2015 weeks! #44: other stuff then MEN IN PINK ON SKATES

2015-11-10 19.37.36Herbs and greenery ready for a Monday night dinner of rice paper rolls.

2015-11-11 09.14.39Luminous juice for a quick breakfast stop with James.

Hairdresser time out.

2015-11-11 12.13.33hairBeen feeling very borderline. With an incredibly busy weekend and week ahead, felt I needed to stock up on the drugs.

2015-11-11 20.48.54One of the boys stuck a toy-thing to the ceiling. This was an endless source of fascination for George.

2015-11-12 20.46.57Tired out the new version of Study in Emerald. Not entirely convinced…yet.

Time to fly – all the way to Hobart.

2015-11-13 09.47.34Finished this en route. Super fun read where I think the predictability was a deliberate part of the charm.

2015-11-13 16.15.12A trip to the Sandy Bay Coles allowed us to stock up on beverages for a weekend of roller derby – for us and for Copter who was arriving on a late flight.

2015-11-13 16.22.33Our first Air BnB experience was a delightful terrace in Sandy Bay. Extremely cute and a great location.

2015-11-14 07.28.58A fortifying breakfast is needed for the first day of the Australian Men’s Roller Derby Nationals.

Last year I was a spectator at Nationals as we came 7th in Australia. This year, after a lot of hard work by the team leading up to it, I was there as benchie and we were determined to come home 4th – or 5th at worst. we had a great first day – took it to last year’s champions, the Brawlers, and did all right; comprehensively beat the Tweed Valley Vikings and then took on BCR and beat them more effectively than we had expected. Coming second into the pool took us to the semi finals – and a minimum 4th! We all went home happy that night.

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There was time to smell the roses and eat burgers and feel good before day two.

2015-11-15 09.25.42And the upside of being in the semis was that we had time for a relaxed breakfast.

2015-11-15 11.14.58Our first game was against Vanguard – if we beat them we’d be in the grand final. They are an amazing team. Great discipline and teamwork and some brilliant individual players. We didn’t win, but we did ourselves proud – Vanguard were the only team in the country we hadn’t played at this point, so it was great to get the chance.  We had some great moments…maybe one day!

2015-11-15 12.50.40Cthulhu came out to watch HP Shovecraft play in the 5-6 play off versus Tweed. it was good to see BCR win that.

Then we played off versus the Brawlers for 3rd.  There were some moments during the game when I genuinely thought we could win – then a couple of jams let it slip away from us. But we didn’t expect to get third – fourth in the country was more than good enough for us. We’d achieved our team goal for the year, played well, improved and had fun and we were all super happy about it. The best thign too is that Carnage’s strength is its teamwork – that was what got us 4th.

Then it was all over except for the after party!

2015 weeks! #38: mostly Manila

2015-09-28 07.16.54Monday morning and the view from my hotel room. I was staying in the Intramuros, in fact right next to the remains of the old wall. Manila is such a contrast of wealth and poverty and pretty much everything in between. Around where we were staying there were a lot of schools and colleges, so you could see the constrast of the students in their crisp uniforms, with the four year old urchin bottle feeding a baby sitting in the middle of the street. It is a strange and confronting place like that. Of course, I was spending most of my visit in the hotel.

The first two days were largely our Transport and Logistics APEC project wind up. It was great to see how much work each of the countries had done and how successfully the project worked over all. It is brilliant to see an idea a few of us had shared turned into a concrete and successful outcome. We’ve now got a methodology for developing transnational occupational standards and getting them validated by five different countries. Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council are owed a lot of the credit, as well as my team who steered everything along. Days like these make work enormously rewarding.

2015-09-28 11.51.24We got a lot of food during lunches and breaks and how can you go past a “gelatin fruit mould”. One thing I can say for Manila – it isn’t the culinary capital of the world.

2015-09-28 12.46.35Cthulhu came with me. I think he had some thoughts about devouring school children. I didn’t take him with me for my walk around the walls.

I went for an initial walk around the fortifications I could see from my room. Some very old cannons and lots of moss covered stone.

2015-09-28 17.52.21Pre dinner drink at the roof top bar. You could see the sea – and the port.

TESDA, the Philippine vocational education government body, took us out to dinner at Barbara’s – in one of the oldest surviving buildings in Manila. There was traditional dancing and music and, apparently, hats.

On Tuesday, In addition to the Transport and Logistics workshop, I popped out to speak at a VETASSESS information session, and see a demonstration of how they undertake their skills assessments.

2015-09-29 14.25.15The tropical weather brought out the curly in my hair.

Got up the next morning and went for a walk along the length of the remaining old wall. There isn’t a lot of it, which wasn’t terrible because it was so hot and humid I was soaked after a half hour walk.

Some sunset photos from the roof restaurant. Despite rain during the day – and the threat of rain that evening – we managed to convince the hotel staff that it would be fine to have our dinner for our second workshop on the roof –  very pleasant after a day inside.

