Return to Old Form

I am returning to old favourites.

I have let my gym routine slide far too much over the last two-three months under the pressures of work; it’s important to do a good job, but I may have taken it a little too far. So, over my break, I am working on putting back together my exercise routine.

I have decided that Pump (weights) is not that important now. I have let some excess weight build up, and cardio is going to be my best new friend. And because my back has been suffering from a lack of flexibility as well, Yoga and Pilates are the other main pillar of my renewed routine.

I’ll have to work out how to integrate my routine with my commute to the city from Feb onwards, but I’m sure I’ll work something out.

And today was at long last the start of my own personal Wet’n’Wild season with Steven and Holly. I had been one time earlier in the season on a cold freezy day, which proved a bad plan. But so far December hadn’t been very lucky either… the weather has been too unpredictable and/or torrential. I think we vowed to work on the weekends over the coming months and get more sessions in.

I haven’t worked out any other resolutions just yet.

The Most Busiest Time of The Year

Relaxing is good.
The last four days I have done so excessively little.

But now I get to pay for it.

Tomorrow is Christmas and there are a bunch of last minute things to finish up before the day itself. I didn’t help myself by going back to Body Attack class for the first time in two years (OW), but I now realise how much I’ve missed it, so time to get back into that too. It means my legs don’t really want to do anything intense like… running… or walking… or standing.

I’ve started my last-minute cookery as well; I have decided to do a Gelato experiment using Port. I will report back how that worked out… [note to self: port boiling over = fireworks].

I also realised at the last minute that I was supposed to make my potato salads. I almost forgot, so I had to dash by the shops last-minute as well. But I think I am all set now for a sweltering afternoon in the kitchen For The Good Of All Mankind.

I think I can smell the evaporated port on the skin of my face.
Not sure how I feel about this.

…Thanks for All The Fish

I had a great last day at work today.

I got so many well-wishes from everyone, it was a little overwhelming. And more kudos than I knew what to do with… I may have to keep them in a kennel. It’s funny how little I realised what I was achieving as I was doing; it really took everyone telling me for it to settle in.

Lunch was great and well attended. I was happy to see the HR team present (thanks Barbara); they moved their own gathering from the CBD out West for the express purpose of joining me I believe.

40+ people all up.

And I was late.

I had a meeting till right up to my lunch. I left a few minutes early in hopes of being timely, but XMAS bustle at our lunch venue meant that all the parking was taken. If not for the fortuitous departure of a mother with pram (thanks for noting Hamish) I would have been more than 10 minutes late.

And then there was a gift from my closest friends at work; colleagues, staff, bosses, many I have worked with right from the beginning, 11 years ago. Scott had earlier in the day come to ask me mystifying questions regarding whether a cooler gift in Melbourne, or a not-quite-as-cool-but-still-very-cool gift in Sydney was preferable.

I picked Sydney.
I have no immediate plans to travel to Melbourne at this stage.

The gift was plenty cool regardless…


Someone had noted my bucket list on the blog, and remembered seeing something useful on it. A gift I would never have thought to ask for. An amazingly cool gift that I’ll really enjoy experiencing.

So, sometime soon I will be ticking “Driving a Ferrari” off my list.
I will go to the local race circuit, get some instruction, and then race an F430 around the track for 6 laps. And it Will Be Awesome!

I will miss them all. It has been such a pleasure working with them all these years. They have all taught me so much they may not even have realised. Little lessons, large lessons… unintended lessons. And hopefully it has sufficiently prepared me to make the most of my next job.

I am mystified how I managed to teach them as much as they claim I have, but I will take their word for it.

They better invite me for pizza.

Loose Ends and Dedication

As the days rapidly count down to the end of my current job, I get a great deal of pleasure out of finishing the trailing end of tasks; some that are just timely, others that have floated around for far too long.

Today I did a bunch of updates to Staff Performance Review documents, as my last chance to leave some impressions about staff.

Some colleagues have expressed surprise over this.
It’s a dreary job, and they imagined it would be the first task I’d leave hanging.

When I resigned 5.65 weeks ago, apparently what some were expecting is that I’d immediately stop caring about doing my job. Maybe that’s a common experience under the circumstances, as my managers’ surprise would suggest when I failed to check out when I got back to work. But I just don’t understand why that would be so.

