A year in the life 2016 #203: getting out the tights

We had left a plastic tub of clothes with Rachel while we were in Adelaide so it was good to reclaim my favourite tights and get them out for work.

A year in the life 2016 #202: back to work

So after four months of doing my own thing, it was time to put on the stockings and work clothes and head off to work.

I worked out that I could truthfully say “it is good to see everyone” even if I couldn’t really claim to be thrilled to be back at work. It wasn’t that bad though. But to be honest, I would rather still be on leave.


 

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! #34: life, Cthulhu and death

2015-08-31 08.43.01Usual Monday morning walk to school with this guy. Jude is a very chatty walking companion. Often I get a fairly continuous stream of chat about things he has recently learned – Zac got a big book of facts about stuff for his birthday and Jude has been reading it in between voracious consumption of Skullduggery Pleasant books. But Jude always remembers to ask me about what my day has in store.

2015-08-31 18.17.12Another week of Youth Mental Health First Aid – mostly talking depression, suicide and non-suicidal self injury.

2015-08-31 21.08.45It was a good moon night to wait for James to pick me up.

2015-08-31 21.23.41James and I took some “self care” time out after my course to go and have a quiet beer and chat at Bentspoke after each session. It is lovely to have those quiet relaxed moments to yourselves. However, this time Cthulhu came too.

2015-09-01 10.08.35Off to Melbourne for the day. Ended up spending a lot more time than expected at Canberra Airport with fog. Fun though to bump into Dave Sag and provide refuge in the Virgin Lounge.

2015-09-01 16.25.25Eventually we were off. And then back in virtually no time later!

2015-09-02 08.40.04Spring is definitely in town in Canberra.

2015-09-02 13.42.16Getting the last days out of #yourtightsatwork – though there are always those mid spring cold snaps.

2015-09-02 18.35.50We did schnitzel night at Edgars for the first time in ages.

2015-09-02 20.14.19George is not impressed by your fancy wines.

2015-09-03 07.49.45Sebastian decided to wake up early and walk into Braddon for breakfast with me before my physio. I think he was mostly in it for the Autolyse croissants, but it was lovely anyway.

2015-09-03 19.56.00Cthlulhu plays Edritch Horror with us! At this point I must pause and explain that Cthulhu was crotcheted by Jackie, James’ mother after I had posted pictures of cuddly Cthulhus on Facebook. I am very fond of him. Of course, the whole family was keen so Jackie has been set to work.

Friday afternoon it was back to Melbourne for a trip I would rather not have made – my aunt, Maggie, had died, so it was off to the funeral.

2015-09-04 19.38.20An upside was catching up with the family – I stayed in Melbourne with Lucy et al on Friday night before driving out to the Gippsland on Saturday morning.

2015-09-05 12.53.44Funerals are terribly sad things. i didn’t actually know Maggie that well – she had gotten together with my uncle Andrew when I was pretty much a grown up and we’ve pretty much always lived in different cities, crossing over at family events along the way. The funeral made me sad that we had never gotten to know each other better -many of the things Maggie had done in her life were things that I think are important – fighting against a culture of domestic violence, improving opportunities for young women offenders, baking – and it was both lovely and sad to hear from those closest to her. But apart from the sadness for the inidvidual, there is all the contemplation if makes you do – of the deaths of those close to you, past and future, of your own death, of what you have achieved in your life. Of how the world continues.

At the end of the service we released balloons into the sky. Goodbye Maggie.

But as with most things, there is an upside, and it was nice to catch up with family.

2015-09-05 15.41.35I was flying home that evening, so a bit later in the afternoon it was back in the car and the two and a half hour drive back to the airport.

2015-09-05 16.22.17-1There was some spectacular cloud en route.

2015-09-05 18.09.20And the familiar view from the Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne airport.

2015-09-06 09.38.56Sunday morning Sebastian was competing in Tournament of the Minds. his team did all right, but there was some line fluffing, and they didn’t manage to progress to the enxt round. After two years at the national competition, sometimes you need some setbacks to improve for next year.

2015-09-06 10.00.48

I took training for Carnage and actually got back onto skates – and even better had an excuse to wear my awesome new leggings!

2015-09-06 14.24.10

2015 weeks! #31: views from the 40th floor and other glamourous places

I started the week with three days in Melbourne, staying on the 40th floor of the Sofitel. The views were spectacular.

