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….


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!


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! #19: hard to encapsulate everything going on this week in a few words

2015-05-18 10.55.51So most of Monday morning was free before flying home (and a catch up lunch with Australia’s senior official for APEC). I actually managed a 45 minute swim in the ocean. It was gorgeous – and I was pleased to have actually managed to have time to put more than my toes in.

And I bought a new hat.

2015-05-18 11.20.30Then it was onto the ferry, goodbye beautiful Boracay and time to start the journey home.

We got delayed out of Caticlan, but managed to just get onto our flight home.

2015-05-19 10.43.18Back in Australia I put on my tights and headed to Melbourne for a roundtable the Minister was hosting – managed to get through that before finally getting hoem to Canberra.

2015-05-19 15.29.40It was rather wetter and colder in Canberra than Boracay.

2015-05-19 17.11.38Discovered a tragedy on my return home – a bottle of tonic syrup sent to me by one of my Twitter friends had exploded in the mail into a sharp sticky mess.

2015-05-20 11.37.01Back to normal life after a couple of frantic weeks – walked Jude to school in time for his choir on Thursday.

2015-05-21 08.15.31It was definitely winter weather now in Canberra – I hid my coloured tights under a long skirt and boots.

2015-05-21 17.54.09Canberra can also turn on the spectacular views – who needs Boracay?

2015-05-22 17.21.11Friday and things were a bit out of control on my desk, made worse by the fact that work-James was off in Melbourne training for the Wizards.

2015-05-22 17.17.53At home, George was keen to hang out.

2015-05-22 20.38.31Saturday was off to Richmond near Sydney for 5×5. The Dishonour Rollers played and exceptional game to beat Sydney Snipers much to our collective delight.

2015-05-23 12.59.59Sunset on the road home.

2015-05-23 17.25.16George sticking with his recent theme of sitting on me.

2015-05-23 21.16.14The next morning we were up super early for Eurovision breakfast. It was very exciting that after our many years of Eurovision devotion, we were finally getting to vote. In the past we have never worried about the morning broadcast, but this time it was essential. So the usual crew assembled with a vast amount of breakfast food and enjoyed the usual wonders of Eurovision – and then it was all phone action afterwards as we put in our votes. Those of us with Optus phones were successful in the voting, but Telstra couldn’t handle it apparently. And after all the fun was over, some of us needed a nap.

2015-05-24 06.05.46After a nap, one is good for a glass or two of red wine with dinner.

2015-05-24 18.01.06

2015 weeks! #14: April is the cruelest month (not really)

2015-04-13 11.37.33Shiny shoes and stripey socks to start the week.

2015-04-13 12.55.09Also lunch out with one of my former EAs. They may leave me, but they still like hanging with me.

2015-04-13 18.12.49I was very excited that finally my Blood Moon Tonic had arrived, so more gin and tonic experimentation.

2015-04-13 22.48.08George has taken to sitting, pretty much on my chest, whenever I am on the couch. We’ve been getting up close and personal.

2015-04-15 21.27.52Bit of Wednesday night adventuring.

2015-04-16 10.47.14Getting me through the day.

2015-04-16 10.50.29One of my lovely staff brought me lovely Greek biscuits to try. Never say no to that!

2015-04-16 22.36.07Fabulous bed socks arrived from Lucy – Big Bird to hang out with my Cookie Monster pj pants.

2015-04-17 12.51.04I had Friday off and it was Rachel’s birthday so the boys and I went and took her out to lunch which was very pleasant all round.

2015-04-17 16.41.17It was school holidays so Sebastian was back in the kitchen where he does enjoy a bit of activity.

Saturday was a road trip to Sydney for the Dishonour Rollers’ first 5×5 engagement. It was great to be back doing line ups for them, and even better because we played well and took out the game firmly. Such fun. Such a great team.

2015-04-18 20.09.03Enjoyed the poetry of the Sutton Forest McDonalds on the way home and left wondering, what is “improbable beautiful”?

2015-04-19 15.19.17 HDR-1Autumn had firmly taken hold in our back yard.

2015-04-19 17.25.07Post game DHR Sunday training – because we are not ones to rest on our laurels.

Weeks! #22: day trips and seasons change

2014-05-26 17.22.48 Started the week leaving work after dark…but it is dark reasonably early at the moment.


Autumn was nearly concluded, but the leaves said otherwise.

