April 2024

April was all about connecting with friends and family.

The Vibe

April has felt like a big month. There was quite a bit of travel, social events, and family time packed in, which led to feeling quite disjointed and out of routine. Most weeks weren't full work weeks – they were broken up with public holidays and leave.

I feel bad about addressing most of my health goals and letting a lot of the big effort items fall to the wayside, and I have felt guilty about it. I also feel very tired, with the first 1/3rd of the year being full-on and a lot has been happening. That's led to a loss of routine and a real inability to stay focused and get things done. I've got to put some time aside this next week to bring things back into focus and set my attention back on what matters. I can see that my default state is to drop back into being reactive, leading me to not make decisions, not communicate properly, and feeling scatter-brained in almost every aspect of life.

I was due to do an audit of my Focus Course progress this month - I haven't done it, but I realise that I actually need to set aside some time to get it done. That said I feel a good chunk of the big picture items - my vision and values in particular - has really helped steer the ship and stay on course throughout the chaos.

The other thing I wanted to note - this was an unlucky month. On my trip to Wollongong I left cables and my kindle at a friends place, lost my glasses for the first time in my life (20+ years of wearing glasses!). I also had a trip to the emergency department for a minor issue. I've come away wondering what's going on or if it's just my time for a streak of bad luck. Hopefully this is all for the time being.


The month kicked off with the Easter weekend which was some great family and social time.

The next week saw the start of the school holidays and the family headed over to Tasmania for 5 days. Some dear friends move over there a few years ago and we haven't seen them for a couple of years, so when flights were on sale during the school holidays I jumped on them and booked us in.

Tasmania is the smallest state in Australia, an island off the island (or mainland, a word you only use in Tassie!). It's been 14 years since Mrs K and I had been there last, one of our first "grown-up" holidays. I thought that Tassie had been through a boom since then, you here a lot more about in the news as it's become popular with retirees, but the reality is that the state's population is still very small, just 571,165 people. Driving through Hobart I was expecting it to be bigger, but it's just a dot in terms of a city with a bit of sprawl up the river Derwent.

Up the river we went to see MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art. The largest private gallery in the Southern Hemisphere MONA is a statement. I'm not 100% sure what it says, given the owner David Walsh made his money as a professional gambler, but the museum seems to be hewn out of the rock and contains a broad and eclectic collection of art and artefacts. There are strong themes of sex and death throughout - and in some cases it comes across as a bit try-hard and teenage-angsty. But at the same time there is a uniqueness to the works and the experience over all. There were a couple of works that I really enjoyed – the Fat Porsche being one - but MONA is more about the experience, and some of the pieces just need to seen, heard and smelt. Speaking of the experience - I feel really sorry for the army of teenagers and 20 somethings required to be employed simply to tell older visitors not to touch the artworks. Having spent a large amount of time being around toddlers in my life, these Boomers were incredibly disrespectful and annoying, wanting to poke and prod the artworks in every space.

We then drove our hired Tesla Model Y (which I will review) through the gorgeous countryside to Launceston. We met up with our friends in their new home perched high on the hill above town and were back in the groove quickly. Our girls had been together and best friends in daycare, and they just slotted back into their ways within minutes. It was great to see their friendship, which had been pretty distant, spark up again so quickly. They were inseparable for the rest of the time we spent there.

Over the next few days, we descended into the rainforest, completed a maize maze, went to the beach, wandered the city, saw some monkeys, visited a winery, drank a lot of Pinot Noir, climbed a mountain, and genuinely connected with our people and the country. For the last evening, we drove back to Hobart to spend time with our extended family there and got to enjoy the views from their amazing house and the experience of the most sincere hospitality on the planet! There was also an afternoon of whiskey cocktails.

After arriving home we quickly washed Ms A's clothes and the next day she flew up to Sydney to spend some time with her Aunty, Uncle and cousins. I went back to work and ran some workshops to aid the design of courses for the new university as part of the merger work, which was ... interesting. It wasn't organised well, so there was a lot of on the fly problem solving - but we were working with a great group of people throughout.

We had a nice, quiet adult weekend where we probably tried to recover from a very hectic week before I flew off to Wollongong for my uncle's 70th birthday. It was a bit of a family do, and it was great to see my mum, brother, sis-in-law, niece, aunt, uncles and cousins growing family. We had a great long lunch with amazing Italian food and carried on at my other uncle's local haunts. I had some time to catch up with a prior colleague, Lindy, and catch up about life, the universe, and everything over a meal and a bottle of wine. I also got to see Kate, catch up on the family goings, and discuss the state of higher education.


Quite action-packed and some great photos to boot!


It's Super Rugby season, so a lot of Rugby! Watched The Killer - which wasn't great, and binged through Halo - again not great but held my attention for 2 seasons (but I am a sucker for Sci Fi).


I can't recommend enough The Outlaw Ocean. This superbly reported and told a set of stories gave me a real insight into a world I knew very little about - what actually goes on out at sea.