Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chicken Roulade (Rachael Ray cheater recipe)

I LOVE chicken braciole! Braciole is Italian and in Itay its pretty much bits of beef slices cooked in its own juice, wine or tomato sauce. However Italians in America have remade it as stuffed roulade (in this case chicken). Roulade is French and means 'to roll' eg roll a bit of meat around cheese and other things. And since I suppose New York, Boston, Philadelphia has a lot of european communities like Italian and French it can't be too surprising that there grew to be some conglomeration of their national foods. If you click on the link for Rachael Ray's recipe recipe you'll see why  its part French roulade and which part is Italian braciole.

This is my go to meal if I want to impress anyone who comes over for dinner since when you cut it up it looks fantastic and tastes fantastic. Its a bit fiddly and you have to not mind getting stuff on your hands and fingers and playing with raw chicken and if you're going to crumb the chicken that makes even more dishes to do later but its worth it! My typical go to roulade is spinach, garlic and cheese stuffed chicken that has been coated multiple times in corn flour, egg and bread crumbs then fried in a pan then baked in a medium heat oven for 20 minutes. There are so many great roulade combinations on the net, I encourage you to try different kinds like these -

Again, this is a recipe from Rachael Ray, I did not think this up myself (wish I did its that good!). For the full recipe click HERE. Because I was feeling lazy I just wanted the roulade and not the added braciole bit of cooking the meat in sauce and wine so here is the shortened version of the recipe:

1/2 cup hot water
Handful golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Pour very hot tap water into a small bowl. Add raisins and plump 5 minutes.
Lightly toast nuts in a small fry over medium low heat. Keep a close eye on the pine nuts and keep them moving in the pan or else they will burn. Once done, turn off heat and remove pan from element and allow to cool a bit.
Drain raisins. Place raisins, nuts, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, bread crumbs and cheese into processor and pulse into a stuffing.
Butterfly the chicken open by cutting into and across the breast but not all the way through. Place it in a plastic bag or between two sheets of baking paper. Pound out the cutlets with a meat tenderiser or rolling pin and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Fill the breasts with stuffing, roll and secure with toothpicks.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken all over for 7 to 8 minutes, remove and place in a lightly greased baking dish and put in the oven for 20 minutes
I served this chicken with some new baby potatoes and a salad made of celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and sliced green onion with creamy poppyseed dressing. YUM!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

White Rock

A few pictures and tidbits from a trip to White Rock last Friday

"Pilots accustomed to flying around the area often refer to it as 'the hole in the sky', referring to the fact that White Rock is often bright and sunny while the rest of the Lower Mainland is covered by cloud."
This I found to be certainly true on my visit to White Rock recently. The lower mainland (that is all the 'cities' in and around Vancouver) were surrounded by some of the most darkest nastiest clouds I hadnt seen in quite a while. White Rock on the other hand was blindingly sunny and hot with blue skies and no clouds (this is if you looked south not north). There was a fantastic view to the US in the southeast and nearby islands that still are technically Canada's towards BCs capital Victoria and a few towards the south that belong to the US. 

One of the best things about White Rock from a tourist point of view - public carpark is easy to find and cheap. If you're traveling to visit on a lovely like this plan your trip on google maps and look for a small carpark on the corner of Victoria Ave & Vidal St. The parking meter allows $3 for one hour and its literally 30 seconds from Marine Dr and the pier.. Thats pretty good compared to most tourist spots we've visited. But of course, it being small its first in first served.

The other thing to look at if you're a bit of a history nut is the small Railway Station Museum (for a link to its website click HERE). They charge $5 per person to look in, and while I thought it was a bit steep for a one room museum others may enjoy it. I just didn't have the time.. 

