Monday, October 16, 2017

Ngungun in the rain

That was possibly the coldest and wettest climb of 2017.  It started out ok, just some light rain, and although I felt like I had very little energy - despite having breakfast - I was pretty determined.  Initially my goal was to go up and down three times, but realistically twice was plenty!  After the first climb, it started smashing down, so by the time I got back to the base I was thoroughly drenched.  This did, however, keep me relatively cool climbing up the second time.- although once I got to the summit it was freezing!  The wind had started howling across the bare rocks, transforming the heavy rain into horizontal barbs, and the wet gym shirt and leggings were no longer adequate!

I took one photo, and then replaced my camera safely back into its plastic baggy - no water damage for me, thanks!

The entire drive home was pretty cold despite turning the heat up, and the shower once I got home was divine.  I am now lying in bed enjoying the fact that it is warm and dry.  The entire climb (ok entire two climbs) took 1h12 on my Garmin.

I am leaning heavily towards getting a Fenix 5S, as I dislike the fact that my current Forerunner 220 thinks that everything I do is a run - and therefore seems to laugh at me when it says I only do 1k in 16 minutes, etc...

I have also been told that I should get a shell coat to protect me from the elements.  We shall see.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I'm not sure who's more worn out, her or me.

We found some pretty flowers while looking for the way up, but she didn't want to pose - too much exploring to do!

The view up here is amazing, and it is so quiet except for the rapid breathing of the exhausted dog child.  She even has her own water bottle today: mainly because I decided to carry two as training for when I climb Beerwah!

You can see all of the glasshouses from here.

Beerwah and Coonowrin.


I don't know the names of all the others.

I think I shall just sit here awhile and ponder.  I'm having a bit of a mopey day today: I figure it's healthier to mope on the top of a hill than in my bed.  Which would of course have been easier.

Friday, October 6, 2017


Despite my strong dislike of crowds, I managed to last seven shops before the anxiety hit.  Remind me never to go shopping at the weekend again - actually I say that every time - and at least I managed to get what I actually went for before I panicked and dashed for the exit!  It was the first two shops that started pushing me towards the brink of neurosis.

In Rockwear, the salesperson laughed at me for wanting a top which involved a back - apparently backless tops are all the rage nowadays - and for wanting a top without tangled straps.  Seriously, are comfort and modesty completely foreign notions?  It's not like I was asking for a full sleeve full length roll neck work out top.  

In Lorna Jane, the plastic-surgery ridden woman followed me around like a hyena, telling me all of the things that she thought were "traditional" - sorry love, really, no - and finding me the "most comfortable ever" leggings which cut in most horribly and cost $99 "but I have lots of these, darling, and they'll wear in".  Yeah, no?  

In the shops where I actually bought things, I was completely left alone to my own devices, able to try things on without being given twenty different options none of which I liked but "they look amazing on you" (thanks, Lorna Jane), and much much more reasonably priced.  This way I can buy new exercise gear ten times as often as if I had shopped in the initial places.  (Does that mean I'll be stressed out ten times as much?)

Having braved the shops, and survived mostly intact, I am excited that both of my children return home this afternoon.  I love my space, and my "me time" but having C in Auckland for the week and H in Mackay, it has been very very quiet.  Manda hasn't even stayed over, due to her mum having a hip replacement.  It has just been me and Lily in a very large house, very alone.  Mind you, the bonus is not having to wear clothes but we won't go there.  You're welcome. 

Tonight, I'm going to see Kingsman (the sequel) with The Friends.  I haven't been to the movies in ages - unlike H who goes every single week, on his own - so I'm really looking forward to it.  Maybe you'll even be lucky enough to get a movie review.  Which reminds me, I really want to re-watch Hacksaw Ridge, which C has bought, but Manda borrowed it before I got a chance.

One more day off ahead and then it's back to work.  I have nothing planned on the climbing front yet - although I did traipse up Ngungun this morning.  I'd hate to call it a climb as really, after Tibro... 

So having not involved any photos in this post, I suppose I shall leave you one of me in the cave on Ngungun.

Oh and maybe a misty shot of Beerwah (and Coonowrin) 

Thursday, October 5, 2017


I did it!  I climbed the Caves Route, on a rope, because seriously without a rope is super scary and only suitable for people like M who climbed without a rope so that the rope could be there for me.  And although I did the climb not using the rope, the mere availability of it gave me confidence to climb.  

This is the route we took (pardon the resolution, I stole the photo from Google and M penned in the route)

(We didn't actually fly the last part)

Let's be honest, I was tired before we got to the rock part.  

The first rock face with my esteemed lead climber.

The view from the first cave.

Climbing, ever climbing...

The second cave.  I pretty much stopped taking photos then because, yeah.  Fatigue.

