Fishing at Fremantle

I just had my first experience of actual fishing (not prawning at Punggol) with B at Freo! He's been excited for a few days about fishing already so we went to buy some bait - shrimps and squid - for the small fishes and potential biggies that we may catch. It's pink snapper season so naturally I was excited to catch that because I love it pan fried LOL.

We went to buy some burley and fish oils, and made potatoes and such to make the burley mix that will attract the fishes. We decided to go on the day that the rain stopped and boy was the wind strong! I nearly froze my face off just standing on the rocks but it was still a very nice day.

It didn't take us too long to catch our first fish - a little herring! B caught it in his first cast which makes us pretty lucky but we didn't manage to catch anything else after that. It might be the ridiculously strong winds?

I was pretty impressed with his fish scaling and gutting skills. I mean, what's the use of learning fishing if you can't scale and gut it? It was pretty gruesome especially when he pointed the fish's body parts to me. I've never seen a fish sliced open with body parts still inside so... It was a new experience!

I think fishing is something I can definitely pick up. It's fun and relaxing, plus you never know what fish you're going to get on the dinner table :)


DIY Coat Hanger Using Scrap Wood

B and I love to DIY stuff and we were really excited to use our time here to work on a small project. Little did we know that we would start on one so quickly -- on the second day of our arrival -- to make a coat hanger! We really needed one since the room did not have a coat hanger but we have so many jackets and coats because of winter.

We wanted to spend as little as possible (hopefully nothing at all) since the point of us making and not buying one was to save money. We gathered some scrap wood around the house and in Gong Gong's work shed and discussed how we can work with what we have. After some measuring and drawing of lines, B cut a few pieces of wood. I tried to help... but I'm so slow (plus, weak arms) and not really good at it so it's best to leave it to him.

We borrowed Gong Gong's "office desk" and tools to cut up the wood. After a few tries and wrong angles, we finally decided on this pretty sturdy base! Since the coats are going to be heavy, the base is really important to make sure the hanger doesn't fall over. The original plan was to drill each piece of base wood into the stand at each corner but getting the angle right was killing B and taking too much time so we changed our minds!

After we nailed in the arms and hooks (they were just lying around) of the coat hanger, we started sanding the wood down because I wanted to paint it a different colour to make it look nicer. It was my first time using this particular sander and it made my arms ache so much! It's really heavy and vibrates really roughly so I had to grip on really tight. Plus it was so loud I had to wear earmuffs! Really proud to produce a nicely sanded coat hanger but I'm currently nursing an aching arm.

Day 3 of working on it... We went to Bunnings Warehouse to get some wood putty to fill in the gaps and imperfections, and some super glue for wood to make sure the arms will not just fall off in a few days. We spent a total of $10 there but this still makes our coat hanger worth it since purchasing one at Freedom would cost us at least $80!

Again, my first time using a filler and I'm not exactly sure if I'm doing it right. YouTube tutorials were not exactly helpful as the gaps are different but I guess if I don't see any holes it should be fine?

So happy that we are nearing the end! After letting the putty dry in the sun to speed things up a bit, I painted the coat hanger with a paint undercoat. Also borrowed this from Gong Gong who was doing a bit of painting around the house. This should help the paint colour appear more uniform on our coat hanger!

At this point, I stood up and knocked my head on the top piece of wood with a fresh coat of paint so... I got paint on my hair. It was a pretty big patch but thankfully Por Por used some acetone to remove it. Right now it looks like I have white flakes on my hair... Oh well! It will all be worth it!

After applying a coat of white paint on the coat hanger, its complete! I wanted to turn it into a cute little mini road sign on the front side of the hanger but I don't think I should spend more money on 2 more tins of paint cuz it's really expensive.

Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out although it wasn't quite like what I imagined it to be! I'm so glad we managed to recycle some old wood instead of going out to get a brand new coat hanger :) save money, save trees.

Our coat hanger is designed to hang on only one side of the top piece because I really wanted a neater look that would "hide" the hooks. I'm so glad it hangs really well despite the uneven weight distribution.

I can't wait to start on our next project already :) perhaps, a bedside table?


Cooking Fun: Stir Fry Ginger Scallions Pork

So yesterday, I decided to try this recipe from Noob Cook for B because I was going to meet my friend, Vic, for lunch and he would be home alone with his report. I wanted him to eat well after his stomach episode which probably caused him to lose a little weight (who wouldn't after pooping 10 times in a night?!).

