A year in the life 2016 #52: riding


I have started riding again in the mornings on the days I don’t go to the gym. With parklands all around and bike lanes through the city there are lots of choices of where to ride. I discovered the bike paths through the cemetery this morning. A rather fascinating  location for a ride.

2015 weeks! #31: views from the 40th floor and other glamourous places

I started the week with three days in Melbourne, staying on the 40th floor of the Sofitel. The views were spectacular.

On my second night in Melbourne I had no official functions so was lucky enough to catch up with Jess, who has recently relocated. We began at the Gin Palace…


…then moved on to the exceptional deliciousness (and large serves) of Ombre.

2015-08-12 08.21.13I was still feeling full the next morning when I caught up with Melanie aka Scary for breakfast, so hipster crumpets did me.

2015-08-12 11.01.09I was in Melbourne for the ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council) forum to talk about our international work. I enjoyed the discussions in the Connectivity Working Group, particularly about the oysters who are connected to the internet.

2015-08-12 17.24.13I managed to finish the wonderful SevenEves shortly after I got home. It is a fabulous book, I loved it, even if occasionally Neal Stephenson got overly explainy about things in the way that he does. It is definitely worth it.

2015-08-13 11.03.55Time for some red fishnets.

2015-08-13 11.37.23I spent much of Thursday at Parliament House, most of it at the Roundtable on International Education. There were lots of people there with whom to catch up, and it was lovely to finally meet another one of my internet friends in real life for the first time.

2015-08-13 17.14.27There was a bit of back and forth across Commonwealth Bridge as I went up to Parliament House for a second time on the same day. Been a regular up there when it is sitting time.

2015-08-13 19.32.41Jude and Zac have been doing some practice together and are starting to get much better at playing duets. Well, sometimes they do playing horribly out of step with each other, but when they do hit it, it is great.

2015-08-13 19.55.35New Arkham Horror expansion, new fun times. And we won which was outstanding.

Sebastian has been playing indoor cricket with his usual cricket team on Friday nights. Usually James takes him, but I did my first time this week. I truly didn’t understand what was happening at all, but Sebastian’s team won.

2015-08-15 08.56.46Here’s Jude making breakfast for himself before hockey and waiting for the toast to cook. He was really enjoying this book.

Jude and I walked in to ANU for hockey and where they won, and then headed past this creek-side art on the way back home via Lonsdale Street.

2015-08-15 11.23.34We stopped at LSR. Jude had recently tried some coffee gelato and really liked it, so he wanted to try coffee (decaf version). I suggested that a mocha might perhaps be a better option. Jude discovered that coffee is really strong and really bitter. I think he might be reverting to hot chocolates for a while.

We hadn’t done a big supermarket shop for a while, so Jude and Zac and I did a mammoth one. I think we will be fine if the zombocalypse happens soon.

2015-08-15 17.19.20The days are definitely getting longer.

2015-08-15 17.24.47Jude went a did a bit of busking late Saturday afternoon. On our first attempt, we found that his spot had been taken by a younger girl with a violin. We came back an hour later and he spent 40 minutes. He picked a good time – I had thought he had done well last time with a haul of $4oish, but this time he made over $60 in 40 minutes.

2015-08-15 17.45.57On Sunday I decided that despite my various injuries, I should rouse myself from my sloth and go for a ride. So I did 24 km of lake.

George is funny sometimes. He doesn’t get to come into our room at night, but our bed and its afternoon sun is one of his favourite spots. I’m pretty sure this look means “I thought we had a deal, yours at night, mine in the afternoon.”

2015-08-16 14.09.10

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

2015 weeks! #9: Canberra Week

2015-03-09 11.07.33Canberra Day Monday so how better to start the week than to head down to the newest Canberra spot, Westside, for a skate and a coffee?

Tuesday it was back to school with an early start for Zac for Trebles practice and a lake ride for me.

2015-03-10 07.44.14The Telstra Tower is always a dominant feature in the Canberra landscape. Some days, in some light, it does make me feel like I am living in some sort of future city. This was one of those days.

2015-03-10 11.45.01Discovered that the seat outside my boss’ office is an excellent place to hide and contemplate the world while it appears I have purpose. Eventually he came back to his office though.

2015-03-10 13.15.59Tuesday scrim night = hot and exhausted. But lots of fun.

2015-03-11 21.29.23It is starting to get a bit chilly in the mornings and it feels like autumn so suddenly I am starting to feel like drinking tea in the office.

2015-03-12 10.26.37No D&D this week so we took the Firefly for another spin. It really it a fun game (and I won).

2015-03-12 19.40.52Up early Friday morning for another lake ride. I was disappointed – it was too windy for balloons, but there were some kayakers to bring some colour to a grey morning.

