2015 weeks! #10: of drinks and dinner and fun

2015-03-16 08.32.26Another bike ride after dropping Zac off at choir was a beautiful start to the week, especially on such a glorious day.

2015-03-16 17.56.42Jude has made many advances in his viola playing and often accompanies the cooking of dinner.

2015-03-16 18.48.31Time for a nice red wine – we got a couple of bottles out of storage (and put a couple in) so have been able to liberate a few old wines.

2015-03-17 22.25.05After Tuesday night scrim, it is nice to come home to a beer and icecream.

2015-03-18 13.38.06-1Finally, after many weeks of contemplating doing so, I finally had time for a lunchtime pedicure.

Jude got an excellent award at school and so we decided it was good an excuse as any for dinner at the boys’ favourite – the Elk & Pea. Critical thinking for the win!

2015-03-18 21.02.40Time for some monster killing.

2015-03-19 22.22.19Derby shirt Friday featured the Scartel (I actually didn’t have any meetings I couldn’t turn up to a derby shirt in – finally).2015-03-20 10.59.41 HDR

And then backed it up with my first Friday night derby training for quite some time.

2015-03-20 21.33.51Saturday morning was off to the O’Connor Coop School fete where Zac and his choir were singing.

2015-03-21 11.27.06 HDRSaturday night was my (pre) birthday dinner with friends. We all got glamorous (well, most of us) and went and ate in the Cellar Room at Courgette (my favourite). The food was incredibly good as was the service and it was a lovely lovely night.

Nothing like a delicious Sunday morning breakfast.

And a Sunday walk to the shop requires a stop at the park.

2015-03-22 12.13.25 HDR

2015 weeks! #9: Canberra Week

2015-03-09 11.07.33Canberra Day Monday so how better to start the week than to head down to the newest Canberra spot, Westside, for a skate and a coffee?

Tuesday it was back to school with an early start for Zac for Trebles practice and a lake ride for me.

2015-03-10 07.44.14The Telstra Tower is always a dominant feature in the Canberra landscape. Some days, in some light, it does make me feel like I am living in some sort of future city. This was one of those days.

2015-03-10 11.45.01Discovered that the seat outside my boss’ office is an excellent place to hide and contemplate the world while it appears I have purpose. Eventually he came back to his office though.

2015-03-10 13.15.59Tuesday scrim night = hot and exhausted. But lots of fun.

2015-03-11 21.29.23It is starting to get a bit chilly in the mornings and it feels like autumn so suddenly I am starting to feel like drinking tea in the office.

2015-03-12 10.26.37No D&D this week so we took the Firefly for another spin. It really it a fun game (and I won).

2015-03-12 19.40.52Up early Friday morning for another lake ride. I was disappointed – it was too windy for balloons, but there were some kayakers to bring some colour to a grey morning.

2015-03-13 07.21.15Zac’s brothers were off out for dinner and games at a friends house, so Zac got fancy dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants of Lonsdale Street with his parentals.

Jude was super excited about Pi Day – he’s been teaching himself digits of Pi and has memorised to about 13.

Another Saturday afternoon of some work and junior derby.

And D&D!

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2015 weeks! #8: where the week takes you

2015-03-02 07.57.50We were at school bright and early Monday morning as Jude was off to camp (and Zac had choir). Jude was pretty excited about it.

2015-03-02 07.59.13Sometimes work makes me walk all over town. Had to go to ANU for a presentation. It is a pretty campus.

2015-03-03 12.21.28Of course, too much walking didn’t entirely agree with my feet as my shoes aren’t completely worn in yet.

2015-03-03 13.43.08Scrim night so from shoes to skates. Fortunately the sore toes from the shoes were totally fine in the skates.

2015-03-03 19.50.30One of the people I mentor came to visit with her baby. Fun to hold the baby while dispensing counsel. And such a cute one.

2015-03-04 10.33.32More journeying around town for work – this time up to the Big House for meetings.

2015-03-04 12.28.50And the next day I went a bit further – to our offices in Sydney. I try to sit with my back to the window in this boardroom.

2015-03-05 08.54.12And home again…

2015-03-05 17.11.43Home to some adventuring.

2015-03-05 20.58.28Then Friday came and I wasn’t well and couldn’t get any further than bed for work.

2015-03-06 13.27.06George is always happy to hang out when I am spending a day sleeping and working in bed.

