Friday, June 30, 2017

Switzerland Day 1

My first impression of Switzerland is that everything costs money.  It may just be the hotel, but wow.  Our hotel rooms are paid for, but then the hotel charges a 2.50CHF city tax per day for staying in the room.  I got up this morning to make coffee... no kettle.  Called downstairs and was told it would be 6CHF per day to hire a kettle.  What?  Does that come with tea, coffee, milk and a mug, or is there a separate tax for each?  I thankfully brought my own coffee and French press, so went to reception to fill up with hot water... only to come back to the room and realise there was no mug.  I am resorting to drinking coffee out of a Heineken glass.

In an hour or so I will be making my way to the airport to buy a SIM card as the wifi here cuts in and out every minute or so, and I want to explore the city and feel I would get lost without my phone!  

View from the hotel window

Thursday, June 29, 2017


I fly to Zurich tonight, or to be more correct, at 0225 tomorrow morning.

I have spent the day taking photos of Lily, who is at her very fluffiest.

There is literally so much fluff that it's hard to believe that there is a very very small dog inside.

I will miss her terribly.

I have also studied and laundered and run around the house like a mad thing, because that's what I do when I'm Going Away and I keep thinking of All The Things that need to be done and then I panic and procrastinate and very little actually gets completed.

Did I mention how much I adore this fluff-bomb and how hard it will be to leave her for six weeks?

Ok here is my itinerary: Zurich until 2 August, then Ireland, then Exeter 9-12 August then back here on the 13th.  So I may see a large number of you People Who Read My Blog.  *waves*

And then I shall see this one:

Who will be even more fluffy as Manda wants to see how fluffy she can get while it's still winter!  And yes, that is clean laundry.  Thanks, Lily.

In fact, I tend to rub her all over my clean laundry just to make a point.  And when I forget, she falls asleep on it anyway.

(Un-posed proof)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The End of an Era

That's all, folks.  Other than a couple of reserves, my ATR days are done.  It is bitter-sweet, I am both excited and terrified of starting all over again... so much unknown... but the excitement is definitely the bigger feeling.  I am sad to be leaving the people I have flown with the last five years, and sad to be leaving an aircraft that has been home for over nine.  

Some people hate the ATR, for me it has been pretty much all I've known, and we have had good times.  I won't miss the company, and that's okay.  I'm having a leaving party on Thursday (tomorrow) for some pilots and that will be fun. 

Yesterday was my last rostered duty, and in honour of that, and because I'm leaving and because it really doesn't matter if people know where I worked any more, here are some pics.

After my last landing in to Brisbane on an ATR

The last overnight

Me (a couple of months ago)

Sunrise in Brisbane

Landing on 14 in Brisbane 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day

"O my Father, and O the delight of my eyes..."


Frankly, I couldn't ask for a better one.  As Father's Day looms on a different day every year, and is celebrated in AUS at an entirely different time, I'm completely unprepared as always, hence the post.

So here are some things I appreciate about my father.

He's kind
He listens
He is the most selfless person I know
He is generous
He is loving
He loves Lily
And me
He sticks to his guns (barefoot running) even when people laugh at him 
He loves my Lily
He can fix just about anything - and will do so, willingly
He can look after goats even though he doesn't like to
He bought me my first flying lesson (sorry Mum, but it was Dad's idea)
He is honest
He is humble
He is a terribly picky eater just like his favourite daughter


I could keep going on but I have to get ready for Church, so maybe I shall write more later.

Suffice it to say, I have the best dad, I love him to the moon and back and appreciate him so so so very much.


Friday, June 16, 2017


Yesterday I got to cuddle all the goat babies and it was like the cutest thing since sliced bread which is pretty cute, y'all.



E says I really should say the cutest thing since Lily, because Lily is obviously the cutest thing since sliced bread, which is of course true.  

I haven't updated the blog for almost a million years, and for that I am sorry.  I've been keeping people on Facebook informed about baby A, who is doing well considering everything.  He has lost 2.5 fingers on his left hand which is pretty tragic but everything else seems to be healing well and he is such an upbeat little kid despite it all.


