Friday, December 25, 2015

a Flying Update

I have been told that my blog doesn't have any recent flying updates on it.  This is a terrible state of affairs.  I've now been in the left seat for six months, and it's beginning to feel normal.  I did my first recurrent sim about a month ago, although it wasn't really a normal sim.  Over the last few months we have been transitioning to a different AOC (Air Operators Certificate) which involved an Entry Proficiency Check into the new company's training program.  So my first recurrent check was actually an initial check.  

Just to make it a little more complicated, we had to change all of our SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) at the same time, and familiarise ourselves with multiple new manuals and checklists, even though we are still flying the exact same aircraft.  First we had a week's ground school, then two days in the sim, then two days' line training, topped off with a line check.  

Now about a month in to the new procedures I think I've worked most of them out - although I still lapse on the phraseology occasionally! 

My flying schedule seems to be all over the place at the moment : no two duties are the same, with random flights tacked on to the front and back of overnights and sometimes none at all.  I'm making some easy extra money working days off, as crewing seems to be very disorganised.  I find it hard to understand why they need to call people in when they have other pilots either just passing or operating one sector in an entire day!  (Ours is not to reason why, etc.)

Kurt is going away for two weeks in February on a boys' trip to Japan snowboarding, like he did last year, so I've applied last minute for a week's leave during that time so that I can a) be home to take care of Lily and b) just have a week doing nothing!  (Beach, anyone?)

In general, it's pretty good being a Captain now - and although occasionally I do have trouble with FOs, most of them are great.  There is one in particular who goes out of his way to make things difficult, which can be quite hard to deal with.  He thinks he knows much more than I do, (maybe he does!) and likes to voice his opinion on this even when it is not related to flying - I think his favourite phrase is 'well actually...'

However, thankfully this is not the norm, and most people are pretty chilled.  I've only had a couple of minor abnormal situations and plan to keep it that way!  Last week I had a pressurisation issue (it's OK Mum, it wasn't a big deal) - and Kurt happened to be at work at the time - and it was a bit weird knowing that he was following everything that was going on from the other side!

Kurt is finding Air Traffic Control quite uninspiring.  He now holds all the ratings for his group and is therefore doing shift work.  It is quite hard because he will do lates, earlies and full night shifts in succession which means his body clock is permanently messed up, and getting enough sleep becomes difficult.  Even napping for a couple of hours either side of a shift doesn't make up for being up all night.

Add to that my doing opposing shifts and sometimes we hardly see each other.  We were lucky enough to be off on Christmas Day, although he didn't finish work until 5am which meant he was pretty exhausted all day.  I am back at work now (Boxing Day) and currently sitting in the cruise, writing a blog update to stave off the boredom!  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lily's home!

Well, this little cuddly puppy is home - and pretty happy about it.

She's a bit dopey and a little whingey but she's home, which is great news.

And now for the hard part - how to dislodge something that cute so that I can get up and go to bed?!

Friday, December 18, 2015

She was pretty happy to see me this afternoon.

It was pretty hard to leave her when all she wanted to do was snuggle.

Saying goodbye....

She seens to be doing really well though, still no signs of poisoning so fingers crossed for an early discharge tomorrow morning!!!
Yesterday I didn't shut the bedroom door properly, which basically equates to leaving it open, as apparently even "pulled to", a small little snout can push it open and find all sorts of fun things to get in to.

I left work just after 6am and returned at 1pm, to get ready to go out for coffee.  The first thing I saw when I opened the door was a hair tie on the floor - and I was pretty sure that wasn't there when I left.  Uh-oh, I thought, she's been in trouble again.

And so she had.  In no small way, she had made herself comfortable in the bedroom, investigating everything on the bedside tables - and eating a lot of it too!

When I discovered that she had wolfed down an entire packet of earplugs (the box said 10 pairs) and could have also eaten neurofen and panadol, I called the vet's, and shortly after we were enroute.  They made her throw up - yep, all the earplugs were there - they counted 21 which is weird - and then decided to keep her in for 48 hours to make sure she hadn't been affected by any medication.

Last night and this morning the update was good: she is happy and eating food, and shows no adverse signs at all.  She needs to stay at the hospital until tomorrow morning just in case - as with a dog of her size the dosage for panadol is 50mg and a single tablet contains 250!

We have a sample jar containing all the earplugs... but I don't think we'll keep it - pretty gross!

Lesson to self: make sure the doors are all properly closed, as apparently Lily does not know the difference between food and non-edible items - I think she has pica !

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I got a text from work yesterday asking me could I do an overnight today, into tomorrow which is my day off, which was funny because I just had four days off sick during the days I should have been working.  And to make it even better, I worked my 2 days off prior to going sick also, and am thinking maybe I should make this a habit, as it's far more lucrative to be off with salary when supposed to be working, and getting extra payments on days off.  Just satin' - although it would have to be without the wry neck - I'd go to work over that any day!