2015-03-06 14.26.38I also got to finish James Bradley’s lovely new book Clade while at home and in bed. I love how James is always drawing links between science and art in his book. It is a sad but also hopeful book, about the changes that could be. Thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in no time flat. Highly recommend.

2015-03-06 15.26.47Saturday morning I was feeling better after a day of rest so it was off to Sebastian’s cricket grand final.

2015-03-07 09.12.39Just when we thought the boys were beaten and that was it, they had to come back for Sunday. James accompanied Sebastian then and while the team fought hard, they couldn’t quite make it. So cricket it done until next season.

2015-03-07 12.25.16Beers at Bentspoke with friends in the afternoon. I tried the raspberry one which was…interesting.

2015-03-07 15.54.11We headed off to the night noodle market for dinner.

It was then time for some laser tag at Questacon which was a lot of fun. Initially when I tried to book tickets they were all sold out, but Facebook came to the rescue. We got to do it twice – once because of spare tickets that I managed to find through friends, and once because one of my staff, Beth, won some tickets and generously gave them to me.

2015-03-07 20.36.34We also checked out the Glowcave at the National Library.

Took #perceptualselfies at the National Gallery

Checked out the glow boats in the lake

2015-03-07 19.40.54Saw nature trying to compete with the other lights of Enlighten

And of course admired the projections.

Sunday I enjoyed a quiet day at home. Small boys played chess…

2015-03-08 15.39.19And I whipped up some laksa for dinner.

2015-03-08 19.12.10

2015 weeks! #7: all the usual things

2015-02-23 08.30.30Zac had choir again Monday morning – this time I got organised so that I could take the long route to work after dropping him off and so went for 13 km ride after the 20 minute walk to school.

2015-02-23 12.09.39Continuing to unpack the office reveals some treasures. “Disk 4 of 5” hahahahahaaaa. It really wasn’t that long ago.

2015-02-23 18.20.11G&T time – I bought some Beefeater 24 on the way home from Thailand and am quite enjoying it in a g&t – very smooth.

2015-02-24 11.03.08I still love this view from our new Boardroom. Definitely a brooding sort of Canberra day.

2015-02-24 19.02.38Scrim day – here I am with pigtails in ready to go and skate around hitting people (with purpose). I don’t include an after photo – much more dishevelled.

2015-02-25 11.24.53Where do you want to be on a Wednesday night til 11pm – a Senate Committee room? No, me neither….but needs must.

2015-02-27 13.41.31The sad bit about our move to the new building is that, for energy efficiency reasons, I don’t have my own fridge any more. It is annoying from both a symbolic and practical point of view, but I also understand and I know that missing my own fridge is kind of petty. It is interesting how, as you move through your career, these symbols are really powerful motivating factors – your own office, your own fridge, your car. I remember always looking at SES cars and thinking that the day I had one, I would have made it. Admittedly, I gave up a work car and carpark for a significant pay increase, but occasionally I feel vaguely cheated (in actuality I am not remotely – economically it makes a lot more sense for me to get a pay out for my car and environmentally and for my own health it makes more sense for me to ride/walk to walk). So losing my own fridge makes me a bit sad in a way which I am entirely aware is white, rich, privilege – but I earned that fridge….Anyway, James my EA has taken to aggressively labelling my fizzy caffeinated beverages for the communal fridge and I have issued various warnings to staff that they had better keep their receipts for fizzy caffeinated beverages.

2015-02-27 15.05.28

We had a “telepresence” meeting at work with all the states and territories. I love the technology – it is like sitting across a table from someone, so much better than teleconferencing and even a step up from standard videoconferencing. I look forward to travelling less and teleprescencing more.

Friday night cricket with Zachary. My turn to score. I was super pleased that I had had a second fizzy caffeinated beverage after concentrating on a two hour teleprescence then having to concentrate on two + hours of scoring cricket.

2015-02-28 13.07.04George seems to delight in our various, strong, smells, choosing as he does to sit amongst our derby and cricket gear whenever he gets a chance. Eeew.

2015-02-28 14.55.42

Caught up with some work (as usual) at junior derby training. Jude worked pretty hard though.

2015-02-28 16.37.40Zac has now started learning the cello. He and Jude had their first go at trying to play together. It sounded better than expected.

On Sunday morning Zac had his first performance outing with the Trebles – singing for the entertainment of those doing Amy’s bike ride.

