2015 weeks! #31: views from the 40th floor and other glamourous places

I started the week with three days in Melbourne, staying on the 40th floor of the Sofitel. The views were spectacular.

On my second night in Melbourne I had no official functions so was lucky enough to catch up with Jess, who has recently relocated. We began at the Gin Palace…


…then moved on to the exceptional deliciousness (and large serves) of Ombre.

2015-08-12 08.21.13I was still feeling full the next morning when I caught up with Melanie aka Scary for breakfast, so hipster crumpets did me.

2015-08-12 11.01.09I was in Melbourne for the ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council) forum to talk about our international work. I enjoyed the discussions in the Connectivity Working Group, particularly about the oysters who are connected to the internet.

2015-08-12 17.24.13I managed to finish the wonderful SevenEves shortly after I got home. It is a fabulous book, I loved it, even if occasionally Neal Stephenson got overly explainy about things in the way that he does. It is definitely worth it.

2015-08-13 11.03.55Time for some red fishnets.

2015-08-13 11.37.23I spent much of Thursday at Parliament House, most of it at the Roundtable on International Education. There were lots of people there with whom to catch up, and it was lovely to finally meet another one of my internet friends in real life for the first time.

2015-08-13 17.14.27There was a bit of back and forth across Commonwealth Bridge as I went up to Parliament House for a second time on the same day. Been a regular up there when it is sitting time.

2015-08-13 19.32.41Jude and Zac have been doing some practice together and are starting to get much better at playing duets. Well, sometimes they do playing horribly out of step with each other, but when they do hit it, it is great.

2015-08-13 19.55.35New Arkham Horror expansion, new fun times. And we won which was outstanding.

Sebastian has been playing indoor cricket with his usual cricket team on Friday nights. Usually James takes him, but I did my first time this week. I truly didn’t understand what was happening at all, but Sebastian’s team won.

2015-08-15 08.56.46Here’s Jude making breakfast for himself before hockey and waiting for the toast to cook. He was really enjoying this book.

Jude and I walked in to ANU for hockey and where they won, and then headed past this creek-side art on the way back home via Lonsdale Street.

2015-08-15 11.23.34We stopped at LSR. Jude had recently tried some coffee gelato and really liked it, so he wanted to try coffee (decaf version). I suggested that a mocha might perhaps be a better option. Jude discovered that coffee is really strong and really bitter. I think he might be reverting to hot chocolates for a while.

We hadn’t done a big supermarket shop for a while, so Jude and Zac and I did a mammoth one. I think we will be fine if the zombocalypse happens soon.

2015-08-15 17.19.20The days are definitely getting longer.

2015-08-15 17.24.47Jude went a did a bit of busking late Saturday afternoon. On our first attempt, we found that his spot had been taken by a younger girl with a violin. We came back an hour later and he spent 40 minutes. He picked a good time – I had thought he had done well last time with a haul of $4oish, but this time he made over $60 in 40 minutes.

2015-08-15 17.45.57On Sunday I decided that despite my various injuries, I should rouse myself from my sloth and go for a ride. So I did 24 km of lake.

George is funny sometimes. He doesn’t get to come into our room at night, but our bed and its afternoon sun is one of his favourite spots. I’m pretty sure this look means “I thought we had a deal, yours at night, mine in the afternoon.”

2015-08-16 14.09.10

The week that was…week 53 (not sure how that happened): winding down

Bunnies! The rabbits around the neighbourhood are getting bolder and bolder. One seems to quite happily be living on the front lawn next door. Well, we know what we’ll be eating a lot of when the Zombocalypse comes.

2013-12-23 17.25.51The last two days of work for the year meant casual clothes and lots of shopping breaks.

2013-12-24 08.55.22And I had to wear my new t-shirt for my last day of work.

2013-12-24 10.32.32Christmas Eve also involved morning tea with the much diminished Branch.

2013-12-24 12.30.07And then lunch with James and the boys and Sean and Alice.

2013-12-24 16.37.42When Zac and I walk to the shops together there is the inevitable stop for a quick play in the playground.

The boys had been somewhat neglectful of the Star Wars Advent calendar, so there was a big catch up session.

2013-12-24 19.22.28Watching Doctor Who Christmas Eve to make sure we were up-to-date for the Christmas special.

2013-12-24 20.03.57And a beautiful sunset.

