A year in the life 2016 #160: a day at The Great Southern Slam


There we were with three Leagues to support – LCD, VDL and CRDL. So that meant a lot games and a lot of cheering.

It was great to see how enthusiastic the LCD guys were in supporting the women’s team – a whole cheer squad in fact!


And it was even better to watch the Sabres win their first two games at TGSS. They were so happy!


It was a little weird watching the DHRs and being nowhere near the bench, but it was great to cheer for them as well.


They won one game and lost one – as expected and not a bad record for the first time in Division One.


We also got to see and cheer for CRDL as they one their first pool match. So a pretty successful day all round!


Especially successful for Zac who got an exciting new pair of skates!

Junior derby nationals!

2016-04-09 09.42.22A weekend in Daylesford with two days of derby for the small boys. It started with a day of boot camp with coaching by Mad Mel and Sausarge Rolls.

The boys were super happy to meet Sarge – a bit of a hero. They have also generally been coached by women – which isn’t a problem – but getting to be close up training with such an outstanding male skater is still a bonus when you are the minority gender in a sport.

2016-04-09 17.12.26Day 2 was bouts. ZeeQuack got his first outing as a bouting skater, albeit in a positional blocking only bout. But eight scoring passes!

2016-04-10 13.10.20SeaBash and Beathoven also got their chance on the track -some great jamming from both. Beathoven had Mad Mel has his bench coach and she kept putting him on to jam. He was a big fan by then end.

2016-04-10 11.39.26It was a fund weekend. ZeeQuack and Beathoven’s teams won their division – but there had to be one loser as SeaBash was in the team opposing Beathoven.  The boys also got to be part of two groups of skaters – the Little Adelaide Rollers…

2016-04-11 05.10.40and, even better, catching up with their CRDL buddies.

2016-04-11 05.09.33

A year in the life 2016 #53: skating


Training again. Definitely happy to be back on skates, even if it is stupidly hot.

But the lipstick stayed in place.


A year in the life 2016 #46: back in training


I went to my first roller derby training for the year. I have decided to take my time and do Freshmeat sessions for a bit to re-practice skills and rebuild confidence after a very sporadic year of derby last year. Injuries, such as my sprained ankle, really dent the confidence, but it is also amazing the extent to which having to deal with a rather negative climate and a level of bullying and snark    (even when not directed at skating skills) had eroded my will to skate and my confidence when I did so. So a bit of time re-practicing basics, especially while I am working and travelling regularly seemed like just the thing. And do you know what – a night of doing all the things again and remembering how long it took me to master some of them, and being able to do them well did help a lot with that confidence thing.  I am looking forward to next session, andd to having more time to skate and ending up better than ever.

A year in the life 2016 #17: skating


One of the things that the boys have been looking forward to the most about living in Adelaide has been getting to train with the Lil Adelaide Rollers who are the best junior roller derby team in the country. Today they had a welcome back skate and we all went along angld got our skates on – and collected all the forms for membership. Twice a week training and once a week scrim – the boys are super excited. Of course, a 35 degree + day might not have been an ideal time to put the skates on, but a bit of sweat never hurt anyone…


2015 weeks! #45: awards and other sparkling things

2015-11-16 10.34.38Monday morning in Hobart. James dropped me off at the hotel which was to be my home for most of the week and went to MONA, while I went to work in these quite pleasant surroundings. It was Australian Training Awards week in Hobart – two days of judging, three nights of hosting dinners for judges, a day of functions with finalists and the Minister, the Awards themselves…and then a Ministerial Council meeting on Friday.

It was all in a lovely location though – everything was happening in and around Salamanca and the harbour.

2015-11-16 13.09.45I also got to enjoy the luminous local mineral water.

2015-11-17 19.11.46After an enjoyable, but long, day of judging School Based Apprentice of the Year, we had a lovely dinner at T42. The oysters were so fresh and delicious and everything else was lovely as well.

2015-11-18 16.24.18Wednesday involved a morning of judging International Training Provider of the Year and then a two hour video conference with the Minister and other senior staff and so it was then nice to have time for some chips and wine with Jasmin who had been judging an award as well.

2015-11-18 21.59.12Gratuitous selfie.

2015-11-19 10.37.59The venue for the Awards was really coming together – it was being held at Pier 1 and I walked past it all the time so I got to see it in its various stages of preparation.

On Thursday, the Minister came and met our Awards finalists and heard some of their feedback about their experiences in the training system. And there were compulsory photo shoots.