2015-03-01 10.35.11Of course, the whole thing turned into a bit of a drama as Zac managed to get glass in his bike tyre as we rode our bikes into town. Jude and I tried to go and get it fixed while Zac was singing, but of course the bike store wasn’t open for another hour. As it was, we ended up having iced chocolates while waiting for the tyre repair. Not such a bad outcome.

2015-03-01 11.36.12

Weeks #6: interrupting the week with Thailand

2015-02-16 07.53.11Zachary has moved it up a notch with his choir activities by starting in the Turner Trebles this year, which means he has to be at school on a Monday morning at 8am. An early start to the week.

2015-02-16 08.10.29

I moved in to my new office. Even though I don’t have my own direct window to the outside, I can see Black Mountain Tower from my desk, so it is not too bad at all.

2015-02-16 09.07.04Went out and bought myself some baht for the trip to Thailand.

2015-02-17 19.53.10Tuesday night Jude and Zac and I went for a walk while James and Sebastian went to scrim. We were all disappointed to discover that Mr Frugii is closed by 8pm on Tuesdays, but we did enjoy our walk nonetheless.

2015-02-18 06.15.50Up early and off to Thailand. I was going to talk to Australian development aid people from the South Asian region about skills and skill development, with a couple of meetings of the side.

2015-02-18 08.49.47Got in a visit to the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney for a spot of breakfast.

2015-02-18 17.13.33Hotel window view – our hotel was somewhat away from the heart of Bangkok.

2015-02-18 18.03.55This is how you recover from a 9 hour flight. Sadly I didn’t get another chance to swim while I was there, but it was certainly refreshing after all the pool time.

2015-02-18 20.27.21Ate at a restaurant just down the street with one of my DFAT colleagues – cheap and good.

2015-02-18 20.31.24In interesting facts I learnt while in Bangkok, Red Bull originated in Thailand as a tonic drunk by taxi drivers to keep them awake and is considered pretty low class (see top of the fridge). When Europeans bought it and licensed if that added the fizzy aspect. I still prefer my caffeinated beverage fizzy.

2015-02-18 20.34.58Night scene outside the 7-11.

2015-02-19 08.25.52I did very much like the hot pinkness of the taxis in Bangkok. It has been more than twenty years since I was last in Bangkok and I remember the absolute traffic gridlock there was then. I was pleasantly surprised by how much better the traffic is now in Bangkok – between the Sky Train and the new road infrastructure it has improved significantly. It was also Chinese New Year which apparently took a number of cars of the road also.

While I was mostly in town to talk to the development folk, I also took the time to have a couple of side meetings. This is the view from the offices of the Thailand Professional Qualifications Institute.

Evidence of Chinese New Year. I celebrated by eating some form of dumpling at pretty much every meal while in Bangkok, including breakfast.

My friend Sarah is currently acting Deputy Head of the Australian Embassy, so after an official work meeting, she and I headed out for dinner at an enormously cool restaurant near the Embassy called the Namsaah Bottling Trust. Excellent food and a brilliant negroni. And lovely to spend some time catching up.

2015-02-19 21.36.10After a wander around the night market I caught the Sky Train home – very convenient and easy.

2015-02-21 13.16.19While away I finished Wolf Hall. As an avid Tudor history fan I really enjoyed it. The writing is terrifically layered and Cromwell is a fascinating character.

2015-02-20 16.45.45Hotel lunch smorgasbords – the bane of portion control. Hey, I deserved dessert after three hours of talking about skills.

Then it was back to the airport and time to fly home.

2015-02-20 18.33.02Goodbye Thailand!

2015-02-21 02.39.54Sunrise from the plane.

2015-02-21 12.42.30Back to regularly scheduled Canberra life – off the plane, shower, pick Sebastian up from cricket, collect the rest of the family from other cricket and lunch at LSR.

2015-02-21 15.45.06Then off with the boys to junior derby training.

2015-02-21 15.12.53In a big week of reading, I also finished Laurinda. Very readable and fascinating to see things from such a different perspective.

2015-02-22 12.45.12Sunday morning rode with Jude and Zac up to Campbell High School where they were spending the day playing chess.

2015-02-22 16.28.26Back at home I helped Sebastian with his Japanese homework which involved photographing Japanese things. Made me very natsukashii – I think we are going to have to find time to visit Tokyo this year.

2015-02-22 13.52.27To end the weekend, Sebastian helped prepare sashimi and other tuna delights. How nice to be home (even if no dumplings for breakfast).

2015-02-22 17.36.21