Beach holiday week

Nothing like a week at the beach to relax and recharge and live the Australian dream. We swapped houses with John and Jackie for a week in Merimbula.

The boys spent time boogie boarding when the surf was appropriate.

I actually gave it a go at the end of the week and was delighted to actually do it effectively for the first time in forever. I guess that means more boogie board tome for me in the future.

We also spent a lot of time at Mitchies Jetty, taking advantage of the calmer waters for swimming and other things.

There was a lot of jumping from the jetty. Here is Sebastian doing some sort of flip.

There was also stand up paddle boarding and kayaking to be done.

Jude and Zac managed to get themselves sunburnt through poor sunscreen application, so Sebastian, James and I went shopping then walked the boardwalk.

We had a visit to Magic Mountain to do the tree climb. I spent the entire time mildly terrified and eventually had yo be rescued when I found an obstacle my brain just would not let me climb. I did regain some dignity by being told I was less terrified than most people they rescued and managed to abseilung down on the first go. There are no photos of this event.

There were a number of other activities undertaken. Jude created a paininting for his Ga.

Sebastian baked a cake, but didn’t quite crack the sponge.

Ribs got eaten.

As did icecreams.

And, of course, there was sleeping in.

It was a lovely break, all in all.

And then it was time to drive home.

Weeks! #16: autumn and Easter

2014-04-14 09.32.02After the week of doom, I tried to immediately brighten this week with my socks.

2014-04-14 17.29.21Autumn is open us in Canberra.

Autumn also means walking home at sunset. Or after it.

2014-04-14 17.46.26But there are still a few flowers around.

2014-04-14 18.24.15I have been very much enjoying the Blackwoods gin that Helen and Sean got me for my birthday. Coupled with the Capi tonic (or, too, the Fevertree) it makes an absolutely sublime g&t. Very smooth. Evening drink is very enjoyable!

2014-04-14 19.24.43Rachel and Jasmin came over for dinner and Rachel supplied this fabulous cake from Flute Bakery. It tasted as good as it looked – all raspberry and chocolate mousse inside.

2014-04-15 14.33.58Having been out of the office for a week, there were a few urgent things to take my attention. I think I even skipped a boring meeting to try and make sure I got through it all.

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Gratiuitous George photo.

As my job has taken on an increasingly international dimension, I have been spending a lot more time over at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This week it was for a meeting on India.

2014-04-17 13.32.08I found mysterious Easter eggs in my office. I completely failed in the distribution of eggs to my staff because I forget to bring my purse to work on Thursday, the vital Easter egg purchase day. Oh well, I guess I will have to provide them random chocolate at some other stage.

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Here I am, ending the week and ready for Easter. I think there is one of those Easter eggs lurking in the background. Probably the one I didn’t eat.

On Thursday night we had Paul and Chun-Ling over for dinner. The boys helped with the preparation, Sebastian made souffles and a good time was had by all.

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Easter was about relaxing and not doing a lot. And catching up on washing. On Friday the boys played games, I washed sheets and read my book, there was much pottering. It really was blissful.

Saturday afternoon the boys engaged in a whole lot of Magic The Gathering action. Other boys were summonsed. A “cube” was created and a mini tournament was undertaken. This allowed me to go shopping, doing some cooking and read my book a little more.

2014-04-19 18.07.21Result – lamb shanks for dinner which were shared with the two Andrews.

There was some time for Carcassonne before dinner. Jude was thrilled when he managed, at the last minute, to complete the nearly impossible castle.

2014-04-19 20.33.38There was also some time for some more Great Northern.

2014-04-20 09.47.20Easter Sunday began properly.

Then, we went skating. Sebastian and James went off to skate the West basin while the boys and I had fun around Reconciliation Place and the Portrait Gallery and down to Commonwealth Ave bridge and back. Beautiful day for it – as more than one passerby was overheard to say.

It was then off to Jackie and John’s for a lovely family dinner and a tough Easter egg hunt for the small boys – many clues with much research. But eventually all was found!

The week that was…week 48: mostly normal

Not a hotel room window but a plane. Yes, surprise, the week began with a day trip to Sydney. The weather was pretty horrible. Spoke to a Chinese delegation and received a very finely packaged gift. I am a distinguished person, apparently.

2013-11-18 17.17.53I also used another gift this week – a lipstick I was given in Korea. I don’t usually wear hot pink, but I think I pulled it off.

2013-11-19 09.15.31-1Better than the space invader look from the hairdresser later in the week.

2013-11-21 12.54.45I had to use all my self control to stop myself buying this glow in the dark unicorn.

2013-11-19 13.02.41On Wednesday which had a special Dishonour Roller training session – at Charlie Blacks. Our training venue had been booked out by volleyballers (damn you volleyball!) so instead it was a chance for serious strategy talk. And some beers.

2013-11-20 19.05.21-1Zac and I did the Thursday morning walk. We hada deep conversation about many things from conjoined twins and reproductive health through to the reproductive strategy of reptiles. It is funny where an inquiring mind will take the conversation.

2013-11-21 08.29.31I really have guilted my whole Branch into bringing me cake. Here was Friday’s offering.

2013-11-22 11.13.18I was out to lunch on Friday and followed it up with an iced chocolate from Koko Black. Delicious.