So anyway, I've been somewhat AWOL lately on this blog, because it's just so hard to be bothered.  There's work, and when I'm at work I'm working - well or Facebooking, or chatting, or, or... I think I just reasoned my way out of my own excuse... And when I'm at home I'm obviously far too busy to blog.

After my awesome weekend in Noosa I worked the next two of my six days off, followed by actually having two days off (I was exhausted) when I managed to get the Christmas tree up - saved by my amazing husband who drove up to Bribie to get the Christmas decorations knowing how much I was looking forward to doing it - and also knowing that I had completely forgotten they were there!  I must also give credit to my mother in law who reminded him that they were there!

On my last day off (Thursday) I woke at 0450 by moving funny and 'putting my neck out' which for me means a sort of grinding pop and searing pain.  Kurt, being the best husband, called his work and cancelled his shift for the day to look after me.  He then waited on me hand and foot for the day, bringing me everything I wanted whenever I either yelled or texted him!  I was pretty impressed :)

After spending two days in bed, on Saturday I was able to move around more and begin to potter around the house, and my last two days (there are a lot of two days in this post) I was just working on getting back to 'normal'.

And then, of course, I got called in for another overnight and am now in a hotel having flown one whole 1.5h sector to get here.  It's tough being me.

Oh yeah, and tomorrow I just pax back to Brisbane in the morning.  Nice one :)

So there you have it, my life in a nutshell.  Ooh yes, also today I gave Lily a haircut, having bought a pair of (very expensive) clippers on EBay.  She was relatively good until towards the end when she began to freak out so she is now mostly done with just a little clean up to do on her feet and ears tomorrow!  She does look cute though :). No pics til I get home.

That's all for now, I have to go play Clash of Clans while waiting for Kurt to finish work so that I can say good night (cue: aaaawwwww)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas is almost here!

Lily helped me put up the tree

The finished product!

(gated so that Lily doesn't eat it)

Sunday, November 29, 2015


After three weeks of getting up early, my body clock is determined to keep it going.  While waking at 5 on holiday isn't ideal, it does give me time to sit alone on the balcony in the still-fresh warmth of the morning and listen to nature undisturbed .  Humans do a good job of adding their noise to the world and even now as I type a car has driven past and spoilt my morning.  How very dare it.

There's a bird's nest perched precariously on a tree outside the apartment window - with absolutely no shelter from the elements, so one wonders what it was thinking.

Having had three very busy weeks at work, I was then rostered six days off, so decided to go away for the weekend with my friend, Hana.  We're up at Noosa, and she's still fast asleep.  Mind you, I think she went to sleep much later than I did, as I fell asleep half-way through Godzilla.

We drove up on Friday and had a gloriously relaxing afternoon by the pool, topped off with takeaway pizza and a movie.  Yesterday we started off nice and early to go to the Noosa farmers' markets, which were small but quite pleasant, and I had a nice breakfast there of fresh crepes.  Hana had some strange unpronounceable cocktail of vegan origins and a vegan protein ball.  I'd choose lemon & sugar crepes any day!

After this, we went to the beach, and being quite a concerned human being, as human beings go, regarding the sun, I sprayed lots and lots of sunscreen (factor 50) on before we left, also ensuring that Hana did the same.  Once at the beach I re-sprayed multiple times - but apparently that was my first mistake- spraying, that is.  So I have some nicely reddened patches which hopefully won't peel, and today will be using proper old fashioned slap on sunscreen.

(making Lily in the sand)

Once thoroughly burnt, we came back to the apartment for lunch and then proceeded to our next event - a 60 minute remedial massage at the Noosa Spa.  It was so good, I wished it would never end!

Today we're starting early - hopefully - if Hana wakes up - and heading off to the beach (with proper sunscreen) to have a final swim before going back to Brisbane at lunch time, after which I'll pop on my uniform and fly off into the sunset...

(staying protected from the sun at the pool)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wall-E, for Dad

His little plant's green border comes off, but I think I'll leave it on to protect it, for now.  His head swivels, arms slide back and forth, claws rotate and of course the tracks work too.

Plus, Here's a view of his 'space' with the plant inside.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


September, where did you go?

30 days, and over so soon.  So many things happened, and I barely seem to have had time to breathe.  Most importantly, of course, there was my birthday, the 18th.  Since then I haven't stopped, even today when I planned to be home, I got called off reserve.  Okay, I still know I shouldn't make plans on reserve!  I didn't make actual plans, just 'do nothing' plans.

Yesterday I got back from Canberra after three days there - and my last two birthday presents arrived from Ireland!  One parcel from my mother, and another from my sister.   Both awesome.  So, whoever claims that birthdays only happen once a year is wrong.

