All the derbies

Across April-June there was a *lot* of roller derby in my life, even if I didn’t have time to put on skates once.

First there was Sydney and Carnage playing at the MRDA tournament. Terrific fun and the team played really well even if we didn’t manage to win a game. James skated and I was in charge of line ups.

We did have time for ice cream though.

Then it was back to Sydney for 5×5 with the DHRs where we resoundingly beat CCRDU. No photos from the game, but here is our post-game mid-road trip McDonald’s stop.

The boys had a black and white friends and family scrim. On tbis occasion, I only watched.

Then it was up to Gosford for the weekend and the East Coast Invitational. Here is Blocktopussy taking a selfie while using my phone to adjust her bandages mid game so she could get back out there.

This is what I thought of that.

The DHRs did well across the weekend with a couple of wins and a good loss against NSR. And third place for the tournament.

The boys and I then headed up to the Blue Mountains for a game vs the Juniorcorns. They all played, I did line ups and it was a great game with the Prime Sinisters continuing their unbeaten run.

Then there was another DHRS day trip, this time to Hawkesbury for 5×5 and the DHRs taking on Newcastle.

Once again we took the victory – but this time it was a bit closer at the start. 

Now it is July and I have managed to put on my own skates, thpugh it looks like the rest of the month is going to be filled with a whole lot more of everyone else’s derby!

A year in the life 2016 #327: men’s nationals derby weekend

It was kinda of nice but also kinda weird to have the weekend at men’s nationals with no formal responsibilities – just cheering and providing game advice. On Saturday Sebastian came along while Jude caught up with friends and Zac went to the cricket.

Carnage are in a bit of a rebuilding phase this year: with some players gone, newer players are building their game experience.

They did pretty well over the tournament, ending up fifth. A drop of one position – but Brisbane did really well this year and while some of the “Tasmanian” ring ins did make their placing a little dubious, they definitely outplayed us.

As usual I enjoyed watching the men’s games, and it was also nice to catch up with some of our Adelaide derby friends (though we sis beat Light City twice).

And afterwards, good to have a beer.

2015 weeks! #48: schemes and themes

Monday morning was all about our new house and choosing the colour scheme. I really wanted to avoid beige, so we have ended up with a whole lot of grey and silver and white. I’m pitching for red couches and possibly blinds. Apparently we got through the whole ordeal in record times – there is something useful about being decisive.

2015-12-07 20.50.03Zachary and George watching TV.

2015-12-08 10.06.53Our Division end of year morning tea was summer themed – hence the umbrellas. Or cocktail umbrellas are fun. Or something.

2015-12-08 17.48.28New t-shirt arrived. With the day I had had, it was completely apt.

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The Christmas theme continued.

Our Departmental Christmas party was cruise-themed. We went with some sort of luau idea. This is me with my boss – it may be the first time she’s been in a selfie which got posted on the internet.

The Carnage end of year get together apparently was themed Brad-drinks-too-much-while-the-rest-of-us-look-on-bemused-entertained-and-occasionally-horrified.

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I did get a lovely Christmas candle from the guys though for my team support work this year.
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Saturday we road-tripped to the Blue Mountains for a junior derby game  – last derby road trip for the year.

We had time for the three brothers to visit the Three Sisters.

And having afternoon tea beforehand.

The boys played well, Zac got to eat cake, James reffed and we all had fun.
2015-12-12 18.37.01

Jude was super-excited to get his first MVP award.

We were back in time for me to take Zac to the cricket Sunday morning. This wasn’t without some drama as one of Zac’s teammates had an absolute tantrum on the field and stormed off which was bad enough and then his mother ended up hitting him twice with the cricket bat, quite hard on the bum and i was just altogether horrified. The kid stormed off and started walking home – not close… Meanwhile Zac played really well and displayed all the right amounts of sportsmanship.2015-12-13 15.15.29

The painful and expensive task of buying new shoes for Sebastian and Jude.

Sebastian decided to experiment with cupcakes and fondant icing. Delicious experimentation.

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I made a beef bourginon variant for dinner.2015-12-13 20.13.19

And here are my lovely threesome.

2015 weeks! #44: other stuff then MEN IN PINK ON SKATES

2015-11-10 19.37.36Herbs and greenery ready for a Monday night dinner of rice paper rolls.

2015-11-11 09.14.39Luminous juice for a quick breakfast stop with James.

Hairdresser time out.

2015-11-11 12.13.33hairBeen feeling very borderline. With an incredibly busy weekend and week ahead, felt I needed to stock up on the drugs.

