Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Weekend in Melbourne

Two weekends away in a row....I tell ya, either nothing interesting is happening at all or it's all happening at once. In fact this weekend I had the chance to attend three separate training workshops. I would have loved to have participated in each of them, but of course I had to pick one. So, I went with two of my work colleagues to a facilitator training session offered by the Change Agency in Melbourne. I flew out first thing on Friday morning and after a flight that took fifteen extra minutes because of a 300 kilometre per hour headwind and then rush hour traffic, I arrived at the training, relieved that I wasn't late because the trainers were stuck in the same traffic.

So Friday and Saturday were filled with sessions where we explored how to best manage group process ie. games and icebreakers, eliciting good discussion, guiding brainstorming, dealing with difficult people and conflict, etc. This is all part of my training to be a GreenSteps trainer (the environmental change management course I mentioned in my Rainy Sunday post), but I see it as being valuable for many of the programs I run.

Brian flew in to Melbourne late Friday evening and spent Saturday with our friend Chris, drinking Chris' home-brewed Wasabi Beer and making pumpkin pies :) Then we spent Sunday together wandering through the Queen Victoria Markets and around the city. And there was lots of eating. My friend Felicity and I had dinner together on Friday evening at an Indian Restaurant on Lygon Street (we happened to be staying in a hotel on a street noted for its restaurants). We ordered three dishes to share (Malai Kofta - my favorite Indian dish, a dhal, and butter prawns) along with saffron rice, mango lassis, and gulab jamun and masala chai for desert. We pretty much rolled our stuffed selves back to our hotel. The rest of the weekend continued to be about food. Saturday evening was Mexican; we went out of our way to go this Mexican restaurant recommended by one of my work mates, but I continue to be disappointed by Australia's version of Mexican food. The spices are all wrong, the black beans are not real black beans, and the salsa, well, the portions were meager and didn't have nearly enough lime or cilantro. I'm eating Mexican food every day when we come home!

We flew back to Canberra late Sunday evening; nothing noteworthy about the trip other than the fact that the pilot announced when we were flying over Bonnie Doon, Victoria. I realise that reference will be lost on many of you, but it comes from an Australian film called The Castle, which if you can find, will have you in stitches, especially if you've ever visited Australia.

I decided that since I "worked" on Saturday, I deserved most of Monday off. I slept in and went to work around 11am to get a few things I needed to prepare before Tuesday and then of course didn't manage to actually leave work again until 3pm or so. In the meantime though, I had a really nice picnic lunch with my friends Clare, who I sit next to but enjoy chatting with about things other than work, Millie, who's just returned from a jaunt around Western Australia, and Hedda, who's about to move to Melbourne.

I forgot to bring my camera to Melbourne, hence the lack of imagery. Sorry about that. Okay, must do the dishes now. It's my turn.


  1. I just requested "The Castle" via interlibrary loan.

  2. I just had a look at The Castle entries on IMDB and Wikipedia and it appears the American version has been changed from the Australian one! Too bad....