Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve

A winter's day

In a deep and dark December

I aaam alooooone

Gazing from my window

To the streets below

On a freshly fallen 

Silent shroud of snow


 Okay, okay... well I AM alone, Kurt is at work , so poor old me has gone to the beach on my lonesome...

Mind you, I do have the whole family to hang out with, and they DID drive me the 2 blocks to the beach rather than me walking...

And Kurt is home tonight, and we will both be together tomorrow...

So life isn't really so very hard...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I feel like such a horrible blogger, in fact, given November's record, I don't think I can really call myself a blogger at all ! 

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and I think we have bought almost all of our gifts... one or two remaining, but who's counting?  I think that my lack of Christmas growing up has made me appreciate it more in some ways, be confused in other ways, and just not understand some of what it's really about.  However, I am trying to learn!

Tonight we went out for dinner with a couple of friends, and exchanged Christmas presents, which we unwrapped there and then even though it's not Christmas yet.  Well, we unwrapped theirs, and gave ours to them... unwrapped as I had given up trying to wrap the awkward shape, much to Kurt's disappointment (but I hasten to add that he did not attempt to wrap it himself!).  Surprise, surprise, we both gave each other a form of Christmas hamper.  Is that what you automatically get for people when you really can't think of anything to get?

Actually the one we got is really nice, a wicker picnic basket that is a sealed cool-bag inside and lots of chocolately and sugary snacks!  Bang goes any semblance of a diet between here and the new year - there are way too many goodies to get through, given my resolution to give up sugar in January...

...I know, I know, it won't last, but ONLY January, is the resolution, don't want to make it too hard for myself.  Cold turkey much.  And I obviously am not the type to make resolutions to actually help people and make the world a better place... as my giving up sugar will really just make everyone around me completely miserable.  *evil cackle*

I'm rambling.

Apparently I don't blog about flying any more, well, there's not really much new about flying.  I go to work, I fly to M, G, R or E, and then I fly back to Brisbane.  And then, usually, I do it again, often overnighting in R or G, and not really anywhere else.  And I fly with all the same people, some of whom I like (which is great) and others that I'm not particularly bothered about (which is fine) and others that I really am not fond of at all (oh well) and then I get to go home!  Whoopee! 

After Christmas I get to fly somewhere new... new to me, not to everyone else who has been going there for months, but I didn't get rostered before now.  I'm glad I waited, because now the airport (well... landing strip) has lights!  and RNAV approaches!  and an actual airport plate! When people first flew in there, there was no weather report (actually I think there is still no weather so we're very restricted about time of day etc. that we can fly in there, like we can't go in if it's night time, for instance) and no lights, no PAPI (approach slope guidance), no approaches and no map of the airport to show us where to go after we land.  Which actually wasn't that much of a big deal as you land, keep going until you run out of runway, and then turn off the runway and voila, there you are at the terminal (okay, one-sided shed) and you can pick between two bays (generally you don't get to choose) and God forbid that someone else taxied at the same time as you, because there isn't anywhere to turn around once you've moved off the bay!  So much fun...  I'm just waiting for someone to taxi and some other idiot to land and them sort of look at each other stupidly, like what do we do NOW?

It's been very stormy the last few weeks, summer came in with a bang, and although Brisbane technically does not have a Dry and a Wet season, I think it does, because it was very dry (except for our wedding day) and now it is very decidedly wet.  Even Moranbah is green, which is saying something.  However, it doesn't just rain over here.  When it decides to rain, it's like a swimming pool in the sky, and add that to some tennis-ball sized hail (in some areas - we only got tiny little golf-balls) and a whole bunch of lightning, and there you have it.  The Brisbane Wet.

Obviously, flying + thunderstorms (with the occasional supercell thrown in) doesn't mix all too well, especially when you have idiots flying around who think they own the sky.  Over the last week we have had two aircraft grounded due to lightning strikes.  I don't know if I've just been lucky, but in all 7 years of flying, with 2.5 of them over here, I am still waiting for my first lightning strike.  And I'm happy to keep waiting, thank you very much.  Pick the other guy, why don't you.

On the subject of guys, we were walking through the terminal yesterday, me and another female pilot, flying together, as we often do, and some guy fundraising for life savers says "are you really pilots?"  T lost her smart, as she often does, stopped, and was like "what did you say???"  The guy is like "what?" and she is like "what did you just say?  Did you say are we really pilots?"  And believe it or not, ye life saving fundraiser man replied "I just thought you were models."

Which was weird.

Aaaaanyway... add that to the list of crazy-female-pilot's-life stories (like the female security guard looking me up and down and declaring "aren't you a cute little pilot?") !

I have now submitted my application for Permanent Residency - and I was told that as soon as I had the email confirming my application I could apply for Medicare.  Oddly, you submit the application and THEN upload all the supporting documents, so without having uploaded anything to support my application, I printed out the confirmation letter and headed off to Medicare.  Having done it all so promptly, my details weren't even in the system yet, but apparently that didn't matter so they gave me a temporary card and sent off the permanent one which should arrive in the next 3 - 4 weeks (give or take Christmas).

So once I had the temporary card, we managed to get me proper Australian health insurance so I can cancel my useless visa health cover!  That also warrants a "Whoopee!"

I think I'm running out of things to say, which probably you are all (or maybe there is only one of you left reading this blog by now) pretty happy about.

Oh yeah, it's our four monthiversary on Monday.  I forgot the three monthiversary which was probably more significant but I think I got stuck in an outport or something similar.  I won't get to see Kurt on this one either as he goes to work at 0530 and I leave at 1200 on an overnight before he gets home from work!  Such is married life :)

Anyway that's it folks, I'm bored now!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

31 days in October, and I managed 15 posts.  Hmm....

I'm not cut out for this challenge business.

I am, however, still running.  Running, and running, and running, and today I did my first 10k without stopping.  Quite a good feeling to feel my Fitbit buzzing that I had completed my daily goal of 10,000 steps by 0630!  The problem with running so far, is that it takes so long, so on a normal day it's not a goal that I'm really interested in.  Today it took me 1 hour, 8 minutes and 26 seconds to run, which is about 6 minutes less than the Bridge to Brisbane (we walked 1.4k of that, so it doesn't count as a non-stop 10k) and about 5 minutes slower than Kurt achieved it in a few days ago. 

I'm pretty happy with my time, however, especially as for once I managed to pace myself rather than completely exhaust myself in the first couple of kilometers!

Kurt won a couple of personal trainer sessions in a competition at the physio, so he has gone to get yelled at for an hour. 

