A year in the life 2016 #331a: bestie catch up

Natasha was in town for her last Canberra gig as Ambassador for Women and Girls (she had been os while we were in Adelaide) and we managed to find some time to catch up. Best friend time is the best time.

A year in the life 2016 #124: toes

2016-05-06 11.47.21One of the upsides of time off is that you can do leisurely things like pedicures with your best friend then lunch at the beach. A lovely way to end a week.

A year in the life 2016 #90: belated birthday lunch


Lovely to spend hours out to lunch with the best friend enjoying a belated birthday celebration. Hard to think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

A year in the life 2016 #50: afternoon teal


My best friend Natasha is a big supporter of ovarian cancer awareness and research and hosted an afternoon tea to raise both money and awareness.  Champagne and cupcakes for all!

PS the biggest problem with ovarian cancer is that it is usually detected too late, so be aware of the symptoms and get yourself checked out if in doubt.


A day in the life 2016 #8: best friends


One of the big bonuses of six months in Adelaide is that I will get to see my best friend a lot more. We had a great night of talking and drinking too much wine and just enjoying the chance to spend time together.

And we saw this sunset.


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

Weeks! #44: Halloween and other reasons to dress up

2014-10-27 09.42.11-1 - CopyWork! Not the best reason in the world to dress up, but hey.

2014-10-27 20.04.09 - CopyHere is my abandoned skate gear following SkateFit. That Bambi works you hard.  But certainly an excellent reason to get my gear on!

2014-10-28 19.20.33 - CopyWhen dressing up, excellent shoes are called for. Tax return came so I felt more than justified in purchasing the pair I had been stalking.

2014-10-28 23.28.25 - Copy Here is a stolen photo – this is Natasha speaking at the UN Security Council. A proud best-friend moment (one of many).

2014-10-29 07.15.31 - Copy

With glorious mornings like this, why wouldn’t you put on your bike gear and get our for a ride? And here I am all helmeted up.

2014-10-29 07.35.16 - CopyZac likes to dress up nicely (certainly more than his brothers). On the weekend he bought a pair of sunglasses which he loved. After wearing them to school, he told me that while some of his friends liked them, some people had been “sexist and rude.” Zac, however, does not bow easily to peer group pressure, so he has continued wearing them. When (mostly small boy) people ask him why he’s wearing “girls’ sunglasses” he calmly tells them they are his and he bought them with him own money, and moves on.

2014-10-29 08.32.26 - Copy

Breakfast at the Cupping Room with James is both worth dressing up for, and skipping the first half an hour of an all day meeting!

So is breakfast at the Elk & Pea with my friend Melinda who travelled with me to Sri Lanka.

2014-10-30 08.47.33The Realm was looking resplendent for the Migration Agents conference I went and spoke at.

2014-10-30 16.33.56Here is the view from my window on a day when Canberra was looking excellent. And me as I tried squinting out of the window.

And then it was Halloween. This rather frightening looking cat nearly scared me away from the cakes. Nearly.

2014-10-31 15.33.42Into cricket uniform which Zac wore with his usual flair.

And watching cricket for some of us as the sun dressed up the sky.

Time to dress up for Jasmin’s usual Halloween celebrations. I was Deregulation Girl – slayer of red tape.

On Saturday, the boys put on their skating gear. Here are Sebastian and Jude relaxing while Zac was training.

We also got the trains out Saturday night for a family game of Ticket to Ride.

2014-11-01 20.03.49

On Sunday, we put on our bike helmets and rode down to LSR for afternoon tea. Of course, I managed to take a lock I didn’t have the key for, so we had to abandon the bikes and walk home, returning for them later.

And spring is dressing up the garden – here is a passionfruit flower.

2014-11-02 16.41.45

Weeks! #23: birthdays and birthdays and Adelaide and other stuff

2014-06-02 08.39.37Starting the week walking the boys to school. Zachary and Jude are still impossible to separate from their new jackets.

2014-06-02 08.39.43

Monday also had the joys of Senate Estimates. Here I am in the waiting room. Our Department makes sure it keeps us in lollies. Fortunately, no questions for me this time round.

The boys had taken to the loom band thing with some enthusiasm.

2014-06-02 20.25.12The results weren’t half bad either.

2014-06-02 20.25.45The weather is getting wintery so it is all coats and tights and woollen dresses.

2014-06-03 08.50.23Some Canberra public art appreciation.

2014-06-04 17.47.11On Sebastian’s actual birthday he was abandoned by his parents do they could go and consume a game degustation at Pulp Kitchen. (Delicious by the way)

2014-06-03 19.17.33We made it up to him the following night with dinner at Jamie’s Italian.

