Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Almost a citizen

It's done.  It is complete.  All the things leading up to today are finished and I can sit back and relax.  (Well, pending making all of the life decisions but hey, give me a break.) 

I spent the day in the city filing paperwork and doing my citizenship exam and yes, 100% in 2 minutes 17 seconds of the 45 minutes allowed.  I may be an overachiever but beat THAT.  It wasn't hard.  I now know more about politics (specifically Australian) than I will ever know again.

Now I am on the train back to Northgate to pick up my car, and tonight am going Southside to J's for paella.  And I just found out today he is going to be a father!  Wow - as L put it, usually she would say oh I'm so sorry, but this time feels strangely excited - although oh my, the poor child.  LOL.

I now have nothing left to do, other than day to day work and life decisions.  I won the lottery on the external interview also and was offered a May start date, and I was terribly honest and told them that it was too soon (the parents are visiting) and that I still needed to find out what the company bid import offers me, and sort out the financial situation.  So they said they would get back to me with future course dates and more information.

So, I do need to decide between the 737 and the e145.  The e145 will be fun and challenging and wow all the responsibility with no back up, and the 737 will be regulated and easy and more money and less fun, and much more useable across the board.  Pros and cons list, anyone?

In the meantime, I shall enjoy not having anything else on my "to do list." 

Dog in an hoodie.  Just 'cause it's cute 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jet material and knives

I am officially jet material.  They emailed me last night (office staff working on a Sunday??) to say that I passed my assessment - the company one, I haven't heard about the external one.  All that really means is that if a 737 spot comes up, I'm able to take it.

Also, I just parked at Chermside and a man came running out of the shopping centre at full pelt, wearing a balaclava, clutching a black bag with one hand a a sizeable carving knife in the other.  He ran out of the centre, turned right and disappeared, leaving us Normal People slightly stunned.  Security said to go about our lives, as they had already called the police.

Clearly his mother never taught him as a child that it wasn't safe to run with knives.  


I went to Sydney today.  Just 'cause.  Well, because work made me.  It was beautiful though.



It wasn't too shabby coming in to Brisbane either


In other news, I just found out I passed the company assessment onto the jet fleets.  Now we wait to see what position(s) I am awarded.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's over

I did it, I survived.

I don't know why I fall so completely apart in situations under pressure like interviews and sims.  I do pretty well under actual pressure at work, when something happens that I need to deal with, I just get on with it.  Then I'm presented with a job interview and my heart starts going pitter patter, my hands get clammy, I feel sick and feel like I can hardly breathe.

Once I get into the interview, or sim, or whatever, I am fine.  Yesterday's interview was a bit scary at first because there were three of them and one of me, and I felt somewhat in awe and somewhat outnumbered, and then they turned out to be really friendly, chill and kind, so that was great.  It was a bit weird because it seemed more like they were trying to convince me that I wanted to join their company rather than the other way round!  I got a tour of the small office building where everything happens, and got lots of "welcome on board!"s from the various staff, which isn't true because I haven't even decided!

Today wasn't like that at all.  The company building is faceless, and I waited in the lobby alone, with various company staff passing me by as they went about their days, immune to what was going on around them.

Just before 8, one of the HR staff asked for my logbooks and then disappeared back into the ether.  At 8, he returned to usher me in.  I'm not sure what they did to my logbooks.  They were waiting for me in the interview room, and weren't mentioned again.  The questions were definitely more intense than the previous day's, questions like "what attributes have you learnt over the last five years in Australia that you can bring to the jet operation?" unlike yesterday's "so what do you love about flying?"  Questions like "tell me about a time when you had worst case scenario were you had to make a decision, which one you made, and why?" instead of "so what got you in to aviation?"

Finally that was over, and I returned to my lobby couch, now joined by a few more hopefuls, both internal and external applicants.  There we waited for our sim brief - all four of us together.  After the brief, in which I asked two of the only three questions asked, I was first in for slaughter, thankfully as I was all done with waiting around.

The sim instructor was deathly serious.  I swear his facial expression hardly changed the entire time, except to look disapproving when three of the four of us admitted we only had electronic copies of the charts.  I volunteered to find a computer and print them all out, to great relief from the other two. 

The sim was partly from memory and partly under instruction from the check captain.  He told me he was ready to get going, I then had to do all of my duties up to straight and level at 3000' where he would give me further instructions.  This involved control checks, calling for a checklist, memorising the three responses, releasing the park brake, powering up to climb out at 15 degrees, reducing power by 5% at 1500' and then levelling off at 3000', maintaining 180kts and calling for the after take off checklist. 

Then it was turns, left, right, up, down, steep turns, descents, left, right, etc. until he instructed me to intercept the 210 radial to Darwin VOR.  That took a moment.  Feeling fairly overwhelmed with simply trying to keep the airplane from going where it wanted to go rather from where I wanted it to go, I managed to work out where I was (and muttering the mantra "push the head, pull the tail") intercepted the correct radial.  Hurrah.  Overhead the VOR I was instructed to turn right 130' and intercept the localiser (back course) to LAPAR, for a hold entry.  We were right on the join so given the choice between parallel and offset I chose offset as it gives you more time inbound before intercepting the ILS.  I remembered to call "set minimums" after the check captain cleared me for the approach, but once inbound (or should I say, once having re-intercepted the inbound as the EMJ doesn't seem to have such a tight turn radius as the ATR, ha ha)  I completely forgot what was supposed to come next.  I thought there were two items but I wasn't sure, so I called "Flap 3" anyway and then shortly afterwards remembered it was supposed to be "Gear down, flap 3" so I called "gear down" alone.  I remembered to finish the configuration and ask for the landing checklist at 2000' but I also called it "Before Landing Checklist" instead of "Landing Checklist" oh well.  Then it was to land (unassessed), and then apply full reverse, moderate braking, release reverse at 60kts and bring the aircraft to a stop.  Unfortunately I didn't notice when we touched down as the sim didn't feel any different so I had to ask "are we on the ground?" and then applied reverse.  (all raw data)

Once again no reaction from the check captain as I said thanks very much and left to brief the next poor victims of what it would be like!

