2015 weeks! #49: graduation, pre Christmas and other stuff

Jude was pretty happy in his brand new sneakers walking to school Monday morning. This was our last Monday ever walking together to Turner.

2015-12-14 19.46.36Gratuitous George shot. At this point we were still trying to work out what we were going to do with George during our whole Adelaide-house-being-knocked-down adventure. Fortunately, by the end of the week Helen and Sean had agreed to take him, and he has been living a life of luxury there and even met a new kitten friend.

Tuesday we had dinner with Nick and the boys at their house. Lovely to catch up with everyone.

Wednesday was Jude’s graduation from Turner Primary. Big day – he got his certificate and we ate cake and I can’t believe another one of my children is going to high school (although not yet, because in Adelaide year 7 is still primary school, so he has another semester of primary before he starts at Campbell High in July.)

It was also an occasion for a rare whole family photo.

2015-12-16 11.05.26

James and I had breakfast together at a.baker Thursday morning.

2015-12-17 09.07.43The big Saturday highlight was a pre Christmas get together at Steve and Shell’s – presents, food, drinks and good company.

Sunday we caught up with Helen, Sean and Alice and a visiting Viv. Ice creams for everyone!

2015 weeks! #47: things are getting Christmassy

2015-12-02 11.53.51So with the return from Greece and associated jet lag, my close friend the fizzy caffeinated beverage was a welcome feature of the early part of the week.

It was the Turner Christmas concert on Wednesday – fortunately this year it wasn’t washed out like last year. With Jude and Zachary both performing in separate choirs as well as their year groups, we felt we got our money’s worth.

For our Branch Christmas party we headed to the Arboretum for lunch in the cafe then soccer and lolling about in the gorgeous sunshine.

2015-12-03 20.45.18Some fighting the elder gods is required.

Took Jude and Sebastian to indoor hockey Friday night. Interesting to watch as it has a different rhythm to normal field hockey.

2015-12-05 09.56.49Took Zac to his cricket practice on Saturday morning. I was quite happy to sit in the shade and read my books while they ran around in the sun.

2015-12-05 12.17.02A trip with Jude and Sebastian to the cinema to see Catching Fire Part II. I really liked it and I particularly liked the number and variety of strong female characters. Nothing better than watching three women discussing military tactics while the men look on. I also wonder whether it even passed the reverse Bechdel test – there were very few occasions when men spoke to each other in a conversation that wasn’t about a woman. The boys also really loved it.

2015-12-05 14.47.57The boys treated themselves to ice cream afterwards.

It was then the boys’ derby training. Dividing time between catching up with work and watching them scrim.

2015-12-05 23.29.55Saturday was Dave’s 50th – a fun affair with heaps of champagne and the chance to see a bunch of faces from the past.

2015-12-06 11.26.52Sebastian volunteered to make pancakes for breakfast.

Sunday afternoon saw a scrim between the DHRs and the VCBs – as well as a mixed up black and white scrim. I was not required for line up duties so it was lovely to have a chance to just watch.

2015-12-06 18.43.16Finally I spent some time at a Christmas concert Jude and Zac were playing in organised by their music teacher. On the up side, they got to play in a mini orchestra which was excellent practice for them. On the downside, the surprise part of the event was that it was a Churches group choral event with sermons and everything. I was rather perturbed when they spoke about fighting to ensure that marriage remained between a man and woman – Zac told me after he was “appalled.” You sometimes forget there are people out there who think like that – not so much in the “Christian” spirit I would have thought.

2015 weeks! #42: constant motion

2015-10-29 08.46.52Managed to get some walking to school in – this time with Zac.

2015-10-29 15.17.59A busy day of running about all over town. Had a half hour between things so managed to do work while refreshmenting.

2015-10-29 18.53.22This is what my hair looks like when I have put my bike helmet on and off about four times during the day.

