Sunday, July 31, 2005

Cycled to work today!

Woohoo!! Rode into work today! I haven't done anything for aaaages so this was very exciting for me.

Problem is that I have done nothing in ages and I was riding my crappy old mountain bike. It took me so long to get to work, and there was times that I felt like I wasn't even going anywhere! I had sore, tired hammies from a working bee we did at a friend of Andrew's house on Saturday and gee I felt them this morning!

My seat was also loose and I can't seem to tighten it properly, and it kept slipping back if I put my weight too far back which gave me a really curved lower back as I couldn't sit properly and my back is killing from it now! It keeps spasming and feels really tight.

I also had a stupid person decide not to give way at a t-intersection when she was supposed to and just about run me down. She also then had the hide to give me a dirty look even though I had right of way and I had my arm stuck out to indicate I was turning!! It was a spot where there was heaps of traffic going the same way as me also trying to turn, and she was obviously getting annoyed at having to give way to everyone and just decided to go for it.

Oh well. Hopefully the ride home won't be too painful and I can try to fix the seat tonight so I can keep on riding and it will get enjoyable again!

Monday, July 25, 2005

More wedding stuff

Memorable moments and people who we would have been lost without:

- Learning how to rhumba with the wonderful Alli days before the wedding, then trying to pass these "skills" (and I learn the term lightly) to the rest of the bridal party 2 nights before the wedding. I think they actually did a lot better then Andrew and I - we just laughed the entire way through the "bridal rhumba".
- Nick the best man who kept me sane in the days leading up to the wedding. He arrived on the Wednesday and kept me laughing when my 2 bridesmaids Lani and Anne were stresing themselves out.
- At the hairdressers on Saturday morning watching Lani and Anne being transformed from everyday people into elegant, gorgeous bridesmaids.
- The look on Andrew's mum's face (who doesn't drink) when she got offered a glass of champagne at the hairdressers!
- Sitting at home with our hair and make up looking beautiful stuffing Macca's into our faces before the photographer arrived.
- Getting photos done at the National Museum and Commonwealth Park. We had so much fun, and it really relaxed us, and we all felt like celebrities almost!
- John, my mum's partner. He is such a legend. He was so helpful all day Saturday, running everyone around where needed. He drove our wedding car and stirred us all up to give us a giggle, held our fur wraps and champagne for us, sorted out the love lives of the bridesmaids.... heh. He ran backwards and forwards to the wedding car throughout the evening to get stuff for us, and nothing was too much for him.
- Seeing my gorgeous 22 month old nephew in his little suit - he looked so cute!!!
- Being walked down the aisle by my grandpa and mum, that was really special.
- Walking down the aisle trying to look elegant, and having my mum step on my dress and exclaim "oh shit!" quite loudly, then get very embarrassed! :-)
- Seeing Andrew looking incredibly handsome waiting for me at the end of the aisle with the same silly grin plastered on his face that I'm sure was plastered on mine.
- Giving a triumphant shake of my head after I recited my vows with no prompting (and only a little pause to remember the next line), after Andrew needed prompting. Gave everyone a giggle. Except the celebrant - he missed it and had no idea what everyone was laughing about... :-)
- Finally getting through the ceremony, signing the certificates and realising that we're married!!
- Michael Still for helping us throughout the night and taking heaps of photos for us that we've already been able to put onto the website.
- Having fun at the reception. The food was good, we got to mingle a bit between courses, and everyone seemed to be looking happy.
- My cousin's gorgeous kids, my nephew and our flowergirl Ashlin. They were all so cute. They kept coming upto the bridal table and telling how beautiful we looked, and how much fun they were having. I know plenty of people don't invite kids to weddings (and I was tossing up whether to have kids att he reception at one stage), but we really enjoyed having them there. Laura who is about 7 and just beautiful danced the entire night just about. Nobody could figure out where she got the energy from!! She was like a little energiser bunny - just kept going and going!
- The speeches. They were just beautiful. Nick, Andrew's best man had a really nice speech that was funny, touching and straight from the heart. Lani, the maid of honour, only wrote her speech the night before and was stressing about how bad it was going to be. It was also just beautiful. I was amazed at how she was able to pull it all together, and it brought tears to my eyes. My nan's spoke as well and her speech was also great, it cracked everyone up but was also very touching. Andrew's dad and my mum both spoke off the cuff and were both lovely. Andrew and I hadn't really had a chance to write anything with everything else that was happening, so ours was very off the cuff, and my mind hit a complete blank when I got up there, so I just babbled for a bit about nothing in particular, and forgot to thank important people such as our parents, my aunt for MCing, John for helping us and I even forgot to thank Andrew, who really is the most wonderful person I've ever met.
- My nan made the most beautiful wedding cake for us. My grandpa helped as well, and despite them both having a shocking month or so health wise, they went to cake decorating classes to make sure it would look amazing, and amazing it looked!!!
- Our bridal rhumba that looked more like a waltz apparently. We tried, but we're not terribly coordinated, and laughed the entire way through it. It really wasn't too bad though, and we did enjoy ourselves.
- Looking around the room and realising just how many people who are so important in our lives for so many different reasons were there, and how much it meant to me.
- Dancing the rest of the night away, we were both pretty exhausted, but there was so many people to try and talk to and dance with!
- Finding out after dinner it was only 7:30, then checking the time again what seemed like only about 30 minutes later to discover it was 10pm!!
- Finally throwing the bouquet and doing the whole garter thing when there was only a few people left. My mum missed the garter pulling off, so we had to do it again so she could get photos!
- Andrew's cousin Robert. We was a legend. I sat at their table and looked in the pots trying to find some hot tea as I was hanging to sit down for 5 minutes with a nice hot cup of tea. Robert immediately went to the kitchen, popped his head in and within a minute or so I had a nice steaming cup of tea in front of me. Lovely!
- Crashing in our "bridal suite". It was sooooo nice to sit down! It took Andrew and I about 20 minutes to get all of the pins out of my hair, then he had to help me out of the dress, and I finally got to have a shower and wash my hair and face!
- Reading through the comments in the guest register, they were just lovely, and there was some that were hilarious too. Big thanks to my mum for organising that for us!!
- We got a whole heap of cards as well which were really nice to read. We'll need to put them away somewhere safe to read through again in the coming years.
- Andrew, our wedding photographer for taking awesome photos and emailing us a bunch through already to put up onto our website. It's very much appreciated!

