Back in the air

Under Sydney Harbour Bridge here. This week I got back on a plane and did a quick three day, three city tour. 

My current job, unlike my usual one, doesn’t involve a lot of travel, so it was just under two months since I had been on a plane…and may be another two months (or more!) before I get on another.

I had to give presentations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane about the application process for our new program. Two identical presentations in each city. Six identical presentations in three days. I was glad we had questions as it was the only time I got to make a joke.

There was lots of work in between presentations and I reverted back to my mobile office set up. Fizzy caffeinated beverages weren’t optimal.

We flew to Sydney and back Tuesday, then to Brisbane first thing Wednesday. From Brisbane we went directly to Melbourne where we got stuck in traffic at 9.30pm and didn’t make it to the hotel until after 10.30pm. I was very tired.

But it all went well – no major dramas, no questions too difficult, no people too belligerent. It was nice to get home again though.

A year in the life 2016 #289: quick trip to Melbourne

Back on a plane, and off to Melbourne for a couple of meetings. Got to go somewhere other than the airposrt and the CBD, so that was nice.

But like most Melbourne trips, I was on a plane again before the day had finished.


 

A year in the life 2016 #232: here, there and everywhere

A busy day, starting with a flight to Sydney to meet with some visitors from Korea.

It was then off to Melbourne to meet the Minister and attend the National Skills Week launch.

I got to see the Minister learn to make sugar sculpture.

As well as make the speech we had drafted.

I also got to catch up with some of our lovely Apprenticeship Ambassadors before heading back to the airport to stay at the Parkroyal there to make it slightly easier to catch my 6.05am flight.

2015 weeks! #44: other stuff then MEN IN PINK ON SKATES

2015-11-10 19.37.36Herbs and greenery ready for a Monday night dinner of rice paper rolls.

2015-11-11 09.14.39Luminous juice for a quick breakfast stop with James.

Hairdresser time out.

2015-11-11 12.13.33hairBeen feeling very borderline. With an incredibly busy weekend and week ahead, felt I needed to stock up on the drugs.

2015-11-11 20.48.54One of the boys stuck a toy-thing to the ceiling. This was an endless source of fascination for George.

2015-11-12 20.46.57Tired out the new version of Study in Emerald. Not entirely convinced…yet.

Time to fly – all the way to Hobart.

2015-11-13 09.47.34Finished this en route. Super fun read where I think the predictability was a deliberate part of the charm.

2015-11-13 16.15.12A trip to the Sandy Bay Coles allowed us to stock up on beverages for a weekend of roller derby – for us and for Copter who was arriving on a late flight.

2015-11-13 16.22.33Our first Air BnB experience was a delightful terrace in Sandy Bay. Extremely cute and a great location.

2015-11-14 07.28.58A fortifying breakfast is needed for the first day of the Australian Men’s Roller Derby Nationals.

Last year I was a spectator at Nationals as we came 7th in Australia. This year, after a lot of hard work by the team leading up to it, I was there as benchie and we were determined to come home 4th – or 5th at worst. we had a great first day – took it to last year’s champions, the Brawlers, and did all right; comprehensively beat the Tweed Valley Vikings and then took on BCR and beat them more effectively than we had expected. Coming second into the pool took us to the semi finals – and a minimum 4th! We all went home happy that night.

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There was time to smell the roses and eat burgers and feel good before day two.

2015-11-15 09.25.42And the upside of being in the semis was that we had time for a relaxed breakfast.

2015-11-15 11.14.58Our first game was against Vanguard – if we beat them we’d be in the grand final. They are an amazing team. Great discipline and teamwork and some brilliant individual players. We didn’t win, but we did ourselves proud – Vanguard were the only team in the country we hadn’t played at this point, so it was great to get the chance.  We had some great moments…maybe one day!

2015-11-15 12.50.40Cthulhu came out to watch HP Shovecraft play in the 5-6 play off versus Tweed. it was good to see BCR win that.

Then we played off versus the Brawlers for 3rd.  There were some moments during the game when I genuinely thought we could win – then a couple of jams let it slip away from us. But we didn’t expect to get third – fourth in the country was more than good enough for us. We’d achieved our team goal for the year, played well, improved and had fun and we were all super happy about it. The best thign too is that Carnage’s strength is its teamwork – that was what got us 4th.

