Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The End of an Era

That's all, folks.  Other than a couple of reserves, my ATR days are done.  It is bitter-sweet, I am both excited and terrified of starting all over again... so much unknown... but the excitement is definitely the bigger feeling.  I am sad to be leaving the people I have flown with the last five years, and sad to be leaving an aircraft that has been home for over nine.  

Some people hate the ATR, for me it has been pretty much all I've known, and we have had good times.  I won't miss the company, and that's okay.  I'm having a leaving party on Thursday (tomorrow) for some pilots and that will be fun. 

Yesterday was my last rostered duty, and in honour of that, and because I'm leaving and because it really doesn't matter if people know where I worked any more, here are some pics.

After my last landing in to Brisbane on an ATR

The last overnight

Me (a couple of months ago)

Sunrise in Brisbane

Landing on 14 in Brisbane 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day

"O my Father, and O the delight of my eyes..."


Frankly, I couldn't ask for a better one.  As Father's Day looms on a different day every year, and is celebrated in AUS at an entirely different time, I'm completely unprepared as always, hence the post.

So here are some things I appreciate about my father.

He's kind
He listens
He is the most selfless person I know
He is generous
He is loving
He loves Lily
And me
He sticks to his guns (barefoot running) even when people laugh at him 
He loves my Lily
He can fix just about anything - and will do so, willingly
He can look after goats even though he doesn't like to
He bought me my first flying lesson (sorry Mum, but it was Dad's idea)
He is honest
He is humble
He is a terribly picky eater just like his favourite daughter


I could keep going on but I have to get ready for Church, so maybe I shall write more later.

Suffice it to say, I have the best dad, I love him to the moon and back and appreciate him so so so very much.


Friday, June 16, 2017


Yesterday I got to cuddle all the goat babies and it was like the cutest thing since sliced bread which is pretty cute, y'all.



E says I really should say the cutest thing since Lily, because Lily is obviously the cutest thing since sliced bread, which is of course true.  

I haven't updated the blog for almost a million years, and for that I am sorry.  I've been keeping people on Facebook informed about baby A, who is doing well considering everything.  He has lost 2.5 fingers on his left hand which is pretty tragic but everything else seems to be healing well and he is such an upbeat little kid despite it all.


Also, on the job front, I am approaching my very last week ever with my current airline which is both exciting and completely terrifying.  I took the other job, which is a direct entry command on the Embraer 145.  Well, Embraer 135LR, 135KL and soon to be 145XR which are the new ones.  The LRs are the smallest with only 36 seats and the XRs have around 50 depending on the particular configuration we get.  All smaller than my current aircraft but it's a) completely different b) a challenge and c) not my current company which I think are all positives.   

I start the new job on the 26th June and then head to Zurich for the type rating around the 30th, expecting to be away for around 6 weeks, including a few days in Ireland at the end.

It's amazing how much there is to do when one gets a new job.  So many things to return, so much paperwork to fill out both for the old and the new, and the list just goes on.  At least it is mostly keeping me busy so my brain doesn't get to think too much.  That said, I think the hardest couple of weeks - the parents will vouch for this as they were here - were when I had to actually make the decision.  Once the decision was made, the weight off my shoulders was such a relief.  Now and then I have a momentary panic that maybe it won't work out, but in general I think I made the right choice.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


We went to the hospital yesterday to visit baby A, he was pretty happy when we arrived but had quite a yo-yo day in and out of pain.  The main problem seemed to be itching under his splints, which he was inconsolable about.  He has Panadol around the clock and also anti-itching medication.  Such a cute funny boy when he was happy - obviously still cute when not, but I found it pretty heart breaking to watch him so upset.

After visiting with A a little, we took T to the Art Museum to the Marvel Exhibition which is on until about September.  It wouldn't have been my choice of activity but he was incredibly enthusiastic.  I don't believe I would have been interested when I was four!  I tried to gauge his actual interest on the walk there with questions like "okay, you can choose between ice cream, pizza and doughnuts, or the exhibition, which will it be?" And "Ferris wheel or exhibition?" Etc and the exhibition won every time.  Oh well, I tried!  He was ever so excited.  It was actually pretty cool, with all of the actual costumes and props used in the movies, and lots of framed original comics, etc.  T said the highlight was getting to draw his own superhero at the end.  

Kaitlyn & T at the exhibition


 The four of us posing

The Incredible Hulk


 I couldn't help myself 

It was nice to get T out for an activity as his mum has been worried about him feeling left out.  He has lots of love and family around him but it must be hard being the older, OK, kid when most of the focus is on the younger sick one and the new baby.  

For those who don't know the story, little A, who just turned two, knocked a power board (extension cable) off a bedside table onto tiles.  It split open, and he picked it up to put it back, and was electrocuted.  Unfortunately he picked it up in such a way that it made a circuit with his little hands, and continued to burn him until his dad managed to get there to knock the board from his hands.  He is now in the children's hospital in Brisbane, and will be there for at least the next month.  He has full thickness burns to his hands, has had three surgeries already and has a lot more ahead of him.

Baby A this morning  

The family just welcomed their new baby a week ago, the dad (TW) just started a new job and the mum (SW) just had a c-section.  The family and church are rallying around them but it is a lot for them to handle, added with the extra stress and emotion of other things going on in the larger family picture.  Please keep the family in your prayers.