2015-10-29 19.46.28Dinner at the Elk & Pea. Jude took the opportunity to go and chat with the chef to compare notes on the almond sauce that goes with the jerk chicken. Jude made his own version while I was in Manila, and the sauce wasn’t quite right, so he needed to compare ingredients and approach.

2015-10-30 15.29.13It is full spring at the moment. Flowers everywhere.

Friday night cricket with Jude. And my laptop briefly to finish a few work things. And a lovely sunset.

2015-10-31 12.16.34

Saturday it was Turner fete and Zacky singing in the Trebles. I think maybe the performance was a bit high concept for a fete, but lovely singing at any rate.

2015-10-31 19.47.03George selfie time.

2015-11-01 16.11.45After a few weeks of trying to line up a time, Zac got to skype with Sienna his best friend who has moved to Jakarta. Small children are weird to watch talk to each other.

2015-11-01 19.25.15Flew to Adelaide Sunday night. But not actually back to the 1970s.

2015-11-01 19.55.09The beach at night – I was staying with Natasha so saw the last of the sunset.

2015-11-01 22.28.47On the flight over I finished this. Strange and thoughtful. I thought the lead character was a bit of an idiot at times, but then I think you are supposed to.

2015 weeks! #35: this week had everything

Walking to school with funster Jude.

2015-09-07 11.56.08Up at Parliament House for appearances before Parliamentary committees in which I don’t have to say very much which makes the public servant in me happy.

2015-09-07 13.37.21Parliament House toilet selfie.

2015-09-07 13.40.14I love the reflecting pool at Parliament House. It is a great building.

2015-09-07 13.53.22#Yourtightsatwork walking edition.

2015-09-07 14.09.46It has been a bit tough at work recently, so this card from Tracy, one of my Directors, made me a tiny bit teary. I completely appreciated the sentiment though.

2015-09-07 22.00.23James and I had our Monday night post mental health first aid course time out together which was lovely. There is something so important about taking that time out together to be together without distractions.

2015-09-08 08.41.35

Tuesday morning and it is walking to school with the terrible twosome.

The Turner parklands are pretty magical in spring – a bit like a fairy forest.

Learning journey for Zachary. Great to see his art and read his work and see how much enthusiasm he has for school.

Jude, Zac and I went to a candlelight vigil for refugees and the Syrian refugees in particular. The boys articulately expressed their concerns about refugees and refugee policy articulately to a reporter and ended up in the Canberra Times the next day. Why would you send people back to somewhere that is being bombed?

Jude’s learning journey – equal enthusiasm for learning and showing us what he has been doing.

2015-09-09 15.16.17Cthulhu helped me out with some email management at work.

2015-09-09 18.19.28And then it was off to Tasmania. A flight attendant poured a glass of wine over me on the plane, so she made up for it by giving me a whole bottle.

Hobart is quite pretty at night.

2015-09-10 07.59.45View from the hotel room window.

2015-09-10 10.41.25Having some stocking troubles.

2015-09-10 13.15.12I did find my favourite fizzy caffeinated beverages within a five minute walk of the conference venue so that was a plus.

2015-09-10 15.14.53Conferencing. I gave two presentations, one at the Sino-Australia forum and one at the TAFE Directors conference, so kept me busy.

2015-09-10 17.46.43A lovely Tasmanian dusk.

2015-09-10 18.47.04-1Ready for the conference dinner….which was opened by Chinese dragons.

I had to take a photo of masts because those are compulsory.

2015-09-11 13.26.17It was then off home late Friday afternoon.

2015-09-11 17.11.04The wattle was out in force as more spring action in Canberra.

2015-09-12 10.40.00I was quite excited to be able to go to the hockey in a t-shirt.

2015-09-12 10.49.25And there was a lot of hockey, starting with Jude’s game.

2015-09-12 11.06.52We then went to see James’ semi final which they just lost.

Then we switched sports to derby – James was playing and I was benching for Carnage.