I think it all turned out just as we hoped - laidback and fun. We also had the most perfect weather! When we were doing photos, an occasional cool breeze picked up which was a little unpleasant, but down at the lake we had a beautiful warm sun shining down us, a perfect blue sky, and the grass was nice and green as well. Yesterday there was a freezing cold wind blowing all day, and today it's been spitting with rain, is grey, and feels very cold out there!

Couldn't have dreamed of a better day to wed the man I dearly love.

Wedding coment

Michael Still: "Andrew's Wedding

Apart from an MC who had snorted a little too much of something before taking the podium, it was all fantastic. "

That's my favourite aunt you're talking about!!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Brief post wedding wrap up

It's 2:45am and I can't sleep. I woke up at 2am stressing that we still had photos to do, and someone wasn't happy, and someone was running late, then I finally dragged myself out of my slumber to realise it's all over and I can relax. Unfortunately I'm completely awake now... So what better time to blog about the wedding :-)

It started off as the past 4 days have been - completely hectic! We had photos done before the ceremony which is untraditional, but it was good fun and a great way to relax before the wedding! Photos are here, and there'll be more to come. They were done by Andrew Sawatske of Hi-Tide Photography and he was great. As they were digital photos, he's already emailed through a bunch, and they haven't been tidied up yet apparently, but they look fantastic!

The ceremony went really well, we had a few giggles to break the tension and the reception also went well. There was lots of dancing, and plenty of fun was had.

A more full report will be coming soon when I have time and the energy, but this will have to do for now.

Mrs Pollock signing out. :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hens night photos!

Ok, here's some photos for you all :)

Me at the start of the night

The girls from work

The poor policeman...

Hens night and a week to go!

Mmmm where do I start...

Wedding stuff - we're just trying to sort out flights and schedules of those interstaters to make sure we can get everyone where they need to be with as little stress as possible! Andrew and one of his groomsmen sorted out and picked up their suits yesterday. I had my final dress fitting during the week, and the dress was mostly done then, so it'll be ready to pick up on Wednesday.

