So many trips to document! After a quiet January settling back in Sydney, in February I headed to Singapore to help deliver the opening and closing keynotes for AWS Innovate AIML edition.

Me in a mask

I headed into the office to meet with a few colleagues. The view is pretty nice…

Working from the office

For the keynotes, we were going to stream them live from a greenscreen studio. I headed over early in the morning for hair and makeup, where I found a special surprise waiting: my colleague Ethan had created a special t-shirt with me wearing my AWS dress!

Me all made up

How cute is that?? We spent a very long day of finalising the content, rehearsing, and pre-recording a dress rehearsal. That night, I headed out to Brewerks in Clarke Quay for dinner. Singapore is such a pretty city.


I had a very early start the next day for the actual live stream. It went really well. Thanks to Ethan and my awesome co-host Dean for making everything so fun!

Dean, Ethan, and me

The weather wasn’t great in Singapore that week, but I did manage to work by the pool for a few hours.

Sitting by the pool

I also attended the AWS Singapore meetup one night, which we held in our offices. Massive turnout, and a really great evening of talks.

AWS Meetup Singapore

The next day, I met up with the two members of my team based in Singapore – Cathy and Donnie!

Cathy, me, and Donnie

We also hosted a dinner for some of the AWS Community members in Singapore: AWS Heroes, AWS Community Builders, and user group leaders.

On my very last night, I went out for dinner with my good buddy Gabe and his wife Alex. They took me to a local place that was super crowded, insanely tasty, and so cheap. Singaporeans are spoiled for food, I tell ya.

Gabe and Alex

It was a quick trip – just a week – but it was great getting to catch up with all these folks!

A couple weeks later, the Snook and I both flew to Melbourne where I’d be delivering the closing talk of ServerlessDays ANZ.

Me and Rodd on the airplane

We made it just in time to attend the speakers’ dinner that night, and then had a lovely walk back along the Yarra.

Me and Rodd in Melbourne

The next day was the conference. The venue at Federation Square was gorgeous! My buddies Lars Klint and Pete Hanssens were on the organising committee and kicked things off.

Kicking off ServerlessDays ANZ

Great crowd!

Selfie with crowd

Here are some of the amazing other speakers! The talks are all up on YouTube.


My session was the last one of the day…

Mic'ed up and ready to go!

Thankfully it went realy well and I was happy that it was so well received! Thanks to my colleagues Paul, Stephen, Gregor, and Derek for all their help with the event.

Me presenting

Me from the audience

After the conference, we all headed to a nearby bar for the afterparty…

The next morning we headed out into the city to be tourists. We mooched around the Queen Victoria Markets and enjoyed the sunshine. The hot weather helped us justify stopping off at Brick Lane Shed for a sneaky beer!

Me and Rodd

We also had a late lunch of some very tasty bagels from Bowery to Williamsburg.

Snooky with a bagel

We had a plan to meet someone at ACMI but had some time to kill, so we decided to check out the “Story of the Moving Image” exhibition.

Then we headed up to the lab to meet my friend J Rosenbaum and check out their fascinating new artwork Gender Tapestry. We took selfies that were uploaded and featured in some of the creepy generated faces.

That night, the Snook – a notorious hater of musicals – gave me a lovely birthday present of attending & Juliet with me. (It helped that I told him all the songs were from the catalogue of Max Martin, Swedish Pop producer extraordinaire!)

& Juliet

I LOVED IT. It’s a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with loads of pop song mash-ups, a gay romance, great costumes, fantastic dancing, and Rob “Millsy” Mills as Shakespeare. I mean, WAS THIS WRITTEN FOR ME?!

& Juliet

Afterwards, we headed to trendy Bar Ampere for dinner and cocktails.

Bar Ampere

On our last day, we headed down to St. Kilda to enjoy the sunshine and check out the markets.

Luna Park

We were delighted to discover the nearby St. Kilda Community Gardens. Lovely place!

We went for a walk along the beach. I always think of the line from the Paul Kelly song – “Where the palm trees have it hard.”

St. Kilda beach

We finished our trip with a spot of furniture browsing in Collingwood followed by beers at The Craft & Co.


And that’s where it would have ended, a nice ending to the weekend… except for a little accident on the way back to the hotel. Here’s how I described it to my sister:

So Rodd and I were briefly walking back to our hotel in Melbourne so we could head to the airport. Down one of the busiest shopping streets, people everywhere.
I walk over, like, a manhole or something.
And my left foot lands crookedly
And I start stumbling forward
And I can’t get my feet under me
And it’s like slow motion, and I’m like, yep, I’m going down. 😂
And rather than try to land on my knees or my hands, perhaps sensing that I could risk breaking something that way, instead I face plant.
Literally belly flop on the pavement, taking the brunt of the fall on my boobs.
The Asian couple in front of me were like horrified “ARE YOU OKAY?!?”
And Rodd helped me up and I’m okay
Skinned my elbow a tiny bit
But I suspect my chest is gonna hurt tomorrow.
So that’s me. Still falling on my face, as a grown-ass adult.

Over the course of the next week, my chest started to feel increasingly sore. I didn’t have any visible bruising, but sleeping on my left side was impossible and it got harder and harder to breathe. Finally I started to get worried that something was really wrong, so we headed to the hospital.

In the hospital

A few hours and a couple X-rays and an EKG later, they confirmed that I wasn’t having a heart attack. The doctor couldn’t rule out a cracked rib, but didn’t see one on the X-ray. The only thing I could do was wait until it stopped hurting, which took a few more weeks. In retrospect, seems likely that it was a case of costochondritis, where the cartilage between the ribs gets inflamed. I’m super grateful to the Australian health care system and the doctors for helping me rule out anything more serious! (Oh, and it didn’t cost me anything. 😅)