It was a great game against SMASH – the scores were tights and we even led at one point. Considering we were beaten by 100 points last time we played, a five point loss was super fantastic.

It was up early and out to the hockey to see Sebastian’s semi final which they won easily. Sebastian scored five goals and was quite delighted about it.

2015-09-13 09.55.37Zachary got in some beading time.

Meanwhile James and I got changed and then headed to Pod Foods for a lovely Pfeiffers wine lunch.

Food and wine were excellent, and even better was that I won a carton of wine for signing up to their mailing list!

We didn’t need much dinner that night – this was it for James and me.

2015-09-13 20.10.21

2015 weeks! #32: many activities

2015-08-17 08.23.56Jude and I did our usual Monday morning walk to school together.

i spent a chunk of Monday at Parliament House, appearing before a Joint Standing Committee. Fortunately, I didn’t really have to answer any questions.

2015-08-17 22.11.04I’m currently doing a four week adolescent Mental Health First Aid course about identifying mental health issues and helping intervene so people receive appropriate treatment etc. James picked me up afterwards and we engaged in some “self care” – a quiet beer or two and a lovely ploughman’s platter at Bentspoke together.

2015-08-17 22.25.23Zac’s best friend Sienna has gone to Indonesia with her family for the next three years, so her wrote her a letter this week.

2015-08-19 18.16.57It is lovely to have children who help – here are all three boys engaging in dinner organisation.

While the end of winter may be nearing, it is still super foggy some mornings.

Small boys and their computer games. There has been a strong Minecraft resurgence in the house. It is a good adjunct to watching the cricket, apparently.

2015-08-21 08.39.28

Lovely breakfast at Elk and Pea with Melinda who was visiting from Sydney. Of course, I knew I was going to get some of this one myself.

2015-08-21 09.21.05Lonsdale Street street art.

2015-08-21 09.43.36It was the end of the Artist and Writers’ Festival at Turner School so I went and saw the portrait exhibition. Here is Jude’s contribution.

2015-08-21 15.17.05I was very excited about my new t-shirt.

Went for lunch and hot chocolates with Zac in between various activities on Saturday.

2015-08-22 14.42.26

Zac’s choir, the Turner Trebles, sang in an eisteddfod where they competed with five other choirs from around the region. Sadly they didn’t win, but it was a great experience for them.

Sunday the nearness of spring was in evidence with daffodils in bloom.

2015-08-23 10.05.38I walked Jude and Zac to Campbell for a chess competition.

2015-08-23 14.35.47And then it was a wonderful afternoon of gin and friends.

2015 weeks! #10: of drinks and dinner and fun

2015-03-16 08.32.26Another bike ride after dropping Zac off at choir was a beautiful start to the week, especially on such a glorious day.

2015-03-16 17.56.42Jude has made many advances in his viola playing and often accompanies the cooking of dinner.

2015-03-16 18.48.31Time for a nice red wine – we got a couple of bottles out of storage (and put a couple in) so have been able to liberate a few old wines.

2015-03-17 22.25.05After Tuesday night scrim, it is nice to come home to a beer and icecream.

2015-03-18 13.38.06-1Finally, after many weeks of contemplating doing so, I finally had time for a lunchtime pedicure.

Jude got an excellent award at school and so we decided it was good an excuse as any for dinner at the boys’ favourite – the Elk & Pea. Critical thinking for the win!

2015-03-18 21.02.40Time for some monster killing.

2015-03-19 22.22.19Derby shirt Friday featured the Scartel (I actually didn’t have any meetings I couldn’t turn up to a derby shirt in – finally).2015-03-20 10.59.41 HDR

And then backed it up with my first Friday night derby training for quite some time.

2015-03-20 21.33.51Saturday morning was off to the O’Connor Coop School fete where Zac and his choir were singing.

