A year in the life 2016 #249: appropriate dress

Andrew is wearing the correct tt-hirt for a night playing Eldritch Horror.

2015 weeks! #34: life, Cthulhu and death

2015-08-31 08.43.01Usual Monday morning walk to school with this guy. Jude is a very chatty walking companion. Often I get a fairly continuous stream of chat about things he has recently learned – Zac got a big book of facts about stuff for his birthday and Jude has been reading it in between voracious consumption of Skullduggery Pleasant books. But Jude always remembers to ask me about what my day has in store.

2015-08-31 18.17.12Another week of Youth Mental Health First Aid – mostly talking depression, suicide and non-suicidal self injury.

2015-08-31 21.08.45It was a good moon night to wait for James to pick me up.

2015-08-31 21.23.41James and I took some “self care” time out after my course to go and have a quiet beer and chat at Bentspoke after each session. It is lovely to have those quiet relaxed moments to yourselves. However, this time Cthulhu came too.

2015-09-01 10.08.35Off to Melbourne for the day. Ended up spending a lot more time than expected at Canberra Airport with fog. Fun though to bump into Dave Sag and provide refuge in the Virgin Lounge.

2015-09-01 16.25.25Eventually we were off. And then back in virtually no time later!

2015-09-02 08.40.04Spring is definitely in town in Canberra.

2015-09-02 13.42.16Getting the last days out of #yourtightsatwork – though there are always those mid spring cold snaps.

2015-09-02 18.35.50We did schnitzel night at Edgars for the first time in ages.

2015-09-02 20.14.19George is not impressed by your fancy wines.

2015-09-03 07.49.45Sebastian decided to wake up early and walk into Braddon for breakfast with me before my physio. I think he was mostly in it for the Autolyse croissants, but it was lovely anyway.

2015-09-03 19.56.00Cthlulhu plays Edritch Horror with us! At this point I must pause and explain that Cthulhu was crotcheted by Jackie, James’ mother after I had posted pictures of cuddly Cthulhus on Facebook. I am very fond of him. Of course, the whole family was keen so Jackie has been set to work.

Friday afternoon it was back to Melbourne for a trip I would rather not have made – my aunt, Maggie, had died, so it was off to the funeral.

2015-09-04 19.38.20An upside was catching up with the family – I stayed in Melbourne with Lucy et al on Friday night before driving out to the Gippsland on Saturday morning.

2015-09-05 12.53.44Funerals are terribly sad things. i didn’t actually know Maggie that well – she had gotten together with my uncle Andrew when I was pretty much a grown up and we’ve pretty much always lived in different cities, crossing over at family events along the way. The funeral made me sad that we had never gotten to know each other better -many of the things Maggie had done in her life were things that I think are important – fighting against a culture of domestic violence, improving opportunities for young women offenders, baking – and it was both lovely and sad to hear from those closest to her. But apart from the sadness for the inidvidual, there is all the contemplation if makes you do – of the deaths of those close to you, past and future, of your own death, of what you have achieved in your life. Of how the world continues.

At the end of the service we released balloons into the sky. Goodbye Maggie.

But as with most things, there is an upside, and it was nice to catch up with family.

2015-09-05 15.41.35I was flying home that evening, so a bit later in the afternoon it was back in the car and the two and a half hour drive back to the airport.

2015-09-05 16.22.17-1There was some spectacular cloud en route.

2015-09-05 18.09.20And the familiar view from the Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne airport.

2015-09-06 09.38.56Sunday morning Sebastian was competing in Tournament of the Minds. his team did all right, but there was some line fluffing, and they didn’t manage to progress to the enxt round. After two years at the national competition, sometimes you need some setbacks to improve for next year.

2015-09-06 10.00.48

I took training for Carnage and actually got back onto skates – and even better had an excuse to wear my awesome new leggings!

2015-09-06 14.24.10

2015 weeks! #23: what happens when it rains all week

2015-06-15 12.56.28My right arm, well, elbow has been troubling me for a while, and has gotten a lot worse recently. So much so that my physio sent me off for an ultrasound and, if necessary, steroid injection. Apparently two injections were needed – in addition to tendonopathy I also had tears to my elbow tendon, it was super inflamed and the nerve was thickened. It is fascinating to watch the needle go in on the ultrasound – distracted me from the accompanying pain. The rest of the week I was resting my arm essentially in the hope I’ll be able to get back to using it properly again soon.

2015-06-16 15.06.23A day for fun stockings though.

2015-06-16 17.42.22Natasha and I got a chance for quick drinks between meetings and flights and so forth. We always make the most of these squeezed in opportunities.

2015-06-17 06.10.18Off to Brisbane for a presentation to an Indian delegation.

