Friday, March 31, 2017

My beach is gone

Cyclone Debbie is not my friend.

This was the dog beach at Woorim:


This is it now:

All my dang sand is gone!

All there is left is a cliff the height of me!


How rude is that?  

(The first bit where the access path is, there is still a 2ft step to where the sand has been eroded away) 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


In the spirit of a light hearted post, I would like to say that Lily is going to be an only child forever and ever and ever.

I have three dogs today.

I am at my wits' end.


There is a definite level of cuteness.  However, tracking poop all through my house (smallest dog) and barking at everything that moves (biggest dog) is not okay, nor is it cute. 


Yes, you, Daisy, are very cute.  If you pee on my doormat one more time I may put you in the trash.  At least you smell better after a bath.

I really want to go to the beach - with just Lily - but a) I have committed to having three dogs until Friday (why, why, why???) and b) there's a cyclone lingering and that means a lot of rain and wind which isn't really beach conditions.


Three dogs.  The blonde one is tired of having company and simply wants to curl up with me or H and hide.  I don't blame her really: I feel the same.


I know, Small, it's a hard life.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Just and the Unjust

Why do bad things happen to good people?  Yes, I am classifying myself as a good person here.  And yes, it is hard to type with a Lily on my lap who flails her head into my iPad every time she realises I'm not actually paying attention to her.  I have created a monster.


In response to my question, I don't believe they do.  The rain falls both on the just and the unjust, and I know an awful lot of people who have bad things happen to them.  That's what happens in life.  Good things happen and bad things happen, and right now the bad things are kind of piling up but if I stop and look around me, the good things start to shine.  Like this puppy dog who keeps banging her nose into my iPad, she's a good thing.  Like the roof over my head, that's a good thing.  A job that's still paying me, no matter what happens in the future - phew, that's a good thing.  Friends and family, both near and far, who are supporting me through this - well how can that possibly not be a good thing?

Yes, Lily, I said you were a good thing, you can stop licking me now.  

I did my annual medical yesterday and found it very hard to smile, having just found out about yet more changes at work (minor, but given my current state of mind, it just takes one raindrop to cause an overflow) and having had an argument with a colleague/friend about it.  The doctor was amazingly understanding of my circumstances and actually offered me the day off today, so that I could go to the fleet review meeting this afternoon, where we are hoping to learn more about what is going to happen.  I didn't even have to ask for it off - she simply decided that I needed it!  Hurrah for amazing doctors - see?  There's another good thing.

I have a friend whose marriage is falling apart in the middle of this fleet review and uncertainty about life in general, and the mess, friends.  How fortunate am I that I'm not in that situation.  That I've already dealt with so much, that I can be there and listen and just be there, for times like these.  That despite all the things, all the very things that seem to be happening and oh my, the overflow, I can step back and say - it could be so much worse.  How lucky am I, for what I have.  And hopefully I can share some of that, and witness, and just be there.

And in conclusion, friends, I still haven't been to the beach this week, and I have puppies to dog sit the next couple of days, but the weekend is on its way.  Cyclone permitting (Townsville is copping it right now) I shall be heading beachward.  I may even head up to Eumundi on Saturday and do some market-trawling.  So many options, so many things to see, and so much to enjoy.


Don't lose sight of the good! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It's Over

If I haven't replied I'm sorry, I've had a lot on my mind.  Questions seem too big to really answer and words sometimes don't come easily.  Today the result of the fleet review was announced, and as predicted, it wasn't good news.  By the middle of July, I will no longer be flying out of Brisbane.  What I will be doing completely remains to be seen.  

Will I move elsewhere in Australia?  New Zealand?  Back to Ireland?  I truly don't know and I have less than four months of flying ahead before the decision becomes very very real.  Well, it is all too real now but at least I have a little time.

I still want to be in the house for a year.  Hell, I still want to stay in the house forever, but that isn't an option.  Maybe a year will be.  At this stage they are not offering voluntary redundancy, but I'm sure that is something the unions will be discussing.  I have about three months of leave up my sleeve and if they did make redundancies available, that would get me my 12 months.