On my second night in Melbourne I had no official functions so was lucky enough to catch up with Jess, who has recently relocated. We began at the Gin Palace…

 

…then moved on to the exceptional deliciousness (and large serves) of Ombre.

2015-08-12 08.21.13I was still feeling full the next morning when I caught up with Melanie aka Scary for breakfast, so hipster crumpets did me.

2015-08-12 11.01.09I was in Melbourne for the ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council) forum to talk about our international work. I enjoyed the discussions in the Connectivity Working Group, particularly about the oysters who are connected to the internet.

2015-08-12 17.24.13I managed to finish the wonderful SevenEves shortly after I got home. It is a fabulous book, I loved it, even if occasionally Neal Stephenson got overly explainy about things in the way that he does. It is definitely worth it.

2015-08-13 11.03.55Time for some red fishnets.

2015-08-13 11.37.23I spent much of Thursday at Parliament House, most of it at the Roundtable on International Education. There were lots of people there with whom to catch up, and it was lovely to finally meet another one of my internet friends in real life for the first time.

2015-08-13 17.14.27There was a bit of back and forth across Commonwealth Bridge as I went up to Parliament House for a second time on the same day. Been a regular up there when it is sitting time.

2015-08-13 19.32.41Jude and Zac have been doing some practice together and are starting to get much better at playing duets. Well, sometimes they do playing horribly out of step with each other, but when they do hit it, it is great.

2015-08-13 19.55.35New Arkham Horror expansion, new fun times. And we won which was outstanding.

Sebastian has been playing indoor cricket with his usual cricket team on Friday nights. Usually James takes him, but I did my first time this week. I truly didn’t understand what was happening at all, but Sebastian’s team won.

2015-08-15 08.56.46Here’s Jude making breakfast for himself before hockey and waiting for the toast to cook. He was really enjoying this book.

Jude and I walked in to ANU for hockey and where they won, and then headed past this creek-side art on the way back home via Lonsdale Street.

2015-08-15 11.23.34We stopped at LSR. Jude had recently tried some coffee gelato and really liked it, so he wanted to try coffee (decaf version). I suggested that a mocha might perhaps be a better option. Jude discovered that coffee is really strong and really bitter. I think he might be reverting to hot chocolates for a while.

We hadn’t done a big supermarket shop for a while, so Jude and Zac and I did a mammoth one. I think we will be fine if the zombocalypse happens soon.

2015-08-15 17.19.20The days are definitely getting longer.

2015-08-15 17.24.47Jude went a did a bit of busking late Saturday afternoon. On our first attempt, we found that his spot had been taken by a younger girl with a violin. We came back an hour later and he spent 40 minutes. He picked a good time – I had thought he had done well last time with a haul of $4oish, but this time he made over $60 in 40 minutes.

2015-08-15 17.45.57On Sunday I decided that despite my various injuries, I should rouse myself from my sloth and go for a ride. So I did 24 km of lake.

George is funny sometimes. He doesn’t get to come into our room at night, but our bed and its afternoon sun is one of his favourite spots. I’m pretty sure this look means “I thought we had a deal, yours at night, mine in the afternoon.”

2015-08-16 14.09.10

2015 weeks! #30: in the end there is a lot of wine

2015-08-03 08.33.59Another Monday, another walk to school with Jude.

On Tuesday it was both Jude and Zachary.

2015-08-04 08.44.36And still jolly cold.

2015-08-04 09.03.45Tuesday I flew up to Sydney for the farewell for the Skillaroos – our Australian team to compete at Worldskills. There are 26 of them competing across everything from hairdressing, restaurant service, IT and manufacturing. It was lovely to see Jessica Martin, a former silver medal winner at Worldskills – Jess has come to India with us to demonstrate her skills – as well as a bunch of other people from the sector. Fingers crossed that the team will do well – we have usually been in the top 10, but slipped to 13. In order to be selected, the competitors have to go through regional and national competitions, then spend a lot of time training outside their usual training to ensure their skills are honed. There was also a wonderfully entertaining speech from Paralympian Sam Bramham – I recommend hearing him if you ever get the chance.

Still wearing my brace when I could get away with non-standard work shoes, I went usually colourful. It is also a year since i was in Tasmania with Sebastian and bought this skirt.

2015-08-05 10.41.12In the continuing-cold theme, Sebastian found a chunk of ice when leaving the house.

2015-08-06 08.20.43Thursday was a meeting and lunch with the Chinese Embassy folk, so I thought I had better wear appropriate footwear. My ankle does seem to have gotten a bit more back to normal.

