Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's spring-cleaning day - for everyone other than me, that is.  J is downstairs in the basement, having suddenly felt an urge to clean it out, braving the dangers of spider and snake, trying to turn the place into something useable.  Perhaps I'll take some photos one day as proof.  S has been cleaning out her little granny flat, and all the while I sit upstairs watching Hotel Babylon on youtube.  Such a useful person I am.  One of these days I might even clean my room - but not today.  I did my logbook - does that count as spring-cleaning?

I met up with a couple of the female Ozzie pilots for lunch, who aren't actually Ozzie, but Kiwi, which is a bit like calling the Irish English... whoops.  After lunch, I lay down for a while as I got up this morning with a bone in my neck, and even Neurofen Plus wasn't particularly helpful.  This is also a particularly good excuse for not helping with the spring-cleaning - not that I need an excuse to be lazy, of course.

Tonight I'm supposed to be going out socialising... but I'm still sitting inside in my shorts 'n' tee, unmotivated but at least I'm up to date with the logbook... yes, on a Saturday night, aren't I the most amazing person ever?  Hmm.

Anyway I suppose I ought to make myself presentable just in case I do go out...


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hello from Canberry, which is the original name for Canberra (changed in 1913) derived from the aboriginal word 'kamberra' which means 'meeting place'.

I know this, because a notice board says so, right at the top of Mt Ainslie. I'm not sure if the Mt Ainslie one is spelt that way but the dude who lived there was called Ainslie so it'll do.

This obviously brings me to the next fact: I climbed a mountain! Okay, a mount. Which wasn't particularly big but took about an hour to walk up, so I claim it as a mountain and I name it Mt Kate. Jus' Sayin'. I even took some pics of Mt Kate for you, and even one of Kate on Mt Kate as proof!

You can see (well I could, earlier) Canberra Airport from the top of Mt Kate, so I took a picture of this as well. You're welcome.

Now, having showered off the dust - so much dust! - I am lying on my bed resting my not-dusty-anymore feet, and contemplating the spicy chicken wings that I am going to eat tonight at Smoque. NOT the Suicidal Wings that I chose last time, as I don't want to die a second time, but the next step down I think!!

A little more about Canberra for those who care, ie Dad, it was invented. A ready made capital, built from scratch, a sort of concrete disaster in the middle of a beautiful Australian valley. Apparently Melbourne and Sydney had a fight because Sydney thought Melbourne shouldn't be the capital any more due to size, and Australia, being Australian, found a little town called Canberry smack bang between Sydney and Melbourne and dubbed it capital.

Creating a capital this way meantt that they could choose what it looked like from the very beginning, tough luck the little town that was already there. There was even a competition to design it, and some random bloke who hadn't even been there won the competition and it's all geometric shapes and grandiose concrete monstrosity now, IMHO.

Anyway, enough about Kam/Canberry/a.


PS the person in the other pic is Archie.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The river :)

Moths & Rivers

Apparently, according to BV, I was screaming like a girl.  The first thing I would like to point out is that I am, in fact, a girl.  The second thing is that I wasn't actually screaming, just generally making loud noises and shouts of "get it!" "kill it" and "don't let it come anywhere near me or we're going to crash". It being an extremely large moth - as in, as large as moths come, one of those proper moth-sized moths - that appeared on descent into Sydney, at around 7,000ft.

I don't particularly mind moths, in general.  I can quite happily co-exist with them, when it comes to wide open spaces, or even my house.  When, however, we're talking about a small boxed in space, when you are trying to focus on Something Else, moths aren't welcome.  BV half-heartedly attempted to catch said moth, receiving many (mostly helpful, in my opinion) suggestions from the right seat, and finally got it in his hand.

"Kill it!" I ordered, but for some unknown reason he declined, saying he didn't want to kill the "poor little moth", holding it in his hand saying "I don't know what to do with it" and then it escaped.

All flying-related duties immediately went out of the window.  Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.  We're flying into Sydney, pretty low level, and there's a prehistoric beast roaming around the flight deck.

"Look, it's stuck," said BV, pointing at the moth fluttering down by the air-conditioning vents.

"Not stuck enough," was my response, jamming the flight paperwork down upon it, at which stage it escaped for a second time.  "Put it in the comms hatch!!!"

BV changed his mind at that point, about killing the "poor little moth" and now there is a distinct moth-coloured stain in that particular aircraft.  You know how moths are sort of silvery and metallic, well, now the air-conditioning vents are silvery and metallic, and the moth itself is crammed down there somewhere... I hope moths don't start smelling when they decompose...

That was a very boring story about what I did this morning.

