Weeks! #19: consumables, Melbourne, football

2014-05-05 13.20.42Started the week at Jamie’s Italian catching up with Mathew which was lovely. So was the tiramisu.

2014-05-05 17.45.43And in the evening a rather nice shiraz durif. Because we could. Also because we are starting to run low on quaffing wine.

2014-05-06 09.40.01Bacon sandwich, no egg, no sauce, no toast. Even though I only have one for breakfast once every couple of weeks, the women in the little cafe downstairs know exactly what I want when I come and order it.

2014-05-06 11.39.35Some more #yourtightsatwork. I love these ones which I bought over a year ago shopping in Brooklyn with Frederique; makes me think of her and Eric every time I wear them.

2014-05-06 13.29.14James and I had lunch at the Cupping Room. I can’t resist the Salted Caramel and Popcorn milkshake, even if I felt more than a little full at the end of it.

Sebastian is going to high school next year!! Eeek! How am I that old? [side note: when my parents were my age I had already finished university, so I am definitely that old and then some] Anyway it was off to Lyneham High School open night to check it out. Sebastian, true to form, was most interested in the gym, science labs and cooking area. I was super impressed with myself that I could recognise the chlorophyll extracting experiemnt after all these years. Although, I will admit that experiment is burned on my memory from year 10 as I remember everyone setting the lab on fire with methylated spirits while people took turns distracting Mrs Mayfield at the front of the classroom by getting her to show us the rocks which lit up under ultraviolet light (we were the top science class, mind you). Also, I think empires could rise and fall and yet To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies will still be on the year 10 English curriculum. Did anyone not study them at high school?

2014-05-07 06.17.14It was up early the next m0rning and off to the airport. Flights to Melbourne are frustrating – if you need to be anywhere  by 9.30am you really need to catch the 6.40am flight. Qantas and Virgin, I would so love you if you could introduce a 7.30am flight.

2014-05-07 08.34.00Melbourne from a taxi.

2014-05-07 09.33.18Because 6.40am flight I actually got to have breakfast before my conference day started.

2014-05-07 15.26.41It was a day about VET teachers and teaching. Given I have to talk about these things all over the world, good to stay up to date. Really interesting in the way social media can be used, but I always do worry about presentations which focus on “here is the cool techonology” rather than engaging with why and how the technology can contribute to or improve teaching outcomes. But always nice to spend a day learning. And thinking.

And after the conference, a visit to the Gin Palace…for gin.

2014-05-07 20.28.02I I actually really like Melbourne. As I wandered along Southbank I thought that I might indeed prefer Melbourne to Sydney. Different cities, different attractions, but I think I prefer Melbourne’s style.

2014-05-07 20.29.33The view from my hotel room the next morning didn’t hurt my Melbourne preference.

2014-05-08 07.36.12 2014-05-08 17.07.44I was speaking at E-Oz’s conference about Women in the Trades. Very pleased they asked me again because I do think it is important. It is fascinating that, while there have been significant advances in gender equity in traditionally male dominated professions – even engineering – women still represent something like 2% of all electrical apprentices. Vocationally trained occupations are still incredibly gendered – the traditional trades are significantly male dominated (except for hairdressers) while women are clustered in child care, aged care, retail and hospitality (but not chefs usually). The choice of traditionally gendered occupations have massive implications for wage potentials – those caring occupations are amongst the lowest paid while being an electrician or a plumber can lead to quite significant earnings. So it is great to have the opportunity to hear about approaches to overcoming these gaps, and to hear the wonderful stories of those who have. I really liked hearing from Maddie, a current electrical apprentice, about her experiences and her enthusiasm for what she is doing. it is a pity that more young woman don’t even realise these career paths are a possibility for them – and that not all jobs in the trades are dirty or dangerous; many are highly skilled technicians. Not that there is anything wrong with a bit of dirt and a bit of danger.

2014-05-08 09.43.49

In a magnificent coincidence that Natasha and I have been trying to make happen for over a year now, she happened to be in Melbourne at the same time. So she made sure we had nearby rooms and booked us a pedicure. I took a short break from my conference for feet indulgence and gossip.There is nothing like some solid Best Friend Time to debrief about the challenges of life. And to get blue toenails.

2014-05-08 12.17.49

The conference dinner included cocktails! It is funny how when you have worked with people and met at conferences and other things over years you really do develop friendships. Conference dinners are a nice place to catch up.

2014-05-08 18.05.08I had to get up early to fly back to work, so I watched the sun rise from the 28th floor of the Metropol. i couldn’t take a photos that captured how spectacular that was, but I tried.

2014-05-09 06.49.17I got a lovely surprise at work. But apparently I nearly spoiled it. I had popped up to see my wonderful boss Craig to tell him about our latest drama and I noticed that on his desk he had a bottle of the D’arenberg Peppermint Paddock sparkling chambourcin. I assumed he had it as a present for someone and I told him it was an excellent choice, one of my absolute favourites. About five minutes after we had our meeting, one of my friends who has an office near Craig came down and presented the bottle and note to me. It had not even occurred to me that it was actually a gift for me. It was a token of appreciation for my professional handling of my appearance at the Royal Commission. It doesn’t take much to feel appreciated, and this was certainly something that helped.

2014-05-09 16.35.32At the moment weekends are all about sport. Football, hockey, football, derby, derby, derby.

Friday night I watched Zac play his second game before heading off to my own derby training. Saturday morning was Jude’s footy – they had a whole pink thing going on because it was Mother’s Day.

Even though it wasn’t raining my feet got a bit wet. And I was happy to be at Reid, where there were sausages! Jude and Zac both have good c0aches this year. Jude’s coach and his wife, who is the team manager, are particularly organised and lovely – they make special awards for the players each week and include mini figures and footy cards of players from their favourite club. Jude has been designated the nickname Danger – it is his middle name, apparently – in homage to Patrick Dangerfield. Given Jude doesn’t watch a lot of AFL, it probably doesn’t mean as much to him as it might, but he still thinks his coach is wonderful. The football at Ainslie has always been great. The coaches that all three boys have had over the years have been lovely and the various cohorts of parents have been great – everyone claps the opposition, can be both fondly deprecating but also wildly proud of their kids, love and encourage the girls’ participation, know most of the kids in the team and cheer them equally. I must admit that I am not one for creating massive social engagement with other parents at sporting events, but I like the feel of the parents and the encouragement of the kids. There is something joyful about watching the players do something great and the genuine pleasure the parents get out of it. I feel really lucky that at football we really haven’t had to deal with ugly parent syndrome at all. And I have enormous thanks for the people who have put lots of time into coaching football and managing teams and giving my boys something to look forward to each week.

Jude and I walked home from football. Our street is so pretty at this time of year.

More sport! Junior derby time. I took my iPad and some work to catch up on while watching the boys improve their skating skills. They have started getting certificates for reaching various achievement levels in their skills.

2014-05-10 18.15.31I finished off my lovely bottle of Blackwoods. This will be a gin I invest in again.

Bronwen was in town from the coast, so she and Rachel joined us for dinner. Sebastian (with some help from his father) whipped up a delicious lemon tart.

2014-05-11 15.39.11Sunday was my turn on skates. Also, if you have read last week’s post, apparently you notice I am quite fond of these socks.

2014-05-11 19.39.17And to end the week in appropriate fabulousness, we watched Eurovision with the Andrews.  I was a little disappointed by the voting for France.

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