Wolf Full Moon in Leo Strength The Empress Moon Void Tarot

Zero Energy on Full Moon in Leo

Howllo! It is the Wolf Full Moon in Leo ♌︎.

Leading into it, I had some plan to honour the Leo (Strength) full moon (The Empress) by doing fiery, action-oriented things like cooking the spicy mutton vindaloo I had promised Fafa; or at least clock in more kilometres while running.

But instead, I woke up feeling exhausted with no reason. I had to drag myself out of bed and go through the work-day motions with low energy; skipping cooking, running even meditating.

We still went out for dinner; delicious African cuisine at Nyala but only with one glass of wine I was ready to crash on the bed. So yeah, looks like the Full Moon in Leo managed to burn my energy completely today. So I am going to bed now, even though it’s only 9 PM. Hopefully, I woke up the next day feeling a lot better.

Goodnight Lioness Moon!

🦁 K

Rustic Bedroom Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 6

Hello from the last day of the unprecedented year.

Today I woke up from yes, another great night sleep. After slathering my face with the pure luxe face oil I got as a free sample, I started reading The New Parisienne by Lindsey Tramuta in bed.

I was in the middle of writing the annual post of “The Year I..” when Fafa called me for brekkie. Today he only made egg on toast anticipating the delicious lunch date in the town.

I published the above post, pulled a card representation for the year-end (King of Cups), went running, clocked 150km for the year, and sat to do one of my new year rituals; writing my new year intentions and goals, resolutions, and sharing the process with Jik.

2021 Intentions, Goals and Resolutions

By then, it was almost lunchtime. We got ready and drove half-hour in the scorching heat. We had lunch at the Monkey Coo & Asian Kitchen. My order wasn’t as good this time, but the crab spring rolls appetiser was yummy!

Before leaving Echuca town centre, we made a short stop at Candle Scents as I wanted to give a small thank you token to the farmhouse owner who has been so courteous throughout our stay, even when we broke the bathtub yesterday.

It was past 3 PM when we were back in the farmhouse. Since it was too hot to do anything and it’s a liminal space day anyway, after feeding the chickens, I changed into Pjs, opened a new bottle of wine and started journaling.

I wrote my last gratitude list for the year, tarot related goals for the next year and any random things I can think of in between, with the pink-sky backdrop which can be seen from the dinning room where I am writing this from. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

After this as my previous days’ routine, I am going to shower, watch Come Dine With Me on SBS Food, have steak dinner (Fafa’s new year’s eve speciality), drink more wine in the name of festivity, write a bit more, greet the cows, wish my parents an early Happy New Year, read, eat 12 grapes as another new year tradition, drink tea, watch Dexter, pray and go to bed early-ish so I can greet the new year in peace and gratitude.

Happy New Year’s Eve ━ hope you are celebrating it the way you want.

Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 5

Another good night sleep (Fafa complained that I started all my recent entries with the status of my sleep ━ it’s a diary, Fa, That’s how I write my diary) and stayed in bed for some time while Fafa cooked us Farmer’s breakfast. I so can get adjusted to this morning routine!

Chicken Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

After breakfast and doing my daily tarot-card draw (Four of Wands), we went out to feed Korona and Kovid ━ the chickens, and I continued walking around the compound for some morning bird-watching session. It’s one of the self-care activities that nourish the old-soul in me.

After an hour in the blazing sun and failing to see any bird from close-proximity, I gave up. More than this, Amma for sure would complain of me being tanner than usual.

Since it’s our anniversary (we met in a bar in Singapore 11 years ago) we thought we would do something different instead of lazing around the farmhouse. We ended up driving to Bendigo town and roamed around the unexpectedly pleasant art-gallery there.

Aboriginal Painting Bendigo Art Gallery Moon

My favourite pieces include the dot paintings, the 1800s European paintings with strong oriental influenced and a wood-block painting of Asakusa temple. There were also beautiful indigenous pattern silk scarf and moon inspired jewellery made by local indigenous artist. In the end, I got the paper towel for our home and a zipper case for Jik, both in a same aboriginal print.

Art-upped, we walked around the town centre for some late lunch, forgetting for a moment that we were in a small town in Australia and nothing opens past 3 PM except for some chain restaurants.

Grill’d is a famous burger chain in Australia that claimed that they make healthy burgers. Since I’m not fond of burgers at all, I have never tried them, until today. It was okay, but not something I would go for again if there is any other choice.

Despite the lunch blunder, I like Bendigo, dare I say, more than Echuca. On the drive back home I told Fafa, I could retire there. He pretended not to hear me.

