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!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bar one, all the plants are gone.  The one lonely straggler is the raspberry bush, which I am hoping will survive.  All of the others were past it, and I decided it was better to start anew.

The question is, is it worth it?  It is mid summer here now, and although it is Queensland, the temperatures will start dropping in another month or two.  Also, the garden is still particularly alkaline - I also did a test on the rainwater, which matched! - and I would need to do something to fix that.  Apparently it is difficult to change the pH of soil which has free lime / chalk in it.  The test to see whether this is the case, is to take some soil, add vinegar to it, and see whether it fizzes.  It did.  Apparently free lime buffers the pH of the soil and defies all attempts to fix it. 

The only viable option I can see is to add elemental sulphur to the soil, which should activate in 4 - 6 weeks, and then retest to see whether it did anything.  Then, perhaps I will start planting again...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A little retail therapy is good for the soul - although not so good for the wallet.  Sometimes, I really do enjoy getting out and just Shopping.  Without any particular goal in mind, but determined to come home with something, it lightens the mood and removes the pressure.  Although, that said, I really did want to buy some new denim shorts, but fell short of that mark.  (I really don't like ripped shorts, or micro shorts, and apparently that is all that girls wear nowadays.)

I pretty much have a week off now - or rather, a week of "displaced reserve", which means that I used to have duties, but now I don't - either my flights were cancelled, or changed to training flights, or downright removed... who knows?  More shopping?  Heh heh

It is two and a half weeks until we go to Ireland... and I found myself pacing around the shopping centre today thinking "oh that would be good for Ireland" and then stopping myself.  It's all very well buying something that will be good for a four week trip to Ireland... but when it's not suitable to wear the other eleven months of the year that one lives in Queensland... probably not the smartest idea! 

Yes, I do have warm clothes suitable for Ireland, just in case anyone gets worried - I just don't have any new ones! 

Excited about my new purchases though...


PS Yes, you're right, this was a Post About Nothing. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What does one do with twelve mango seedings?

Choose the ones I want (two).  Simples?  Well, which ones do I want?  And once I have decided which ones I want... how on earth do I get rid of the other ones, considering that these twelve seedlings come from five seeds.  Just lop the heads off the unwanted?  Snip.

I'm cooking a nice dinner tonight, it's a secret, shh!  I can't tell you what it is until afterwards, otherwise Kurt will know what it is, and then it wouldn't be a secret any more.

I've been watching The Great British Bake Off (on Youtube) and it is making me crave to bake and bake and bake... but being off carbohydrates makes this impossible.  Bake what, exactly?  Perhaps I will have a cheat day soon and be able to put my baking cravings to use...

Nothing really interesting to report - I went to a new physio yesterday and hopefully that will do some good, he seemed a lot more switched on than the last one.  Also, my new year's resolution of exercising is still happening, howbeit in dribs and drabs... I'm sure I am going to be aching tomorrow!

In other news, I'm back to Auckland for another sim (non-jeopardy, I think) on Saturday.  Just got to focus on the money, not the stress :D

TTFN !!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

How nice to be back in Brisbane!  It's a rainy day, so not too much of a temperature shock, and the flight arrived almost an hour early, I was first through customs and quarantine, my bag was second off the belt, and I made it home in time to see Kurt before he went to work.  Winning all round.  (Unless he didn't want to see me...)

My macbook is fixed, new hard drive, but no applications... not a little annoyed by this as I actually bought some of the applications with the laptop... hummmm.  Incredibly nice though to just sit on the couch, browsing how to grow mango trees from seed, reading up on all the blogs I follow (but are now not bookmarked...) and not feeling guilty about not studying.

Yes, it is a good thing that I studied.  Yes, I feel entitled to have stressed, deal with it.  I always do, I always will (stress, not study), and saying I shouldn't doesn't make me any less likely to.  I shall continue to stress (hopefully only slightly) over the next few days before my support sim on Sunday/Monday.  Because I can.