I also got a chance to build the final part of Kurt's present:

I also got a model of Wall-E but I'm not sure where he is.  Probably somewhere very very safe.

Smalley (otherwise known as Lily) was enthusiastically welcoming to me yesterday - making me feel very loved!  She is quite a stalker and follows at my heels every time I move in the apartment - often so close I can feel her little cold nose on my calves.

She's booked in to get a haircut tomorrow - maybe we'll be able to even those legs out a little.

In other news, we are building a house!  Yes, this is news, this is very new news, in August, we were not building a house.  We were not planning on building a house, and now we are, so call us crazy but there you have it.

Having become more and more unhappy with the new onsite managers at our apartment complex, we decided that yes we probably could afford the bare bones of a deposit, and to look more seriously at places to live.  In fact, Kurt announced wanting to have another look at display homes (We also did this six months ago and decided it could never happen ever.  Okay, I exaggerate, maybe one to two years down the track.) just before my birthday, so on the morning of the 18th, after opening my presents, we went down the coast to start looking.

By the end of the weekend we had a block of land.

And by the end of the last weekend we had the house sorted out.  I definitely think we are crazy now.  How did that happen?

The land is still a construction zone, and is due to be registered with the council in November.  I got a good view of it today as we were on final for Runway 14:

Our part isn't built on yet, and it doesn't have roads on either, so it's part of the dirt-coloured bit.  They have to have all the roads completed before registration - so hopefully we will see it change quite a bit over the next few weeks.  It's only a very little block of land - as is usual for all of these new "people factory" developments, but we have one of the larger ones in the estate and will at least have about 6m by 15m of garden.

All going accordingly to plan, we hope to start building after Christmas!  And perhaps we will get to move in mid to late 2016...  *crosses fingers*

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Guest Post

Mummy and Daddy don't love me any more.  I'm pretty sure of this because I haven't seen Mummy in 2 days and Daddy just locked me up without my bed again.  This upsets me because I can see my bed on the other side of the room and he only left me 2 towels and 4 of my toys which isn't OK because I wanted one of the ones he didn't give me.

I'm needy like that.

Also, my favourite toy is an awesome white nylon bone with a tasty jerky filling which if I chew and chew and chew I might manage to get to some time next millenium.  This is another reason I'm sure my parents hate me because they keep taking the bone away from me after I rattle it on the tiles too much.

And then Daddy looks at me like this:

He's a lot taller than me.

I lost my new treat ball under the TV stand yesterday and Mummy didn't get it out before she left to go to work and that was cruel too.  

I like licking toes to say hello, and when Mummy or Daddy let me out of my crate I lie on their feet to say hello.  If they ignore me, I wriggle under their feet so that they HAVE to pat me.

And then Mummy looks at me with a 'OMG how are you so sneaky' face and I just smile back.

Here's another thing.  Mummy gives me a bath ever so often.  I don't really like getting wet but she keeps doing it.  And sometimes she submerges herself in water too!  I'm not sure this is a good idea so I whimper at her a little to make sure she knows that I care, and I make sure I check on her every few minutes.

I'm still not allowed in the bedrooms, but I'm working on it.  I figure if I look pitiful enough maybe one day they'll give in.

It hasn't worked yet.  Mummy just takes photos of me and laughs, and that's not what I meant to happen!

My fur is growing back on my leg where they shaved it , although I still look a little silly.  Mummy says she's going to book me in to get groomed again but she's been very busy.

Apparently Mummy and Daddy are going to build a house next year and I will have a garden to play in!  I am very excited about that, as when I'm outside I go completely crazy and run around like a mad thing.  I am much faster than even Daddy when he sprints, and I love going for runs with Mummy.  She hasn't taken me for awhile because she has shin splints, but she still takes me to the park.

One day I fell in the creek and I got really really wet !  

Mummy says I looked more like a drowned rat than a dog.

Anyway I have to go now, it was nice talking to you all!

Lots of love


(the white bone)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

1st anniversary!

Today is our 1st wedding anniversary.  Both being one for tradition and also having been offered a free night's stay where we got married, we have headed up the coast to spend the weekend in Caloundra.

It's been a great couple of days so far.  We've watched a good movie, played mini golf, gone to the beach where we got married, bought Lego airplanes, and in general had a good time.

The resort, having forgotten to give us chocolates on our wedding night, left us a plate of chocolate coated strawberries and Lindt truffles in our fridge today (and a bottle of wine yesterday).  We had been saving a bottle of Moët Champagne for the last year or so, so having been told of a delay for dinner, we enjoyed this on our balcony!

We are now waiting to be seated at a quite well rated Italian restaurant - having walked 20 minutes from the resort - and despite Kurt's pleas to go to Hogsbreath!