2015-08-06 08.53.36Walking home – at least the sunset is getting later now.

2015-08-06 17.25.55Zac spent some time constructing his birthday Bionicles.

2015-08-06 17.53.38D&D! Although we are still less regular than we used to be, we are managing to play still reasonably often.

2015-08-06 21.53.02Friday night Jude and Sebastian were off at a birthday party, so I met James and Zac for Grease Monkey burgers. Very good but not the amazingly amazing burgers I had been led to believe. Still would definitely do again – especially once they have the outdoor area licenced.

2015-08-07 18.06.10A surprise thank you bottle of wine in the mail from Hugh Hamilton was rather a bonus.

2015-08-07 18.48.25George does rather enjoy lolling on the couch. I think he was as appalled by the cricket as we were.

Saturday morning and Jude, Sebastian and I walked to Jude’s hockey. His team have been doing very well this year.

2015-08-08 11.18.06Then it was derby training time.

A big highlight for the week was the annual Black Sheep lunch at the Boathouse with lots and lots of Hugh Hamilton wines. It was a glorious day, the food was outstanding, the wine excellent and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

After a brief snooze on the couch, Jude, Zac and I caught a taxi over to the Indonesian Embassy for a shadow puppet show: Gugurnya Gathutkaca – The Fall of Gathutkaca. The boys have been studying shadow puppets at school, so when I got the invitation I figured it wa an excellent opportunity. The performance was quite entrancing and it is interesting that the tradition involves the same kind of slapstick fools to lighten up the mood as you see in a Shakespearean tragedy. Much fun.

2015 weeks! #29: eating and drinking and fat ankles

2015-07-27 08.34.40Another Monday morning walk to school for Jude and me.

2015-07-27 18.47.45I was planning on cooking dinner Monday night but the meat was off and I had to go and catch a plane after, so we went and tried out the Schnitzel Haus on Lonsdale Street. Verdict: excellent parmigiana, would eat again.

2015-07-27 19.43.53Night flight to Sydney to avoid super early departures the next morning.

Next morning it was off to Sydney TAFE for a Global Skills Roundtable and student consultation with the Minister. We also did a bit of a tour of the TAFE afterwards and saw the floristry students and visual merchandising areas.

Was feeling and looking a bit disheveled by the time I got home.

2015-07-28 16.35.39Fortunately, a negroni will help with that.

2015-07-28 17.49.47Next day was an attempt to wear actual work-appropriate shoes with the ankle compression bandage.

2015-07-29 12.53.22Was excited to receive my Pozible delivery of Poor Tom’s Gin. Because I didn’t have enough gin in the house already…

2015-07-29 18.34.20More exciting stockings with fat ankle.

2015-07-30 08.37.00Zachary was doing some cooking with some expert assistance from Sebastian. Together they cooked up some cupcakes for Zac to take to school to share with his class.

Meanwhile, I went to a VDL Quiz Night.

Friday I was back in sneakers with my new elaborate ankle brace. Let me assure you, the ankle hasn’t really been very painful and I have been walking a lot.

2015-07-31 11.34.29It was derby shirt Friday so I was supporting my (second) favourite men’s team.

2015-07-31 15.22.56Friday night we finally had Zachary’s delayed birthday party (we wanted to avoid school holidays, then needed enough lead in time for invites etc). Like Sebastian, he chose a Zone 3 birthday. I got to play when they were one short of three even teams, much to my delight. We started with a Girl Power! team which one of them named the Rainbow Farting Fluffy Unicorn Team.  I could live with that. Anyway there was shooting and pizza and a variety of fun times. Afterwards, James and I escaped to a more civilised birthday celebration – dinner at the Chairman and Yip to celebrate Andrew Vance’s birthday.

Saturday I made tomato and lentil soup for lunch.

2015-08-01 12.42.48It was then off to skating for the boys. I miraculously didn’t have work I needed to do, so got to enjoy my book.

2015-08-01 14.37.53The afternoon involved a complex set of maneouvres post-derby as we had to drop Zac at the theatre, Jude at a friend’s for a sleepover and eat before going to see Zac’s performance. Sebastian and I ended up eating dinner at Spicy Ginger.

2015-08-01 17.50.53We then went and saw Zac in his on-stage performance debut with the Turner Trebles and a number of other choirs at the Street Theatre.

