Saturday, January 5, 2019

50 Things that Made my 2018

Inpired by Austin Kleon. A list of the big things, the trivial things and the in between things that shaped my 2018.

1. We begin the year with summer holidays, 3 weeks of beach holiday with my family.
2. Deciding to embrace some new experiences. The first one being a BIG BASH cricket game at the Geelong stadium.
3. Then White Night Melbourne.
4. Our trip to France with The Little Girl. This was her year 11 trip. There was some trepidation on booking as she was going through her difficult phase but she got over that in the year and was back to her friendly, happy, younger self by the time our trip came round.
5. France produced a number of highlights the first being our Food tour in Nice, which stretched from the promised 4hrs to 6+. Good food, drinks and great guide and group made for a wonderful start to our France holiday.
6. Spectacular mountain (above Saorge) and coastal (Calanques near Cassis) hikes.

Hike above Saorge


7. Cheering Geoff in the Paris marathon.
8. Dinner at the Eiffel tower.
10. Introductory Hebrew and Greek. Memorising Hebrew vocabulary certainly tested the old brain cells.
11. Running 1517km, 148 hr.
12. All that running meant I explored more of Melbournes excellent network of trails.

Yarra River

13. Sub 50 min 10km. I finished Gold Coast 10K in 49:03,
14. Lots of running also translated into lots of socialising with our running club mates.
15. First half-marathon at Melbourne. Geoff completed his second marathon and THe Little Girl her first 10K.
16. Holiday in Noosa.
17. Noosa NP walk.
18. Gelato at Nitrogenie.
19. My second subject this year Mission in the Australian Context which was really relevant to our work with SHBCC faith community.
20. We also enjoyed seeing some of our dreams for our house come to fruition this year including Big Group BBQ's.
21. and hosting an international guest.
22. We were also heavily involved in our new Messy Church.
23. and a post-Alpha group.
24. Parkrun. The Little Girl and I did our first in 2017 but we became more involved as the year progressed now that there is a run closer to us. I also volunteered three times.
25. The Big GIrl turned 19, The LIttle Girl 17 and The Boy 15.
26. The Big Girl completed her first year of Science/Arts double degree at Monash.
27. The Little Girl very successfully completed Maths Methods 3/4, so one subject down for her VCE.
28. Working through a community exegesis for our SHBCC faith community for my uni subject.
29. Renting a house after Christmas at Ocean Grove for the first time.
30. My sister's wedding and the dress shopping, fittings, hen's party that goes along with that.
31. Awakening Australia with Ethan. His choice for his birthday weekend.
32. Skipping out on both the kids speech nights to go out for my birthday dinner.
33. Hubby started taking the odd weekdays off which meant fairly regular weekday lunch dates,
36. Ditching the squishy heavy running shoes for a rotation of very light shoes.
37. On our regular meal rotations for running night: Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry, Chicken Fajita Soup, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Jamie Oliver pasta sauce. We get home at about 8pm and need something quick smart.
38. Coles opening down the road. Discovered their fresh flatbread, plus easy access to Stone baked Pane di Casa.
39. We had our new finance manger start before Christmas.
40. Switching to XERO in June took a fair bit of my time.
41. Rediscovering Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies.
42. Reading 39 books.
43. Finally completing Raymond Feist's Riftwar Saga.
44. Starting to reread Katharine Kerr's Deverry Cycle.
45. Australia Re-imagined and The Hiding Place. Stayed with me after I'd finished reading.
46. The Boy had two broken fingers plus a Saturday night trip to emergency to check another hurt finger before his 7:30am departure to wilderness camp the next morning, luckily that time the finger was not broken.
47. Watching The Handmaiden's Tale series 2, Outlander Series 2, The Crown, Brooklyn 99, Lucifer.
48. Finishing a photobook for our 2017 Anniversary trip to Vietnam.
49. Uploading photos to our online albums back to 2011.
50. Family boardgames came back into our lives in December and we added a new one to the collection for Christmas - Space Base.

Friday, November 9, 2018

3 things I learned in my first half-marathon

Melbourne Half-Marathon 2018

I completed my first half-marathon race in Melbourne last month in 1:57:45. It wasn't what I hoped but at least it was under 2 hours.

Three things I learned:

1. If it's hot and windy adjust expectations.

2. Don't be afraid to let the pacer go if they go out fast. The one I was running with did the first 5km 10-15s/km faster than pace then pulled out with a cramp at 12km ... so not that helpful.

3. For optimum performance minimise activity before the race. I had a bit a walking as we saw Hubby start the marathon, then walked back to where the Big Girl could warm up for her 10km, then I watched her start, then I did my warmup. My legs were heavy from the start of the race which makes 21.1km hard.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Note to my younger self ...

Don't buy the cheap roasting pans ... splurge on the good pan and enjoy the gravy.

