2018 Highlights Week 9: feeling old feeling young

Went to see the Lemonheads and Veruca Salt play this week. I think I last saw the Lemonheads over 20 years ago in Japan. It was odd to see them again – Evan didn’t talk to the crowd at all and just played through the set. They still sounded food and played many favourites, but it was a slightly hollow feeling, a slightly displaced performance. It made me feel inexplicably a little sad – did they get any enjoyment from playing, something that back when I first saw them so long ago, before their big two albums, was clearly a passiin. It was hard to tell.

Also Even looked like the homeless dude who cleans your windscreen at the traffic lights.

Veruca Salt, on the other hand, were full of that joyous energy that makes seeing a band fun. They had people up dancing despite being at the not-particularly band friendly Canberra Theatre. I enjoy them – it did make me feel like I was young, rather than reminding me of the abyss of time between now and my youth.


2018 Highlights Week 8: bird crack

One of the trees at the front of pur house is completely loved by the local parrots. Every year there are countless cockatoos in it, crunching and cracking away.

This year I also spotted a gang-gang – the first time I have ever seen one at all.

There have also been corellas, galahs, rosellas and green king parrots.

They leave the driveway looming like this, but I think it is a small price to pay for having such colourful visitors on a regular basis.

2018 Highlights Week 7: keeping connected

One nice thing since I have been at Agriculture is that I am still feeling pretty closely connected to Education. Every week I have had coffee or lunch or drinks once or twice with one of my old colleagues (and this doesn’t even count my fortnightly dumpling date with James). We have conversations about career advice, work issues or just a good gossip. It is lovely to feel that you are not forgotten when you walk out the door and that your insight and company are still valued. And I love catching up on the gossip!

Highlights 2018 Week 6: Back to School

Finally the school holidays are over and these three dufuses headed back to school – last year at Turner for Zac, last year at Campbell for Sebastian. New year, new adventures.

And here is a comparison of Zac on his very first day of school.

2018 Highlights Week 5: New work adventures

So over the last few years I have done a lot of travel for work, including a lot of travel overseas. I have stayed in some amazing hotels, flown business class internationally and visited countries as diverse as Timor Leste, Colombia and Korea. This week I went on my first overnight work trip – a road trip to visit the cheese factory at Bega. Some things have changed.

However, the thing that hasn’t changed, is how interesting my work can be. I was there to look at the factory ahead of an audit that will be undertaken by the Chilean government to decide whether they can export cheese there.

It was fascinating to see inside the factory. I love factories. I love to see the way they work, the innovation- I always end up wondering how someone devised the process, came up with the machines. I have such respect for invention.

It was also a great learning exercise for me – understanding what we are interested in when we audit and how we go about it. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the process of exporting dairy foods!

I got to see processed cheese made – and I remain of the view tjat whwn we used to call it “plastic cheese” there was some justice to it!

We stayed in Merimbula and it was nice to have a chance to catch up with Jackie and John. The accommodation wasn’t quite the Santiago Intercontinental, but I did get to see a kangaroo out of my apartment window while I watched the rain. Can’t do that in Santiago!

Highlights 2018 Week 4: card and knife tricks

Sebastian has taken up card tricks and has been spending hours perfecting them – with a little help from YouTube.

He’s actually started to get quite good at some of them – though there is still a bit of a failure rate. Nonetheless, we are all regularly impressed. Meanwhile, we find packs of cards all over the place.

The twist in the tale came on Saturday when he was helping me cook. Deciding to try and make his own coconut milk after having whipped up some paneer, his hand slide down the knife while removing coconut flesh. So it was off to the hospital. It is important to Snapchat these moments as you see happening above.

Fortunately there was no serious damage done and with a stitch we were done, and back to home and cooking.

A bit of a damper on the card tricks requiring manual dexterity, so he has been practicing the maths bases ones. But he hasn’t given up entirely and has been demonstrating how he can cut the deck with one hand. Can’t keep a good magician down.

2018 Highlights week 3: Busking riches

Jude has decided that he really wants a VR headset. These cost upwards of $1000 and his savings were minimal. So he embarked on three days of around 3 hours of busking – and ended up around $300 richer. So a third of the way there!