Monday, October 16, 2017

Ngungun in the rain

That was possibly the coldest and wettest climb of 2017.  It started out ok, just some light rain, and although I felt like I had very little energy - despite having breakfast - I was pretty determined.  Initially my goal was to go up and down three times, but realistically twice was plenty!  After the first climb, it started smashing down, so by the time I got back to the base I was thoroughly drenched.  This did, however, keep me relatively cool climbing up the second time.- although once I got to the summit it was freezing!  The wind had started howling across the bare rocks, transforming the heavy rain into horizontal barbs, and the wet gym shirt and leggings were no longer adequate!

I took one photo, and then replaced my camera safely back into its plastic baggy - no water damage for me, thanks!

The entire drive home was pretty cold despite turning the heat up, and the shower once I got home was divine.  I am now lying in bed enjoying the fact that it is warm and dry.  The entire climb (ok entire two climbs) took 1h12 on my Garmin.

I am leaning heavily towards getting a Fenix 5S, as I dislike the fact that my current Forerunner 220 thinks that everything I do is a run - and therefore seems to laugh at me when it says I only do 1k in 16 minutes, etc...

I have also been told that I should get a shell coat to protect me from the elements.  We shall see.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I'm not sure who's more worn out, her or me.

We found some pretty flowers while looking for the way up, but she didn't want to pose - too much exploring to do!

The view up here is amazing, and it is so quiet except for the rapid breathing of the exhausted dog child.  She even has her own water bottle today: mainly because I decided to carry two as training for when I climb Beerwah!

You can see all of the glasshouses from here.

Beerwah and Coonowrin.


I don't know the names of all the others.

I think I shall just sit here awhile and ponder.  I'm having a bit of a mopey day today: I figure it's healthier to mope on the top of a hill than in my bed.  Which would of course have been easier.

Friday, October 6, 2017


Despite my strong dislike of crowds, I managed to last seven shops before the anxiety hit.  Remind me never to go shopping at the weekend again - actually I say that every time - and at least I managed to get what I actually went for before I panicked and dashed for the exit!  It was the first two shops that started pushing me towards the brink of neurosis.

In Rockwear, the salesperson laughed at me for wanting a top which involved a back - apparently backless tops are all the rage nowadays - and for wanting a top without tangled straps.  Seriously, are comfort and modesty completely foreign notions?  It's not like I was asking for a full sleeve full length roll neck work out top.  

In Lorna Jane, the plastic-surgery ridden woman followed me around like a hyena, telling me all of the things that she thought were "traditional" - sorry love, really, no - and finding me the "most comfortable ever" leggings which cut in most horribly and cost $99 "but I have lots of these, darling, and they'll wear in".  Yeah, no?  

In the shops where I actually bought things, I was completely left alone to my own devices, able to try things on without being given twenty different options none of which I liked but "they look amazing on you" (thanks, Lorna Jane), and much much more reasonably priced.  This way I can buy new exercise gear ten times as often as if I had shopped in the initial places.  (Does that mean I'll be stressed out ten times as much?)

Having braved the shops, and survived mostly intact, I am excited that both of my children return home this afternoon.  I love my space, and my "me time" but having C in Auckland for the week and H in Mackay, it has been very very quiet.  Manda hasn't even stayed over, due to her mum having a hip replacement.  It has just been me and Lily in a very large house, very alone.  Mind you, the bonus is not having to wear clothes but we won't go there.  You're welcome. 

Tonight, I'm going to see Kingsman (the sequel) with The Friends.  I haven't been to the movies in ages - unlike H who goes every single week, on his own - so I'm really looking forward to it.  Maybe you'll even be lucky enough to get a movie review.  Which reminds me, I really want to re-watch Hacksaw Ridge, which C has bought, but Manda borrowed it before I got a chance.

One more day off ahead and then it's back to work.  I have nothing planned on the climbing front yet - although I did traipse up Ngungun this morning.  I'd hate to call it a climb as really, after Tibro... 

So having not involved any photos in this post, I suppose I shall leave you one of me in the cave on Ngungun.