Last year for my birthday I requested a good roasting pan that I could use on the stove and turn all those lovely juices into even lovelier gravy. The good old roast has hit a whole new level this year.
I should have put that roasting pan on my wedding registry and not had twenty gravyless years.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

After submission ...

Paper submitted

this is what my desk looks like. This paper involved lots community information, hence the maps, neighbourhood paper and surveys littering the desk, along with work papers for shredding.

It's been a while and while I would like the sporadic nature of my posting to improve, I won't be holding my breath. It looks like I'll be needing to work full time starting in a couple of weeks while Hubby looks for someone else to fill the position. Hopefully that won't take too long.

It's been a busy few months. I ran my first half-marathon, reasonably successfully - 1:57:45 on a tough day weather wise. I've recovered now and am back to full training, looking to improve my speed on 5K.

In other news you may have noticed that I now have a view from my desk. My lap top is running slow and the kids weren't using the imac so I took it over and relocated it up into the desks in the activity room. I now have a view over the surrounding neighbourhood and can just see the tops of the city buildings from my chair.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Lately ...

Watching: The Handmaid's Tale. It's not for everyone but powerful and intriguing, uncomfortable and disturbing viewing. (Related: Prayer and unprayer: the practice of faith amidst the terror of Gilead.)

Memorising: Hebrew vocabulary and grammar for uni, but I had my last class this week so now I just need to do my translation and exegesis which is due next week.


Running: My mileage is increasing as I move into the last month or so before my 10K race. This weekend I will have a 20K long run for the first time ever. Luckily Melbourne has an extensive network of paths.


Also ... watching running. It's cross country season at school for The Little Girl.

Waiting: for some time to put together some photo books.

Trying: to remember to sit and stand up straight. Hopefully this will improve my back and neck which is a mass of knots that are gradually being worked out in remedial massage sessions.

Reading: Molakai and Ethics of Hope.

Planting: a winter vegetable garden. Seedlings and seeds waiting in my laundry sink as I type.

Enjoying: the first day of winter which is beautifully sunny.

Working on: reducing our waste. We're down to 1-2 supermarket checkout size rubbish bags per week plus a 3/4 full recycle bin.

Brining: olives from my tree.


Cooking: quick recipes for weeknight dinners like cauliflower chicken and peanut curry and Dumpling Meatballs with sesame green beans.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Colour monthly: February 2018

I've begun a photo challenge for myself. Inspired by color//colour lovers the goal is to look and find a rainbow (almost ... violet and indigo get mashed together) over the month.

Red Chinese New Year Fireworks

Red - Chinese New Year fireworks over the Yarra River

Orange Backyard Rose

Orange - Backyard Rose

Yellow - too early for leaves to change?

  Yellow - feels too early and warm for leaves to be changing.


  Green - Sweet decisions at White Night Melbourne

Le Bal des Lumineoles

  Blue - Le Bal des Lumine√©oles, White Night Melbourne.


Purple - the purple section of my rainbow bookshelves.

If you want to join in you can link me up here or over on instagram. Hashtags: #colourmonthly; #CM_red etc and #CM_March.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

White Night Melbourne 2018

Sometimes I can be lazy, but I decided this year that I wanted to have more outings as a family. Crowds aren't really my thing but sometimes they're unavoidable if you want to see something interesting and get out of a rut. So when Hubby rang me on Friday and suggested we head into the city Saturday night my first instinct was to say no. I knew we had a fairly busy day and I was bound to be tired but I decided not to let that be the last word and said yes. We can easily catch the tram in anyway and if we weren't having a good time we'd just come home.

This year Chinese New Year celebrations coincided with White Night Melbourne. Our first destination was the Hawker's Market for dinner of noodles and pork buns. A friendly security guard pointed us to the abandoned tents with a table and couple of chairs which we snagged to eat our dinner in relative comfort and quiet. By the time we'd finished our dinner the White Night festival had started and we decided to head to our nearest installations at the Alexandra Gardens. This site was relatively crowd free.



We spent most of our time down near the Yarra with fewer crowds, wandered around and perched on the wall eating churros and watching the activity on the river. At 9:45pm the Chinese New Year fireworks were on and we got a good spot right on the river to watch. The last time we went to see the fireworks we set up much closer, and unfortunately down wind where we were showered with ash. We weren't going to make the same mistake this time.

Chinese New Year Fireworks Melbourne 2018

At the conclusion of the fireworks we went up to St Kilda Rd which was absolute mayhem. The road towards Fed Square was absolutely packed with people and we had to fight through them to reach our tram. After freeing myself from the mass of people I found a spot to perch and take some photos of Fed Square ...


and Flinders St station. The question posed ... "What if you forgave someone tonight?"


and the Secret Life of Buildings as we walked back to our tram.


I'm so glad I said YES! So far this year 2 out of 2 great nights (the first was the Big Bash in Jan) that I could have spent curled up on the couch at home. Am I the only one who has to talk themselves into doing something they know will be fun?