On the subject of growing mango trees from seed, I think I have about eight or nine little seedlings now - and google is very unhelpful as far as instructions on which seedling to keep.  Some websites say the largest seedling is most likely to be zygotic (that's bad, by the way) and others say the smallest!  I think I shall compromise by keeping the middle sized seedling.  :)

No photos.  Because I don't want to get off the couch, okay?  I shall have to at some stage, because we have a house inspection tomorrow, and C has gone on an overnight.  Mind you, he did clean all the floors etc. before he went, so he has done his part !  Sometime in the next couple of hours I shall get up off my lazy backside and do a little cleaning too.

At least the garden looks okay.

And I really want to go to the beach.  (It's raining: not going to happen.)


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Yesterday went well, nothing major to report...  A few foolish things done by both of us but in general it was a good session.  Obviously not helped by the 100 minute debrief and 50 minute debrief which pushed the length of the session into craziness.  

The checkie (G) has his wife over from Brisbane with him - they are originally from New Zealand, so as we now have staff travel, it works out well for her to accompany him.  G invited Y (the captain) and myself to have dinner with them, and Y immediately backed out.  My question was - did he really want me hanging around?  Surely he would prefer to have a nice meal with his wife without some random pilot tagging along... I took from his muttered responses about having to have dinner with her every day of his entire life, that he would actually prefer some extra company... So I weighed up the options and decided it would be better to go along to keep the checkie happy!

I'm glad that I did.  We went to a very nice little seafood restaurant called The Landing, which I was dubious about - having told G I would eat anything except seafood.  Luckily, the menu had several non-ewwy options and my choice of rack of lamb was delicious.  While we were waiting for our meal, G had to go take a phone call, which left me with his wife, R.

And that was actually very interesting!  I was telling her about Kurt travelling to Ireland with me, and how I really hoped he would be ok there, and that he would like my family and that they would like him... And that really I hoped it wouldn't be too much for him because... Well... How to explain this? My family are quite religious people, you see.

"Religious?  Well, I can identify with that!"  was R's response.

"Huh!" I retorted, not to be outdone.  "My parents live in a Christian Community with 20+ other people!"

"Well, I grew up in a community too," said she.  "Although actually it was more of a cult."

So that was interesting!  That filled our time excellently until G returned, with R telling me all about her upbringing, which didn't seem all that extreme to me, although of course we never had to wear head coverings and wrist/ankle long dresses.  We sympathised on the pros and cons of offal (hers in a white sauce, mine more tomato based) and we discussed having to wear trousers under skirts for activities.  And I think we both agreed that it was (mostly) good.  (Not the trousers under skirts part)

She said that she saw something different in me, a quality that she couldn't explain, and that this was a good explanation!  (Which I thanked her for - thanks, Mum, too!). Apparently G was there too, in her community, but he is apparently very embarrassed about the whole situation and neither wants anyone to know, nor wants to talk about it, so we stopped our discussion when he returned to the table.  I could have talked about it more - it was very interesting! 

She would really love to have Mum & Dad over for a meal when (if?) they ever turn up to visit me.  That would be cool, I think.  

They invited me to go with them this morning to visit G's older sister (he looks in his 60s so I guess she is fairly ancient - sorry Mum...) but departure time was 0730... (0430 Brisbane time) and not being acclimatised and with a late sim rostered, I decided not to.  It would have been nice, but if I don't review what G brought up in the sim yesterday, and correct it... I suspect today's debrief could be longer than 50 minutes!

And having got the head's up of what to expect in today's check, I must study.  All sorts of lovely manoeuvres such as emergency descents, TCAS RAs, evacuations, fires, failures, limited panel, unusual attitudes... The list goes on and on and on and on and on all so very exciting... Yeeehaaaw! 

TTFN! PS I don't know how to change the font - I wrote this in my ipad 'notes' and pasted it across - sorry!

Up Onetree Hill in Auckland.  Apparently they speak some weird non-English language over here.