Land Ahoy!!

Well that happened quickly…

So it only seems like about half an hour ago myself and Ellie were thinking about the possibility of ‘buying a bit of land’ and then, well, would you believe we’ve gone and committed to buying something and signed an agreement.

Now whilst we’ve only signed an expression of interest at this stage the only real way back now is if the sellers pull out (unlikely as they’re land developers) or if we suffer some sort of financial disaster (will try not to) – Basically next week we’ll get the full contract come through which will require a slightly more significant down payment and then we wait until Oct / Nov before the land becomes available to build on……Oh wait? You mean to say you think we know what we’re buying into? Err, no….It’s all from a plan that actually hasnt been dug up, flattened and turned into anything vaguely resembling a well prepared ‘lawn’ at this stage…

Land

So, what did we get? Well, currently we live on ‘acreage’ which funnily enough as the name implies is roughly an acre of rented land and house space which we’re kind of enjoying – The current rental rolls downwards to the river and as such loses about 40% of it’s usability as it gets close to the bushes that border onto the river (Trust me, you don’t really want a nice clean area and a ‘jetty’ on your property into the river as once a year you’ll get a bill from the council when they want you to come and pick it up downstream after yet another biblical flooding) – So the new place is 2214m2 which roughly equates to just over a half acre of land, however, it’s totally flat land, all usable with no muddy rivers or bushubs in site.

Lot 63 Disclosure Plan

As mentioned it’s a new development in Karalee which is where we live now, the benefits of which will be that we aren’t right at the end of the rivers oxbow and now don’t have to drive 15 mins to the shops, to work, to air cadets and the freeway everyday – To be honest I reckon it’ll save $10k a year in fuel and not having to bump into the many million speed bumps & roundabouts along the route – But the main reason, and this is going to sound quite sad, is because shortly after the land is provisioned it will be connected up to NBN…INTERNET!!!!….Now, as a Father of two internet hungry little bleeders and the husband of a wife who has a direct VPN feed to the Daily Mail (of which I consider to be the least accurate journalistic organisation on the planet) this is actually a substantial advantage in life worthy of moving. As it stands Internet access in Australia is utterly dreadful, I mean, seriously, we have some amazing modern infrastructure in terms of road and rail networks and nobody seemed to realise at any point that whilst these things are being built, maybe we should chuck a bit of fibre in a pipe at the same time??   I mean, come on, even in the UK back in 1989 I was pulling fibre into buildings around London so they were ready for the information age and the UK cant even decide if they want to be part of a continent or not?

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I digress….So the land bit has been selected, it’s on town water and sewage which, unlike other parts of Karalee will save a bit of money on installing those systems etc. The main thing now is to start looking at ‘what house’ to put on that land. There are so many to choose from in Aus, plenty of ‘off the peg’ designs all of which you literally sign a contract with a supplier and they build the whole thing from foundations to putting up the washing line, though it makes sense to have a look at the reviews of all of these companies as when you read some of them there’s no way in hell you want some of them putting up the foundations let alone the washing line….

I have many ideas….All of which involve the following imagery…

Being the horrid, belligerent, evil person I am I’ve selected to start putting a tender together that three companies can bid on for the work in the hope that we’ll get some extras thrown in for free (e.g. solar power, stone kitchen worktops, platinum finished washing line etc) – We have some idea of what we want but there’s so many things to choose from sometimes I almost think it’s better to let the companies meet our needs and give us a plan.

Anyway, from my perspective I want the following:

  • A firepit in the garden with a log pile to just have a fire and cook marshmallows with George as and when I feel.
  • A large shed to do ‘manly’ things in including playing darts, drinking beer, playing pool and pretending to do maintenance things to a car whilst wearing an oily vest.
  • Provision of a swimming pool in which to survive a Queensland summer because to be quite honest I shall be useless from the months of October through to May if one is not installed.
  • Somewhere to park the camping trailer
  • Building of a house – Optional

Garage-with-sliding-door

Oh well, this will give me something to provide a planning focus until I get back from Fiji – See you in six months🙂

Cheers

Stu

 

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BNE-MEL-NAN-SUV

This certainly wont be a long post but hopefully one that’s a little more interesting than the rants of the last 14 months whilst at home in Brisbane. It would appear that I’m finally back in the realm of gainful employment though some would certainly argue that it doesn’t count as a ‘proper job’ – However, if the bank credits are going up rather than down I guess that’s good right?

