The week that was…week 14: back to normality

2013-03-31 12.20.48 Here is the view of the sunrise on Monday morning from the plane as we headed back into Sydney. Back to Australia, back to work, back to normal life.

2013-04-03 08.43.10I got to wear some of my new socks, bought on Fifth Avenue.

2013-04-03 09.54.42Krystal, reflecting her usual practicality, gave me a birthday gift for the office which meant she no longer has to look at my previous collection of plastic spoons and forks.

2013-04-03 21.42.51Time for some mid-week game playing.

2013-04-05 09.12.44In fun work things, I went to E-Oz’s c0nference on Women in the Energy industry. It was excellent and inspiring and fascinating to hear about the challenges women have faced and continue to face in these industries. I got to put my total feminist hat on, and was privileged to hear the stories from other women who have forged their way often where other women had never been before. You wish all work days could be that brilliant.

2013-04-05 15.39.52I could not resist buying this book. It is brilliant.

seb and HAMSebastian was nearly as interested in the arrival of one of my birthday presents as I was – here he is absorbed in Hit and Miss.

Sunday morning, Jude’s actual birthday, all his guests had left by 9.30am. James had some work to do and it was a beautiful day, so there was time for a birthday park visit with added icecream.

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Despite getting a Wii U, Jude’s favourite birthday present may well have been his fez and bow tie set. Fittingly I note there is a Tardis also appearing in this photo. Would that all presents were so enthusiastically embraced.

2013-04-07 18.11.40And finally it was back on skates after about three weeks. Hard work but awesome fun, resulting in unexplained bruises….

The week that was….week 6: starting again

2013-02-05 08.58.26So even though it was the beginning of the second month of the year, it felt like the start this week. The boys started back at school wioth various levels of enthusiasm.

2013-02-07 07.35.28I also went for my first two early morning rides for the year. Sebastian decided to come with me, and only slowed me down a little.

2013-02-09 10.33.47It was also the start of cricket, with Jude acquitting himself well at his first game for the year.

february 1In other new starts, we got a new dishwasher and washing machine after half the dishwasher dying last year and the washing machine starting to leak. It was a little sad to say goodbye to the old washing machine which was the first whitegood James and I ever bought together. After 16+ years though, including three babies, it had done well.

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Sebastian and Jude have started an odd new habit of buiklding themselves cubby houses to sleep in, so when I go in at night I am confronted by a pair of skinny legs sticking out from under a mound of blankets. I usually try to ensure there is some air flow into these cubbys.

2013-02-07 12.14.45There was also a chance to catch up with friends amongst the busyness of the weekend, and who can resist a frozen margharita at lunchtime? I am pretty sure it is practically non alcoholic anyway…

2013-02-06 19.47.50There was time for some Ticket to Ride Europe in the evenings.

february 7And the boys came skating on Saturday afternoon. They are all improving all the time.

february 3I wore my new R2D2 socks for training too.

2013-02-09 20.33.42One of our Noons Vintage Port bottles came to an unfortunate end – the hazard of tall-necked bottles. At least we were able to save a couple of glasses.

2013-02-10 10.38.49And we ended the week with a lovely catch up with the Prossers at the park. Happy scone time!

2013-02-10 10.43.262013-02-10 10.58.43

A year in the life…day 264: bikes, sunshine and hills

We rode to Black Mountain Penisula today for a bit of park action while avoiding the Floriade crowds. all very nice, expect that Jude wasn’t keen on the final hill up to it. But he got over that as we went and watched the little boats sailing on the lake. Of course, then James did lead us up another big hill on the way home, which, strangely, provoked another disgruntled reaction from Jude. But there was sunshine and there was riding and then treats at LSR, so no one could stay annoyed for long.

High Line Park

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This was another of my first-time activities for New York this visit which was recommended by a couple of colleagues – the High Line.

Built on the decommissioned elevated railway along the West side of Manhattan, this is a fabulous recycling and repurposing of public space. Rather than ripping it down, the residents of the area lobbied for its preservation in the form of a park.

Visiting in early spring after a long snowy winter probably wasn’t the best time for the vegetation aspect of the park, though some blossoms were starting to peek through. It was a beautiful sunny cold day though, and the park was fairly quiet – something you also don’t get a huge amount of in New York.

I started at the bottom end of the park, in the Meat Packing District and walked my way up.

Got to see iconic yellow taxis gathered together in a cluster.

The walk up through the park affords you glimpses of the river and New Jersey framed by the buildings which at other times hide it from view.

I liked the fact that the park was designed to be usable by people with chairs and places to sit and sun lounges which meld in with the rest of the architecture.


The park also has a number of art installations. In one tunnelly underpass, there is a sound installation which plays the sounds of bells which have been recorded all over Manhattan. In the second there is a large stained glass work which joins native American ideas of the river in the urban setting.

I also rather liked the work which frames the city for you if you look through it in the right way.

The park also really captures the contrast between new and shinydevelopment and urban decay which provides an ever-present undercurrent to New York.

And of course, for the tourist, you can take your photo there with the Empire State Building in the background.

it is a fantastic addition to a wonderful city, and I definitely recommend taking the hour or two it takes to wander from one end to another. Looking forward to seeing the new section which was about to open when I am next in NYC.

Tadpole hunters

After an afternoon of hunting bugs in the garden, the boys decided we needed to make a trip to the little wetlands near the O’Connor shops to hunt for more bugs, or possibly even tadpoles.

Dropping bread into the water led to the discovery that indeed there were tadpoles – or possibly tiny tiny fish – about. It also attracted this family, to Zachary’s delight.

The it was the patient job of trying to catch something, using a yoghurt container, a jar and bread. Mostly this involved luring a whole bunch of swimming types over, then quickly dragging the yoghurt container through the water. Alas, time and time again the creatures were faster than Sebastian.

Eventually, Zachary’s concentration on the whole catching creatures ran out and he retired to the park to play.

That is paint on Zac’s cheek, by the way.

The tadpole hunters, however, persisted. And persisted. And tried different tactics. For nearly an hour.

Finally – excitement and joy and – the yoghurt container came up with an occupant!

A tiny little fish. And there was much rejoicing.

So the boys learnt that persistence and patience pays off and the fish learnt that it really needs to be a lot faster!

Feeding the ducks

After disappearing for the winter, the ducks are back at the wetland pond just up the street and around the corner from us. With ducklings! Lots of little fluffy cuties.

This means my own little (not-so-fluffy) cuties must feed them!

No better combination than spring, ducks and stale bread.

Glebe Park

Glebe Park has long been a favourite and recently they have updgraded it by putting a shade over the top. So I can foresee more visits in future. For this visit we rode there on the bikes before shopping in town.

Then Sebastian took a few photos himself -first of his parents:

And then of Jude and the flowers. Don’t you love spring?