At work, one of the EAs was leaving, and a whole band was organised. I am pretty sure it was an excuse for her boss to get his guitar out.

Jude and Sebastian had a day trip to Taronga Zoo, so it was up well before the crack of dawn to get them on the bus and off to Sydney.

2014-05-29 06.45.55

Early mornings such as this require a bacon sandwich.

2014-05-29 11.35.46Here is a Jude self-portrait from the trip – hello Mr Giraffe!

2014-05-29 19.34.49James and I got comprehensively beaten by Zac at Carcassonne while waiting for the bus to return with the other two.

2014-05-29 19.56.32

A nice balm on a (nearly) winter’s night.

Walking the boys to school again.

On Saturday Sebastian, James and I did another day trip to Sydney, this time for the 5×5 game versus WIRD.  We met most of the team,  coincidentally, at the McDonalds en route. James was reffing in a couple of games, so we were there for the duration. Always fun to watch more derby. And I got my Saturday sausage – for both lunch and dinner!

Of course, by the time we got home, it was rather late.

2014-05-31 23.19.04Jude and Zachary had stayed at Jackie’s house, so we went over to collect the boys Sunday morning. James got the most wonderful birthday cake from his mother.

While James took Sebastian to hockey, Jude, Zac and I went to yum cha to say goodbye to Anna and David who were off to Brazil on their indefinite adventure. Hooray for dumplings!

2014-06-01 11.52.04The boys also fell in love with these “camo puffy jackets” and insisted on buying them with their own money. Probably a good purchase given how cold and wet it was.

2014-06-01 12.58.51

Jude also bought himself a loom band kit, and went to it while we were at derby training.

2014-06-01 13.44.12

5×5 Round Three: DHRs vs WIRD

2014-05-31 12.32.26

It was up to North Ryde for our second 5×5 game, this time versus Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby‘s Steel City Derby Dolls. We knew it would be a tough game, but we had a really strong team with us, so we were hoping to make a good game of it. And we did that, regularly getting lead jammer from early in the game. Disappointingly, after a couple of strong jams, Diazaslam got an elbow to the face which left her bleeding – not that it stopped her jamming magnificently before she came off and had to be attended by the first aid folk. She was then off for the rest of the first half and came back on to block in the second. In her first game back, GoreJess showed her jamming is still something to be reckoned with, and we had the usual strong performances from Lasseration, Blocktopussy and Reapercussions – perhaps too strong from Blockto who fouled out just before the end of the game.

2014-05-31 12.59.53Strong play from both teams meant the game was tight all the way. At half time the DHRs were up 79-58, but WIRD tenaciously clawed the lead back over the second half. While the DHRs had managed to mostly shut down iKandy who, as one of WIRD’s outstanding jammers we were worried about coming into the game, Kitty Killher had a terrific game and we often found ourselves in her wake. The DHRs started to try and run down the clock in the last six minutes or so, but WIRD slowly crept up and at the end of the final jam we had a tie – 157-157. It was then all down to an overtime jam which runs for the full two minutes. Reaper was neck and neck, but got called for a cut and in the end WIRD took the game 165-161. So exciting!

Despite the last minute lost, the team could be extremely proud of themselves – they played fantastic team derby against and opponent we thought we had little chance of beating. There really were no weak links in the team and, best of all, everyone had a lot of fun!


5×5: Dishonour Rollers vs Western Sydney

2014-04-26 14.32.27Here is some of the team before our bout versus Western Sydney. This was the second round of 5×5 however we had had a bye in Round 1, so it was our first foray into the competition. While Western Sydney had been beaten fairly well by S2D2 in Round 1, they had won the B Division of ERRD  last year, so we were not planning on underestimating them. Conversations with some S2D2 folk had suggested, however, that they had beaten them with superior fitness and speed, so this was something we thought about carefully while devising our game plan.

To our delight, the plan came together and worked really effectively. When our jammers didn’t get lead, we ran the pack away and our jammer ran them down. Blocktopussy in particular did some excellent work in this respect, and while she didn’t score the most points on the day, she had very few scored against her. Lasseration jammed brilliantly as usual, as well as putting in some very effectively blocking to be named MVP by WSR. We led from the first jam and maintained a strong lead the entire game. It was a great game to line up manage and there really wasn’t a weak link. I was really proud of the team and how well they played together.

Final score was DHrs 189 to WSR 121.

2014-04-26 16.48.27