White Rock also had a fantastic assortment of restaurants and businesses around the place but again we only had time to go into one place which I hugely recommend called Cones Creamery. They have gelato and sorbet and the prices are ok. But the nice bit was the guy in the shop itself. Some may find it cheesy but I found the owner/server to be the most chipper bloke Ive ever met. He had this huge genuine smile on his face and was singing very loudly (but very well though!) to Frank Sinatra which was playing on the stereo nearby. And because it was like an open ice cream bar from the outside you could hear him before you even stepped in. I admit, I also liked him because within a minute of hearing me talk he said - "Hey you're a Kiwi!"
He's now officially the 6th person since September to get my nationality right. Hip hip horray!
Because we didn't have time to see everything, HERES a great link to a fantastic website called They have more info on all the other stuff thats in White Rock and the rest of British Colombia. 


Friday, June 21, 2013

Battle of the Bank Notes!

For about a month now Ive been quietly staging a little bit of a war that my wonderful host country Canada would view as extremely unpatriotic and darn right ungrateful and ignorant. I suppose it is, and I invite all Canadians to prove me wrong and correct me. But the thing is, your bank notes really are just a tad dullish. There I said it. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that theyre colour coded like NZ notes. And I really dig the coins (minus the pennies, thank god theyre out!) But the notes are so blah! On a rainy day a while ago when I had nothing to do except happily surf wikipedia (oh that fount of all knowledge lol) for absolutely random stuff and I ended up reading about the guys on the Canadian banknotes to see what they did to deserve being on the notes and I can't say I was overly impressed. Minus the Queen, theyre all dead white MPs. Their achievements? Being Prime Minister of Canada. Ok ok I suppose thats a cool enough job but what about achievements on a world stage? Pictures that describe Canadian culture? I suppose they do a good job of that on the reverse side. But really? Prime Ministers? Is that the best you can do Canada? ..

Now New Zealand banknotes on the other hand - they epitomise coolness (unlike our so so flag but I'll do that in another post..) Theres a nice variety of interesting characters who are awesome to New Zealand as well as the WORLD. Beat that.

Now in my view, whether New Zealand or Canada would admit it there are a huge amount of similarities between the two countries. Not in everything obviously but if CA and NZ were two people in a pub, they'd be best buds for sure, talking about hunting, the awesome backyard they have, teaching each other the finer points of their national sports rugby and hockey, happily making slightly racist remarks about Australia and the US lol.

Now maybe its because I love New Zealand as my birth country and Canada as my adopted country but I feel like the two countries really should be doing something extra to be in cahoots with each other internationally. We should be there for each other having each others backs, encouraging each others creativity and growth and economy and general coolness esp in dealing with our overseas stigma of sounding and looking like our neighbors. That said, lets get back on topic and compare the two countries bank notes and see if my opinion that Canada has room for improvement has any credibility..

New Zealand bank notes

5 Dollar Note
- Sir Edmund Hilary                      
First man to successfully reach the summit of Mt Everest in 1953 with Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay).                            
- Mt Aoraki/Cook                                 (Highest mountain in NZ)                           
- Ferguson TE20 Tractor                           (used by Hilary in his first overland crossing of Antarctica during 1955-58 with British explorer Dr Vivian Fuchs).                      

- Hoiho (Yellow Eyed Penguin).
- Ross Lily 
- Campbell Island Daisy
- Bull Kelp                                
10 Dollar Note
- Kate Sheppard                      
Leader of NZ suffrage movement and thus enabled NZ to be the first country in the world to give the vote to women in 1893, afterward advocating for women to register as voters.
- Camellia flowers

- Whio (Native Blue Duck)
- Blechnum Fern

20 Dollar Note
- Queen Elizabeth II
- NZ Parliament Buildings (incl the 'Beehive')        
- Karearea (Native Falcon)
- Marlborough rock daisy
- Flowering red tussock
- Mt Tapuaenuku
50 Dollar Note
- Sir Apirana Ngata (pronounced Nata)             
A prominent New Zealand politician and lawyer. He has often been described as the foremost Māori politician to have ever served in Parliament, and is also known for his work in promoting and protecting Māori native culture and language.
- Marae (Maori meeting house)

- Conifer broadleaf forest
- Kokako (Wattled Crow)
- Kareao (Supplejack)
- Sky Blue Mushroom
100 Dollar Note
- Lord Ernest Rutherford of Nelson                    
New Zealand-born physicist and chemist and Nobel Prize winner who became known as the father of nuclear physics and notably for being the first person to split the atom.

