Diary

Lockdown Diary: Day 2

Happy Valentine‘s Day! It’s the second day of the third lockdown. Gah! As soon as I typed it, I realised how polarising those two first two sentences were. Alas, both are valid.

My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.

Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.

We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.

I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.

After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.

There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.

Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:

My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for,  I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.

I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love πŸ’Œ.

 β₯K

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cafe cucinetta murphy street south Yarra Nine of Pentacles
Tarot

Dining With The Nine of Pentacles

I drew the Nine of Pentacles today from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck as a daily tarot reading. The card portrayed a banquet from the reader POV. Later, on the same day, Liz treated me the most delicious Italian dinner I have ever eaten in Melbourne at Cucinetta.

Right before we ate, I managed to snap a picture of our meals which reminded me of the image on the card. And that, my friend, was one of tarot-imitating-life moments for me.

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First Quarter Moon Aquarius
Diary

210121

Happy Aquarius season β™’οΈŽ guys!

I haven’t been writing for a week here, the longest period since I started this blog last year. I am feeling a wee bit of a writer-FOMO, so here are some random observations I noted down in the journal recently —

I use a 400-page black Moleskine to journal. It was a birthday gift from Fafa. At first, I thought it would be my annual journal. But now, only five months in and having used up 3/4 of it, I think I will be getting myself a new journal for my half-birthday in March.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been writing much on the blog is because I am hitting a tarot-reading wall. For some reason, I have been feeling a little less excited about journaling about tarot recently. Not sure whether I am even allowed to say that, but that’s the truth. I have come up with solutions, though. I have started journaling tarot with prompts given by the Moon Void Tarot‘s creator, Stefanie Caponi to honor the Aquarius season (my Moon sign).

I also bought another tarot deckβ€”my first-quarter purchase (hey, I lasted 20 days! Now, I have to go through the next 70-something days without buying another deck). It’s the Fifth Spirit Tarot which sits on top of my 2021 tarot deck list. Yesterday, I saw that Two Sided Tarot has it listed on their website and with only AUD10 shipping, I knew I shouldn’t wait any longer.

One last thing about tarot: I am looking for a tarot deck with continuity or a similar theme throughout the deck. The Moon Void Tarot deck has been the closest I’ve got, but the non-human court-cards broke the singular theme thing that it had going for it.

Even though I haven’t been writing much here, I have been compiling random notes I wrote here and there β€” paper and digital β€” into my Day One App. Maybe I can share some of the not-super-boring ones here?

Also, even though I haven’t been writing much, I have been running. I registered for a measly 10km run in October. That gets me going. I am clocking in 3km every run, but with an embarrassing pace to be shared here.

The last best coffee I had was well, not a coffee. We went to Brunswick last weekend to feast on a crab at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. On the way back, we stopped at one of my favourite coffee shops in Melbourne for some sit-down coffee chai.

This month, I dreamt of Fafa bringing and or showing me a ladybug. Twice. Google told me that it’s a symbol of good luck.

This week, I tried a new Thai dish called Hor Mok for the first time. It’s steamed fish cooked with coconut cream, curry and basil leaf served banana leaf cup. I ordered it because it reminded me of Kerala Meen Pollichathu, but it tasted closer to Cambodian Fish Amok.

Yesterday, I found out that all this while I have been cooking and eating butter that has expired in 2019.

Today, I woke up reminiscing about my Uni time. Jik and I used to sneak into each others class. Even though we majored in different subjects and went to different Universities. And hers was more fun than my boring Accounting lectures.  Then, I realized that taking up CPA is like adopting the worst part of schooling-the studying and exam parts. Ugh!

I realize more and more that I am a creature of routines and rituals. So instead of ignoring it, I should use those things as a foundation of my daily life.

Half-naked yoga brings me joy.

β™’οΈŽ β₯K

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Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos
Photography

5 Frames Of.. Meletos Winery Staycation on Kodak ColorPlus 400

Our Meletos staycation at the end of last year turned out to be so-so only.