They are paying me.
To do a job.
Till the 19th of December.
So, till then, I do the job I get paid for(!?)

And it feels great as the list of things left to do dwindles. At this rate, Thursday and Friday may well prove a spare buffer against any not-quite-complete tasks. As I have joked with some; I have found the secret to shrinking a to-do list… resign!

Being the well-prepared little worker-bee that I am, I have already set up the now traditional “” email address. When Jeff, who started with NEMMCO at about the same time I did, left earlier in the year he started a tradition: leaving the company behind with a “blame” address to send everything that goes wrong to till the next departure. I have no idea how much traffic an address like that might garner, but I’m about to find out.

Time for a Job Change

So far, I have failed to talk about a very important change in my life.

After 11.32 years working in the Energy sector; at NEMMCO which later turned into AEMO (which you may occasionally spot in news articles if you are looking for it), it is time for me to go for a change.

It’s always harder to leave colleagues than companies.
Even when the benefits are generous, and a 5-minute commute is hard to beat.

I’m hoping to make my ex-colleagues envious next year with updates about my start at Campaign Monitor in the Sydney CBD (if I know you and you are out of an IT job… enquire within!)

Not that they aren’t already envious of the 6 weeks I will have off between finishing next Friday, and my start date somewhere around the start of February next year (I deserve a break after 11+ years). And their own explorations of the Campaign Monitor website have turned my co-workers to a series of mock exasperated exclamations regarding the benefits of my future employer.

I can’t wait to stretch my skills back into a commercial environment and see how far I can reach.

Booby-traps and a Return Home

Yesterday Bronte’s ashes returned home to us.
A week exactly.

I didn’t look at it at all yesterday; I wasn’t quite ready for the emotional investment yet. It has been an intermittent process of stumbling on little things that suddenly make me very sad.

He has left a slew of booby-traps around the house.

The first day, just getting home without him greeting me at the door was too much. It has been tough coming home to his absence. But it’s getting easier.

There is something deeply melancholy about storms now. I still reflexively worry about the weather, especially when I am not home myself. It takes me a few seconds to realise why I feel uneasy, … which then makes me sad.

There have been a lot of storms still… it hasn’t stopped since he left. And earlier this week, just watching the rain pour down was too much. He deeply disliked the rain, which is why he is inside in an urn; Abbey could not bear to bury him outside where he’d rather not have been before.

So many little things around the house set off emotions.
Things left.
Mis-spoken cat names.

Writing posts.

It’ll take a while still.

You were a Good Boy

He was the Best Dog I Never Wanted in the First Place.

I’m not a dog person, but I guess he wasn’t really much of a dog.
A swan-like neck, and a cat-like attitude, and he folded up like an apple scroll.

Earlier this year we almost lost him; and I’m thankful to have had another 6 months since then.

A month ago he started going down-hill. Didn’t really want to eat as much as he should. I was worried but not alarmed. Since then I’ve cooked and baked anything I could think of to try to appeal to his appetite. It worked a little, but just not enough.

Last Sunday I had to fly to Melbourne for work, and I was afraid. I knew it could get critical while I was away, but I couldn’t face being distracted and far away and helpless to do anything, so I asked Abbey to not let me know anything either way till I got back, and she did an admirable job.

As I sat waiting for the taxi on Sunday evening, he nestled on our laps with his nose resting on my legs and I was so tempted to just abandon the whole trip. Screw it. I’m finishing my job in 2 weeks anyway, what is the worst they can do?!

Leaving that nose behind was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I know I couldn’t have done anything further for him, and I’m not entirely sure if I would have even wanted to be there when it happened. But still.

Wednesday night I got home after delay upon delay.
Stormy weather.
It couldn’t have been more fitting.

As I was walking up the driveway I wasn’t sure which of the Schrödinger’s Dog outcomes I would prefer.

When I knocked on the door and Abbey opened it for me, I knew.

I’ll miss Bronte badly.
Every time I’d come home he would be standing there at the door, wagging his tail to varying degrees of crazy.

For a few moments he’d greet me like his favourite.
And so did I.

RIP – 2014-12-02