A year in the life 2016 #360: D&D

Nachos, wine and battles againat demons make for a perfect afternoon and evening. This year we have played less D&D than since James and I met, what with being in Adelaide so long and most of our stuff being in storage. So a long session was ideal – though I definitely ate and drank too much by the end.

A year in the life 2016 #341: new house

Our day may have started looking like this, but by the evening we organised enough space to entertain in our house for the first time  – appropriately enough D&D with the group that facilitated James and me meeting.

A year in the life 2016 #241: borrowed dice

Good to be back playing D&D, even with borrowed dice.

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.

2015-10-19 18.46.09

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.

2015-10-22 20.27.08

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! #36: grand finals and other stuff

2015-09-14 08.33.43My Monday morning walk-to-school companion. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to school and then it takes me about 20 minutes to walk to work, which makes a decent morning walk. And much more pleasant now the spring is here.

2015-09-14 08.58.16And the Turner Parklands were looking especially magical.

2015-09-14 18.14.41Long day in the office. This week was to be super stressful at work as suddenly all the incoming Minister briefs had to be updated and somehow coordinating the whole thing fell to me for skills.

2015-09-15 08.43.00It was raining a bit Tuesday morning, so umbrellas for everyone.

Some time out of the office to take Sebastian for his final mould for his braces to go on the following week. He’s been very stoic about it all.

2015-09-15 20.30.06On the couch, watching the tv.

2015-09-16 12.16.09A crazy busy day at work. my new unicorn shoes helped me to get through it. Sebastian had made fun of my shoes, and told me that he was “sure your friends in kindy will like them.” Teenage sass.


Quick escape from the office Thursday for Chinese National Day celebrations. Got to hear the speeches, say hello to the appropriate people, but didn’t have time to stay for lunch.

Thursday night with most of the incoming Minister briefs done and dusted it was off to Adelaide where I caught up with the folks and then had a senior officials meeting before heading home less than 24 hours later.

2015-09-19 09.38.33Here are the boys. Serious business time as we headed to Jude’s grand final. He had already played, and won, the semi final that morning.

It was a close game and ended in a tie. Hockey ACT declared Joint Premiers, though we think Jude’s team should have taken the honours because they were higher on the ladder. But Joint Premiers is better than no premiers!

2015-09-19 10.58.40The medal presentation was after the match.

Jude was pretty pleased with the results of his first year back in hockey!

2015-09-19 11.16.302015-09-19 11.17.39When then had celebratory morning tea at LSR.

2015-09-19 11.31.39Meanwhile, the cthulhus were gathering. Who knows what plans for world domination they were hatching.

2015-09-19 12.41.45I got introduced to the household’s newest board game, Colt Express, which is rather fun, even if I appear to be somewhat hopeless at it.

2015-09-19 15.11.09

Jude and I then headed off to the CRDL derby so Jude could participate in a half time juniors demonstration match. Sebastian would have played too, but his ankle was playing up and he had a grand final of his own the next day.

2015-09-19 19.08.19Then it was home to watch some tv with George.

2015-09-19 22.23.47

Grand final number two for the weekend. Nick was there on godfather-equivalent duties to watch.

2015-09-20 10.02.10-1It was nailbitingly close for much of the game, but in the end Sebastian’s team took it out.

2015-09-20 10.10.002015-09-20 11.13.39Again, the presentation followed on quickly.

2015-09-20 11.33.04 2015-09-20 11.43.22And so both brothers came away Premiers!

2015-09-20 11.45.20After taking derby training for Carnage, it was back to end the week with some D&D.

2015-09-20 17.42.22

2015 weeks! #30: in the end there is a lot of wine

2015-08-03 08.33.59Another Monday, another walk to school with Jude.

On Tuesday it was both Jude and Zachary.

2015-08-04 08.44.36And still jolly cold.

2015-08-04 09.03.45Tuesday I flew up to Sydney for the farewell for the Skillaroos – our Australian team to compete at Worldskills. There are 26 of them competing across everything from hairdressing, restaurant service, IT and manufacturing. It was lovely to see Jessica Martin, a former silver medal winner at Worldskills – Jess has come to India with us to demonstrate her skills – as well as a bunch of other people from the sector. Fingers crossed that the team will do well – we have usually been in the top 10, but slipped to 13. In order to be selected, the competitors have to go through regional and national competitions, then spend a lot of time training outside their usual training to ensure their skills are honed. There was also a wonderfully entertaining speech from Paralympian Sam Bramham – I recommend hearing him if you ever get the chance.

Still wearing my brace when I could get away with non-standard work shoes, I went usually colourful. It is also a year since i was in Tasmania with Sebastian and bought this skirt.

