Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Hello, my friend.  2014 Advent, day one.

Yesterday we got the trees up, in preparation for December 1.  I stopped at having put my tree up due to C's lights being very ugly and wanting to buy new ones, but T threw a tantie about wanting to decorate (directed at C) and the tree has ended up like this:

Trust me, this will change.  As soon as I get back from Gladstone, lights will be bought, and tree will be salvaged.  And until that time, none of my special decorations are going anywhere near it.

Happily, Kurt's tree has come out a lot better:

Putting on the finishing touches...

Tada! Sorry about the bad pictures... was awful lightning

Kurt bought me roses.  Aww!  My first flowers ever :). Good choice too... and I really love the dark red ones!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Garden Grows

Well, as I said, C made me jealous by adding some length to his garden, so I did the same to mine.  That brown expanse with two lonely plants?  My new garden.

The two plants are, yet again, zucchini/courgette.  The old plants - which you can actually see top right of this picture - are almost at the end of their fruiting, so it was time to start afresh.  I don't think C likes my zucchini plants, as they mean he has to go around them when he mows :)

Also at the top of the new patch is one of the tomatoes that used to be in a pot, and a new capsicum plant and a few new flowers (such as gerbera daisies)

Obviously, being that I like my garden to be compact, I have planted the flowers way too close together as the signs on the pots suggested 30cm and I have given them about 5cm... hehehe *evil laugh*

Here is a pretty butterfly, my cherry tomato, two of the large tomato plants, some lettuces, basil, flowers, capsicum (far left) and the beginning of the bean row (top left)

The poor suffering courgette plants, still flowering away, but their bodies beginning to mould and faint away...  sugar-snap peas planted behind, and raspberry plant top left.

The sunflowers - the tallest now at a staggering 150cm - nothing on C's 240cm, but I think mine have a ways to go yet!  At the bottom of the sunflowers are planted the carrots - you can just see them - and you can see the raspberry plant to their left, and flowers planted in front.

I forget the name of this flower and I refuse to go outside again to look at the tag.  It's sort of cactus-y.


Sugar-snap peas close up.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I would like to apologise profusely for my lack of blogging.

To start off with, here is a quick video of a storm we flew around a couple of days ago.  For all of you who have seen this clip before, on my facebook, sorry for the repetition!

The weather was completely insane, one minute we were having to track 30 miles west to avoid a cell, next minute we were heading out to sea, hoping to find some sort of gap where lightning wasn't going to strike.  (Yes, we made it unscathed)

This is a picture of a very very very dirty and dusty screen... apologies... but that's a cell, right over the airport.  the EMLEG is the initial approach fix and then the left turn tracks us in to the runway... and the magenta bit is where the runway is.

So we discontinued that, and hung a left to come in on the reciprocal runway.  Here is a photo taken of the approach to RWY06 with the storm heading away - there was lots of nice lightning coming out of the base of it too.

And here is another storm with a rainbow, on final approach into Brisbane.  The runway is somewhere to the left of the rainbow.

Dodgy green storm clouds.

Okay, I'm sure you'll all be glad to know that I'm all done posting storm stuff (for today).

Moving on, on Saturday I went to Burleigh Heads with Kurt, to the beach, and it was awesome.  I really really love it down there, the sea is so clear you can be in the water up to your neck and still see your feet clearly.  Of course, despite many applications of sunscreen, we both got horribly burnt (next time I'm going to use zinc).  We headed back to Brisbane mid afternoon to watch The Hunger Games : Catching Fire, with C & T, which was really good.

Obviously, the ending left a lot to be desired - as in, cliff hanger - but I expected that, as that is how the book ends.  I am not sure how they are going to make the third film, as I really disliked the third book with the plot twists and how they treat the main characters.

After the movie, we were going to go in to town for one of the other FO's birthday party, but the large quantities of sun, salt-water and sugar got to me and I wasn't very well for the rest of the evening.  However, I felt fine the next morning and went off to work to play in the storms.  Sorry, I forgot I wasn't going to post any more storm stuff (today).

This morning C announced that he had dug some more garden out down his end of the patch.  He also cleaned the entire house, waxed his car, and mowed the lawn.  I should mention, that he has also just departed to Singapore for the simulator, so he has spent the last couple of weeks freaking out about how much study he has had to do.  Obviously he has a similar study method to me - in other words, find any remote excuse of things that need to be done before actually studying... ha.

So, feeling jealous of his extra space ("Kate, don't you DARE put anything in the space that I just dug, I'm going to plant in it when I get back!  If you touch it I shall destroy whatever you plant!!!")  I dug my own.  I had to use a fork instead of a spade because up my end by the house, the ground is full of rubble as well as clay, and the spade was just getting stuck.