Although the weather was gorgeous that weekend, the winery was beautiful and their books collection was interesting; the food, the service and the room could be much better. I will write more about it soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the 5 frames of our winery stay which I took with Mjuii film camera using Kodak Colorplus 400.

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos Living Room
Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos Journal
Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos
Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Meletos
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Happy New Year 2020
Celebrations, Diary

Happy New Year 2021

I wish you a happier, easier and more magickally precedented year πŸ’›

Today we checked out from the lovely farmhouse airbnb we have been staying for a week, leaving Echuca behind and went back home to Melbourne.

On the way, we stopped at Bendigo where we had not-bad-for-a-town-lunch at Cantina Mexicana – though having to pay $3 for their bland AF sauce pinched me a little bit. Before leaving Bendigo, I went inside the Bendigo Art Gallery gift shop to almost buy a jewellery which I thought was made by an indigenous artist. It wasn’t. I didn’t get it.

3 hour drive later, we were back in our cozy Melbourne apartment. I was tired enough to take a short nap before the Japanese dinner we booked to continue the tradition of eating Japanese food and drinking sake on the new year’s day, even though we weren’t in Japan.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good experience. The food was below standard, especially for the price they charge. Oh well, at least we got to eat Japanese food and tried a new thing (we had never been to the restaurant before and definitely never coming back) on new year’s day.

Back at home, I called my parents to once again wish them a very happy new year and promised that I would come ASAP once I got the vaccine. Then, I called Jik and we went on talking about everything under the sun that went on for more then two hours. After that, I listed down a few things I am grateful for today and with that I drifted off to the la la land.

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Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia
Diary, Travel

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 5

Another good night sleep (Fafa complained that I started all my recent entries with the status of my sleep ━ it’s a diary, Fa, That’s how I write my diary) and stayed in bed for some time while Fafa cooked us Farmer’s breakfast. I so can get adjusted to this morning routine!

Chicken Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

After breakfast and doing my daily tarot-card draw (Four of Wands), we went out to feed Korona and Kovid ━ the chickens, and I continued walking around the compound for some morning bird-watching session. It’s one of the self-care activities that nourish the old-soul in me.

After an hour in the blazing sun and failing to see any bird from close-proximity, I gave up. More than this, Amma for sure would complain of me being tanner than usual.

Since it’s our anniversary (we met in a bar in Singapore 11 years ago) we thought we would do something different instead of lazing around the farmhouse. We ended up driving to Bendigo town and roamed around the unexpectedly pleasant art-gallery there.

Aboriginal Painting Bendigo Art Gallery Moon

My favourite pieces include the dot paintings, the 1800s European paintings with strong oriental influenced and a wood-block painting of Asakusa temple. There were also beautiful indigenous pattern silk scarf and moon inspired jewellery made by local indigenous artist. In the end, I got the paper towel for our home and a zipper case for Jik, both in a same aboriginal print.

Art-upped, we walked around the town centre for some late lunch, forgetting for a moment that we were in a small town in Australia and nothing opens past 3 PM except for some chain restaurants.

Grill’d is a famous burger chain in Australia that claimed that they make healthy burgers. Since I’m not fond of burgers at all, I have never tried them, until today. It was okay, but not something I would go for again if there is any other choice.

Despite the lunch blunder, I like Bendigo, dare I say, more than Echuca. On the drive back home I told Fafa, I could retire there. He pretended not to hear me.

One-hour later, we were back in the Echuca farm. Just in time for me to shower, write the anniversary card I got for Fafa and watch an hour of Come Dine With Me together. After this, I am going do the Cold full-moon in Cancer (The Chariot) tarot spread, call my parents and read. Later tonight, if the wind storm is not so bad, Fafa and I are going to do some star-gazing.

Not a bad way to celebrate anniversary, eh?

