Roman Britain birthday

various 13Sebastian decided this year to have a Roman britain themed live action role-playing adventure birthday party. The boys regularly attend a couple of sessions of Aeon Academy school holiday programs each year and discovered that they also do birthday parties. Because it was a little on the expensive side for parties, he even willingly gave up the majority of other presents for an experience.

The boys were all legionaires based near Hadrian’s Wall and had to be trained in marching and weapon use. They then had an adventure which included fighting each other in their dreams, discovering an ancient tomb and stealing its treasure and then being attacked by giant Pictish Shadow Warriors who they had to fight off.  It was all very entertaining to watch and the boys had enormous fun. Zachary was incredibly excited because he had never had a chance to fight with boffer weapons before.

They did all right too – when they managed to keep their shield wall together!

As parents, all we really had to do was watch!

We did manage to squeeze in the birthday cake at the end – white chocolate cheesecake that Sebastian had even made himself.

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The week that was…week 20: martinis, sport, souffle and art

2013-05-13 10.24.14The week started with a day trip to Sydney and a presentation in Darling Harbour. I got to wear my fabulous new blue suede shoes too.

2013-05-13 07.42.11On Tuesday we had a Canberra centenary martini night at the Press Club. The martinis were fabulous and we got to frock up and be all sophistimacated.

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Zachary got an award at assembly. James was able to make it to assembly, but sadly the wall-to-wallness of meetings meant I didn’t get to see it til that night.

2013-05-15 18.04.44I was still sick this week but not time for a sick day. Which leads to this kind of evidence on one’s desk.

2013-05-16 17.35.33I did get to Dishonour Roller training though. The DHRs are our away team, and while I am not quite good enough to skate with them yet, Sheriff of Naughtyslams and I are the bench crew. I wasn’t on skates though as I was still feeling too blah.

2013-05-15 19.45.57Managed to find time to appreciate how beautiful our street continues to look with the colours of autumn.

2013-05-15 17.28.43Saturday morning and Sebastian’s hockey again. We didn’t make it too the football game though – the two are immediately after each other, and footy was in Queanbeyan, and we had no means of transportation. As Sebastian’s priority is hockey, we get to focus on that, which is easy as we can ride to ANU.

2013-05-18 10.56.58While James and Jude were at Jude’s footy, Sebastian, Zachary and I went to the shops and I was quite happy to have a sit and watch them play in the playground for a while.

Saturday night we had a visit from Steve and Shell and Fritha which is always lovely.

2013-05-18 18.43.15 2013-05-18 18.43.24Sebastian, quite the cook now, decided to make souffles for dessert. They turned out brilliantly.

2013-05-18 20.26.35Sunday was a busy day. We walked to Lonsdale Street for breakfast. I love seeing all my boys together like this.

2013-05-19 10.54.49Afterwards there was a bit of shop browsing, which the boys actually really like.

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The rest of the afternoon’s activities included collecting things from work, afternoon tea with Ga, drinks at Dave and Caroline’s newly purchased-now-to-be-rented house and derby training.

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They also included going to the Front to see the exhibition of an art project Jude had been working on with his class. It is called People and Place and involves linking art done by Indonesian and Australia school students, organised by artist Elly Kent. We went to see the works that had been completed, and also to get screen prints made for each of the boys. Very cool.


Sebastian and the regional carnival


various 70 The day after i got back from Indonesia, Sebastian and James headed up to Campbelltown for Sebastian’s first regional hockey carnival of the year. It was a very successful day for Sebastian – he scored three goals for the day (two in one match) which was the majority of the team’s five for the day. And better still, they won the carnival. Here are some photos from the day.

The week that was…week 19: autumn and its many delights

2013-05-06 19.28.11Zachary and Jude decided to immortalise in art the soft toys I brought them back from Jakarta. They did a pretty fine job I would say.

2013-05-06 19.35.56It was another week of another beautiful Canberra autumn.

I wasn’t as appreciative of it as I may have been – by mid week a cold had struck hard, and I took the day off on Wednesday. In the end though, that just meant I spent the day working in bed, or at least in my pyjamas.

2013-05-08 10.19.07George did like my being at home though.

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I wasn’t too sick to enjoy this though.

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Despite being less than 100%, the show must go on. I walked Zac to school early on Thursday for choir. While his older brothers have lost interest, Zac has embraced choir with enthusiasm.

2013-05-09 08.23.18There was more cooking from Sebastian. He made shortbread one evening.

2013-05-09 19.39.07 And, with Jude’s assistance, lemonade.

2013-05-11 15.48.52Saturday morning was the first morning for Saturday winter sports for the year. But first, Sebastian and I had morning tea at LSR.

2013-05-11 09.06.06Then time for hockey. Sebastian is really playing very well – all the extra playing time with grown ups over summer and with the regional team is paying off.

various 191And then, with a bit of help from Ga, it was quickly over the football where we were joined by the rest of the family post-minkey.

Finally, it was Mother’s Day. While I still firmly believe it is a Hallmark Holiday and there are no presents in our house and I spent most of the day in bed, it is nice to have my boys to cuddle.

The week that was…week 18: Indonesia and back again

2013-04-29 06.53.23I don’t think I had quite shaken off the music festival when I headed to the airport on Monday morning – but hey, long socks are practical when travelling from cold climates to hot!