In good news, I had puppy sitting this afternoon and it was amazing.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

St Patrick's Day

Apparently I'm due a blog update, so happy St Patrick's Day one and all!  Although, to tell the truth I had completely forgotten 😳 and if it hadn't been for RKB posting on my wall, this day would have passed me by...

I think she's angry about the t-shirt.

This afternoon I'm doing a practise 737 sim with a friend who needs a sim partner to practise for his assessment day next week - which is actually now on the Embraer but I guess this will be different to the ATR.  If you remember, my MCC 9 years ago was on the 737-200.  Not that even I remember that.

In other news, the ballet last night was amazing.  We had pretty good seats...


...and it was actually the dress rehearsal so after each dance, they did practise bits with coaching which was fun to see.


One of the male dancers looked spookily like my Scottish cousin.


I'm pretty sure he's not a ballet dancer though.

Lily is still not impressed by the t-shirt.


Sorry, dear, but it's Paddy's day - someone's gotta wear green, and I choose you.  You're lucky I have no green hair chalk.

What next?  Well I have the weekend off, Saturday I have a birthday dinner to attend and I'll probably have C over to Netflix also.  Maybe even I'll bake some bread.  In fact, that seems like an excellent idea.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Maybe I should go find that bus.

Once again the announcement has been delayed for another week: I'm not sure why I started trusting them: never again!!!  I really feel for the people I know who are needing to sign rental agreements etc - how do you plan anything when you don't know what tomorrow holds? So incredibly frustrating!


The council have put a tree outside my house.  This is after promising yesterday that they wouldn't, and telling me that I could choose not to have a tree.  Plus, I paid for that turf they dug up!  Gah!  So unimpressed.

I'm also in Rocky, which is apparently all I do lately.  I get to go home on Thursday, after which I am going to see Raw performed by Queensland Ballet!  My bank gave me two free tickets as penance for messing up my home loan.  

On Friday, yet more fun and interesting things will happen, but if I told you what they were now, I would have nothing to blog about on Friday, would I?

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Church is a strange phenomenon.  I go to one, and it makes me feel conflicted.  The idea of church is great, and sometimes church itself is great, but more often than not, I end up feeling uneasy watching people perform.  A lot of it is just that: a performance. 

I'm not a Christian to perform, or to show anyone else what a wonderful Christian I am, or to go to church, or to be anything in particular, and social media in particular is bugging me to the n'th degree.  I can get all caught up in the worship, and then open my eyes to see someone in front of me holding their phone up above their head as though they are in a concert, turning around slowly to video everyone and then upload it on Facebook, and BAM, the moment is gone.  Or today, when the youth pastor whispered to a young fella sitting by me, who quickly took up his position with his phone to video the then supposedly spontaneous moment when the youth pastor went to the front to encourage everyone to come up and encounter God!  I'm sure I'll see the video on Facebook later.

The band of course turns their volume up so loud to effectively drown out everyone in the "audience" and in fact leaves my ears feeling somewhat battered when they're finished.  There are a lot of new songs lately - because apparently the praise group is recording their first album (did I mention performing?) and nobody actually knows the songs, and that also makes it very disjointed.  And all of the new songs sound exactly the same, and sound strangely similar to other songs...

...which brings me to a particularly amusing point.  D leaned over to me half way through the service today and whispered "what does this remind you of?" and not being a great music buff myself, I admitted to not knowing, and he started singing a popular secular song - with exactly the same rhythm and tune... and then, as nobody could hear us (or themselves, or anything else for that matter) started singing Smash Mouth - All Star for the next song, and I just couldn't help myself laughing.  I found it impossible to take the band seriously after that!

I don't think I'm a very good Christian.  But then again, I do prefer to think that going away and sitting in a quiet place alone is just as effective in encountering God.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tour of Australia

My manager suggested that I shouldn't throw myself under a bus, which seems like a fair idea.  Not that I was considering it, which is probably good.  We're expecting The Announcement we've all been waiting for to finally happen on Wednesday... but it could be pushed back yet again.  Which makes me wonder if my manager's comment was an omen of things to come...

I've just had three out of my four days off, with no work in sight.  I started off by donating blood with L (she almost fainted and they had to stop), then on day two we went rock climbing which was tons of fun but pretty fatiguing so soon after blood donating!  Lily threw up all over the car on the way there - that'll teach me not to take her out after a deworming tablet!  