I'm off work from Wednesday, and people start arriving from Wednesday so it'll be a pretty busy week! I've got booked in a haircut, massage, fake tan and nails done for throughout the week so I'll be VERY busy :-)

Now, the hen's night. It was a LOT of fun! I had a gorgeous long silver gown that belonged to the mother of one of the girls from work, a bright pink wig, long colourful fake eyelashes and pink sequined shoes. Most of the other girls were also dressed in everything from just a wig with regular clothes, to full costumes. We had drinks at a pub, dinner at a Teppanyaki restaurant followed by more drinking and dancing. There may be photos available for public viewing at a later date if they pass my inspection. :-) I got home at about 3am (after being out since 5:30pm) and woke up at 7ish with a cracker of a headache and the room spinning. After an hour and a half of not sleeping I finally got up and had a couple of Nurofen Plus's and a big glass of water and finally got to have 2 more hours of pleasant sleep. Once I woke up I felt fine but gees I feel exhausted still!!! I don't know how people do this on a regular basis.

I highly recommend for anyone getting married to have the hens and bucks nights at least 2 weeks before the wedding. This weekend's really been a complete write off for the both of us (Andrew had his buck's night last night, which he also had fun at), and we really needed to get things done this weekend! Oh well.

So, one week to go. This time next week we'll be married. Hmmm, does that mean I have to change my blog address??? I think we'll both be pleased when our lives can settle down to some state of normality again.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

W minus 2 weeks

Eek!! Wow, only 2 weeks.

We're all sorted I think. I had my hair and make up trial on the weekend and it all looks fine. I've got my final dress fitting tomorrow. The bridesmaids are booked in for their hair and make up.

The hens and bucks parties are getting sorted. They're both next Saturday night, so they should be... interesting :-)

Not much else to do... We'll need to make some final payments this week for various things, but that's about it.

Andrew's in Sydney at the moment waiting for his flight to America. He gets back on Saturday so it'll be a quiet week :-(

Update: I'm going shopping tomorrow with the girls at work so we can all gets wigs and costumes for the wedding. So if anyone's out on Saturday night in Canberra and you see a whole bunch of people in crazy costumes and wigs, come and say hi to us... :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On working in the Australian Government

A bit of a reflection after being in the Department for nearly 2 years now.

I work in a Government Department of approximately 3500 people. I have just been looking at some staff figures, and we have 180 people who have been in the Department since before I was born (1980), and there are about 900 people who have been with the Department for over 10 years.

Considering our Department has doubled in size in the past 5 years or so and there has been a lot of change, I find impressive the staff retention rate. Staff seem quite proud to work here, and as a result there is a lot of Corporate Knowledge in the Department and the staff are knowledgable in what they do.

Staff are looked after in that they have good training programs, pay is on par with other Departments, there are always opportunities to move into other areas and increase your skills. There are opportunities for travel, working parents who can only work part time are well looked after, and we are one of the largest employers of indigenous staff, who work in capital cities as well as a lot of who work in remote areas in their communities and are invaluable to the organisation.

Staff are also very health conscious I have found. You always see people out playing soccer, touch football etc on the lawns of Old Parliament House at lunchtime, or walking and running around the lake. A lot of people ride to work, use the gym we have here, or do the lunchtime aerobics or yoga classes. It helps that we have reasonable showering and locker facilities as well.

Personally, my area can be a little frustrating, but there's always different things happening. I get to deal with a good cross section of staff, and there's opportunities for me to move into other areas. The people are fantastic, and I can honestly say that pretty much all of the section and executive managers I deal with are really good people.

It's nice to finally be in a job that I enjoy and feel as though I could work in for a very long time, and also know that they'd welcome me back with open arms if we ended up going overseas for a period!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

W minus 3 weeks

Our bridesmaids have finally sorted out their dresses and shoes! Yayyy!! My maid of honour didn't have her size in the shop, so they're ordering it in, but hopefully it will arrive soon.

I had my first dress fitting yesterday - nothing exciting, just sorting out length of dress. The next fitting is Monday week and I think the dress will mostly made by then, that fitting will be just to make adjustments and make sure everything is good. I should then be abl eto pick it up that next weekend.

