A year in the life 2016 #303: parma night

When it is schnitzel + beer night at Shorty’s, I choose parma.


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

2015 weeks! #29: eating and drinking and fat ankles

2015-07-27 08.34.40Another Monday morning walk to school for Jude and me.

2015-07-27 18.47.45I was planning on cooking dinner Monday night but the meat was off and I had to go and catch a plane after, so we went and tried out the Schnitzel Haus on Lonsdale Street. Verdict: excellent parmigiana, would eat again.

2015-07-27 19.43.53Night flight to Sydney to avoid super early departures the next morning.

Next morning it was off to Sydney TAFE for a Global Skills Roundtable and student consultation with the Minister. We also did a bit of a tour of the TAFE afterwards and saw the floristry students and visual merchandising areas.

Was feeling and looking a bit disheveled by the time I got home.

2015-07-28 16.35.39Fortunately, a negroni will help with that.

2015-07-28 17.49.47Next day was an attempt to wear actual work-appropriate shoes with the ankle compression bandage.

2015-07-29 12.53.22Was excited to receive my Pozible delivery of Poor Tom’s Gin. Because I didn’t have enough gin in the house already…

2015-07-29 18.34.20More exciting stockings with fat ankle.

2015-07-30 08.37.00Zachary was doing some cooking with some expert assistance from Sebastian. Together they cooked up some cupcakes for Zac to take to school to share with his class.

Meanwhile, I went to a VDL Quiz Night.

Friday I was back in sneakers with my new elaborate ankle brace. Let me assure you, the ankle hasn’t really been very painful and I have been walking a lot.

2015-07-31 11.34.29It was derby shirt Friday so I was supporting my (second) favourite men’s team.

2015-07-31 15.22.56Friday night we finally had Zachary’s delayed birthday party (we wanted to avoid school holidays, then needed enough lead in time for invites etc). Like Sebastian, he chose a Zone 3 birthday. I got to play when they were one short of three even teams, much to my delight. We started with a Girl Power! team which one of them named the Rainbow Farting Fluffy Unicorn Team.  I could live with that. Anyway there was shooting and pizza and a variety of fun times. Afterwards, James and I escaped to a more civilised birthday celebration – dinner at the Chairman and Yip to celebrate Andrew Vance’s birthday.

Saturday I made tomato and lentil soup for lunch.

2015-08-01 12.42.48It was then off to skating for the boys. I miraculously didn’t have work I needed to do, so got to enjoy my book.

2015-08-01 14.37.53The afternoon involved a complex set of maneouvres post-derby as we had to drop Zac at the theatre, Jude at a friend’s for a sleepover and eat before going to see Zac’s performance. Sebastian and I ended up eating dinner at Spicy Ginger.

2015-08-01 17.50.53We then went and saw Zac in his on-stage performance debut with the Turner Trebles and a number of other choirs at the Street Theatre.

2015-08-01 20.18.55Sunday morning was cold and wet and I was taking Sebastian to hockey. Fortunately it was somewhere I could sit and watch under cover.

Sebastian made his second batch of ice cream – vanilla this time.

2015-08-02 11.05.57And Jude showed some drawing prowess.

2015-08-02 13.03.31

Weeks: #42: things anew

2014-10-13 09.21.30New week, new office, new view. This is the first time for nearly four years that I have actually had a view from my office. And I get an iconic bit of Canberra too.

2014-10-13 09.25.12Of course, there was a bit of unpacking to do too.

2014-10-13 12.35.22Turkish lemonade!

2014-10-13 19.38.58More SkateFit – mostly being tortured by Shorty.

2014-10-14 08.30.18I met this guy at the physio. Physio is a pretty regular part of my life between my dodgy neck and my dodgy hip and all the other dodgy bits in between. I have been going to Atlas Physio for about 13 years now and it is a bit like family.

2014-10-14 09.20.34-1Despite high hopes for continuing good weather, it turned cold and wet this week. I wore my footy shoes walking to work.

2014-10-14 09.37.04I was pretty excited to discover this, but then when I had some I discovered – aspartame. Blergh. Oh well, it can come with me overseas for those times I can’t find fizzy caffeinated beverages and am in need.

Hairdresser before and after.