And... it looks like the table is ready!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hanging with Lily

The plovers are angry.

Angry that this little grass-eating monster has invaded their space.

And me, of course, they're very upset about me.

It's quite a monster of a small dog that I've got here.  (and a terrible picture of me, but the sun was bright, and Lily is cute)

We're just out at the back of the complex, and like I said, the plovers are going crazy, fake-swooping in our general direction.  

And there's loads of space, so we're happy to share.

I think the small dog would spend the entire afternoon out here if I let her ! 

At the weekend, Kurt and I are going to Caloundra, where we got married, for our wedding anniversary.

Lily is going to stay with Kurt's parents on Bribie Island, which will be nice for her - I'm not sure whether it'll be nice for them...

This lying outside in the sun while the small dog plays is good.  I should do this more often.  (sans plovers). 

Friday, August 14, 2015


It was so cold this morning.

Wisely, I opted to wear my overcoat (from Ireland) rather than just a hoody, or maybe I could have died.  You never know.

Mind you, there were about a thousand cyclists wearing various combinations of very little, unless you include Lycra, of which there was a mind-numbing amount.

Maybe it's because I'm not involved in the sport, but I do struggle to understand the attraction of all this skin tight shiny madness.  I understand the reasoning behind the shaved legs (I've been told, so I know) and I understand the padded underside (I get sore on even a short ride) and I guess I understand that baggy clothing would cause more drag, but... it's all a little much to comprehend when you put it all together.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, it was so very cold.  So so very cold that I felt like every one of my muscles was clenched together causing everything to get stiff and sore and OMG how much longer ????

Kurt looking positive and excited despite the conditions

Moving on from Lycra, the next thing I don't understand is why you have to turn up for an event 2 hours before it's actually going to start.  We arrived just after five, and "kick-off" wasn't until seven.  Apparently you "had" to be there by six or else, but nothing magically happened at six.  Nobody said "that's it, folks!  If you're not here, stay out, the gates are closing".

And I'm not saying that Kurt made it up - not at all, it said so on the website.  It said be there, or just don't come, or something like that, and one of Kurt's Very Experienced Cycling Friends said "I'll be there at five" and that just compounded the urgency of we must, or we will miss out.

Folks, I don't think we would have missed out.  Even I, the wise one, thought that we left at a sensible time, given the website's Decree, and the friend's Opinion.

Also, given that there were no gates, it was a bit of a free for all.  One of Kurt's cycling mates turned up, telling me "oh, I'm not doing the ride, I'm just going to join in for the first twenty k or so".  Okaaay then.  And the organisers didn't seem to mind.  Which begs the question, if anyone could turn up, and at any time, why, o why, did we have to be there so early when it was so bloody cold???!!!

My lovely husband wisely chose to wear sweatpants and a hoody over his sexy lycra, which made him somewhat warmer, although the bare feet and thongs (flip-flops, people, keep your minds out of the gutter) rather spoilt the "keeping warm" effectHe did elect to wear socks for the ride, thank goodness.

Unfortunately, having pondered the meaning of life for the last few days, he decided to pack his leg-warmers and arm-warmers and wind-breaker and gloves into his bag for day 2 (forecast to be colder) which was then packed onto a coach to be delivered to where they camp tonight.  We didn't realise just how cold it was going to be this morning.  Did I mention how cold it actually was?

Okay, it probably wasn't colder than about seven degrees, but that's pretty cold, for two hours, especially (and I can't complain, I had an overcoat, like I said) when you have to strip down to 100% lycra short-sleeved cycling jersey and knicks.  Maybe the socks helped?

Someone told Kurt that the RTCC was super super organised.  They're so organised, Someone said, so much more organised than other rides.

For instance, when dropping the bag off, all of the trucks had coloured dots on them.  All you have to do is match the dot on your wrist band to the dot on the truck, and voila!  See?  We're organised.  Except that Kurt's wrist band had three dots on it.  Pink, green and black, and there was a pink truck, and a black truck (I guess the green truck didn't make it?) and he was in Tent Zone C and oh dear, the purple truck said Zone C on it...  Eventually we went with the purple truck, for want of a better idea - at least he knows which truck it's in !  (This issue came up again at the start line, where you were directed into Zones to start - blue, black or pink.  Whoopsie, same issue, folks!

After breakfast (supplied by the Ride, which was nice) Kurt had to go down to his Zone for start, and I went and stood on the nearby roundabout to watch him go past.  Half an hour later after interminable talking (did they not know it was cold?) they were off.  I tried to take a picture but was unable to distinguish him amongst the hoard of lycra-clad helmet-wearing blue-jerseyed cyclists.

They were through at 07:02, at 09:14 he messaged at the 40k mark, and at 11:11 after 66k he stopped for lunch... so I presume it won't be too much longer until day 1 is complete!

