Posts in the category "Once in a Lifetime" and its subcategories.

Special category for special occasions.


Goodbye next-door neighbours’ kitchen drawers and utensils.
Goodbye their dishwasher and blender.
Goodbye you peeing somewhere upstairs.
Goodbye you little boy who play football in the stairway.
Goodbye neighbours’ washing machines and vacuum cleaners.
Goodbye upstairs neighbours’ furniture that screeches across the floor. (Ever heard of foot pads?)
Goodbye you little boy who keep jumping up and down.
Goodbye the piano with apparently just one key left.

G o o d b y e. I never need to hear you again — we’re moving!

Achievement unlocked

Ahem, it’s been a while. For some reason I haven’t had proper inspiration to write — all the drafts I’ve started have shrivelled at the beginning. The topic of this short “I’m still around” post is not to blame, however. :)

Titanium rings

Achievement unlocked May 31

Cousin It

Every time I go around the flat with a vacuum cleaner, I wonder if I would look good with a bald head.

Not just fresh – still moving!

Ugh, sometimes I hate cooking from fresh produce.

I was making a vegetable soup today with potatoes, carrots, peas… and I was planning on including a cauliflower, too. Once I started peeling it, I noticed several bright green caterpillars wriggling around. There were also a couple in cocoons. I thought, “alright, I’ll rinse them off and see how it looks.” Then I started noticing tiny little caterpillar toilet areas all around the nice white cauliflower… The whole thing flew quickly to the trash. Brrr.

Cabbages and those sorts are probably the worst: there are so many little nooks and crannies for bugs to hide in.

When my godson was younger, I used to look after my aunt’s kids (i.e. my godson and his sister) every summer. I’d also cook for them. One summer they had a little patch of vegetables in the yard so I was asked to make a salad with some home-grown lettuce and carrots. I tried to pick out the cleanest-looking lettuce but peeling away the layers uncovered a nice surprise: two or three slugs. (The thought still gives me shivers.) Slugs are even worse than caterpillars which are kinda cute (as long as they’re not cooked, seasoned, and on my plate).

Luckily I happened to have some frozen broccoli so I used that instead of the cauliflower. I know there can be all sorts of things hidden in packaged foods (mice, crickets, beetles, lizards… just to name but a few from recent news; I also once found a feather in a nut mix) but at least I didn’t see anything!

Post-check post-fix post-check post-fix post-check fix

Home sweet home, indeed. I’m getting so tired of this.

Last summer they started fixing things around the building according to what people had reported. (Well, except for my balcony.) One day I got a note that they’d be fixing my balcony door (I hadn’t reported it but I’m glad they caught there was something wrong with it).

After a while I got a note they’d be checking that the balcony door is ok now. Well, it wasn’t, so I got a second note that they’d be fixing it.

It was at the beginning of this winter, I believe, when I got a note that they’d be checking that the latest fix had fixed it. (It needs to be cold for a while to take the measurements or whatever.) Well, it hadn’t been fixed, so I got a third note that they’d be fixing it.

Last Friday I got a note saying that they’d check the door again on Monday. They checked it today and guess what — I got a note saying that they’re fixing it again, tomorrow!

Sigh. I’ve been living here soon for 2 years and I still have builders marching around my apartment when I’m not around.

Culinary firsts again

In addition to the “boring ol'” fish’n chips at a marina and a tuna wrap at Subway I tried something new again!

  • When we were visiting my friend’s friend we had some fruit scones — they were so good! I have to look for a nice recipe.
  • When we were shopping at Macarthur Square in Cambelltown we had lunch at the food court and had Turkish chicken pide at a kebab place. Soooo good even though it had mushrooms in it (and whatever else, I didn’t want to know after I saw a mushroom). I may try to make a variation of it if I can find a promising-looking recipe. Without the mushrooms.
  • When we were visiting the Australian Museum and shopping in the city on a Sunday (an unusual experience for a Finn, our cities seem quite dead on Sundays because pretty much nothing’s open) I had some sushi! I wouldn’t eat any of the raw stuff, so I had a cooked tuna & cucumber roll (I only had one because we had eaten a lot of noodles for the main lunch). It tasted nice and I would try some again.
  • The same Sunday we had Chinese for dinner and I had honey king prawns (now that I read my old posts I realise I had a prawn at the Japanese restaurant last time) and squid. They were alright; I wouldn’t eat prawns or squid regularly cause I’m fussy about texture and they were just, ewww. *shivers*

I also had some lamb — still far from my favourite meat, it’s the texture issue — which I rarely/never do, and some pork on the air plane because the chicken dish would’ve had mushroom sauce (it spreads all over the food). At least I got to eat some rice from the pork dish.


I left with a suitcase of 14 kilos (~31 lb) and came back with a suitcase of 17 kilos (~37.5 lb). 3 kilos of souvenirs then? Wrong. I carried most of them in my backpack on-board because I was worried my suitcase would be over the 20kg limit.