Also, on the job front, I am approaching my very last week ever with my current airline which is both exciting and completely terrifying.  I took the other job, which is a direct entry command on the Embraer 145.  Well, Embraer 135LR, 135KL and soon to be 145XR which are the new ones.  The LRs are the smallest with only 36 seats and the XRs have around 50 depending on the particular configuration we get.  All smaller than my current aircraft but it's a) completely different b) a challenge and c) not my current company which I think are all positives.   

I start the new job on the 26th June and then head to Zurich for the type rating around the 30th, expecting to be away for around 6 weeks, including a few days in Ireland at the end.

It's amazing how much there is to do when one gets a new job.  So many things to return, so much paperwork to fill out both for the old and the new, and the list just goes on.  At least it is mostly keeping me busy so my brain doesn't get to think too much.  That said, I think the hardest couple of weeks - the parents will vouch for this as they were here - were when I had to actually make the decision.  Once the decision was made, the weight off my shoulders was such a relief.  Now and then I have a momentary panic that maybe it won't work out, but in general I think I made the right choice.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


We went to the hospital yesterday to visit baby A, he was pretty happy when we arrived but had quite a yo-yo day in and out of pain.  The main problem seemed to be itching under his splints, which he was inconsolable about.  He has Panadol around the clock and also anti-itching medication.  Such a cute funny boy when he was happy - obviously still cute when not, but I found it pretty heart breaking to watch him so upset.

After visiting with A a little, we took T to the Art Museum to the Marvel Exhibition which is on until about September.  It wouldn't have been my choice of activity but he was incredibly enthusiastic.  I don't believe I would have been interested when I was four!  I tried to gauge his actual interest on the walk there with questions like "okay, you can choose between ice cream, pizza and doughnuts, or the exhibition, which will it be?" And "Ferris wheel or exhibition?" Etc and the exhibition won every time.  Oh well, I tried!  He was ever so excited.  It was actually pretty cool, with all of the actual costumes and props used in the movies, and lots of framed original comics, etc.  T said the highlight was getting to draw his own superhero at the end.  

Kaitlyn & T at the exhibition


 The four of us posing

The Incredible Hulk


 I couldn't help myself 

It was nice to get T out for an activity as his mum has been worried about him feeling left out.  He has lots of love and family around him but it must be hard being the older, OK, kid when most of the focus is on the younger sick one and the new baby.  

For those who don't know the story, little A, who just turned two, knocked a power board (extension cable) off a bedside table onto tiles.  It split open, and he picked it up to put it back, and was electrocuted.  Unfortunately he picked it up in such a way that it made a circuit with his little hands, and continued to burn him until his dad managed to get there to knock the board from his hands.  He is now in the children's hospital in Brisbane, and will be there for at least the next month.  He has full thickness burns to his hands, has had three surgeries already and has a lot more ahead of him.

Baby A this morning  

The family just welcomed their new baby a week ago, the dad (TW) just started a new job and the mum (SW) just had a c-section.  The family and church are rallying around them but it is a lot for them to handle, added with the extra stress and emotion of other things going on in the larger family picture.  Please keep the family in your prayers.

I'm also acutely conscious of the family's financial need during this time.  If anyone has it in their heart to donate towards their expenses (car parking at the hospital alone is $30 a day) please get in touch. 

I love this whole family like my own: in fact, they are an extension of my own family.  For C & T, TW's parents, I pray for peace that they wouldn't feel guilt for the accident, and also for strength for this long journey.  For B & R, SW's parents, who have to go to New Zealand this week potentially long term, I pray for closeness and peace while they are physically stuck so far away.  For TW & SW, I am so thankful that they are so strong together, and I pray for their faith, that it remains strong, for their relationship, that it gets built up, and for their hearts, that they stay unbroken.  For little T, and baby R, I pray that they know their family's love, and for baby A, for freedom from pain and complete healing.