2015-03-21 11.27.06 HDRSaturday night was my (pre) birthday dinner with friends. We all got glamorous (well, most of us) and went and ate in the Cellar Room at Courgette (my favourite). The food was incredibly good as was the service and it was a lovely lovely night.

Nothing like a delicious Sunday morning breakfast.

And a Sunday walk to the shop requires a stop at the park.

2015-03-22 12.13.25 HDR

Weeks #51: pre Christmas fun and surprises

2014-12-15 07.15.53Started the week with the peaceful scene of Lake Burley Griffin as seen from a bike. Lovely morning for it.

2014-12-15 19.09.512014-12-15 19.10.27Jude and Sebastian got into some cooking for their end-of-year celebrations at school.

2014-12-16 13.08.47Had our fifth and final visit by a Korean delegation for the year. They still give the best gifts.

2014-12-16 15.41.36-1Work was definitely getting into the Christmas spirit.

2014-12-16 21.58.17Went to Capital Carnage training Tuesday night. This was me looking a bit dishevelled afterwards.

2014-12-17 08.21.44Wednesday was a big last day: the last school day for the year, Sebastian’s last day at primary school, Zac’s last day in junior primary and the last time all three of them will be at the same school together.  Sad but exciting – another phase in our lives opens up and new things will happen. They aren’t really my little boys any more.

2014-12-17 20.49.07In Board Game Land this week it was time for some Powergrid – the Korean version which I don’t think I have played before. Was just beaten by James.

2014-12-18 10.33.39Started to see next year taking shape.

2014-12-18 14.45.22Lovely present from some of my staff (with added champagne). I think they know me.

2014-12-19 08.08.34Friday was another lake ride to start the day. Trying to get back into the rhythm of consistent exercise.

Saturday lunch was a pre Christmas celebration with Sarah and Simon and the kids and Jackie and John. Lots of opportunities for baby Isaac cuddles.

2014-12-20 15.33.37Felt rather exhausted Saturday afternoon. Coming to the end of what has been a long and stressful year, I guess it is now surprise if energy stores get depleted. Tried to nap but my brain was too busy with the thinking about all the things that still needed doing before heading to Adelaide, so this pick-me-up had suffice.

2014-12-20 18.42.26Canberra looked spectacular as we walked into town.

We stopped for dinner at the Hamlet – the pop up cluster of food vans in Lonsdale Street.

2014-12-20 20.17.45-1Then we bumped into Sean, Helen and Alice, so there was a compulsory merry-go-round ride.

And then for some fun under the Christmas lights.

2014-12-21 14.51.03On Sunday the boys’ cooking skills were out again as Jude and Zac prepared salads for our pre Christmas friends dinner.

2014-12-21 14.51.17Presents were wrapped.

2014-12-21 14.36.09And then the news of the Ministerial reshuffle came out and the shock news that I was moving Ministers and departments. Not what you want a few days before Christmas.

Anyway, some Christmas fun times were had…

…then I had to head into work for a while. Once I got back, things headed towards this very quickly…

2014-12-21 22.13.58-1And I had a whole different Monday to which to look forward!

Weeks! #50: goodbye primary school and other events

2014-12-08 20.12.52In my striving to get fit again, I went to SkateFit again Monday night after some time off. It was a lot of fun, if exhausting, and I was the two-times winner of the wheels game, maintaining the family pride.

2014-12-09 13.31.18At the hairdresser on Tuesday with work to do.

2014-12-09 14.40.09Bought myself some coloured pens – I do like to make my comments on people’s work in happy colours.

2014-12-09 18.45.43Dinner out with the family. Clearly it was a two-drinks-simultaneously type of night.

2014-12-09 22.35.48George does love to sit on me while I am watching television.

2014-12-10 06.58.30In the continuing fitness attempts – up early and riding by the lake. Always happy to see the balloons out.

2014-12-10 08.33.02We all walked to school together for the morning of Sebastian’s farewell assembly.