And then he has to camp in the very-very cold - I do hope he is warm enough with the stuff he brought.  And I went home to eat leftover Chinese Takeaway for breakfast, feed Lily and then go back to bed :)

Tomorrow, another 100k to the Finish Line, where hopefully I will be waving and cheering him on :)  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

In hospital

Isn't she the cutest?

She was admitted yesterday due to dehydration and has been on an IV since then - hence the pink leg, it's not broken, I promise!

Hopefully I get to pick her up in an hour - I really miss having her here, it is so weird walking past her empty crate.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sick puppy

I took this naughty little thing to the dog park this morning with H and her chocolate labrador puppy, Milo.

Milo is recovering well from his recent spinal surgery, but still not 100% so Lily  was easily able to run circles around her.

Sadly, though, shortly after arriving home, Lily started vomiting, and ever since then has been a rather sad small dog.  I took her to the emergency vet (it's a public holiday) and they gave her some medicine, but she is very definitely unhappy and is refusing to eat and drink.

(picture of a sad puppy)

If she's not happier in the morning, it's back to the vet with the small dog!

She is not usually a loud or whingy dog but she has been whining and crying a lot since we got home :(

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I think I forgot how much I enjoyed running.

Today we did a 10k run (Southern Cross University 10k, part of the Gold Coast Marathon) down the Gold Coast, which involved waking up at 0330 to drive down there, having to be there at 0530 for a 0630 start.  I’m not quite sure why we had to be there an hour early – there was nothing to do except freeze – but I guess it avoided the chaos there was by the time the race started.

It didn’t take long to defrost once we started running.  We chose a comfortable pace of six and a half minute kilometres and got underway.

Having run 5k on Wednesday, and struggled to complete – at six minute kilometres, I was really surprised how much easier the extra thirty seconds was!

Other than a few niggles along the way, I found it quite a pleasant run – so pleasant in fact that it has reinforce my goal of running three times a week from now on. 

I’m still tired, obviously.  My legs are aching and I’m beginning to stiffen up a little (I didn’t really train for this), but I feel good.   I feel like I accomplished something today.  We both finished with a time of 1:04:23 which we are both very happy with!

Our next goal is the Bridge to Brisbane 10k run on 30 August, which I aim to do in an hour – and Kurt wants to run a marathon – so we will keep training! 

It will take awhile – but I am determined to get fit!

Especially as they give us a t-shirt every time we run - this way I'll never need to go shopping again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

All of the colours are for all of the people

I met a little girl today.

I was sitting in the shopping centre, reading my book, when an old lady sat down beside me, a little girl sitting at her feet.

She proceeded to put on shiny Spiderman trainers, and the grandmother looked at me knowingly.

"It's her birthday," she said.  "So she gets to choose whatever she wants - and she chose Spiderman shoes.  She's a girl."

I smiled at them.  "I think they're very nice shoes," I replied - and to the girl: "I think you made a very good choice."

The grandmother tutted.  She reached for the glittery sandals the girl had been wearing, saying: "Here, give me your girly shoes."

And the little girl looked at me, almost anxiously, so I added "Spiderman is definitely for girls too, I think they're lovely."

It reminded me a lot of this post:

almost at the end.

Because, all of the colours are for all of the people, and Spiderman shoes are for boys and for girls, and indeed, for anyone who chooses to like them.

I mean, I'm a girl, and I fly aeroplanes, so there.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's done!

Apparently, I haven't been blogging.  Don't you know that it's not always that easy?  Strangely, I haven't even wanted to blog.  Once or twice I've considered it and then come to the conclusion that I just can't be bothered.

There's been a lot of that lately.  The whole training for command thing sort of took over my universe, and pretty much everything got put on the back burner.  Even things that technically I had time for haven't been done because, I was doing my command so NOTHING CAN BE DONE, FOLKS!  

And now that's over.

I'm not training for my command any more.  I'm finished.  Done.  Dusted.  And I feel like I never want to study for anything again ever in my life.  My whole life.  NEVER.  Of course, I am well aware that I've only just started, that I need to consolidate, and keep looking at the books!

However, not today.  Today, I'm all finished training for my command, and I can go on Facebook (which I did anyway) without guilt because no, I shouldn't be doing anything else.  This apartment does not need to be cleaned today (it does, but it won't be).   Priorities, folks, and let's face it, nothing productive is high on that list.

Actually, I couldn't clean the apartment even if I tried, because I am in Rockhampton.  Today was my first day officially flying as a captain, and despite my pre-flight jitters, it went really smoothly and I had a good day.  

I managed to land the aircraft safely, three times, and came away from the duty with no aircraft faults, no weather dilemmas, and no reports to be filed - and, most importantly, in one piece!

