Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's been a busy day, and now I'm lying here in the dark - well, dark except for my phone screen - in a strange room, in a strange place, with all of my stuff littered around me.

I feel a bit like one of those people on Compulsive Hoarders. Except, I'm not, you know, because I do throw some things away, like dead spiders and toilet roll insides and sweet wrappers. At least, I throw them away when I move house... *ahem* change subject quickly...

I got up early this morning and loaded the car - where did I get all this stuff? and then I threw away all the toilet roll insides, etc... as you do, when you move house, and I cleaned and cleaned and facebooked and facebooked and finally woke People up so that we could move The Furniture.

Did I mention that I'm unfit? That lugging just a few boxes up one eency weency flight of stairs leaves me wheezing? This has got to stop! I shall motivate myself and exercise and then I shall facebook and forget my motivation and all will be well again because I hopefully won't have any boxes to lift for a long time.

I haven't really said much about moving, have I? Well, there's not much to say, it was more 'doing', and now I'm almost unpacked here (no, not in the dark, that was before I switches the light off) and the old place is almost emptied of Stuff.

It's weird, you know, thinking of it as the old place, because it's home, and it's friendly and it's familiar. And there's a very red light on the fan in my room and that's going to annoy me if it doesn't watch out.

Anyway, now I must sleep as tomorrow I must finish moving and go to Canberra.


Friday, February 22, 2013

I am not cut out for cleaning. There, i said it. I have a genetic disposition towards the couch, my laptop, and snacks. So far today, I've mowed the lawn, cleaned the kitchen and put on 3 loads of laundry, it's only 1100, and I'm sweating, people. Thankfully I am not alone, or I'd be back on the couch by now. As it is, I'm taking a cigarette break (I don't smoke, but why should I be left out?) and writing a quick blog...

Now I must go clear out the garage...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Byron Day 2

So here I am, lying on the couch, on my first sick day in Australia, and I really don't have any excuse not to blog.

After our night in the apartment, we dragged ourselves out of bed/sofa/floor etc. some enthusiastically, and some (like me) reluctantly.  Simon's idea of surfing at 0600 did not go ahead, partly due to the reluctance, and partly due to having to be out of the apartment by 1000.  Considering that we woke at 0800, I thought the best idea was to pack up before going to the beach.  This took about half an hour to decide before we actually did anything...

The beach was wet, obviously, but then, so was the sea, so that was okay.  There wasn't any swell, so we just swam for half an hour, and cheered on all these old people who were migrating north for the winter.  At first, I thought I saw a shark, and almost freaked myself straight out of the water, but on a second look, realised it was just a swimmer.  And then another swimmer.  And another.  All quite ancient of days, and all heading in the same direction.  We cheered and applauded and wondered loudly whether they knew something that we didn't... 

And then we went for breakfast.

Ah, breakfast!  We had to wait an extra half hour as a storm hit almost exactly as we reached the cars, so we had to wait it out.  I'm sure I made the whole of Byron jealous of my almost-ankle-length standard-issue plastic raincoat that I've had in my wardrobe since I got my uniform.  Really, I'd prefer to drown than be seen out in public, in uniform, wearing that monstrosity.  It worked in Byron though.

Marnix had pancakes, Steve and myself had the big breakfast (although I sent mine back because they put egg on my toast and that's just RUDE) and Simon had eggs benedict with gluten-free toast.  Except apparently once you take the gluten out of bread, the loaf is about 1/3 of the size of a normal loaf so he was quite disappointed.  This meant that he spent the second half of the meal stealing food from other people, and eating it in quite disgusting conglomerations.  For instance, he stole a beef sausage, 2 eggs, baked beans and a large quantity of raspberry jam from me - and mixed it all up together.  From Steve he got another sausage and a hash brown, and stirred that up with some berries and marscapone cheese from Marnix... wow.  

After breakfast, we walked through Byron for a couple of hours, visiting many surf shops and just generally browsing.  I didn't buy anything! - so proud of myself :)  

After buying large quantities of food for lunch (loaf of bread, brie, nutella, 4 avocados, 12 eggs, large pot of olives), we headed off to Simon's farm.

Simon's farm isn't really Simon's farm.  He works 4 hours a day and in return gets free accommodation (which doesn't involve a toilet) and food.  It's a 200 acre farm with millions of fruit trees, of which I took copious photos.

Firstly, we passed a large plot of Kaffir limes.  Just squeezing the leaves gave out such an awesomely limey smell, it was incredible.

The Kaffir lime fruit was incredibly knobbly.  It wasn't yet ripe, so we didn't eat any, but we did pick some leaves for our Thai curry (yes, ANOTHER meal) 

Here we have the 3 boys, traipsing along...

View of the maaaany Kaffir lime trees.


Me, picking An Lemon

Black bamboo, which lined most of the paths.

Frangipani flower.


A mango tree - unfortunately very unripe, but I did pick one that is out on the veranda hopefully ripening.

A star-fruit tree.  I ate a ripe one, which was obviously not green like this photo, but I ate it, so I wasn't able to photograph it afterwards.  Sorry. 

More bamboo

Au revoir from the boys!

