A year in the life 2016 #347: post work beers

Time for a sneaky beer with James.

A year in the life 2016 #113: beers and chips


After some outdoor activities we stopped at the pub for beer and chips. Ah, blissful public holiday afternoons.


A day in the life 2016 #15: old favourites


With no meetings on Friday and things still a bit in summer-slow mode, there was time for burgers and beer at the Austral for lunch. It doesn’t change much.

2015 weeks! #43: getting to the end of things and more

2015-11-02 08.31.18Everyone else had left the house in Adelaide when I got up on Monday morning, but I did have some furry companionship, purring extremely loudly.

2015-11-02 09.31.54Goodbye beach.

2015-11-02 12.35.58Because I only had one real thing to do while in Adelaide (this wasn’t a work trip as such), I got to wander the mall and catch up with Sam, Lucy and my friend Karen. It was a pleasant day.

2015-11-02 19.22.55But then it was time to fly home.

2015-11-02 21.25.09James picked me up and we went for a Bentspoke debrief.

Back in the office – the new office. We moved again but fortunately this time it was only twenty metres down the floor.

2015-11-05 13.34.46The colours of moving.

It was Beer Week, so we headed to 86 for a Beer vs Wine matched degustation. With 9 courses of food, that was 18 courses of alcohol and the staff didn’t stint on the top ups. The beer, all from La Sirene, was excellent and I highly recommend it.

2015-11-06 10.58.21I was a touch hungover the next day, yes, why do you ask?

Another chance to watch the sun set while watching Jude play cricket.

2015-11-07 11.38.43Lazy start to a Saturday.

2015-11-07 12.57.06Sebastian got inspired to make chocolate icecream.

Saturday night we had an end of year DHR celebration, with awards to best players, presents for all and a wonderful cake by Demo. There was also a fair bit of drinking and time in the pool.  It was a great end to a terrific season – the team worked really hard this year and their play reflected that. Next year though, they’ll take out number one, I’m sure.

2015-11-08 13.38.28My other team, Capital Carnage, were still busy putting in the hard work for upcoming Nationals and a firm intention to beat our number 7 position last year.

2015-11-08 15.02.27For some inspiration we watched the end of the magnificent tussle between Gotham and VRDL. So close Victoria! Bonnie Thunders is amazing though – and the way she holds it together…

Time for a picnic by the lake to celebrate Sean’s birthday. Lots of friends and food and drink.

2015 weeks! #41: games of all types and bits of life in between

2015-10-19 12.36.15Monday involved another view from a plane as I flew to Sydney to meet with a delegation from Korea.

2015-10-19 18.46.09

After two hours of talking to the Koreans, they presented me this beautiful scroll – which says “strongly but smoothly” which is a perfect motto. They then told me it was worth about $1000 so any hopes of hanging it in our new house once built were dashed because I have to declare it and hand it over to the Department as an asset. But at least I can hang it in my office.

Tuesday morning was walking to school with Jude and Zac.

2015-10-20 14.43.52An interesting presentation on the workforce of the future and the impact of technology. There are some gaps that robots and software can’t fill – or it will remain economically sensible for humans continue to do those jobs for some time to come.

2015-10-20 20.28.14A slightly failed pavlova by Jude became Eton Mess with lemon curd, mango and blueberries.

2015-10-21 12.08.27Here I am early in the Senate Estimates day. Waiting in the waiting room.

2015-10-21 15.04.53Here I am, six hours later.

2015-10-21 12.46.38At least it gave me time to admire the Parliament House light fittings.

2015-10-21 19.20.54Sun beginning to set.

2015-10-21 20.31.52Off to training again. Three weeks in a row is probably a record for this year. Oh well, next year perhaps there won’t be so much travel and injury. I managed 22 laps in 5 minutes, which wasn’t entirely terrible given the year of injury and lack of training – but given Sebastian and Jude are both 27+ I think I need to lift my game.

2015-10-21 21.59.48Post derby beer with James is very pleasant. We do like our quiet beers together at Bentspoke.

Thursday night was my first cricket outing for the season – watching Jude’s first game. He batted well and did a solid wicket keeping job as his team won comprehensively so all good. And I got to chat to a friendly magpie.

2015-10-22 20.27.08

Some more Arkham Horror – it was a horrible night of slaughter.

