A year in the life 2016 #233b: the joy of hotel pools

I love a good hotel pool. So often they are empty, especially in hotels dominated by business travellers. Work travel can be busy and demanding, as your attention gets pulled between what you are doing where you are and what is happening back in the office and a swim is a chance to momentarily forget all that, to relax, to exercise, to be in the moment.

And then you get out, get changed, and get on with it.

A year in the life 2016 #201: indoor pool 

One of the big bonuses of the apartment block we are living is the indoor pool. Generally it hasn’t been busy, so we’ve enjoyed the chance to have swims in it warm water.

A year in the life 2016 #139: me and the boys


James headed back to Canberra for the weekend so it was me and the boys. After Sebastian’s hockey game we headed to the market where we had a smoothie stop.


We also went to the pool for a bit of afternoon recreation.


Then it was dinner of mushrooms, brussel sprouts and bacon and home made sausage rolls.

An excellent Saturday.


A year in the life 2016 #114: we all go to the pool

We all headed to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre – mum and I to do aquarobics, the boys to jump in the deep diving pool.

And afterwards, a stop at Perryman’s for delicious pies and sausage rolls.

A year in the life 2016 #27: beach day


We took ourselves out of Adelaide and headed south for a day at the beach. Port Elliot ended up being our destination. The boys were initially a bit disappointed that there was much surf about the place so boogie boarding opportunities were limited, but we then introduced them to the joys of the pontoon. We all swam out to it and there was much diving off and catching balls and generally have a good time in water much deeper than that the  oys would usually swim in. A lovely day in the sun.


A day in the life 2016 #6:cousins in a pool


How much do kids love a pool? Chucking a bunch of cousins in together is a recipe for fun.

2015 weeks #15: holidays! coast! rain!

2015-04-20 13.41.39It wasn’t an auspicious start to a week at the beach – rain and gloom and more rain. But we hoped for the best as we headed to Seven Mile Beach for our holiday.

The weather continued wet so we were pleased that our large cabin was a good spot for games and sitting by the fire.

The rain wasn’t much better the next morning, but we took advantage of a small break in the weather for a walk along the windy, raining beach.

2015-04-21 11.24.24Zac managed to fall in while playing in the shallows.

2015-04-21 11.38.28Jude took to collecting rubbish and was disappointed by how much there was to find.

2015-04-21 11.54.50

The boys tried swimming in the pool in the afternoon, but sadly as its heating was solar only, it wasn’t very warm…

2015-04-21 12.26.33They decided a bubble bath in the spa was rather more enjoyable.

2015-04-21 15.38.17More rain = more game playing opportunities.

2015-04-21 18.40.24We did escape the cabin to head into Kiama for some wonderful Japanese food.

2015-04-22 11.51.38With the weather still against us, we headed into Gerringong for brunch and for some browsing of the local surf shop.

The boys tried out their new wetsuits in the pool.

2015-04-22 17.03.46But Sebastian couldn’t wait to get into the sea, no matter how bleak it was.

We walked along the beach and discovered some of the things that had been washed in by the storm.

The next morning we woke to beautiful sunshine and a lovely day so it was, naturally, back to the beach for lots of boogie boarding.

2015-04-23 13.23.27A walk along the beach let me find the fragments I so love.

2015-04-23 15.52.06Sebastian and I also took advantage of the calm and sunny weather for a kayak…

2015-04-23 16.34.08…and a late afternoon swim in the waves. Despite all the rain and onset of autumn, the water was actually quite lovely.

The people at the surf shop in Gerringong had recommended the new Mexican place in Kiama, and we discovered that it was an excellent recommendation. It came with its own special shelf of hot sauces which got more deadly the higher you went.

Another beautiful day lead to more time on the beach and more discoveries.

2015-04-24 13.18.08We had burgers from the beach takeaway for lunch.

2015-04-24 14.47.10And Zac and I took to the river.

2015-04-24 16.31.59The pool was still a bit cold.

Jude and Sebastian and I went for a sunset walk to explore the rockpools and the strange foam left by the churning seas.

