Monday, October 13, 2008

Hey hey

So much has happened - travelled around Sri Lanka, got engaged, moved back to Australia, got a job (finally, after 8 months of waiting for work), and am now in the throes of setting up a life here.. Its a long process! Exciting but frustrating too..

Dealing with Real Estate Agents and Recruitment Agents is not fun - they both want to make money off you!

The Sydney rental market is a nightmare! 60 people will show up for a house inspection and some people will immediately offer up to $100 more rent a week - what chance does a girl like me have??

I have started planning the wedding and started my fitness regime (Lord help me!) so things are quite exciting.

Pictures and more to follow..

Peace xx

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Colombo bomb blast Al Jazeera news report 6 June 2008

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Thursday, June 05, 2008


Just another example of propaganda, dictatorship, bullying and a severe lack of freedom of the press (let alone freedom of speech) in this country.

Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror Newspaper report, Wednesday June 04, 2008:

"Breaking News
Defence Ministry says it will stop journalistic treachery
The Defence Ministry has asserted that it will take all necessary measures to stop journalistic treachery against the country adding that it does not find any other word better than a "Traitor" to call whoever attempts to show the soldiers as thieves or fools by making false allegations and raising baseless criticism against them."

This is very worrying considering the fact that last month the Sub-Editor of the Colombo-based Lakehouse Newspaper was abducted, tortured and then released 24 hours later. It was claimed that he allowed a news report that contained material that was critical of the Sri Lankan military. No one has taken responsibility for this crime, but its not too hard to guess..

See below in the post dated 18 April for my photo of the news stand that reads "News you could trust". Ironically it kind of takes on a whole new meaning for me now..

Peace xx

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


The monsoon season has started, and has spilled its theatrics across the landscape of our lives.

It has been bucketing down pretty much non-stop for at least 5 days. Floods have killed 3 people around the country already and many homes are flooded and have even been washed away. 100,000 people are displaced! It is the heaviest rain I think I have ever seen, sometimes falling in what appears to be a solid air-shaped chunk rather than in individual droplets.

Thunder and lightning is choreographed across the sky. Sometimes the thunder rolls ontop of thunder, ontop of thunder. Rolling like waves of heavy swelling sound, blanketing the city in bass and rumbling hair, stomach, bones and toes. The lightning, flashes of sharp white against the backdrop of dark grey clouds, momentarily reminds you of the sun you used to know, and then disappears. Peripheral zaps leave static tingles and metallic tastes.

Umbrella-less Sri Lankan men walk through the rain with hankerchieves or plastic bags perfectly covering their scalp, so as not to get a single strand of hair wet, despite their face and clothing being soaked through.

Tuk tuk drivers convince themselves that the inconvenience of driving in the rain warrants a 30% increase in the price for any journey and argue vehemently against any protest.

The bird bath on our balcony is still frequently occupied by pairs of Wag-tails, Sparrows, Houseswifts, Indian Minors and Areoles, ignoring the fact that they are already soaked through and studiously carry on business as usual. Skwarking mobs of crows patrol the now emptier skies, congregating on power lines and amassing upon rooftops as flocks of smaller birds huddle on mango tree branches, out of sight.

And so I hibernate, dreaming of the butternut sunny skies, cocoa skin and refreshing swims in turquiose seas.

Peace xx

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Friday, April 18, 2008

All sorts

This pretty postcard shot is of traditional Sri Lankan fishing boats in Negombo Harbour (about 1 hour north of Colombo on the coast)

One close up..

Beautiful Negombo Beach and Jase doing his Jet Star ad..

Jase chatting with a local guy about fishing..

We witnessed a traditional Sri Lankan drumming ritual in a little town called Wadduwa about 40 mins south of Colombo on the coast. The ritual went all night! It hadn't been held since the 1960s, until now, when Jim (second from the right- a PhD student studying traditional drumming of the central South region of Sri Lanka), organised a grant which allowed the ritual to be performed for the first time in 40 years.

Obviously, this guy is the elder and he was amazingly good. He is still pretty energetic for a guy in his 80s!

The ritual was held on the grounds of a Buddhist temple in the heart of the Sri Lankan jungle..

It was a very mythical setting.