- Beech Forest
- Mohua (Yellowhead)
- Red beech
- South Island Lichen Moth

Canadian Banknotes (Old)

5 Dollar Note
- Sir Wilfred Laurier
The seventh Prime Minister of Canada, the forth longest serving PM and the first French-Canadian PM. Well known for his policies of mediation between English and French Canada and his passionate defense of civil liberty within Canada. He is well regarded for achieving autonomy for Canada as an independent country within the British Empire/Commonwealth, on condition that the Commonwealth accepted their independent use of political and commercial liberties.
- The West Block of Parliament (Ottawa).

- Children playing hockey and other winter    sports.

- Excerpt from "The Hockey Sweater" by Roch Carrier
10 Dollar Note

- Sir John A. MacDonald
MacDonald was Canada’s first Prime Minister and served a whopping 19 years as PM. He and his family were immigrants from Scotland. He served in the legislature of the colonial Province of Canada and by 1857 had become premier under the colony's unstable political system. When in 1864 no party proved capable of governing for long, Macdonald agreed to a proposal from his political rival, George Brown, that the parties unite in a Great Coalition to seek federation and political reform. Macdonald was the leading figure in the subsequent discussions and conferences, which resulted in the British North America Act and the birth of Canada as a nation on 1 July 1867. Macdonald lost office for five years in the 1870s over the Pacific Scandal (corruption in the financing of the Canadian Pacific Railway). After regaining his position, he saw the railroad through to completion in 1885, a means of transportation and freight conveyance that helped unite Canada as one nation.
- Library of Parliament

- Peacekeeping forces and war memorial;

- Excerpt from "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae.
20 Dollar Note

- Queen Elizabeth II

- Centre Block of Parliment

- Artwork of Bill Reid;
- Excerpt from Gabrielle Roy's novel, The Hidden Mountain.
50 Dollar Note

- William Lyon Mackenzie King

Canada’s 10th and longest serving Prime Minister intermittently throughout the 1920s and 1940s. Trained in law and social work he implemented the foundations of Canada’s welfare policies. Despite lacking a ‘normal’ personal life, charisma, speaking skills, human relations skills and a friendly image with the public he is better known for his applying his academics and genius for the betterment of Canada as a whole. He was keenly sensitive to the nuances of public policy; he was a workaholic with a shrewd and penetrating intelligence and a profound understanding of how society and the economy worked. He understood labour and capital. He had a pitch-perfect ear for the Canadian temperament and mentality, and was a master of timing.

- The Peace Tower

- The Valiant Five (Women who petitioned the Canadian senate to allow women as members of the Senate)
- Therese Caesarian (Women’s Suffrage Leader and first female political party leader of Canada)
- Quotation from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

100 Dollar Note

- Sir Robert Borden

Was the eighth Prime Minister of Canada and the third from Nova Scotia. He was PM during and after WWI and at his insistence made Canada an independent party at the Peace Conference of Paris, the Treaty of Versailles AND League of Nations, and as a result ensured other British dominions a independent seat of their own (particularly Australia and New Zealand). During WW1, Borden also insisted on Canada training its own army rather than having Canadian soldiers split up and assigned to British divisions and as a result Canadian troops proving themselves to be among the best soldiers in the world.

In 1918 he passed a law allowing Canadian women the right to vote.