2014-10-15 18.02.35Had a meeting with the Secretary. She remarked on my phone.

2014-10-15 18.46.49Schnitzel night!

2014-10-15 19.10.46Sometimes Ainslie is a very beautiful place to live.

It was up early and off to the airport – not for me this time, but to farewell Sebastian who was off to Melbourne for the Tournament of the Minds final. We had considered whether one of us should fly down on Saturday to see their presentation and so forth, but Sebastian was more than happy to have his weekend away with his friends and we have travelled so much recently, it was nice to not go anywhere.

Off to see the ballet Thursday night. Was rather fun, though I thought the choreography for the men was a lot more interesting than for the women. But very enjoyable nonetheless.

2014-10-17 13.02.16Played in another work soccer game on Friday – this one was the semi final and we managed to win in extra time, taking us to the grand final. I am not sure that my sporting prowess really lies in soccer, but it is fun to have a bit of a run around in the park at lunchtime.

Cricket season is well started now and Friday evening I got to see Zachary bat in his first ever cricket game.

2014-10-17 19.36.31Afterwards, Jude, Zac and I headed to the Dickson Noodle House for dinner.  Up to the usual standard.

2014-10-18 11.54.29Zac continued his biking practice on Saturday with me and on Sunday headed off on biking adventures with Jude. It has been hard to get him off the bike since then!

2014-10-18 15.17.57Skating started up again on Saturday afternoon and Jude and Zac were super happy to be at training.

2014-10-18 19.16.46Bit of adventuring Saturday night. “Quick, beyond the guacamole, I see the dragon!”

2014-10-19 11.20.44

The weather was beautiful again and so I couldn’t resist a ride.

Sunday afternoon we headed to Pod Playgroud to meet up with Jillie and the mini-Peppers. Lots of fun all round.

2014-10-19 15.57.13Jillie couldn’t resist the acorns.

2014-10-19 16.04.42And then it was time to collect Sebastian from the airport – they hadn’t won, but they had had a good time.

2014-10-19 16.42.46

Weeks! #31: busy then Hobart

2014-07-28 16.59.33Back to work with lots to do. It is the way of sickness.

2014-07-29 21.30.20Even though I was still not close to fully healthy again, I made it out to training.

2014-07-30 09.39.03Wednesday I got a chance to have that thinking time – the US Embassy was hosting a “round table” on innovation at Questacon which I was invited to. Interesting to hear about things that are happening in industry and science and collaboration.

2014-07-30 17.30.55Still leaving work after dark.

2014-07-30 18.03.58-1Very pleased to receive another delivery of exciting tights.

2014-07-30 19.33.43Zac and Jude brought home school photos. Zac’s featured his typical Zac look of mild disdain.

2014-07-30 18.49.07-1Schnitzel night. Zac has decided to choose salad over fries in some advanced sign of maturity now with his schnitzels.

Some Arkham Horror for Wednesday night.

On Thursday it was up to Melbourne and back for a day at the airport Parkroyal. Haven’t done that for a while. This is what being back in the Commonwealth-state relationship space does to one. Did get to fly on my new favourite planes, the Qantas 717s though.

2014-07-31 20.08.30Reluctant to be caught in his onesie.

2014-08-01 08.34.52-2Friday was a chance to walk the boys to school.

2014-08-01 14.10.23I hosted a lunch on Friday for the four vocational students and the one teacher we sent to China earlier this year for an APEC youth camp. They then gave a talk afterwards about their experiences. They are all such impressive young people with great stories. For most of them, this had been their first trip out of the country – and it is a long way to China from Mildura or Burnie. Anyway, it is always nice to see soemthing really direct and positive come our of your work and also to see exactly why we do want to try and make the vocational education sector the best it can be – and to help other countries to build their own sectors.

2014-08-01 17.55.55

Since James’ injury, in particular, Jude and Zachary have really stepped it up in the kitchen and are enormously helpful when making dinner and so forth. They are the salad making specialists, and it can be hilarious to hear Jude bossing Zac around like a chef would a kitchen hand. All three of them also do a lot of the preparation of their lunches now, and their breakfasts and somehow we get out of the hosue so much faster in the mornings.

Saturday morning footy – Jude gets player of the round. And a snake.

Fritha came over to hang out for a while, and we got to see her brothers on the way through.

