2015 weeks! #34: life, Cthulhu and death

2015-08-31 08.43.01Usual Monday morning walk to school with this guy. Jude is a very chatty walking companion. Often I get a fairly continuous stream of chat about things he has recently learned – Zac got a big book of facts about stuff for his birthday and Jude has been reading it in between voracious consumption of Skullduggery Pleasant books. But Jude always remembers to ask me about what my day has in store.

2015-08-31 18.17.12Another week of Youth Mental Health First Aid – mostly talking depression, suicide and non-suicidal self injury.

2015-08-31 21.08.45It was a good moon night to wait for James to pick me up.

2015-08-31 21.23.41James and I took some “self care” time out after my course to go and have a quiet beer and chat at Bentspoke after each session. It is lovely to have those quiet relaxed moments to yourselves. However, this time Cthulhu came too.

2015-09-01 10.08.35Off to Melbourne for the day. Ended up spending a lot more time than expected at Canberra Airport with fog. Fun though to bump into Dave Sag and provide refuge in the Virgin Lounge.

2015-09-01 16.25.25Eventually we were off. And then back in virtually no time later!

2015-09-02 08.40.04Spring is definitely in town in Canberra.

2015-09-02 13.42.16Getting the last days out of #yourtightsatwork – though there are always those mid spring cold snaps.

2015-09-02 18.35.50We did schnitzel night at Edgars for the first time in ages.

2015-09-02 20.14.19George is not impressed by your fancy wines.

2015-09-03 07.49.45Sebastian decided to wake up early and walk into Braddon for breakfast with me before my physio. I think he was mostly in it for the Autolyse croissants, but it was lovely anyway.

2015-09-03 19.56.00Cthlulhu plays Edritch Horror with us! At this point I must pause and explain that Cthulhu was crotcheted by Jackie, James’ mother after I had posted pictures of cuddly Cthulhus on Facebook. I am very fond of him. Of course, the whole family was keen so Jackie has been set to work.

Friday afternoon it was back to Melbourne for a trip I would rather not have made – my aunt, Maggie, had died, so it was off to the funeral.

2015-09-04 19.38.20An upside was catching up with the family – I stayed in Melbourne with Lucy et al on Friday night before driving out to the Gippsland on Saturday morning.

2015-09-05 12.53.44Funerals are terribly sad things. i didn’t actually know Maggie that well – she had gotten together with my uncle Andrew when I was pretty much a grown up and we’ve pretty much always lived in different cities, crossing over at family events along the way. The funeral made me sad that we had never gotten to know each other better -many of the things Maggie had done in her life were things that I think are important – fighting against a culture of domestic violence, improving opportunities for young women offenders, baking – and it was both lovely and sad to hear from those closest to her. But apart from the sadness for the inidvidual, there is all the contemplation if makes you do – of the deaths of those close to you, past and future, of your own death, of what you have achieved in your life. Of how the world continues.

At the end of the service we released balloons into the sky. Goodbye Maggie.

But as with most things, there is an upside, and it was nice to catch up with family.

2015-09-05 15.41.35I was flying home that evening, so a bit later in the afternoon it was back in the car and the two and a half hour drive back to the airport.

2015-09-05 16.22.17-1There was some spectacular cloud en route.

2015-09-05 18.09.20And the familiar view from the Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne airport.

2015-09-06 09.38.56Sunday morning Sebastian was competing in Tournament of the Minds. his team did all right, but there was some line fluffing, and they didn’t manage to progress to the enxt round. After two years at the national competition, sometimes you need some setbacks to improve for next year.

2015-09-06 10.00.48

I took training for Carnage and actually got back onto skates – and even better had an excuse to wear my awesome new leggings!

2015-09-06 14.24.10

2015 weeks! #33: we’re number two!

2015-08-24 10.06.21One of the things I quite like about our work building is the living wall. Particularly nice when it is in bloom.

2015-08-24 19.22.46Sebastian’s high school was offering a “Youth Mental Health First Aid Course” over four Monday nights. With three boys about to hit adolescence and all of their friends and cohort, plus the young people I know through derby, I thought it might be useful knowledge to have. The presenter was very engaging but I was shocked to learn that most of my fellow course participants had never planed for the zombie apocalypse and, worse, some of them didn’t really even know what zombies are….

Walked to school with these two troublemakers Tuesday.

2015-08-26 18.28.09Some nights you need a g&t and some codeine to go with your at-home work.

2015-08-26 21.30.30George does love the new couch.

2015-08-27 06.40.54Early morning flight to Melbourne.

I love the sight of the Melbourne ferris wheel (whatever t is called) as you go over the Bolte Bridge.

2015-08-27 08.43.35Early morning in a busy week and a day full of conferencing, including giving a presentation = lots of fizzy caffeinated beverage.

I really enjoyed the presentation by Rachel Botsman on disruptive technologies and the new world of trust.She is a very engaging speaker, and her ideas about trust and the way the new economy is starting to work were really thought-provoking.

2015-08-27 17.03.57Then there was time for doing all the work in one’s hotel room before the conference dinner.

2015-08-28 16.19.21After another day of conference, broken up by having to go and do work, it was off to the airport and back to Canberra.