The last few days have been particularly busy, as it was Kurt's birthday yesterday, and we wanted to do lots of celebrating.  I managed to sneakily buy him his birthday presents without him knowing, guessing, or actually having any idea whatsoever, which is a big achievement as he is extremely nosey! 

On Tuesday, he opened his birthday presents early as we were going down the coast for 2 nights.  Personally, I think it's pretty much as exciting as receiving a present to give something that you know the other person will go crazy about! 

We stayed in a hotel on the Gold Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, it's only an hour or so's drive from the house, but it was nice to just get away and not have to do anything!  We did, however, get up at silly o'clock both mornings to go surfing!  This was another part of Kurt's birthday present, and it was lots of fun.  We had lessons from 0700 to 0830 both days, and the instructor broke it down to easy steps and Kurt was able to stand up on his board really quickly... mind you, he fell off really quickly too, but by the end of both lessons we had both learned a lot.

The surf lessons ended somewhat dramatically for me as I was stung by a jellyfish when I fell off my surfboard.  This was incredibly painful and included me hopping out of the sea dramatically and then running off to douse it under fresh water.  Kurt, on finding out that I had been stung, was like "meh!" and went on surfing, being a strong Australian man and not thinking anything of jellyfish stings.

For me, it was a different story, being my first jellyfish sting ever, and being in a lot of pain.  However, after getting back to the hotel and having a hot shower - hot water really makes the sting feel better - the burning eased off and now I just have a rash across the inside of my knee as evidence of the vicious attack.

We got home yesterday afternoon, via Bribie Island, which isn't really on the way (being an hour up the coast, while we were already an hour down the coast...), but Kurt wanted to see his parents so that he could get the rest of his birthday presents on time! 

Then, last night we went out to dinner at Hogsbreath with a few friends, which was fun.  Kurt got a couple more presents and then we came home relatively early (2130?) and collapsed with exhaustion.  Okay, I collapsed with exhaustion and went straight to bed, and Kurt played with his new arrows and xbox game for an hour or so! 

And then I woke up bright and early this morning and went for a 10k run... which brings us back to the very beginning of this post so I can stop now !!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Gone are the days of painfully kneading pizza dough... yippee!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I just ran for 10 minutes (1.83km)
cycled for 10 minutes (5km)
and rowed for 10 minutes (2046m)
which is hardly a triathlon (besides, I didn't want to get wet), but it was tough anyway.

This whole getting fit thing sucks sometimes.  After a work out, the aches and the tired and the I've-worked-really-hard feeling is really good, but pre workiut? During??  No, thank you very much.  The getting one's self out of bed to drag oneself to the gym?  Urgh!!  And then usually at the 5 minute mark where it all looks horribly uphill... can I stop now?

the thing is, it allows me to eat chocolate croissants... and chocolate... and KFC... and all the other healthy things I want to include in my life.

So as far as a weight-loss tool, it doesn't really work, but as a 'dont end up looking like a whale' tool it is doing a fairly good job.
And whoever said that girls dont sweat, they 'perpire' - whatever, folks, they made that up.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Neon Run

After we ran (mostly) the 10k Bridge to Brisbane in September, they advertised for the 5k Neon Run, which is a night run with lots of neon lights and disco music, and we thought ooh, that would be fun, let's do it!  And having spent the last few weeks desperately training so that I could run 5k without stopping (I did manage it once, pre-Neon) we read the event package they sent us last week and realised... well this was more of a have-fun-drink-beer-dance-to-an-open-air-disco-and-meander-5k than a run. 

Being very stubborn and determined people, we decided to still treat it like a run.  Having planned to run 5k, and having been timing ourselves and pushing ourselves and being generally horrible to our poor aching bodies, it was only right that we got to run 5k despite the odds.  The Neon Run organisers were strictly "we're not timing the run, it's just for fun" which didn't sound much like fun to us, because it's running so it's supposed to be really really painful - so Kurt used his new Garmin running watch, and I used my i-phone's GPS, and we religiously tracked and timed ourselves while attempting to dodge large groups of meandering walkers.

We (all 6,500 of us) were segregated into groups named after bands and singers, ours being "Coldplay", and we were about the tenth group called to start the run.  The first runners left at 1900, the event having been "opened" from 1700, including the bar.  We arrived at 1800 and ate pizza and corn-on-the-cob and bought neon shoelaces and found abandoned glowsticks to stick in our shoes and on our wrists.  Our "event package" included a battery powered neon bracelet which was sound activated (so the closer you got to the stage, the more it would blink, until it couldn't handle the noise any more and just remained on).

Finally, we started running.  Okay, it was only about 1920 at that stage, but as we were runners 4396 and 4397, you can imagine how many people were already on the course!  Most of these weren't running, so it was quite interesting and very frustrating at times, trying to duck, dodge and weave our way through the crowd - while trying very very hard to keep running.

Every km of the course they had a "station", whether it was a foam station - positioned precariously under a bridge next to the Brisbane River, with runners walkers standing around blocking the path so that you had to run on the very edge of the walkway... with a six foot embankment (about 60 degrees steep) into the river which if just one of these human obstacles took a step backwards at the wrong time... swim time and dinner for the bull sharks.

We survived.  But only just.

By about the 3rd kilometer, we had left the majority of these Incredibly Annoying People behind, and managed to go a bit faster.  My fastest kilometer was still only 6'12" but I was still pretty happy with that given the winding-ness of the course, and the 6498 other "non-competitors" we had to avoid.

As you can see, there is quite a marked difference between us pre-run and post-run !!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

there was too much reflection on the windows today to get any decent pictures

But that's Bribie Island and the Passage, in between the reflections on the glass

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I've missed 3 or 4 days, I don't know where the time goes!  It's been a busy time, I had the club shoot on Sunday, which I bravely went to on my own as Kurt had the BMW ride (bicycle ride, NOT motorbike).  I once again wasn't very good, and really need to practise more with my new bow.  I'm pretty sure the dodgy shooting is due to the bad operator. 

Sunday afternoon I headed back to the old house to do more cleaning - having done several hours on Saturday too.  Monday brought a certain level of exhaustion, so I didn't do much that day, that I can remember, anyway.

Tuesday, which was yesterday, was when the carpet cleaners came to the house in Banyo and I finished all the floors and thought it was all finished.  Kurt went over after work to install the extractor fan filters that I didn't know how to fit, and discovered that the kitchen was still fairly filthy, despite my housemate having told me that his friend had thoroughly cleaned the kitchen.  Unfortunately, this means that this morning will be spent re-cleaning the kitchen!

