2015 weeks! #3: injury and recovery (and lots of codeine)

2015-01-20 17.49.27So after a couple of weeks of getting myself focused on regular exercise and getting ready for the start of derby training, I pushed myself too hard early Monday morning and managed to do some disc damage to my lower back. I knew I’d hurt it, but I think my muscles and everything were so warmed and stretched after my cardio session (yes, what was I thinking) that it really wasn’t until the end of Monday I realised just how badly injured I was. Tuesday was physio, doctor and codeine, codeine, codeine. And working from home, although having a red hot go at resting in between emails. I tell you, skipping with a rope is clearly the wrong thing to do.

2015-01-19 22.17.51George quite liked hanging out with, or on top of, the convalescing.

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When having back problems, it is important to remember that gin is an excellent muscle relaxant.

2015-01-21 10.48.09So look, I know that going to work when I am actually injured is not an excellent idea and I know I should really just rest and all of that – but I also am in the middle of extra responsibilities and super busy times and it is amazing how much you can cope with on fizzy caffeinated beverages and super doses of codeine. Nonetheless, at times, it was clear that my resilience was rather lower when in severe pain than it is at other times.

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On Wednesday night I gritted my teeth through the pain and we played Sebastian’s D&D version of The Hunger Games. He’d had a bit of a shitty day through no fault of his own, and had done a huge amount of work on the scenario, so we spent some time playing it. He’d done a pretty good job, although there was a lot of focus on food gathering (which I guess would probably be a thing).

2015-01-21 23.45.28At least having to spend some time lying down and resting meant I did get to finish The Peripheral. I really enjoyed it – it reminded me a lot of Virtual Light, but most subtle and clever. Very easy to read and great story with some interesting political and social commentary (as always with Gibson).

2015-01-22 10.06.24Then there was the question of what, of these and other books, to read next (I chose Wolf Hall for a change of pace).

2015-01-22 12.23.31Still school holidays for the boys, and Jude took some time out with lego.

2015-01-22 17.31.19Gin, still a great muscle relaxant.

2015-01-23 11.02.43After being a little less than my most robust on Thursday at work, one of my lovely team, Wendy, brought me flowers on Friday. It is lovely that I have a team who pitches in when needed and without fuss – while I was a bit delicate, they were all willing to pick up extra things and make sure that everything kept running smoothly. With the change in Minister, there have been a few times where one area has had a huge unexpected workload, and other teams have jumped in to help. I’m really proud of my Branch and the way that they are supportive and can pull together and will find solutions that will suit everyone rather than just themselves.

2015-01-24 13.44.41There has been quite a lot of backyard cricket these holidays. The boys will pop outside for a quick round quite regularly.

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While at the Bont International, I had ordered some customised Bonts. The only problem – the sales dude forgot to write down my size. So when James got his shiny new skates, he also sent me through several pairs to size myself. Of course, the worst thing was that for most of the week I couldn’t bend over to try them on. By Saturday I was able.

2015-01-24 18.23.04My back was repaired enough by Saturday to make laksa. Delicious, delicious laksa.

While James was at training on Sunday, I took the boys to Casaurina Sands where we enjoyed some river swimming. It was quite a lovely day, and quite a strong flowing river.

2015-01-25 18.03.08Some more resting after our river adventures, finding Wolf Hall very enjoyable (and comparing the perspectives with those from the Tudors!).

2015-01-25 20.55.32To end the week, games, cheese and roller derby gossip. A most excellent combination with excellent people.

2015 weeks! #2: the family that trains, bikes, plays together….

2015-01-13 21.04.57More D&D. Getting back into the rhythm of some of our regular activities.

2015-01-14 09.48.43I had been handed responsibility for being the point person for all our machinery of government-moving department changes for the skills folk. Due to this I have been spending quite a bit of time across at Marcus Clarke Street where we will be moving in mid-February. The views from the Executive Boardroom are quite spectacular.

2015-01-14 13.09.472015-01-14 13.11.26On Wednesday we were super lucky to have an hour to ourselves with Scald Eagle and Stefanie Mainey. For the derby uninitiated, Scald Eagle plays for Team USA and Stefanie Mainey for the English roller derby team. James and I had a great time with Scald Eagle working on plough stops and associated blocking, side blocking and knocking people off the track while Jude and Sebastian did a range of jammer and blocking things with Mainey. They were great coaches. I also took Jude and Sebastian to a question and answer session with them and there we learnt that not only are they great at roller derby but intelligent, thoughtful and insightful as well. And funny – Mainey on jogging (or rather, not jogging) was hilarious. They had some thoughtful views and observations on gender in derby and it was great to learn that the problems and challenges of running a league here in Canberra are pretty much shared everywhere.  One of the things I love about roller derby is how the boys get to meet and admire a range of impressive women, and in Scald Eagle and Stefanie Mainey they have two new sporting heroes completely worth of any admiration they receive.