Oh and maybe a misty shot of Beerwah (and Coonowrin) 

Thursday, October 5, 2017


I did it!  I climbed the Caves Route, on a rope, because seriously without a rope is super scary and only suitable for people like M who climbed without a rope so that the rope could be there for me.  And although I did the climb not using the rope, the mere availability of it gave me confidence to climb.  

This is the route we took (pardon the resolution, I stole the photo from Google and M penned in the route)

(We didn't actually fly the last part)

Let's be honest, I was tired before we got to the rock part.  

The first rock face with my esteemed lead climber.

The view from the first cave.

Climbing, ever climbing...

The second cave.  I pretty much stopped taking photos then because, yeah.  Fatigue.

Do I look like I'm dying?

It was so so hot.  Every now and then we would get an inkling of a breeze.  The higher we went, the blacker the rock and therefore the hotter the rock.  I think I changed my shoes three times in between the approach shoes (for hiking and climbing) and the specific climbing shoes (for just real climbing).

I had another bottle of water in the car and oh how I wished I had brought it with me!  My legs wouldn't stop shaking on the way down but they did keep going so I'm home now, alive!

I can't wait to do it again, and next time hopefully inviting E&E (old job).

Did I mention how much pure fun it was though?  Fear, adrenalin, adventure... the whole fear of heights thing maybe makes it even more of a challenge! 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I thumped Lily quite hard in the middle of the night.

To do myself justice I was asleep at the time, and I thought I was protecting her.  She was sleeping entwined in my arms, as you do when you have a lonely girl and a needy small dog, and I dreamt she kept going around to my neighbour's house and I had to make sure she didn't get out on the street.  I was outside the house and I saw Nacho, a friend's German Shepherd, lying in the doorway, and at the same time I saw Lily coming barreling through.  I scooped her up and Nacho started jumping at her trying to bite her and Lily was crying - so I did what any good parent would do, and thumped Nacho, (sorry Nikki) except... in reality I thumped my own dog.

I'm a terrible parent.

In other news, the girls came over - and Tyler - yesterday bringing with them the three smalls, T (5), A (2.5) and R(4m).  R is getting so responsive, chuckling when tickled and actually rolled over for the first time at my house, which makes me famous by default.  Hurrah for fame!

A, completely un phased by only having the use of one hand, ran about destroying things, taking whatever T had and generally having a ball.  Such an amazingly cute kid - and he is finally starting to talk, except that nobody has even the slightest clue what the babble means.

T is quite a boy, he had great fun with my Lego, at one point coming out of the media room saying "Kate, A spilt his apple juice in your TV room."  I went to help him, to find a suspicious scene awaiting me.  One rock from the garden coated with apple juice, trickles and sprinkles elsewhere, and some Lego full of juice.  

"This looks like you put juice in here on purpose," I said conversationally as I cleaned up. 

"Oh yes, A did" said T.  

Me: "Really?  He doesn't look like he would know how to do that - I think it was actually you.  Were you just trying to get the stone wet and it sprayed everywhere?"  

T: "Oh... yeah, I was."  LOL.

Children! 🙄

This morning, Manda and I decided to do a dawn stroll up Ngungun.  I say stroll because it isn't very high and it was fairly slow clocking 26 minutes on the way up.

Brushing one's hair is optional when you climb a mountain at 0430.

I'm so yellow!!!  Or maybe Manda is just very very white...

Cave on the way down, which I explored.  There was nothing in there, unless you count an old beer bottle.

Empty cave-ness.

And Lily greeted me with a scene of devastation when I got home, perhaps to pay me back for leaving her: she shook horrifically when I made her sit in the middle of it to take photos, and then ran and hid on the couch and refused to move.  Anyone want a dog?