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Murray River Paddlesteamers Echuca
Diary, Travel

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 4

I woke up from another day of excellent sleep and a bit later than usual, but why not eh? After all, it’s my vacation days. I pulled the card of the day ━ Page of Wands ━ journaled a bit about it while updating my to-do list for the next two days and next year.

After breakfast, we went to the Echuca town centre, which is best to be avoided during the holiday season as it’s crowded from assortments of tourist.

We had to go there because it’s also where the Murray River Echuca Paddlestreamer docks. We boarded the 2-hour cruise before noon and sat on the top-deck so we could enjoy the uninterrupted view of the river while enjoying some drinks and reminiscing the old times.

After the recommendation of a colleague, I booked the paddle streamer, but I came with low expectations. I mean, I have seen the Murray River before, it’s brown. How fun could it be cruising through at brown coloured water, I thought. It turned out to be a scenic journey where we got to see the other side of Echuca, including the camping site, private-boat families, kayaking couples, inns by the river and a gorgeous glasshouse.

By the time they put us back on the land, we were hungry and decided to try our luck to find a decentish food in the very crowded town centre. After being turned down by a couple of places, we went inside Monkee & Co Asian Kitchen. Again, I kept my expectation low because I couldn’t see any Asian running the restaurant. I was proven wrong the second time today. The coconut lime seafood curry I ordered was sublime! So was Fafa’s Rendang Bao, so much so that suggested we go there again tomorrow.

Back at the farmhouse, I fed the chickens (which I named Kovid and Korona), lit the Christmas candle I got on a hefty discount from the lovely people at The Candle Scent and put the flowers we got from Coles into a vase and settled for a nap. But I was too restless (maybe too well-rested?), so I went to the beautifully-lit kitchen to try a new summer salad recipe.

This time it included avocado, watermelon and feta cheese. Once it was ready, we sat for a simple dinner of the said salad and spicy Indo instant noodle.

I took a shower before writing this. The plan was to write today’s happenings and cross-off a few things of my to-do list today, but all I want to do is sit in the living room with the TV on, read a book lazily and drink a chilled glass of wine.

You know what, I might do just that. After all, I am already half-way through my holiday (acutely aware and dreading this), I shall enjoy as much as I can by doing all the things I want and not the things I need/must/should do.

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Cancer Full Moon Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia
Diary, Travel

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 3

I might have jinxed it when I wrote about the most peaceful sleep I had in months on my first night here — because neither of us got much sleep yesterday, no thanks to the severe wind storm. It had started yesterday afternoon, but by midnight it was a full-blown storm. The whole house kept rattling and the trees swooshing hard that it kept us awake, tossing and turning all night. On top of that, I was so worried that the strong ass wind would blow the chickens away.

When I saw the sunrise, I called defeat and jumped into the shower to freshen up. After pulling the card of the day (Six of Wands again) checking the chickens were still there and alive, Fafa and I sat for a proper breakfast.

We also met the farm owner, a photographer who lives in the bigger house nearby with her farmer husband and their three young kids. She filled us in with the history of the farmhouse. It was locked for 15 years before they bought and turned it into Airbnb earlier this year.

By mid-morning I couldn’t keep my eyes open and strangely felt cold in the 35-degree weather, so I turned on the heater in the bedroom and started reading the latest book Fafa got me (The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris Book by Lindsey Tramuta) before snoozing off.

It was past 1 PM when Fafa woke me up. He offered to drive us to a neighbouring town, Kyabram, for some Thai lunch, which I quickly welcomed since Asian food means rice and I haven’t had rice since the day before yesterday. After a 20 minutes drive, we were greeted by an empty town. There goes my rice dream for the day. We then tried our luck in another town, Rochester and were enticed by the menu board that offered both Thai beef salad and sriracha burger. Unfortunately, once we were inside, they told us they were only serving the display counter food. All were sad looking, but I was already hungry by then. I settled with the savoury scones thinking how bad could a scone be. It was bland bad.

