Last night I was in bed with my laptop and I heard this really strange clipping noise (just like when you cut your finger nails. Toe nails would be fairly similar too I reckon). It was like nearly 12 and I thought why would Polly cut her nails at this hour? Of course it wasn't her, everywhere the lights were out, and when I heard it coming out of our bathroom and turned the light on it stopped. And then it started again when I went back to bed. I wonder who else is living with us in our bathroom, getting mani pedi done at midnight.
Okay okay I know that everyone probably doesn't know what Christmas and New year's is anymore as that was ages ago, but I was just way too lazy to edit my zillion pictures I'd taken since pre-Christmas. I was working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Boxing Day holiday, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day + the Sunday after, and also New Year's Day holiday (those additional holidays added because the actual holidays were on weekends show that the Aussies are just as lazy as the Vietnamese), so I was catching up on my own hols rather than harming my eyes with extra hours on Photoshop after work. But as I got yesterday and today off, I feel revived, refreshed and reenergised enough to finally get my shit together and some work done.
Anyway, as far as I remember during Christmas season I was just eating all the time. Before Christmas Susan from work organised a fancy afternoon high tea at the Observatory Hotel. Definitely a cool experience - everything was posh and pretty and delicate. However it wouldn't really be something I'd do again too soon - I'd rather go bar hopping like we usually do in Manly and get pissed. Jokes. (The getting pissed part I mean.)
Speaking of getting pissed: That day Cynthia and I met up early to stroll around for last minute Christmas presents and decided to have a quick lunch at Loewenbraeu. That baby chicken wasn't at her fittest and felt sick after a mango weizen; she was proudly telling everyone at the tea how she puked next to Gucci. Unbelievable.
That was when things were still fine.
I apologise for the shit quality of my photos, but this picture is just so adorable. Two of my favourite managers/supervisors!
Polly and I had the 22nd off together so we spontaneously decided to go up to Qstation to have our Christmas lunch. Polly has always been super fond of the Boilerhouse menu and couldn't wait to take me up to her workplace. We got spoiled bigtime with freebies and XXL portions, and sadly we felt a little sick when we finished our meal because we were way too full. But it was just sooo good.
Polly's oysters with mango salsa
Too many breadrolls.
We shared another quail salad (greedy bitches), and for mains Polly had a lovely vegetarian risotto (was it with butternut?), and I myself a fabulous steak with spinach and parsnip. For some reason we also ordered a side of chips we never really touched, and to satisfy our sweet teeth we had a white chocolate parfait to finish. We were pregnant with food.
Christmas Eve I was invited to a very German Christmas dinner at Irina's. Literally every single one at the dinner was German, which was pretty funny for a change. The food was amazing, and chef Roman did a marvellous job with his Christmas turkey. After dinner we rolled down the hill and celebrated Christmas Eve in style at Shore Club. It was too strange, I'm telling you.
Turkey with sweet potato gratin and gravy, salad, and bruschetta
Irina with Daniel, Laurent's monkey brother
25th was a quiet girls night in for Polly and me, with cheese and crackers and wine. I was baking quite a bit during those days as well - for Polly I made berry coconut slices (like the ones I made at college), for work I made raspberry cheesecake brownies, and for my relatives and Laurent I made almond berry muffins (again!), but this time I added a bit of chopped chocolate. Everything came out looking very festive.
Christmas Day holiday was my only day off during that period and the cookie monster promised to make apricot clafoutis (to compete with Curtis Stone). For dinner we unfortunately didn't have much in the fridge, but Laurent was able to fix up the prettiest omelette ever. We also waited to exchange presents on that day (unlike Polly and me - we couldn't wait and were jumping around in the kitchen ripping up Christmas wrapping a week before Christmas; see previous post), plus the weather was really bad (grey and cold), so it felt very much like Christmas.
Oh and maybe you wanna know what I got for Christmas:
And look! From Susan. Aw I'm so happy she reads my blog. :)
Also I got a "I hate my job" mug from Benny, but I left it at work. YES I use it at work, and everyone loves it. ;) I received two cards from Thanh Phuong and Khue Nhu as well, and a letter from the Orths. I love receiving Christmas post! However I have to mention that I send out 18 cards into the world and that was all I got back. I can see I am very much loved by my friends. Jokes. :P
As for me, I got Polly Vans Wayfarer sunnies (because she told me once she wants to get Wayfarers: "You know those sunglasses, ting ting ting *drawing a square with her finger*, like yours.") and the "Stuff every woman needs to know" book, for Laurent a travel diary and Kenzo Power (because he lost his perfume. I know, I like getting people things they need so they will actually use them), for Ben the Social Network book (because he likes making money :P), for Phong a half-year subscription to Time Out Sydney, and Irina "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Susu got the Singapore Black Book as a late present. ;) Oh and at work we did Secret Santa (or Kris Kringle, that's what they call it here), and I gave our Bollywood boss Sudhir Barney Stinson's "Playbook". Man he loved it.
Our Kris Kringle tree at work
JP on Christmas Eve
Okay, now to New Year's. Polly was working, the boys were all on holidays (and still are), and Laurent had plans with his French posse so I freaked out a little when I still didn't have any plans for NYE on the afternoon of the 31st. Luckily Gabby and Jonathan from work took care of me and we had a good time hanging out with Tamara for dinner, going to a house party of one of Jonathan's friends and watching the fireworks from Barangaroo. The fireworks were amazing - Robert, one of my friends from middle school in Germany urged me to go see it as it's supposed to be "one of the best in the world". I don't think he was wrong.
NYE sundown at King St Wharf
It was hard to capture all the grandness of the 12-minute fireworks, especially with my poor point-and-shoot. But these two photos are my favourites.
I don't wanna think about what I would've done that night without them.
I crashed at Angel's place that morning as I had a 6-o'clock start at work, and I don't know if any of you knew about it but the alarms on all iPhones didn't go off on the 1st and the 2nd of January (I guess nobody had to work early New Year's Day morning so why would you know actually). I just thought I was too tired and overslept, but when I woke up late for work once again on the 2nd, I went on google. It was a nice idea to turn the alarms off on those holidays, Apple, but unfortunately it was very suitable for us hospitality people.
New Year's Day was a beautiful day so I went with Laurent to Little Manly after work. I had a relaxing dive in the afternoon water (and made a new little friend who was swimming next to me - Lily "from the Rocks"!), and Laurent played his guitar; the day turned around after all the stress with waking up late and being in zombie mode at work all morning.
Hell is this a massive post. Told you I couldn't be bothered editing this many photos. But yeah, I didn't have the chance to tell you last year so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. :) x