2015-11-11 20.48.54One of the boys stuck a toy-thing to the ceiling. This was an endless source of fascination for George.

2015-11-12 20.46.57Tired out the new version of Study in Emerald. Not entirely convinced…yet.

Time to fly – all the way to Hobart.

2015-11-13 09.47.34Finished this en route. Super fun read where I think the predictability was a deliberate part of the charm.

2015-11-13 16.15.12A trip to the Sandy Bay Coles allowed us to stock up on beverages for a weekend of roller derby – for us and for Copter who was arriving on a late flight.

2015-11-13 16.22.33Our first Air BnB experience was a delightful terrace in Sandy Bay. Extremely cute and a great location.

2015-11-14 07.28.58A fortifying breakfast is needed for the first day of the Australian Men’s Roller Derby Nationals.

Last year I was a spectator at Nationals as we came 7th in Australia. This year, after a lot of hard work by the team leading up to it, I was there as benchie and we were determined to come home 4th – or 5th at worst. we had a great first day – took it to last year’s champions, the Brawlers, and did all right; comprehensively beat the Tweed Valley Vikings and then took on BCR and beat them more effectively than we had expected. Coming second into the pool took us to the semi finals – and a minimum 4th! We all went home happy that night.

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There was time to smell the roses and eat burgers and feel good before day two.

2015-11-15 09.25.42And the upside of being in the semis was that we had time for a relaxed breakfast.

2015-11-15 11.14.58Our first game was against Vanguard – if we beat them we’d be in the grand final. They are an amazing team. Great discipline and teamwork and some brilliant individual players. We didn’t win, but we did ourselves proud – Vanguard were the only team in the country we hadn’t played at this point, so it was great to get the chance.  We had some great moments…maybe one day!

2015-11-15 12.50.40Cthulhu came out to watch HP Shovecraft play in the 5-6 play off versus Tweed. it was good to see BCR win that.

Then we played off versus the Brawlers for 3rd.  There were some moments during the game when I genuinely thought we could win – then a couple of jams let it slip away from us. But we didn’t expect to get third – fourth in the country was more than good enough for us. We’d achieved our team goal for the year, played well, improved and had fun and we were all super happy about it. The best thign too is that Carnage’s strength is its teamwork – that was what got us 4th.

Then it was all over except for the after party!

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.

Derby for boys small and large!

2015-10-16 14.42.34So off we drove to Port Macquarie for a weekend of boy derby. This year ERRD ran an additional weekend of competition – ERRD Reloaded – which featured men’s teams, junior teams and a couple of developmental women’s teams.

Sebastian – SeaBash for the weekend – played the first family game for the weekend. He captained the team, called his first official review, blocked, jammed and did an apex jump which drew cheers from the crowd. His team didn’t win, but he did a great job.


Here’s a Steven Craddock photo of him jamming.

Carnage then played SMASH. A couple of key players down, we didn’t do as well as we had in our game a month or so ago, but we held our own and fought hard.

Jude (Beathoven) had his first game for the green team – he did lots of jamming and was successful and had a heap of fun.

jude and scaryI stole this photo from Steven Craddock because I love the camaraderie between the CRDL junior skaters and how the older girls are really sweet and supportive of Beat

After three games between us, it was back to the hotel for a swim and relax.

We found lovely food and drinks in Port Mac.

2015-10-17 20.28.56And the boys made the most of the games room where we were staying.

Sunday there were five games between the men folk – including SeaBash vs Beathoven. In the end, both teams ended up with two wins out of three. The junior derby was not being played for sheepstations – more a chance for everyone to have a go, so the results weren’t what they would have been if they had played their best line ups each time. But it was a great chance for the boys to play some derby with some others – and the mix of ability of was extensive; from Team Australia players through to complete newbies – and have some fun.

Carnage played two more games – against Coffs Chaos and the Tweed Valley Vikings and won both convincingly. Which was excellent, particularly as we are due to play the Vikings at Nationals. And no one got injured!

A good derby weekend all round – all that was left was the long Sunday night drive home.

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2015 weeks! #35: this week had everything

Walking to school with funster Jude.

2015-09-07 11.56.08Up at Parliament House for appearances before Parliamentary committees in which I don’t have to say very much which makes the public servant in me happy.

2015-09-07 13.37.21Parliament House toilet selfie.

2015-09-07 13.40.14I love the reflecting pool at Parliament House. It is a great building.

2015-09-07 13.53.22#Yourtightsatwork walking edition.