I'm also acutely conscious of the family's financial need during this time.  If anyone has it in their heart to donate towards their expenses (car parking at the hospital alone is $30 a day) please get in touch. 

I love this whole family like my own: in fact, they are an extension of my own family.  For C & T, TW's parents, I pray for peace that they wouldn't feel guilt for the accident, and also for strength for this long journey.  For B & R, SW's parents, who have to go to New Zealand this week potentially long term, I pray for closeness and peace while they are physically stuck so far away.  For TW & SW, I am so thankful that they are so strong together, and I pray for their faith, that it remains strong, for their relationship, that it gets built up, and for their hearts, that they stay unbroken.  For little T, and baby R, I pray that they know their family's love, and for baby A, for freedom from pain and complete healing.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Melbourne trip

We are up in the Wild Dog Valley, far far from cellphone reception or internet, so I am writing this in my iPad notes as I just must do something electronic or the shakes could start.  I slept pretty well last night after tossing and turning for a couple of hours worrying about the job situation.  Every day there seems to be some new piece of information that seems to push me over the edge of emotion.  

We arrived in Melbourne on Sunday night rather than Monday morning, as having checked the flights for Monday, and seeing they were overbooked, decided it would be better just to start our trip early.  We booked a triple room at the Ibis Budget, as a cheap way to spend Sunday night, and that proved interesting, to say the least.  The room was barely larger than two single beds, with the third bed being a bunk hovering over the lower two.  There was a small sink in the corner, a tiny TV hung high in the second corner, the third corner was the door and the fourth corner was a tiny camper-van style toilet & shower.  It needed a sign on the door saying "many go down to the underworld but few return to the sunlit lands."   Add to that the fact that they didn't even bother to make the bed on my high up foam contraption, and the pillow was filthy... it was a very interesting experience.

Monday morning we exited the Ibis as quickly as we good, picked up the car and headed down the Great Ocean Road, first stop Torquay, which was incredibly beautiful.  We stopped briefly many times on the way to Apollo Bay, although our hopes of fish and chips in Lorne were dashed by the fish and chip shop owners going on holiday.  We had to settle for ice cream instead and got f&c on arrival in Apollo Bay.

Monday night we booked an Air B&B high in the Wild Dog Valley which is breathtakingly beautiful with crazily giant ferns, parrots everywhere and of course a goat farm.  I don't think I could handle living anywhere with completely no phone reception however.  It is very isolating to a child of technology like me.  

Today we drive to Port Fairy which is our last night stop before going back to Melbourne.  It is a less coastal route but we still have the 12 Apostles to look forward to.  

This last bit of this post is written from Port Fairy.  We had a very lazy start to the day, not leaving Apollo Bay until after 10, although I did get to make friends with some goats and see some deer and parrots.  

There was less to see on the way to Port Fairy but we did stop by the 12 Apostles, "London Bridge" and see plenty of pretty extreme landscape - both mountainous and cliffs.  Photos are to follow!

the AirB&B in Port Fairy is actually right on the beach which is pretty spectacular.  Tomorrow we go inland back to Melbourne for our last night here.


Torquay surf beach


A beach near Lorne


Beach of stacks: mine is second left, and dad's fell over


The harbour in Apollo Bay, where we had fish and chips 


Making friends with the local goats


Inland from Apollo Bay


The 12 Apostles


An apostolic dog fox 


Also near the 12 Apostles - maybe these are two?


"London Bridge"


"Our" beach at Port Fairy

Monday, May 15, 2017

Visit of the parents

They arrived!  In fact, they were so fast through security that I was late, and they were already outside by the time I arrived at the terminal.

We had a nice quiet evening on Sunday night and planned to go to the beach on Monday.  However, plans changed and we ended up doing some shopping - Mum managed to practice great restraint in the first shop...  We then cut shopping short so that they could meet Shawnee and Amanda - and little Asher, who was incredibly cute playing tug of war with Lily.  She was growling as ferociously as she could, and still no fear from the little guy!


We had an awesome dinner of duck, or at least three of the four of us did (C was home), and we sent Dad out to Beefy's to buy himself a pie.  This proved to be a terrible mistake, as he has now decided that he really should be allowed a meat pie for dinner every night instead of whatever we're eating. 

Mum loves her grand-daughter...

Today, Dad and I went for a 5k run (just over 3 miles) with Lily, after which we headed up the coast to Bribie Island dog beach.  It was lovely weather, around 25C, blue skies and the water was still relatively warm.  Dad and I went for a swim, and then for a walk along the beach to warm up again, and I collected lots of pieces of coral for Mum.  Since the cyclone, coral has been washing up broken off the reef, and there were some pretty cool specimens.  We walked back to find the mother gone!  Lo and behold, she was in the water.

Pre-water mother

Having never seen my mother in the sea before, I was incredibly excited, so I didn't mind getting wet again.  I splashed out to her and called out to her "LOOK OUT!" too late.  A massive wave smashed over her head.  She came up coughing and spluttering and it was the funniest thing ever.  Well, maybe not quite the funniest because the next two waves became even funnier, leaving her lying in the shallows in the white water, spluttering.  She claims that she loves waves and didn't mind in the least - her face showed a little consternation, in my opinion!


We had a picnic lunch at Redcliffe - ham sandwiches, as I made bread yesterday as Mum can't eat palm oil - and we managed to keep Mum out of any dangerous shops for another day.  Phew.

Tomorrow, we may head up to Somerset Dam.

Friday, May 12, 2017