Goodbye primary school. At assembly the teachers all said something about each student who was leaving which was quite lovely. Then it was time for photos with friends and teachers and some cake. I only cried a little. Sebastian seems so grown up and it does seem like a long time since he was a tiny baby, but it is still hard to think of him leaving primary school and heading off to high school – is he already that old? And now we have all the teen years ahead of us. Such a transition.

2014-12-10 17.48.51With a new hair cut, Sebastian was looking suave for his school farewell dinner (and disco!). See what I mean about looking grown up?

2014-12-10 21.16.52Notes from all his friends.

2014-12-11 10.41.33Back to normality on Thursday with a day trip to Melbourne.

2014-12-12 07.04.40And Friday morning was another morning ride – though if I’d known how blustery and slightly wet it was I probably would have stayed in bed.

2014-12-12 11.23.13For #derbyshirtfriday I got out my Victorian Vanguard t-shirt.

2014-12-12 13.29.50Friday afternoon was our branch Christmas party. I got to tell the branch how proud I was of all they have achieved this year – and have a few drinks with them plus play pool really badly.

2014-12-12 14.33.26My Secret Santa gift giver understands my priorities.

Saturday morning Zac and I headed to the Regatta Point to hang out with “Internet People” as Helen so succinctly put it. I got to meet and cuddle baby Wren and Zac got to play with lots of small people but, as always, especially enjoyed hanging out with Alice.

Saturday afternoon was the final junior derby training for the year – they got medals and the odler kids had a session long scrim. Lots of fun.

2014-12-13 17.39.30Out of tonic, so it was emergency (double) negroni time.

2014-12-13 18.13.37We went for sophisticated entrees with sashimi and seared tuna. The boys ate more of it than us.

2014-12-14 13.54.46On Sunday I finally finished Blue Mars which bring the Mars trilogy to a close. I must say it has been a bit of a long haul. They are all great and contain some really interesting political and social ideas and the depictions of the implications of settlement on Mars are insightful. But they are quite dense and often repetitive and can be quite hard going at times. I’m pleased I read them, but I am also pleased I never have to read them again.

2014-12-14 16.33.24The boys got into a bit of D&D.

2014-12-14 19.40.52And the whole family played some Munchkin.

2014-12-14 17.19.05Finally for the weekend, I did a bit of cleaning up and out of stuff, but depsite its faded-ness and that it is stretched out of shape, I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to my Sonic Youth t-shirt from New Year’s Eve 1995.

Weeks! #45: from normality to Mumbai

2014-11-03 20.44.07-1An epic level of wine – that is definitely for me. James and I went and did something on Monday night which we haven’t done for probably 13 years – spontaneously went to the movies. We saw Fury which I found a little disappointing – stuffed full of every war film trope you could think of, particularly the whole naive-youngster-meets-wizened-oldster-who-teaches-him-to-be-a-man stuff. Some of the cinematography and the images were extraordinary though, so that was a saving grace.

2014-11-03 20.45.22After nearly a month of no regular game nights with Andrew off on his European adventures, it was back to fighting the Old Ones on Tuesday.

2014-11-04 21.02.54On Wednesday I escaped from work long enough to see Zac’s class host junior assembly and Zac sing in the choir. He also was on hand shaking duty for people who received awards.

Wednesday I once again elongated my ride home to make up for failing to get up early in the morning.

2014-11-05 18.13.16A spider decided to take up residence near my bed.

2014-11-05 23.04.45Thursday morning it was my regular walk to school early with Jude and Zac.

2014-11-06 08.13.35By some miracle, my branch team managed to win the Department’s soccer grand final. The opposition were a bit intimidating – especially as their average age was a good ten years younger than ours – and after they had scored two goals in the first few minutes I thought we were settling in for a substantial thrashing. But somehow guile and age managed to triumph over youth and fitness and in an extraordinary surprise to everyone, but no one more than myself, I even managed to kick a spectacular goal from an impossible angle. Anyway, it was a lot of fun and pretty much confirmed that sports involving running are exhausting, but more fun than running without sports.