- The East Block of Parliament

- Maps of Canada, historic and modern;
- Excerpt from Miriam Waddington's poem, "Jacques Cartier in Toronto"

Canadian Banknotes (New)

I seriously can't be bothered putting the new bank notes up since they have the exact same colours and people on them but different stuff on the back which I will briefly describe and if curious you can google them properly yourself:

5 Dollar Note - Canadarm2, Dextre and a Canadian astronaut
10 Dollar Note - A Canadian Train and a map of the passenger railways in Canada (which is appropriate being on the same bill as MacDonald).
20 Dollar Note - Canadian National Vimy Memorial and poppies
50 Dollar Note - CCGS Amundsen in arctic waters; a map of Canada's North; 'Arctic' in Inuktitut
100 Dollar note - Medical research; DNA double helix; vial of insulin

Ok, so this post has taken me two straight days to type up - who knew cuting and pasting took so long! Thanks Wikipedia! My opinions of those dead white guys on the Canadian bank notes have drastically improved after reading more about them BUT my question of whether or not they really all need to be on the money still remains. They were all cool dudes for sure. Very cool, even Mackenzie sounds interesting for such an unliked guy. But really, should we have to look at them day in day out when there are so many more note worthy Canadians? 

For example, why don't we remove Queen Elizabeth (no offense Lizzie!) or one of the PM dudes and put Therese Caesarian more prominently on a note? I work in retail so I see money every minute of my work day and yet I have never noticed her! Canada should be immensely proud of what shes done along with the Valiant Five and do more than just stick a tiny version of her face on the back. She is Canada's Kate Sheppard and she should have more honour with the public and more notoriety with ignorant immigrants like myself. 

Heres another person I had no idea was a Canadian - Alexander Graham Bell, the dude who invented the telephone! Scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator! Canada, why isn't HE on your money EH?!! 

A few more notable Canadians who I think could do well on the money
- Terry Fox
- Wayne Gretzky (Canadians may be divided in liking this guy but they cannot deny that hes done a lot for the world wide public image of hockey. Non Canadians view him as the Michael Jordan of hockey).
- Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau or Chris Hadfield (Canadian astronauts)

For those with spare time and want their ignorance blown out of the water check out this list of Canadian's in the Entertainment industry. Majority of them I had no idea they were Canadian. PS Canada, Anna Paquin is a New Zealander thankyou very much.

For sure New Zealand and Canada are both proud of their womens suffrage movements, technology advances, parliament buildings (yawn!) and flora and fauna. But I feel like Canada just put that stuff in the teeny tiny background of oblivion. And although both countries bank notes sure are pretty and colourful but do the Canadian's represented on the notes (minus the queen) truly represent Canadian culture, creativity and advancements? I'd love for someone to prove me wrong but I stand by my thoughts that theres room for improvement. 

One things for sure, I think both countries should get rid of Queen Elizabeth as main figure on the 20's. Unlike, my Republican husband who thoroughly hates being part of the British Commonwealth, I still call myself a closet Monarchist. I like that we're part of the Commonwealth, I see the value in it, but in all honesty does she really represent New Zealand and Canada? When people think of our two great countries do they think of her personally? I don't think so. I respect her and all shes achieved and witnessed and modeled in her long reign but I think her space on the 20s can be better used. Keep her face on that tiny clear bit on the note so that when you hold it up to the sun you can see her little grandma face smiling through. But take her off the 20 and let someone else shine..  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Greek - Spinach and Shrimp Orzo

 Yesterday I did an entire audit of my freezer and deep freezer. I was quite pleased with myself that I had managed to keep up with what was older vs newer. That said I noted that I had this one package of frozen spinach in my freezer that had been there since at least December (6 months ago eek!) and a small package of  shrimp and an entire roll of filo pastry.

Having had a break from work my awesome gift of having food brain waves has reappeared. So I looked at the shrimp, spinach and filo pastry and immediately Greek food came to mind. I LOVE Greek food. I thank Vancouver for that - since theres a large Greek community here and as a result a prolific amount of Greek family owned restaurants not counting the cheap Americanised Opa! chain of fast food outlets. Although Ive never made Greek food in my life (does the salad count? nah..) I thought how hard can it be? So I left the filo pastry for another time to make baklava, this amazing pastry and walnut dessert I had about a month ago at a great place called Kefi in Coquitlam. The rest I decided Id make into a simple orzo dish.