2015-10-23 17.27.10Friday night Happy Hour at work. Subho, our Deputy Secretary, was exceedingly pleased with himself for winning the AFL footy competition, while Peter from my branch took out the NRL competition. I did not participate as that would require me to pay attention to either AFL or NRL.

2015-10-23 18.41.11G&T with my Sinkonah tonic syrup. Yummy.

2015-10-23 19.00.49Sebastian received his black cthulhu in the mail – it was particularly evil.

2015-10-24 13.08.41Jude and Zac filled in some spare weekend with some old school game playing: fighting it out with Risk.

2015-10-24 16.56.27The boys were back at derby training on Saturday.

2015-10-25 12.08.34Sunday morning was Zac’s first cricket game for the season. I scored which required a fair bit of concentration – there are a lot of extras. And there is the weird multiplier etc. I managed to get myself sunburnt in the process also.

2015-10-25 18.21.21Finished off the week with a touch of D&D.

2015 weeks! #39: lots of grown up time

2015-10-05 11.31.07Public holiday Monday morning, WFTDA playoffs on the internets, some lazing about.

2015-10-05 12.48.18Followed by Monday afternoon beers at Bentspoke with a revolving array of friends. Sometimes it is nice to be child-free.

In the child-free theme, on Tuesday we went for dinner and dessert with Rachel. We rather liked trying out White Rabbit, the new dessert and cocktail venue. Much deliciousness ensued.

Wednesday it was back to training. With the all-clear on my ankle, I am keen to at least start getting back into the skating habit.

Utilising child free time to the max, it was Thursday night dinner at Pulp Kitchen. My food was lovely, but James’ was not really up to scratch, so a little disappointing.

2015-10-09 10.50.59Day off on Friday to drive to the coast and collect the boys again. James is enjoying the compulsory road trip selfie, apparently.

2015-10-09 12.16.19I hadn’t down the trip down Brown Mountain before. Some lovely rainforest.

We had a bit of beach time with the boys.

2015-10-09 16.01.01Jackie had been busy with cthulhu production.

There was some spectacular cloudage on the way home.

Saturday involved some baking.

2015-10-10 20.43.59The baking and the rest of us were then off to try champagne cocktails at Dave and Caroline’s while watching classic 1970s British comedy. There were lots of giggles – both from the champagne and the comedy.

2015-10-11 14.44.16A stop at the market after Carnage training for fish (not these ones).

2015-10-11 15.36.02With the return of warm weather, the boys (including James) have started an ongoing backyard cricket campaign – tally of wins on the kitchen blackboard.

2015-10-11 16.57.38Gin and tonic time.

2015-10-11 17.49.28And finish the week with a lovely Noons.

2015 weeks! #37: successes and food

2015-09-21 08.20.29 - CopyIt is Monday morning – that must mean walking to school with Jude!

2015-09-21 17.55.17 - CopyEvening falls.

2015-09-21 17.59.50 - CopyAnd I can’t resist a good cloud photo.

Out for dinner Monday night – we had visitors from the Philippines and Vietnam on our big capacity building project, so it was official dinner and welcome time.

2015-09-22 08.45.07 - CopyTuesday morning and walking to school with Zac.

2015-09-22 18.06.58 - CopyTuesday night was the junior hockey presentation for Sebastian and Jude. The end of another successful hockey year.

2015-09-22 20.40.09 - CopySebastian also did well in computational thinking – only 30 or 40 kids in Australia scored higher on the test.

2015-09-23 13.13.47 - CopyIced chocolate season is upon us.

2015-09-24 13.28.27 - CopyLovely lunch with Mathew to which he brought me a bottle of one of my most favourite gins, recently procured on a trip to Kangaroo Island…

2015-09-24 15.21.39 - CopyA good hair day.

2015-09-24 16.37.14 - CopyWe got back to our main D&D adventure (and chocolate) after some break.

2015-09-24 22.40.35 - Copy

Time for further blonding at the hairdresser.

2015-09-25 17.07.09 - CopyAnd a quick Friday afternoon beer with James.

2015-09-25 18.06.42 - CopyThe boys had to do a 27 laps in 5 minutes test to allow them to play full contact in an upcoming tournament – Sebastian got 28+ first go, Jude 26. Jude came back on Sunday and managed 27 which is super impressive.