One-hour later, we were back in the Echuca farm. Just in time for me to shower, write the anniversary card I got for Fafa and watch an hour of Come Dine With Me together. After this, I am going do the Cold full-moon in Cancer (The Chariot) tarot spread, call my parents and read. Later tonight, if the wind storm is not so bad, Fafa and I are going to do some star-gazing.

Not a bad way to celebrate anniversary, eh?

Murray River Paddlesteamers Echuca

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 4

I woke up from another day of excellent sleep and a bit later than usual, but why not eh? After all, it’s my vacation days. I pulled the card of the day ━ Page of Wands ━ journaled a bit about it while updating my to-do list for the next two days and next year.

After breakfast, we went to the Echuca town centre, which is best to be avoided during the holiday season as it’s crowded from assortments of tourist.

We had to go there because it’s also where the Murray River Echuca Paddlestreamer docks. We boarded the 2-hour cruise before noon and sat on the top-deck so we could enjoy the uninterrupted view of the river while enjoying some drinks and reminiscing the old times.

After the recommendation of a colleague, I booked the paddle streamer, but I came with low expectations. I mean, I have seen the Murray River before, it’s brown. How fun could it be cruising through at brown coloured water, I thought. It turned out to be a scenic journey where we got to see the other side of Echuca, including the camping site, private-boat families, kayaking couples, inns by the river and a gorgeous glasshouse.

By the time they put us back on the land, we were hungry and decided to try our luck to find a decentish food in the very crowded town centre. After being turned down by a couple of places, we went inside Monkee & Co Asian Kitchen. Again, I kept my expectation low because I couldn’t see any Asian running the restaurant. I was proven wrong the second time today. The coconut lime seafood curry I ordered was sublime! So was Fafa’s Rendang Bao, so much so that suggested we go there again tomorrow.

Back at the farmhouse, I fed the chickens (which I named Kovid and Korona), lit the Christmas candle I got on a hefty discount from the lovely people at The Candle Scent and put the flowers we got from Coles into a vase and settled for a nap. But I was too restless (maybe too well-rested?), so I went to the beautifully-lit kitchen to try a new summer salad recipe.

This time it included avocado, watermelon and feta cheese. Once it was ready, we sat for a simple dinner of the said salad and spicy Indo instant noodle.

I took a shower before writing this. The plan was to write today’s happenings and cross-off a few things of my to-do list today, but all I want to do is sit in the living room with the TV on, read a book lazily and drink a chilled glass of wine.

You know what, I might do just that. After all, I am already half-way through my holiday (acutely aware and dreading this), I shall enjoy as much as I can by doing all the things I want and not the things I need/must/should do.

Cancer Full Moon Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 3

I might have jinxed it when I wrote about the most peaceful sleep I had in months on my first night here — because neither of us got much sleep yesterday, no thanks to the severe wind storm. It had started yesterday afternoon, but by midnight it was a full-blown storm. The whole house kept rattling and the trees swooshing hard that it kept us awake, tossing and turning all night. On top of that, I was so worried that the strong ass wind would blow the chickens away.

When I saw the sunrise, I called defeat and jumped into the shower to freshen up. After pulling the card of the day (Six of Wands again) checking the chickens were still there and alive, Fafa and I sat for a proper breakfast.

We also met the farm owner, a photographer who lives in the bigger house nearby with her farmer husband and their three young kids. She filled us in with the history of the farmhouse. It was locked for 15 years before they bought and turned it into Airbnb earlier this year.

By mid-morning I couldn’t keep my eyes open and strangely felt cold in the 35-degree weather, so I turned on the heater in the bedroom and started reading the latest book Fafa got me (The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris Book by Lindsey Tramuta) before snoozing off.

It was past 1 PM when Fafa woke me up. He offered to drive us to a neighbouring town, Kyabram, for some Thai lunch, which I quickly welcomed since Asian food means rice and I haven’t had rice since the day before yesterday. After a 20 minutes drive, we were greeted by an empty town. There goes my rice dream for the day. We then tried our luck in another town, Rochester and were enticed by the menu board that offered both Thai beef salad and sriracha burger. Unfortunately, once we were inside, they told us they were only serving the display counter food. All were sad looking, but I was already hungry by then. I settled with the savoury scones thinking how bad could a scone be. It was bland bad.

So far, the day wasn’t going as I envisioned it to be. On the way home, Fafa, God bless his heart, offered to cook us some steak tonight, which of course I replied with a “yes please!“.

When we came home, I took another shower to wash the dust and heat off and settled in on the dining table with some grapes, spicy chips and a big glass of wine. With that, I could slowly feel I am back on track with the vacation vibes.

