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.

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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!

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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!