Do I look like I'm dying?

It was so so hot.  Every now and then we would get an inkling of a breeze.  The higher we went, the blacker the rock and therefore the hotter the rock.  I think I changed my shoes three times in between the approach shoes (for hiking and climbing) and the specific climbing shoes (for just real climbing).

I had another bottle of water in the car and oh how I wished I had brought it with me!  My legs wouldn't stop shaking on the way down but they did keep going so I'm home now, alive!

I can't wait to do it again, and next time hopefully inviting E&E (old job).

Did I mention how much pure fun it was though?  Fear, adrenalin, adventure... the whole fear of heights thing maybe makes it even more of a challenge! 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I thumped Lily quite hard in the middle of the night.

To do myself justice I was asleep at the time, and I thought I was protecting her.  She was sleeping entwined in my arms, as you do when you have a lonely girl and a needy small dog, and I dreamt she kept going around to my neighbour's house and I had to make sure she didn't get out on the street.  I was outside the house and I saw Nacho, a friend's German Shepherd, lying in the doorway, and at the same time I saw Lily coming barreling through.  I scooped her up and Nacho started jumping at her trying to bite her and Lily was crying - so I did what any good parent would do, and thumped Nacho, (sorry Nikki) except... in reality I thumped my own dog.

I'm a terrible parent.

In other news, the girls came over - and Tyler - yesterday bringing with them the three smalls, T (5), A (2.5) and R(4m).  R is getting so responsive, chuckling when tickled and actually rolled over for the first time at my house, which makes me famous by default.  Hurrah for fame!

A, completely un phased by only having the use of one hand, ran about destroying things, taking whatever T had and generally having a ball.  Such an amazingly cute kid - and he is finally starting to talk, except that nobody has even the slightest clue what the babble means.

T is quite a boy, he had great fun with my Lego, at one point coming out of the media room saying "Kate, A spilt his apple juice in your TV room."  I went to help him, to find a suspicious scene awaiting me.  One rock from the garden coated with apple juice, trickles and sprinkles elsewhere, and some Lego full of juice.  

"This looks like you put juice in here on purpose," I said conversationally as I cleaned up. 

"Oh yes, A did" said T.  

Me: "Really?  He doesn't look like he would know how to do that - I think it was actually you.  Were you just trying to get the stone wet and it sprayed everywhere?"  

T: "Oh... yeah, I was."  LOL.

Children! 🙄

This morning, Manda and I decided to do a dawn stroll up Ngungun.  I say stroll because it isn't very high and it was fairly slow clocking 26 minutes on the way up.

Brushing one's hair is optional when you climb a mountain at 0430.

I'm so yellow!!!  Or maybe Manda is just very very white...

Cave on the way down, which I explored.  There was nothing in there, unless you count an old beer bottle.

Empty cave-ness.

And Lily greeted me with a scene of devastation when I got home, perhaps to pay me back for leaving her: she shook horrifically when I made her sit in the middle of it to take photos, and then ran and hid on the couch and refused to move.  Anyone want a dog?

I am now trying to nap as I have four flights tonight but I feel very very awake.  Maybe it's all the coffee. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The woman at the hotel checked me in, eventually, looking at me every now and then with dead fish eyes. It took awhile for her to even acknowledge my presence and then she would turn away every few seconds to attend to another customer rather than dealing with me.  I don't think I was being needy: it was supposed to be a hotel, and all I wanted was a room.  I wouldn't recommend her for the employee of the year awards - although having spent precisely 18 minutes in this hotel, I'm not sure they do any awards, in fact, I'm not sure that it is a hotel - maybe they are simply holding me hostage?  The fact that I was warned not to leave between 0400 and 0800 because "the doors will let you out but they won't let you in, and nobody will be here" was slightly ominous.  

There is a brown smear at head level on the wall beside the bed which could be from a murder scene, and the bath is green stained and peeling - yes, the plastic itself is peeling.  The extractor fan comes on with a godawful roar accompanied by a hideous rattle, but they did give me a complimentary breakfast box, which contains some UHT milk, a little vanilla muffin, some muesli and an "Up and Go Liquid Breakfast" which I don't actually classify as food, and will not pass my lips - has anyone actually read the list of ingredients?  Any liquid breakfast that has 29 ingredients including 5 numbers does not get to call itself a food, in my book.

I started the day nice and bright and early at 0600 with a small fluffy doglet plonking itself determinedly down on my sleeping belly.  My belly struggled on for a few minutes and then decided to wake up, along with the rest of me, at which point coffee was at the top of my agenda.  I have a long and prestigious list of Things to Do during my four days off such as Buy Ant Rid and Apply for a Passport all of which have differing levels of urgency - probably For Crying Out Loud Woman, Clean The Fridge!!! comes close to the top. 

