2015 weeks! #26: holidays versus work with added cousins and derby

2015-07-06 18.36.43Monday was Zachary’s birthday and it is much more fun celebrating when your cousins are in town. Even if they do make silly faces. 2015-07-06 18.36.44But a very pleasant evening of Jamie’s Italian was had. Here is the yearly compulsory photo of Zac and Andrew, his godfather equivalent. 2015-07-06 19.40.15 I left the cousins to it on Tuesday and went to work. We had a goodbye lunch for tow of my Directors who had left – although one ended up sick sadly. There have been a lot of farewells over the last couple of years with so much downsizing of the public service. 2015-07-07 13.26.09It was a #yourtightsatwork day. 2015-07-07 13.55.29-1Left the small boys in the care of Lucy and Rowan and went to scrim on Tuesday night. I also practiced score tracking as I was rostered to do it for a game on Saturday night and it has been a long time since I have done any NSO role, let alone keeping score.

Another #yourtightsatwork day. 2015-07-08 08.40.57I had a quick trip up to Sydney to give a conference presentation and got to see the University of Western Sydney’s campus at Parramatta very briefly. 2015-07-08 13.47.09And then it was home again in time for dinner.

Sebastian and James organised an Indian feast of leftovers including making home made breads.

The next day Lucy and family headed to the snow early..but we knew there wasn’t much snow so the boys opted for a quiet day mostly at home. I had the day off as my contribution to school holiday hanging out and so got to sleep in with George. 2015-07-09 12.37.01I had lots of suggestions for fun activities, but the boys had had a fair bit of action in the past few days and so chose to chill out. We did walk to the shop for supplies though. 2015-07-09 13.52.28And took a quick ride to Braddon for afternoon tea at Autolyse.

Jude shared one of his poems with us. 2015-07-09 16.57.38Meanwhile, James had Sebastian in training for his penalty box duties on the weekend. 2015-07-09 19.26.38On friday I was fortunate enough to host a NAIDOC week forum at work with three indigenous winners of training awards last year – Sally Moylan the winner and Chris Medcraft the runner up of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award and a representative from the Salvation Army Employment Plus who won the Industry Collaboration Award alongside Wesfarmers and Thiess for their Oothungs (sisters) in Mining Program. Sally and Chris have great journeys and the Oothungs program is terrific, giving training and employment opportunities to indigenous women in remote areas. It was terrific to help facilitate them telling their stories.

Friday was also Work James, my wonderful EA and friend’s birthday, so he and I went and ate all the dumplings for lunch. See, they’re gone. 2015-07-10 13.14.42I also made him a birthday cake whihc he seemed quite pleased about when I gave it to him in front of the branch. 2015-07-10 15.27.22 Friday night was our last night with the small girls (and Lucy and Rowan) before they headed back to Adelaide the next morning, so we invited the Reids and tried out the Thai at Kinn. 2015-07-10 19.13.15Can report that the food was excellent, but the service left a little bit to be desired. 2015-07-10 20.52.35Walking home through the park. 2015-07-11 08.35.56Zachary was keen to work on his beading using some of his birthday gifts. 2015-07-11 11.16.16-1he was also pretty taken by his new onesie, so it was cello onesie practice. 2015-07-11 13.34.10I, on the other hand, was excited by my new Cons.

Saturday night was derby time and we started with a Carnage versus Light City game. The boys did an excellent job and James was super happy with his zero penalties.

Next the Smackademics had their first outing and also comprehensively beat Light City. James double-downed on the zero penalty count. Unlike my usual roles of benching, line up managing or (very occasionally) playing, I was score tracking. Luckily I had the lovely Ginj to keep me company. 2015-07-11 18.30.32Sunday morning was a boot camp with Light City.. 2015-07-12 09.31.06…and straight from there to the airport. I was off to Adelaide (via Melbourne) to spend a night hanging out with Nat before heading off on a China-Korea Ministerial travel adventure ridiculously early the next day.