2013-12-24 20.32.58

Also the traditional drinking of the delicious sparkling red received as a Christmas present.

2013-12-24 18.27.33

Then a day of Christmas.

2013-12-25 15.47.12Boxing Day involved the now traditional viewing of the Peter Jackson film. We rode into town for that – the boys discovered this giant fluffball before we left.

2013-12-26 09.21.55

Sebastian and I tried to fly his new kite, but the wind really wasn’t being cooperative.


2013-12-26 15.49.06And we did lots of washing.

2013-12-26 16.14.31



The 27th brought Nana and Poppa – and more Christmas presents!

2013-12-27 14.06.11Sebastian was very pleased with his new Cricket Australia top – thanks Auntie Lucy.

2013-12-27 18.26.39We took Nana and Poppa out to the favourite restaurant – the Elk and Pea.

2013-12-27 18.41.38The next day Jude got to finally spend his K-Mart voucher which was possibly from his birthday (it has been months and months and months since I had been to Belconnen Mall).

2013-12-28 11.51.04

Meanwhile I bought some new shoes for $6 at K-Mart. The price is actually one reason I don’t shop at K-Mart too often – it is really hard to imagine that shoes can be produced for that amount without some kind of horrible exploitation of someone somewhere along the line.

2013-12-29 11.33.44

The boys and Nana and I went to the Gold and the Incas exhibition at the National Gallery. It was an interesting exhibition (who knew the Incas were only around for 100 years) and we took some time out in the very good kids’ activity room.

We finished the week with a lovely afternoon at the Reids – bbq, pool, cricket watching, beer, wine, friends – living the Australian dream!

A year in the life…day 341: gelato break


Sebastian and Zac came Christmas shopping. Mid way through we really needed a gelato break.

A year in the life…day 326: sandal torture


Shopping for sandals for the boys proved to be rather more time consuming and frustrating than expected. Between poor customer service, stand wide feet and poor ranges of sizes I nearly despaired. But we got there in the end. At least these two had something to smile about.

A year in the life…day 233: online shopping

So I have certainly taking to online shopping increasingly – although I have been buying some things online for a long time. Today I got books and clothes in the mail and bought more stockings online. I am also a t-shirt purchasing addict I am afraid to admit…

Hawai’i Hijinks Day 5: Shopping!

This was the day to worship at the feet of the great god of commerce at the Ala Moana shopping mall. We had been thinking of going to the water park in the afternoon, but because Zac was still not recovered completely and because the lure of shopping was great, we spent the afternoon mall-side.

The mall itself is quite cool – open to the outside and huge, it is weird to feel both inside and outside at once. Clearly a place of many tourists, we got to see a bit of a Hawaiian song and dance demonstration at one point.

The boys also loved the giant koi in the ultra clean ponds in the middle of the mall.

We stopped for a very US style lunch of burgers which came with unlimited fries! Not that we tested this, because the initial serves were big enough. And, large beer is large.

And so to the shopping – we bought shoes at Clarks and clothes at American Apparel (including roller skating shorts – whoot), smelly stuff at Sephora and clothes for James at the Gap. But the most fun shopping experience for the day was, of course, the Lego Store!

The boys made their own minifigures for purchase and checked out LegoWorld online. Their parents marvelled at, admired, and thought seriously about buying the DEATH STAR WITH FULLY KITTED OUT INTERIOR.

But we resisted…the large size Imperial Shuttle was pretty damn awesome too….

We did take a break from the mall briefly and went for a wander to check out Ala Moana beach.

Funny to see people barbequing right next to the road on Webber equivalent device, set up with their chairs and tables. Also entertaining to see the “charcoal only” bins. Things are just that little bit different. Fun to see some youngsters training on outrigger canoes, but all in all, the day was awarded to the shops.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The petty bourgeoisie of the future

Sebastian and Jude have found much entertainment this weekend in setting up their own shops and selling their books and other wares to each other and us for pretend money.

Jude utilised his bed to display his wares…

while Sebastian chose a corner of his room. Note the order amongst Sebastian's display, with Roald Dahl, castles, chapter books and pirate books being amongst his categories,

They did demand the purchases made back, and would only pay about $1 for returns…and some of their sense of price was a little distorted. One was often obliged to buy a second item with the first for some exorbitant amount, so there is some shopkeeper hard-sell potential there.

Eventually though, all shopkeepers like to relax with a little chess…

Read and post comments | Send to a friend