Weeks! #16: autumn and Easter

2014-04-14 09.32.02After the week of doom, I tried to immediately brighten this week with my socks.

2014-04-14 17.29.21Autumn is open us in Canberra.

Autumn also means walking home at sunset. Or after it.

2014-04-14 17.46.26But there are still a few flowers around.

2014-04-14 18.24.15I have been very much enjoying the Blackwoods gin that Helen and Sean got me for my birthday. Coupled with the Capi tonic (or, too, the Fevertree) it makes an absolutely sublime g&t. Very smooth. Evening drink is very enjoyable!

2014-04-14 19.24.43Rachel and Jasmin came over for dinner and Rachel supplied this fabulous cake from Flute Bakery. It tasted as good as it looked – all raspberry and chocolate mousse inside.

2014-04-15 14.33.58Having been out of the office for a week, there were a few urgent things to take my attention. I think I even skipped a boring meeting to try and make sure I got through it all.

2014-04-15 22.42.20

Gratiuitous George photo.

As my job has taken on an increasingly international dimension, I have been spending a lot more time over at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This week it was for a meeting on India.

2014-04-17 13.32.08I found mysterious Easter eggs in my office. I completely failed in the distribution of eggs to my staff because I forget to bring my purse to work on Thursday, the vital Easter egg purchase day. Oh well, I guess I will have to provide them random chocolate at some other stage.

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Here I am, ending the week and ready for Easter. I think there is one of those Easter eggs lurking in the background. Probably the one I didn’t eat.

On Thursday night we had Paul and Chun-Ling over for dinner. The boys helped with the preparation, Sebastian made souffles and a good time was had by all.

2014-04-19 10.32.29

Easter was about relaxing and not doing a lot. And catching up on washing. On Friday the boys played games, I washed sheets and read my book, there was much pottering. It really was blissful.

Saturday afternoon the boys engaged in a whole lot of Magic The Gathering action. Other boys were summonsed. A “cube” was created and a mini tournament was undertaken. This allowed me to go shopping, doing some cooking and read my book a little more.

2014-04-19 18.07.21Result – lamb shanks for dinner which were shared with the two Andrews.

There was some time for Carcassonne before dinner. Jude was thrilled when he managed, at the last minute, to complete the nearly impossible castle.

2014-04-19 20.33.38There was also some time for some more Great Northern.

2014-04-20 09.47.20Easter Sunday began properly.

Then, we went skating. Sebastian and James went off to skate the West basin while the boys and I had fun around Reconciliation Place and the Portrait Gallery and down to Commonwealth Ave bridge and back. Beautiful day for it – as more than one passerby was overheard to say.

It was then off to Jackie and John’s for a lovely family dinner and a tough Easter egg hunt for the small boys – many clues with much research. But eventually all was found!


Weeks! #14: presents, presentations and lots of eating

2014-03-31 22.15.02Here I am wearing one of my lovely birthday presents to work – thank you Jasmin!

2014-04-01 13.28.31James’ pretentious piccolo skim latte. So hipster, so cute.

2014-04-01 17.19.11More #yourtightsatwork. This time classic fishnet.

2014-04-01 18.55.14I also got to wear another birthday present – new socks which, coincidentally, match my cons! Thanks Jackie!

2014-04-01 21.58.57I adored my birthday card from Conrad. My godson knows where it is at.

2014-04-02 13.45.24I got to spend a whole day out of the office talking about policy and ideas. It is certainly nice to have a chance to do that kind of thing – bit of a luxury at the moment. The Department of Immigration and ANU had organised a day of strategic discussions on mobility in Asia – this pretty much covers off all of my job, so it was a great chance to engage with academics and other public servants at the level of ideas.

The boys continued with elaborate duplo constructions.

2014-04-02 23.11.24This week we played Arkham Horror with a new expansion which was fun. Thanks Sheriff and Slams!

The boys had their cross country on Thursday, so got to wear red, their house colours. Zac got very sulky because we vetoed his choice of red top and he didn’t want another.

2014-04-03 12.35.56Had a lovely lunch with Beth at Jamie’s Italian. So nice to catch up and have a gossip.

2014-04-03 18.22.16Thursday night was cricket presentation night. Jude’s presentation was first. I had made the rookie error of not bringing any cash and discovered that the bar didn’t accept cards….Anyhow, Jude got his team trophy and we ran off for dinner at the Noodle House.

2014-04-03 18.41.09We then headed back for Sebastian’s ceremony. This time I managed to stop on the way for cash, and so, hooray, finally, beer.