Tonight was also the first time I had cooked with orzo and I couldn't believe how simple it is! Yet it was the hardest thing to find at my local grocery store (yes I did look in the pasta section). Its texture when cooked sort of reminded me of really good risotto, lovely and soft however unlike risotto it doesn't go mushy and creamy but still keeps to its form. But the obvious answer to why, is that although a single piece of dried orzo looks like a rice kernel it is essentially a pasta so it tastes like normal pasta only tiny and since its so small it cooks a lot faster as well.

This by far the most easiest new recipe Ive done in ages and its also pretty healthy and wonderfully simple and fragrant in my opinion. I think it only took me about 15-20 minutes overall to make!

Serves 2
1 cup orzo
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 cups of spinach (fresh or frozen), chopped and rinsed
1 cup of crumbed feta cheese
2 cups of shrimp, with tails taken off
salt and pepper

- Saute onion and garlic in a pan til tender on medium heat.

- Add in shrimp and cook through, about 5 minutes. (If you're using frozen shrimp like I did, before adding it to the pan put it all in a separate bowl and pour some hot water over the shrimp and wait about a minutes then drain. This will defrost them a bit and get rid of that extra water thats common in frozen shrimp.)

- Season with salt and pepper and add the oregano then turn down to a med/low heat.

- In a medium saucepan fill half with water and bring to the boil, then add in the orzo and a pinch of salt and turn down just a smidgeon. Check your orzo every minute by eating a little bit and once it feels cooked but still quite firm remove from heat immediately and drain but leave a little bit of the boiled water in.

- If using fresh spinach, chop and rinse under water then add to a food processor (a stick blender would work well too) Or if your snazzy with your knife skills just chop it up very finely and add it to the pan with the vege stock. If using frozen, take out package the day before cooking and allow to defrost overnight in the refrigerator on a plate OR just do what I did and put in a glass pyrex jug and pour in hot water and let sit for about 5 mins then using two forks separate and drain in a colander then add to a food processor with the vege stock and pulse.

- Add the spinach to the shrimp etc in the pan along with the cooked orzo and increase heat to low/medium and cook and mix in for about 5 minutes then turn off and serve with feta cheese.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Berry Pick'n time!

It's June, and I'm coming into my first summer of Canada and I'm really enjoying the weather this time of year thus far. Vancouver getting a huge amount of rain during the winter and spring is now getting increasingly warmer. The trees are now all completely covered with thick leaves including the odd tree with these giant fluffy cotton things on them that fall off and fly EVERYWHERE including up your nose and giving everyone including yours truly hay fever which is a first for me.

Ever since I first visited my inlaws in 2009 I have been so excited about berry picking. Right across from their house are a huge long line of giant blackberry bushes and that first visit in 2009 was in August so I totally missed out. And I moved here last September so I missed out last year so here I am in June watching the berry bushes sprout flowers, consistently warm/hot weather with rain once a week - it's perfect conditions and my hands are twitchy with the thought of going out there picking!

Today it being Fathers Day, Steven and I spent the afternoon with his parents. We went for a walk and I was happy to see a huge amount of huckleberries, salmon berries, blackberries but they werent ready yet and what I hoped to be blueberries or salal berries but My dad in law convinced me not to eat them.

On taking a walk the other day in a neighbourhood along the Fraser river (won't say where lol) we also found a huge amount of raspberry bushes going along the side of the road.

So in the next two weeks you'll hopefully see pics of me grinning gleefully with big buckets of berries to fill my deep freezer with. In the mean time if you live in BC here is some useful information and identification pictures to refer to on foraging in BC and other provinces courtesy of HERE for future use...

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Glazed Chicken and Peaches - a thrifty/quicker version to a good ol Rachael Ray recipe

Glazed Chicken and Peaches

Heres what the recipe looks like. Big giant non bullet point listed paragraph instructions on what to do. I do like however that she has pictures. I could tell just from reading it that it would make a lot of dishes as she recommends setting aside and cooking EVERYTHING separately. Plus her recipes insist of a lot of fresh ingredients which for most of us we're never in the right season for, its too much hassle and too expensive. Pictures aren't toally necessary for me but when Im making a new recipe for the first time it is helpful.
If you hate my way of doing it cheap and want to be a snobby purist and complicate things for yourself try out the actual recipe here

 Here's what I did

- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breast, sliced in half lengthways
- 1 can of peaches
- Juice of half a lemon OR 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of ground ginger- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chicken stock (dry stuff not the wet stuff)
- 1 courgette/zucchini  (this is optional. I just added it it give this dish more colour and veges and its what I had lying    around in my fridge).
- 1 Tbsp of soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp of dried thyme

In a large fry pan, cook onion, oil and courgette on med heat until browned. Set aside.