So I did a couple of courses with a company called RedR back in February, these were with a view to being able to get registered with the UN rapid deployment teams in the event of a humanitarian response requirement – Ultimately the people on the register have a ‘skill’ that’s in demand, they’re the sort of people who’ve traveled fairly extensively and have already been deemed ‘suitable’ and correctly ‘vetted’ to be able to deploy at short notice.

I finished the long selection process recently and literally within a couple of days of being accepted a register role came up that required an ICT Officer to head to Fiji to assist with the recovery process post hurricane Winston earlier this year….Long and short of this story is that I applied, was accepted, dodged a few visa / passport issues and am now sitting in an apartment in Suva about to start my first full day of work tomorrow morning – Bula!

I feel like I’ve been away from home months already, I left Brisbane on Thursday morning and flew to Melbourne (RedrR’s head office) – Had a meeting there for a couple of hours and then had the day free to explore the city (and take some pictures as shown below) before catching the red eye from Melbs to Nadi overnight followed by a short haul across to Suva first thing Friday morning…All went fine apart from me forgetting to select the seating tick box that meant I had to sit behind the row with the screaming baby on the overnight leg….For that reason I spent most of Friday morning unconscious in my hotel room before rocking up to the office in the afternoon for a couple of hours to meet and greet some of my forthcoming colleagues. Being as I’m ‘comms’ I fall under the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster which is run by WFP (world food programme) – The UN cluster system is a new thing for me so I’ll need to be a little diplomatic over the next few months (one of my naturally endearing strong points I’m sure you’ll agree…)

I really only have a small idea of what the work entails and for reasons of security won’t be posting it up on here but it should be interesting and purposeful which makes me more driven and focused, likewise it looks like I could well be here a bit longer than the initial two month contract but that’s yet to be seen!

I’ve met up with some of the other RedR deployee’s all working here under different guises and will say that it’s been a rather social weekend, Friday night was my ‘induction’ at the Holiday Inn hotel whilst Saturday night was slightly more subdued and resulted in watching the All Blacks pull back some good play by the Welsh and an even more shocking win by England….(pictures below…)

So, it’s Sunday night, I’ve had a swim in the pool and am relaxed and ready to face tomorrow’s new day….Wish me luck..:-)

Cheers (and Bula!)

Stu

 

 

 

Gear Review – Nissan Tilda Latio (2004)

This is a new feature to my blog to date, not that I’m looking for sponsorship (However, Nikon feel free to interject at any point given as how I have spent more on your kit than I probably have bringing up two children…) – No, this ‘review’ is more for the fact that I would like to get any knowledge or wisdom that I have learnt out there so that the general public can be better informed about what products adorn the market for them to spend their hard earned monies on.

Today’s Gear Review will be just that, some information about a thing…A thing that some of you may have used yourself even, I’d love to hear any other bloggers reviews that can support or likewise contradict what I’m saying as the more opinions on things the better….Today’s ‘thing’ comes to you courtesy of me hiring a car whilst in Wellington, not a short term loan, five weeks in total I believe which basically means that I went super budget…Let me begin.

The Nissan Tilda Latio

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Firstly, that name – Whilst in Japan Nissan kept just the name ‘Tilda’ for some reason, however, South East of Japan in the early days of 2004 the car was called a Tilda ‘Latio’….I just looked that up, I don’t know why, I guess I just needed to find a true fact about the vehicle before I berated it. I thought of various things that reminded me of the name, like all car manufacturers these days the name itself has no real meaning apart from that of a similar title to a property management company in Latvia…Personally though I have named it the ‘Felatio’ and think this would have been a more appropriate title given how much it sucks…

Features: None

No really, it doesn’t have any – I expect this would be up there in the offerings for the Top Gear ‘Star in a reasonably priced car’ category of least exciting vehicles I have ever traveled in and I’ve been in many vehicles in many countries in my life to have seen a vast array of ‘low’ quality automobiles some of which I’d even owned myself. If this were a supermarket it would be ‘Pac N Stack’, if it were a brand of Stereo it would be ‘Khuntsui’ it’s just one of those ‘nothing’ totally forgettable vehicles that whilst it will likely be very reliable (and according to other reviews it is) you will not remember the journey unless you drove into a bus whilst gaffa taped to the bonnet with a gimp ball in your mouth stopping you from screaming.

The only exciting thing I could remotely find was not actually put there deliberately to be an exciting feature – For those of us who are not American you may have come across the option to have driven a manual car a few times in your life (or even prefer to like I do), for those who have done so you will of course realise that you need a thing called a ‘clutch’ to disengage the gears from the spinning noisy box at the front whilst changing between gears – For those familiar with the act of disengaging a clutch you will have come to realise that the pedal to do such an act is done with the left foot….