Then it was all over except for the after party!

2015 weeks! #42: constant motion

2015-10-29 08.46.52Managed to get some walking to school in – this time with Zac.

2015-10-29 15.17.59A busy day of running about all over town. Had a half hour between things so managed to do work while refreshmenting.

2015-10-29 18.53.22This is what my hair looks like when I have put my bike helmet on and off about four times during the day.

2015-10-29 19.46.28Dinner at the Elk & Pea. Jude took the opportunity to go and chat with the chef to compare notes on the almond sauce that goes with the jerk chicken. Jude made his own version while I was in Manila, and the sauce wasn’t quite right, so he needed to compare ingredients and approach.

2015-10-30 15.29.13It is full spring at the moment. Flowers everywhere.

Friday night cricket with Jude. And my laptop briefly to finish a few work things. And a lovely sunset.

2015-10-31 12.16.34

Saturday it was Turner fete and Zacky singing in the Trebles. I think maybe the performance was a bit high concept for a fete, but lovely singing at any rate.

2015-10-31 19.47.03George selfie time.

2015-11-01 16.11.45After a few weeks of trying to line up a time, Zac got to skype with Sienna his best friend who has moved to Jakarta. Small children are weird to watch talk to each other.

2015-11-01 19.25.15Flew to Adelaide Sunday night. But not actually back to the 1970s.

2015-11-01 19.55.09The beach at night – I was staying with Natasha so saw the last of the sunset.

2015-11-01 22.28.47On the flight over I finished this. Strange and thoughtful. I thought the lead character was a bit of an idiot at times, but then I think you are supposed to.

2015 weeks! #37: successes and food

2015-09-21 08.20.29 - CopyIt is Monday morning – that must mean walking to school with Jude!

2015-09-21 17.55.17 - CopyEvening falls.

2015-09-21 17.59.50 - CopyAnd I can’t resist a good cloud photo.

Out for dinner Monday night – we had visitors from the Philippines and Vietnam on our big capacity building project, so it was official dinner and welcome time.

2015-09-22 08.45.07 - CopyTuesday morning and walking to school with Zac.

2015-09-22 18.06.58 - CopyTuesday night was the junior hockey presentation for Sebastian and Jude. The end of another successful hockey year.

2015-09-22 20.40.09 - CopySebastian also did well in computational thinking – only 30 or 40 kids in Australia scored higher on the test.

2015-09-23 13.13.47 - CopyIced chocolate season is upon us.

2015-09-24 13.28.27 - CopyLovely lunch with Mathew to which he brought me a bottle of one of my most favourite gins, recently procured on a trip to Kangaroo Island…

2015-09-24 15.21.39 - CopyA good hair day.

2015-09-24 16.37.14 - CopyWe got back to our main D&D adventure (and chocolate) after some break.

2015-09-24 22.40.35 - Copy

Time for further blonding at the hairdresser.

2015-09-25 17.07.09 - CopyAnd a quick Friday afternoon beer with James.

2015-09-25 18.06.42 - CopyThe boys had to do a 27 laps in 5 minutes test to allow them to play full contact in an upcoming tournament – Sebastian got 28+ first go, Jude 26. Jude came back on Sunday and managed 27 which is super impressive.

Sebastian got his braces and expander put on during the week. He had been somewhat (understandably) grumpy since then. But by Friday he was feeling good enough to give creme brulees and his new torch a whirl. They were very good, though his custard needs to be slightly firmer in parts.

Zac did some more jewellery making on the weekend. He really does enjoy it. Meanwhile, the rest of the household was off playing Magic.

2015-09-26 12.09.43Some yarn bombing in Civic.

2015-09-26 13.01.07We met up with the rest of the family + others for post-Magic lunch.

2015-09-26 13.36.03It was then getting ready for my next overseas trip – checking through the foreign currency tin.

2015-09-26 18.33.46We tried out the new book shop-restaurant, Muse with friends Saturday night. I think the bookshop part was slightly better than the restaurant, but my short rib and blackbean sausage roll was pretty tasty. I also bought a few books…

Sunday morning I said goodbye to the blossoms..

2015-09-27 06.17.48

..it was off to Manila.