2015-10-01 09.15.54Wednesday and Thursday was our workshop on developing an integrated referencing framework for skills recognition. This is another idea we have been toying with and it was really exciting to have it embraced and built upon by 13 different APEC countries. The workshop went well, and we came up with a range of ideas to take it forward.

2015-10-01 08.49.18The hotel breakfast wasn’t amazing, so Thursday morning I decided to have churros from the cafe downstairs instead.

We finished a little bit early on Thursday, so I had an hour or so to wander to the nearby mall and do some shopping, and see some more sights of Manila. And for my hair to get curly again in the rain.

2015-10-01 16.26.55There was so much rain the roads started to flood. Fortunately it didn’t get worse. And then it was time to head to the airport and head home.

During the week I finished two books. A Feast for Crows was slow going in parts (I really couldn’t care *at all* about the Iron Islands, nor much about the goings on in Dorne) but picked up towards the end. It was interesting how much it and the series have now diverged. I think the Brienne adventures did need some editing – those bits got a bit slow and dull as well. Then I completely devoured The Wolf Border. Beautifully written and entirely consuming I read it in no time flat. Great characters and interesting ideas.

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Back home again. The boys had had a pretty chilled first week of the holidays.

2015-10-02 18.02.09James, Zac and I had dinner on Friday night while the bigger boys played Magic.

2015-10-03 15.11.27The boys and I went and saw The Scorch Trials together on Saturday. Choc Tops and all.

2015-10-03 20.13.57And there was time for some family Colt Express. I am still terrible at it.

2015-10-03 21.02.08Jude and Zac and I also made some progress on Dido.

James took the boys down to Merimbula Sunday afternoon where they were staying with Jackie and John for the week. So I had some quiet time to watch the DHRs play at ERRD and to paint my toe nails.

2015-10-04 18.48.58It felt like that during the five days I’d been in Manila, all the leaves had returned.

2015-10-04 19.51.43And then a civilised dinner for two for James’ return.

2015 weeks! #36: grand finals and other stuff

2015-09-14 08.33.43My Monday morning walk-to-school companion. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to school and then it takes me about 20 minutes to walk to work, which makes a decent morning walk. And much more pleasant now the spring is here.

2015-09-14 08.58.16And the Turner Parklands were looking especially magical.

2015-09-14 18.14.41Long day in the office. This week was to be super stressful at work as suddenly all the incoming Minister briefs had to be updated and somehow coordinating the whole thing fell to me for skills.

2015-09-15 08.43.00It was raining a bit Tuesday morning, so umbrellas for everyone.

Some time out of the office to take Sebastian for his final mould for his braces to go on the following week. He’s been very stoic about it all.

2015-09-15 20.30.06On the couch, watching the tv.

2015-09-16 12.16.09A crazy busy day at work. my new unicorn shoes helped me to get through it. Sebastian had made fun of my shoes, and told me that he was “sure your friends in kindy will like them.” Teenage sass.


Quick escape from the office Thursday for Chinese National Day celebrations. Got to hear the speeches, say hello to the appropriate people, but didn’t have time to stay for lunch.

Thursday night with most of the incoming Minister briefs done and dusted it was off to Adelaide where I caught up with the folks and then had a senior officials meeting before heading home less than 24 hours later.

2015-09-19 09.38.33Here are the boys. Serious business time as we headed to Jude’s grand final. He had already played, and won, the semi final that morning.

It was a close game and ended in a tie. Hockey ACT declared Joint Premiers, though we think Jude’s team should have taken the honours because they were higher on the ladder. But Joint Premiers is better than no premiers!

2015-09-19 10.58.40The medal presentation was after the match.

Jude was pretty pleased with the results of his first year back in hockey!

2015-09-19 11.16.302015-09-19 11.17.39When then had celebratory morning tea at LSR.

2015-09-19 11.31.39Meanwhile, the cthulhus were gathering. Who knows what plans for world domination they were hatching.

2015-09-19 12.41.45I got introduced to the household’s newest board game, Colt Express, which is rather fun, even if I appear to be somewhat hopeless at it.

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Jude and I then headed off to the CRDL derby so Jude could participate in a half time juniors demonstration match. Sebastian would have played too, but his ankle was playing up and he had a grand final of his own the next day.

2015-09-19 19.08.19Then it was home to watch some tv with George.

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Grand final number two for the weekend. Nick was there on godfather-equivalent duties to watch.

2015-09-20 10.02.10-1It was nailbitingly close for much of the game, but in the end Sebastian’s team took it out.

2015-09-20 10.10.002015-09-20 11.13.39Again, the presentation followed on quickly.

2015-09-20 11.33.04 2015-09-20 11.43.22And so both brothers came away Premiers!

2015-09-20 11.45.20After taking derby training for Carnage, it was back to end the week with some D&D.

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