A year in the life 2016 #338: after work cricket

Watching Sebastian’s cricket after work. Honestly, when the game is won, why can’t we just stop? Why do they insist on playing extra overs “for fun”? For torturing parents who are starving and just want to go home and have dinner.

A year in the life 2016 #306: cricket watching

It was remarkably cold watching Sebastian play cricket this morning. Could real summer hurry up?

A year in the life 2016 #293: cricket duties and the gym

Up on a Saturday morning to watch Sebastian play cricket. And wander off to the gym when I discovered they weren’t batting.

At the gym I deadlifted 80kg for the first time! Managed to do it 21 times as well, so was pretty pleased with myself.

A day in the life 2016 #13: Big Bash


So I find it hard to get excited watching the Big Bash on TV, but being there in person is a lot of fun – and there are a lot more opportunities in Adelaide. We went McEwen en masse and took advantage of several family member Memberships.


It all got very exciting when it came down to needing a four of the final ball the win – and the Strikers delivered with a six.  A fun way to spend the evening.


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.
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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! #42: constant motion

2015-10-29 08.46.52Managed to get some walking to school in – this time with Zac.

2015-10-29 15.17.59A busy day of running about all over town. Had a half hour between things so managed to do work while refreshmenting.

2015-10-29 18.53.22This is what my hair looks like when I have put my bike helmet on and off about four times during the day.

2015-10-29 19.46.28Dinner at the Elk & Pea. Jude took the opportunity to go and chat with the chef to compare notes on the almond sauce that goes with the jerk chicken. Jude made his own version while I was in Manila, and the sauce wasn’t quite right, so he needed to compare ingredients and approach.

2015-10-30 15.29.13It is full spring at the moment. Flowers everywhere.

Friday night cricket with Jude. And my laptop briefly to finish a few work things. And a lovely sunset.

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Saturday it was Turner fete and Zacky singing in the Trebles. I think maybe the performance was a bit high concept for a fete, but lovely singing at any rate.

2015-10-31 19.47.03George selfie time.

2015-11-01 16.11.45After a few weeks of trying to line up a time, Zac got to skype with Sienna his best friend who has moved to Jakarta. Small children are weird to watch talk to each other.

2015-11-01 19.25.15Flew to Adelaide Sunday night. But not actually back to the 1970s.

2015-11-01 19.55.09The beach at night – I was staying with Natasha so saw the last of the sunset.

2015-11-01 22.28.47On the flight over I finished this. Strange and thoughtful. I thought the lead character was a bit of an idiot at times, but then I think you are supposed to.

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.

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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.

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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! #8: where the week takes you

2015-03-02 07.57.50We were at school bright and early Monday morning as Jude was off to camp (and Zac had choir). Jude was pretty excited about it.

2015-03-02 07.59.13Sometimes work makes me walk all over town. Had to go to ANU for a presentation. It is a pretty campus.

2015-03-03 12.21.28Of course, too much walking didn’t entirely agree with my feet as my shoes aren’t completely worn in yet.

2015-03-03 13.43.08Scrim night so from shoes to skates. Fortunately the sore toes from the shoes were totally fine in the skates.

2015-03-03 19.50.30One of the people I mentor came to visit with her baby. Fun to hold the baby while dispensing counsel. And such a cute one.

2015-03-04 10.33.32More journeying around town for work – this time up to the Big House for meetings.

2015-03-04 12.28.50And the next day I went a bit further – to our offices in Sydney. I try to sit with my back to the window in this boardroom.

2015-03-05 08.54.12And home again…

2015-03-05 17.11.43Home to some adventuring.

2015-03-05 20.58.28Then Friday came and I wasn’t well and couldn’t get any further than bed for work.

2015-03-06 13.27.06George is always happy to hang out when I am spending a day sleeping and working in bed.

2015-03-06 14.26.38I also got to finish James Bradley’s lovely new book Clade while at home and in bed. I love how James is always drawing links between science and art in his book. It is a sad but also hopeful book, about the changes that could be. Thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in no time flat. Highly recommend.

2015-03-06 15.26.47Saturday morning I was feeling better after a day of rest so it was off to Sebastian’s cricket grand final.

2015-03-07 09.12.39Just when we thought the boys were beaten and that was it, they had to come back for Sunday. James accompanied Sebastian then and while the team fought hard, they couldn’t quite make it. So cricket it done until next season.

2015-03-07 12.25.16Beers at Bentspoke with friends in the afternoon. I tried the raspberry one which was…interesting.

2015-03-07 15.54.11We headed off to the night noodle market for dinner.

It was then time for some laser tag at Questacon which was a lot of fun. Initially when I tried to book tickets they were all sold out, but Facebook came to the rescue. We got to do it twice – once because of spare tickets that I managed to find through friends, and once because one of my staff, Beth, won some tickets and generously gave them to me.

2015-03-07 20.36.34We also checked out the Glowcave at the National Library.

Took #perceptualselfies at the National Gallery

Checked out the glow boats in the lake

2015-03-07 19.40.54Saw nature trying to compete with the other lights of Enlighten

And of course admired the projections.

Sunday I enjoyed a quiet day at home. Small boys played chess…

2015-03-08 15.39.19And I whipped up some laksa for dinner.