I am now trying to nap as I have four flights tonight but I feel very very awake.  Maybe it's all the coffee. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The woman at the hotel checked me in, eventually, looking at me every now and then with dead fish eyes. It took awhile for her to even acknowledge my presence and then she would turn away every few seconds to attend to another customer rather than dealing with me.  I don't think I was being needy: it was supposed to be a hotel, and all I wanted was a room.  I wouldn't recommend her for the employee of the year awards - although having spent precisely 18 minutes in this hotel, I'm not sure they do any awards, in fact, I'm not sure that it is a hotel - maybe they are simply holding me hostage?  The fact that I was warned not to leave between 0400 and 0800 because "the doors will let you out but they won't let you in, and nobody will be here" was slightly ominous.  

There is a brown smear at head level on the wall beside the bed which could be from a murder scene, and the bath is green stained and peeling - yes, the plastic itself is peeling.  The extractor fan comes on with a godawful roar accompanied by a hideous rattle, but they did give me a complimentary breakfast box, which contains some UHT milk, a little vanilla muffin, some muesli and an "Up and Go Liquid Breakfast" which I don't actually classify as food, and will not pass my lips - has anyone actually read the list of ingredients?  Any liquid breakfast that has 29 ingredients including 5 numbers does not get to call itself a food, in my book.

I started the day nice and bright and early at 0600 with a small fluffy doglet plonking itself determinedly down on my sleeping belly.  My belly struggled on for a few minutes and then decided to wake up, along with the rest of me, at which point coffee was at the top of my agenda.  I have a long and prestigious list of Things to Do during my four days off such as Buy Ant Rid and Apply for a Passport all of which have differing levels of urgency - probably For Crying Out Loud Woman, Clean The Fridge!!! comes close to the top. 

Anyway, just to say I haven't actually done any of that yet.  Never never ever do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow.

Anyway (another anyway) I decided to head up the coast for some hiking and beaching and the little dog looked at me so beseechingly and I felt so bad to leave her, that she came too.  A glasshouse mountain was chosen that was appropriate for the Lily, and a beach was chosen for afterwards that was dog friendly, and we were all sorted.  

The first thing I wanted to do, of course, was show off (to people who had never met Lily) how absolutely marvellously wonderful my dog was.  What a treasure and a delight and if Carlsberg made dogs she would probably be the best dog in the world, yada yada yada. So about five steps into the hike, she gets bitten by an ant.  Yes, an ant, and dissolves into a little yelping whimpering shaking Ball of Shame.  And the proud mother of the Incredible Dog was reduced to picking her up and cuddling her and telling her it was all going to be ok until the sniffling ceased and the spoilt little brat from hell was ready to resume the hike.  

You're welcome.

And of course the last few metres of the hike she had to be carried because apparently caboodle legs are too short to scale rock walls, and on that stretch of the way down I simply put her into my backpack.

View from the top of (I believe) Tibrogargan and Beerwah.

Having un-climbed the hill again - I want to call it a mountain but it really wasn't much of a climb, although I huffed and puffed and almost died because I didn't really have breakfast although I DID try, I set off for Currimundi but it started raining so I decided to go home and give the beach another go another day.  I sensibly thought that it might be a good idea to get some of the List completed... ha.

I had barely got home when ops called me asking me if I could work... I'm working two full days to operate just one teency weency flight from Alice Springs to Coolangatta- empty.  First, I drove to Coolangatta - it took two hours, and I almost missed my JQ paxing flight to Melbourne because I only got my confirmation code 7 minutes before checkin closed - and now I am in Melbourne for the night at the above mentioned amazing hotel.

Tomorrow morning I hop on a flight - as a passenger again, and head to Alice Springs.  Then at some point i will find myself back in Coollie and can drive my car aaaaall the way back to Mango Hill.

What fun! 

Did I mention I have a List of Things That Must Be Done? 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Equality and other nonsense

Today upset me from the moment I woke up.  Maybe upset is the wrong word, maybe just low for no reason (or at least none that I wish to talk about) and angry at Fate which put me in that particular headspace at that particular moment.  Lots of stars aligning to make me feel completely unable to Adult.  Unfortunately, I had a couple of things planned that I wasn't really able to renege on - which is probably a good thing otherwise I'd still be lying on the floor in the media room feeling lonely and horribly sorry for myself, which isn't very useful.  I'm not even going to begin to get into why I should feel sorry for myself.  I am thankful, I am thankful, I am thankful: and then on the other hand I'm a little bit bitter and twisted and sulky that things don't always go my way.

