk in the door. The kitchen and rooms are to the left, and the living room is right in front. Yes, the walls are yellow.

Here's a closer picture of the living room. The furniture belong to my flatmate.

We have a nice little kitchen, with several useful appliances fitted in.

And here's my bedroom. Looks like a hotel room, eh? ;-) The furniture in here were all from Ikea, apart from the photo frames. Could you see yourselves in those photos? The orange wall wasn't my idea - it was already there when I moved in- but it does give the room a nice glow.

Here's another view of my bedroom. Being a poor student, all the furniture were taken from the cheapest of the range. Putting it all in costed me under $400. Of course, cheap doesn't have to look cheap - you just need to dress it up a little.

I also have a walk-in wardrobe leading into the bathroom.

Finally, a photo of my desk/study. Desk $39 from Ikea, chair $0.99 from eBay. Very functional. Now, could you guess the name of the flowers hanging in the corner? 10 points to everyone who guesses correctly. :-)

Now that you all have seen my place, when are you coming to visit?

Hasta la vista,
Ace

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sydney Day 04

G'day mates!

I made lots of phone calls today, mostly to real estate agents. It must be costing a bomb now. Oh well...

Anyway, today I went to see a property at Wollstonecroft, in North Sydney which is supposed to be quite a nice area. I thought given that, the place would be quite decent. Oh no.... Never in my wildest dreams did I come to see what I saw. For starters, the place was as insecure as anything. The front door was unlocked. And the door was like paper thin... If you watch detective TV shows like CSI, Missing, or NYPD Blue, this place would be featured in the part where the police kick the door open and flash their guns into the house. It was t h a t bad. The floors are creaky too. Do a few jumping jacks and I'll probably crash through the floorboards. O-bla-di o-bla-da... won't go back there again, that's for sure.

After that saga, I went to Town Hall to attend the choral evensong at St Andrew's Cathedral. Mark, my host, is playing there this evening. There was a special programme on too, as a visiting choir was singing together with the boys of St Andrew's Cathedral Choir. The visitors were members of the Crypt Choir of Kings School in Canterbury, UK. It went pretty well, I thought.

Tonight, being late night shopping night, the shops were open until 9pm. (They normally shut about 6pm.) The big departmental store Myer was open until 10pm, and they were having a magnificent sale there - up to 70% off! Still didn't buy anything from there though. They weren't what I wanted, or they simply didn't have my size. Too bad. However, I did get a Lonsdale shoulder bag from another shop. How interesting is that? Hahah...

Anyway, time for bed.

Chat soon,
Ace

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sydney Day 03

Today was a boring day - house hunting day. I made a few phone calls to see a few places, and managed to get two viewings. Some of the rest I called were already taken up.

Anyway, the first one I saw today was at Surry Hills, which is not too bad actually. It's a nice little flat, rather cozy, with a yard and security. The room is on the small side, but can fit most things in. The only setback is that it is about ten minutes from the train station, and getting there was an uphill task - literally! At one point, the hill was actually quite steep. (Just imagine San Francisco.)

The other one was at Enfield/Strathfield, and you would need to take a bus from the train station to get there. The place is rather interesting, lots of character. I thought that it might be slightly inaccessible at night, especially if I'm having late rehearsals, or attending an opera at the Opera House.

Tomorrow, I shall be looking at a few more places, and then make up my mind.

Peace,
Ace

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sydney Day 02

Still very tired, and recovering from the cold.

I was able to access my student portal today, so found out part of my timetable. About 18 hours a week so far. I think it'll increase when I begin to take on the conducting assistant assignments given by Imre.

I also found out that I did not bring a single pair of jeans over. The afternoon was thus spent looking for a pair in Westfield Shopping Town in Burwood. I managed to find a cheapish pair there for A$39. That'll make dressing much more flexible.