Since the weather was not too crazy and the sky was pretty blue-ish, I went out to greet the cattle that were walking back to the parlour for their second and last milking of the day.

By the time I came back, Fafa had started preparing the steak. With an addition of the quick-n-easy Aunty Jen’s summer salad (this time I added the zucchini freshly plucked from the farm) , a glass of wine and a bottle of Furphy we sat for a delicious meal.

After dinner, I prepared a bath for myself using one of the three Lush bath bombs I treated myself for Diwali. Who knew, soaking in the bathtub with a glass of wine while listening to the Wildly Tarot podcast was exactly what my soul, body and mind needed to heal and rejuvenate.

I feel so relaxed. Tonight I have a back to back Come Dine With Me starting from 10 PM, Gone Surfing tea from T2Tea to keep me warm and Home Body by Rupi Kaur downloaded on my kindle. Oh, also some stargazing in between ━ it’s almost full moon (CancerThe Chariot) tonight and it looks so beautiful.

Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 1

Hello from Echuca!

I just got done with the night shower and poured myself another glass of red, while waiting for my green-tea paste face-mask to dry so I can wash it off.

Let me tell you about our first day of the farm stay

After a 3-hour drive from Melbourne, going around almost four empty towns that reminded me of Timaru in New Zealand and after a short pit stop for double patty burgers in the summer heat peak, we reached the farm we will be staying at for a week.

The farmhouse looked rundown from the outside, but it had a rustic-charm in the inside. The house, as to how Fafa and I agreed on, has a soul. It is precisely the kind of home we love – complete with the wooden floorboards with a creaking sound, huge rustic windows adorned with french curtains, vintage-tiled bathroom floor and a clawfoot tub, rattan bed frame and plenty of mazes to give us the illusion of extra space.

So far, we have gone out to play in the backyard (frontyard?), fed the chickens, cooked dinner (instant noodles with buttered eggs) — accompanied by a delicious locally-sourced glass of red wine.

While Fafa watched the boxing day test match between Australia and India, I finished reading The Alchemist. What a book! I am so going to re-read it again, but not immediately since I have brought another five books to read during the trip. Right now though, I am going to wash my face, pour myself another glass of red, turn the TV on and binge-watch my favourite local SBS Food channel until we both fall asleep on the big and super cozy sofa.

White Rice and White Wine

If you were on the death row, what would your last meal be?

I reread the Skyped message that popped on my desktop screen.

It was from Pedro.

If it was anyone else, my reaction would either be “WTF” or “hu?”.

But coming from him, the question was as normal as a “Good morning“.

That’s how he usually greets me every day; with a question, more often than not, with bizarre ones. After all, our friendship is strongly based on life’s morbidness. We celebrate death, worship Kali, discuss heartbreaks, and quiz each other on serial killers trivia.

This is not an easy question to digest first thing in the morning.

I know that my last meal needs to be epic.

The thing is, I have way too many dishes I love so much; from Singaporean chicken rice, Indonesian nasi Padang to Indian dosa.

After wasting a good chunk of the working hour, I typed my answer.

I told him that if I were to face the death penalty (hopefully for doing something semi-heroic) my last meal would be a South Indian crab masala thali meal.

Then, I asked what would his last meal be. He replied almost immediately. Looked like he had put enough thoughts on this beforehand. “Vatapa”.

I remember Vatapa.

Pedro told me about Vatapa in the first week we were introduced. That time, out of sudden, he declared that he was missing his favorite Brazilian food and then proceed to show me this Vatapa picture.

I also remember thinking how it looked like my favorite prawn sambal, a widely loved Indonesian dish originated from the Sumatra region. I told him to bring back something next time he goes back to Brazil.

The last meal question lingers in my mind.

I wonder what would others choose, so I texted Fafa. Thankfully, he, too, is well versed with my cuckoo side, no explanation required.

At first, he said anything that his mom cooks. Well, that’s not how this works my friend! Otherwise, we all would choose our mom’s cooking. I told him his mom wouldn’t want to visit him after he committed such a heinous crime. He then settled with meen pollicithu with Kerala rice thali meal. Yum! I wouldn’t mind sharing his last meal.

Aww, the thought of couple’s last meals, how romantic.

With some more minutes to kill before home time, I pinged Manda, and asked her the same question. After giving a few judgy remarks, she replied with: sashimi for entree, hawker food as the main course, creme brulee for dessert, and a glass of mojito to wash it all off.

Damn, she is fancy! Especially when I thought she would settle for just laksa.

Then again, she had a point, why would I deprive myself of the pleasure of dessert and alcohol, my two life vices (among many), if it’s going to be my last meal?!