Tuesday afternoon we went to play squash with M&H, which was lots of fun.  It's been a long time - about fifteen months - since we last played squash, and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it!  I am quite achy this morning - it uses a lot of muscles that I don't use with running - and is quite a workout.  We must do it more often!

As I said, this moring I am going to Banyo to do Yet More Cleaning, and then hoping to go shooting this afternoon... we just upped the poundage of my bow a little to make the longer distance arrows fly straighter instead of dropping off as much, so will need to re-sight the bow - again!

That's pretty much the last 3 days in a nutshell, and now I must clean the kitchen, as I am a very very messy cook, and I don't like cleaning up after myself, so I usually leave it for Future Kate who really really hates Past Kate, and hates Present Kate most of the time too... as she gets lumped with pretty much every chore!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

We went to a BBQ in Ningi last night.  I didn't take a sweater because a) I wasn't cold at the time and b) I may have been throwing one or two toys out of the pram about not owning any nice sweaters in the whole world.  It was chilly but once Kurt had the fire lit, it was cozy warm - at least, my front was!

I also met an awesome tree frog.

I tried to take a couple of pictures to dhow his size.

Next to a jumbo box of matches:

But then realised that the Non-Aussies of this blog might not know how big a jumbo box of matches is... so I moved on to a toothpick:

Mind you, he was sitting up for the toothpick picture and lying down for the matchbox one, so the matchbox pic is more impressive - given that the short side of the matchbox is approximately the length of a toothpick.

I also lied to my host and said I liked Australian sausages, when asked, as I felt a little bit guilty about my seafood phobia the previous night.  However, I was saved by the advent of steak sandwiches and celebration cake that left no room for sausages!

Kurt's dad being one of ten means that there are a large number of C's.  Also a large number of Mr & Mrs C's, and I am now contrjbuting to the problem!  I think my sense of humour seems to fit in, though, which helps!  I like to think that I can hold my own...

This morning, Kurt has gone to do the BMW ride, a 88km cycle around Brisbane that started at about 0500 this morning!  I am heading up to Petrie shortly for the club shoot (archery) at Lakeside Bowmen Club.  I'm a bit nervous as this is the first time I have gone without Kurt... I think Krispy Kreme's will be in order on the way!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Yesterday, we went up the coast to visit Kurt's cousin, for dinner.  She is a chef and lives in Broome, and had arranged a night of seafood.  When I heard this... I have to say I became quite apprehensive.  Apprehensive to the extent that it made me quite nauseous!  

I enjoyed the fish course, I was not 100% certain how I felt about the gravlax, and I was brave enough to try the scallops and the prawns.  

I thing was, they didn't taste all that bad. Actually, I'm not quite sure what they tasted of, as the overriding sensation was fear.  Completely irrational, of course, and I am glad I tried it - but even if it was not objectionable, I am not sure it is something I could ever enjoy.

The dessert was creme brulee , one of Kurt's favourites, and as his cousin already knew I wasn't a massive fan, I had chocolate chip icecream and a large amount of toffee - a very satisfactory finish to the meal!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I just ran 5k, which is the furthest I've ever run without stopping.  I did it in 30:05, set at 10kph, 6 minute k's, which went slightly over because the treadmill had to speed up.  I ended up having to run 30 seconds a bit faster due to that as well - and still ran very slightly below my goal of 30 minutes.  Still happy though, although even with an incline of 0, the last kilometre was torture, and my muscles are now complaining !

I only use a treadmill when I'm on overnights - apparently it can help to alternate between real running and treadmill running, for training, as per the physio, so the 4 or 5 times a month I get to use one, I try to make the most of it.  Ok... not always.

I'm in Rockhampton, by the way, and I didn't take any photos.  However last night there was a lunar eclipse with a forecasted blood moon, and although people on the ground only got a good view of the undersides of clouds, we spent 20 minutes over Maleny, going around in circles, watching the shadow slowly engulf the moon.  It got about half-way across before we left Maleny and descended into Brisbane.  Thanks, BAC for the extended holding... it was quite interesting for once!  Unfortunately even iphones don't take good pictures of the moon, in partial eclipse or otherwise, so I didn't even attempt it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I don't think I ever mentioned that the Waikiki meatballs and chicken curry went down well.  The meatballs are long gone and the curry is following on its heels.  I suppose that means I need to cook something else. 

I'm on reserve this morning... my calendar shows me that they are going to call me, but they haven't yet.  They are pushing it because they appear to want me to sign on at 0940, and with a 2 hour callout, they should have called me 30 minutes ago!  Not My Problem.

I've finally sorted out my passport application to change to my married name (eek) and will mail that off this morning.  One tiny step for mankind one giant leap for Kate?  I'm not sure how that one goes...

I don't really have anything to say this morning but am bravely writing a blogpost to say nothing anyway, as I said that I would.

Maybe after flying today (if they ever call me), I'll have some more aerial photos to bore you with.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Apparently, when you're doing 31 days of writing, you're supposed to pick specific themes from your post from whoever it is who organises the thing.  Well, I didn't know that until now, so I'm going to ignore it from now as well.


There's a creek by the apartments, it is dirty and dark, and runs along the back by the big grassed area.  It has broken concrete, and murky shallow pools, and a faint smell of not-so-nice.

Here it is, in all it's grubby glory,

 but if you look a little closer, you will see it's beauty.  

These little purple flowers were covering the bank,

 and if you listen, you will hear the trickle of the water tumbling over the broken concrete steps.

 If you have a moment to stop and take notice.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Today is Labour day, which means that almost every shop in Queensland is closed... except for DFO at the Airport.  Apparently everyone in the state had the idea of going shopping at DFO today, because it was ridiculously crowded.  Unfortunately, I had made the decision that I was going to cook today, and not having all of the ingredients I needed, DFO's madness was braved.

Waikiki meatballs are made and ready for dinner tonight, and chicken curry is reducing on the stove for tomorrow's meals.  I feel so accomplished.  Okay, not 100% accomplished, as I haven't cleaned the kitchen up yet... and I think I am possibly the messiest cook ever.

Kurt is at work, so that is somewhat of a license to be an even more messy cook than usual... but it will be cleaned up before he gets home!  (And he is probably reading this anyway, hehe)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Days of Writing: Day 5

I think I should retitle this series 31 Days of Writing Minus The Days That I Forget.

That would make this -2.