Anyway, just to say I haven't actually done any of that yet.  Never never ever do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow.

Anyway (another anyway) I decided to head up the coast for some hiking and beaching and the little dog looked at me so beseechingly and I felt so bad to leave her, that she came too.  A glasshouse mountain was chosen that was appropriate for the Lily, and a beach was chosen for afterwards that was dog friendly, and we were all sorted.  

The first thing I wanted to do, of course, was show off (to people who had never met Lily) how absolutely marvellously wonderful my dog was.  What a treasure and a delight and if Carlsberg made dogs she would probably be the best dog in the world, yada yada yada. So about five steps into the hike, she gets bitten by an ant.  Yes, an ant, and dissolves into a little yelping whimpering shaking Ball of Shame.  And the proud mother of the Incredible Dog was reduced to picking her up and cuddling her and telling her it was all going to be ok until the sniffling ceased and the spoilt little brat from hell was ready to resume the hike.  

You're welcome.

And of course the last few metres of the hike she had to be carried because apparently caboodle legs are too short to scale rock walls, and on that stretch of the way down I simply put her into my backpack.

View from the top of (I believe) Tibrogargan and Beerwah.

Having un-climbed the hill again - I want to call it a mountain but it really wasn't much of a climb, although I huffed and puffed and almost died because I didn't really have breakfast although I DID try, I set off for Currimundi but it started raining so I decided to go home and give the beach another go another day.  I sensibly thought that it might be a good idea to get some of the List completed... ha.

I had barely got home when ops called me asking me if I could work... I'm working two full days to operate just one teency weency flight from Alice Springs to Coolangatta- empty.  First, I drove to Coolangatta - it took two hours, and I almost missed my JQ paxing flight to Melbourne because I only got my confirmation code 7 minutes before checkin closed - and now I am in Melbourne for the night at the above mentioned amazing hotel.

Tomorrow morning I hop on a flight - as a passenger again, and head to Alice Springs.  Then at some point i will find myself back in Coollie and can drive my car aaaaall the way back to Mango Hill.

What fun! 

Did I mention I have a List of Things That Must Be Done? 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Equality and other nonsense

Today upset me from the moment I woke up.  Maybe upset is the wrong word, maybe just low for no reason (or at least none that I wish to talk about) and angry at Fate which put me in that particular headspace at that particular moment.  Lots of stars aligning to make me feel completely unable to Adult.  Unfortunately, I had a couple of things planned that I wasn't really able to renege on - which is probably a good thing otherwise I'd still be lying on the floor in the media room feeling lonely and horribly sorry for myself, which isn't very useful.  I'm not even going to begin to get into why I should feel sorry for myself.  I am thankful, I am thankful, I am thankful: and then on the other hand I'm a little bit bitter and twisted and sulky that things don't always go my way.

On the subject of bitter and twisted, I had brought the day back to a fairly even keel this afternoon, after buying climbing shoes and approach shoes and rock climbing, and although I still hadn't managed to have breakfast, things were cheering up in the Brain of Kate.  Until I got an email from work saying I was rostered on the First Ever All Female Crew YAY TO ALL THE WORLD and I could we please Ensure Pictures Are Taken.

Which promptly flipped about the Brain of Kate into Officially Angry Mode.  

Steam pouring out of the ears Angry Mode.

I don't get it.  Maybe this is something that I, alone, struggle with but oh well.  It's my blog and I dare you tell me that I can't.  

Did anyone take a picture of the First All Male Crew?  Oh, I wonder why not.  Would that be sexist, by any chance?  I already think I got the job - and probably all of my jobs - simply by virtue of the fact that I have female genitalia - and this crap just makes it worse.  

Do I want equality?  Yes, 100% - but I don't want Over Compensated Equality which isn't really equal at all and is Making Up For Years of Torment Under The Hands of Evil Men or whatever they sprout their mouths off about this week, or next week, or whatever week it may be.  I have had bitter male pilots come up to me and complain that I'm taking jobs away from people who actually deserve it.  I feel like I have to study at least twice as hard as any man - not because I can't do as well - but so that I can somehow prove that I am better, and somehow prove that I actually deserve to have a job at all.

The last thing I need is to be in some ridiculous, hyped up, all female crew photograph posing in front of an aeroplane.

I know I can't hope to blend in, I know I can't hope to be the same as everyone else.  I know jolly well (you're welcome, for the Moderated Language) that I will never be One Of The Guys and that's fine.  I've got this far and I will jolly well keep on going - if I don't die in the attempt - but you can take your photos... and you can... (ok I've run out of Jolly Moderated Language.) 

Maybe I will just buy that acreage and goats and walk away.

At least I am now lying on the bed and not on the floor.