On the subject of bitter and twisted, I had brought the day back to a fairly even keel this afternoon, after buying climbing shoes and approach shoes and rock climbing, and although I still hadn't managed to have breakfast, things were cheering up in the Brain of Kate.  Until I got an email from work saying I was rostered on the First Ever All Female Crew YAY TO ALL THE WORLD and I could we please Ensure Pictures Are Taken.

Which promptly flipped about the Brain of Kate into Officially Angry Mode.  

Steam pouring out of the ears Angry Mode.

I don't get it.  Maybe this is something that I, alone, struggle with but oh well.  It's my blog and I dare you tell me that I can't.  

Did anyone take a picture of the First All Male Crew?  Oh, I wonder why not.  Would that be sexist, by any chance?  I already think I got the job - and probably all of my jobs - simply by virtue of the fact that I have female genitalia - and this crap just makes it worse.  

Do I want equality?  Yes, 100% - but I don't want Over Compensated Equality which isn't really equal at all and is Making Up For Years of Torment Under The Hands of Evil Men or whatever they sprout their mouths off about this week, or next week, or whatever week it may be.  I have had bitter male pilots come up to me and complain that I'm taking jobs away from people who actually deserve it.  I feel like I have to study at least twice as hard as any man - not because I can't do as well - but so that I can somehow prove that I am better, and somehow prove that I actually deserve to have a job at all.

The last thing I need is to be in some ridiculous, hyped up, all female crew photograph posing in front of an aeroplane.

I know I can't hope to blend in, I know I can't hope to be the same as everyone else.  I know jolly well (you're welcome, for the Moderated Language) that I will never be One Of The Guys and that's fine.  I've got this far and I will jolly well keep on going - if I don't die in the attempt - but you can take your photos... and you can... (ok I've run out of Jolly Moderated Language.) 

Maybe I will just buy that acreage and goats and walk away.

At least I am now lying on the bed and not on the floor.

Friday, September 22, 2017

My First Day

Yesterday was my very first day after my check to line, which basically means that I was released to endanger the general public, in charge of my very own jet.  I was scheduled to operate four flights, signing on at 1200 and signing off at 2205.  

I laugh in your general direction.

So, in the 24 hours or so prior to my duty, a lot of things changed.  More things changed than one would have thought were possible to be changed, but that I’m not going to go into because, ya know, Public Forum and all that.  I spent the morning helping Kaitlyn move house, went home for a quick nap at lunch time, and then got ready for work, only to get a phone call telling me not to leave home, as my aircraft was stuck elsewhere, waiting for a slot back into Brisbane.  This was nothing of the company’s fault, as there were pretty intense weather conditions yesterday afternoon in Brisbane, with our first proper thunderstorms of the year.  (Which of course I had been psyching myself up for all day, As You Do.)

I finally left for work at 1900, arriving into the office to find a lovely plate of Lamingtons, decorated with Aussie flags, to celebrate my becoming an Australian citizen.  How very sweet! 

And once we got to the aircraft, the fun really started.  I started with my walkaround, and my FO went inside to start the aircraft.  I came back around the aircraft to hear him asking someone for a ground cart, and I’m like what?  The APU won’t start?  Nah, mate (I’m an Aussie now) the batteries are flat.



We checked all of the button positions to see whether B had left anything on depowering the aircraft when he left it – nope, all switches in the correct position.  We tried turning the batteries on again – they came on with their normal whirring, which increases in tone… and then decreased rapidly, the lights flickered, and silence, with the instruments reverting to what is called “electrical emergency” mode.  (During flight, if everything else fails, you still have 40 minutes on the batteries to land the aircraft safely.)

Not normal on the ground.

Not normal for flat batteries either: which, let’s face it, I wasn’t 100% sure about, having a grand total of 57 hours on the aircraft, during all of which I had someone more experienced than me being able to give me advice!  Ahah!  I now had an experienced FO who could give me advice! 


