2014-03-08 20.23.56It was damp and a little cold, but that didn’t stop there being a whole lot of people there, or us enjoying the last chance to enjoy Enlighten for the year.

We were very excited to see Thomas Magill, our friend, credited for the work on the Portrait Gallery, along with some of his students.

The National Gallery and Old Parliament House proved excellent canvasses.

Most of all though I think we loved the fire at the High Court.

Weeks! #10: feasts, friends, games and Nine Inch Nails

2014-03-03 07.18.11Another Monday, another ride, another balloon.

This week got off to a lovely start though as I went and saw Natasha formally welcomed into the role of Ambassador for Women and Girls. It was lovely to catch up with Shirley and even better to have some time to hang out with Nat. Our schedules being what they were in the second half of last year it has been absolutely ages since we had spent time together. And Best Friend Time is excellent time.

The excellent nature of Monday continued when I got home. A dumpling feast awaited. Paul and his partner Chun-Ling came over in the afternoon and Chun-Ling taught the boys to make dumplings. With many hands, many many dumplings were made. They were most delicious.

2014-03-04 07.23.00Another morning ride – the compulsory balloon peeking out.

Still managing to walk the boys to school some days. It is always a good chance to chat and enjoy the mornings together.

2014-03-05 13.41.28Had to get my new Drivers Licence and by some miracle the photo didn’t make me look like a criminal. Licence birthday coming soon.

Played some Study in Emerald, got an evening of baby cuddles into the bargain.

So Thursday I escaped from work early and jumped in the car with James and Andrew R and we headed to Sydney. Chinese food in China town in close proximity to the Entertainment Centre where we were to see Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. Nine Inch Nails went first and were everything one would expect – wall of noise, back lit, lots of smoke machine and a slightly pretentious avoidance of playing their biggest hit ever. But very very good with it. Queens of the Stone Age came next – also very enjoyable and very much what you would expect also. We did sneak out a couple of songs before the end – we had the drive back and wanted to make sure we weren’t trapped in the Entertainment Centre car park for two long. As it was, we made pretty good time and were in bed by 2.30am, though that is still pretty late when you are as old as me with life as busy as it has been.


2014-03-07 17.31.14I did think I deserved a second fizzy caffeinated beverage before Friday DHR training given the late night.

2014-03-07 18.32.44Saturday it was old friends and an afternoon playing Junta.

2014-03-08 14.49.03We then tried out Papa Rich for dinner – cheap and enormous serves.

It was the last night of Enlighten, so we decided to head to the parliamentary triangle, despite threats of rain. I will post separately, but here are the boys and me.

Saturday started with a visit to the park to help celebrate Alice’s birthday. The new playground at John Knight Memorial Park proved popular, as did the cake.

And then after derby training, and a busy week all round, it was nice to relax in the pjs.

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Weeks! #9: keeping sane, thinking happy

2014-02-24 07.05.24Ah, the serenity of beginning the week with an early morning ride around the lake when the balloons are aloft. There wasn’t a lot of other serenity in the week, having come back to a completely packed diary which included things that were inherently not fun – like an interview with lawyers from the Royal Commission into Home Insulation and Senate Estimates, but when one is out, riding along the lake shore, looking at the sunrise and the balloons, it is possible to ignore all that for a while. Sadly, a short while.

2014-02-24 13.01.04Did manage to find time in the week to have lunch with James at LSR. Another moment of sanity and peace.

2014-02-25 11.00.53Tea and cheesecake were welcome additions to one morning.

2014-02-25 14.46.23And I got to use my new stamp.

2014-02-25 21.30.19Training is another chance to get away from it all and think about something else. Even if I do need new socks.

2014-02-26 11.37.04When times get tough, sometimes the tough resort to thickshakes and hot dogs for lunch.

2014-02-26 18.14.54Or post work gins.

2014-02-26 13.37.32We had some visitors from China during the week, so I went to lunch with them. Good food and thinking about international collaboration are always good things.

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When things feel bad, it is hard not to feel better when considering the wonderful three small people in my life. And especially when they give me hugs.

I also love to watch them playing happily with their Lego.

or when they interact with other smaller people, and the pleasure they get from it.

2014-03-01 16.01.31and of course, watching them skate makes me happy even if I am jealous of Sebastian’s awesome skills.