2015-09-07 14.09.46It has been a bit tough at work recently, so this card from Tracy, one of my Directors, made me a tiny bit teary. I completely appreciated the sentiment though.

2015-09-07 22.00.23James and I had our Monday night post mental health first aid course time out together which was lovely. There is something so important about taking that time out together to be together without distractions.

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Tuesday morning and it is walking to school with the terrible twosome.

The Turner parklands are pretty magical in spring – a bit like a fairy forest.

Learning journey for Zachary. Great to see his art and read his work and see how much enthusiasm he has for school.

Jude, Zac and I went to a candlelight vigil for refugees and the Syrian refugees in particular. The boys articulately expressed their concerns about refugees and refugee policy articulately to a reporter and ended up in the Canberra Times the next day. Why would you send people back to somewhere that is being bombed?

Jude’s learning journey – equal enthusiasm for learning and showing us what he has been doing.

2015-09-09 15.16.17Cthulhu helped me out with some email management at work.

2015-09-09 18.19.28And then it was off to Tasmania. A flight attendant poured a glass of wine over me on the plane, so she made up for it by giving me a whole bottle.

Hobart is quite pretty at night.

2015-09-10 07.59.45View from the hotel room window.

2015-09-10 10.41.25Having some stocking troubles.

2015-09-10 13.15.12I did find my favourite fizzy caffeinated beverages within a five minute walk of the conference venue so that was a plus.

2015-09-10 15.14.53Conferencing. I gave two presentations, one at the Sino-Australia forum and one at the TAFE Directors conference, so kept me busy.

2015-09-10 17.46.43A lovely Tasmanian dusk.

2015-09-10 18.47.04-1Ready for the conference dinner….which was opened by Chinese dragons.

I had to take a photo of masts because those are compulsory.

2015-09-11 13.26.17It was then off home late Friday afternoon.

2015-09-11 17.11.04The wattle was out in force as more spring action in Canberra.

2015-09-12 10.40.00I was quite excited to be able to go to the hockey in a t-shirt.

2015-09-12 10.49.25And there was a lot of hockey, starting with Jude’s game.

2015-09-12 11.06.52We then went to see James’ semi final which they just lost.

Then we switched sports to derby – James was playing and I was benching for Carnage.

It was a great game against SMASH – the scores were tights and we even led at one point. Considering we were beaten by 100 points last time we played, a five point loss was super fantastic.

It was up early and out to the hockey to see Sebastian’s semi final which they won easily. Sebastian scored five goals and was quite delighted about it.

2015-09-13 09.55.37Zachary got in some beading time.

Meanwhile James and I got changed and then headed to Pod Foods for a lovely Pfeiffers wine lunch.

Food and wine were excellent, and even better was that I won a carton of wine for signing up to their mailing list!

We didn’t need much dinner that night – this was it for James and me.

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2015 weeks! #26: holidays versus work with added cousins and derby

2015-07-06 18.36.43Monday was Zachary’s birthday and it is much more fun celebrating when your cousins are in town. Even if they do make silly faces. 2015-07-06 18.36.44But a very pleasant evening of Jamie’s Italian was had. Here is the yearly compulsory photo of Zac and Andrew, his godfather equivalent. 2015-07-06 19.40.15 I left the cousins to it on Tuesday and went to work. We had a goodbye lunch for tow of my Directors who had left – although one ended up sick sadly. There have been a lot of farewells over the last couple of years with so much downsizing of the public service. 2015-07-07 13.26.09It was a #yourtightsatwork day. 2015-07-07 13.55.29-1Left the small boys in the care of Lucy and Rowan and went to scrim on Tuesday night. I also practiced score tracking as I was rostered to do it for a game on Saturday night and it has been a long time since I have done any NSO role, let alone keeping score.

Another #yourtightsatwork day. 2015-07-08 08.40.57I had a quick trip up to Sydney to give a conference presentation and got to see the University of Western Sydney’s campus at Parramatta very briefly. 2015-07-08 13.47.09And then it was home again in time for dinner.

Sebastian and James organised an Indian feast of leftovers including making home made breads.

The next day Lucy and family headed to the snow early..but we knew there wasn’t much snow so the boys opted for a quiet day mostly at home. I had the day off as my contribution to school holiday hanging out and so got to sleep in with George. 2015-07-09 12.37.01I had lots of suggestions for fun activities, but the boys had had a fair bit of action in the past few days and so chose to chill out. We did walk to the shop for supplies though. 2015-07-09 13.52.28And took a quick ride to Braddon for afternoon tea at Autolyse.