2013-04-29 10.03.11So it was off to Jakarta, via the Business Lounge in Sydney – we were flying Garuda so couldn’t get to the First Class Lounge. Them’s the breaks.

2013-04-29 21.44.06 2013-04-30 09.25.03 2013-04-30 21.03.36We were staying at the Four Seasons in Jakarta which was a lovely hotel. Here is the view from my hotel room window at three different times of day. The first is when we finally arrived at the hotel on Monday night.

The Four Seasons also had a lovely pool, but I only got a couple fo chances to go for a brief swim – our schedule was rather packed.

Our week was filled with meetings and trips in cars and dinners and trips in cars and visits to training insitutions. We spent a lot of time in cars, so much so that the following set of photos is entitled “Photos Taken From A Moving Vehicle.”

My favourites in here are:

the motorbike as family transportation – we saw quite a lot of that and I must say it freaked me out a little to see a toddler being held up wearing now helmet, wedged in between parents.

customised helmets: there were so many cool cutomised helmets. Initially I was also struck by how many people wore their helmets, and indeed, there is a law requiring helmets. We did see more people without helmets further out from the centre of Jakarta.

the corporate branded mosque: Astra was one of the companies we visisted, and very big they are. This was the mosque for the workers to use during the day.


We got very nice hospitality at our meetings.

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There was also this:

2013-05-01 15.59.21-1The yellow cake was labelled “lamington”. I refuse to accept that anything yellow can be properly described as a lamington.

2013-04-30 10.15.17This was the only fizzy caffeinated beverage equivalent I came across. Except, it wasn’t that fizzy. Also, they didn’t refill it in my mini bar fridge, and I didn’t get a chance to visit anywhere which might sell such beverages, so I had to go without my crutch for the week. Probably was compensated for by the usually large amount of tea I found myself drinking.

2013-05-01 18.18.33 2013-05-01 20.56.05 2013-05-01 23.59.26The Education folk from the Embassy took us out to a lovely Indonesian style dinner on Wednesday and I tried out a Java Mojito and ate a lot of chilli.


While our government-to-government meetingswent well and were productive, I enjoyed most talking to the training providers, who were all closely involved in manufacturing. We were actually very impressed by the training they were doing. And I lvoe the tours of their facilities.

indonesia 4These are the security guards outside the Australian Embassy. We had a number of security restrictions on us – we could only use certain taxis and on May Day, while we were meeting elsewhere, the Embassy was locked down due to a huge protest.

2013-05-02 15.50.58 indonesia 8We managed a little time for shopping and I bought a compulsory complement of batik shirts for my menfolk.

2013-05-02 20.51.34 2013-05-03 06.59.07Our last night was spent out at Bandung where one of the Polyteknik’s we were visiting was. Room and the view from it pictured above.

2013-05-02 17.59.22This is me after too many hours in the car – I was getting bored enough to take selfies.

And here is a picture from our road trip Starbucks stop – coffee after prayers.

2013-05-03 12.20.10We flew home Friday night, and when I got home on Saturday, while there were no boys, I was very pleased to find the other things I had missed most for the week – fizzy caffeinated beverages and bacon – in the fridge.

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We were all off to the roller derby Saturday night – Black and Blue Bells versus The Surly Griffins. They got into the May the Fourth theme with their roll out.

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Sadly, the Bells ended up comprehensively defeating the Griffins, but there was so good moment of play, and some outstanding juking from Penergy.

2013-05-05 13.57.18I slept in the next day and then hung out with Jude and Zac until it was derby training time. Meanwhile James had taken Sebastian up to Campbelltown for a regional hockey carnival, where Sebastian scored 3 goals and his team won the grand final for the day!

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The week that was…week 17: a packed week

april 001 april 002Autumn in Canberra is a beautiful time, but I didn’t get much of a chance to appreciate it  this week (apart from our day trip to Tidbinbilla)  as it was a bit hectic.

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Work was totally crazy as I tried to get everything done in three days so I could have Friday off, and be ready to head to Indonesia on Monday. This was part of Krystal’s effort to give me time to clear things in the office.

2013-04-22 17.46.02Working late means you get to see this on your way home.

2013-04-23 22.16.27And this.

2013-04-25 14.51.10 2013-04-25 16.22.47On Thursday there were some essential tasks to be done in town. Sebastian helped me out with the non essential ones, and proved a terrible influence, encouraging me to buy shoes. I didn’t buy the red ones (though I want to) but I did buy the blue ones.

2013-04-26 20.06.06 2013-04-26 22.18.15After the day out at Tidbinbilla on Friday, it was off to the “hot new” restaurant in Braddon, 86 for Rachel’s birthday. I might speak in more detail of that separately. But summary – the food was great and it was cheaper than expected. And we ate the entire menu. Literally. After dinner, cocktails at Knightsbridge.

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Cockatoos on the roof next door!

Sunday the boys went to Jackie’s and we were off to Groovin the Moo. It was a lovely afternoon for it and Regurgitator and They Might Be Giants (who we were particularly there to see) did not disappoint. James and I did bail a bit early though – I had a 7.30am flight to catch the next day.