Then just tonight, Mark and I went for a concert in the Sydney Opera House. Frederick Swann, a prominent American organist (ex-president of the American Guild of Organists), was performing along with an orchestra and a 320-strong choir. This was the programme:

L.v. Beethoven - Egmont Overture
A. Guilmant - Symphony Op.42 No.1
All Creatures of our Lord and King (arr. Canadian Brass)
A. Bruckner - Ave Maria
J.S. Bach - Prelude and Fugue in G major
M. Durufle - Requiem Op.9
C.H.H. Parry - I Was Glad

A very nice way to end the night here.

Bonne nuit,
Ace

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sydney Day 01


Yawn! Damn tired... That's the problem with middle-ranged flights. You take off, get a drink, then the first food service after an hour, try to sleep, and before you know it, it's time for breakfast, and then land in a foreign country. I didn't get enough sleep as I had planned for on the plane.

For this trip, I did not manage to get a direct flight into Sydney. Instead, I had to do a transit in Brisbane before going onto Sydney. Apparently, this was so to avoid to closure of Sydney Airport due to excessive fogging in the winter mornings.

Anyway, at least the flight Qantas QF52 to Brisbane didn't have any problems. It was a pretty smooth 6.5 hours onboard the Airbus 330, with a bit of turbulence halfway. The food was ok, the service was above average. I had to clear customs in Brisbane too, and they were a lot faster compared to Sydney. This meant having to claim my luggage their too, and rechecking them in for the domestic flight to Sydney.

Going to Sydney on QF513 was in a Boeing 767, a long and thin aircraft that looks hardly elegant. It was rather cramped inside! Since I only had to endure about an hour plus inside, I didn't complain. I had a window seat, and the view outside kept me occupied, along with stealing a few winks now and then.

Mark Quarmby met me at the airport, and he drove us back to his apartment in Strathfield. We then had a little lunch, and then I was out again to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where I study. Today was Enrolment Day, so I got myself enrolled for the courses of study, and then did some exploring of the place before I met up with Imre Pallo, my tutor.

I feel a cold coming. So it's bedtime for me, I think.

Night,
Ace

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Going to Sydney (again...)


Gosh, I'm leaving for Sydney tonight. There's so much to prepare - all the packing is half done yet - and I'm having breakfast with the kids of the Family Choir. Well, no longer kids really because they're mostly teenagers and young adults. They really are a good bunch. In the past months, I have been teaching some of them the rudiments of music theory and conducting. It was during this time that I got to know them better too, and I shall miss them dearly when I depart.

Just yesterday, we were playing tennis at Farrer Court. Joe, Teresa, Hannah, Miriam, Kevin and myself were there, all arriving at slightly different times. Kevin, a sorta pro tennis player, was kind enough to coach me on my tennis playing. Cheers, bro! Both of us had a nice lunch in Holland Village after that.

This morning after their mass in St Ignatius, the kids decided to go to Al-Azhar for prata. I took a quick drive over and joined them. We had a nice little breakfast and get-together, chatting about various things.

After sending them back to church for choir practice, I headed to deliver some photos to a friend of mine, and then into Funan Centre to get a new hand-drawn luggage to keep my music and organ shoes in. I settled for a Swiss Polo 20-inch case, with wheels that allows the case to move in any directions (apparently). It wasn't too expensive, which was fantastic.

Oh well, time to carry on packing and bid all of you in Singapore adieu for now. Will update you all soon!

Au revoir,
Ace

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Parties

Here are some photos of parties in the past.

This first one is of my eighth birthday. The date printed on the photo is wrong - those were the days when digital functions were being introduced into consumer cameras. It should read 84 11 6 (6th November 1984). Smurfs were in too! Haha!

I can't remember the year this was taken, but it must've been at my cousin Desiree's place celebrating her second birthday. It was a long time ago anyhow. From left is my cousin John, me, cousin Jeannie, and my sister Magdalene. We all enjoy satay. Smurfs are still popular then!

This photo was taken at the airport. My aunt was going for a holiday, so we all went to the airport to see her off. From left is my cousin Desiree, Nigel, myself, and granddad.

Last one for this series. The occasion was my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. Pictured here are myself, granddad and dad. I remember running round the shopping centres scouring for invitation cards for this event - I don't suppose many couples celebrate their golden anniversary, or able to sustain for that long to begin with...

Here endeth the second lesson.