I also decided to get a spray on tan done as I'm pinky-white and uneven thanks to cycling tans that never go away. I had the "trial" for that on Friday and it looks kinda funny :) My hands are orange and my legs are funny looking from being so dry - the tanning stuff soaked into the really dry bits and nowhere else. It looks good on my back, shoulders and arms though, and looks very even on my neck and face, and that's all that's going to really be seen. I'll just make sure I moisturise my hands well and tell them not to put too much on my hands!

We're also getting the hens and bucks party's sorted - that should be fun!! My work mates said there must be wigs involved and preferably costumes as well. Sigh.... :)

This week will just be finalising all arrangements I think. Hopefully nothing else has come up for anything else we've planned!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Adventures in tea drinking

We've walked past The Tea Centre in the Canberra Centre many a time, and poked our heads in and been in awe of the range. I pondered the fact that I quite enjoy freshly made tea but we don't have a tea pot.

So out I went and bought us a tea pot - a nice blue Maxwell Williams 6 person teapot with a built in strainer. I was very excited and felt like our house was almost complete not that we could have loose leaf tea :)

Now that we had a teapot, we had to go back to the Tea Centre to get some tea! We had a look at the range of 150+ teas and felt very confused.... They are in large tins and the girl was lovely and got a few down for us to have a smell of. We were still a bit confused though so just went for the English Breakfast because it was safe! I also bought a funky one person infuser so I could have cups of tea on my own.

I excitedly invited our friends David and Kirsty over to have tea with us and to use our new teapot. I brewed it up and boy was it strong!!! It was quite tasty though, and better than teabags of course. It didn't taste exciting though. I also realised that the teapot was too big for if it was just Andrew and I drinking tea!

Since then we've gone and gotten ourselves another 2 person teapot and back to the Tea Centre we went!

On the last trip we got some Assam Hajua which was the salesgirls favourite - golden high-grade tips improve this strong, malty, aromatic tea. We also got a Kenya Marinyn tea - quite strong, earthy leaves are blended with a few golden tips for smoothness. The Hajua is really nice - very tasty, and I've been drinking a fair bit of that. The Marinyn is ok - not too different from a regular cup of tea. It's quite a light colour and has a more delicate flavour I guess.

We went back today as I'm almost out of teabags at work, and decided I'd rather get leaves and another funky one person strainer and have real tea at work. The strainer is ideal - it's teaspoon shaped and spring loaded, so you squeeze the handle, it opens, you scoop up the tea, snap it shut, and voila - ready to go! And because it's teaspoon shaped, you can stir it to help infuse the tea.

Anyway, so we spent a fair while there again browsing and smelling lots of tea. I settled on some Darjeeling Singbulli tea - A strong, late second flush tea with a bubbly character. Sounds interesting! There was also a tea called Glogg that sounded interesting - green tea, cinnamon, orange, almond, ginger, cloves and cardamon. It smelt really tasty, so we got some of that as well.

Just got home after a big day of walking around the shops, and thought we'd sit down to a cup of tea, so I brewed up the Glogg. It smelt really nice still, but I was starting to wonder if it was one of those things that smelt great but didn't taste so great. I was wondering if we should have gotten 50g as opposed to the 100g that we'd gotten for all the others. So..... it tastes interesting. I can't finish the cup. I think it's the cinnamon. Or maybe it's the whole combination? Andrew managed to finish his though and didn't mind it, so I guess we'll eventually get through it! We'll just inflict it onto guests who want to try something interesting.

I think I'll stick to my black teas from now on! But for anyone who's in Canberra and likes tea, I highly recommend going along! We've had the same salesgirl each time and she's been lovely! Very helpful and very friendly.

Edit: There's also stores in Sydney and Brisbane, and you can order online from the website.

I may ride this week....

I'm quite missing cycling and training in general. I may actually get out and exercise this week. Maybe I'll start with cycling to work a couple of days this week. It's not much but it's a start! I just hope it's not raining too much - my tights take forever to dry and there's nothing like finishing work and putting on cold wet tights to ride home in! I should probably go for a walk tomorrow as well.

For the moment though, I may just do what I have been doing a lot of in the past few weeks - curl up in front of the heater and have a nap :)