Sebastian got his braces and expander put on during the week. He had been somewhat (understandably) grumpy since then. But by Friday he was feeling good enough to give creme brulees and his new torch a whirl. They were very good, though his custard needs to be slightly firmer in parts.

Zac did some more jewellery making on the weekend. He really does enjoy it. Meanwhile, the rest of the household was off playing Magic.

2015-09-26 12.09.43Some yarn bombing in Civic.

2015-09-26 13.01.07We met up with the rest of the family + others for post-Magic lunch.

2015-09-26 13.36.03It was then getting ready for my next overseas trip – checking through the foreign currency tin.

2015-09-26 18.33.46We tried out the new book shop-restaurant, Muse with friends Saturday night. I think the bookshop part was slightly better than the restaurant, but my short rib and blackbean sausage roll was pretty tasty. I also bought a few books…

Sunday morning I said goodbye to the blossoms..

2015-09-27 06.17.48

..it was off to Manila.

Manila is so full of people.  A walk to the shopping mall also revealed a bunch of people all excited about some pop act we had no idea who they were.2015-09-27 19.45.10But the view from the rooftop restaurant was lovely.

2015-09-27 20.08.47

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.

2015 weeks #17: PNG n Perth

2015-05-04 07.58.40My one day in Canberra for the week began foggy  – very Canberra late-autumn weather.

2015-05-04 12.31.40In a busy day I met with East Timorese who gave me gifts and videoconferenced with Korean friends and got through everything else in between.

2015-05-05 05.26.13It was up early the next morning and en route to Port Moresby.

We got delayed in Brisbane. Apparently this is par for the course with Air New Guinea.

2015-05-05 09.50.44And then there we were.

2015-05-05 15.40.31I was in Port Moresby for an APEC policy dialogue on Human Capacity Building. It was being used as a taster for when PNG hosts APEC in a couple of years time.

2015-05-05 15.49.06We went and had dinner with Korean colleagues. They were quite enthusiastic about sampling the local beers, so we had a few to drink.

2015-05-05 18.51.19The hotel I stayed in was quite nice and very new. I was a bit disturbed by the super secure balcony especially when we were already behind barbed wire, but my favourite signs at the hotel were the ones about betel nut.

2015-05-05 20.48.13Our two days of meetings went well. They increased the degree of organisational difficulty by having lunches at different venues from the conference. We all got into buses and were escorted by police and everything. The first day we visited the PNG Parliament and lunched there.

2015-05-06 14.16.00We had an official dinner so I got frocked up.

2015-05-06 18.13.17I was super impressed that the orchids they gave us on arrival completely matched my dress.

2015-05-06 19.10.05The best part of the dinner was the dancers…

..although the dessert was pretty good too!

2015-05-06 21.03.25I gave my presentation on the second day. This was the view from the speaker’s seat before everyone came in.

2015-05-07 08.52.09On Friday morning before our flight we had a little bit of free time and I finally managed a swim in the pool.

2015-05-08 07.43.59We also got a bit of a tour around Port Moresby. This may be the only time I go on a tour with a police escort.

We also got to visit the markets for a quick bit of shopping.

I managed to finish my book before the flight home – i did enjoy its vision of the future and some of the ideas within it.

2015-05-08 08.58.13Back in Australia I met up with James and the rest of Capital Carnage at the airport in Sydney before we got on a flight to Perth.

2015-05-08 19.32.29The Carnage boys were in front of us.

2015-05-08 19.35.46We had a lovely day in Perth, starting with breakfast in King’s Park catching up with the Carnage team.

Then James and I headed down to Fremantle for a lovely afternoon.

It was then time for Carnage to take on Perth Men’s Roller Derby.

The boys played really well and were only just beaten, but as bench manager I was super happy because we had generally executed the game plan and played really well over all.

2015-05-09 21.28.18We stayed and watched some of Light City taking on Swan city until it became clear that Light City was going to win easily and the need for proper food overcame us.

The next morning was a boot camp with the visiting teams and Thuggernaut and I took the Carnage session which was lots of fun.

After the derbying was over, the team headed off to the beach for a few drinks and a bit of hanging out.

Scarborough Beach knows how to do a decent sunset.

2015-05-10 18.43.24

It was then time to head to Liz’s house for dinner – I was staying over night while James was heading back to the airport and home on the horror red eye which I refused to take. I knew I was accepted into the family when Attia presented me with a kitten sticker.

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