This recipe for Stir Fry Ginger Scallions Pork didn't look too intimidating. It consists of the few recipes that we already normally use, aside from the Hua Tiao Jiu. Plus, the cooking doesn't look too complicated as it only had 4 steps (yay!).

First, the instructions said to cut the meat against the grain, which by the way I had NO IDEA what it meant. So I searched on YouTube for some videos of meat cutting and basically, all I had to do was to cut in the opposite direction of the lines (or grains) that form the muscle. Cutting in the same direction would make the pork slices hard to chew. It was not easy to cut the pork slices really thin but I think I did an okay job at it!

I then followed the recipe and marinated the pork. Because I was washing and cutting up some vegetable for B, I did it for more than 10 minutes (as instructed) so it was around 15-20 minutes instead. At this point, the sesame oil really made the pork smell so good. And of course, I can't forget the spring onion! I loooove spring onion... Not sure why it's also called scallions but we mostly call it spring onion in Singapore?

Then, when I got everything ready, its time to stir fry the pork! This part is really easy but my dish didn't exactly turn out the same way as Noob Cook's. There is less sauce and its lighter in colour... So maybe next time i'll add more dark soya sauce and a bit more water. The dish is not too salty but I would probably marinade the meat for longer next time to give it more flavour.

Overall, I think it was a successful first effort because when B tried it, he said "mmmmmm!" which made me really happy! I cooked another garlic vege for him to accompany this dish and some white rice. The rice was a bit of a joke because I waited for 50 minutes for it to be cooked and when I opened it, it's not cooked at all! Not sure what happened but we got it right the second time otherwise he would be starving.

This dish is great for learning and first-timers because its so simple and you can't really go wrong with it. I'm so impressed by Noob Cook's recipe that I can't wait to try the next one!


Yay, Australia here we come!

We have finally submitted our documents to AVAC. We were supposed to be done yesterday morning (I went alone because poor B got food poisoning and was too weak to go) but there was a document that we forgot to sign so we went back again this morning to hand it up. Great news though, I found out that my documents are already with the Australian High Commission and because I paid for the visa in cash, they do not have to take more time to verify the payment (as with cards). Anything to make it faster, right?

So, my Partner migration visa 309/100 -- which is applied outside of Australia -- cost us about $5500, which is I think lesser than the 820/801 one applied within Australia. That was our initial choice but we realised that applying outside was probably a better option for us. Anyway, money is not the issue here but my worry is to be apart from B for too long because I wouldn't be able to travel in and out of Australia.

For now, I'm a happy girl because we checked with the high comm. yesterday and they said that I can travel into Australia as long as I notify them... SO YAY!! THAT MADE ME SO HAPPY! So so relieved to hear that, and so thankful!

We immediately confirmed our flights on the coming Monday (which might be a bit too rush considering the amount of things we have left to do i.e. B's work and my packing) but I don't care! It feels good to know that I can be with B while he hunts for his job.

I think I was in such a good mood that I decided to bake make a no bake strawberry cheesecake last night, and 2 dish/1 soup breakfast for the family this morning (wish I took photos!). Maybe I'm starting to feel a little 不舍得 (unwilling to leave them) so i'm being extra extra sweet by making food for them haha.

I will have to perfect my recipes before I can share them, though I will have to credit others for it! Seriously, I never know how grandmas can cook  consistently without recipes and just remember exactly how much sugar, salt and soya sauce is needed?! Really impressive... Hopefully i'll have that same superpower when I become a grandma :)

As of now, my Dad seems to be coming to terms with me leaving to Perth. When I first told him, and the second and third time I mentioned it, he didn't seem to express much interest. Perhaps he thought I was not serious because it might explain why he had a sudden reaction when I told him I'm applying for my visa. *confused*

I was telling B that I really do want to follow my heart because the past 23 years of my life, I literally lived in a way that I thought would make me a model child. I studied hard, went to the "right" school for me and put in a lot of effort into my assignments. While I always wished to have gotten an art education, or something that I'm passionate in, my brain tells me that I will not make good money with it. I do regret not following my heart a little but at least I managed to snag B along the way hehe.  I think because of that, I am more persistent with what I believe in now. I do think that moving to Perth is the right thing to do.

Getting longwinded again... I'd better end here!