The week that was…week 4: of boys and bruises and Braidwood

2013-01-24 21.04.52Here are the boys arriving back from Adelaide – while it is nice to have grown up time, it is nice to have them back!

But that isn’t how the week started….

january 2 january 1On Sunday during scrim I had taken a rather hard fall onto my thigh – and over the week the bruise emerged. These were my best attempts at capturing it, and it got even bigger. And then on Tuesday I fell on my thumb, which continues rather sore.

On the weekend, while James and the big boys were at CanCon, Zachary and I made the trip to Braidwood to meet new Master Jolyon – and catch up with the rest of his family as well.

2013-01-26 10.48.39This perhaps is not Jolyon’s best angle, but it was lovely to meet him, and have a baby sleep in my arms again – and then give him back!

2013-01-26 18.18.50The weather got rather awful after that – the storm was coming here, but the rain was more feriously than expected.

So Sunday was mostly inside – although James and Sebastian ventured out for hockey. The rest of us stayed in and I managed a new high score for Ticket to Ride.

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Snapshots: Matching!

january 4It is probably not such a surprise they ended up wearing these on the same days since Sebastian rarely takes his off.

Week 3: Road trips galore

2013-01-13 19.30.04We had a quick couple of days in Adelaide after Kangaroo Island, which included an afternoon of roller skating at the Blackwood Recreation Centre and two dinners with the extended family then we left the boys behind and had rather different company in the back seat for the road trip back to Canberra.

2013-01-15 06.59.13-1 At home we discovered the asbestos-wrought devastation to next door – and it must be said it is disturbing to look out of your kitchen window and see people three metres away working in blue suits and respirators.

2013-01-16 08.52.16 2013-01-16 09.38.31There were bags and bags of vegetation and soil being taken away for proper disposal. And now we have no fence between us.

Anyway, a couple of days back at work and then it was off to Sydney for Jasmin and Andrew’s birthday dinner at Tetsuya’s. We discovered that there was an excellent cocktail bar right next to our hotel due to the gin-knowing Anne on Twitter. So cocktails it was. That’s my negroni.

2013-01-18 21.07.50Tasks for Saturday included visits to Paddy’s market to buy covers for phones and iPads and other bits and pieces…

2013-01-19 13.16.14(I couldn’t resist buying this for my expected work iPhone 5)…

2013-01-19 13.00.45…and a visit to the giant duck in Darling Harbour.

2013-01-19 14.59.27James and I also encoutered Chinese dragons being used to launch Thai curry sauce (well, it is all Asian isn’t it?) which were also being filmed for a show I’d never heard of called Recipe to Riches. We felt sorry for the production assistant who had to hold one of the host’s cigar during takes.

And Tetsuya’s…

2013-01-19 19.13.07 Well, the seafood dishes were fabulous, particularly the Salad of the Sea. I was less impressed with the two meat dishes but the desserts were lovely. I was a bit underwhelmed by the wines, a couple were very good but one or two failed to impress. Over all, I thought that the price-quality ratio wasn’t as good as many other degustations I had been to. But it was a lovely evening.

And there is always time for another gin-based cocktail.

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Fragments

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One afternoon, Jude and Zac and I went for a walk down the beach, while Sebastian (who had a sore leg) and James stayed behind. Jude and Zac wanted to climb sandhills, and while they did, I got distracted with finding shells and rocks and other cool things on the beach. Rather than bring them all home with me (I love these beautiful fragments), I took photos, so I figured I can share them with you.Adelaide etc 96

I love these fragments of shell which have been broken and worn away to become something else – a smooth, sculpture of glowing shell.

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I love a rock and the way the sea twists them into odd and beautiful shapes.Adelaide etc 106

A sponge!

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And here is me – not quite as delicate as the random fragments of shell I found on the beach.

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More broken shells. Sometimes I think the broken shells are more beautiful than whole shells – the broken ones have endures, have faced the sea and have shaped themselves into something new and unique.Adelaide etc 117 Adelaide etc 119

Another weird spongey thing.

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One of my boys has been this way.

