Highlights 2018 Week 2: Sea Fall

Our game of the moment is Sea Fall which we started playing just before Christmas. Sea Fall is a “legacy” game – you play it through once over the course of 12-15 individual games, revealing a story as you go. You also do things like write on the board and tear up cards, which can sometimes be hard for keen board gamers to get past the psychological barrier about damaging your game!

We are currently playing two versions – one with Andrew, Steve and JP and the other with the boys. Things do progress differently in the two games, but James and I have to be careful about transferring meta knowledge between the two games. Anyway, lots of fun building colonies, sinking ships, discovering islands and building cities.


Highlights 2018 Week 1: New Year New Job

This week was all about starting my new job. After 12 years working in Education – well, skills really – it was time to make the change to a completely new place. So here I am at Agriculture and Water Resources in the area of export regulation essentially. It is going to be a steep learning curve, and I don’t think I ever imagines I would be working somewhere where I had to clear documents listing how much blood we exported to the US and Canada (about 4000kg per annum, in case you are interested) or know what prawn diseases close fisheries, but here I am. Definitely looking forward to the challenges, have been welcomed by the Secretary and Deputy Secretary warmly and am looking forward to getting to know the team over the coming weeks. And I even got a good pass photo!

All the derbies

Across April-June there was a *lot* of roller derby in my life, even if I didn’t have time to put on skates once.

First there was Sydney and Carnage playing at the MRDA tournament. Terrific fun and the team played really well even if we didn’t manage to win a game. James skated and I was in charge of line ups.

We did have time for ice cream though.

Then it was back to Sydney for 5×5 with the DHRs where we resoundingly beat CCRDU. No photos from the game, but here is our post-game mid-road trip McDonald’s stop.

The boys had a black and white friends and family scrim. On tbis occasion, I only watched.

Then it was up to Gosford for the weekend and the East Coast Invitational. Here is Blocktopussy taking a selfie while using my phone to adjust her bandages mid game so she could get back out there.

This is what I thought of that.

The DHRs did well across the weekend with a couple of wins and a good loss against NSR. And third place for the tournament.

The boys and I then headed up to the Blue Mountains for a game vs the Juniorcorns. They all played, I did line ups and it was a great game with the Prime Sinisters continuing their unbeaten run.

Then there was another DHRS day trip, this time to Hawkesbury for 5×5 and the DHRs taking on Newcastle.

Once again we took the victory – but this time it was a bit closer at the start. 

Now it is July and I have managed to put on my own skates, thpugh it looks like the rest of the month is going to be filled with a whole lot more of everyone else’s derby!

Coast holiday

School holidays and time for a few days at our favourite South Coast spot. Work had been super intense, so it was good to have a chance to chill out and relax, read books, play in the surf and spend tome with the family.

There were all the usual #beach activities, plus we hired a surfboard and all the boys started working on their surfing skills.

I enjoyed some reading and watching and a bit of boogie boarding.

I did some shell collecting.

The boys did some sand building.

We went for a walk in a gorgeous sunset.

And there was of course some kayaking.

We ate Mexican food and ice creams.

And played board games.

And all felt much more relaxed when we left.

Gym buddies

Sebastian has decided to join me at the gym this year and seems to be enjoying it. He’s mastered bosu squats (better than me) and has even done sets of 20kg bench press.

I was very excited to finally deadlift 100kg…the best thing about lifting the heavies is how easily quantifiable your progress actually is.

I did manage to injure my back, but tried not to let it completely break my gym habits. One of the bonuses of having a gym buddy is that on the mornings when you don’t feel like it, you have a reason to get going, and then you still feel better at the end.

Back is much better now, and we are back to usual – and having mornings where sometimes we just feel trashed. But we do love #gymlife.

Grief and the second circle

Over the last few years I have been through a few deaths – not of my nearest and dearest, but of the second, or even third circle of people you know. An aunt by marriage who I never really knew well, a colleague I had worked closely with from time to time but seen irregularly, an old family friend who I hadn’t seen for year, a friend who I would talk to at parties and connect with on social media but not invite out alone…

When these deaths happen one feels grief and sadness, but it is odd and can be mixed with other feelings? Am I being self indulgent? Do I really *deserve* to mourn these people. It is made more complicated because in many of these cases there are people close to me who were closer to the person who died, who have a deeper connection, a greater grief. I often avoid mentioning these deaths directly on social media, because the compassion from friends you receive sometimes makes me feel like an imposter, taking the attention from those who probably deserve it more. As if compassion is finite.

But these deaths do impact on me. Sometimes it is the grief of others – watching the sadness and grief of those you care deeply about is a great multiplier of grief. Sometimes it is regret – regret that you didn’t have that chance to get to know that person better or learn more from them. Sometimes it is guilt – that you didn’t take the chance to spend that time, so say that thing. Sometimes it is shock – the method of death, the suddenness, the sense that the world is less ordered than you think. Sometimes it is the sense of mortality – yes I may die, or anyone may die, sooner than you think or expect or hope. Sometimes it is the sadness for the loss of what could have been. And sometimes it is a realisation that no matter how small a detail that person may have been on the tapestry of your life, that detail is forever gone and your life is changed, no matter how minutely.

I think I need to let myself feel what I am feeling and recognide the need to mourn, that whatever I am feeling is the appropriate way for me to feel. That death matters and we all need room to process it, no matter how close we were or weren’t to the person we are mourning. 

Further experiments in baking

Sebastian decided to make some “pineapple” buns, which, to my surprise, contained no pineapple. The name relates more to their appearance.

They have two levels of baking. Buns which had to proof…

…and a biscuit -like top.

Baked up, they look like this

And tasted delicious.