2015 weeks! #25: things you can do in the cold

2015-06-29 08.31.51Monday morning and walking to school with Jude (after earlier dropping Zac off at choir practice). Always a lovely start to the week.

2015-06-29 18.01.49Random serene selfie.

2015-06-30 10.27.36Another book finished. I absolutely adored this. Such a lovely central character in a beautifully imagined world. The writing keeps you fully engaged and the intrigue and politics are outstandingly rendered. Go read it.

2015-06-30 17.00.29I ended up quite sick. The head cold that had started on the way to Seoul and blossomed while there had really managed to completely take hold of my body and I was completely incapable of much for two days. Unlike many sick days I hardly even checked my email and did pretty much no work. I watched a lot of Arrow on Netflix with George as company – a bit of Shirtless Exposition in a silly but engaging story line seemed important for my recovery. That and sleeping and reading. I keep trying to put a timeframe on how long it has been that the pace has been relentless at work – the last few weeks, months, year or two – anyway it has been a while and every now and again my body signals a need for a time out.

2015-07-01 18.03.02Sebastian is still very much enjoying his cooking. Here he is preparing some tuna, both for sashimi and for lightly seared yummy morsels. He and James whipped up a delicious seafood fest that night.

By Thursday night I was well enough for some games – super hero deck building it was.

2015-07-02 20.20.59For the last day of school it was Crazy Hair Day. Zac had wanted some colour but with all my sickness there had been no time to hunt down spray. We were pretty happy though with the results of our hairspray intervention though.

2015-07-03 08.31.05Time for a quick lunch and then coffee with James. Always nice when we can squeeze that into a day.

2015-07-03 13.08.19And then, there was much excitement when the Cousins arrived on Friday night! Lucy, Rowan and Emilie and Scarlett were in town for a week! In sub 5 degree temperatures we visited some of the outside sights of Canberra, including lunching at the Hamlet.

2015-07-04 11.08.02

The grown ups got to explode some Cows Saturday night.

2015-07-04 20.49.09Sunday was another cold day and declared Onesie morning (someone needs to get Lucy a Onesie).

2015-07-05 11.13.48James and I went off to training – I was pleased to be on skates as I have been struggling to get on-skates time in this year.

2015-07-05 15.42.37It was a beautiful sunset.

Lucy and the gang had headed off to friends’ house – we came home to find Sebastian and Zachary deeply embroiled in a lego war. That’s how you do holidays.

2015 weeks! #24: Seoul, derby and boys

2015-06-22 06.05.20And so, it was off to Korea.

2015-06-22 08.51.23Compulsory bellini at the First Class Lounge in Sydney.

2015-06-22 21.03.39And here is the view on arrival from my hotel room in my second favourite hotel in Seoul – the Plaza. I like the Plaza – it has cute rooms and is incredibly conveniently located.

One of the things I was doing in Seoul was checking out arrangements and visit sites for the Minister’s visit the following month. So we got to visit the Seoul Robotics High School. It is an interesting place

2015-06-23 14.53.32One of the things that always feels a little dystopian future about Korea is that the towers in blocks of apartments always have giant sized numbers on them. I guess it serves to allows people to find apartment buildings or something, but it does have a weird feel to it.

2015-06-23 15.16.54Here’s one of the views from the Australian Embassy – from the Education section meeting room.

2015-06-23 17.34.07I loved the fact that the Koreans decorate the side of their electrical meter boxes with pictures of windfarms – windfarms are aesthetically pleasing.

Got taken out to dinner by the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labour – lovely restaurant on the top of a hill. You can read about the full culinary experience here.

2015-06-24 08.02.58Here is the day time view from my hotel room.

2015-06-24 08.44.38And the breakfast view. The hotel and, indeed, the whole of Seoul, was a lot quieter than usual because of fears about Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. At the airport all the Immigration officials were wearing facemasks and the traffic was much quieter than usual. The outbreak is only a couple of hundred people in a city of 20 million + and limited really to hospitals but clearly it had inhabited the imagination.