Adelaide etc 121While some think seaweed on beaches is unattractive, it is a reminder of the life in the ocean, and often filled with interesting things. Not to mention the seaweek itself – we saw an amazing range of colours and shapes during our time at Vivonne Bay.

Adelaide etc 116 Adelaide etc 123There were hundreds of cuttlefish remains on the beach. The boys collected heaps on every walk. This was a particularly small example.

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And a small boy! They were all over – fortunately whole, and not in fragments….

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Nine days of Kangaroo Island

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Last time we went to Kangaroo Island we had a lovely time, so it was time to return. We again stayed at the beautiful Vivonne Bay – a different, slightly bigger house which was also a block closer to the beach. Most of the time on the island was filled with beach, reading and Ticket to Ride Europe. It is hard to resist days of on the beach with a long, mostly empty beach ficve minutes walk away. But that wasn’t all we did.

2013-01-04 13.24.07We may have only been to Kangaroo Island a couple of times, but we already have habits. Or rituals if you prefer. Our first was to stop at Fish as soon as we were off the ferry for lunch. Still delicious fish and chips – and scallops and prawns. It was then off across the island to Vivonne Bay where we managed a swim and some boogie boarding straight away.

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On our second morning we got up early and went to Kingscote for supplies. Below are the kind of supplies that we particularly wanted.

2013-01-05 18.05.51We also had a lovely visit to KI Spirits where we pretty much bought all the spirits. And Fever Tree tonics. And had lovely chats with the owner while trying more. It is a must-visit stop on a KI visit.

Adelaide etc 58Long walks on the beach let small boys become junior naturalists, observing and sometimes even recording what they saw. The first couple of days we saw a lot of dead things – dead puffer fish, a dead giant Pacific gull and the dead baby seal I nearly ran into as it bobbed in the water. Small boys also gave much consideration to tracks in the sand, and came up with their own names for stretches of beach based on what they found there, or the geology or geography of the area.

Adelaide etc 67Last time we were on Kangaroo Island two years ago, Zac was a bit nervous about the ocean and would get cold quickly and wail and refuse to go in. This time it was impossible to get him out, even when he was shivering. Here I lured him out with the promise of tiny teddies. The wesuits helped a bit with the cold, but Zachary loved jumping around in the waves, resisting them with his Protein Power.

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We also made the trip to the marron farm where we had close encounters with marron both dead and alive. The Poachers Platter is as delicious as ever, and the boys got to meet some living marron up close.

Adelaide etc 153 Another morning trip took us to Little Sahara where the boys we hoping that the skim board that had won en route to Kangaroo Island would prove to be a good sannd slide. Sadly, it was inadequately slippery, so they were reduced to running up and down the giant sandhill. I’ll admit, once I had climbed to the top, I stayed there and watched.

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The other major outing was a visit to the Kelly Hill Caves, and while Jude and James and Sebastian went adventure caving in the afternoon, Zac and I went and looked at koalas, managing to spot 15. The highlight for Jude in the adventure caving tour apparently was getting to meet some paleontologists who were excavating, trying to find their way back 6000 years.

Adelaide etc 73Adelaide etc 267But mostly we were at the beach, swimming, playing cricket, boogie boarding, building castles, going for walks, reading books. The beach was still fairly unpopulated and one could walk for vast distances without seeing a footprint, let alone a person.

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We took a walk on the beach one night at sunset in the hope of seeing the stars, but it was cloudy. Nonetheless, the sunset was spectacular and it was lovely to walk the beach in the dimming light.

Adelaide etc 256So a lovely time away. Hard to leave it and return to reality. we made one last stop before catching the ferry with a quick visit to the lighthouse at Cape Willoughby. Then it was fish and chips and ferry and back to Adelaide.

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Snapshots: More gin

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This appears to be a gin heavy week. Right now I am drinking this Ritz Bijou at Assembly Bar in Sydney, following a delicious negroni. Ah, gin.

Snapshots: Definition of hopeful

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This greeted me this morning on my return to work. I think Krystal, my EA, wants to keep me organised. I wish her good luck in this endeavour.