Happy Birthday Ant!

Wishing you a very happy birthday!
I hope you like the chocolate cake and fun we have in store for you.

A message from your favourite cat Empress Dowager 🙂

lolcat

Look out for reviews from Ant’s birthday adventures!

/edit Awwwww thanks Owl!  😀  ♥  -ant-

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Jurassic Lounge, Sydney

Jurassic Lounge has kicked off again for 2011 at the Australian Museum, it started on the 2 August and runs until 20 September – every Tuesday night from 5:30pm until 9:30pm. If you’re looking for something to do in Sydney this is worth checking out, but you must be over 18. The last trip to the museum for most people was probably during school or on the odd day out with the family, but now a great opportunity beckons you to come and hang out after hours and with twist.

Ant and I usually go every year to the Australian for the Wildlife Photography exhibitions and we thought it was great they have started to think outside the box and use the venue for some fun events which blend music, bars, DJs and all the old exhibitions you remember together. You can wander around and enjoy the different rooms and artists all for $15 (including one free drink)! There is also a silent disco which is pretty novel, complete with a DJ. For those who like knowing what they’re in for, you can even pre-book or plan your trip ahead on their website, which makes your evening out easier. If you’ve ever wanted to have your own “Night at the Museum” experience this one is for you!

Details:

Australian Museum
Tuesday nights (2 August – 20 September)
5:30pm till 9:30pm
Admission: $15 (one free drink included) and you must be over 18

Website: Jurassic Lounge

The 2011 Perseids

Quote

The Perseid meteor showers were observed as far back as two thousand years ago, and in ancient Europe, the Perseid meteor shower was known as the “Tears of St. Lawrence.” The Perseids are considered by many people to be the year’s best shower, and often peak at 50 or more meteors per hour – in years when the moon is out of the sky. However, 2011 is not a great year for the Perseids, because the moon is full on the expected peak date.

EarthSky recommends watching in first 10 days of August to have moonless skies from midnight to dawn, the best time of night for watching meteors. You’ll have an entirely moon-free sky after midnight during August’s first week, as the meteors are beginning to build. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. You’ll have a window of darkness for a few hours before dawn on August 8, 9 and 10.

Bright moonlight will drown all but the brightest meteors from view on August 11 and 12 – that is, the mornings of August 12 and 13 – the mornings for the Perseid meteor shower. But many report the thrill of seeing a bright meteor streaking along in the light of the moon. All in all, the first 10 days of August 2011 are a good time to look up!

Excerpt taken and edited from EarthSky.

Read more about the 2011 Perseids here, get some photography tips here, and have a look at the 2011 meteor shower guide if you just can’t get enough.

Winter Festival 2011, Sydney

It’s back again for the third year in a row from the 22 July till 11 August 2011 up outside St Mary’s Cathedral, in Cathedral Square.

Looking across from Hyde Park

If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings it’d be worth checking out, particularly since the food and atmosphere is free!

There are random ice skating/hockey displays, food and 45min ice skating sessions (you must buy a ticket).

St Mary's Cathedral makes a beautiful backdropIt’s probably the closest thing to Australians getting the Northern Hemisphere winter. For a look at all the fun and games that go on check out this link.

For skating tickets go here to book, there are just too many packages and variables!

It’s open 12pm – 10pm on weekdays and 10am till 10pm on weekends! If you aren’t skating you will probably only need and hour or so to take in the atmosphere and have something to eat, as the venue isn’t that large.

Below are some of the foods you can find at the event (not including the Bratwurst, Waffles and Crepes).

Pork Feast - inside the bierhallPork Feast ($18) found inside the beerhall – Pork, Sauerkraut and Pretzel.

Swiss RaletteSwiss Ralette $10 served with pickled onions and baby gherkins.

\~Owl~/

Mecca Café, Ultimo, Sydney

I started drinking coffee out of necessity during my uni years but have grown to enjoy it and often cannot function without my morning cup now. Will someone please invent an alarm clock which makes you coffee? It’s Groundhog Day and Catch-22 at the same time every morning in my bedroom. Need to get up to get my caffeine but can’t get up without my caffeine. Intravenous drip plskthx.

Anyway, Owl and I were interested in checking out Mecca in Ultimo after having been voted Best Café 2011 by the SMH Café Guide. The promise of very good coffee was lure enough without it being so enticingly close to us.

Being the indecisive creature that I am, I often pick an item from the menu before I visit an eatery but despite much scouring on the internet, I could not find the menu for Mecca. Everyone mentioned the same thing: a good selection of salads, sandwiches, and your usual café array of pastries. Hmm.

We arrived at around 12pm and were surprised at how small the café was, plus it was completely packed! What little standing space they had was crowded with isolated individuals avoiding eye contact whilst waiting for their take-away. After surveying the vicinity and the menu (salads, sandwiches and 2 varieties of rather sad-looking pastries) we ordered our caps, a tuna sandwich to share, and plonked ourselves on the one communal table; shuffling the chairs a little to resemble some sort of meagre privacy.

I don’t have any pictures, although these blogs do. Some would call the décor ‘concrete chic’ but it I found it hard and cold. The surroundings rather befit the service, actually. Plus, the lack of textiles made the small enclosure rather noisy. I prefer the cosy kinds of cafes; the ones with large amounts of character. The coffees were good, to be sure, but the blend ever-so-subtly hinted at a nuttiness akin to old cigarettes which I found slightly off-putting. To each his own, I suppose.

The star of the place was definitely the tuna sandwich which contained ample amounts of leafy veggies, tomatoes, capers, tuna and mashed hard-boiled eggs. It was a tuna nicoise salad imprisoned by thinly sliced, untoasted sourdough and generously drizzled with olive oil. Half of my sandwich landed on the table much to my regret as I really could have done with more, so delicious it was!

Not being the kind of place you would linger and chat, Owl and I scooted off within half an hour of arriving. To be honest, I found the place altogether overrated and cynically mentioned to Owl the wonders of political influences and bribery. I probably would go back, but only for the sandwich, and only as one of the many avoiding eye contact and shuffling their iPods nervously.

Mecca Espresso
(02) 9280 4204
646 Harris Street, Ultimo. NSW. 2007.
Monday – Friday: 7.00am – 4.00pm
Saturday: 8.00am – 3.00pm
Sunday: Closed