And that, as they say, is that!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today, I flew the airplane from the left seat, for the very first time.  

I also have the very best husband ever.

Without my knowing, he went to the airport and filmed me taxiing and taking off on my first flight.  He actually stood at the gate and waited patiently for me to (finally) start moving and then moved to a closer gate to film the rest.  I am pretty chuffed that this is on record and that he was so sweet to do so!  Best idea ever :)

He also gave the puppy a bath in my absence which rates pretty high on my list of things-husbands-can-do-to-be-awesome.  

And today I flew the airplane from the left seat, I didn't kill anyone, and the airplane was reusable afterwards, so all is good in the land of Kate tonight.

PS Lily is soooooooo fluffy!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's been a long day.  Lily is quite a little snuggle muffin... when she's not causing trouble (like peeing all over the floor).

Monday, April 13, 2015

This is it, folks.  Today is the big day, which means I am going to the sim for my command check.  For those of you who don't know, I have spent the last week in Auckland doing simulator sessions for my command upgrade.  Now with all 5 training sessions completed, today is check day, where it all matters.  

And even though the last week has gone well, I still find myself extremely apprehensive of today.  It's not that I don't think I can do it, it's just the unknowns and the what-ifs that get me every single time.

The fact that I don't actually know which questions the checkie is going to ask.

The fact that I can't prepare for actually flying the aircraft - not that I had any problems before.

The fact that it's not black and white.

And presuming it all goes well - there is no reason why it wouldn't - I get to go home tomorrow.  And I don't know why I freak out and worry so much beforehand, I just do!  It would be so much more pleasant if I didn't.

In 9 hours' time, it will be over.

And until the sim... i will review... and fret... and in general quietly spaz out in my hotel room :)

PS I never claimed my mind to be logical.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

i'm in Auckland, I'm here for the simulator, and my brain is working at a million miles per hour.  Mind you, it's not working very hard on relevant things such as studying, but it just won't stop thinking.  Mainly the "what ifs".  The things that it has absolutely no control over, which obviously aren't useful things to think about and definitely won't help as far as the sim is concerned.

For instance, what if Lily (the puppy) does shed?  We're not guaranteed a non-shedding coat and I look again and again at the pictures thinking - is her coat too straight?  Does she look more like a Cavalier than a Poodle?  And of course I know perfectly well that she is coming to us next Wednesday and her coat will be exactly how it is - and there is nothing I can do about that.  

And that's not even remotely aviation related!  It is 1400 now and we are meeting at 1915 to go to the sim - the session is 2100 - 0100 NZ time.  There are things I can study - for instance I have run through every scenario that we will cover today in my head - and manuals I can read - I still want to review Chapter 7 again - but most of today is about flying from the left hand seat - and I can't learn that from a book.

And so although I know I've never struggled with aircraft handling in the past, my mind automatically goes into freakout Ican'tprepareforthissoI'mgoingotodie mode.

Which of course is very very useful.

However I do have 6 Cadbury's creme eggs so the week shouldn't be altogether bad.

I walked the 20 minutes to Woollies - which they call Countdown over here - to buy some basic supplies, and am feeling the lack of a desk in my room.  I have 2 double beds - should I sleep in a different one each night?  But no desk to sit at... Bed it is ! 

There is a fridge for my supplies though :). 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

When I was a child, Easter wasn't a thing.  Chocolate, however, was, and I dreamed and hoped and begged (mostly begged) for Easter goodies, which, let's face it, hardly ever worked.

I do remember one year, however, when we spent Easter in Shannon, staying in an apartment belonging to Dad's company.  We went to visit some caves, which just happened to have an Easter Egg hunt.  I don't recollect us paying for this - in fact I don't think we even ended up going in the caves - but Sarah and I did do the egg hunt.  (The Only Easter Egg Hunt)

These were no ordinary eggs, these were the best type - Cadbury's Creme Eggs.  They also had a few hard boiled eggs hidden in the grass, or trees, etc. and if you found one, you got to choose between a baseball hat or 5 creme eggs...  and having found a green hard-boiled egg, I obviously chose the chocolate.  I ended up scavenging over 30 eggs - I'm not sure how long this took me.

What is more...  I then managed to eat almost the whole 30 in the course of the weekend.

Perhaps knowing if we took them home I would be forced to 'share' ?

I also recollect there being an awful lot of very small children - I was a little older, maybe eight or nine? - and obviously I was a lot quicker and more talented at grabbing all of the eggs before the smaller children :P

Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's been awhile, folks, and I can't say I've missed you all that much. 

I'm that sort of friend.

The one who says hi once in awhile - especially if you say hello first.  Have you missed me?  I didn't think so. 