Yesterday was pretty full with a cousin's wedding - so no room for blogging... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  It was a beautiful wedding, but very strange to be watching another couple get married so soon after our own... so many memories!  It was different in many ways, and I am happy to report that despite all of the changes the weather threw on us, I wouldn't change a thing about our special day! 

We stayed the night up in Bribie with the in-laws, and had an easy-going morning there before coming back down to Brisbane at lunch time.

Bribie Island is about a 50 minutes' drive north of Brisbane, which to me would make it "up".  However everyone seems to refer to it as going "down" to Bribie and "up" to Brisbane, which I find very confusing.  Must be something to do with the Southern Hemisphere and standing on their heads for so long.

Tomorrow I am on reserve and have lots of plans for it.  Of course, we aren't supposed to make plans while on reserve, for obvious reasons, but I prefer to be thoroughly disappointed by the ruin of my day when I get called in to work...  So far, our plans involve archery, visiting Grandma, and writing thank-you cards. 

One, two, or maybe even three of this to-do list will be completed, depending on motivation and levels of procrastination in the morning!

Friday, October 3, 2014

31 days of writing: Running

I've started running, in a bid to get fit.  Strange, I know, but when running up 3 flights of stairs leaves you puffed, you know it's time to change things.

Pre-wedding, we (Kurt) decided to enter us in the Bridge to Brisbane 10k fun run. The plan was to train for a few weeks - he did, but I didn't, as the running combined with pre-wedding stress made my neck sore.

So the Bridge to Brisbane came, and we ran it, with a little walking (8.4k running) and finished with a respectable time of 1h14.

I then hurt my foot due to having started running too much too soon, so had to stop for a couple of weeks - and have now been trying to get back in to it.  The goal is to run every other day, at least 3km.  Yesterday I really pushed myself and managed 3k in 16'10" - with a best time of 5'14" for the third kilometer.  Woohoo!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days of Writing : Wedding

What a big topic, although one would think it would be exhausted by now.

In the months leading up to the wedding, we put many things off, deciding to do them post-wedding.  Dinner dates were postponed, archery went on the back burner, and we didn't rock climb for weeks. 

When we got married, it was like everyone got the idea all at the same time that we now had plenty of free time, so all of our days off in the last 5 weeks have been filled with catch-up.  Catch up and moving house, and we're only 3 months late on our tax returns so far...

Tomorrow, Kurt's cousin is getting married, and I really feel for her!  I can remember the excitement mingled with fear and uncertainty in the days leading up to the wedding, and my relief when the day finally arrived.  Six weeks later, I hardly feel ready for another wedding - even though it's not mine this time!

We still haven't quite moved out of the old house in Banyo - the last of the furniture is listed on Gumtree, with a few items to move across to the apartment next weekend.  

And then I think we run out of excuses not to have our friends around (cue lots of cleaning...)

By Christmas, maybe some actual days off? :)

Bribie Island on fire near Kurt's parents' suburb

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 days of writing

yesterday, one of the blogs I read wrote about 31 days of writing.  The idea being to spend 5 minutes a day for a month writing a blog post.

And I thought that was a good idea, and that I could do it, and resolved to start yesterday for the month of October - and now it's 2 Oct... and I am already a failure.

1 minute into writing my 2nd 5 minute blog, which is actually my first, because I am a terrible person, I have finished explaining the 31 days of writing idea (which incidentally I found on The Harris Life blog) and have to think of something else to blog about.

The thing is, it's much easier to read other people's blogs than write my own.  I marvel at others' honesty about writing about their lives, and personal stuff, and about how life is hard, really hard, and how they're still there and that there are good times in the hard times and that the good times are really good.  And then I get to writing my own blog and I think - do I want people to know about me?  To see me?  To see all the things about me?  Or shall I post another photo of the sky being pretty and hope that nobody asks?

Because there are only so many flying photos that this blog can handle.

Brisbane Airport

Monday, September 1, 2014

The wedding etc

I'm reading an article on The Knot called "10 things no one tells you about getting engaged", and they actually could apply.  I could also apply them to "10 things no one tells you about your wedding" or stick "honeymoon" in there, if you like.

1.  That big pimple on your chin.  Whether it's the day that he proposed, or on your wedding day... in all the pictures, what's your biggest nightmare?  The airbrush make up for the wedding was the best idea ever - waterproof, basically 3D photoshopping my face so that it didn't really look like me at all.  I'm sorry folks, but that wasn't me.  Ha!  Although, realistically, pimples don't matter because with digital photos, they can all be edited out for a perfect complexion.

2.  Not being able to stop staring at your hand.  Or actually touching your finger with your thumb every few seconds just to check that the rings are really there.  I got used to doing this once engaged, and as the wedding band is a bit tighter, it feels more secure, but I still have the need to check.  And of course to look at it, like are you seriously married, girl?  Or was it the other girl pretending to be you under the airbrush make up?  That slight moment of anxiety as Kurt repeats "with this ring I thee wed" and I wonder whether he will be able to force it over the knuckle... (it was cold - so it was easy)

3.  Telling your proposal story a million times.  We've moved on from this.  Now it's telling the wedding story a million times.  (Perhaps we will also have to tell the honeymoon story that much.)  The wedding story... well I could tell you a bit of it here.  It rained, folks, and by rained, I mean poured.  I mean torrential rain that did not stop for hours and hours and hours.  We could have gotten married in Ireland and had better weather.  My dreams of a beach wedding were slipping further and further away as I paced up and down the "executive king suite" (not actually as fancy as it sounds) and looked out the window.  Oh and not only was it raining, but windy as well.  Really windy.

Which all sounds pretty terrible, doesn't it?  Except I've left out the part about my Knight in Shining Armour.  Kurt, who knew how much I wanted a beach wedding, was determined to make it work.  A 3m by 3m gazebo was procured from his aunt, emergency waterproof ponchos were bought, umbrella reminders were sent to guests, the PA system was wrapped in polythene, and the chiffon draped registry table was changed to cast iron.  I think he spent the entire morning re-planning the ceremony to make my dreams of a beach wedding come true - and it did.

4.  People will ask you about a wedding date and location before you even get a chance to think about it.  This is very real, folks!  Believe it or not, people will ask you about the wedding date up until the day before the wedding.  Friday 22 August.  In black and white, on the wedding invitation, but apparently that's not clear enough!  If it's not from losing the wedding invitation, it's from assuming that all weddings are on Saturdays! 

5.  There might be a few sours... I don't think this one happened.  Nope, not at all, we can scratch out number 5.  I think everyone we know wholeheartedly supported our union, and that made our day even better.  Love in bucket loads back to family & friends!