2015-06-17 08.46.22We were talking skills and the resource sector and links between India and Australia.

2015-06-17 11.17.07 HDRAnd it was a gloomy day for it.

2015-06-17 12.48.13On the theme of things Indian, I finished the Indian chick-lit novel I had picked up at the airport in Delhi last year. It was very entertaining and readable and I enjoyed it enormously. Also quite political.

2015-06-17 20.55.24The weather was awful this week, raining for days. I put my footy shoes on for walking in the rain because the ground was so wet.

2015-06-18 08.58.56One of the fun parts of meetings in Parliament House is getting to wander through the basement – so much quicker than having to go through the public entrance.

2015-06-18 15.33.06As I said, it was raining almost all week.

2015-06-18 16.18.29Another day trip, this time to Melbourne.

2015-06-19 06.08.35I can’t remember whether these were sunsets or sunrises as travelling…

Back at home, Jude was helping prepare fish for dinner.

2015-06-19 18.22.26-1Saturday morning and time for Jude’s hockey.

2015-06-20 11.14.39It was then off to Jude and Zac’s music recital – both played very well.

Lovely Saturday night dinner commencing with home made salmon gravlax.

2015-06-20 18.41.21After webber roasted pork and beef in the middle, we finished with caramel dumplings.

2015-06-20 20.15.44And some Eldritch Horror.

2015-06-20 21.32.34Sunday and Sebastian and I got our baking on and made spinach and feta tarts. Yum.

2015-06-21 14.34.34

Weeks! #48: this is normal, well mostly

2014-11-24 08.45.06After my two weeks away, back to normality and walking the boys to school.

2014-11-24 12.51.04Was feeling more than a little tired at work though it must be said.

2014-11-24 20.07.54We also got to have stories. Sebastian has (finally) decided that he is no longer on the story team, so it was just Jude, Zac and I now.

2014-11-25 19.10.22-1It was James’ turn to be away this week – he was off to Adelaide for a conference. So I cooked boys bolognaise – our go-to meal when James isn’t home.

2014-11-25 19.50.18Continuing tired and more than a wee bit stressed.

2014-11-26 17.40.02On Wednesday I went to the skatepark with Jude and Sebastian while Zac was at cricket training. I even got on my own skates (though briefly).

2014-11-26 18.14.39There were some spectacular clouds about as evening storms seem to have become the thing in Canberra.

2014-11-26 21.01.09Even though James was away, it was Eldritch Horror night with the Andrews. We got horribly beaten.

2014-11-27 11.14.29Had an SES forum on Thursday and got to spend a bit of interesting time doing some future scenario planning. We got the above as a possible set of future scenarios. I didn’t rate it.

2014-11-27 19.02.09I never cook this much in a week. That’s what happens when James is away.

Friday evening was spent watching Zac play cricket. With Phil Hughes’ death, it was hard not to be a little sad and thoughtful watching the boys play. They had a minute’s silence at the beginning of the game and all had Phil Hughes’ test number 408 on their arms. Zac’s team was victorious.

2014-11-29 11.02.55While his brothers were at cricket the next morning, Zac and I played some of his extra special Uno game with added bells and whistles.

2014-11-29 16.15.44And then it was off to supervise some junior derby time.

2014-11-29 19.17.36Saturday night we got dressed up for Dave’s birthday. I guess I could look more excited. It was a lovely night.

There was team effort cupcake making on Sunday. Zac and James did the baking, while Sebastian lent his icing and decorating skills to the endeavour.

2014-11-30 17.54.57

Then the big news for the week – I went back to derby training. I have had a lot of time to think about what I want. I may never play publicly again (stoopid 27 in 5) but I love the game and I love scrimming and I want to be involved in teams and so forth. And I have come to terms with that. So, there I was for an exhausting but super fun scrim with specific people I love playing with. Hooray for roller derby.


Weeks! #23: birthdays and birthdays and Adelaide and other stuff

2014-06-02 08.39.37Starting the week walking the boys to school. Zachary and Jude are still impossible to separate from their new jackets.

2014-06-02 08.39.43

Monday also had the joys of Senate Estimates. Here I am in the waiting room. Our Department makes sure it keeps us in lollies. Fortunately, no questions for me this time round.

The boys had taken to the loom band thing with some enthusiasm.

2014-06-02 20.25.12The results weren’t half bad either.

2014-06-02 20.25.45The weather is getting wintery so it is all coats and tights and woollen dresses.

2014-06-03 08.50.23Some Canberra public art appreciation.