Oh.  Just me then.

We couldn’t even check the batteries voltage to see whether they were charged, as the screen we needed wouldn’t switch on because of the abnormal electrical transfer.

We did all of the Useful Things like checking to make sure none of the CBs had popped, and checking to make sure that we hadn’t done Anything Stupid, and checking to see whether turning it on and off again would make a difference.


The next step was to procure a ground cart to see whether we could get the APU started from that, as I wasn’t willing to give it a go on the batteries considering we couldn’t see the voltage on them, etc.  Maybe it would have started, who knows, but I didn’t intend to see.

Also, to make it even better, Operations had gone home for the night (it was now about 2130) and our engineer was Elsewhere Fixing Things.  Having ordered a ground cart via the Ops guy who was on the other end of the phone, I spoke to the engineer, who didn’t have anything else to add, except that it was probably the batteries.  I had a niggling doubt at this stage, suspecting the rain / electrical relays / Leprechauns, but in any case, we waited for a ground cart just to Make Sure.

The ground cart arrived, after some delay, and I hurried outside to meet them.  Did I know how to start it?  Nope, I presumed that as you brought the ground cart, you would know how to start it. 


It’s your first time starting it?

You don’t know where the plug goes?   

Well that’s interesting, I’m not sure I know where it goes either.  I mean, my brain froze at that point in my life and I thought OH MY GOSH THEY NEVER COVERED THIS IN LINE TRAINING I MAY AS WELL KILL MYSELF NOW or something along those lines.  I mean yes, I knew perfectly well where it was but at This Specific Time that knowledge did not come to the forefront of my brain, so I proceeded to walk the wrong way around the airplane doing a grand tour before I came back to the front and said “oh yes there it is.” 

We had to wait for someone More Experienced to start the GPU (ground power unit) anyway, as pilots do have a habit of blowing the things up.  Or at least they did in my previous company so I thought I’d better not start poking at this one.

Finally, GPU started, we were able to power up the aircraft, get the APU started, check the battery voltage – it was fine - disconnect the GPU…. Whiiiirrrr.r…..uuuuuuuuhhhh….. electrical emergency again. 

Oh, for crying out loud.

Which may or may not have been what I actually said, but my blog, my rules, I choose to moderate my own language.  You’re welcome.

With the help of the engineer on the phone, we reset some things, and finally it was all working normally.  At this stage, it was well after 2200, and we were both ready to be finishing up – and hadn’t actually flown anywhere!

We then had to taxi the aircraft down the other end of the airport to collect the self-loading freight, refuel the aircraft – can you go without refuelling?  There aren’t any refuellers working this late?  No?  Oh well, we’ll see what we can do.  (they turned up)

After that, it was all pretty uneventful.  Nobody died, nobody was even injured, we managed to land twice without damaging the aircraft, and nothing even remotely dodgy was done.  So, in the end, a fairly uneventful trip.

You’re welcome, General Public.

I got home just before 0300.  They’ve given me the day off today though, so I can hardly complain!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

So many things

So many things to write about!  Did I cover my birthday?  My housemate gave me a Go Pro, my friend baked me a cake, we went out to a smokehouse restaurant for dinner - a pulled pork burger and chicken wings, my fave - and I had an all out amazing day.  Did I mention the chicken wings?  Oooooh. 

Not to forget, of course, that on Tuesday B bought me a massive bouquet of flowers!  (And completely made my day.)

Tuesday morning, bright and early, I went to work for my last day of training - let's face it, I wasn't on top form - after which all I wanted to do was collapse on the couch with Corona, but I ended up motivating myself to go to Bible Study as I had made Millionaire Shortbread for the evening.  I'm glad I went.  

Millionaire Shortbread

This new company I find myself in is a bit of an enigma.  One minute they have no rules at all, the next minute they have All The Rules and it's hard to work out where I fit in the middle of it all.  Sorry, I got side tracked.  Where were we?