2015-03-13 07.21.15Zac’s brothers were off out for dinner and games at a friends house, so Zac got fancy dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants of Lonsdale Street with his parentals.

Jude was super excited about Pi Day – he’s been teaching himself digits of Pi and has memorised to about 13.

Another Saturday afternoon of some work and junior derby.

And D&D!

2015-03-14 18.31.56

2015 weeks! #7: all the usual things

2015-02-23 08.30.30Zac had choir again Monday morning – this time I got organised so that I could take the long route to work after dropping him off and so went for 13 km ride after the 20 minute walk to school.

2015-02-23 12.09.39Continuing to unpack the office reveals some treasures. “Disk 4 of 5” hahahahahaaaa. It really wasn’t that long ago.

2015-02-23 18.20.11G&T time – I bought some Beefeater 24 on the way home from Thailand and am quite enjoying it in a g&t – very smooth.

2015-02-24 11.03.08I still love this view from our new Boardroom. Definitely a brooding sort of Canberra day.

2015-02-24 19.02.38Scrim day – here I am with pigtails in ready to go and skate around hitting people (with purpose). I don’t include an after photo – much more dishevelled.

2015-02-25 11.24.53Where do you want to be on a Wednesday night til 11pm – a Senate Committee room? No, me neither….but needs must.

2015-02-27 13.41.31The sad bit about our move to the new building is that, for energy efficiency reasons, I don’t have my own fridge any more. It is annoying from both a symbolic and practical point of view, but I also understand and I know that missing my own fridge is kind of petty. It is interesting how, as you move through your career, these symbols are really powerful motivating factors – your own office, your own fridge, your car. I remember always looking at SES cars and thinking that the day I had one, I would have made it. Admittedly, I gave up a work car and carpark for a significant pay increase, but occasionally I feel vaguely cheated (in actuality I am not remotely – economically it makes a lot more sense for me to get a pay out for my car and environmentally and for my own health it makes more sense for me to ride/walk to walk). So losing my own fridge makes me a bit sad in a way which I am entirely aware is white, rich, privilege – but I earned that fridge….Anyway, James my EA has taken to aggressively labelling my fizzy caffeinated beverages for the communal fridge and I have issued various warnings to staff that they had better keep their receipts for fizzy caffeinated beverages.

2015-02-27 15.05.28

We had a “telepresence” meeting at work with all the states and territories. I love the technology – it is like sitting across a table from someone, so much better than teleconferencing and even a step up from standard videoconferencing. I look forward to travelling less and teleprescencing more.

Friday night cricket with Zachary. My turn to score. I was super pleased that I had had a second fizzy caffeinated beverage after concentrating on a two hour teleprescence then having to concentrate on two + hours of scoring cricket.

2015-02-28 13.07.04George seems to delight in our various, strong, smells, choosing as he does to sit amongst our derby and cricket gear whenever he gets a chance. Eeew.

2015-02-28 14.55.42

Caught up with some work (as usual) at junior derby training. Jude worked pretty hard though.

2015-02-28 16.37.40Zac has now started learning the cello. He and Jude had their first go at trying to play together. It sounded better than expected.

On Sunday morning Zac had his first performance outing with the Trebles – singing for the entertainment of those doing Amy’s bike ride.

2015-03-01 10.35.11Of course, the whole thing turned into a bit of a drama as Zac managed to get glass in his bike tyre as we rode our bikes into town. Jude and I tried to go and get it fixed while Zac was singing, but of course the bike store wasn’t open for another hour. As it was, we ended up having iced chocolates while waiting for the tyre repair. Not such a bad outcome.

2015-03-01 11.36.12

2015 weeks! #4: of walks and games

2015-01-26 16.21.59One has to love a week that begins with a public holiday. After taking the boys to see Paper Planes in the morning, Zac and I made the most of the afternoon by going for a leisurely ride. Zac still isn’t super fast on the bike, but his pace suited my healing back.

2015-01-26 18.45.19I was very sad to finish my Dorothy Parker gin, but I guess it just means I have to find the time to visit New York again soon (it is nearly two years!).

2015-01-26 20.29.14It is fun now the boys are all big on the games too – we had some family Munchkin time.

2015-01-27 19.53.41Because I haven’t been able to do any vigorous exercise, I have been tracking how much I have been walking a bit more. With all the work on the Machinery of Government changes, I have spent quite a lot of time walking between Industry House on one side of town and 50 Marcus Clarke Street on the other which has kept up the step count. Some days though the level of exercise has needed a bit of a boost. While James and Sebastian went off to scrim on Tuesday night, Zac and Jude and I went for a very pleasant walk.

