JUST SNAPPED @littleswallowchinadoll

Burger, ramen, brunch, repeat

It's so hot in Oz. Not that I'm complaining, because I'd rather be wearing shorts than a winter coat any day, but when the temperature heads over 40C, I just haven't got the capacity to deal after my years in London. Although I have to be honest - I started this post over three weeks ago and the weather has significantly cooled. Also, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Things are starting to normalise…if you consider living with your parents "normal" when you're in your mid-30's, married and a parent yourself. The CG has a job, we have a car, I'm back to hating traffic and wishing public transport was better, and starting to refrain from exclaiming in dismay every time I go to the supermarket at how expensive everything is. Plus I can eat by the sea and see stuff like this whenever I want, which is pretty cool.

I still haven't managed to quite get the hang of juggling baby and photographing food while eating, and I'm pretty sure I never will - but take it from me that burgers and ramen are a nightmare to eat with a kid in tow, and dumplings are awesome. Either way it hasn't stopped me from going on what seems to be a food loop of burgers, noodles, and brunch. The live in babysitters have been pretty handy for a few "meals with both hands" occasions - but then I've been so excited to eat I still forgot the photos. Celebrating birthdays with my bro & dad for the first time in years has been an added bonus (Bathers Pavilion is still top notch).

So in a nutshell: go to Phoenix for dim sum (big tasty dumplings, piping hot and delicious), Via Napoli for hectic Italian atmosphere and pizza by the metre, Ryo's Noodles for ramen (but don't take a baby if you want to eat while everyone else does), Palmer & Co for drinks (loved this prohibition style bar), Mr Wong's for smashing crispy eggplant (aubergine to you Brits), Kurtosh for cake by weight, New Shanghai for seriously good dumplings (try the pan fried xiao long bao), Grill'd for the best zucchini (courgette!) and sweet potato chips, and Four Ate Five for good food and casual vibes. As for The Grounds of Alexandria - say whaaaaat? Why didn't this place exist when I lived a street over? I have to go back. Many times.

The awesome Ev won tickets to the launch of Neil Perry's Burger Project. Chips were brilliant, as were a pork crackling and kimchee pickled veg inclusion on a pork belly burger.

Crispy hot wings: sichuan pepper and salt
Thrice cooked house chips with chipotle chilli
Neil Perry's Burger Project

Yep, life is getting back to normal.

Burger Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If I could only do one more thing

I finally got around to writing a blog post, and it took over a week, but then this happened. So I'll post that mortifyingly shallow one tomorrow, because we're supposed to be going about our daily lives like nothing has changed, but today I need to wade into the probably copious coverage already surrounding this horrific drama.

This morning I woke up to the news that the siege was over, leaving three dead. And it was sad, horribly sad, that two innocent people died for nothing as they went about usual business. 

But what keeps running through my mind has been centred around this crazed hostage taker who sounds like a pretty damn unsavoury character. And I just keep thinking - how did he get to be this guy? Where were his parents when he was growing into this person he became? Where were his people? The people that you surround yourself with who turn to you after one of your rants and say to your face, "you're a freaking nut job, and that is plain stupid"? The ones who keep you grounded and make sure you value not only yours, but the lives of others?

I hope that if I can achieve only one more thing in this precious, too short life, that it is to bring Wolfie up to be a person who loves life. Who respects others. Who understands the importance of making it count, and how lucky he is to be brought into a world full of people who love him, who will support him, and who will be there for him. Even if it sometimes means we have to tell him he's a nut job.