The ISTQB Foundation Level exam was one of the tougher exams I’ve sat yet. The pass grade is 65% (at least 26 correct answers out of the 40 questions) and, at the time of writing, the global pass rate is just under 75% (1 in 4 fails). I spent three exhausting days at a professional training course for this plus an entire weekend studying and stressing out. It’s been a while since I’d done any exam and this is one of the few where I’ve walked in thinking there’s a possibility that I might fail.

The actual exam was even more difficult than I anticipated. I walked out wondering if I’d passed…

ISTQB Certificate

ISTQB Certificate

And I did — with an 80%! How tricky it was made it all the more satisfying. Brag-worthy, methinks! smile

Did the decent thing of taking the washing down from the shared backyard for the neighbour, who was out at the time, before it stormed. Got this in return this morning:

Banana Bread

A note and three slices of banana bread!

A conversation that happened when I asked how much the different sushi we grabbed tonight cost, and he had no clue.

Me: It’s nice to be rich and not care about a 10-cent difference.
Him: This is the first time anyone has called me rich.
Me: …
Him: …
Him: That would be a lie.

Title.

The mum sent me this photo!

Chinese New Year 2015: Hong Kong Family Home Decor

Family home decor back in Hong Kong for this Chinese New Year: Red gladiolus, candy box, and red pockets (mine for collection)

Red pockets awaiting collection upon my return visit to Hong Kong. Best thing about being overseas in this family: All the red pockets, none of the social obligations! Muhahaha.

Yep. I’ve been told that family portrait on the wall looks like the kind that has a safe hidden behind. There’s no safe behind it. No touch. No.

Valentine’s Day! Sydney Symphony Orchestra! Sydney Opera House! Schumann! Mendelssohn! Dumplings! Or more coherently, Valentine’s Day Sydney Symphony Orchestra Opera House Schumann Mendelssohn dumplings! Oops.

It’s a slightly rainy day that didn’t start out very smoothly, with one of my contact lenses deciding to rip and us having to make an extra trip back to pick up my spare lenses and all. Thankfully, everything was perfectly timed after and we could still grab a quick bite a tower of dumplings for dinner as planned.

I’m not normally one to celebrate commercial holidays, but they do make for a good excuse to do something special. Tonight, it was the SSO, conducted by David Robertson, performing Schumann’s first and second symphonies, and German violinist Christian Tetzlaff as the soloist for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. I used Richard’s birthday gift certificate to me (on top of the buffet dinner), so I was able to get us premium seats in one of the Circle Boxes. Spoilt? Me?

SSO at the Opera House: Schumann 1 & 2

SSO event at the Sydney Opera House: Schumann 1 & 2

Being a classical music nerd, I was already familiar with all three compositions, but picked up a lot of notes (especially from the second violins and violas) from the live orchestra that I missed from just listening to recordings. I was also more used to a faster third and fourth movement for Symphony No. 1. I suspect more people would prefer the violin concerto, but I loved all three.

I really can’t comment on the quality of the music otherwise being such an amateur violinist myself, but really did absolutely, massively enjoy the event and was still buzzing from the performance a while after. One thing, though, from Vickie the snob: People, you don’t clap between movements! cool

Selfie Inside Sydney Opera House Concert Hall

Happy Valentine’s Day! Just one selfie inside the Concert Hall! (Just one uploaded, that is. tongue )

The brother asked when I’d be the one on stage. Well, realistically never, but here’s hoping the experience wasn’t too dull for Richard for this to be our last time attending a classical music concert together. smile

In true Aussie spirit on this rainy Australia Day, I woke up super fatigued but still crawled out of the bed and eventually the house, and ended up partially helping a lady who spoke no English other than the words “Rockdale”, “Arncliffe” and “thank you” to get to her desired destination, Arncliffe, and later, rewarded myself with lots of protein, fat and sodium, mostly fat and sodium, at Richard’s friend’s barbecue.

Oh shit. What if I completely misunderstood Arncliffe lady and she didn’t actually want to go to Arncliffe?

Oh shit. I’m not even an Aussie. mindblown-alt

There were more bats on the usual bat flight path tonight than what I’ve ever seen before! Literally ran out to take a photo. Beautiful sunset, too.

Bat Flight Path

So. Many. Bats.

Before:

Frozen Bread Crusts Pre-Organising

Frozen Bread Crusts Pre-Organising

After:

Frozen Bread Crusts Post-Organising

Frozen Bread Crusts Post-Organising

Except the girlfriend wasn’t just an organising freak, but also a glutton who proceeded to eat half of the bread crusts pictured that were all meant to be fishing baits, rendering the organising mostly meaningless.

The more important question is: What can I eat next?