2014-03-01 19.51.28Becoming someone else for an evening and doing what they do is another way to think differently.

Snowbite: Dishonour Rollers vs Free Sisters

So this was my first game as an actual player. It does change you perspective somewhat! And certainly less time for taking photos. The first few jams were a total blur but then I got into my groove a little more and certainly felt like I made a contribution. The worst part of the game – falling onto my skate in the straight right in front of the crowd. Incredibly painful and then hard as I limped to catch up with the pack (probably should have just stayed down as they had lead jammer!). Fun bits – holding the jammer up for most of the straight. I was extremely impressed by the jamming of iKandy who the Free Sisters had borrowed from WIRD. And Blue Mountains are always fun and challenging to play. It was an exciting game though with lots of lead changes. With about five minutes left I was resigned to losing – and then we were talking about our strategy for the next jam and Reaper said “just get a power jam” and somehow, we did! We then managed to pull ahead and stay ahead and ended up winning 202-173. There is a more coherent report on the game with photos here. Below are a couple of photos of me in action – borrowed from Sonia Quinn and David Mackie.

action shot derby team

Weeks! #8: Ningbo and back

2014-02-17 07.29.50The view from my window out at Ningbo – the greyness indicating the weather, which involved drizzle or all out rain for most of the day.

The whole hotel was locked down for the APEC meetings – we needed out ID to get in and out, metal detectors, being wanded each time and our IDs had RFIDs which went off every time we went into a conference area, flashing up our photos. There is, however, something quite strange about knowing that everyone at breakfast is essentially like you, just from different countries.

2014-02-17 10.07.35I got my presentation out of the way first thing on Monday and spent the rest of the day learning about other countries. It is fun sitting behind a sign that says “Australia” though.

2014-02-17 16.13.11-2We had a two hour break for lunch, so even after the sit down buffet, there was time to go for a walk. The rain was down to a very light drizzle, so I could check out the river near the hotel.

My walk wsa obviously in my conference gear. I realised that these shoes have walked the Mall in Washington and the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul amongst other places. This is what happens when you have to squeeze your touristing into spaces between the working.

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Then back to more meetings.

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Tuesday the rain was harder than Monday. It actually snowed for a period during the afternoon too.

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I had an excursion Tuesday morning out to a factory which was co-owned by Australians to have a look at what they do and the skills they use. They make giant steel structures for diverse customers including water parks and port infrastructure.

In the evening one of my colleagues and I decided to head out for food. It was ridiculously cold and wet, but we did still get to enjoy the lights of Ningbo.

We found a nice looking restaurant but then had to struggle with the fact they spoke no English, we spoke no Mandarin, and the menu didn’t have pictures. Eventually we got there though – beef noodles and beer. Pretty tasty too.

2014-02-18 19.36.22The next day was cold and wet again so I opted to have a massage during lunch rather than go outside. But after a day inside the hotel, I needed a little walk so went and visited the cathedral before dinner.

Dinner was with the other members of the Capacity Building Network at a restaurant which was established in 1926. Lots of fabulous traditional food. it is weird how both sweet and savoury dishes come out at the same time.

The final morning in Ningbo, I discovered that my hotel room faced East.

2014-02-20 07.17.59After a morning of meetings it was off to Ningbo airport where I ended spending more time than I really would have preferred.  Every second plane was delayed due to “air space congestion”. It all started to feel a bit sci fi, which made me realise how dominated by China/East Asia my sci fi interpreted view of the future seems to be. Anyway, it gave me a chance to try a Chinese style Magnum.

2014-02-20 15.09.10Changing terminals in Guangzhou is entertaining – you get to zoom through corridors on one of these…

2014-02-20 19.10.17I found my favourite sign at Guangzhou airport.

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I arrived home around lunchtime Friday, and took Jude to cricket Friday afternoon. Back into family life.

Saturday had more boy sport as I took the boys to junior derby.

We had a lovely visit from friends Bevan and Karen and their kids on Saturday night – they were in town briefly and it was wonderful to catch up. And drink a few good bottles of red wine.

2014-02-23 10.43.46Nothing like french toast with fresh free range eggs for breakfast.

2014-02-23 10.43.55The boys have been taking advantage of their new play room to spend quite a lot of time with extensive lego adventures. Fortunately I don’t need to walk through there much.

The week ended with training and scrim and that combined feeling of exhausted and exhilarated!

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