THEN, we ate Simon's homemade red Thai curry with fresh eggplant and Kaffir lime leaves, and headed back to Brisbane, in the rain.  


Saturday, February 16, 2013

What better to do on a busy packing day than make an awesome beef stew?

I will get back to Byron Day 2, I promise!!

Byron Day 1

Well, the last two days were indeed rather wet, as I already mentioned.  As in, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and we failed to build an ark.  The plan was to camp, so I invested in a sleeping bag and Steve brought his tent, etc. and about half the contents of his house, and off we rocked.

I did check the forecast before we went... and yes, it wasn't great, but you know, forecasts can be wrong...

We arrived in Byron about 1200 local time, and went straight to the sea to surf.  Then, it was time for the inevitable Subway lunch including 6 cookies for Steve... (I'm not telling how many I had, but it wasn't as many as him!) and then we met up with another friend, and surfed again.  This time, it started pouring with rain while we were surfing, and it was actually quite pleasant being in the sea with the rain pouring down, first time ever, for me!

When I say "we surfed" it was more like "they surfed and I clung to my board" - I'm hugely looking forward to this 5 day surf trip I'm going on at the beginning of March, hopefully I learn how to do it properly.

At about 1800, we decided we really ought to sort out our sleeping arrangements before it got dark.  At this stage, it was really really wet (having rained for several hours straight) and we were all standing around in the car park, in our swimwear, in the pouring rain, wondering how best to get dry - and stay dry - and how on earth were we going to find a dry place (dry place? HUH?) to put the tent up...  Suffice it to say, camping wasn't particularly high on our list!

We're talking 1800, Friday night, summer, massive backpackers town... and we decide to look for somewhere to stay.  We tried about five different lodges/youth-hostels/motels, and no luck.  Finally we were offered a small apartment for the night, and jumped at it.  Simon had to "camp" on the floor as there wasn't a bed for him, but I think his "mattress" ended up involving a foam camping mattress, as many towels as we had (wet and dry), a sleeping bag, the comforter I brought, lots of clothes... heh his mattress was probably thicker than the real mattress, and he still complained!  I "bags-ed" the sofa bed and left the double bed to the other boys (we had been joined by yet-another-friend by that stage).

It was actually a kind of cool apartment, although rather run down and backpacker-y.  You entered and straight ahead was the sofa(bed), with the kitchen and veranda directly in front of that.  To the left was the bathroom, and directly above the bathroom a sort of indoor balcony that was the "bedroom".  That's where I sent the boys :) .  The surf-boards slept on the veranda, in the rain.  Poor surfboards.

The bathroom was interesting, because when you turned on the shower (which had NO curtains or screen, just the large spa-type bath underneath) the water came shooting out of every possible join in the shower head and hose, causing the majority of the water to either shoot up onto the ceiling, or onto the wall/door and under the door into the living room...  It was a bit like being outside in the storm, except it was warmer and there was soap.  Hurrah for soap.

We ate gluten-free pizza for dinner.  Simon is Gluten-Free, apparently.  He's also Organic.  Apparently even his towels are organic (he said so).  Although, he ate my Nutella for lunch today on his gluten-free banana-without-toast-sandwich, so now he is officially Not-Organic, and he has just ruined the 200-acre organic farm that he is temporarily living on.  How long it takes for a farm to be organic I don't know, but it's a good while, and seeing he's living in a room on top of a barn and the only toilet is a hole in the ground in a little shack a little way away from the barn, just like Alaska, I'm sure that non-organic Nutella is going to cause problems for the farm in the future.  And I did warn him, just saying.  Really, People ought to take my advice.

Oh and just so you know, I specifically Capitalised the words that I wanted to be capitalised both in this sentence and the previous paragraph, so don't complain to Me about my not being consistent, because I'm allowed to be consistent in my Inconsistency.  so There.

Where was I?  Oh yes, gluten-free pizza.  I think I'm still chewing the crust, over 24 hours later.  Simon wanted lots of flavours of pizza (as you do) and said that the gluten-free option tasted the same as the not-gluten-free option, so we all volunteered (well I volunteered them, mostly) to share in the not-not-gluten-free option so that Simon could try all of our choices... ahhhhhhhhh

Newsflash:  Gluten-free pizza base does NOT taste the same as the not-gluten-free pizza base, and Simon says "oh, well I can't remember what not-gluten-free pizza tastes like".  Thanks, Simon.  You just ruined our life.

Ok, I'm over it, really.

THEN, we went out.  Byron, by night, is different from Byron, by day.  Well, for one, it's dark.  Not really anything to report about Byron by night, except that, exhausted from a long day surfing, I dragged the unwilling hoard of boys back to the snazzy apartment fairly early.  Considering that Simon wanted to wake up at 0600 to go surfing the next morning, I thought remaining up all night wasn't probably the smartest idea.  See?  I'm getting wise in my old age.

Marnix then complained that he couldn't go to sleep because his stomach was full of pizza crust and it wasn't sitting very well.  (Considering that Simon had spent the entire meal stealing Marnix's pizza crusts from out of his hands half-way to his mouth, I think it was more likely to be the strawberry cider...)