6.  ...but your best friends will be there for you... and they were.  Whether actually in person at the wedding, or sending messages from overseas, they were there for us.  So many messages of encouragement and congratulations, my heart overflows.

7.  Recently married friends becoming wedding planning experts...  and give (sometimes unsolicited) advice.  I get this one now.  I've just done it.  I've just got married, and if anyone tells me they're going to get married I'm tempted to scream don't!  Don't do it!  Run!  The stress is almost insurmountable!"  and then I remember the good parts, and I remember how amazing my husband is, and how beautiful the day turned out to be, and I don't regret a moment.  That last couple of crazy weeks leading up to the wedding when I was almost ready to throw in the towel - all worth it.  Those months of organising - all worth it.  All of that money spent - and some of it wasted? - nope, all worth it !  I got married on 22 August 2014 and it was the best day of my life.  So I declare do!  Don't be scared by how crazy it is, don't be scared by how you feel like you can't go on any more - it's beautiful, and worth it, and just DO.

8.  you'll watch wedding movies and TV shows differently.  I hate weddings in general, and I've never paid much attention - definitely very little attention when it comes to decorations, and how to run things, etc. but once we were engaged, and it was happening - every little detail was focused on.  Someone I know on facebook just got married?  Quick!  Look at their pictures and see what their tables looked like!  And even after all that, our tables ended up like none of them, and they were perfect.  They were just what I wanted, and they were beautiful.

9.  You'll have a hard time not jumping into wedding planning right away and will find it difficult to "just enjoy being engaged".  Ha!  Well, we didn't "just enjoy" being engaged - although we did enjoy it.  We started wedding planning right away and despite the moments of freaking out that there "wasn't enough time", there was, and it happened, and it was perfect.

10.  Your relationship will feel different.  Well yes, I think that's obvious.  It has to feel different.  You're making the commitment, you've decided to spend the rest of your lives together, and that's scary, and it's different.  And I fell apart just a little bit the night before the wedding because, how?  How can you ever be truly sure?  How could I ever stand in front of 50 people, me, alone?  Except, it wasn't me alone, it was me and Kurt.  And standing at the front of my family and my friends, holding Kurt's hands and gazing into his eyes, it wasn't scary any more.  And I've used the word "perfect" an awful lot, and I'm going to do it again, and I'm not even sorry, because it was perfect. 

And of course, I'm going to post photos, I just haven't yet, and this post is long enough already without adding in any photos!

And that's not even the whole wedding story.  That doesn't tell you anything about the morning in the room, stuffing my face with Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Lindt truffle balls.  It doesn't tell you anything about trying to get into the car to go the ceremony and finding that I didn't actually know if I could bend at the waist in my dress.  It doesn't tell you anything about walking down the aisle staring into my beloved's eyes, or how Paul pronounced us husband and wife.  It doesn't tell you how we scurried down the beach with the wind and rain tugging on us and took photos by the angry ocean, or how the umbrella turned inside out as we ran back.  It doesn't tell you how Kurt drove the car back to the resort while holding my hand so tightly.  It doesn't tell you how we danced. 

But it was the best day of my life.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My second dress fitting is today.  E, my "groomsmaid", is driving down to join me, and we are heading in to the city to see how the alterations went.  If all goes well, I should come home with my wedding dress.  How exciting... although it will be interesting trying to work out what to do with it on the train ! 

My parents arrive in six days... assuming that they make the flights (they're on standby).  I am very excited... but I also feel unprepared.  The house isn't cleaned, my stuff isn't organised, and having three more days' of work during that six makes me feel like I'm running out of time. 

Everything is coming together now, though.  The suits will be altered to fit the guys perfectly, and Kurt's wedding ring arrived yesterday from being resized.  So now both with sufficient clothes (and most of the accessories) to wear on the day, at least we'll be able to turn up!

On a different subject, I don't know how my sister manages to get her tomato plants to grow upright.  Mine do anything they can to flop onto the ground, whether tied up to stakes or not...  they are however fruiting gloriously, so that is good.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I had an awesome day, today.

Today was the hair and make up trial, and Kurt's mother drove me up the coast to it as my neck was sore yesterday.  The two women doing the trial were great, and listened to all of my requests and did the hair and make up just how I wanted it, and I am so excited to wear it again on the 22nd !

Then we went to Caloundra and visited the beach where we are having the ceremony, and to the resort as well, stopping in between for a well earned lunch of fish and chips.

It was so much fun getting the hair and make up done, especially when it came out so well, and it was actually a very enjoyable day out with my future mother-in-law as well !

Being up the coast by the beach made me feel like I need another beach day, so I'm hoping for a good few of those before the wedding!  It was nice just standing by the beach and soaking in the sun, and watching the waves crash against the rocks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I love you

I almost said it first, and we weren't even dating.  Or at least, I had convinced myself that we were just friends to the extent that I really didn't know that I felt any different.  And then my friend dropped me off at the airport to catch a flight to Singapore, and I almost said it, tripping over my words and changing what was almost "I love you" into "I'll see you when I get back".

Finally, he lost patience with the charade, and demanded that we either start dating, or he couldn't continue to hang out with me all of the time, and desperate not to lose him, I agreed.  That was 3 August 2013, which I know, because it was the last time we went to play squash.  And the day we met, 13 February 2013, is replaced by 3 August 2013, which is replaced by 18 March 2014 when we got engaged.  Which in turn will fade into the distance when we get married on 22 August 2014.

But I can't forget a single one.

I can't forget the day I met him, when I was house-hunting.  He was at the bottom of the stairs, outside the block, hands full of grey plastic grocery bags.  And as we were introduced, we argued about rival airlines, I, how mine was better, and he, how another was faster, and so on, and so forth.  And I thought he was cool and that I would like to meet him again.

I can't forget the day I started to mouth the words "I love you" but was too confused to let it out.

I can't forget the last time we went to play squash.  How we sat outside the squash court after the game and argued about our future.  What if I had turned him down?  Would I ever have seen him again?

And I especially can't forget the day that he held me in his arms in the dusk, with the Wicklow mountains silhouetted in the background.  The moment that he asked me to marry him.

And soon, in 4 short weeks, I will walk down the aisle and look into his eyes and say "I do" and from the bottom of my heart say "I love you".

Which of course brings me to the poem that has been in my head for weeks now:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Monday, July 21, 2014

We're a month out, today.  And I am in Rocky looking at the view out of the window - not too bad for Rocky, despite the ugly roofs - but it is only 11 degrees.