2015-11-19 13.39.21We then had rehearsal/demonstration of the Awards ceremony, getting everyone prepared for the real thing.

2015-11-19 17.56.36Frocked up and ready to go.

2015-11-19 18.05.49And it is time!

2015-11-19 18.19.17James was struggling with doing a tie, so had to recruit one of the finalists to do it for him.

2015-11-19 20.44.14It was important he looked neat for his role of Barrel Girl for the evening – I am sure it is a hazing technique for the section to make the newest recruit do all the handing over of awards and certificates on the night.

The night went well – I always love to see people get their awards and the value and importance of the vocational education sector recognised. As a judge you meet such passionate and impressive people – both the student finalists but also the employers and training providers and it is terrific to see such commitment.

2015-11-20 01.01.18-1Grant convinced me to go for drinks afterwards, but I managed to make the very sensible decision to go home not too late as I had a Ministerial Council meeting to manage the next day.

2015-11-20 09.51.50Look, I wasn’t feeling my absolute best the next morning.

2015-11-20 11.06.48Here are all the Ministers.

2015-11-20 16.03.59And then it was all over and it was drinks at the airport before the long trip home.

2015-11-20 18.50.31Saturday morning and back to regular life. Jude and I went and picked up Zac from a party.

2015-11-21 14.01.32While Sebastian and Zac were busy elsewhere, I took Jude to the skate park where his derby friends taught him to drop in. He did quite well for his first attempts.

2015-11-21 14.43.46Giant tiger prawns for dinner.

2015-11-21 17.41.36Jude and Zac lent a hand with the cooking.

Sunday I took Zac to sing at his Christmas concert for the Turner Trebles and other singing groups run by his conductor.

2015-11-22 16.00.08And here is my face when we reach the compulsory audience participation part of the concert. why can’t I just listen to them sing, why do I have to sing?

2015-11-22 15.57.20Meanwhile Jude was cooking up a feast with his interpretation of the Elk & Pea jerk chicken. It was super delicious.

2015 weeks! #25: things you can do in the cold

2015-06-29 08.31.51Monday morning and walking to school with Jude (after earlier dropping Zac off at choir practice). Always a lovely start to the week.

2015-06-29 18.01.49Random serene selfie.

2015-06-30 10.27.36Another book finished. I absolutely adored this. Such a lovely central character in a beautifully imagined world. The writing keeps you fully engaged and the intrigue and politics are outstandingly rendered. Go read it.

2015-06-30 17.00.29I ended up quite sick. The head cold that had started on the way to Seoul and blossomed while there had really managed to completely take hold of my body and I was completely incapable of much for two days. Unlike many sick days I hardly even checked my email and did pretty much no work. I watched a lot of Arrow on Netflix with George as company – a bit of Shirtless Exposition in a silly but engaging story line seemed important for my recovery. That and sleeping and reading. I keep trying to put a timeframe on how long it has been that the pace has been relentless at work – the last few weeks, months, year or two – anyway it has been a while and every now and again my body signals a need for a time out.

2015-07-01 18.03.02Sebastian is still very much enjoying his cooking. Here he is preparing some tuna, both for sashimi and for lightly seared yummy morsels. He and James whipped up a delicious seafood fest that night.

By Thursday night I was well enough for some games – super hero deck building it was.

2015-07-02 20.20.59For the last day of school it was Crazy Hair Day. Zac had wanted some colour but with all my sickness there had been no time to hunt down spray. We were pretty happy though with the results of our hairspray intervention though.

2015-07-03 08.31.05Time for a quick lunch and then coffee with James. Always nice when we can squeeze that into a day.

2015-07-03 13.08.19And then, there was much excitement when the Cousins arrived on Friday night! Lucy, Rowan and Emilie and Scarlett were in town for a week! In sub 5 degree temperatures we visited some of the outside sights of Canberra, including lunching at the Hamlet.

2015-07-04 11.08.02

The grown ups got to explode some Cows Saturday night.

2015-07-04 20.49.09Sunday was another cold day and declared Onesie morning (someone needs to get Lucy a Onesie).

2015-07-05 11.13.48James and I went off to training – I was pleased to be on skates as I have been struggling to get on-skates time in this year.

2015-07-05 15.42.37It was a beautiful sunset.

Lucy and the gang had headed off to friends’ house – we came home to find Sebastian and Zachary deeply embroiled in a lego war. That’s how you do holidays.