Jude shared one of his poems with us. 2015-07-09 16.57.38Meanwhile, James had Sebastian in training for his penalty box duties on the weekend. 2015-07-09 19.26.38On friday I was fortunate enough to host a NAIDOC week forum at work with three indigenous winners of training awards last year – Sally Moylan the winner and Chris Medcraft the runner up of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award and a representative from the Salvation Army Employment Plus who won the Industry Collaboration Award alongside Wesfarmers and Thiess for their Oothungs (sisters) in Mining Program. Sally and Chris have great journeys and the Oothungs program is terrific, giving training and employment opportunities to indigenous women in remote areas. It was terrific to help facilitate them telling their stories.

Friday was also Work James, my wonderful EA and friend’s birthday, so he and I went and ate all the dumplings for lunch. See, they’re gone. 2015-07-10 13.14.42I also made him a birthday cake whihc he seemed quite pleased about when I gave it to him in front of the branch. 2015-07-10 15.27.22 Friday night was our last night with the small girls (and Lucy and Rowan) before they headed back to Adelaide the next morning, so we invited the Reids and tried out the Thai at Kinn. 2015-07-10 19.13.15Can report that the food was excellent, but the service left a little bit to be desired. 2015-07-10 20.52.35Walking home through the park. 2015-07-11 08.35.56Zachary was keen to work on his beading using some of his birthday gifts. 2015-07-11 11.16.16-1he was also pretty taken by his new onesie, so it was cello onesie practice. 2015-07-11 13.34.10I, on the other hand, was excited by my new Cons.

Saturday night was derby time and we started with a Carnage versus Light City game. The boys did an excellent job and James was super happy with his zero penalties.

Next the Smackademics had their first outing and also comprehensively beat Light City. James double-downed on the zero penalty count. Unlike my usual roles of benching, line up managing or (very occasionally) playing, I was score tracking. Luckily I had the lovely Ginj to keep me company. 2015-07-11 18.30.32Sunday morning was a boot camp with Light City.. 2015-07-12 09.31.06…and straight from there to the airport. I was off to Adelaide (via Melbourne) to spend a night hanging out with Nat before heading off on a China-Korea Ministerial travel adventure ridiculously early the next day.

2015 weeks! #22: games and brothers and animals and derby

2015-06-08 10.39.18Public holiday Monday morning and Jude and Zac and I had a short break from the endless derby and hockey of the weekend. Here they are playing an Indonesian game they learned at school using the game board I was given as a gift when I visited Malaysia this year.

2015-06-08 12.24.09It was long before I was out at Lyneham watching Sebastian play hockey.

Then straight back down the parkway to a junior derby bootcamp. Here PureNRG from the SRDL Assassins is sharing her wisdom with the kids.

2015-06-08 15.42.25Clouds.

2015-06-09 12.10.17I was off to Melbourne Tuesday for the first meeting of a new committee I had helped establish, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee. Very impressive bunch of people on the Committee to spend a couple of days with. I was also pretty impressed with my dessert when we went out to dinner.2015-06-09 20.25.44Compulsory hotel room view – staying in the centre of Melbourne.

2015-06-10 08.24.13Back in Canberra, walking Zac to school early for choir.

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2015-06-11 08.35.58Fun new maroon fishnets.

2015-06-11 18.33.35There was much excitement with the arrival of Sam and Tracey on Friday. Jude was especially happy to get his new Star Wars chess set.

On Saturday we left Sam and Tracey to play Weekend Sports Parents, while James and I (and an extra James) did a quick road trip to the Blue Mountains.

2015-06-13 10.37.51James got his elite athlete napping in en route.

2015-06-13 12.43.14We also got to see a giant teddy.

2015-06-13 13.49.17Aren’t my Jameses lovely?

2015-06-13 14.17.44I got in a quick sighting of the Three Sisters.

2015-06-13 14.49.42Then it was time for a bit of derby action.

Saw PureNRG again for the week – unlike when she was with the kids, with SMASH she looks like a tiny person.

2015-06-13 15.56.15Carnage played well, but SMASH are much stronger and we lost by around 100 points. but we scored over 100 points, so we were reasonably pleased with the result.

2015-06-14 11.52.15Back home Zac built some of the lego he’d received before we headed off on an Arboretum excursion.

We also enjoyed a visit to the bonsai collection.

After a lovely lunch, James and Sebastian headed off to indoor cricket and the rest of us followed up with a trip to the zoo.

And to end the evening, there was some Firefly playing.

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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.

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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.