Have a look at this picture:

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Now the handbrake on the Felatio is the left pedal and you press it in to engage it (then take your foot off) and then you press it in again to disengage it…where it releases. Now whilst that is a fairly simple action in itself, for someone, like me, who occasionally drives his wife’s equally shit car (Which is a manual) I unfortunately don’t always pay full attention to the controls of the car and tend to do all the drivey stuff instinctively……Like changing gear etc…. So coming up to a junction I drop down a gear….except I don’t, I now slam on the handbrake of which there is no release until I slam my foot on the pedal a second time to narrowly avoid death from behind. Likewise when dropping a gear to overtake on the freeway I perform a fancy skiddy stopping manoeuvre and instantly panic at the tail gaiting Kiwi driver who’s teeth I’d seen in my rear view mirror only seconds before going to change gear…

For that reason alone the car has been exciting but not by design….

Appearance: 

From the front the Felatio looks a bit weird, it reminds me of the robot face ‘Theo’ that was mounted to the chest of ‘Twiki’ (the other robot) from the 80’s TV series ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’…I haven’t been able to get that impression out of my head for the past month….

Twiki_with_latio

If when they designed the car it happened to be ‘let’s design a car that looks like a character from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’ day then I wish they’d made the effort and decided that this one was to be modeled on the character ‘Wilma Deering’ instead as I’m sure it would have sold far more as my following example hopefully explains.

wilma

The Stereo:

 

Quite frankly I took one look at it and I’ve not bothered to turn it on once – If there were an earthquake or sudden flash in the sky that possibly constituted an atomic ‘white light’ experience I might then consider trying to use it to discover what Civil Defense warnings are happening but other than that I can only assume that this is a theft deterrent.

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The Paint Job:

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White, covered in bird shit, lacking in some areas, possibly also to provide a theft deterrent system.

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Wheels:

 

Five if you include the steering wheel though it should be noted that the steering wheel does not come with hub caps cable tied to it, maybe that’s on the next model up..

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Navigation System:

 

Well it has windows if they count? You can look out of them to see where you’re going which at the grass roots of navigation does count for something. Other than that there is none, I did bring my own GPS as I always do just in case and when I went to stick the ‘sucker thing’ on the window it has just a nice enough curve to it that it wouldn’t stick on…..anywhere….So the GPS sits in a hole in the centre console which I can’t read when handbrake stopping whilst I change gear…

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Garbage Storage:
This is where the Felation comes into a class of it’s own I have to say, I found that the garbage storage facility has a vast capacity that after even four weeks I am nowhere near filling to a point where it needs to be emptied. I expect that even next week when I drop this beauty off I’ll still have plenty of room for at least a couple of trips more and that this capacity would cater for even the most ‘refuse’ dependant of carpet fitters transport needs..

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Summary:

Get out and walk.

Oh OK, I can’t be that unkind, it’s got the acceleration of a ‘Walking Dead’ zombie and you can probably likewise kill it with a stick of rolled up Blu Tac but it’s got me where I needed to go albeit rather embarrassingly at all the squealing from the water pump and brakes as I turn corners and randomly brake when trying to change gear…

It cost me $1300 NZD for 5 weeks and of that I paid $19 a day for the car and $11 for the no quibble  insurance, they were the cheapest on offer…
Would I use them again? Most certainly but I’d probably ask them if the ‘Felatio’ was available first, if they say ‘No’ great, but if they say ‘Yes’ I might have to fly to Auckland and see what cars they have there I can drive down instead…

 

 

 

 

Australia V New Zealand (uh oh!)

Ooooh, there’s so much scope here to upset everybody I know in one small blog that I don’t even know where to start….That said the Aussies won’t care because I’m a pom and the Kiwis will completely take it the wrong way anyway….Uh Oh, I’ve started already….:-)

OK so the purpose of this blog wasn’t to discuss the age old head to head that always seems to appear during a bit of ‘cross the ditch banter’…More for me to bring up the conundrum of what I’m trying to decide is currently best for the family and why – Calm ya tits!

So I just booted out our tenants in our house in NZ – They decided that they would like to dick me about with payments e.g. rather than paying upfront for the month they wanted to pay in a couple of instalments across the month, and then the instalments came late etc, the end of the lease was coming up and I just thought it would be a good time to call it quits and reclaim the house whilst I’m not working so we can choose to sell it etc.