Now, I have a headache.  This is due to the fact that this afternoon I was doing something not quite so boring.  IMHO.  Wake-boarding, in a word.  The headache in particular is due to falling forwards off the board and hitting my face into the water at some considerable speed.  The pulled muscle in my arm is due to not hanging on tightly enough when the boat accelerated away, but all in all it was a successful experience!  I managed to stand up several times and even coast behind the boat for about 30 seconds on one occasion which was great fun - until I tried to turn, at which stage I bit the dust (water) again.

Then after everyone else had had a go with either the skis or the board, we anchored the boat and went for a swim.  We were in the river just inside of Redcliffe, so it was salty, not as salty as the sea but definitely not fresh.  It was pretty warm, too, which was nice.  There were 7 of us - 3 other Ozzie pilots and their girlfriends.  Happy days :)

I got a picture of the river but none of me wake-boarding, sorry!  I-phones don't do well with water, and I haven't bought a waterproof cover yet!


PS Yes, I did write more about moths than wake-boarding, but I have a headache and I can't write any more.  So sorry.  Ha.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The promised photos, mainly for Dad, one of a 747 on short final, another of Sydney, and the final photo of what Is left of what I was munching on throughout the phone call! Disclaimer: they are not in order - a) blame the phone b) work it out

It was quite interesting flying in to Sydney actually, as we were landing on 34L and there was a JetStar also on final for 34R, about a mile away, same level, and you could see almost every detail - it was almost like flying in formation - pretty cool!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm just back from Canberra, which was surprisingly warm, considering that it was (and still is) Canberra.  Brizzy, however, is a lot warmer, currently 25 degrees but forecast 33 tomorrow!

Last night we went to a new restaurant in Canberra, called Smoque, which I suppose you could call an American restaurant.  All the dishes came with sides of corn bread, which obviously I didn't eat as I detest the stuff.  In fact, everyone agreed with me once they tasted it - why people don't trust me, I do not know.  Dougal (which is my nickname for him [his middle name is Douglas] so I can use it on my blog,) suggested that I try the suicidal chicken wings, and for some reason I trusted him.

Suicidal is apparently a term that means extremely insanely agonisingly hot and much hotter than anything else in the world and makes your mouth and lips and throat and stomach (I could go on but I will spare you) burn.  Burn seems like a lame way to describe the feeling, but yeah, perhaps the term "suicidal" means that you want to commit suicide after eating them, and of course, having ordered them, I did have to finish them, although Dougal, to do him justice, did eat two - mind you they were lathered with ketchup which in my opinion dilutes the hot sauce and is cheating.

The meal also included a large number of BBQ pork ribs and sweetcorn and chips and the inevitable cornbread aforementioned (I do like that word), and was all around pretty good (except for the cornbread).  M and S then decided that they wanted ice cream so we went trooping off around Canberra looking for an ice cream shop, although I'm not quite sure what planet they were on as it was 1900 and what ice cream shop would still be open at that time?  None, apparently.

The supermarket, however, solved the problem and we bought copious amounts of ice cream, which apparently we had to finish - which made Dougal continuously complain about how full he was and how unfair for him to be forced to eat a third Crunchie ice cream after such a large meal and how he just wanted to die.  Maybe it was the two chicken wings, who knows.

New South Wales has summer time, which means that despite it being on the same meridian oojie-whatsit, it is 1 hour ahead of Queensland.  This of course meant getting up 1 hour earlier in the morning, for an already early start.  Eugh.  The one bonus about this was that we arrived home in Brisbane 1 hour earlier than we used to when there wasn't summer time.  I mean, when NSW wasn't 1 hour ahead.  You know what I mean!

Anyway, I'm sure I'm getting boring by this stage, so I shall quit writing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Today, I slept on the beach.  It was quite nice, actually, lying on a nice beach towel in the sun, the sand digging a perfect groove for my face, and the wind keeping me cool.  Yes, for those who care, I was wearing a massive amount of sunscreen, and also a considerable number of clothes for sun-protection.  'Cause I know you're already tut-tutting at me.

Today, I had a surf lesson with MB.  We decided to do this - well I decided, and he agreed - as it's getting a little tiresome renting surfboards and then ending up clinging to the bottom of them defiantly as the waves throw themselves at you determined to separate you from the board.  The lesson wasn't particularly cheap but lasted 90 minutes and I think we picked up a lot of technique from it.  No, we're not amazing surfers now, but hopefully next time we rent boards we can build on what we have learnt!

Tomorrow, I head to Canberra for another overnight, hopefully it will be warmer than last time, as apparently it's heating up pretty quick there.  It is such a strange climate - bitterly cold in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer, apparently only a couple of months in-between that are actually pleasant, yet the Australians choose to have it as their Capital.  Strange people.

Anyway, having just showered remarkably large quantities of sand off myself, I must now go to dry my hair as I am beginning to fade, despite sleeping on the beach earlier!