C seems to have a different method from me.  He digs up all of the clay (which is about 4 - 6 inches beneath the grass) and then chops it all into the soil.  I dig it up and discard it (and the rubble), leaving just the soft topsoil, and digging down to about 8 inches deep.  I then fill up the extra depth with compost, mixing it in with the topsoil.  It seems that whoever built the house simply levelled out all the rubble etc and planted grass on top.  Winning.

I think my method is why my garden grows so much better than C's.  Shh, don't tell him!

This afternoon, Kurt and I are heading out to buy a bed for his spare room.  Not much point having a spare room without a bed in it, is there?  And then we're going to Bunnings (he doesn't know this yet) so that I can buy yet more plants.

Oh and I dug up my cucumber and threw it away because it was annoying me by its only-female-flower extravaganza which meant that it wasn't producing any cucumbers.  Stupid thing.  The good news is that the courgettes produced by the two courgette plants have pretty much paid for the entire garden... in all the courgettes that I might have bought but probably wouldn't have...


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The giant turnip

Well, it's not a turnip, but almost.

Looks around 44cm long...

And weighing in at a whopping 1.9 kg, which translates to just over 4lb, to the uninitiated.

I could have left it to grow further, but the plant was growing courgettes very slowly at this stage, so I decided to give the others a bit of a chance.  Besides, how much stuffed marrow can I eat?

So the plan is to have stuffed marrow (if Mum gives me her recipe - please, Mum) and perhaps even to make marrow & ginger jam.

Who knows?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The crazy week continues

Well, after a week of storms, they show no sign of abating, although the forecast for tomorrow is better.  This morning, flying out of Gladstone, there was plenty of lightning and a good bit of edging between cells to be done, although the weather got better the closer we got to Brisbane.

This afternoon, it's a different story.  We must have spent between an hour and two hours simply standing at the upstairs window watching this roll cloud.

It started pretty straight north to south, with showers clearly seen behind, and great jagged forks of lightning and incredibly loud thunder accompanying it.  Then it started twisting from the middle, with the southern end staying fairly constant and the northern end visibly twisting to the east.

Here is the radar view  of the roll cloud.  We are almost at the top of the north-western middle circle... between Boondall and Brisbane Ap. 

Apparently down south in Coolangatta area there was hail the size of golf-balls.  Here, however, it was maybe 4mm.

The northern end of the roll cloud twisting towards the east

It started raining and hailing viciously, and then as soon as it started, it stopped, the sun came out, and we were treated to this double rainbow silhuetted against the dark of the receding storm.

Lightning through the rainbow

Aaand some more - my iphone couldn't cope with the brightness of this fork - sorry about that !

The good news is that the garden is unscathed and it also won't need watering tonight !!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

At the risk of publicising my work environment, I must share that it rained in the crew room last night too.

Unfortunately the planning room with computers is still serviceable, so I still had to go to work.

There are more thunderstorms forecast this afternoon.  It is days like these that waking up at 0330 to do the pre-weather shift doesn't feel quite so bad.  Although, that said, I don't think the sound of the alarm clock while in a deep sleep ever gets any nicer or easier to deal with.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So much to blog about, and so little time.

Let's see...

I got up at 0600 to help Kurt move house... endless, endless boxes up and down stairs... *dies*

This took until about 1200.  Then his new fridge and washer arrived, and while the instally-people worked on that, it started to storm.

As in lightning, thunder, torrential rain, you name it, Queensland's got it.

However, it didn't seem all that windy.

Until we got back to my house.

oh and did I mention that is my new teak desk which now has wet in the seams?  It will never be the same again.

So unimpressed.

Kurt was amazing and cleaned up the mess upstairs for me - ie wringing a large quantity of water out of the curtains, carpet, and God knows how much mud off the model airplanes.  Yes, that's right, people, mud.  Either it was raining mud, or else the fly-screens are so disgustingly dirty that they transformed the rain into mud.  I'm not sure which one to go for...

Also, I left the gas on this morning... that was nice to come home to.  We have a very dodgy gas stove on which only 2 flints work - so to turn on 1 hob, you have to use 2 knobs... and it is oh so easy to leave the second one happily running out gas... scary yes I know.  And this is the second time I've done it, although the first time we (okay, Kurt) picked up on it.

And the rain water tank has sprung a leak so the front of the house is flooded.  Happily the house is raised on concrete slabby things so it's only flooded outside.  Although upstairs is rather damp due to the windows being open.  To do myself justice, I must explain that it doesn't usually storm this early in the day - at least, not at this time of year (or at least this is the first this year).