Day three was today, and I woke up feeling horribly anxious with a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something bad was going to happen - completely irrational as nothing was going on, and I knew that, but it didn't make any difference.  Chocolate didn't help so I knew I needed to get out and get active.  I started off with some archery and managed to get a perfect grouping at 45m while sighting in my bow - chuffed!

They're low because I wound the bow up to a heavier poundages and was trying to see if my 40m pin would work for 45m (it didn't).

After shooting, and feeling incredibly sore because of rock climbing, R came over and we went off on his motorbike.

We went all the way up Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious and around Somerset Dam and it was all breathtaking - and very fast - and so I didn't get many pictures as I couldn't risk getting my phone out!

View from Mt Nebo towards the Great Dividing Range.

Somerset Dam and the bike.

We shall really have to go for a drive when Mum & Dad come out here.  

No memorable animal sightings to report - unless you count giant ant hills!

That brings us to the end of today - tomorrow is the club shoot for archery, so I'm getting an early night although I'm unsure of whether I will go, as I'm still incredibly sore.

Oh and regarding the title?  It insisted that I put something, and I've been talking for two days about driving off into the sunset with Lily if we get grounded for a few months.  More on that to come! 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Where I'm From

There was a template on a blog I follow, so I thought I'd give it a go:

Where I’m From

I am from green grass,

From Popping Paper and Lego.

I am from the white house with blue windows.

I am from the fields, 

The woods 

The goats and the stream.

I am from rivers and rocks, 

And love from Michael and Alison.

I am from the loud and the prayerful.

From magic and Narnia.

From Christianity.

I'm from Ireland and England, 

Mr Kipling's and Pouring Cream.

From the Benedictine, 

From the bicycle clips

And not dragging the family name.

I am from the Chalet, 

From the rain.

I am from my home.

Monday, March 6, 2017


It's true!  There are camels in Australia.  I know, because I saw one yesterday on the way to Rockhampton from Biloela (or "Bilo", as it's affectionately called by Aussies, who cannot give anything a name without shortening it), and I also saw ten wild emus and two (dead) kangaroos.  Pretty exciting.  Except for the kangaroos - that was a bit sad.  Apparently they die on the roads here all the time.  

I often see my friends up in Rocky on overnights and this time we went on a road trip to Biloela to get hay for their horses.  It's a lot cheaper there, and I can see why... nobody is likely to go there for any other reason.  Miles and miles and miles of brown dried up grass, with the occasional emu (or camel) hanging out, as you do.  The actual hay fields are automatically irrigated with great big stretching irrigation.

Part of an irrigation system demonstrating all there is to see in Biloela.

After that, we popped into KFC for refreshment (even the biggest hicks need Tender Loving Chicken) and headed back to Rocky.  

It was 40C too, so we spent as little time outside the car as possible - the short stint of hard work loading 44 small bales of hay into the horse float was enough for me!


Thursday, March 2, 2017


Oh the excitement of a small dog at the beach.


She absolutely loves running in the sand.


Not a massive fan of the water, especially as there were waves, but she was happy to run after shells (as I didn't bring any toys).


So many shells and so much joy.


When I went in the sea for a dip she guarded the bag and towels as usual!


Who can resist that sandy little snout?


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The last few

What have I been up to?  Rock climbing, archery, horse riding... so many fun activities!  Lily absolutely loves RockSports, everybody there loves on her so she is in her element, just waiting for the next cuddle.

A rare moment of no cuddling

Horse riding was Lily-less, as it was in Rocky, and probably better off that way.  Archery was the same: I'm pretty sure she's not allowed on the range and I wouldn't want her to get shot! 

She is however hands down the best thing ever.  I may have mentioned this before.


Everyone loves the Lily, so tonight she is cordially invited to my Connect group.  I swear they'd probably turn me away at the door if I didn't bring Lily!  

It's been a busy couple of weeks - work is manic at the moment as there are a lot of people off sick so I'm doing plenty of overtime.  $$$.  Also A is staying Tuesday nights as she is starting uni down south and it's easier for her than driving all the way home.

And the garden really really really needs weeding - Sarah, can you come and do it for me?