2015-08-28 18.38.55Time though for a quick #yourtightsatwork at the Business Lounge.

2015-08-28 19.07.41And flying home.

2015-08-29 10.56.57Saturday was a lovely spring morning for watching Jude play hockey. His team continued on form.

2015-08-29 11.12.07While we were at the hockey, Sebastian whipped up some chocolate cupcaes for the….

ROADTRIP!

2015-08-29 13.00.54We were off to Sydney for the 5×5 grandfinal – Dishonour Rollers versus S2D2’s The Force.

It was a great game by a great team but sadly we didn’t quite get there – WE’RE NUMBER TWO! WE’RE NUMBER TWO!

It was a quick drink, medals and some commiseration before we headed home again. On the road trip back, Copter and I greatly disturbed Jess and Sebastian with at least two renditions, in a row, of Charlene’s “I’ve never been to me”.

2015-08-30 13.25.18Sunday and reality and supermarkets.

2015-08-30 14.00.03…and complex lego wars!

Gin gin gin

2015-08-23 14.35.47So what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a bunch of friends drinking gin and eating gin-infused or gin-appropriate foods? Really, I don’t think there is.

There was an obvious place to start…

2015-08-23 15.23.50This was a random Australian gin I had bought at the bottle shop in Berry earlier this year. Very smooth, but not very interesting with the botanicals, it did feel like we were easing our way into it.

We tried gins neat then converted to g&ts, martinis or whatever else took our fancy. As the afternoon progressed, the pours got more generous….

2015-08-23 15.03.39I think the kids were trying to escape.

2015-08-23 15.04.36Beautiful accompanying foods kept our stomachs lined – here is Rachel’s beetroot and gin cured salmon.

2015-08-23 15.44.33Staying Australian we tried Poor Tom’s – a gin I supported through Pozible. This was actually delicious – a zingy floral delight.

2015-08-23 15.50.44Sebastian alternated between chef and serveur.

2015-08-23 16.13.07We had all been hoping that the Tann’s would actually be purple, but were disappointed when we discovered it was just the bottle colouring. Nonetheless, a flavoursome gin with just a hint of sweetness at the end of the palate.

2015-08-23 16.18.30The Bulldog packed an alcoholic punch – not the most subtle of gins.

2015-08-23 16.53.58Sebastian supplied more scallops (with a little help from his father).

2015-08-23 17.29.54It was then back to Australia and Four Pillars which has become a g&t favourite for me.

2015-08-23 16.24.59We had bottles from two batches – 3 and 119 – so here Anna is sacrificing herself to science and trying both at the same time. Testing revealed that there was indeed a difference.

We moved next to the Bombay Sapphire family: the Star had quite an alcoholic fore-taste, but still was pretty easy to drink. I was surprised though that I found myself prefering the East which was peppery and delicious.

2015-08-23 17.25.37I finally made g&t cupcakes for the occasion. We’ll be making those again.

2015-08-23 19.03.50The desserts were fabulous with gin infused cheesecake, gin and lime truffles and Helen’s magnificent g&t jelly which tasted delicious and had a mesmerising wobble.

2015-08-23 19.29.37There was one last gin for the day – the Sipsmith which had lots of botanical deliciousness. Though, perhaps, by this time the palate wasn’t as sharp as it had started out!

A fabulous afternoon – it may have to become an annual event!

2015 weeks! #32: many activities

2015-08-17 08.23.56Jude and I did our usual Monday morning walk to school together.

i spent a chunk of Monday at Parliament House, appearing before a Joint Standing Committee. Fortunately, I didn’t really have to answer any questions.

2015-08-17 22.11.04I’m currently doing a four week adolescent Mental Health First Aid course about identifying mental health issues and helping intervene so people receive appropriate treatment etc. James picked me up afterwards and we engaged in some “self care” – a quiet beer or two and a lovely ploughman’s platter at Bentspoke together.

2015-08-17 22.25.23Zac’s best friend Sienna has gone to Indonesia with her family for the next three years, so her wrote her a letter this week.

2015-08-19 18.16.57It is lovely to have children who help – here are all three boys engaging in dinner organisation.

While the end of winter may be nearing, it is still super foggy some mornings.

Small boys and their computer games. There has been a strong Minecraft resurgence in the house. It is a good adjunct to watching the cricket, apparently.

2015-08-21 08.39.28

Lovely breakfast at Elk and Pea with Melinda who was visiting from Sydney. Of course, I knew I was going to get some of this one myself.

2015-08-21 09.21.05Lonsdale Street street art.

2015-08-21 09.43.36It was the end of the Artist and Writers’ Festival at Turner School so I went and saw the portrait exhibition. Here is Jude’s contribution.

2015-08-21 15.17.05I was very excited about my new t-shirt.

Went for lunch and hot chocolates with Zac in between various activities on Saturday.

2015-08-22 14.42.26

Zac’s choir, the Turner Trebles, sang in an eisteddfod where they competed with five other choirs from around the region. Sadly they didn’t win, but it was a great experience for them.

Sunday the nearness of spring was in evidence with daffodils in bloom.

2015-08-23 10.05.38I walked Jude and Zac to Campbell for a chess competition.

2015-08-23 14.35.47And then it was a wonderful afternoon of gin and friends.