The plumber has come around and says we need a new tank, mate.  This one's ****ed, mate.  Sorry, mate, there's nothing I can do, can't fix it, mate.  As they do, in Australia.

So anyway.

Busy day and it is only 1330 and I'm STARVING so goodbye !!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The garden grows!

First pic... cucumber in frame, TAKING OFF
then little eggplant
then capsicum with 3 green capsicums so far
sunflower and beans behind
and flowers around the edge

tomatoes with little basil underneath, and courgettes

tomatoes close up

sunflowers taking off!  The one the other end is still less than a foot high - these guys are a good two foot +
few small carrots in front, and then flowers

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A storm from the air

A storm seen on the radar 

The same storm seen from the ground

Jus' sayin'

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I used to live with a complete psycho.  Kurt and I nicknamed her Alpha Charlie - her initials - not sure exactly why but the nickname stuck, and I guess that makes us complete geeks.

Anyway, as she proved herself entirely batty and downright verbally abusive, I moved house.  As I have mentioned previously, many times.

And although I was told by a few people that I wasn't the only roommate she had treated this way, I did wonder whether I had contributed to the disaster in some way, and whether I could have done anything differently.

So, although it does seem a little mean, I was actually happy to hear this morning that she has already (after about 3 - 4 months) fallen out with the next housemate and booted him out of the house - and this is someone she has been friends with for 12 years!  Apparently it degenerated to only communicating via text and email, and then he came out of his room one day to see a note telling him to move out.  And even though I'm not sure I should be, it makes me feel happy inside because, you know, it wasn't me.  Well of course, I know really it wasn't me, but my subconscious... well sometimes it says maybe it was you.  Or at least, it used to.

So now, I wish this guy the best of luck in finding somewhere else to live, and I wish it hadn't ended like that but... I'm sorry mate but ... it wasn't me.

Oh and, here's a picture of a runway.

And some smoke.  Because the firies (for all non-Australian, firies = firefighters) were out playing... with fire, surprisingly.  And the smoke kept alternatin white and grey, a bit like the piano keys on the runway, so I took a photo.

Oh and we hit a bug at 3,000' that splattered onto the windscreen a splat about 8 inches which was cool and I don't know what sort of bug it was because it was a little unrecognisable which is what happens when you hit an ATR travelling at 230kts in the opposite direction.

And I don't have a picture of the splat.  So sorry.  

So instead, here is a picture of how hot it was in the flightdeck this morning - 32ish degrees.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yesterday was Kurt's birthday, so I made him a cake.  Actually, I made him two cakes, because I decided that one cake just wasn't hacking it.  I then chopped off the top of both of the cakes and sandwiched them together to make one big cake.  Obviously, the question was what to put in the middle?  I am not a fan of too much butter icing (I think it gets too sickly) but neither am I keen on putting jam in a cake, so when a friend suggested raspberries and cream, it was a go-er.

Oh yeah, and I bought this awesome cake box which has a cake plate with handles... solves getting the cake in and out of the box perfectly - and the handles fold under the plastic plate and clip in place, so that they don't look ugly any more.

Here is the first layer, complete with cream and whole (flattened) raspberries.

The cake!  My first proper piping experience... and the white chocolate writing was extremely difficult - probably because I was doing it wrong...

Different angle of cakeness.

Inside :)

Oh, and did I mention that it was delicious?  Although Kurt said it could have done with a little more icing.  Hehe.

Did I mention that I met his parents on his birthday?  Yeah.  Well.  It went fine actually, although he said I was freaking out about it and I claimed not to be.  Was I?  Will I ever tell this story?  Probably not.

I think he had a good day, although it's hard to get the truth out of him there :)

TTFN !!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sydney Revisited (Part 3)

In the afternoon, we went to the Maritime Museum.  It was reasonably priced, and we got to go in three boats.  For those who object to me calling every sea vessel a boat, get over it.  I shall continue to do so, and it is my blog.

This is the HMS Vampire, and beside her, on the right, is the submarine whose name I forget.

Climbing down the hatch into the submarine

They make the doorways as hard as possible to get through...

Torpedo tubes in the submarine

The engine room

Sitting up on the deck of the HMS Vampire

This is a replica of the Endeavour, Captain Cook's vessel, and it was very unstable and made me feel a little queasy.

And then we ate food and hung around the harbour until it was time to fly home.   Having walked around Sydney for hours and hours and hours we didn't really feel like exploring the actual maritime museum - the boats were sufficient !  Okay, maybe Kurt would have if I had felt like it :P

That's Sydney in a nutshell, folks!  No more Revisited posts to come !