So far, the day wasn’t going as I envisioned it to be. On the way home, Fafa, God bless his heart, offered to cook us some steak tonight, which of course I replied with a “yes please!“.

When we came home, I took another shower to wash the dust and heat off and settled in on the dining table with some grapes, spicy chips and a big glass of wine. With that, I could slowly feel I am back on track with the vacation vibes.

Since the weather was not too crazy and the sky was pretty blue-ish, I went out to greet the cattle that were walking back to the parlour for their second and last milking of the day.

By the time I came back, Fafa had started preparing the steak. With an addition of the quick-n-easy Aunty Jen’s summer salad (this time I added the zucchini freshly plucked from the farm) , a glass of wine and a bottle of Furphy we sat for a delicious meal.

After dinner, I prepared a bath for myself using one of the three Lush bath bombs I treated myself for Diwali. Who knew, soaking in the bathtub with a glass of wine while listening to the Wildly Tarot podcast was exactly what my soul, body and mind needed to heal and rejuvenate.

I feel so relaxed. Tonight I have a back to back Come Dine With Me starting from 10 PM, Gone Surfing tea from T2Tea to keep me warm and Home Body by Rupi Kaur downloaded on my kindle. Oh, also some stargazing in between ━ it’s almost full moon (CancerThe Chariot) tonight and it looks so beautiful.

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Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia
Musings

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 2

In less than 24 hours of staying here, I have decided to 1) buy a house with a similar layout in the city and 2) fill it with vintage furniture and antique knick-knacks 3) come back here next year 4) buy a farm+farmhouse as our holiday+retirement house in the future. So yes, in short, the farm stay is going well.

I was asleep within a few minutes; I put my head onto the soft pillow yesterday night. And sadly, that has been a while, back home, I usually toss and turn and wake up a few times during the night. Not to mention the concurring nightmares I have been having throughout December.

I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed — greeted by a gorgeous sunrise which can be seen from our bedroom window. I stayed in bed, half-asleep and listed ten things I am grateful for.

Since I haven’t had such a good morning for a while, I thought I’d leverage it by picking up running again. Thankfully, I had some sense to pack up my running gear into the car yesterday πŸ˜€ The run was well, hard and pretty embarrassing stat-wise, but hey at least I am restarting again.

I came back to the farmhouse with smell of bacon filling the air in the kitchen. Fafa was cooking us a full-set of brekkie. Damn, the day is getting better and better.

After breakfast, I retreat to the dining room, which I called the Tech-room to do some tarot reading (my card of the day was the Six of Wands and Fafa’s was the Two of Wands) while listening to the Tarot Wildy podcast and sipping the home-made cappuccino.

Around midday, we went out with the plan of having lunch at the Echuca town-centre. However, all the places are either closed or full or have the least appetising menu ever. I told Fafa I would make lunch for us instead, just that he has to wait for a bit longer.

I made one-pot- pasta with four basic ingredients, including pasta. And salad — which I first had at Jen’s place when she invited us for early Christmas lunch some weeks ago. I loved it so much that I asked her for the recipe.

Aunty Jen's Summer Salad

Aunty Jen’s Summer Salad


(serves two hungry people): one big red onion, three medium-sized tomatoes, mozzarella (can be replaced with bocconcini), salad leaves, fresh basil and any stone fruit. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste.

My tweaks: I forgot to put the stone fruit! but I added a bit of cranberries, green grapes, slivers of almonds and a dash of chilli powder just because we both like it spicy.

After the super late lunch, we retired to the sofa where Fafa watched the boxing day test’s continuation, while I dozed off (so much for reading the books I brought).

We then fed the chickens, greeted the cows and snacked at the porch. We went in soon after as the weather was the complete opposite of the blue-sky yesterday and this morning. I think there is a huge storm coming our way tonight. I’m off to take a shower now. After that the plan is to curl up on the comfy sofa with a book and a glass of wine.

Hope you are having a nice relaxing break as well, wherever you are. More tomorrow – xo.

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