Happy New Year! (1st January 2012)

Ah, the first day of the new year and I wonder what 2012 holds for me. With two trips already booked in for the year, it's looking to be another fun-filled and exciting year ahead ;) I'm looking forward to the holiday break in Melbourne in two weeks' time - it's been 6 months since my last holiday and I'm long due for another!

With Jono at work on his normal shift on this statutory holiday, my day was like most Sundays,  spent mostly on my own with the highlight of my day preparing dinner for my man. Fortunately for me, Jono's pretty easy when it comes to food (he's willing to try most things) so I get to attempt a different recipe each week :) When I have time, I like cooking and even more so when Jono enjoys and appreciates the wonderfully and lovingly prepared meal I've made at home. It's like a self-esteem booster that leaves me feeling happy and content. Is that how Mum feels when she cooks for Dad, I wonder...Jono's in for a treat tonight for I'm making Jamie Oliver's whole grilled trout for dinner! I have to say, I quite like Jamie's recipes - I've tried a few and they are pretty easy to make and tastes delicious. I've never cooked a whole fish on my own (have helped others) but it looked simple enough according to his recipe...

I made a trip to the Sydney Fish Market early afternoon in search of my trout and boy was the place buzzing with customers, mostly Asians, eating their cooked seafood meals at the shops. Only one of the retailers was selling fresh seafood; all others where closed. Lucky for me, De Costi's Seafoods had exactly what I wanted and for a decent price too - two whole rainbow trout (approximately 300g each) for around $10. Sweet! 

Around 2pm on my way back to Town Hall train station walking along Pyrmont Bridge, I was startled when a loud alarm was sounded and it was announced that the bridge demonstration was about to occur. Huh? "Please stand behind the gates," continued the bridge operator on the speakers. What gates? What on earth is he talking about?! I noticed a mad scramble on both side of my peripheral vision as pedestrians headed up or down the bridge. Slightly ahead of me, I could see these two huge gates slowly closing up and quickly made my way over, standing behind the barrier. In the 9 months that I've lived in Sydney, never once had I been on the bridge when the bridge opening occurred (the demonstration) or knew that the bridge even opened up! It turns out that the bridge openings occur several times a day during the weekends and public holidays (and occasionally as required) on specific times. I had front seat views of the demonstration standing right behind the gate, watching the bridge open to allow a small sailboat through, its mast sticking out above the bridge. Cool! The Pyrmont Bridge, one of the world's oldest surviving electrically operated swingspan bridge, takes approximately 60 seconds to open completely to 83 degrees, allowing vessels between 7 - 14 metres in height to pass through.  For taller ships, the Monorail beam also needs to be opened with the swingspan but this was not part of the demonstration today.

Standing behind the gate awaiting the Pyrmont Bridge Opening

It takes 60 second for the bridge to open 83 degrees

Mast of a small sailboat sticking out above bridge level

The monorail also opens up with the bridge if taller ships needs to pass through

Bridge closing

A short clip of the bridge opening:

Back home to chill out and around 7ish, it was time to prepare dinner. Eee, this feels so weird...slippery and slimy trout...The fish was all gutted, scaled and cleaned so all I had to do was to make incisions on both sides and stuff the cavities with lemon slices and chopped parsley, then grill it. For the Chinese, serving up a whole fish is a symbol of abundance and togetherness. The Chinese word for fish, 'yu', sounds similar to the word for surpluses which is why fish is often served during Chinese New Year and in banquets. Cheers to surpluses in the new year! Photo of our New Year's Day dinner:

And how was dinner, you ask? Delicious! :)


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