2018 highlights week #27: classical open night

Zac’s cello teacher, David Pereira, was the featured artist at Classical Capers – the open mic classical night that happens once a month at Smith’s. So we went along and Zac got to perform as well, both solo and with David. Was lots of fun and great experience for Zac so likely to become a regular thing.

2018 Highlights Week 9: feeling old feeling young

Went to see the Lemonheads and Veruca Salt play this week. I think I last saw the Lemonheads over 20 years ago in Japan. It was odd to see them again – Evan didn’t talk to the crowd at all and just played through the set. They still sounded food and played many favourites, but it was a slightly hollow feeling, a slightly displaced performance. It made me feel inexplicably a little sad – did they get any enjoyment from playing, something that back when I first saw them so long ago, before their big two albums, was clearly a passiin. It was hard to tell.

Also Even looked like the homeless dude who cleans your windscreen at the traffic lights.

Veruca Salt, on the other hand, were full of that joyous energy that makes seeing a band fun. They had people up dancing despite being at the not-particularly band friendly Canberra Theatre. I enjoy them – it did make me feel like I was young, rather than reminding me of the abyss of time between now and my youth.

A year in the life 2016 #184: music night!

It was the end of term music night at Sturt St Community School and both Jude and Zachary were on the program.

They both performed solos.

Jude sang in the choir.

And they played together in a string ensemble. This was particularly fun – even with only a couple of practices, the ensemble managed a great performance of three fun pieces. Jude and Zac were the only non-violins, so integral.

It was also Jude’s last time to hang out with his Adelaide bestie Imogen as she was off overseas the next day. Fond farewells were said, but we are sure to see Imogen again.

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

The week that was…week 17: a packed week

april 001 april 002Autumn in Canberra is a beautiful time, but I didn’t get much of a chance to appreciate it  this week (apart from our day trip to Tidbinbilla)  as it was a bit hectic.

2013-04-24 18.21.38

Work was totally crazy as I tried to get everything done in three days so I could have Friday off, and be ready to head to Indonesia on Monday. This was part of Krystal’s effort to give me time to clear things in the office.

2013-04-22 17.46.02Working late means you get to see this on your way home.

2013-04-23 22.16.27And this.

2013-04-25 14.51.10 2013-04-25 16.22.47On Thursday there were some essential tasks to be done in town. Sebastian helped me out with the non essential ones, and proved a terrible influence, encouraging me to buy shoes. I didn’t buy the red ones (though I want to) but I did buy the blue ones.

2013-04-26 20.06.06 2013-04-26 22.18.15After the day out at Tidbinbilla on Friday, it was off to the “hot new” restaurant in Braddon, 86 for Rachel’s birthday. I might speak in more detail of that separately. But summary – the food was great and it was cheaper than expected. And we ate the entire menu. Literally. After dinner, cocktails at Knightsbridge.

april 063

Cockatoos on the roof next door!

Sunday the boys went to Jackie’s and we were off to Groovin the Moo. It was a lovely afternoon for it and Regurgitator and They Might Be Giants (who we were particularly there to see) did not disappoint. James and I did bail a bit early though – I had a 7.30am flight to catch the next day.

A year in the life…day 286: Billy Bragg


Very excited to see Billy Bragg again – I think the third time in a twenty year period. It was just him and a guitar and he probably talked more than played, but that was totally OK as he is interesting and passionate and thoughtful and still idealistic. The first half of the show he played Mermaid Avenue songs and talked about Woody Guthrie – his story about the Woody Guthrie festival he played was very entertaining (pays to know all the verses of This Land, apparently). In the second half it was standard Billy Bragg, including many favourites such as Levi Stubbs Tears and a reworked version of The Great Leap Forward. While I do perhaps suffer from cynicism about the union movement (and the actions of many unions in Australia of late have not helped this at all), There is Power in a Union is still a great song. And he kept my favourite to last, but there is no better way to finish that A New England. A funny crowd though – largely my age or older and many still dressed in their public service upper middle management wear. I even saw someone in stilettos – which just seemed completely wrong. And the Canberra Theatre is not the best location – one would prefer to be standing somewhere clutching a beer. Nonethless, any Billy Bragg event is an event not to be missed.

A year in the life…day 274: Korea’s national day


Following on, I am assuming, from meeting with Korean Government representatives , I, along with a partner, was invited to the Korean ambassador’s function to celebrate the national day of the Republic of Korea. It was interesting – attending a listening to the speeches it was clear how fundamentally the Korean War has shaped Korean national identity – something which I perhaps had not thought about before, given that the Korean War is runs so far behind the two World Wars and Vietnam in Australian consideration.

Anyway, I haven’t been to a full on diplomatic event like this for a while, and they are a little strange. We even toasted the Queen. My invitation was “and partner” so I dragged James along to ensure I had someone to talk to, and more importantly because I knew he, like me, would enjoy the concert part of the evening. We got to look at the new parts of the National Gallery which are rather nice – an excellent room for events – and then the performance was lovely. They played crowd pleasing classical music, but hey, I am the crowd, and I was pleased. I really liked Nara Lee, the tenor, mostly for his stage presence, although James felt his voice wasn’t quite big enough for Puccini. Grace Kim on the piano did a sterling job throughout – I did wonder during Beethoven’s piano sonata (the Moonlight sonata) whether the fact it conjured in my mind images of death and vampires and horror (well the first movement) was inherent in the music, or because I had heard it as the soundtrack to these kind of things too often. My favourite though was the cello – the David Popper Cello Quartet were excellent and Minah Choe both had a fantastic stage presence as well as a great control of her instrument. It was just a pity that some people thought they were too important to mute their mobile phones.

Anyway, hoping that I will get invited again next year.

A year in the life…day 267: Regurgitator


This is the view for most of the night, even though we were close to the front. It was good to see Regurgitator again after more years than I’d like to count, and seeing a band again with Dave certainly made it seem like it was twenty years ago. Anyway playing ask of Tu Plang and then Unit was an excellent concept, well executed, even if their mix was a little off. Lots of moshing, some of which I even got t involved in. but you do know you are old when most of the friends you saw at a show are complaining a little on Facebook the next day that it was all a bit late…

A year in the life…day 124: groovin the moo


Rachel, Andrew, Jasmin and I dressed up warmly and braved the cold for Groovin The Moo today. Particular highlights were Kaiser Chiefs and Public Enemy. I managed to wear enough layers that I stayed warm the entire time.

A year in the life…day 117: a boy and his violin

Jude played a song for us tonight on his violin. It actually wasnt too bad at all. And then Sebastian played for us on his guitar which was really quite good. Note Jude’s messy face.