2015-08-01 20.18.55Sunday morning was cold and wet and I was taking Sebastian to hockey. Fortunately it was somewhere I could sit and watch under cover.

Sebastian made his second batch of ice cream – vanilla this time.

2015-08-02 11.05.57And Jude showed some drawing prowess.

2015-08-02 13.03.31

2015 weeks! #26: holidays versus work with added cousins and derby

2015-07-06 18.36.43Monday was Zachary’s birthday and it is much more fun celebrating when your cousins are in town. Even if they do make silly faces. 2015-07-06 18.36.44But a very pleasant evening of Jamie’s Italian was had. Here is the yearly compulsory photo of Zac and Andrew, his godfather equivalent. 2015-07-06 19.40.15 I left the cousins to it on Tuesday and went to work. We had a goodbye lunch for tow of my Directors who had left – although one ended up sick sadly. There have been a lot of farewells over the last couple of years with so much downsizing of the public service. 2015-07-07 13.26.09It was a #yourtightsatwork day. 2015-07-07 13.55.29-1Left the small boys in the care of Lucy and Rowan and went to scrim on Tuesday night. I also practiced score tracking as I was rostered to do it for a game on Saturday night and it has been a long time since I have done any NSO role, let alone keeping score.

Another #yourtightsatwork day. 2015-07-08 08.40.57I had a quick trip up to Sydney to give a conference presentation and got to see the University of Western Sydney’s campus at Parramatta very briefly. 2015-07-08 13.47.09And then it was home again in time for dinner.

Sebastian and James organised an Indian feast of leftovers including making home made breads.

The next day Lucy and family headed to the snow early..but we knew there wasn’t much snow so the boys opted for a quiet day mostly at home. I had the day off as my contribution to school holiday hanging out and so got to sleep in with George. 2015-07-09 12.37.01I had lots of suggestions for fun activities, but the boys had had a fair bit of action in the past few days and so chose to chill out. We did walk to the shop for supplies though. 2015-07-09 13.52.28And took a quick ride to Braddon for afternoon tea at Autolyse.

Jude shared one of his poems with us. 2015-07-09 16.57.38Meanwhile, James had Sebastian in training for his penalty box duties on the weekend. 2015-07-09 19.26.38On friday I was fortunate enough to host a NAIDOC week forum at work with three indigenous winners of training awards last year – Sally Moylan the winner and Chris Medcraft the runner up of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award and a representative from the Salvation Army Employment Plus who won the Industry Collaboration Award alongside Wesfarmers and Thiess for their Oothungs (sisters) in Mining Program. Sally and Chris have great journeys and the Oothungs program is terrific, giving training and employment opportunities to indigenous women in remote areas. It was terrific to help facilitate them telling their stories.

Friday was also Work James, my wonderful EA and friend’s birthday, so he and I went and ate all the dumplings for lunch. See, they’re gone. 2015-07-10 13.14.42I also made him a birthday cake whihc he seemed quite pleased about when I gave it to him in front of the branch. 2015-07-10 15.27.22 Friday night was our last night with the small girls (and Lucy and Rowan) before they headed back to Adelaide the next morning, so we invited the Reids and tried out the Thai at Kinn. 2015-07-10 19.13.15Can report that the food was excellent, but the service left a little bit to be desired. 2015-07-10 20.52.35Walking home through the park. 2015-07-11 08.35.56Zachary was keen to work on his beading using some of his birthday gifts. 2015-07-11 11.16.16-1he was also pretty taken by his new onesie, so it was cello onesie practice. 2015-07-11 13.34.10I, on the other hand, was excited by my new Cons.

Saturday night was derby time and we started with a Carnage versus Light City game. The boys did an excellent job and James was super happy with his zero penalties.

Next the Smackademics had their first outing and also comprehensively beat Light City. James double-downed on the zero penalty count. Unlike my usual roles of benching, line up managing or (very occasionally) playing, I was score tracking. Luckily I had the lovely Ginj to keep me company. 2015-07-11 18.30.32Sunday morning was a boot camp with Light City.. 2015-07-12 09.31.06…and straight from there to the airport. I was off to Adelaide (via Melbourne) to spend a night hanging out with Nat before heading off on a China-Korea Ministerial travel adventure ridiculously early the next day.