However,  despite the stomach, Marnix was the first person to head upstairs to bed.

He was also the first (and only) person to scream at the top of his voice and run almost-head-first down the stairs yelling "AHHHH THERE'S A MASSIVE ANIMAL ABOUT A FOOT LONG IN YOUR BED, SIMON!!!!!!!!!"  Highly italicised, underlined, capitalised and in bold font to emphasise how loud it was, just in case you hadn't picked that up already.

Cue me jumping to my feet and running up the stairs to see how cool this animal could possibly be.  Simon and Steve, armed with various shoes, followed slightly more cautiously.

Wait for it.

Majassive foot long animal Stick insect.

To do Marnix justice, it was a pretty big stick insect.  It was about 8 inches long including its feet, it's body was perhaps 1 cm wide (not sorry about the imperial/metric mixture) and dark grey in colour.  I was just about to pick it up and then Simon swooped in and grabbed the pillow on which it was sitting and took it outside and ushered it away before I could even touch it, let alone take a picture of it, which was all very disappointing, but it was pretty awesome.  I didn't even get to give it a name :(

And then we slept.

And Day 2 is an entirely different story and isn't going to happen in this blog entry because it's Far Too Long Already.  (the blog and the day)


Friday, February 15, 2013


And when I say it rained, it poured. The sea is warmer than the rain. Fact. And surfing is still possible in the storm :). now it is back to the beach! Unfortunately no sunbathing available :(

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thursday. For the last 2 days I've thought it was Friday, which gets confusing and a little inconvenient when trying to make appointments. I figure from now on I should go with dates!

Today is my last day of house viewing - or at least, it is my last day of scheduled appointments. I have 43 apartments to view, after which I want to make a decision.

I've one place that I really want to move in to, but haven't yet heard back about, and one place I have been offered, so there is something happening!

Tomorrow morning, early, I head to Byron for two days, camping, except I don't yet have a sleeping bag or mattress to lie on! Hopefully I will have time to buy stuff this afternoon. I've just spent huge amounts of money on a cover and straps for my surfboard so that is safe on the roof, so looking forward to plenty of surfing!

I'm rather dreading this move, in that after this weekend I have almost no time off, so getting my life organised is going to be one massive last minute rush! Anyway, here's to an awesome place to live, sometime soon ! Cheers! :)


Monday, February 11, 2013

Back to step 1 on the house hunting front, folks! All places previous viewed are either unavailable or unsuitable, so I'm starting again. Sitting in the Coffee Club in Nundah , eating ( yes, eating, it's that thick) a mango frappé, waiting for another apartment view.

But there is good news! I have a week off at the beginning of March, and I'm going to NSW for a 5 day surf camp! SO excited :)

Pics and details to come!!!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sorry I haven't blogged! I haven't done anything to blog about except for househunt, and I will post pics of my eventual pad whenever I know where/which that is!

Oh, and on the 14th I'm going to Byron for a few days, that should be awesome.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's time, again. Five years, nine moves... here comes number ten. Not cool, people, not cool. I'm so over it already, and I haven't even started packing. Gotta say, I'm not a fan of 'be prepared', I more go with the 'ignore it and it might go away' way of doing things.

I'm really hoping that this next move will be 'it' for at least a year. Not sure where I'm moving to yet but I've a couple of options and 4 weeks ledt so all is good (ahhhhhhgggghhhhhh noooo) - good is relative!

No pics of where I'm going 'cause I don't know where I'm bound, to quote the great Johnny Cash! Promise there will be some (whether you like it or not) when I have a place. So far, the next viewing is on Saturday.

Where was I...? Oh yes - AAAHHHHGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

So yeah, that was Auckland. Auckland with it's extremely hard to find wifi, and also with massively high roaming charges. Although, I should really blame Australia for that, rather than New Zealand.

Being that I was only over for 3 nights, I didn't buy a sim card, so being internetless the majority of the time, I am writing this from my hotel room and will publish it when I get to the business lounge at the airport.

Oooh hooty tooty business lounge, you may well say. Too right, and long may it last! Bring on the perks, I must say :)

Anyway, the recurrent simulator (an approximately 6 month occurrence) and Instrument Rating Test ( supposedly 12 monthly but we do it 6 monthly...) is over. Hoorah! This also means that I am out of probation - officially, only when I get a letter from the company.

I don't have any pictures from here. I'm afraid we came, we didn't see much, and I guess we conquered, and the only photos I took are company specific and not going on the blog, although I am 99.9% sure you all know who I am anyway. Do you? Should I be worried?

Back to Brizzy tomorrow (well, today by the time I post this), and then surfing on Tuesday - that's the plan, anyway! Gotta give my new board some breaking in :)

Celebratory beers are all in fashion now, although my not-so-esteemed colleague decided (for once) to join us in the bar and then sat down at a different table, which was a bit weird.


I am now in the business lounge, using the free wifi, so I can post this! Sorry, nothing extra, either interesting or worthwhile, to report...

In Auckland, probation check passed, a real real Ozzie pilot now!

More to come from Oz, I've limited internet here!