Wednesday I suddenly became a lot braver than I usually am and climbed Tibrogargan - which is pretty much a lump of cliffs (I'm feeling particularly descriptive), and was extremely scary, although more so on the way down.  The guy I climbed with was awesome of awesomeness and helped me every step of the way - and literally, on the way down, as I had no idea where to put my feet - or hands.  Potentially one day I will be invited to do it again, and I will be able to do a better job as I have conquered it once.  It took 2h48 on my watch, start to finish, including a break at the top.  Usually M does it in 45 minutes so I have a long long long long long long long way to go.

Exhausted at the top, and I didn't even eat my sugar supply

Having climbed the whole of Tibrogargan, we rewarded ourselves with some nice cold beer, and I headed home to prepare myself for the next day of the week - I know, it's the gift that just keeps on giving.

Thursday dawned bright and early at 0300 - no, wait, it wasn't even dawn yet for a few hours.  I got up anyway, as I had a check to do.  This took until about midday and was an unbelievable nightmare of an interrogation - but as you can see I survived, despite the Inquisition.  For some reason, I thought I'd be masochistic and go rock climbing the day after Tibrogargan, so I did that - it didn't take long for my arms and shoulders to become completely burnt out - strangely my legs are fine so I must be doing it wrong. 

Then, to cap off the day, I had my citizenship ceremony - and am now officially an Australian!  Followed of course by an obligatory cold beer as that seems to be the theme of the week. 

That is my week so far: today I have to operate four sectors all on my own and am feeling a little bit nervous.  Am I really equipped/qualified for this?  Aahhhhhh.... (watch this space)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dirty 30

This is the last day of my 20s.  Tomorrow I shall be more mature.  I don't feel old enough to be 30 tomorrow.  I don't feel in the least bit like a grown up.  At work I have to at least pretend that I am, i think it makes people feel safer.  I'm sure Lily will wake me up tomorrow with the same disregard for my lie-ins as she does every other day of my life.  I'm sure the day won't feel any different than any other, but it's weird to think that I'm 30 tomorrow. 

I'm not going to have a '1/3 life crisis' as they call it nowadays.  I don't think "I haven't achieved anything in my life" in fact I'm fairly happy with my lot.  There are of course things I'd love to be different - I'd like to be married, I'd like to have kids, I'd like to have a goat farm - but not having them by the time I turn 30 doesn't define me in a Failure/Success way.

Or maybe my writing this blog post is a sign of crumbling resolve and the beginning of a crisis...

I've a massive list of things to be thankful for.  I'm thankful for God, for my family, for Lily, for my house, my car, my job, my friends... all not in that particular order although I did think God should come first.  Not usually how I live my life, unfortunately, but one should have goals.

On Tuesday (30 years old + 1 day) I have my last day of training, followed by my check to line on Thursday.  I'm excited to be finished... but the idea of being released (hopefully) and flying with a regular FO on Friday is somewhat daunting.  What if I need advice?  What if I make a horrible mistake and there's no trainer there to guide me?  Aaaahhhhh! 

On Monday, which clearly comes before Tuesday, I am turning 30.  Did I mention that?  I have planned a glorious cooking spree for the day, followed by dinner out with some of the girls (Manda, Shawnee, Kaitlyn and Nikki).  I was going to have a games night too until I realised what time my shift starts on Tuesday!

It's so tiresome being a responsible adult. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Aussie Fathers' Day

In Aussie land, it is Fathers' Day, which means I'm going to talk about my dad.  It's hard to manage what day is what as I tend to forget which day is Irish Fathers' Day due to being out of the loop.  

Firstly, my dad is the best dad in the world.  That is unquestionable fact, and I dare you to argue.  He is also a little odd and decidedly eccentric.  He has taken up the no-shoes lifestyle with great enthusiasm - much to my mother's frustration, at times, and I find that whenever I read anything (in news or otherwise) about footware, I think about my dad.  For instance, my new company's procedures manual states that minimum dress code for passengers includes footwear.  Sorry, Dad.