2015-04-24 17.27.06The sunset was truly stunning.

2015-04-24 18.17.56I tried out the excellent Bath gin as it was in an ideal travel size bottle.

Another glorious day, more time on the beach and the boogie boards. I am, still, a complete failure at boogie boarding it must be said.

I am, however, much better at kayaking and Jude and I kept a sharp eye out for pelicans during our paddle together.

2015-04-25 14.42.11It was icecreams in the afternoon.

2015-04-25 14.52.42 HDRAnd then we spotted a snake friend in the tree right next to our verandah. After much rapid internet research, we discovered he was completely harmless, so were happy for him to stay and keep us company.

2015-04-25 16.26.04Then the rain started again and so did the board games.

2015-04-25 18.19.45Nothing like a bit of pizza for dinner though.

Weather was bleak again in the morning, so we took another walk on the bleak beach.

After that, we headed to Berry for some lunch where we discovered interesting shops and strange gin.

2015-04-26 14.53.04-2And then the road trip home.

2015-04-26 18.05.24I was very excited to find my new skates had arrived.

2015-04-26 18.50.15And to drink some gin and soda and tonic syrup.

2015-04-26 21.48.45And George was very happy to welcome us home.

2015 weeks! #3: injury and recovery (and lots of codeine)

2015-01-20 17.49.27So after a couple of weeks of getting myself focused on regular exercise and getting ready for the start of derby training, I pushed myself too hard early Monday morning and managed to do some disc damage to my lower back. I knew I’d hurt it, but I think my muscles and everything were so warmed and stretched after my cardio session (yes, what was I thinking) that it really wasn’t until the end of Monday I realised just how badly injured I was. Tuesday was physio, doctor and codeine, codeine, codeine. And working from home, although having a red hot go at resting in between emails. I tell you, skipping with a rope is clearly the wrong thing to do.

2015-01-19 22.17.51George quite liked hanging out with, or on top of, the convalescing.

2015-01-20 17.43.13

When having back problems, it is important to remember that gin is an excellent muscle relaxant.

2015-01-21 10.48.09So look, I know that going to work when I am actually injured is not an excellent idea and I know I should really just rest and all of that – but I also am in the middle of extra responsibilities and super busy times and it is amazing how much you can cope with on fizzy caffeinated beverages and super doses of codeine. Nonetheless, at times, it was clear that my resilience was rather lower when in severe pain than it is at other times.

2015-01-21 19.14.55

On Wednesday night I gritted my teeth through the pain and we played Sebastian’s D&D version of The Hunger Games. He’d had a bit of a shitty day through no fault of his own, and had done a huge amount of work on the scenario, so we spent some time playing it. He’d done a pretty good job, although there was a lot of focus on food gathering (which I guess would probably be a thing).

2015-01-21 23.45.28At least having to spend some time lying down and resting meant I did get to finish The Peripheral. I really enjoyed it – it reminded me a lot of Virtual Light, but most subtle and clever. Very easy to read and great story with some interesting political and social commentary (as always with Gibson).

2015-01-22 10.06.24Then there was the question of what, of these and other books, to read next (I chose Wolf Hall for a change of pace).

2015-01-22 12.23.31Still school holidays for the boys, and Jude took some time out with lego.

2015-01-22 17.31.19Gin, still a great muscle relaxant.

2015-01-23 11.02.43After being a little less than my most robust on Thursday at work, one of my lovely team, Wendy, brought me flowers on Friday. It is lovely that I have a team who pitches in when needed and without fuss – while I was a bit delicate, they were all willing to pick up extra things and make sure that everything kept running smoothly. With the change in Minister, there have been a few times where one area has had a huge unexpected workload, and other teams have jumped in to help. I’m really proud of my Branch and the way that they are supportive and can pull together and will find solutions that will suit everyone rather than just themselves.

2015-01-24 13.44.41There has been quite a lot of backyard cricket these holidays. The boys will pop outside for a quick round quite regularly.