Did I mention we're a month out?

This time next month I'll be getting ready.  Painting my face and struggling with my dress and maybe freaking out just a teency weency bit.  But I think I'm excited.  I think in between the there'ssomuchtodoaaaahhhh moments and the whycantitallbeoversothatwecanrelax and I'msodonetalkingaboutweddings there is an element of excitement.  I mean I'm marrying my best friend, and I can't imagine life without him.

One month today, I'll be preparing to declare my love for the rest of my life and... I'm excited.  

It's almost August.  It's almost happening, I'm almost not a B... any more and that is scary because the idea of not being who I was (in name, anyway) is so foreign.  Kate C... Weird!!!  Of course I am honoured to take Kurt's name but... what about being a B... I think I always will be in my heart ! 

The final countdown has begun, although I have tried so hard not to (despite Kurt's aunt prodding me every week on Facebook!) but ... 1 month... oh and 3 weeks until my parents arrive, I am so excited to show them everything, to share Australia with them, maybe they'll like it more than Ireland?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I used to look forward to blog, all the time.  I used to actively look for things to blog about - look at things and think "ooh, I'll take a photo of that, because I could use it on my blog."  Those times are over, folks.  I don't know if they're over forever, but right now I look around me blearily and think "blog? what blog?"  I am reminded that I am a slack blogger, and that I haven't blogged for "ages", and, well, I think "maybe I should", and then I don't... and the muse is nowhere to be found.

I have started one or two blog posts, a little along the lines of "so today I have nothing to report" and "the countdown is at six weeks to the big day" and "I made pizza again" all of which you are probably not very interested in. 

This blog is obviously along the lines of "I haven't blogged in forever, bear with me, people!" and "I still have nothing to report."

Oh yeah, I've decided to cook today, just in case you're interested, having grabbed a copy of "Women's Day" off the aircraft and got some (misplaced?) enthusiasm for one of the recipes within.  I've also decided I need to:

a) go into the city to pick up my wedding ring
b) find a bridal store to buy some shoes to wear at the wedding
c) go shopping in general
d) clean the house
e) book accommodation for the wedding, except I didn't wake up early enough to talk to Mum
f)  make a list of the things I need to do because I've forgotten half of them already
g) have breakfast
h) remember the other things I have forgotten

So I'm blogging.

I did remember to put brandy on the fruitcake again.  The fruitcake is now about six weeks old.  I don't know what it's supposed to look like.  It looks like a fruitcake wrapped in baking paper wrapped in tin foil.  I put brandy on the outside every 3 weeks and I wonder whether it soaks in far enough so that when the cake is cut down to size (6" from 8") will it have any brandy on it at all?  And then I wonder whether I made it right and whether it's just going to be awful and should I Give Up Already?

I want to go cycling, and it's so stupidly cold.  (for want of a "polite" adjective).  Apparently it's the coldest winter since cold winters began, at least in the last 20 years or so, although some sites say "it's the coldest in 103 years!" and others say "it's the coldest morning since last winter!" which doesn't sound quite so impressive.  And I can't cycle when it's this stupidly cold, and then I get to midday when it's not quite so stupidly cold, and then I don't feel like cycling any more.  Just saying.

Oh yes

i) weed the garden
j) go grocery shopping

I told you there were more things that I had forgotten.

I'm on reserve today, and they didn't call me yet.  Another triumph for mankind. 

Okay, I think I'm done now, You're Welcome.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The two months remaining mark has officially come and gone, leaving us with just weeks which are barely remnants of time.  Apparently the average cost of a wedding in Australia is between $36,700 (source: IBISWorld) and $48,296 (source: Bride To Be magazine).  I count myself (and Kurt) fortunate that we are not remotely average.  Having never thought of myself as an average human bean, I'm not surprised.  I am surprised, however, that people spend so much money on one day.  And I thought we were bad!

On Saturday we are meeting up with our celebrant to discuss what we want in our ceremony.  Having spent the last couple of months getting everything organised, I guess it did skip our minds to actually consider how we want the day to go!  (wing it??) 

Next week, I am off to Auckland for yet another sim check, and am trying to motivate myself to study.  I also would like to head up the coast next week for a hair trial and to look at decorations for the reception... but this all depends on motivating myself to study around this, and not getting called off reserve.

I go to Auckland next Friday, tomorrow I have one flight home to Brisbane (currently overnighting in Rockhampton) - and all the days between then and Auckland are reserve and days off!  I won't be practising any approaches then!

Oh yes and if someone looks the best on their wedding day that they will look for their whole life ever, I have few hopes for myself.  Pass the chocolate, please.

Did I mention that I am writing this post because I really don't want to study?

And why does Australian Aviation have so many rules?

And this is just a cool picture of some clouds hanging around in front of the sunrise this morning.

...52 minutes before we go for dinner... I should study... 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Sunday 15 June, 2014 is Father's Day, in Ireland, and that's confusing because in Australia it is sometime in September.  Why all these countries cannot coordinate, I do not no.  Suffice it to say that I am 100% sure that I have the most amazing father in the world, and this is my opportunity to say so.

My father's name is Michael, he is intelligent, kind, gentle and the best father I could ever have.  He has always been there for me, always making time in his incredibly busy schedule to fit me in.  I can remember as a small child sitting by him in his office as he worked, simply enjoying being with him.  (and being pretty irritating too, I am sure, although I don't remember him losing his patience)

My father is always ready and willing to help people out, being an excellent 'fixer', he always says yes even when he has much to do himself.  People at home talk of 'needing a Michael' around the house which is proof of this!

I love to talk to my father, he is a great listener.  I would never swap him for anything, he is definitely the number 1 father in the world, and I love him.

And finally, lots of OXOs for my dad.


Wish I were there to give you a real hug.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Kurt managed to nag me into a state of okay, fine, we'll get you a bow, as long as it's a cheap one, which was a bit of a compromise for both of us.  So having endured about 13092790109388888 years of bow hunting research, we traipsed off to our 192837049867th archery shop, where we found the cheapest recurve bow we could find and snapped it up greedily.

From originally wanting a high poundage bow, Kurt settled for a 24lb bow that I would also be able to shoot - as he sensibly recognised that anything above about 30lb would be impossible for me to draw back.  We also managed to pick up 8 of the cheapest possible arrows - 4 long enough for me to shoot, and 4 a bit longer for Kurt's amazing long stretchy arms.

And then we contentedly went home.  Or so I thought.  Until Kurt started complaining that we went to buy him a bow and ended up buying me one... and that now he would have to wait until after the wedding to get a bow that he liked... and oh, the drama.