2015 weeks! #23: what happens when it rains all week

2015-06-15 12.56.28My right arm, well, elbow has been troubling me for a while, and has gotten a lot worse recently. So much so that my physio sent me off for an ultrasound and, if necessary, steroid injection. Apparently two injections were needed – in addition to tendonopathy I also had tears to my elbow tendon, it was super inflamed and the nerve was thickened. It is fascinating to watch the needle go in on the ultrasound – distracted me from the accompanying pain. The rest of the week I was resting my arm essentially in the hope I’ll be able to get back to using it properly again soon.

2015-06-16 15.06.23A day for fun stockings though.

2015-06-16 17.42.22Natasha and I got a chance for quick drinks between meetings and flights and so forth. We always make the most of these squeezed in opportunities.

2015-06-17 06.10.18Off to Brisbane for a presentation to an Indian delegation.

2015-06-17 08.46.22We were talking skills and the resource sector and links between India and Australia.

2015-06-17 11.17.07 HDRAnd it was a gloomy day for it.

2015-06-17 12.48.13On the theme of things Indian, I finished the Indian chick-lit novel I had picked up at the airport in Delhi last year. It was very entertaining and readable and I enjoyed it enormously. Also quite political.

2015-06-17 20.55.24The weather was awful this week, raining for days. I put my footy shoes on for walking in the rain because the ground was so wet.

2015-06-18 08.58.56One of the fun parts of meetings in Parliament House is getting to wander through the basement – so much quicker than having to go through the public entrance.

2015-06-18 15.33.06As I said, it was raining almost all week.

2015-06-18 16.18.29Another day trip, this time to Melbourne.

2015-06-19 06.08.35I can’t remember whether these were sunsets or sunrises as travelling…

Back at home, Jude was helping prepare fish for dinner.

2015-06-19 18.22.26-1Saturday morning and time for Jude’s hockey.

2015-06-20 11.14.39It was then off to Jude and Zac’s music recital – both played very well.

Lovely Saturday night dinner commencing with home made salmon gravlax.

2015-06-20 18.41.21After webber roasted pork and beef in the middle, we finished with caramel dumplings.

2015-06-20 20.15.44And some Eldritch Horror.

2015-06-20 21.32.34Sunday and Sebastian and I got our baking on and made spinach and feta tarts. Yum.

2015-06-21 14.34.34

2015 weeks! #22: games and brothers and animals and derby

2015-06-08 10.39.18Public holiday Monday morning and Jude and Zac and I had a short break from the endless derby and hockey of the weekend. Here they are playing an Indonesian game they learned at school using the game board I was given as a gift when I visited Malaysia this year.

2015-06-08 12.24.09It was long before I was out at Lyneham watching Sebastian play hockey.

Then straight back down the parkway to a junior derby bootcamp. Here PureNRG from the SRDL Assassins is sharing her wisdom with the kids.

2015-06-08 15.42.25Clouds.

2015-06-09 12.10.17I was off to Melbourne Tuesday for the first meeting of a new committee I had helped establish, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee. Very impressive bunch of people on the Committee to spend a couple of days with. I was also pretty impressed with my dessert when we went out to dinner.2015-06-09 20.25.44Compulsory hotel room view – staying in the centre of Melbourne.

2015-06-10 08.24.13Back in Canberra, walking Zac to school early for choir.

2015-06-11 08.34.14

2015-06-11 08.35.58Fun new maroon fishnets.

2015-06-11 18.33.35There was much excitement with the arrival of Sam and Tracey on Friday. Jude was especially happy to get his new Star Wars chess set.

On Saturday we left Sam and Tracey to play Weekend Sports Parents, while James and I (and an extra James) did a quick road trip to the Blue Mountains.

2015-06-13 10.37.51James got his elite athlete napping in en route.

2015-06-13 12.43.14We also got to see a giant teddy.

2015-06-13 13.49.17Aren’t my Jameses lovely?

2015-06-13 14.17.44I got in a quick sighting of the Three Sisters.

2015-06-13 14.49.42Then it was time for a bit of derby action.

Saw PureNRG again for the week – unlike when she was with the kids, with SMASH she looks like a tiny person.

2015-06-13 15.56.15Carnage played well, but SMASH are much stronger and we lost by around 100 points. but we scored over 100 points, so we were reasonably pleased with the result.

2015-06-14 11.52.15Back home Zac built some of the lego he’d received before we headed off on an Arboretum excursion.

We also enjoyed a visit to the bonsai collection.

After a lovely lunch, James and Sebastian headed off to indoor cricket and the rest of us followed up with a trip to the zoo.

And to end the evening, there was some Firefly playing.

2015-06-14 20.16.47