Now it's over I can relax - and I just wait to see which jobs I am offered... and then decide which I actually want to take!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Easter.  I don't get it.  It makes no sense.  Easter bunnies and eggs and all the chocolate.  Don't get me wrong.  I believe in God, and Jesus, and the Resurrection, and it's awesome and amazing and I'm ever ever so thankful.  What I don't get is its association to Easter.

Are you telling me that Jesus hatched from an Easter Egg 2017 years ago?  Are you telling me that He is somewhat related to a rabbit?  Was chocolate His very favourite thing?  No?  Then what is the relevance?

I like chocolate, too.  In fact, I'm big into Easter chocolate.  I love Easter Eggs, creme eggs, Malteaster bunnies, and what is more I'm incredibly thankful to the airline actually supplying us with large numbers of Malteaster bunnies.


Here's to hoping that lots of the passengers turn them down and leave the leftovers for me.

I just don't understand how the chocolate, the bunnies and the chicks and Jesus are related.  In fact, I 100% believe that they're not.

And when people say "Happy Easter" to me I stare at them confusedly.  And when people talk about "The Easter Story" I laugh in the face of danger and think it is faintly ridiculous.

And I celebrate the resurrection every day of the year.  I believe that Jesus both died for my sins and was resurrected three days later - and that from that there is grace, and that grace is endless and everlasting.  

But the Easter Bunny?  Oh really, people, grow up.

And pass the chocolate... nom nom nom.  


It's two years today since the ball of fluff came into my life.


And she hasn't changed a bit. 


Okay well, she is a lot bigger (5kg as opposed to 1.2kg), she doesn't pee in the house (unless I forget to leave the door open) and she's fairly obedient, especially when there's chicken involved.

She's also the most loving, most forgiving, most cuddly therapy dog a girl could ever need, especially this past year.  In some very very lonely emotional times, this Ufflet has been the most Floofy Licky companion ever.  


Love you, Uffy, even if you are a bit needy.

And licky.

Ha ha, missed me.


Thursday, April 13, 2017


15k on my new bike, which I have decided to name Pearl.  She is a nice matte grey with pink accents, and reminds me of mother of pearl in the right light.  The ride took 45 minutes and was perfect to blow the cobwebs away.  So nice, no distractions, no noise, cycling along to Kippa Ring.  I didn't stop to take photos, sorry.

For some reason it doesn't want to upload a photo right now so you will have to hold Pearl in your imagination.

In other news, Tuesday is my first job interview in five years... Wednesday is my company assessment day for a jet spot (don't ask, apparently us ATR drivers aren't real pilots) and I'm not looking forward to either day.  Oh well, here goes!

Friday, April 7, 2017


I'm sorry I came across as all pie in the sky and everything was sorted, everything was peachy.  It's not.  The company, in all their wisdom, seem to change their mind on a single day like the seasons in Ireland.

So here I am, two days away from the bid import, feeling like my world is once again crumbling around me.  Everything is uncertain, everything is changing, and it seems to only takes one little thing to set me off.  Yes, I may have ran to my room and slammed the door once already today.  I'm sorry.  (Completely unrelated, but like I said, any minor trigger.)

Yet again, a black cloud of uncertainty hangs over my being able to stay in Brisbane.  Yes, the company is still offering me twelve months, but now they have changed it to "we will pay for flights but you pay for accommodation - oh and you won't get allowances either."  So, double whammy of extra $$$ needed for hotels in both Sydney and Canberra, and also no $$$ from the company in overnight allowances to help pay for them.  Great deal, guys.

Which of course begs the question - what can I actually afford?  Or do I cut my losses and accept the other job offer with the pay cut?  Or do I completely cut my losses and leave Australia?  

Lily, of course, came straight to me for cuddles and licked away the tears after I found out about it today.  She is the best.  And now, after sending off lots of angry emails and having a nice long shower, I feel a little more stable emotionally - although with absolutely no clue what to do.  

By the way, bids close at 0700 Monday morning, so apparently I have to decide by then.

Oh, and they only sent out this latest email at 0700 this morning.

Two days.  Thanks, guys.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Did you know that if you eat All the Doughnuts and then go to bed, you can barely even keep your head on the pillow with the buzz?  That's right.  Sleep is far far far away... 

...in other news, today I hit my dog and locked her in the bedroom twice, and then proceeded to forget about her, twice.  Mother of the year award?

Some people came over to buy something and Lily gets crazily excited when things like that happen, so I scooched herself into the bedroom and closed the door.  After dealing with my customers I went back inside, chatted to H for awhile and sat down at the table.  Presently: "have you seen Lily?"  H: "you locked her in your bedroom!"  Me: "OMG!!!" 

Soon after, a different person came over, this time to sell me something so I followed the same routine.  Surprisingly, I didn't learn from my mistake, and some time later, having eaten multiple doughnuts, chatted to multiple people and started feeling slightly sick, I realised the dog was missing.  Oops. 

Then going to rescue her from my room, I brought her out to see a very large mosquito hovering in front of me - so I swatted it.  In her face.  *embarrassment*

She is a very long suffering dog.

In OTHER news, my manager called me tonight and said I can stay here for a year.  Huzzah for that!  After that it looks like a move to Melbourne: but now the pressure is off and I have plenty of time to prepare.  Assuming, of course, that he doesn't renege on that next time I see him.