Puree half the can of peaches in a large'ish pyrex jug or something similar, then combine the puree and the whole peaches in the pan. Add ginger, stock powder, soy sauce and thyme. Mix and heat for 5 mins. Add back to pyrex jug but leave a bit of puree in the pan.

Place the sliced chicken in the pan on the puree mix on a med heat until cooked through and browned slightly. Cut the chicken if you have to check.

Put the heat down to low and return the veges to the pan and pour the peach mix on top of that and stir it in together and heat through gently.

Serve with creamy mashed potatoes Mmmmmm!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Mars Hill Church - Bellevue Campus

Church was amazing but what happily surprised me was that it was barely five metres from a Barnes and Noble bookstore and Starbucks!! Thats a Melody version of heaven on earth right there - Church, books and coffee :D America has convinced me to just not buy books in Canada or anywhere else for that matter unless theyre cheap and second hand. At Barnes and Noble I found extremely high quality books and titles that Ive not seen anywhere for very decent prices. I was very tempted to buy a hard copy large book of Aesop's Fables in colour that was on sale for $20 but I refrained as I knew we'd be back one day with more money. I was also amazed to find an entire shelf of Christian books that wasn't spiritual rubbish by Joel Osteen or whatshername I can't remember, the one with the southern accent who annoys me a lot... lol

Thats Mars Hill Church on the right hand side and the Barnes & Noble + Starbucks on the left hand side (photo was taken prior to the building being owned by the church)

Pastor Mark Driscoll is the preaching Pastor at Mars Hill Church. For more info on the multiple church campuses, pastors, sermon podcasts and vision/doctrine of the church click here

After church we made our way across Lake Washington with its spectacular views over to downtown Seattle.

Heres a gorgeous picture of Lake Washington with Mercer Island in the middle facing Seattle from Bellevue

One thing I have to note about Seattle is just how stunningly gorgeous it is! It helped a whole lot that the weather was fantastic as its very typical of both Seattle and Vancouver to get a huge ton of rain throughout the year. I love the lakes. I also appreciated how good their highways in and outside of the city were. Maybe Im getting used to the horrible never ending roadworks of the #1 highway in Vancouver but Washington/Seattle highways were clean, big, even and decent. Yes we had very heavy traffic in downtown but what do you expect? Its downtown!! Those poor buggers hardly see the sun like us and it was a sunny Sunday and hey lets all go clog up downtown! No big deal.
The other thing which I knew would happen and didn't at all surprise me was the high cost of downtown parking. We were very lucky that we found parking on Pike St for lunch was was incrediably busy and just a tad dodgy/colourful by the looks of the neighborhood but again so what? We knew we would run into that and came prepared for it. 

Science Fiction Museum of Seattle!! (SFM)

You'd think it was some kind of art gallery when you see it cos it makes you think some giant vomited up metal and colour and called it a building lol. I gotta admit the different shades of the copper walls and stuff was very pretty. Ive got no photo but on the other side of the building the walls are like purpley metal and made the nice courtyard look like it had waves on the ground it was pretty cool. One thing about SFM is that I don't think its entire acurate to just call it a science fiction museum. Its more of a pop culture museum than anything else. It was broken down into exhibitions that were show casing popular science fiction, fantasy, horror, and music. In particular they had a kind of memory shrine going for  Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana/Kurt Cobain as well as a thing for female rock artists that I found interesting to look at/listen to but couldn't take pictures because my camera and phone camera died..