So now I have a bow.  And Kurt went off shooting it a few times, while I went to work (it doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it happens when we have something else planned), and so I didn't actually get to use my bow but at least I had the knowledge that it was mineAnd the bow hunting research continued...

Finally we went to the club together, and on the very first target I managed to hit a very small piece of metal which colourfully exploded the arrow in a shower of sparks, and managed to blow the entire tip off it, so now I only had three.  I also discovered that the $2 finger tabs that we had purchased off ebay (the bow string rips into your fingers if you don't use some sort of protection) just didn't work for me, they kept slipping and the arrows kept hitting everything but the targets, and it was altogether very frustrating.  The arrow explosion was cool though.

So, we went to another archery shop - not the one where we bought the bow and arrows, having decided that it was cheap and nasty and really, we probably shouldn't have bought the bow there, except that we are cheapskates and didn't want to (insert:  I didn't want to) spend any money on archery...  Anyway... we went to this other archery shop and the lady looked at our bow and said it was a much nicer bow than she thought it would be when we had described what we bought it for - and then they measured us up for arrows and found out, as we had thought, that the arrows we had bought were completely useless... and I ended up buying a deerskin leather glove to protect my hand and six custom made arrows that were just for me... and poor Kurt once again ended up with nothing.

After which point we went to do archery again and I shot amazingly with my amazing new arrows and they flew beautifully sharply through the air and I skillfully managed to scare all the targets almost to death.  Except of course they didn't die because, it's rare to kill something just by scaring it.  And poor Kurt used the old arrows until one fractured on hitting the target and a second one snapped dramatically as he shot it which was a little scary.  So, now he has only two... two cheap and nasty heavy arrows, and a little tab that slips off his fingers, and I am preening myself with my pretty bow, custom made pink & yellow arrows, and deerskin leather glove... 

...and now we're back to the bow hunting research.  Kurt has officially renamed his ipad as "the bow hunting device".

Poor Kurt...

Kurt sulking about archery

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Homemade pizza from scratch - complete with stuffed cheesy crust - and boy did it taste good!  Kurt made his side to his specifications (bbq, ham, salami, mushrooms & pineapple) and I to mine (tomato pizza sauce, capsicum, onion, olives, mushrooms, ham).

Not exactly on the pre-wedding diet though.

...And now back to trying to set up a wedding gift registry - more complicated than we thought it would be !  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Yesterday, I asked a man to marry me.  Not like that , silly.  I actually asked him if he could marry both Kurt and myself, which sounds weird.  It reminds me of the Monty Python sketch:

 It was rather easier than in the sketch, as he agreed with little reservation, just a few things to iron out, and as unfortunately he is away until the middle of June on a mission trip, nothing we can do in the meantime - which leaves me itching !  I am such an instant gratification sort of girl!  In the words of Queen "I want it all, and I want it now."

As far as the wedding planning goes, we officially rock.  We only have a handful of things left to tick off the list, all of which are minor (such as getting the boys' suits - which I say is minor, because everybody wears suits, how hard can it be?).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I just walked outside to get a note from my car.  I checked the empty mailbox and picked up a free newspaper off the driveway, and paused for a minute.  The bright sunlight made me squint a little, but I was suddenly struck by how lovely it was.  8:30 in the morning, 20C, blue skies, no wind, birds singing, just... a gorgeous autumn morning in Southern Queensland, and I get to experience it.  It's not very often that I think about that sort of thing, but I really am very lucky.  Add to that finding the most awesome Queenslander, who actually wants to marry me, and many other things that all come together to make my life amazing, perhaps I should reflect on it more often!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The garden take 2

It's definitely not cared for as much, this second garden of mine.  If it's lucky, it gets weeded every few weeks, and my housemate is pretty good at watering it for me. I transplanted the raspberries to spread them out a bit as they were all growing out of the one spot and they're looking a little worse for wear - but it is only 1 day in so hopefully they will pick themselves up over the next week or so.

I have repotted the mangoes now, having reduced their numbers to four, which is double what I planned to start with, but Kurt in some unusual lapse of judgement agreed to allow four on the balcony so... four it is.  Two are Summer Pride and two are Mareeba Pride but I'm not actually sure which any more... which is a little sad.

The tomatoes grown from the seeds of an old tomato plant are going crazy.  I didn't have the heart to kill any of them so they are rather over crowded but we will just see how that goes.  One or two are starting to flower (they are cherries).

The second round of sunflowers have ended up less than half the height of the originals - which towered over the top of the fence.  However it is a lot cooler at this time of the year (going in to winter) so I'm not really surprised.  They're still pretty, and the added bonus is that they don't need staking!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's my third winter in Oz.  Actually it is still autumn, but the last couple of days have felt very wintery with winds off Antarctica, or something like that.  Yesterday I saw a woman walking her dog (surprise) and she was all wrapped up with woolly gloves, scarf... it was about seventeen degrees so it could have been a little extreme.

The night before last it dropped to just six degrees!  That was a shock to the system as I found myself having to get up to find my winter blankets for my bed - I didn't expect to be at that stage this early in the winter.  Having now run out of every blanket option that I own... it better not get any cooler!

Did I mention that I cycled 60km all at once last weekend?  Well by "all at once" I mean 30km there, pause for breakfast, and then 30km back.  It was fun, and hopefully we can go again this weekend... but other activities might get in the way, such as archery, which K has been looking forward to for months.  When he called to try to find a booking last year, they said there was a one year waiting list!  But they emailed a week or two ago to say they had a cancellation, and would we be interested?

We also have an engagement party with K's family on Saturday.  Did I mention that cycling may not happen? 

And I've got a sore throat so I'm drinking hot chocolate for breakfast.  Because I know that chocolate and sugar will make me better.  So there.  If I had icecream, I'd probably eat that too. 

We are so awesome as far as wedding planning is concerned, we have way too much time between now and August, there really isn't very much left to do!  We have to sort out wedding invitations and that's pretty much it for now.  Everything else will all come together over the next three months, and hey presto, August 22! 

More excited than anything at this precise moment in time, although I do yoyo between daunted, excited, freaked out, relaxed and stressed...


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My bike is.

After a week of broken bikeness and wrong parts and Easter Weekends when nothing happens, my bike is.

And yesterday, I went for my first ride.

Of course, first I apparently had to buy some "knicks" which are like spandex or lycra or something (is it the same thing?) with a padded bit to sit on the saddle.  We cycled for 6 kilometers and the rearness of me is already sore, despite the paddedness of the knicks, so imagine what it would be like without them? 