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2015 weeks! #5: Malaysia and the weekend

2015-02-09 07.07.37Dawn from my hotel room window. The conference I was in Malaysia to attend was in Putrajaya, an administrative city created essentially ten years or so ago for the public servants when government efficiency was dropping because everyone was stuck in traffic going between meetings.

2015-02-09 11.08.29I was at the East Asia Summit TVET Provider Network conference – I was speaking and/or chairing in every session, including giving the keynote address. And either side of the conference I had to co-chair the governing council meeting. It was a fairly intense two days.

Fortunately the hotel had a pool and dinner wasn’t until 8pm so I got some time to relax.

At the official dinner we got our special table serving of Malaysian food and, because this is Malaysia, there was no wine but some luminous fruit drinks instead.

We were entertained by singing and some Malaysian dancers and, of course, for the audience participation part of the evening I got nominated to dance. I was very tempted to decline because I was feeling a tad exhausted. However, I got up – the things I do for Australia.

2015-02-10 18.45.26I went for a walk to the nearby mall once the conference was over and met a lovely mall cat.

2015-02-11 09.10.14Couldn’t resist capturing a picture of the hotel’s awesome carpet.

2015-02-11 11.01.06The next day was meetings with the Malaysian government and our own High Commission. We started off in Putrajaya.

On the way from Putrajaya into Kuala Lumpur, over driver took us the scenic way and we got to take photos of the pink mosque, the spectacular Department of the Prime Minister and various other things.

The Australian High Commission is literally across the road from the Petronas Towers so we got a chance to see this particularly famous KL landmark.

It had been 25ish years since I had been to KL, so not a surprise that it has changed. It did seem to be a very advanced city – very few motorbikes compared to a lot of other Asian cities and in fact far closer to Seoul than Hanoi when thinking about cities I have visited recently. And a lot of construction still going on.

2015-02-11 12.44.16We had lunch at Bank Negara, the central bank of Malaysia, and talked to them about skills development. I got to have laksa, so did my bit for Malaysian food consumption.

2015-02-12 09.53.38And then it was home again.

2015-02-12 16.15.32I helped Zac with the cooking of cupcakes which was a very long process.

2015-02-12 20.03.09I was impressed at my ability to play a completely new game, Thurn and Taxis, on Thursday night despite very little sleep on the flight home Wednesday night.

2015-02-13 13.09.29 Then into work Friday and my last chance to look at this view because it was moving day.

2015-02-13 13.17.24Fortunately my stuff had been packed for me by the lovely James (my EA).

Friday night, despite threatening clouds, the rain did not disrupt Zac’s cricket match.

2015-02-13 17.35.50I kept up my cricketing duties by going to see Sebastian play Saturday morning. He got out for one and has declared me a jinx and I may not be allowed to attend his games again.

Usual Saturday afternoon watching the boys on skates and catching up with some work.

2015-02-14 15.09.56-1Saturday night we decided Chinese was the go and went to Spicy Ginger for dinner.

2015-02-14 18.46.18After a quiet Sunday, we had the gang over for dinner.

Zac wrote us all poems which was lovely even if some were a touch bleak.

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Weeks! #49: work and play and things in between

2014-12-01 15.58.32Getting back to training meant I knew I would be hungry during the day. For once I actually had the time and foresight to prepare for that eventuality. Don’t be deceived however, most of the time I am not this organised.

2014-12-01 20.04.36As we have become tropical Canberra, the sunsets have become more and more impressive. And their is a lot of excellent cloud action.

2014-12-02 15.23.53There is nothing better than when your EA brings you a cupcake in the middle of the day.

2014-12-02 19.47.17Games night this week, we played some Munchkin which we hadn’t played in ages. Young Andrew beat us all.

2014-12-03 05.25.54Early morning flight to Melbourne – it was so pretty it was almost worth getting up that early. Almost.

2014-12-03 05.35.52But yes, time to get on another plane. Just a day trip this time.

2014-12-03 05.39.04Melbourne was a bit wet and trafficky though.

2014-12-03 08.28.36Zac got an award for being the best chess boy in years 1 and 2! Hooray Zac.

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Thursday was a dark and stormy day. Here’s my office window view.


2014-12-04 17.02.51Didn’t stop the boys wanting to spend some time at the big oval playing French cricket (a small recent obsession).

2014-12-04 18.30.33James was away again Thursday night, so George knew well at whom he had to stare to get fed.

2014-12-04 19.19.06I got up the following morning for a ride. The lake is still as beautiful at that time as ever.

2014-12-05 07.24.03Back at Zac’s cricket in the afternoon.

The clouds were spectacular.

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On Saturday I made it out to Sebastian’s cricket for the first time this season. I didn’t time it well. First, Sebastian got out for 1 (most of the season he has retired in the high 20s or 30s). Here he is looking forlorn post wicket.

2014-12-06 09.20.45Then, after one ball of the opposition’s innings, it began bucketing down and the game was abandoned, so I missed seeing him wicket keep as well.

2014-12-06 10.52.27Oh well, at least skating was indoors.

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I love this art at CIT.

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We also had some table top D&D action while trying to take over a castle.

Sunday morning everyone was up early to watch Australia play at the roller derby world cup. I must admit, I was too tired to get up at 2am to watch Australia win by enormous margins, but the game versus New Zealand was worth being up at 8am on a Sunday. Even George joined us to watch.

2014-12-07 08.28.42And then in the afternoon it was off to our own derby training. I was a bit hot and exhausted after scrim. But happy.

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