WordPress is awesome

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 42 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 94 posts. There were 194 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 27mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 12th with 46 views. The most popular post that day was Shirley.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, canberrarestaurants.wordpress.com, lovebbags.com, cinnamobus.blogspot.com, and koreancooking.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for shanghai dumpling cafe canberra, shanghai dumpling cafe, sweet mung bean soup recipe, shanghai dumpling canberra, and cinnamobus.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Shirley May 2009


Shanghai Dumpling Cafe – link September 2009


Sweet mung bean soup with lily bulbs January 2010


Links July 2009
1 comment


“‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It’s an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms.” July 2009
1 comment

Roberto Cavalli

Loving this Roberto Cavalli crystal bracelet

Quick someone get it so I don’t get tempted!

The art exhibition that we went to because there was nothing else to do

The National Gallery of Australia is hosting Masterpieces from Paris – a collection of Post-Impressionism from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. The exhibition boasts the most extraordinary collection of French art to come to Australia (although I don’t think Australia got the best paintings that the museum owned), and showcases paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Pissaro etc.

Phew, I’ve already used more foreign words than I would care to admit in the previous paragraph. The truth is that neither of us are art enthusiasts, nor do we know much about art. But it was a restless Sunday afternoon, and there was nothing else to do, so we decided to go to the exhibition and pretend to be knowledgeable in this Post-Impressionism business.

The exhibition was divided into six rooms, with names that didn’t mean much to me (neo-impressionism, after impressionism, symbolism, decoration etc). There were perhaps a hundred or so paintings. I am extremely proud of myself to have recognised two of them by sight –  Van Gogh’s Starry Night and his Bedroom in Arles – but perhaps anyone would have known what they were! I liked the Bedroom so much that I bought the A3 print (a very reasonable $9.95) from the gallery shop, not because I want to pretend to be an art lover but because I actually really like it.

The painting is of a small and neat bedroom, with very simple furnishings that somehow doesn’t seem so simple under Van Gogh’s brush. I guess it appeals to my like for orderliness with a bit of quirk thrown in. It now sits prettily in the second bedroom.

Part 2 – Siem Reap (C) – ‘I can stay here forever if it wasn’t for the mossies’

Our first stop is Siem Reap. Even without the guidebooks, we know that much of Cambodia’s former glory is on display here, including the famous Angkor Wat.

But it was no glory that we saw crossing the Thai / Cambodian border. Compared to Thailand, Cambodia is evidently a much poorer country, with less infrastructure and cars on the road. It was an eight hour bus trip to Siem Reap from the Thai border, we were told that we were lucky because they just finished paving the road three months ago, otherwise it would have been a very bumpy ride. We saw lots of little kids fishing, farmers tending to livestock, crowds riding on the back of trucks and motorbikes (the most was six people on a single motorbike) – scenes of daily country life that aren’t very different from rural China. The Cambodians are obviously a very patriotic bunch, the Cambodian flag was raised every few metres on both sides of the road.

The Thai/Cambodian border

Typical Cambodian means of transport

We arrived in Siem Reap in the evening. The threat of catching malaria  is high in Cambodia, and putting on a tropical strength insect spray is not something we overlooked. So after slathering ourselves in insect spray, our tour group headed out to town for dinner.

Apsara dancers

This was the first time I tried the famous Cambodian dish – amok – which is meat, often fish, cooked in a light egg (and coconut?) based curry. The amok here was full of flavour and served in a neatly folded banana leaf. I didn’t mind that the dish was from a backpacker filled area, if it tastes good, who cares about authenticity?

We finished dinner with some deep fried banana spring rolls, dipped in condensed milk. Oh, did I mention the traditional apsara dancers? There was a raised platform in the restaurant, where girls dressed in beautiful traditional attire, called apsara dancers, were drawing everyone’s attention. In Hindu mythology, demons and gods joined forces to churn the ocean of milk with a huge snake, for an entire millenium, in order to free great treasures from the ocean. In the process of churning, bubbles formed and rose above the ocean, and these bubbles became the beautiful apsaras.

To be continued…

Fish amok

Eating out in Canberra


Canberra Restaurants is my new blog devoted to eating out in Canberra. Amazingly enough, there doesn’t seem to be any food blogs on Canberra eateries. So here it is, to fill the gap in the market, so to speak.