Zac also had his friend Sienna over. They seemed to spend most of the afternoon fighting it out in the backyard.

2014-08-02 16.31.47 2014-08-02 16.31.53Except at afternoon tea time.

2014-08-03 07.06.52The next morning Sebastian and I were up early and onto the plane and off to Hobart for his Primary School Hockey Championships.

It was a lovely afternoon in Hobart, so we did some wandering about.

2014-08-03 12.59.32With inevitable fish and chips for lunch.

Sebastian was also quite impressed to see the Aurora Australis in port, and, to continue the Antarctic theme, we went to the Douglas Mawson Hut museum.

There is no slacking off while on holiday with Sebastian, so after a little break in the afternoon, we went for another walk.

Then it was dinner and bed and ready for an early start for the first game of the tournament on Monday!

Weeks! #18: the cold sets in

2014-04-28 08.48.22-2The boys headed back to school for term 2. The cold term.

2014-04-29 11.34.00Mum and Dad sent me some lovely earrings for my birthday which they had acquired on the South American extravaganza. Didn’t stop me being jealous of their epic journey.

2014-04-29 17.25.06We

With the colder, darker months upon us I am seeing more of the funny plastic spikes in all their multicoloured glory as I regularly head home after dark. Also prompted me to buy a new super bright bike light for riding home.

2014-04-29 19.49.55Back at training. It gets slightly harder in winter when it often seems colder in our training venue than outside. But on the upside, things don’t get quite so sweaty.

2014-04-30 13.53.57I think Tine, my EA, was deliberately trying to tempt me with all my favourite mini Easter eggs. Except the Turkish Delight ones; those are erk.

2014-04-30 14.06.53At an SES training course. I had to exercise all my restraint here.

2014-04-30 18.17.20Schnitzel night at Edgars. Always a family favourite.

2014-05-01 08.07.30First morning of frost on the car windscreen.

We got to school early on Thursday morning. I hung out with Sebastian and Zachary for a little bit while Jude headed off to choir. Zac’s started 15 minutes later.

2014-05-01 11.15.31Hairdresser visit. I was feeling a bit poorly, so I went for green tea rather than the usual hot chocolate.

2014-05-01 13.20.46New hair looked good, but I still felt bad so took it home to bed.

2014-05-01 14.48.00Some trees have turned to autumn colours completely.

2014-05-02 08.41.16Others are still hanging on to their summer leaves.

2014-05-01 13.34.44When you aren’t feeling great, bread which is still slightly warm from baking and cheese helps cheer you up.

2014-05-01 13.56.48-1I wasn’t the only one to visit the hairdresser – the boys went too. And after a couple of years of long hair, Jude decided to go the radical chop. He looks so much younger with the hair short.

2014-05-02 17.13.12

Zac had his first official footy game on Friday night.

2014-05-02 17.43.31Fortunately it was just across the road at Ainslie, so despite having spent the day on the couch, I wrapped up warm to go and see him play. I had forgotten how adorably chaotic and hopeless under 8 footy is. Very cute.

Jude had football in the rain on Saturday. My boots didn’t cope that well with the wet.

Jude played well and managed a great goal which bounced and dribbled at the end across the line. He got Goal of the Round for that.

I was playing derby that night and the boys were restarting their junior derby classes, so there was some skate maintenance time.

2014-05-03 11.25.53Then the boys got on wheels – fortunately this was inside out of the rain.

2014-05-03 14.17.20Our derby game went well – I will blog about it separately. Here I am looking a bit tired out after the game.

2014-05-03 19.58.44Sunday was a day for quieter activities. Well, at least for me and Jude and Zac. Sebastian had to go and play hockey.

2014-05-04 12.53.38And when your back and ankle hurt from post game injury, what better way to finish the week than a g&t.

2014-05-04 17.06.58

A year in the life…day 281: schnitzel part 2


The schnitzel group reassembled this time at the Austrian Club where the decor was 1970s, the beer German and the servings enormous. After some oysters to get us started, it was onto the schnitzel course. I had the gigantic triple which included a pork, veal and chicken schnitzel. They were delicious, but it is lucky that Jude had only had a children’s sized meal and was keen for more schnitzel because I never would have form through it all alone.