When I bought this bike, which was online because bike stores are so much more expensive, (as in, bike store, 26% "friends" discount was still four hundred dollars more expensive than the online one) I expected to be able to get it, and go riding.  I didn't care about special clothes, or helmets (I had a cheap pink one from Ireland) and I was like yay, let's go riding.

Except that then the bike arrived broken (someone stuck a fork lift through the box and scraped it) so we had to wait for a replacement part, and then the replacement part came and it wasn't quite right, so we had to wait for another replacement part, which is when the long weekend got in the way.  And in the meantime, I bought water bottles and another helmet because it matched my bike, which is the best reason to buy something.

And then having finally gotten the bike back together again discovered how uncomfortable the saddle was and had to buy some knicks... I am now determined to ride it with a normal t-shirt or sports shirt and not get a jersey straight away!  Otherwise I shall look truly bikeish and that would just be sad.

Dad, get some knicks.  They do feel better even if they look silly. 

Aaaanyway, maybe today I'll get a picture of me with my bike for the Purposes of This Blog.

We rode down to the Criterion Track, which is a proper bike track for people to cycle on.  I don't know why they want to do that, but they do. 

And Kurt wants to go for a 40k cycle on North Stradbrook (an island) on Saturday and I think it might kill me.  I don't want to diiiieeee..... *faints*


Saturday, April 19, 2014

It's been a normal weekend, which has been a refreshing break.  No discussion of wedding plans, and Kurt bought me a chocolate rabbit for Easter, yay!  Here comes the difficult decision of deciding whether to eat him (the rabbit) for breakfast or for dinner.  Oh, the suspense...

I'm off on another overnight this morning, and then on Tuesday life as we know it will become weddingy again as all the decisions we made last week can actually be booked in.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm home.  I've been home 2 weeks and I haven't been blogging.  I'm engaged, I'm frantically trying to plan a very quick wedding (because we're crazy, of course) and really The Oz Report has not been on my mind. 

Let's see what we've done these two weeks:

found a venue
found a honeymoon destination
found a DRESS (yes, that's right! and I LOVE it)  (that wasn't a we, either, that was an I)
found a beach
and set a date.

We're looking at 22 August 2014... which is in 4 months' time.  Can we do it?  Well, the big things are sorted, and I can take a deep breath and some time off - Kurt will be happy to hear this.  It's Easter weekend so things aren't happening as quickly as I might like - still waiting to hear back from the venue that the date is still available, and then we need to pay a deposit and head in to Flight Centre to book our honeymoon. 

And of course, on Tuesday, I get to put a deposit down on my dress.  You know what's stupid?  If you get a dress with less than 6 months' notice, you have to pay 15% extra.  That's stupid.  How can it take SIX MONTHS to make a dress?  But if I order it this coming week, it will arrive on 20 July and then I will have 1 month to get it altered to fit me properly.  Which the dressmaker says is plenty of time.  And that obviously gives me 3 months to get to my final wedding size haha. 

The annoying part of having a weird shaped body, ie top one size and bottom half another size, is that one just has to go with the larger of the two and get the smaller altered.  Oh and also having short legs.  You can't make a dress longer, so they make them long and then you alter them to make them shorter.  I'd have to wear like 20 inch heels to fit a dress unaltered.  Lame.

Why are there so many things to do with a wedding?  The awesome part of our venue is that they do almost all of the decorating themselves, so there is only a small amount we have to do - plus cake, DJ, dance floor, photographer, all those sort of things.  Have you ever thought about how expensive a wedding photographer is?  Have I mentioned 'lame' in this blog post yet?

And before I know it, it will be 22 August, and wow... Me, getting married???


Thursday, March 20, 2014

He put a ring on it

I'm engaged!  It feels so surreal... is this really happening to me?  It was the night before last, after dinner, in the dark, and he said he wanted to go get something from my sister's house, so we walked down there... and picked up our dirty laundry (very romantic) and on walking back up, he paused just inside the main gates to HH and started taking photos of the lighted up house in the dark. 

"Isn't it beautiful?" he remarked.  "Don't you think the view is beautiful?"

"Well," I responded, with his camera balanced on my head to stabilise the photos, "it's rather cold actually." 

And then it happened.  Will you marry me?

What?  Really?  I think I may have verbalised my thoughts, looking with incredulity in the darkness at the faint glimmer of the ring.  And then, of course, I said yes... and I still can't get over it.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I had high hopes for this journey.  Three circa eight hour flights with two hour stopovers.  This all went fantastically until on arriving in AUH we found out that our flight was delayed by six hours.

A glimmer of hope was found in that my Velocity card got us into the First Class lounge !  I have never been in here before and it is a long sight better than 'bizniz'.  We managed to secure ourselves a large couch and armchair and have each spent a two hour period so far lying flat on the couch sleeping - a nice change.

Also they have a proper kitchen and proper menu!  - nice!  A selection of danish pastries, croissants, muffins and fresh fruit for breakfast?  I don't mind if I do.

Now just over 2 hours until the flight... did I mention the complimentary spa treatments ?

Heh heh... 

Sad to be missing brunch with family and friends at home though :(

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, we will be shortly passing through the cabin for a final rubbish collection.  If you do not want your boarding cards, please ensure that you shove them in the seat pocket or under the seat in front of you.  If you are travelling with small children, please feel free to give them the messiest snacks you can think of (eg cookies) and ensure that they thoroughly masticate these and smear them both over the seat cushions and on the carpet by your seat.  Thank you.  Please do not worry about the fact that someone else will have to sit there on the next flight, it's perfectly fine and we expect to have to clean up after a hoard of savages.

In other news... 9 days 'til Ireland.  Unbelievable.  So many little things that I need to do, for instance arrange a couple of days on the West Coast to show Kurt some of the beauty of Ireland... and the Shannon ATC Centre!  No, I do not classify any part of Shannon as 'the beauty of Ireland'.  However, it is situated right beside some gorgeous places, Co. Galway, Co. Clare, so much to see and do ! 

I am so excited for this trip, although not excited at all for the actual travelling there - 28 hours, most of which in grungy little airplane seats... but I can't wait to see everyone, it has been so long - 15 months!

This morning, I took the first step on curing my garden - adding agricultural sulphur to it in a bid to bring the pH down.  I have decided to keep the garden going, but to try to avoid buying any more plants - I have bean, carrot & sunflower seeds already, so I shall just plant these and see how it goes!