2015-06-24 13.34.10On my second day in Seoul I got the fun of experiencing the KTX – Korea’s very fast train. On our 35 minute journey, the train got up to 284km/hr and was still as smooth a ride as any I have experienced on a train. Wonderful technology.

2015-06-24 14.04.11We went to Chenoan which had its own forest of apartment blocks.

We visited KoreaTech – again a location for a planned Minsiterial visit. They had signs boasting of their employment outcomes and it was a very modern facility. Sydney TAFE are working there to deliver training in teaching and assessment to Korean trainers.

2015-06-24 16.05.12Then it was back to the train.

2015-06-24 17.45.27Once back in Seoul I headed straight out the the airport. Here are views from the taxi of the docks on the way.

2015-06-25 08.23.33Back in Australia again.

2015-06-25 08.44.30I’d had a head cold building up for the two days in Korea, so was super happy to be able to purchase some pseudoephedrine along with the fancy new gin from the Bombay range on the return to the country. I mostly wanted to stop my nose running.

2015-06-25 13.53.19Back in Canberra, George joined me for a nap.

As the boys were banned from screens til sunset, Sebastian decided to engage in some science experimentation. His lemon juice-bicarb soda rocket experiment proved to be a bit of a fizzer, until, like the Mythbusters, he kept pushing the envelope until an explosion resulted.

2015-06-25 17.22.23Jude took the opportunity to practice his viola while waiting for a result.

Saturday was a road trip to Sydney for 5×5. We were playing S2D2 and very frustratingly, despite being slightly ahead for most of the game, they managed to beat us by 8 points at the end. It was a bit disappointing, and not helped by an early dodgy expulsion call and then a few extra penalties toward the end, particularly because we were playing with a short bench. Beating them is definitely in scope – we just have to hold it together for the full hour of the game.

2015-06-27 22.30.50McDonalds selfie on our road trip home.

2015-06-28 12.51.32Jude and I had a walk on Sunday after taking Zac to a choir workshop.

2015-06-28 13.19.25George being taunted by birds. I am pretty sure that while the rosella was clueless, the magpie was being deliberately provocative.

Jude went and did some busking at the Ainslie shops while I sat nearby and read my book. He’d been dying to do it for ages so it was a good opportunity. And lucrative – he took in $43 over 45 minutes. His rendition of the Game of Thrones theme music was a particularly effective earner.

2015-06-28 18.37.39A nice way to finish off the week.

2015 weeks! #23: what happens when it rains all week

2015-06-15 12.56.28My right arm, well, elbow has been troubling me for a while, and has gotten a lot worse recently. So much so that my physio sent me off for an ultrasound and, if necessary, steroid injection. Apparently two injections were needed – in addition to tendonopathy I also had tears to my elbow tendon, it was super inflamed and the nerve was thickened. It is fascinating to watch the needle go in on the ultrasound – distracted me from the accompanying pain. The rest of the week I was resting my arm essentially in the hope I’ll be able to get back to using it properly again soon.

2015-06-16 15.06.23A day for fun stockings though.

2015-06-16 17.42.22Natasha and I got a chance for quick drinks between meetings and flights and so forth. We always make the most of these squeezed in opportunities.

2015-06-17 06.10.18Off to Brisbane for a presentation to an Indian delegation.

2015-06-17 08.46.22We were talking skills and the resource sector and links between India and Australia.

2015-06-17 11.17.07 HDRAnd it was a gloomy day for it.

2015-06-17 12.48.13On the theme of things Indian, I finished the Indian chick-lit novel I had picked up at the airport in Delhi last year. It was very entertaining and readable and I enjoyed it enormously. Also quite political.

2015-06-17 20.55.24The weather was awful this week, raining for days. I put my footy shoes on for walking in the rain because the ground was so wet.

2015-06-18 08.58.56One of the fun parts of meetings in Parliament House is getting to wander through the basement – so much quicker than having to go through the public entrance.

2015-06-18 15.33.06As I said, it was raining almost all week.

2015-06-18 16.18.29Another day trip, this time to Melbourne.