2015-01-14 14.13.30James made me lunch to take back to work after my lunchtime roller derby session.

2015-01-15 16.29.28Another beautiful day from the office. No bike riding pictures this week because on Tuesday and Thursday I got up early and tried a resistance training class at F45 which I actually really enjoyed even if it was completely exhausting. I was going to ride on Friday, but between the resistance classes and my lunchtime derby session, I just needed a rest.

2015-01-16 21.54.19Friday evening was different D&D – a new adventure with new characters.

2015-01-17 13.54.38Sebastian did some cooking on Saturday and whipped us up muffins for lunch, supplemented by some salad from James.

Saturday afternoon we went and saw The Hobbit finally and then afterwards had BBQ at LSR. I liked The Hobbit: battle of Five Armies, even if it was pretty much one long fight scene – I quite like fight scenes and the elven fighting was awesome. I was a bit disappointed with Tauriel though – if you are going to add a kick-ass female character, don’t then make her have to be saved TWICE by men who are in love with her, or reduce ALL her motivations to love. Ugh. They could have done better there. LSR BBQ was fantastic though – highly recommend. James filled the growler with Bentspoke beer to accompany it, and in the pleasant evening air it was lovely.

2015-01-17 20.11.15Dessert was outstanding icecream from Mr Frugii across the road.

2015-01-17 20.31.09I enjoyed the sunset walk home with the boys.

2015-01-18 15.56.01Zacky and I went for a ride on Sunday – it was a bit slower and a bit less far than I would have done by myself, but I did have Zac for company. Let’s call it leisurely and companionable.

2015-01-18 17.11.33-1And finished the week with a new tonic discovery! Worked well with the Hendricks.

2015 weeks! #1: life (mostly) without boys

2015-01-05 07.41.59Trying to get into good habits for the year, I started the week with a ride around the lake. Nice morning for it too.

2015-01-05 17.35.28This week seemed to be tropical Canberra week – a thunderstorm or at least dark clouds and rain pretty much every night. James had to come and rescue me from complete drenching when I was walking home at one point – even with an umbrella.

2015-01-05 19.03.17James spoiled us by roasting up a duck. Plenty to enjoy with no small boys around.

2015-01-06 13.11.56Also chances to go out to lunch.

2015-01-08 07.11.37Another pre work ride, getting into the morning exercise discipline.

2015-01-08 18.09.02More spectacular clouds and stormy weather as seen from my office window. When did Canberra become tropical?

We played some regular weeknight D&D for the first time in ages and got to see some of Andrew V’s painting.

2015-01-09 21.12.23The boys returned from Adelaide. They are not pictured here, but their muddy footprints after playing cricket outside in the rain are.

2015-01-10 08.47.36Saturday James and I headed off to Newcastle for the Bont Invitational. I was just in spectating mode, while James had two games to play.

Capital Carnage put up a great effort against New York Shock Exchange. Their second half was particularly good when they got it together and used their defence more effectively.

2015-01-10 19.15.00I do like Newcastle and particularly the older parts of town with the cool colonial architecture.

2015-01-10 21.19.10-1We had dinner by the water and walked along the boardwalk.

2015-01-11 09.41.46Breakfast was at our favourite Newcastle hipster cafe, Frankies on Darby Street.

2015-01-11 12.17.18-1The New York boys came and sat next to me so I had to photo.

2015-01-11 12.29.21The Sunday game was a black and white game with the New York guys mixed in with Carnage, some SMASH guys and a few others, included Mr Furieux from France who demonstrated the most amazing footwork until his knee got smashed and he had to sit out.

2015-01-11 12.33.33-1The game was a lot of fun to watch though.

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I got to spend some time hanging out with my derby ladeez which was fun. And then it was time to drive home through rain and wind and gloom to be greeted by a lovely sunset as we arrived in Canberra.

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2015 weeks! #0.5: easing into the year

2015-01-02 15.14.32We had a very quiet start to the year – I spent most of the 1st reading. I went back to work on 2nd and took some of the quiet as time to get my toenails painted.

2015-01-02 18.17.32I continued to read this on the weekend – and finished it. Was most excellent and enjoyable.

James and I enjoyed and excellent wine to start the year off right.

2015-01-02 20.10.55And there were excellent clouds.