2015-01-24 13.46.39

While at the Bont International, I had ordered some customised Bonts. The only problem – the sales dude forgot to write down my size. So when James got his shiny new skates, he also sent me through several pairs to size myself. Of course, the worst thing was that for most of the week I couldn’t bend over to try them on. By Saturday I was able.

2015-01-24 18.23.04My back was repaired enough by Saturday to make laksa. Delicious, delicious laksa.

While James was at training on Sunday, I took the boys to Casaurina Sands where we enjoyed some river swimming. It was quite a lovely day, and quite a strong flowing river.

2015-01-25 18.03.08Some more resting after our river adventures, finding Wolf Hall very enjoyable (and comparing the perspectives with those from the Tudors!).

2015-01-25 20.55.32To end the week, games, cheese and roller derby gossip. A most excellent combination with excellent people.

2015 weeks! #0.5: easing into the year

2015-01-02 15.14.32We had a very quiet start to the year – I spent most of the 1st reading. I went back to work on 2nd and took some of the quiet as time to get my toenails painted.

2015-01-02 18.17.32I continued to read this on the weekend – and finished it. Was most excellent and enjoyable.

James and I enjoyed and excellent wine to start the year off right.

2015-01-02 20.10.55And there were excellent clouds.

On Saturday I had the rare luxury of a day completely to myself with James off at a derby boot camp and the boys still in Adelaide. So when I felt like a swim, I could just jump on my bike and ride to the pool and do some laps. That feeling of not having to take anyone or anything else into consideration is quite joyful at times. But it isn’t like taking others into consideration is a burden – it has its own joy implicit within it. But the change was lovely for a day or two.

2015-01-04 10.57.31On Sunday, Jasmin, Rachel and I went to Pine Island to swim in the river. I enjoyed swimming in the surprisingly strong current. We lunched at Kingston Foreshore and got to see a mighty strong but short storm blow through while we ate our lunch. Fortunately it had stopped (mostly) by the time we had to head back to the car.

2015-01-04 20.14.38A very wet Dave (who got caught in another part of the storm), Caroline and I went and saw The Imitation Game before meeting James for a lovely dinner at Vitis Eatery. A very enjoyable start to the year.


Weeks! #52: work, Christmas and Adelaide

2014-12-22 12.54.10-1My Monday was not the day I expected it to be and it was crazy and long and involved doing three or four people’s jobs while preparing for a new Minister and a new Department. It was nearly 11 hours long without a break and by the end I was exhausted but had to come home and pack. And I didn’t quite manage to finish my Christmas shopping.

2014-12-23 07.34.17Despite it all, it was still Adelaide road trip day on Tuesday.

Lunch in Hay and the long and not winding road. However, we got the drive over in good time.

2014-12-24 11.02.56

Here I am facing last minute Christmas shopping on Christmas eve. James and I left the boys home and got it done with all the efficiency we could muster.

2014-12-24 16.50.55The boys were pretty happy to hang out at Lucy’s and give the pool a trial.

Christmas eve dinner was with Sam and Tracy, followed by gelato!

Christmas Day: there were presents, prawns, cooking, Dad falling asleep and of course mother’s summer pudding. It was a good day.

For Boxing Day we headed to the Henley Beach to catch up with Natasha and family. Another lovely day.

The fun didn’t stop there – it was in the pool again when we got back to Lucy’s.

My hair suffered from a bit too much sea wind.

2014-12-26 20.58.08Emilie and Zac bonded a lot during this visit. Here is Zac reading bedtime stories.

2014-12-26 20.58.48

We wandered into town for some shopping and after several days of Christmas food and BBQ had noodles for lunch.

2014-12-27 13.14.21After lunch it was off to Hazelwood Park to catch up with friends and drink champagne under the trees.


Out for Mexican for dinner. These two are troublemakers.


2014-12-27 18.58.20

Spent some time Sunday helping the cousins with lego construction…

2014-12-28 14.26.59…practising some cricket with uncle Sam and more swimming.

It was then off to CitiZen for dinner.

Once home, time for some fun with sparklers and glow sticks.