2014-04-03 19.21.10Sebastian got a special team award as best fieldsman and was absolutely stoked.  The coach had wanted to co-award best all-rounder to him, but wasn’t allowed to, so this was the best alternative. Sebastian has been working hard on his cricket so it was nice to see that rewarded.

2014-04-03 20.44.06The boys have got very excited about Magic again recently. One of the effects of this is having to stand around upstairs in Capital Games while the boys look through thousands of cards. Sigh.

2014-04-05 11.19.49Saturday afternoon was the boys skating sessions – they are all improving (not that Sebastian needs to get much better).

Saturday night we went to dinner with Dave and Caroline at Malamay. We had heard mixed things, but the food was delicious and the service great – although it did suffer from the post main course struggle to get a waiter which seems to be a regular feature at most restaurants. Anyway, twas a lovely evening and we’d definitely go back.

2014-04-05 19.34.15Sunday was all about Jude’s birthday.  Rachel made another fabulous cake, directly to Jude’s orders.

2014-04-06 10.40.06The party was essentially a D&D adventure. I pre made character sheets for everyone then led them on a trip through dark forests fighting monsters. Was much fun.

And then it was time for the blowing out of the candles.

The week that was….week 45: not a great week


2013-10-28 19.58.48 This was never going to be a great week. James and I had slept poorly with Sebby waking in pain in the middle of the night, I was still feeling frustrated about my finger and then, during the day on Monday we found out that our dear friend Jill, and James’ close colleague, Jill had been hospitalised with pneumonia. Jill had been fighting cancer for many years. In and out of remission for number of years, I think she did almost her entire PhD while being treated for cancer. She had started with breast cancer, but over the last year it had moved into her bones. On Tuesday when James and I were at the hospital getting my finger checked, we caught up with Steve, Jill’s husband who told us that Jill was still needing assistance breathing.

So there was a bit of a cloud over the week – James and I were stressed and tired and emotional.

2013-10-30 17.55.40George was in good spirits. But longing for the outside world. Of course, at the moment when he escapes outside, his choice of activity is sitting under a rose bush, making him quite easy to recaputre.

2013-10-31 07.36.59One up side. My big order of derby socks for both James and I arrived. Yay for new socks. I just wanted to find reasons to wear them all.

2013-10-31 12.55.52On Wednesday I made myself feel better by buying these completely frivolous shoes which I had been stalking for months. I was having a particularly bad day on Wednesday – it was all getting on top of me. Work hasn’t exactly been stress free, and I knew that I was off overseas again on Sunday. And everything else.

2013-10-31 14.40.46On Thursday I managed to guilt my staff into giving me cake. As General Manager, I don’t get invited to staff birthday celebrations when sections hold them – so I miss out on all the cake. I needed cake.

2013-10-31 15.01.32One of my Directors thought I needed vitamins too. Pretty sure I wasn’t looking my healthiest.

2013-10-31 17.47.28I did manage cocktails with Bec (largely responsible for dragging me into derby) and who I hadn’t properly caught up with for ages on Thursday which was a nice interlude.

2013-10-31 18.34.50And came home to find Sebastian making crumble, which is always a nice treat.

2013-11-01 21.57.47On Friday the news we had been hoping we wouldn’t hear came – Jill had died. James and I went out with Steve, her husband, to keep him company and talk about what needed to be do0ne. While it is terribly sad to lose a friend, it is devastating to see the grief of someone who has lost the one person in the world they cared about deeply and to see their emptiness. Jill was 51.

2013-11-02 11.59.28But life goes on. The boys play Lego Star Wars games.

2013-11-02 14.44.49And I take the shoe shopping.

2013-11-02 17.30.44Then Saturday night it was off again – to Korea via a night in Sydney.

2013-11-02 20.00.34My finger dressing fell off (the hospital physio was nowhere near as good at dressing it as the nurses) revealing a rather Frakensteinian sight – but healed, mostly. Fortunately I had all the tools to redress it with me.

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And then on Sunday it was off to Seoul.

Once there I went for an eveing walk. Finished my week with bubbles….

2013-11-03 20.16.08And flowers…

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.

2013-02-07 22.20.19

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 221: socks


The wonderful Rachel ordered extra socks when buying some for herself and now has significant added to my long sock collection. Awesome for boot wearing, leg warming and derby training, I am working my way through them.

A year in the life…day 97: tardis socks


I am one of the luckier people in the world; Rachel knitted me Tardis socks for my birthday!!!!