On Saturday I had the rare luxury of a day completely to myself with James off at a derby boot camp and the boys still in Adelaide. So when I felt like a swim, I could just jump on my bike and ride to the pool and do some laps. That feeling of not having to take anyone or anything else into consideration is quite joyful at times. But it isn’t like taking others into consideration is a burden – it has its own joy implicit within it. But the change was lovely for a day or two.

2015-01-04 10.57.31On Sunday, Jasmin, Rachel and I went to Pine Island to swim in the river. I enjoyed swimming in the surprisingly strong current. We lunched at Kingston Foreshore and got to see a mighty strong but short storm blow through while we ate our lunch. Fortunately it had stopped (mostly) by the time we had to head back to the car.

2015-01-04 20.14.38A very wet Dave (who got caught in another part of the storm), Caroline and I went and saw The Imitation Game before meeting James for a lovely dinner at Vitis Eatery. A very enjoyable start to the year.


Weeks! #52 and a half: Adelaide and home again

2014-12-29 12.24.35This was exactly what I needed to spend some time doing while on holidays. Absolutely perfect.

Sebastian spent some time learning practical skills from Rowan. He was very excited to do some welding.

2014-12-29 18.25.24Zac and Emilie’s hanging out continued.

And Jude entertained Scarlett.

2014-12-30 13.36.44James and I drove home on Tuesday. It was uneventful and reasonably quick and painless.

2014-12-31 18.05.18New Year’s Eve involved gathering at Steve and Shell’s for drinks, food and conversation. We started with whisky sours made by Rachel…

…and ended the night around the fire.

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Weeks! #52: work, Christmas and Adelaide

2014-12-22 12.54.10-1My Monday was not the day I expected it to be and it was crazy and long and involved doing three or four people’s jobs while preparing for a new Minister and a new Department. It was nearly 11 hours long without a break and by the end I was exhausted but had to come home and pack. And I didn’t quite manage to finish my Christmas shopping.

2014-12-23 07.34.17Despite it all, it was still Adelaide road trip day on Tuesday.

Lunch in Hay and the long and not winding road. However, we got the drive over in good time.

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Here I am facing last minute Christmas shopping on Christmas eve. James and I left the boys home and got it done with all the efficiency we could muster.

2014-12-24 16.50.55The boys were pretty happy to hang out at Lucy’s and give the pool a trial.

Christmas eve dinner was with Sam and Tracy, followed by gelato!

Christmas Day: there were presents, prawns, cooking, Dad falling asleep and of course mother’s summer pudding. It was a good day.

For Boxing Day we headed to the Henley Beach to catch up with Natasha and family. Another lovely day.

The fun didn’t stop there – it was in the pool again when we got back to Lucy’s.

My hair suffered from a bit too much sea wind.

2014-12-26 20.58.08Emilie and Zac bonded a lot during this visit. Here is Zac reading bedtime stories.

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We wandered into town for some shopping and after several days of Christmas food and BBQ had noodles for lunch.

2014-12-27 13.14.21After lunch it was off to Hazelwood Park to catch up with friends and drink champagne under the trees.


Out for Mexican for dinner. These two are troublemakers.


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Spent some time Sunday helping the cousins with lego construction…

2014-12-28 14.26.59…practising some cricket with uncle Sam and more swimming.

It was then off to CitiZen for dinner.

Once home, time for some fun with sparklers and glow sticks.

365feministselfies 2014

At the beginning of 2014 I saw a challenge – to use selfies to show life as a feminist. I didn’t take a huge number of selfies before, some, but not a lot. Selfies are often derided as narcissistic but hey, people have been having their photos taken for as long as there have been photos – and before that it was portraiture for those who could afford it. Digital technology and camera phones have just made it easier and cheaper to record so much of our lives. I knew I was never going to manage to take a selfie every day, and then there were also days when I took several. Some are flattering, some are not. Looking back over them they capture the things that have been important in my life in the last 12 months – my family, derby, work, travel, friends and family and their babies – even sometimes when you don’t see the people, they are there in the event I am dressed up for or at. As those of you who follow this blog (or any of my other online presences) know, this hasn’t always been an easy year. Some of the bad times are reflected in here, although this captures more of the fun moments, and a lot of the mundane ones. A lot of these pictures have stories behind them – some very complex, some more simple – and some of them just capture a moment in time, or a moment of boredom. A lot of the stories to the pictures have been told elsewhere on the blog, or on Instagram or Facebook.

Enjoy the pictorial story of the year – I’m happy to fill in the gaps – but you can see that this is the year of one feminist. There are many others, we all live different lives, but we believe similar things about how society needs to change.