And a week really isn’t complete without some sort of opportunity to slay horrible monsters.

2014-06-04 20.41.34Sebastian and I headed off to Adelaide Thursday morning for our great TGSS adventure.

But before TGSS, time with family. Parents’ favourite pub (of course).2014-06-05 17.58.19

Sebastian was very keen to go to the beach. And I can never resist the ocean, so Mum and I took Sebastian to Henley Beach for a wander and lunch. We even walked the jetty.

We had afternoon godparent (or equivalent) get together with godson (or equivalent). Also best friends.

It was then out to dinner to the co-celebration of Sebastian and Emilie’s birthdays!

There was also some quality cousin hanging out time to be had. Sebastian played many games of hide and seek amongst other entertainments.

For Emilie’s birthday party on Saturday, Sebastian helped with preparations, assisting Lucy with the cake and the lolly bags and various other tasks, while popped over to the Great Southern Slam to pick up my pass and say hi to folk.

I returned in time for the big party. Emilie seemed to enjoy it almost as much as the adults, and she certainly appreciated her cake.

I was lucky to get my own belated birthday present from Sam and Tracey which included awesome new skate laces! I resisted for a bit but eventually had to lace up my skates, party or no.

Once the children had all gone to bed, some of the adults still kept partying. Given I was playing the next day, I had stuck to water for the afternoon, but I was still required to participate in sibling sing-along to the War of the Worlds musical and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (predictably).

2014-06-07 22.12.25-1And then Sunday was all about TGSS

2014-06-08 10.33.54

Weeks! #10: feasts, friends, games and Nine Inch Nails

2014-03-03 07.18.11Another Monday, another ride, another balloon.

This week got off to a lovely start though as I went and saw Natasha formally welcomed into the role of Ambassador for Women and Girls. It was lovely to catch up with Shirley and even better to have some time to hang out with Nat. Our schedules being what they were in the second half of last year it has been absolutely ages since we had spent time together. And Best Friend Time is excellent time.

The excellent nature of Monday continued when I got home. A dumpling feast awaited. Paul and his partner Chun-Ling came over in the afternoon and Chun-Ling taught the boys to make dumplings. With many hands, many many dumplings were made. They were most delicious.

2014-03-04 07.23.00Another morning ride – the compulsory balloon peeking out.

Still managing to walk the boys to school some days. It is always a good chance to chat and enjoy the mornings together.

2014-03-05 13.41.28Had to get my new Drivers Licence and by some miracle the photo didn’t make me look like a criminal. Licence birthday coming soon.

Played some Study in Emerald, got an evening of baby cuddles into the bargain.

So Thursday I escaped from work early and jumped in the car with James and Andrew R and we headed to Sydney. Chinese food in China town in close proximity to the Entertainment Centre where we were to see Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. Nine Inch Nails went first and were everything one would expect – wall of noise, back lit, lots of smoke machine and a slightly pretentious avoidance of playing their biggest hit ever. But very very good with it. Queens of the Stone Age came next – also very enjoyable and very much what you would expect also. We did sneak out a couple of songs before the end – we had the drive back and wanted to make sure we weren’t trapped in the Entertainment Centre car park for two long. As it was, we made pretty good time and were in bed by 2.30am, though that is still pretty late when you are as old as me with life as busy as it has been.


2014-03-07 17.31.14I did think I deserved a second fizzy caffeinated beverage before Friday DHR training given the late night.

2014-03-07 18.32.44Saturday it was old friends and an afternoon playing Junta.

2014-03-08 14.49.03We then tried out Papa Rich for dinner – cheap and enormous serves.

It was the last night of Enlighten, so we decided to head to the parliamentary triangle, despite threats of rain. I will post separately, but here are the boys and me.

Saturday started with a visit to the park to help celebrate Alice’s birthday. The new playground at John Knight Memorial Park proved popular, as did the cake.

And then after derby training, and a busy week all round, it was nice to relax in the pjs.

2014-03-09 21.10.41


Snapshots: best friends

2013-02-01 08.17.59Sebastian had his best friend over to stay the night – there was some child swapping as Jude went over to their place. I found them hanging out on the couch together in the morning. I love the unselfconsicous physicality of friendship at this age – the boys are happy to sit on the couch together, to thrown their arms around each other and all those things that the homophobia of teen boys beats out of them. However, you know that when they disappear into Sebastian’s room to play music, it can’t be long before adolescence sets in. I hope it doesn’t change them too much.