Atrium of the museum
I loved this big giant sculpture of guitars! On closer look there was a thing to read with headphones so I put them on and what the curator or whoever they were did was attached timers and electronic picks to the different strings on the different guitars so that it made music in a way. Very cool...

Science Fiction Exhibition

Christopher Reeves Superman outfit

Yoda's necklace and walking stick (Starwars)

(William Shatner) Captain Kirk's chair with tribbles (which breed faster than rabbits Ive heard)

Full length jacket worn by Neo/Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Trilogy)
The info on the wall says the design was inspired by a combining a Mao suit with a clerical cassock outfit

Heres a better picture (bottom right) of what I saw (minus good looking Keanu Reeves lol)
Also on the left is a model of the robot spider things in the Matrix that travel through all the tunnels within earth searching for things to destroy namely hovercraft ships run by rebels like Morpheus

On the right is the Star Trek uniform word by Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura in the First Generation series and on the left is the uniform worn by Brent Spiner who played Data the android in the Second Generation series (I hope I got that right..)

Sci Fi Weapons

Rifle used in 'Men in Black'      -------->

One of those Anubis Masks that those baddies wear in Stargate

Dr Who Stuff

 Fantasy Exhibition

I'll admit, besides the costumes, I didn't pay a hell of a lot of attention to this exhibition because it had some stuff I couldn't care less about. Namely there was a room filled with nothing but stuff from 'Magic the gathering' and World of Warcraft' which personally I think is a load of crap by hey thats just my opinion. Typically the people I meet who are into that stuff hate their lives and want instead to become children in adults bodies who only care about make believe wars and card trading. That said everyone one who knows me knows that Im only into one fantasy series and one sci fi series (Tolkien & Star Wars) and that Id rather attend a Jane Austen convention with my grandmother than get excited over this stuff that my husband and Mums family care more about than me. THAT said, there was some interesting things to look at in the fantasy collection...

Xena Warrior Princess outfit worn by New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless

Nice suit of armor there...

Left, costume of the Wicked Witch's Guard. Looks like a combination of Swiss Army, Buckingham Palace Guard and Russian Cossack outfits...
Right, the cowardly lion costume and actors face in it..

 Princess Bride!

Wowsa, look at these outfits!!!

 "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya - you killed my father, prepare to die"

 Wesley and Inigo's swords


Susan Pevensie and her bow and arrows

Costume head of a Minotaur used in the Narnia series

The White Witch and her wand and crown

Labyrinth - David Bowie the Goblin King


Id also like to add that I saw some particularly fantastic manuscripts, diaries and sketch drawings done personally by JRR Tolkien. It was amazing to read and look at esp his hand writing! Only problem was the Tolkien stuff was guarded by two staff who said cameras were not allowed because the flashes would gradually ruin the paper or writing etc... Ahh well. It was fantastic to look at anyway.. One thing I read in the diary was that Tolkien got the idea for the word 'Hobbit' by inspiration from CS Lewis who had a similar story with a brave midget character called a 'Babbit'. Tolkien stole from Lewis! Then he had the bloody nerve to disassociate himself from him for using different mythological characters in one series! Geez he was a bit of perfectionistic snob wasn't he.. Brilliant genius though..

 The Horror Exhibition

Unfortunately I couldn't get enough pictures except for this funny one of my husband Steven with the screamo portraits hahaha. Theres was a photo booth in this section where you had to scream as realistically as possible with the help of scary visual aids and I suppose the best ones get on the wall. 

I liked this wall montage of scary horror characters frequently used in novels and movies. They had very useful info under each picture on what their traits were and what to do if you see or have to fight one lol. 

100 Horror movies you have to see before you die..

More stuff from horror movies Im unfamiliar with.. I see a frankenstein head and an axe that was used in a movie called 'The Shining' and a skeletal bug thing that looks like it has a long finger and testicles.. ??

  • And lastly there was an exhibition (shrine more like!) on Nirvana/Kurt Cobain and the Seattle punk scene here
  • And an exhibition on on the musical and fashion influence of Jimi Hendrix here

Hope you enjoyed and persevered through this very long post of mine. Sayonara til next time!