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Friday night I had to finish a bunch of work because I was out of the office for the next week, so I ended up catching a taxi to see Sebastian at the cricket. My chair was waiting for me. The game was at Dickson, so we ended up walking home from there.

Saturday was mostly about derby with our Blockter Who bout. I’ll blog about that separately, but here is a little preview.

2013-11-23 16.27.27Sunday was post bout recovery, packing, skating, shopping and a delicious lunch cooked up by James.

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The week that was….week 45: not a great week


2013-10-28 19.58.48 This was never going to be a great week. James and I had slept poorly with Sebby waking in pain in the middle of the night, I was still feeling frustrated about my finger and then, during the day on Monday we found out that our dear friend Jill, and James’ close colleague, Jill had been hospitalised with pneumonia. Jill had been fighting cancer for many years. In and out of remission for number of years, I think she did almost her entire PhD while being treated for cancer. She had started with breast cancer, but over the last year it had moved into her bones. On Tuesday when James and I were at the hospital getting my finger checked, we caught up with Steve, Jill’s husband who told us that Jill was still needing assistance breathing.

So there was a bit of a cloud over the week – James and I were stressed and tired and emotional.

2013-10-30 17.55.40George was in good spirits. But longing for the outside world. Of course, at the moment when he escapes outside, his choice of activity is sitting under a rose bush, making him quite easy to recaputre.

2013-10-31 07.36.59One up side. My big order of derby socks for both James and I arrived. Yay for new socks. I just wanted to find reasons to wear them all.

2013-10-31 12.55.52On Wednesday I made myself feel better by buying these completely frivolous shoes which I had been stalking for months. I was having a particularly bad day on Wednesday – it was all getting on top of me. Work hasn’t exactly been stress free, and I knew that I was off overseas again on Sunday. And everything else.

2013-10-31 14.40.46On Thursday I managed to guilt my staff into giving me cake. As General Manager, I don’t get invited to staff birthday celebrations when sections hold them – so I miss out on all the cake. I needed cake.

2013-10-31 15.01.32One of my Directors thought I needed vitamins too. Pretty sure I wasn’t looking my healthiest.

2013-10-31 17.47.28I did manage cocktails with Bec (largely responsible for dragging me into derby) and who I hadn’t properly caught up with for ages on Thursday which was a nice interlude.

2013-10-31 18.34.50And came home to find Sebastian making crumble, which is always a nice treat.

2013-11-01 21.57.47On Friday the news we had been hoping we wouldn’t hear came – Jill had died. James and I went out with Steve, her husband, to keep him company and talk about what needed to be do0ne. While it is terribly sad to lose a friend, it is devastating to see the grief of someone who has lost the one person in the world they cared about deeply and to see their emptiness. Jill was 51.

2013-11-02 11.59.28But life goes on. The boys play Lego Star Wars games.

2013-11-02 14.44.49And I take the shoe shopping.

2013-11-02 17.30.44Then Saturday night it was off again – to Korea via a night in Sydney.

2013-11-02 20.00.34My finger dressing fell off (the hospital physio was nowhere near as good at dressing it as the nurses) revealing a rather Frakensteinian sight – but healed, mostly. Fortunately I had all the tools to redress it with me.

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And then on Sunday it was off to Seoul.

Once there I went for an eveing walk. Finished my week with bubbles….

2013-11-03 20.16.08And flowers…

The week that was…week 16: autumn holidays

2013-04-15 17.46.46

Walking at home after work now that daylight savings has finished and the days are shorter gives me a chance to admire the beautiful autumn skies.

I also did some admiring of the mornings and the changing leaf colours when I got back on my bike for a couple of early morning rides.

2013-04-18 07.01.22 2013-04-15 07.38.40With autumn comes the colder weather and a chance to get back into stockings. Here are the fabulous ones I bought in Brooklyn.

2013-04-17 10.06.11 Although one can look a little ridiculous when riding a bike in fishnets.

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We played some D&D – here is a fight in the Ghirad-alley (get it, OK, don’t worry…)

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With school holidays come school holiday activities – I hired a court at ANU to take the boys skating.

The next day we went to the National Gallery for a production put on by the Canberra Youth Theatre called 35 17 South. It involved using a tablet or phone to follow a story and find your own way through the adventure. A story from the future, there was interaction with actors, puzzles, tasks, orienteering and games. It was a lot of fun – Zachary and I worked together while Jude and Sebastian made up the other team. We managed to come in ahead despite losing our progress at one point.  This was the first time Canberra Youth Theatre had done something of the sort, and while there were a few things that could be tweaked or improved for next time, over all it was really good.

It is hard to keep Sebastian away from the cooking – he bought himself a second hand recipe book of desserts, and whipped up a fabulous chocolate cake on Sunday.

2013-04-20 17.38.17 2013-04-20 20.54.17

A year in the life…day 251: winning cakes


We had a Division-wide morning tea which included a baking competition. My cakes may not have been official winners, but all but one got eaten, which I consider its own victory.

A year in the life…day 177: happy chocolate cake birthday!

Birthday dinner for 17 at Happys! Chocolate cake with the family afterwards! These are the ingredients to top off a happy birthday for Zachary.

Zac bakes a cake

I love it when they are old enough that their help is actually helpful!

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