Manila is so full of people.  A walk to the shopping mall also revealed a bunch of people all excited about some pop act we had no idea who they were.2015-09-27 19.45.10But the view from the rooftop restaurant was lovely.

2015-09-27 20.08.47

2015 weeks! #24: Seoul, derby and boys

2015-06-22 06.05.20And so, it was off to Korea.

2015-06-22 08.51.23Compulsory bellini at the First Class Lounge in Sydney.

2015-06-22 21.03.39And here is the view on arrival from my hotel room in my second favourite hotel in Seoul – the Plaza. I like the Plaza – it has cute rooms and is incredibly conveniently located.

One of the things I was doing in Seoul was checking out arrangements and visit sites for the Minister’s visit the following month. So we got to visit the Seoul Robotics High School. It is an interesting place

2015-06-23 14.53.32One of the things that always feels a little dystopian future about Korea is that the towers in blocks of apartments always have giant sized numbers on them. I guess it serves to allows people to find apartment buildings or something, but it does have a weird feel to it.

2015-06-23 15.16.54Here’s one of the views from the Australian Embassy – from the Education section meeting room.

2015-06-23 17.34.07I loved the fact that the Koreans decorate the side of their electrical meter boxes with pictures of windfarms – windfarms are aesthetically pleasing.

Got taken out to dinner by the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labour – lovely restaurant on the top of a hill. You can read about the full culinary experience here.

2015-06-24 08.02.58Here is the day time view from my hotel room.

2015-06-24 08.44.38And the breakfast view. The hotel and, indeed, the whole of Seoul, was a lot quieter than usual because of fears about Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. At the airport all the Immigration officials were wearing facemasks and the traffic was much quieter than usual. The outbreak is only a couple of hundred people in a city of 20 million + and limited really to hospitals but clearly it had inhabited the imagination.

2015-06-24 13.34.10On my second day in Seoul I got the fun of experiencing the KTX – Korea’s very fast train. On our 35 minute journey, the train got up to 284km/hr and was still as smooth a ride as any I have experienced on a train. Wonderful technology.

2015-06-24 14.04.11We went to Chenoan which had its own forest of apartment blocks.

We visited KoreaTech – again a location for a planned Minsiterial visit. They had signs boasting of their employment outcomes and it was a very modern facility. Sydney TAFE are working there to deliver training in teaching and assessment to Korean trainers.

2015-06-24 16.05.12Then it was back to the train.

2015-06-24 17.45.27Once back in Seoul I headed straight out the the airport. Here are views from the taxi of the docks on the way.

2015-06-25 08.23.33Back in Australia again.

2015-06-25 08.44.30I’d had a head cold building up for the two days in Korea, so was super happy to be able to purchase some pseudoephedrine along with the fancy new gin from the Bombay range on the return to the country. I mostly wanted to stop my nose running.

2015-06-25 13.53.19Back in Canberra, George joined me for a nap.

As the boys were banned from screens til sunset, Sebastian decided to engage in some science experimentation. His lemon juice-bicarb soda rocket experiment proved to be a bit of a fizzer, until, like the Mythbusters, he kept pushing the envelope until an explosion resulted.

2015-06-25 17.22.23Jude took the opportunity to practice his viola while waiting for a result.

Saturday was a road trip to Sydney for 5×5. We were playing S2D2 and very frustratingly, despite being slightly ahead for most of the game, they managed to beat us by 8 points at the end. It was a bit disappointing, and not helped by an early dodgy expulsion call and then a few extra penalties toward the end, particularly because we were playing with a short bench. Beating them is definitely in scope – we just have to hold it together for the full hour of the game.

2015-06-27 22.30.50McDonalds selfie on our road trip home.

2015-06-28 12.51.32Jude and I had a walk on Sunday after taking Zac to a choir workshop.

2015-06-28 13.19.25George being taunted by birds. I am pretty sure that while the rosella was clueless, the magpie was being deliberately provocative.

Jude went and did some busking at the Ainslie shops while I sat nearby and read my book. He’d been dying to do it for ages so it was a good opportunity. And lucrative – he took in $43 over 45 minutes. His rendition of the Game of Thrones theme music was a particularly effective earner.

2015-06-28 18.37.39A nice way to finish off the week.