2015-06-19 06.08.35I can’t remember whether these were sunsets or sunrises as travelling…

Back at home, Jude was helping prepare fish for dinner.

2015-06-19 18.22.26-1Saturday morning and time for Jude’s hockey.

2015-06-20 11.14.39It was then off to Jude and Zac’s music recital – both played very well.

Lovely Saturday night dinner commencing with home made salmon gravlax.

2015-06-20 18.41.21After webber roasted pork and beef in the middle, we finished with caramel dumplings.

2015-06-20 20.15.44And some Eldritch Horror.

2015-06-20 21.32.34Sunday and Sebastian and I got our baking on and made spinach and feta tarts. Yum.

2015-06-21 14.34.34

So many dishes! A typical dinner out in Korea

2015-06-23 19.32.07When I go to visit Korea, I usually get taken out to dinner by the Korean government. These dinners usually involve multiple courses of things delicious and also a few weird things. In the bottom right corner here is a cold sesame soup/porridge thing which was rather strange to say the least.

2015-06-23 19.35.59Others of the many dishes are quite delicious – this involving mushrooms and some soy bean thing.

2015-06-23 19.44.23This is a more fancy version of a Korean BBQ favourite, pork with kim chee and wrapped in a garlic leaf. So delicious.

2015-06-23 20.00.27Octopus, and salad, and another cold sesame soup with seaweed based noodles.

2015-06-23 20.09.56Beef bulgogi and the accompanying condiments.

2015-06-23 20.15.25And the main course of mushroom stew. There were a couple of things I didn’t photograph followed by fruit for dessert, but I do enjoy these many dish Korean meals with so many different flavours and textures.

2015 weeks! #22: games and brothers and animals and derby

2015-06-08 10.39.18Public holiday Monday morning and Jude and Zac and I had a short break from the endless derby and hockey of the weekend. Here they are playing an Indonesian game they learned at school using the game board I was given as a gift when I visited Malaysia this year.

2015-06-08 12.24.09It was long before I was out at Lyneham watching Sebastian play hockey.

Then straight back down the parkway to a junior derby bootcamp. Here PureNRG from the SRDL Assassins is sharing her wisdom with the kids.

2015-06-08 15.42.25Clouds.

2015-06-09 12.10.17I was off to Melbourne Tuesday for the first meeting of a new committee I had helped establish, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee. Very impressive bunch of people on the Committee to spend a couple of days with. I was also pretty impressed with my dessert when we went out to dinner.2015-06-09 20.25.44Compulsory hotel room view – staying in the centre of Melbourne.

2015-06-10 08.24.13Back in Canberra, walking Zac to school early for choir.

2015-06-11 08.34.14

2015-06-11 08.35.58Fun new maroon fishnets.

2015-06-11 18.33.35There was much excitement with the arrival of Sam and Tracey on Friday. Jude was especially happy to get his new Star Wars chess set.

On Saturday we left Sam and Tracey to play Weekend Sports Parents, while James and I (and an extra James) did a quick road trip to the Blue Mountains.

2015-06-13 10.37.51James got his elite athlete napping in en route.

2015-06-13 12.43.14We also got to see a giant teddy.

2015-06-13 13.49.17Aren’t my Jameses lovely?

2015-06-13 14.17.44I got in a quick sighting of the Three Sisters.

2015-06-13 14.49.42Then it was time for a bit of derby action.

Saw PureNRG again for the week – unlike when she was with the kids, with SMASH she looks like a tiny person.

2015-06-13 15.56.15Carnage played well, but SMASH are much stronger and we lost by around 100 points. but we scored over 100 points, so we were reasonably pleased with the result.

2015-06-14 11.52.15Back home Zac built some of the lego he’d received before we headed off on an Arboretum excursion.

We also enjoyed a visit to the bonsai collection.

After a lovely lunch, James and Sebastian headed off to indoor cricket and the rest of us followed up with a trip to the zoo.

And to end the evening, there was some Firefly playing.

2015-06-14 20.16.47