Oh yeah, and as an aside, the first attempt of using zinc on my face instead of normal sunscreen seems to have been pretty successful.  The surf instructor, whose name was Jake, just in case you wanted to know, had some tan-coloured zinc that looked like foundation, and was extremely effective, so now I'm going to try to get some of that!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Good evening, blogworthy friends.  Let's see, what can I update you all on from the last 5 days?  It actually is a slight problem that I can't actually remember what I did over the last 5 days.  I expect it involved flying, and I do remember receiving a parcel from Alaska which was greatly appreciated!  Now I must make cranberry and chocolate chip cookies!  *DROOLS*  My niece Olivia drew me two awesome pictures, and the earrings are lovely.  There, a public thank-you, to be followed by a personalised thank-you of course :)

Today, I built shelves.  I feel very proud of myself due to this, although I do keep peeking into the bedroom to see whether they have collapsed yet.  They are IKEA shelves, and okay fine, I just assembled them, not really built them but hey, I did it myself, right?  That's all I did today, other than the drive to IKEA to buy the shelves, but that goes without saying, except I just did, so it doesn't, really.

Yesterday, I ferried an empty aircraft from Sydney, which took about 11 hours, despite the actual flight only taking 2 hours.  This due to the fact that engineers (or crewing, or both crewing and engineers combined) always say an aircraft is going to be ready at a certain time, and then it's not, and so on...

The day before yesterday merges into hazy lack of memories... but I suspect it involved hotel rooms and more aircraft.  Looking at my roster report, I see that I am correct.  I was in Townsville, apparently, the land of steak and ribs and beer and airplanes.  Not a bad mix, really.  Well, the steak and the ribs and the beer mix pretty well, and the airplanes sort of have to sit at the end of the sentence all on their lonesome or else there is Trouble.

Tomorrow, I'm being sent back to Townsville.  Actually out of all of the overnights, Townsville is my favourite.  It's a pretty town, despite it's weird nonsensical name, and has lots of nice restaurants to choose from.  The hotel is good, and apparently there's a hill to climb up, a bit like the Bluff in AK.  I haven't climbed up it, obviously, because I have allergies to climbing up hills.

Saturday, I get to come back to Brisbane, and am meeting up with a bunch of my International friends, for a sort of catch-up.  Everyone's invited, but won't find out until the night who actually comes!  (ooo the excitement)   Then on Sunday, I head off to Rockhampton for a couple of days.

Given that I have just described what I'm going to be doing for the next week as well, I guess I won't need to update this?

Okay, I will, if anything happens that I haven't listed.


Friday, October 5, 2012


Tonight, I'm in Townsville. In fact, last night I was here too, and given that at this present time I am in a hotel on average 3 nights a week, it is becoming somewhat monotonous.

Do you know that feeling, when you are going to eat out, you're really really hungry, but you can't think of anything that you would like to eat? When you're thinking is there a single restaurant in this town that I haven't visited? Anyway...

Tonight is going to be a very expensive night, so it is a good thing that we are given pretty decent overnight allowances. Unfortunately for my bank balance, I still enjoy an argument enough to swear that I am 100% right on a subject when the other person possibly could be fairly right himself... meaning that now I have to buy all of the drinks tonight! Whoops... "Idiot!" you might well say...

...and now I must go, as apparently we're going to 'get a couple of drinks before dinner,' and seeing that we Never do that on a normal overnight, methinks he is milking it!!!


PS the picture is of one of the bushfires that we pass over on a regular basis. Apparently they are lit deliberately to reduce the undergrowth before the hot weather - so that when they ignite naturally it doesn't cause widespread destruction.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ooooh yeah :)

Surfer's Paradise

Today was good.

For a start, I was on a legal day of which meant crewing couldn't even think about calling me. The plan was simple - the beach. Which beach, it didn't really matter, just a beach, somewhere, involving lots of warm sand and preferably warm water.

Surfer's Paradise ended up being where we went (me and An Crew Member) and it was good. Attached are a couple of pictures. I was very impressed by a father who built his two small sons sand cars to play in, with just his hands. Fair play, and I have attached a photo as proof.

The sea was reasonably un-cold (not being warm as such) and the waves were far too chaotic for surfing, but excellent fun for tumbling, as I have decided to name the pastime. The current was extremely strong, so much so that walking in even waist deep water was a massive effort, so it was a pretty good work out as well!

I now look like a boiled lobster (face only) despite multiple applications of high factor sunscreen and have decided that the next step up is 'zinc' which is apparently sunproof. Don't ask for more info cos I don't got none? HA! Unfortunate that I can't wear a lycra rash vest on my face - although R did suggest a balaclava!!