My lovely husband came home from Japan, and that was 2 weeks ago.  Since then has been a crazy mess of life, working lots, studying lots (although not as much as I should be), seeing my husband not as much as I'd like to...  and wishing that it was possible to eat ALL the chocolate and not put on ANY of the weight, but wishing doesn't make pigs fly, folks.

Kurt has officially started shift work.  This means that he is not predictable like he used to be.  He used to always be off at weekends, and I'd always get to see him, except for if I was working, and that was okay because it was me who was leaving and so I wasn't being left behind, was I?  And now he is working all sorts of stupid hours - he hasn't started their actual night shift, but he's doing all the others - and I'm home alone a lot more than I'm used to.

Sometimes it's nice.  I can cook and leave a mess and not have to clean it up.  (I did that in Japan, a lot - although I did make an attempt to clean up once a day before going to bed!).  My parents did not do a very good job of raising me - despite their best attempts I am inherently lazy and so dishes smishes, I'll do them five minutes before Kurt comes home... or at least stack them so that they don't look quite so colossal.

PS, folks, I'm failing at this too as I think Kurt has realised that I'm not much of a housewife!

Sometimes, I really miss him.  For instance, I miss being able to go shopping with him in the afternoon when he gets home from work, because he's still at work and why isn't he home yet?  Etc.

Tomorrow (Monday), through to Friday, I'm going to be working nine to five, doing my command groundschool.  I'm not quite sure what is involved - the instructor said he only has about a day and a half's worth of coursework so I don't think he's quite sure how he's going to fill the remaining time either!

I got through all of my command assessments this past week successfully, so that's the first thing ticked off the list.  Tomorrow I'll get my training file to see what is actually involved in this process, but I do know that I'll be heading off to New Zealand on April 7 to go to the simulator - 5 training sessions and 1 check later, I'll be winging my way back to Aus to meet our baby girl!

This is she:

 Isn't she oh so very cute?  I can hardly wait to snuggle her, and it is the best thing to look forward to after the next two and a half weeks of hard work!

I get four days off when she arrives before starting my line training, so I'm really looking forward to spending time with her and Kurt!

And now I really should get back to reading one of the many manuals with which I am trying to saturate my brain!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

My lovely husband arrives home in the morning, and I'm pretty excited.  He flies into the Gold Coast which is about an hour away, so I'll be up bright and early (it will be bright, because it gets light insanely early here) to drive down to pick him and a couple more guys up.  He's the only one I'll be bringing home, though!

He's been gone for 11 nights (including tonight) and it's been surprisingly busy while he's been gone.  I've had lots of work, lots of overnights, and lots of chores to do.  I did a fair bit of studying towards a possible promotion, and then that faded out, dwindling to nothing in the last couple of days.  It is hard to stay focused when you don't have a goal to work towards. 

Now Kurt's flight is delayed 1h35 (so far) so I get a bit more sleep in the morning... but I am really hoping he isn't any later because a) I want to see him and b) we will hit rush hour traffic on the way home!

Bring on tomorrow morning!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our gorgeous baby girl aged 14 days - mid April seems so far away!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

An air traffic controller lied to me today,which  was rude, and I had thought better of him because of my husband.  I guess you can no more tar all ATCs with the same brush than you can with pilots.

He lied by omission, by the way.  In that, the weather broadcast told us there were a few clouds at 3500' and 10km visibility, and on the approach we had to go around due to cloud below our minima (550' above ground level).

On the go around, the tower controller, somewhat sheepishly explained that the 'fog bank just rolled back in' (we could see it from 30 miles out, obscuring the aerodrome) and the 'visibility has reduced to 2000m'.


So we spent the next 30 minutes getting dizzy turning in circles.  (This was after delaying our departure from Brisbane for 30 minutes due to the fog.). A different company's aircraft circled above us, shadowing our every movement.  When asked by tower if we wanted to make an approach ('the weather is exactly the same') we said no.  The tower asked the other aircraft, who in a surprised tone suggested that if we didn't want to, they didn't have much interest either.

And so it went on.

Interestingly, we had asked at 30 miles out (when I commented that the aerodrome appeared obscured) whether any other aircraft had got in that morning.  The answer was no, with no further information on the weather (the ATIS merrily playing its story of FEW030 9999 - I explained that above, you only get one explanation, scroll up) so we shrugged and said 'the cloud must be higher than it appears'.

It wasn't.

Anyway, second time round, 30 minutes later, we landed with 200' to spare.  Interesting, the second time in as many days to spend 30 minutes holding over my destination - for completely different reasons.  Not exactly the norm for Australia!

Yesterday it was due to only 2 bays being available, both being occupied, and no where to go once on the ground - the only option being to stay in the air.


Day 3 without my husband.

You'd think I'd have more time on my hands, but strangely enough, I still make dishes to wash without him. (for example)

Seeing that I am attempting to study for this promotion that probably won't happen any more, I've found my motivation for doing odd jobs around the house much higher.