2015-08-05 10.41.12In the continuing-cold theme, Sebastian found a chunk of ice when leaving the house.

2015-08-06 08.20.43Thursday was a meeting and lunch with the Chinese Embassy folk, so I thought I had better wear appropriate footwear. My ankle does seem to have gotten a bit more back to normal.

2015-08-06 08.53.36Walking home – at least the sunset is getting later now.

2015-08-06 17.25.55Zac spent some time constructing his birthday Bionicles.

2015-08-06 17.53.38D&D! Although we are still less regular than we used to be, we are managing to play still reasonably often.

2015-08-06 21.53.02Friday night Jude and Sebastian were off at a birthday party, so I met James and Zac for Grease Monkey burgers. Very good but not the amazingly amazing burgers I had been led to believe. Still would definitely do again – especially once they have the outdoor area licenced.

2015-08-07 18.06.10A surprise thank you bottle of wine in the mail from Hugh Hamilton was rather a bonus.

2015-08-07 18.48.25George does rather enjoy lolling on the couch. I think he was as appalled by the cricket as we were.

Saturday morning and Jude, Sebastian and I walked to Jude’s hockey. His team have been doing very well this year.

2015-08-08 11.18.06Then it was derby training time.

A big highlight for the week was the annual Black Sheep lunch at the Boathouse with lots and lots of Hugh Hamilton wines. It was a glorious day, the food was outstanding, the wine excellent and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

After a brief snooze on the couch, Jude, Zac and I caught a taxi over to the Indonesian Embassy for a shadow puppet show: Gugurnya Gathutkaca – The Fall of Gathutkaca. The boys have been studying shadow puppets at school, so when I got the invitation I figured it wa an excellent opportunity. The performance was quite entrancing and it is interesting that the tradition involves the same kind of slapstick fools to lighten up the mood as you see in a Shakespearean tragedy. Much fun.

2015 weeks! #28: winter and bad ankles

2015-07-20 08.09.19This has been a super cold winter in Canberra and frost has definitely been the norm rather than the exception. Another cold morning to begin the week.

2015-07-20 17.30.03Back in the office after a week overseas I was very excited to find (work) James had completely cleaned my desk. I don’t think it has looked like this since we moved in.

2015-07-20 18.11.53This semester (home) James has lectures until 5.30pm. We met on the way home for a sneaky beer together, coming home to find that the boys had done a good job preparing food ready for cooking dinner and Sebastian had made lemon pudding because he was bored with playing computer games. Very delicious lemon pudding. Having a small boy who loves to cook in the house is excellent.

2015-07-20 19.56.50Tuesday night I was back at derby for scrim. Towards the end I had an awkward fall, and for a short period of time was worried that I had done something quite serious to my ankle. After two hours in Casualty with James though, I realised the pain wasn’t that bad, I could walk on it and the swelling hadn’t got any worse, so we bailed and went home. As it turns out, it was sprained – a bit of ligament damage but nothing super serious. Very glad we didn’t stay at Casualty til 2am to discover that.

2015-07-21 21.17.50Hairdresser the next day. Learnt that Axis Hair, my regular hairdresser for a super long time, have just joined Sustainable Salons and now something like 95% of their waste, including hair, is recycled or reused. This is excellent news, particularly if you have as many foils in your hair as I do each year. Brilliant to see some entrepreneurialism, environmentalism and social conscience all working together. And my hair also got quite blonde.

What happens when automatic mail servers go wrong.

2015-07-23 08.59.03Sebastian was back cooking more later in the week. His new challenge for himself – icecream.

2015-07-23 20.26.31 We got back to a bit of adventuring. Our (currently) Thursday night campaign stretches way back into the past – the beginning of the campaign started 9 years ago. We’ve had secondary characters for five years and our newest set of characters who interact in the same world have been around for a couple of years now. It does mean we are all quite fond of our characters nowadays – and there are lots of complex, layered campaign in-jokes.

2015-07-23 20.46.03While much of the weather has been frosty and clear, there has also been a fair bit of foggy and freezing too.

2015-07-24 08.16.16I love this particular decorating of the bin area on Lonsdale Street. Oscar would approve.

2015-07-24 09.30.03With a swollen ankle and compression bandage, I’ve been sticking mostly to wearing my converses or the like at work. Also I figured flat is better until the ankle heals a bit. Fortunately though, the sprain hasn’t really stopped me walking on it at all.

2015-07-24 11.01.28Friday night, impromptu dinner at Elk & Pea. Because we can.

Sebastian’s caramel icecream tasted good, even if he was unhappy with it because he had slightly burnt the caramel. it went quickly though.

