A year in the life 2016 #328a: family selfies make you laugh

It was lovely too have a chance to catch up with the family before we headed back to Canberra. We attempted to take some family selfies. The whole thibgs was hilarious.

A year in the life 2016 #187: final family dinner

Our last Sunday night dinner while living in Adelaide. As Mum and Dad (and Sam) were still overseas, dinner was at Lucy and Rowan’s. They found a bottle of Black Shiraz to crack open to celebrate or commiserate, depending on how you wanted to see it.

Lovely food, doing the quiz, having some laughs – the Sunday night usual.

And then the boys had to say goodbye.

A year in the life 2016 #152: Happy Birthday Sebastian!


Dinner out with the extended family was the first part of Sebastian’s set of birthday celebrations.


Time with cousins, presents and lots of Indian food.


And the whole restaurant sang happy birthday at the end!

A year in the life 2016 #64: grandchildren


Apparently it is near impossible to get all these troublemakers looking at the camera and smiling nicely at the dame time.


All the photos should just have been of Scarlett and Zac who were composed throughout.


And clearly Sebastian is the worst offender.


A day in the life 2016 #10: family dinner


Sunday night family dinners are something of a McEwen family tradition that we get to experience now we are here. An added bonus on a 38 degree day was lots of pool time for small boys. An now ice blocks for all!

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

Weeks! #41: of bakeries, blood moon, brisbane and bikes (oh and other stuff)

2014-10-06 11.22.28Another week beginning with a road trip. This time, all five of us were in the car and we were heading home to Canberra. Sebastian didn’t enjoy the hilly bits in the Macedon Ranges and there were a number of vomit-stops before we got to the freeway.

2014-10-06 12.49.50We stopped at the Beechworth Bakery though for lunch. I have been wanting to visit for a number of years since I saw its somewhat renowned boss Tom O’Toole speak some years ago about training. It talked about how training people had added value to his business and helped him expand and he said something which I have often quoted and never forgotten: “People say to me, what if you train people and they leave? I answer them by saying, what if I don’t train them, and they stay?” It is always great to see people who understand how training staff helps their business. And the pies were good too.

2014-10-07 09.25.16First day back at work and guess what? I’m on a plane. Not the plane pictured above, but off to Brisbane for the day.

2014-10-07 12.09.25Hello Brisbane.

Then back on another plane home.

2014-10-07 19.19.57-2Sometimes you just need a glass of wine.

2014-10-07 19.48.07I finally managed to be in Canberra and available to play with my Branch soccer team. Of course, it is really hard not to shoulder checkĀ  – soccer’s OK with that, right?

2014-10-08 12.15.09All the boys got new cricket gear ready for the season – Zachary’s first. His cricket gloves are so tiny.

2014-10-08 18.10.34It was Blood Moon night so there was compulsory viewing, including with the two telescopes the boys own.

2014-10-08 21.23.31The weather has been turning increasingly beautiful so I am figuring there are not many #yourtightsatwork days left for the year.

2014-10-09 07.56.41

The boys, still on school holidays, spent Thursday with Ga and Katie, so we went and joined them for dinner for Katie’s last night in Canberra. All hands on deck for the helping out. The boys were also pretty sad to say goodbe to Katie who was heading off to Sydney for a couple of days before returning to London.

2014-10-09 20.52.05 2014-10-09 20.57.51-1Friday was moving day in the office. Fortunately, others had done most of my packing.

2014-10-10 11.37.14Escaping from work early meant I could catch up with the boys for pub afternoon tea.

Saturday we were off to Skate Nation for some eight wheel action. Zac managed to go lowest on the limbo.

And when you have the ingredients, why not enjoy a cocktail? The Bombay Amber is perfect for a negroni.

Meanwhile, Jude discovered the ultimate in multi-tasking – knocking in his cricket bat while watching Minecraft videos.

2014-10-11 16.45.38-1Dinner – a lovely piece of Jonai Farms pork shoulder and some equally excellent wine.

Sunday and Sebastian and I did a monster visit to the supermarket.

2014-10-12 12.22.46I also helped Zac on his bike. He has ridden a little bit but just needed some final concentrated attention and help. Didn’t take long.

2014-10-12 16.28.42Look, it is excellent that the boys help with hanging clothes on the line, but sometimes the results do make me wince slightly.

2014-10-12 17.30.07Finally, some baking with Jude – peanut butter cookies.

2014-10-12 17.50.45