There was also an article in the news over here about a guy who got stopped by the police in the airport because, lacking footware, he drew flip flops onto his feet with black pen.  Apparently it wasn't realistic enough.  It is assumed that flip flops are suitable clothing even though, in an emergency I suggest they could be more dangerous than bare feet.  Also, people with high heels are encouraged to take them off before evacuating: why not be barefoot in the first place?

Dad is also a lover of open space, a friend to the outdoors.  He loves to roam, alone, through the Irish countryside, or in fact in whatever countryside he finds himself, whether that be the Brisbane suburbs or the icy wilds of Alaska (also barefoot).  He has managed, so far, not to get frost bite in Alaska, but alas he did wear off a significant amount of his soles on the abrasive coral footpaths in Australia.  He didn't, however, get bitten by any snakes.  

This father of mine is also incredibly selfless and when not running around in the wild wearnjng very little in the way of clothing, is usually found working hard.  This could be on electronics - although he is moving away from Microlite now - or fixing things in the house, building, plumbing, electrical, or in fact whenever whatever needs to be done he makes himself available.  I can only hope that one day I am as willing and unafraid as he is.  Or perhaps he is not unafraid, but instead courageous in attempting all of these things that he fears.  

My dad also loves his family dearly.  On a recent trip to Ireland we were all in the same place for once - and despite the noise, which he hates - my father was so very happy.  So happy indeed that it was heart wrenching to have to leave at the end, knowing how sad he was so see us go.  Don't worry, Dad, I'll be back!  And of course, I love him so very much that it is hard to be so far away as well.  He visited me in Zurich for a weekend and it was the best.  We explored an alp and went on trains and walked and talked and <3 my heart could explode.  

Dad, I would never choose any other ever in the world.

Friday, September 1, 2017


I shouldn't be allowed on the internet when I'm supposed to be studying.  I picked up my iPad yesterday to read the policy and procedures manual, only to be sidetracked by the Daily Mail - and subsequently to be sidetracked even more by researching zero waste and the dangers of plastic.

I have been converted.

That said, I realised this morning how much I rely on plastic.  My kitchen is full of it!  Every drawer has plastic utensils, Klip containers, cling film, plastic baggies - the list goes on.  The fridge is full of plastic bottles, the pantry full of food in gaudy plastic wrapping.  

"They" forecast (not the Daily Mail) that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.

Start slow, don't go 0-100 in seconds, they say.  I've decided to start with a compost bin and using reusable shopping bags.  However, that's easier said than done.  Today I went in search of a compost bin - yep, they're all made of plastic.  I came home with two wooden pallets which I plan to fashion into a compost bin - hurrah for yet more reasons not to study!

Did you know that even tinned food has plastic?  Nowadays tins are actually lined with the stuff.

All my pans are non-stick - more plastic.

I'm not going to throw stuff away because it is plastic - that in itself only would increase plastic waste - but maybe I can do my bit by reducing how much I buy, at least to start off with.

And try not to go completely overboard...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Lap and Water Dog

The small dog has a tendency of gravitating onto people's laps, making of herself a squirmy licky nuisance, and general couch potato-ing.  I have hundreds of photos in my library to describe this.

 Lily asleep

Lily snuggling new friends

Lily curled up in blankets or sun baking by the window.  

And yet when you take her anywhere near water or birds, she goes completely feral.  It's like a switch flicks in her tiny little brain and she remembers that she isn't just Cavalier, but also half-poodle.  Those birds are for the TAKING, and the lake is MINE.

Spot the dog?

No really, there's a dog in this one too - the picture is because I didn't know what the rows of canvas were for, but there is also a dog.

A little easier to see

I'm not cold, Mum, even if I'm shaking so hard it's difficult to get a focused photo.

Oh the filth.

This is all well and good except that she ends up wet, filthy and shivering, and I have to donate my hoodie and carry her half of the way home because her tiny skinny frame is shaking so hard I'm afraid she might implode.