2014-11-06 12.57.53Sebastian has been reading the Hunger Games books and much inspired he decided to construct his own bow. It even worked.

Friday morning at work we had a branch get together to talk about our work. I then made my staff form a human venn diagram to show how are work is all inter-connected. It was an idea I had come up with just the night before. Sadly I didn’t have the ability to take an aerial shot.

2014-11-07 12.26.12

Friday afternoon was cricket watching with Zac. His bowling is definitely starting to improve.

I was excited to find that Past Me had preordered the new Alastair Reynolds which had arrived just in time to take on my trip to India. In a week of a few downs at work, this was a happy surprise.

2014-11-07 21.22.03And then Saturday morning it was off to the airport and on my way to Mumbai. A lamington seemed an appropriate last dish in Australia.

2014-11-08 10.49.59We flew Air India direct from Sydney to Delhi in a Dreamliner. They have these great windows with no shades but which have tinting that is changed remotely. It makes the clouds look extraordinary.

We were staying at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai. This was the sight that greeted me from my hotel room window Sunday morning.

2014-11-09 08.06.55There was also an extraordinary view of the sea bridge – 5.6km of road out into the ocean.

2014-11-09 09.48.48I was most pleased though to get a chance to try out the pool in the morning, even if a somewhat briefly.

In the afternoon we did a tour of Mumbai with some of the conference participants but I will post about that separately. But we did end the tour appropriately – with a g&t.

2014-11-09 17.34.18

Weeks! #38: skating, learning and success

2014-09-15 20.00.01I got myself back on skates this week by venturing to SkateFit. It was fun, even though it did prove that my winter of illness and travel has left me with a little to be desired in the “fit” category.

Learning journey time! First up was Jude – we wrote fast stories together and looked at conductivity.

2014-09-16 10.10.45Then there was me with some rare office time.

Zac showed us all the things in his classroom, including his political critiques. His teacher, David, told me that the day after the budget Zac came in, went to David’s desk and asked “so David, how did the Budget impact you?”

Then Sebastian showed us simple programming along with the rest of his work.

2014-09-17 18.44.41I had cunningly scheduled in the learning journeys before I headed up to Brisbane for a couple of days.

2014-09-17 21.40.38I was staying again at the hotel with the disturbing bears on the bed. They stare.

My two days of my learning group also gave me time to catch up with friends for breakfast and a little bit of alone, contemplative time.

Flying home at sunset.

2014-09-20 10.23.07Zachary got into some lego Saturday.

There was more skating Saturday afternoon with a trip to Skate Nation.

Then it was off to the derbies Saturday night to see the CRDL teams. The ghoulish face painter was there again so Zachary and Alice ended up looking quite disturbing. More disturbing is that guy behind Alice….

2014-09-20 22.16.12After the derby, James and I headed to Molly to meet up with Dave and Caroline and down a cocktail or two.

Sunday morning was fancy Pod Food brunch. Here is Zachary drinking his tea.

We then headed to ANU to have lunch with Sebastian where he was in the middle of the Tournament of the Minds ACT final. A magpie chose to join us as well.

2014-09-21 17.14.11 2014-09-21 17.34.48-1And lo and behold, proving he is just as good with Language Literature as Maths Engineering, his team won and it is off to the national finals. Watching them perform in the afternoon, the Turner team went last. Part of the topic was “heroes” and after the first two schools featuring super heroes, and the third doing something totally random, we were extremely pleased to see Sebastian’s team focus on Nelson Mandela. After that, it was less of a surprise that they won. But very well down to them. Three of the four ACT winners at the primary school level were Turner teams – a big tribute to the teachers at Turner who guide TOMs there.

2014-09-21 17.36.15And so, another beautiful Canberra day, and busy busy week ends.