Monthly Archives: August 2013

Anatomy of a hobby

What is 'it' all about?

What is ‘it’ all about?

I have a hobby.

A hobby that could be viewed as pointless, given the amount of time that it takes out of an already hectic life.

One that can be seen as selfish, as it ostensibly benefits no one but myself.

A hobby that has no end goal attached to it, and no clear place in the grand scheme of things that is life.

A rather mundane form of exercise that can, nevertheless, both frustrate and exhilarate, often at the same time. Continue reading


… and so it begins

My six year-old son L is turning seven next month. Last year, I was the official organiser of, and the entertainer for, his birthday party – an event that was held in our backyard with 30 of his friends and cousins (plus his then four year-old brother).

Now, son, let me tell you something about this "Game".

Now, son, let me tell you something about this “Game”.

This year, however, I have been dumped from these duties by my wife. The list of grave errors from 2012 that led to my dismissal in 2013 is pretty long, although most were honestly unintentional.

For instance, I didn’t know that one was suppose to fill the pinata with lollies and goodies. I genuinely believed that the lion-shaped papier-mache that I bought for last year’s party came with all the sweets already pre-loaded. Of course, I only realised my momental mistake when the kids finally smashed the pinata wide open, only to be greeted with nothing but air. What greeted me afterwards were 60 hostile eyes from the children, as well as plenty rolled-to-the-back-of-the-head ones from the parents. Continue reading

Over the hill

If you are a keen runner and you live in Sydney, it is very likely that there is a recurring appointment on your calendar every August. Judging by the record 83,415 people who particpated last Sunday, the appointment appears be on the calendars of even those who don’t live in Sydney.

That's me right there, in the white cap!

That’s me right there, in the white cap!

I am, of course, referring to City-to-Surf, an annual 14km fun run which starts from the middle of the Central Business District and ends at the world-famous Bondi Beach, with some breathtaking habour and ocean scenery along the way.

For me, however, “Fun run” is such a misnomer when it comes to describing this event. Continue reading

From senile to juvenile

When my wife, P, was 21 years old, an incident happened at a nightclub over which she sulked for quite some time. We were with a bunch of friends, ready to enter the establishment for a night of fun, when the bouncer asked for proof of age from each and every one of our entourage. This led to a round of bashful giggles, especially among the female members of our group, who were all well over the 18 age limit.

The bouncer was paying real detailed attention to every single driver’s license,

Why, thank you for asking!

Why, thank you for asking!

occasionally fixing his gaze on its bearer, just to make sure, say, a Vanessa Vukadinovic on the card wasn’t accompanied by a Vanessa Chen in person, or a Jamal Mutombo on the photo wasn’t being carried by someone who looks more like Johan Johansson. When it was finally P’s turn, instead of asking for her ID, the bouncer just said: “Straight through, please. Enjoy“. Continue reading

I ran, I saw, I connected

Despite being a keen runner, I am not very adventurous when it comes to running routes.

Never know who you may come across on this long, winding path.

Never know who you may come across on this long, winding path.

During the week, the pounding usually takes place on a path that stretches along the picturesque Sydney Harbour, either around the Opera House and its nearby greenery, or near Pyrmont and its surrounding waterfront properties. On weekends, it is always along the Cooks River where a walking/running/cycling path meanders past several municipalities, through serene reserves and beautiful parks.

It is on this second route during Saturday and Sunday afternoon runs that I often come across various familar faces. There is the guy who is always practicing the art of La Passeggiata while wearing a typical knock-about Aussie attire, namely, a cricket hat, a football jersey and a pair of shorts that is way too short. Continue reading