For instance, we now have a plastic drawers set in the bathroom so that the puppy doesn't chew up all the toilet rolls and my hairdryer.  Instead, I guess she will just eat the plastic.

Tomorrow morning I must get up super duper early to head off on an overnight.  

Oh and I have achieved my 10,000 steps a day so far although my Fitbit ran out of battery at 8,000 steps and I didn't realise - so after charging it, I had to do extra!

And Kurt, you can come home now if you like! :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Today, I'm home alone.

My lovely husband has deserted me by going to Japan for 10 days on a snowboarding trip with a couple of his colleagues.  I drove him to M's house this morning leaving here at 0600 as we were told we had to be there by 0630... and then his friend with the hire car didn't turn up until 0700 which was extremely annoying for all involved!

I got home and went back to bed for a couple of hours, waking up to do my 12wbt workout and then feeling unmotivated and not doing it.  I then attempted to study and managed about 20 minutes, after which I actually managed to complete my logbook - it being something that needed to be done, and was better than just going back on Facebook.  By mid afternoon I managed to motivate myself sufficiently to do the workout (phew) and then settled down to watch a couple of movies.

Coles (supermarket) has an activity tracker challenge on at the moment, that if you link up your device and complete at least 10,000 steps a day for the month of March, you win a $100 voucher to spend in store.  Having forgotten to wear my Fitbit yesterday when I went to work (Kurt wore two, to make up for it!) I actually remembered today - and then found I was still about 500 steps short when I was getting ready to unwind... so decided that despite being highly un-inclined to do so, I would clean up the kitchen. 

So much for deciding to relax about the housework (that I don't do much of anyway because I am not a great housewife!)...

That's the kitchen cleaned and 2 loads of laundry done since Kurt left this morning.  I'm sure I would feel much better about it if I had studied instead!

I must remind myself that tomorrow is another day... 

And here is a picture of our baby girl to make up for it...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

To Walk, or Not To Walk

I don't think I could do it.

Turn my back on life and just walk away. 

My father posted on his blog about a man who did, who went for a walk and just kept going, and never went back, and I don't think I could.

There's so much stuff, so many people, so many attachments.  I mean, for instance I am married, which I presume this man wasn't.  Or at least if he was, he can't have liked his wife very much.  I happen to like my husband.

And then there's Everything Else.  I mean, if I were single and unattached, as I presume this man was, the comforts of life are just... rather pleasant really.  Take my pillow for example - I mean, I even take it on overnights with me now.  (or rather, I take a carbon copy [it's not actually carbon]). 

Friends, well other than my husband I think I could keep walking.  I have friends, but over here they're more like acquaintances and back home is already a long way away so I don't think I could walk further.

I think I would be lonely though.  For awhile I would enjoy the quiet and I could even talk to myself - I do that a lot anyway.  There's something about talking to yourself.  I always understand what I'm talking about and usually I have some pretty good responses, solutions, you name it.  But I do depend on other people.  Sometimes I do need a shoulder to cry on, or an opinion other than mine to ask for.  And sometimes it's nice just to have someone else there.

Sometimes I would like to do it.  I'd like to just say 'FINE' or 'you know, WHATEVER' or 'I'm DONE' or whatever else comes into my mind when I'm altogether over it.  To fling down whatever I'm doing and just walk.  To keep going.  Sometimes I consider getting into my car and just driving.

But then I wonder what I would do when I got there.

And of what I left behind.

And how would I get back?

And I get scared and stay where I am.  And let's face it, that's where I'm going to stay, because however tough life might seem in an instance, and however an argument might just be TOO MUCH, or I just can't handle it any more and work, or home, or life itself is just drowning me, there is always tomorrow.

Or quite often, there is 5 minutes' time, when I've taken a deep breath and realised that I've got it pretty good.  That I've got a loving husband, a good job, a nice apartment - a new puppy, even - AND two pretty awesome pillows - and I don't think any of that is worth walking away from.

So I think I'll stay here.

And be.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

It's been a bit wet here in Brisbane.  These three puppy dogs at the edge of a flooded road look like they agree with me.

I normally run down this street.  On the left is where the Criterium Track is (bicycle racing) and there is a track that routes down to Toombul shopping centre.  Or at least, there usually is, but not today.

There was a bit of a cyclone going on up north, Cyclone Marcia, which hit the Rockhampton area as a Cat 5 cyclone yesterday morning.  By the time it got down to Brisbane it was classified as only a "Tropical Low" but it hasn't stopped raining for 3 days.

This is the lower car park at Toombul shopping centre with the train overpass, and of course somewhere in there is the track I run on.

A closer view of the car park.

The shopping centre from the opposite direction - from the road - obviously closed!

The rain seems to be easing now...