I bought a lot of books and Tim Tams (those are mostly for work). I was planning on a big “post-Australia survival kit” but ended up getting only a big bottle of Ocean Spray’s Ruby Red Grapefruit which I raved about for a long time (and sometimes still do) after my previous visit. We only get the cranberry juices in Finland (as far as I’ve been able to find) which is unfair. (We also only get the subs in Subway so I’d like to see them bringing the wraps into their selection.) I was planning on getting some yummy raisin toast but it’s expiration date was soon (in fact, yesterday) and they gotta have something similar in Finland, right? They have to. My friends had very kindly bought me a package of Tim Tams so I didn’t have to buy them for the kit.

Well then, what else? I bought an anniversary edition of Lord of the Rings. I haven’t read it (I have it in Finnish) so maybe now I will. The book contains nice appendices and footnotes and things. I also bought a couple of cookbooks: Women’s Weekly “Just Four Ingredients” booklet (recipes containing max 4 ingredients. Excellent.) and “The Essential Soup Cookbook”. Also a 500 Casseroles recipe book. In addition to those, I got Bill Bryson’s Neither Here nor There (about his travels in Europe) — I’m starting to have a bit of a collection of these. Oh, and I got Dan Brown’s newest, The Lost Symbol, from Frankfurt airport. Then, music: Prodigy’s “Invaders Must Die” and Fall Out Boy’s “From Under the Cork Tree”. And games: Lego Indiana Jones :) and the newest Prince of Persia. I found Tomb Raider Underworld, too, which was on my list but it was still quite expensive.

Then, to the proper souvenirs: from Taronga Zoo I got a commuter coffee mug (I would’ve gotten a regular mug (although it may not have survived the trip so this was probably better) but I didn’t like the designs or colours), a kangaroo necklace, and a kangaroo clutch pin (I sort of collect pins) and from Featherdale I bought a cute kangaroo bookmark. I could’ve bought soooo much more from those places but decided to hold on to my wallet.

That’s pretty much it. Darn, I had room for 3 kilos more…

Featherdale Wildlife Park (Sept 10)

(You may want to read about Taronga Zoo first, but only because of a comment I make there about kangaroos. No biggie.)

On September 10th we visited Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside. In addition to typical enclosures, they have animals strolling around there, among the visitors. Even an emu! I don’t know how that’s not dangerous unless they’ve bred a non-kicking one…

I petted this wallaby who greeted us:

A tame wallaby

And boy were there wallabies.

Lots of wallabies

We spotted a lot of baby wallabies.

Wallabies had babies

And boy were there koalas, too.

Koalas, awake for a change!

I managed to snap a picture of some of the lively ones. This koala climbed down a tree and walked to the next one:

A walking koala

What really surprised me was that they had wombats. Outside. In the sun. I thought they were nocturnal animals!

Wombats - sunbathing!

Here’s an echidna:

An echidna

And guess what? They had kangaroos! (Some of them may’ve been wallabies, I don’t know the difference.)

An alert kangaroo


A kangaroo among visitors

and lots…

They have also lazy kangaroos here

of kangaroos!


They had albinos too!

Albino kangaroos

Of course, they had many many more animals (dingoes, bats, Tasmanian devils (couldn’t get a proper picture), reptiles, and lots of birds).

Taronga Zoo (Sept 6)

It was the Fathers’ Day in Australia when we took off to Taronga Zoo, bright and early. We drove to the city and took a ferry from Circular Quay.

Harbour Bridge

The Opera House (view from ferry)

Of course, there were koalas:

A sleeping koala

Pffft. Old news. :) They seem to like staying in that curled position. Saw countless of koalas like that (koalas here, koalas there, sleeping koalas everywhere).

There were some lovely giraffes:

Giraffes munching away in Taronga
More giraffes

They had had to grow some pretty long necks to get a better view behind those trees there.

There was a baby chimp

Baby chimp

and a baby elephant (Luk Chai)

Baby elephant called Luk Chai

who is a bit of a celebrity.

We were there right on time to catch both the seal and the bird show. It’s amazing how the animals can be trained — especially the seal show was very funny!

OK then, the animal I came all this way (15,000 km/9,400 mi) for: the kangaroo. Did I get to see them this time? Yes. Well, sorta.

Lazy kangaroos

It must’ve been a bit too hot for them to be jumping around. On the way out of the zoo we went by the enclosure one more time:

Buzz of, tourist

Is that kangaroo trying to tell me something…?

Then it was time to head back. This time we took the Sky Safari cable cars down to the wharf.

Sky Safari

Wollongong (Sept 5)

I was invited to come along to a meeting of an old cars club when they went to a restaurant in Wollongong. On the way we stopped at the Sublime Lookout Point, just off Princes Highway in Bulli.

View from Sublime Lookout Point

From there you could see to Stanwell Park which I visited last time.

Then we drove to Wollongong and to a beach/dock there. It was swarming with wedding parties so I had to dodge (with my viewfinder) the wedding couples.


Here’s one party I didn’t manage to dodge:

Pelicans in Wollongong

Then we drove to the restaurant whose name I don’t remember where I had a massive beef hamburger (finished maybe half or three quarters of it) — people said jokingly that I must be really hungry. I didn’t know it would be so huge! I passed dessert grudgingly but I was given a bite of chocolate mousse.