And here are some streetscapes from around Colombo:

Here is our local holy cow, who thinks he is a Pizza hut delivery bike (photo taken at the end of our street).. This crazy cow is in there often. We can't figure out why!

This is the local fish man. He walks down our street every morning shouting "MALU! MALU!" (Malu obviously mean fish). Here he is chatting with our next door neighbour with a nice big hunk of Seer fish..

Our girls, Ranjana and Sunanda..

A typical streetscape in Colombo - policeman with AK47 and a street dog asleep on the side of the road. They are pretty daring with where they fall asleep. We call them Colombo's dead dogs - they will sleep in the middle of a busy road, cars zooming around them, with no qualms at all..

Colombo has been getting some pretty gnarly storms lately. This is the view from our balcony looking northwest.

I love this photo. I pass this newstand everyday. Its so Sri Lankan.. News you COULD trust. not News you CAN trust. Its like the slogan shold read "News you could trust ...But..."

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Family, Friends, Food and Fun at Freshwater, Sydney, Dec 07 - Jan 08

Where's my special little guy?
Always smiling!

Ruszczyk Christmas morning:

Santa dances to Shaggy in his festive shirt while handing out pressies:
An alfresco Lavarack Christmas lunch:

The 3 Tuskateers (adorned with elephant tea cosies)
The 3 sisters' portraits by Sam:

The Lavarack traditional flamin' pud! :
Ruszczyk Chrissie dinner:

Post-Christmas dinner with the Ruszczyk's and the Woodrow/Lavarack's:

New Years Eve @ a Neutral Bay Penthouse apartment:
Jase and Juz:
Lil' Blue Eyes

High 5ing Grandad at New Port Arms (Hugh's first visit to a pub..):

Lil' Blue Eyes at it again..
Frankelton P. Esquire, (P stands for Playboy Pug):
Quinn St Crew at All Bar Nun, Canberra:

Ez (heavily pregnant), Mick and Jeff:

Australia Day 2008 @ Dee Why Beach:
Cookie going for gold @ the annual Manly Daily Throng Throwing Championships:

.. and Mr Triumphant (52m!!):
Alex, me and Ceciel:
A traditonal Aussie Day BBQ @ Cookie and Ceciel's:
Whew! Frankleton P, all tuckered out from slaying stuffed toys. I know how he feels! :

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Colombo lately has been winding down to the end of the year, and its been a mixed bag of emotions.

Work is slow, the weather is getting hotter, the cicadas have started humming, mangoes are back in season. Yipee! But then also a lot of friends have finished their work contracts here and are returning home or continuing their travels.. : (

At least there have been a lot of changes in our lives to distract us from this - my job is coming to an end at the end of December so have been going for job interviews, and Jason has started a new position as General Manager of Eco Fisheries in Negombo. We had to move out of our apartment for a month (because the owners came back for Christmas) so are now temporarily living in a great apartment around the corner from our old house, with another friend, Otto just until we leave to go home to Australia for Christmas. Packing, cleaning, cleaning, unpacking. It has been a welcome distraction.

Many of our Australian friends have already left to go back home or onto other travelling adventures. So we have been really quite miserable with so many friends leaving, even though there have been many farewell parties:

Apart from parties, the weather is not the only thing that has been hotting up here. In the last few days of November, there were 2 bombs in Colombo on the same day, and many more undetonated ones found around the city on buses, on the footpath, etc. It was really scary.

The first was targeting the Minister for Social Services. At 9am, a woman walked into the Ministry building (it was "Meet the Public Day") and blew herself up when she got to the counter, killing the Minister's Public Relations Aide, and injuring many more.

At 5pm, peak hour traffic, a person walked into the No Limits department store, full of people, and blew themself up, killing 19 people and injuring scores more.

Both bomb blasts were within 3km radius of my house, I heard the sirens. The bomb set the street dogs barking, and they didn't stop for hours. The wailing of the sirens, the dogs, the blanket of low humid cloud, it was very eerie.

Its sort of weird how accustomed you get to this sort of thing. I wouldn't say de-sensitised, because everytime it happens it is still terrifying, but life doesn't stop because of it. You get up the next day, walk down to get a 3-wheeler, go to work, go shopping in the supermarket, go about your business. What else can you do?

Its a crazy world.

Peace xx

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