2015-01-27 19.54.12Here’s Zac and I together for no particular reason.

2015-01-28 19.49.38On Wednesday night we went to the grand final of the Big Bash at Manuka. Inevitably, it was completely packed. The game was a little slow at times, but the final over of two made up for it. It was a lot of fun.

I am not sure the fireworks afterwards could quite match the excitement of the final over with Brett Lee missing a hat trick on the final ball when the winning run was scored.

2015-01-28 23.01.05Another walk with the boys – this time Jude came up with the winning idea that Mr Frugii was a really awesome destination for a walk.

Friday night Firefly playing. Rachel gave us the game for Christmas and it turns out it is a lot of fun to play.

George is such a sucker for cuddles.

2015-01-30 19.53.54-1I ran out of gin (well, except for the Bombay Amber which I have decided is ideal for negronis but not as good for g&ts) so I took the chance to go Australian. Very nice.

2015-01-31 12.29.49Roller derby started with a bit of excitement for the boys as Jackie Daniels and SmartyPants were in town and took their first training session for the year.

We had to finish our Firefly game Saturday night.

2015-01-31 17.51.44And what better to accompany some misbehavin’ than a Rockford.

2015-01-31 18.45.02Sunday I took the boys to Into the Woods, then it was time to try out the new addition to the Dessert Triangle – Oliver Brown.

2015-02-01 15.03.08Finally, Sunday afternoon provided the opportunity to drop wine on the character sheet – is it a real character sheet before it has wine stains?

2015-02-01 17.46.07

2015 weeks! #2: the family that trains, bikes, plays together….

2015-01-13 21.04.57More D&D. Getting back into the rhythm of some of our regular activities.

2015-01-14 09.48.43I had been handed responsibility for being the point person for all our machinery of government-moving department changes for the skills folk. Due to this I have been spending quite a bit of time across at Marcus Clarke Street where we will be moving in mid-February. The views from the Executive Boardroom are quite spectacular.

2015-01-14 13.09.472015-01-14 13.11.26On Wednesday we were super lucky to have an hour to ourselves with Scald Eagle and Stefanie Mainey. For the derby uninitiated, Scald Eagle plays for Team USA and Stefanie Mainey for the English roller derby team. James and I had a great time with Scald Eagle working on plough stops and associated blocking, side blocking and knocking people off the track while Jude and Sebastian did a range of jammer and blocking things with Mainey. They were great coaches. I also took Jude and Sebastian to a question and answer session with them and there we learnt that not only are they great at roller derby but intelligent, thoughtful and insightful as well. And funny – Mainey on jogging (or rather, not jogging) was hilarious. They had some thoughtful views and observations on gender in derby and it was great to learn that the problems and challenges of running a league here in Canberra are pretty much shared everywhere.  One of the things I love about roller derby is how the boys get to meet and admire a range of impressive women, and in Scald Eagle and Stefanie Mainey they have two new sporting heroes completely worth of any admiration they receive.

2015-01-14 14.13.30James made me lunch to take back to work after my lunchtime roller derby session.

2015-01-15 16.29.28Another beautiful day from the office. No bike riding pictures this week because on Tuesday and Thursday I got up early and tried a resistance training class at F45 which I actually really enjoyed even if it was completely exhausting. I was going to ride on Friday, but between the resistance classes and my lunchtime derby session, I just needed a rest.

2015-01-16 21.54.19Friday evening was different D&D – a new adventure with new characters.

2015-01-17 13.54.38Sebastian did some cooking on Saturday and whipped us up muffins for lunch, supplemented by some salad from James.

Saturday afternoon we went and saw The Hobbit finally and then afterwards had BBQ at LSR. I liked The Hobbit: battle of Five Armies, even if it was pretty much one long fight scene – I quite like fight scenes and the elven fighting was awesome. I was a bit disappointed with Tauriel though – if you are going to add a kick-ass female character, don’t then make her have to be saved TWICE by men who are in love with her, or reduce ALL her motivations to love. Ugh. They could have done better there. LSR BBQ was fantastic though – highly recommend. James filled the growler with Bentspoke beer to accompany it, and in the pleasant evening air it was lovely.

2015-01-17 20.11.15Dessert was outstanding icecream from Mr Frugii across the road.

2015-01-17 20.31.09I enjoyed the sunset walk home with the boys.

2015-01-18 15.56.01Zacky and I went for a ride on Sunday – it was a bit slower and a bit less far than I would have done by myself, but I did have Zac for company. Let’s call it leisurely and companionable.

2015-01-18 17.11.33-1And finished the week with a new tonic discovery! Worked well with the Hendricks.