I pinged Pedro back to clarify that I would also have mango sticky rice for dessert and a bottle of Moscato as my last meal’s drink.

Loads of white rice and copious amount of wine. Yep. Seemed legit both for epic last meal and as the title of my memoir.

Wine and Whine in Emirates – Dubai to Jakarta

I took Emirates, to and from Dubai.

I usually love everything about the Emirates, but this time, the food was meh.

The main dish was rice with chicken curry thingy which tasted okay, accompanied by not so nice prawn salad and weird looking tofu which I refused to try.

And they didn’t serve ice cream this time!

How could you, Emirates?!

On the flip side, there was an (almost) free flow of wine, which kept me entertained and chirpy even though I was squeezed between Amma and Perima for 7 hours straight.

So yeah, after all that, Emirate still is my favorite airline.

Where Australia Best Wine Comes From

Yarra valley was picturesque, even on a wet, cloudy day like that day. I am sure my dad would love to retire here. It has all the things he relishes: wine, greenery, unobtrusiveness, and farm animals.

My knowledge of winery came from watching back to back episodes of the TV series Brothers and Sisters. As the owner of the Walker Landing winery, their family dramas were never lacking. It appeared extravagant on TV, which was the reason I settled on going for a wine-tasting trip to Yarra Valley when my friends asked me to.

Our first stop of the tour was Dominique Portet, a French family’s winery. We met one of the family members, Valentine. I instantaneously liked Valentine, with her curly ginger hair and sense of style; I liked her even more so when she praised my shocking pink beanie, which my friends pleaded with me to take off earlier. “You look outrageous,” they said. Well, wasn’t that the point?

She began with a fascinating fact about the imported barrels (from France). They throw them away after two times usage. I assumed the more you reuse the barrel, the more distinctive the wine kept inside it would taste. I was incorrect. “It ended up ruining the taste of the wine” she said.

She passed us each a wine glass to sample four different types of wine. I fell in love with their rose wine, called Rose Brut, pink in color. “This wine is famous in Europe during summer,” Valentine said, “because it’s an easy drink.” It has a nickname:

“Summer in a bottle”

I coincided. Sweet and light, it’s a perfect summer-y pick me up on a chilly afternoon like today.

We then headed to our lunch place, R xx, a restaurant mixed with the winery. I had salmon, and cake, and coffee, and wine. It was delightful. After lunch, we explored the gift shop. They had a good collection, including a few items that raised my eyebrows, like chutneys. Why would they sell mango chutney in a winery?

Our last place, Domaine Chandon, was a giant winery owned by the same company that owns a famous luxury brand. “It’s a multi-million dollar business,” the private guide kept reminding us. At least, he was thorough; he took us through the whole process of winemaking, which was exciting. I mostly enjoyed the part when they separate the yeast from the wine. He told us that was why in medieval movies they cut the wine mouth with a sword; to get rid of the yeast. And here I had been cursing the barbaric act while mourning the waste of a good drink.

At the end of the tour, he made us select from three types of wine (One choice? Duh, so much for wine tasting). I chose the second one, though I didn’t catch the name. It was French, and it has a blue sounding word. He told me that it was less dry than the first one he described and sweet. A fine choice. I contemplated buying another bottle of wine from there since after all we were in a winery, but I stopped myself. I have heard the words “multimillion-dollar company” like multimillions of times (the man was passionate about the company he worked for, I give him that), and I didn’t feel like adding their multimillions particularly because I am not a multimillionaire, yet. I saw many people bought wines from there, though. Maybe I will try their famous sparkling wine in an upmarket restaurant back home on a special event.

As you may have guessed, I bought the so-called bottle of summer from Dominique Portet. I plan to fly it 4000 miles home so I can open it with Fafa on an extraordinary occasion, including a “we have a fancy wine, let’s celebrate!” type of occasion.

Does flying a Summer in a Bottle across the continent qualify me to be a wine snob? I did try nine types of wine, and I can articulate Sauvignon Blanc with confidence. No? Naah, I also don’t think so but I am starting to understand why wine enthusiasts become well… snobs; recognizing and drinking wine is a luxurious act which, pursued continually, would even turn a neon-colored-beanie-wearing girl into a fancy-schmancy wine snob elitist.

Next time, I plan to stay for a couple of nights at a winery’s B&B and have wine for breakfast, a facial, perfume, lunch, shower, tea, and dinner.

A shout out to Esdon Lee, the best tour guide we had the chance to cross paths with in Australia. He was extremely knowledgeable and a joyful fellow. I could see he loves his job and adores Yarra valley more than I do. We enjoyed our trip more thanks to him.