2014-06-04 17.47.11On Sebastian’s actual birthday he was abandoned by his parents do they could go and consume a game degustation at Pulp Kitchen. (Delicious by the way)

2014-06-03 19.17.33We made it up to him the following night with dinner at Jamie’s Italian.

And a week really isn’t complete without some sort of opportunity to slay horrible monsters.

2014-06-04 20.41.34Sebastian and I headed off to Adelaide Thursday morning for our great TGSS adventure.

But before TGSS, time with family. Parents’ favourite pub (of course).2014-06-05 17.58.19

Sebastian was very keen to go to the beach. And I can never resist the ocean, so Mum and I took Sebastian to Henley Beach for a wander and lunch. We even walked the jetty.

We had afternoon godparent (or equivalent) get together with godson (or equivalent). Also best friends.

It was then out to dinner to the co-celebration of Sebastian and Emilie’s birthdays!

There was also some quality cousin hanging out time to be had. Sebastian played many games of hide and seek amongst other entertainments.

For Emilie’s birthday party on Saturday, Sebastian helped with preparations, assisting Lucy with the cake and the lolly bags and various other tasks, while popped over to the Great Southern Slam to pick up my pass and say hi to folk.

I returned in time for the big party. Emilie seemed to enjoy it almost as much as the adults, and she certainly appreciated her cake.

I was lucky to get my own belated birthday present from Sam and Tracey which included awesome new skate laces! I resisted for a bit but eventually had to lace up my skates, party or no.

Once the children had all gone to bed, some of the adults still kept partying. Given I was playing the next day, I had stuck to water for the afternoon, but I was still required to participate in sibling sing-along to the War of the Worlds musical and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (predictably).

2014-06-07 22.12.25-1And then Sunday was all about TGSS

2014-06-08 10.33.54

Weeks! #17: days off with a bit of work in between

2014-04-21 12.17.43The presence of Easter meant Monday was a holiday so we walked into town to see The Lego Movie. Which we all enjoyed a lot. The grown ups were especially big fans of Batman.

There were beers (for grown ups) and food at Shorty’s post movie before heading home for our own Lego construction extravaganza.

I was particularly proud of my construction effort.

2014-04-21 18.15.40The boys also discovered stop motion animation apps and became completely absorbed in the effort of bringing their Lego to life. Some of their efforts weren’t half bad either.

2014-04-21 19.12.50Tuesday I stayed at home to hang out with the boys. We had the compulsory stop at the park after visiting Ainslie shops.

Then Jude and Sebastian had Oscar and Ezra over for an afternoon of boy hanging out. Strangely I think it was entirely less of a hassle to have five boys in the house than it was to have three. There was lots of Magic, stop motion animation and hitting each other with swords. As you do.

George was not amused.

2014-04-22 15.38.46The boys went and stayed at Jackie’s house Tuesday night, so we took advantage of the opportunity to go and finally try out Pulp Kitchen at Ainslie. Food was fabulous and we had a lovely time.

I have more than the usual number of excellent scotches at home at the moment. Have tried out both the Talisker Dark Storm and the Jura Superstition recently. Can report that they are both very drinkable.

2014-04-22 21.24.19This week we tried Eldritch Horror rather than Arkham. I believe we were horribly consumed by Cthulhu.

2014-04-23 20.22.42This week we tried Eldritch Horror rather than Arkham. I believe we were horribly consumed by Cthulhu.

A blue day!

2014-04-24 10.00.03

I had Japanese visitors at work recently and they gave me a lovely ikebana calendar. I finaly got it up on my wall this week. I  do love ikebana – I did classes at school nearly once a week while I live in Japan and was very close to achieving what was essentially a black belt in it before I left.I will never forget my ikebana sensai who spoke virtually no English but pounded into me the three basic elements of ikebana arrangements: shin, soi, juushi.  I still love the sparseness of these flower arrangements so much more than most Western arrangements. Anyway, nice to have a reminder on my office wall.

2014-04-24 12.17.07Friday was ANZAC Day and we headed off to the Blue Mountains (see previous post for all the photos).

2014-04-25 10.24.45The traffic once we got to the Mountains was dire – completely crawling, so eventually we pulled off the highway at a nearby town for some hot chips.

Once we got to Blackheath where we were staying it was time for afternoon tea and hot chocolates…as you can see from Zachary’s markings.

2014-04-25 15.50.13

With some local advice sourced from Twitter, we found a very nice breakfast venue in Katoomba the next morning.

2014-04-26 09.17.04

After some sightseeing chronicled earlier, it was off to the roller derby venue for the afternoon. The boys found ways to enjoy themselves including balloons and facepainting.

The next morning it was hipster brunch in Blackheath before the drive back to Canberra. The boys wore their derby shirts.