Just a disclaimer: I did not make her do it.  In fact I encouraged her away from the water several times previously and then just sighed, and thought I'd film her investigating... and it all went downhill from there.  We ended up rambling all through the back of Capestone as the building site is no longer fenced behind the newly opened lake/puddle.  Lily had a blast of a time, I managed to keep track of her almost all of the time and only slightly panicked once, and no ducks were actually harmed.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Due a blog

Apparently I am due a blog.

Last night I had "British fish and chips" on the Jetty in Redcliffe.

It was good fish, but I could have done better chips myself.  Not a bad price though!

I only had fish and chips because I came out of my tax appointment and realised I was right next to the chippy.  What else could I do?

I had a moment's panic while I was eating my F&C, as I saw an aeroplane approaching over the bay and had a mini freak-out thinking "I could never be a pilot!!!" And then remembered that I was, and wasn't doing too badly either.  It's amazing what my stupid brain says to me sometimes!

On the subject of flying, eight sectors down - just over 12 hours - of the 50 total.  My first four landings were lovely, and they've deteriorated from there.  Hopefully they will start improving again... after my last two I am unsure of whether the trainer will particularly want me to land into Middlemount today! (Short runway, no slope guidance). Watch this space...

Then after today I have no more flying until next Wednesday or Thursday, I presume because of a lack of a trainer: I will have to try to be diligent and do some study instead of watching YouTube ALL the time! 

Due a blog

Apparently I am due a blog.

Last night I had "British fish and chips" on the Jetty in Redcliffe.

It was good fish, but I could have done better chips myself.  Not a bad price though!

I only had fish and chips because I came out of my tax appointment and realised I was right next to the chippy.  What else could I do?

I had a moment's panic while I was eating my F&C, as I saw an aeroplane approaching over the bay and had a mini freak-out thinking "I could never be a pilot!!!" And then remembered that I was, and wasn't doing too badly either.  It's amazing what my stupid brain says to me sometimes!

On the subject of flying, eight sectors down - just over 12 hours - of the 50 total.  My first four landings were lovely, and they've deteriorated from there.  Hopefully they will start improving again... after my last two I am unsure of whether the trainer will particularly want me to land into Middlemount today! (Short runway, no slope guidance). Watch this space...

Then after today I have no more flying until next Wednesday or Thursday, I presume because of a lack of a trainer: I will have to try to be diligent and do some study instead of watching YouTube ALL the time! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I flew an airplane

I flew an airplane today.  All the way to Wagga Wagga and back.  I landed it twice.  We didn't crash.  Nobody died, and nobody was significantly injured.  Hurrah for me.  It was fun.  I get to do it all over again tomorrow

The End.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


They let me sit in it, technically for four flights, but I left after two because that jumpseat is no good for my back, butt, or my sanity.  Also the headset was heavy and made my neck hurt.  Also I wanted leftover tacos for dinner and staying at work until 2200 wasn't in the game plan.

Annoyingly we were limited to FL250 (or 25,000' for the uninitiated) because of an equipment failure, which was annoying because the ATR is also limited to FL250 and I really wanted to go higher.

AND, it climbs beautifully beautifully well, through FL200 we were climbing at 4500fpm and it made my heart glad.  Yay for performance.

Now I have three days to study before my first actual training day on Thursday - and three days to ponder whether I really really really need to spend $1395 on a headset.  I'd be foolish to not look after my neck though 😑

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chocolate Drama

An eventful 24hours with Lily, a welcome home present, perhaps?  Retaliation for my leaving her again so soon?  Either way, while I was at work she did this:

It was in my suitcase, unopened.  125g of milk chocolate (minus the 16% caramel chips).  I didn't even get a taste.

Anyway, a trip to Emergency ensued and she spent the last 20h there.  Induced vomiting, activated charcoal, an IV and heart medication to slow down her racing heart.  Now she is just fine, but with strict instructions for NO boisterous activities due to the heart thing.

I went to visit her this morning and she was cute but pitiful.

It's ever so nice to have her home - howbeit $958 later!  Thankfully I should get 80% back with pet insurance.

Oh, and mere minutes after we get home I find her licking the carpet in my bedroom where she ate the chocolate!  What a brat!

Finally asleep in the comfort of my bed.