2015-07-24 21.13.23Saturday morning was time for Jude’s hockey. Sebastian came along to watch and hang out with his hockey friends. Jude’s team have been having an excellent season and won another game.

Afternoon was time for some boys on skates.

Winter evening coming on with bird and moon. I do like the look of bare branches against the sky.

2015-07-25 16.58.25Time for a lovely wine with dinner.

2015-07-25 17.41.11The boys were off screens for a few hours. Jude decided to try making a zombie hand, which sadly didn’t work too well, but he had fun in the process.

2015-07-26 10.11.11My foot and ankle was looking well bruised by Sunday. Fortunately looked a lot worse than it felt.

2015-07-26 10.35.31An afternoon at home – why not make gnocchi? Delicious once fried in butter. Sebastian isn’t the only one who can do fun cooking things.

2015-07-26 15.29.33

2015 weeks #16: of games and tights and drinks

2015-04-27 18.35.06It is always fun when you discover your local wine shop has your favourite wine. And then you get to drink it.

2015-04-27 19.05.01Fast becoming a family favourite, we played some more Firefly board game. I love the art work on the money.

2015-04-27 21.27.45Sebastian brought home his school photos. He wasn’t impressed, but I thought they were all right.

2015-04-28 07.52.43Zac and I walking to school together in time for a Trebles practice. He enjoys the singing, I enjoy the en route chats.

2015-04-28 09.25.03

Tights season has definitely arrived.

2015-04-28 13.25.06Getting back into work after a week off requires some caffeinated assistance.

2015-04-28 19.48.27Very excited to try out my new skates. Completely different as they are and with new plates with a slightly different set up for wheel-to-foot position compared to my Antiks, I definitely felt a bit like a baby gazelle – rather awkward. But i got through scrim without falling over too much.

2015-04-29 12.16.22More tights weather, more interesting tights.

2015-04-29 12.32.46Lunch with Anne at Akiba – I find these pork buns impossible to resist.

2015-04-30 20.07.53More games – this time back to the other favourite, Arkham Horror.

2015-04-30 22.20.26Apparently lime and chilli combinations are the thing in high end chocolate this year.

2015-05-01 09.40.54Autumn is looking as beautiful as usual in Canberra this year.

2015-05-01 20.34.19Another rose sort of night.

2015-05-01 21.21.21..but this time accompanied by D&D.

Jude has chosen to play hockey this year instead of AFL, and this was his first game back. He did well and seems to have decided that he really enjoys playing at full back.

The boys were also back rolling about at derby training.

2015-05-02 17.18.04Sunsets are getting earlier and just as lovely.

2015-05-02 18.53.54James was off in Wollongong at a WFTDA Officials Clinic so the boys and I made our own pizzas for dinner.

More hockey Sunday morning with Sebastian’s game – sadly all the way out at Tuggeranong. Sebastian is pleased his good friend Martin is continuing to play hockey with him this year.

And the boys and I took advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to go and see Age of Ultron which was enjoyed by all.


2015 weeks! #14: April is the cruelest month (not really)

2015-04-13 11.37.33Shiny shoes and stripey socks to start the week.

2015-04-13 12.55.09Also lunch out with one of my former EAs. They may leave me, but they still like hanging with me.

2015-04-13 18.12.49I was very excited that finally my Blood Moon Tonic had arrived, so more gin and tonic experimentation.

2015-04-13 22.48.08George has taken to sitting, pretty much on my chest, whenever I am on the couch. We’ve been getting up close and personal.

2015-04-15 21.27.52Bit of Wednesday night adventuring.

2015-04-16 10.47.14Getting me through the day.

2015-04-16 10.50.29One of my lovely staff brought me lovely Greek biscuits to try. Never say no to that!

2015-04-16 22.36.07Fabulous bed socks arrived from Lucy – Big Bird to hang out with my Cookie Monster pj pants.

2015-04-17 12.51.04I had Friday off and it was Rachel’s birthday so the boys and I went and took her out to lunch which was very pleasant all round.

2015-04-17 16.41.17It was school holidays so Sebastian was back in the kitchen where he does enjoy a bit of activity.

Saturday was a road trip to Sydney for the Dishonour Rollers’ first 5×5 engagement. It was great to be back doing line ups for them, and even better because we played well and took out the game firmly. Such fun. Such a great team.

2015-04-18 20.09.03Enjoyed the poetry of the Sutton Forest McDonalds on the way home and left wondering, what is “improbable beautiful”?

2015-04-19 15.19.17 HDR-1Autumn had firmly taken hold in our back yard.

2015-04-19 17.25.07Post game DHR Sunday training – because we are not ones to rest on our laurels.

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