So I arrived in NZ yesterday to get the keys for the house…Hmmmm, interesting, water damaged wooden floor, ripped carpet, neglected garden and air conditioning units which are broken etc, not happy….There’s wear and tear to the inside of the house that I accept that to some degree, plus it’s something I can fix myself, bit of paint and filler here and there, I don’t mind that….It’s when I hand my house over to a leasing agent to look after my house and they let it go to pieces that I get pissed off – I may have possible been a little too frustrated when doing the jet washing of the deck…

As you can see from the pics, this is certainly not how I would have handed them the house so I don’t expect it back in this condition, especially when I’m back to sell the place and have prospective clients lined up for Saturday morning….Arrrrrggghhhh!!

So I went for a ‘chat’ with the leasing agent this morning, I was met by two of the staff who asked me what I thought, I told them obviously that I wasn’t pleased and then we went through the list of what we all thought had been damaged by the tenant etc in reviewing their final report on the condition of the property after the tenants had vacated…..They thought the place smelt of dog and needed a better clean basically……err Yes, it does but what about the rest? I mentioned the water damaged floor, nobody had noticed it, I mentioned the ripped and frayed carpet and nobody had noticed that, I mentioned the broken air conditioning invertor because of the neglect of the back of the house and they hadn’t realised that it was not working…………WTF! Anyway, to cut a long story short, they pretty much told me that it was my responsibility to maintain the property wheras I pressed them that it was their responsibility to tell me what needs maintaining in my absence as they are the people looking after it on my behalf….

A difference of opinion ensued, I stopped the meeting and sat there ‘steaming’ with anger at their ridiculously defensive comments only to say that the best way forward was for me to leave, contact my lawyer and review my options…..Before I started swearing….I think they were a little bemused as to the expression of ‘death’ on my face…

So right now I’m in a place where I need to get my house in a ‘sales like’ state for this Saturday whilst being advised that tradesmen need to come round and give quotes for the work that I say needs doing, It then needs to go to trial, get approved / not approved to the amount of the quotes I’ve had provided (and likely adjudicated over an eight week period) all in the time in which I’m supposed to be selling my property. Now, whilst I fully understand the need for full & proper adjudication in order that monies can be settled I do tend to get A BIT PISSED OFF when I’m told that photographic evidence of the claim won’t do and that I should leave the property in its degraded state whilst the judiciary processes are still in action….

“No, piss off, I’m selling my house because the bell end I leased it to needed to look after it better…”

It’s such a shame that leasing agents don’t act as the ‘go between’ in a fair and conditional manner supporting and defending both the tenant and the landlord in an equal fashion.

Anyway, back to my main point (ooops, extended rant there!) I’m here in NZ currently tidying my house where we haven’t lived for four years….but, there’s still signs of when we were here, when the kids were in those years when they were growing up in the outdoors, playing in trees, skateboarding on the driveway, visiting the neighbours and freely, happily exploring our little bit of land that no longer seems to happen where we now live.  Now that’s not a knock of Australia, Aus has it’s pro’s and cons the same as NZ does it’s just sad to know that a lot of memories exist in this house that could / would be good for the kids to revisit after so long that might re-ignite their passion for being outside again.

Revisiting the Aus / NZ argument, Aus has fantastic beaches, weather, camping facilities etc but when you live inland it’s so friggin hot that most of the time the kids just want to play indoors on their computers and there the irony of having beautiful weather is completely rubbed against you, it’s too hot, too humid and you can’t move…Whereas I’ve just spent a whole day working in the garden in NZ, I got mild hypothermia, got soaking wet in the rain, missed the warmth and all my clothes are soaked for tomorrow….But, I did a full day’s work in manageable temperatures….I know next week too that I’m going to throw my pack on my back, head into he hills for a week and just keep walking for days / hours….The weight will fall off, I won’t get too hot and will only need two litres of water a day to survive, if I tried that in QLD I’d be dead by 9AM………..But camping on QLD beaches, OMG…..

But hey, it could be worse, I could be a life insurance salesman in Milton Keynes, fuck that….

My dilemma…Hopefully my blogs will become more interesting again soon, there is the possible hope of a return to the ‘Tarc’ but that may or may not still happen….TBC..

Stu

A Hopelessly Belated Christmas Message….

As usual I’ve found myself ‘not quite getting round to doing the blog again’ which is a bit of a shame as I do enjoy doing it when I finally kick myself up the backside…

I’ve just had another brief yet interesting visit to the ice world at the bottom of our planet again, this time to Casey station to assist with their annual resupply aboard the Aurora Australis. My role this time was to be gainfully employed as the ships comms support person on Voyage 2 (referred to as V2)….What that effectively means is I consistently remind other expeditioners that there really is no internet access on board and offer coping strategies for those suffering from Facebook and snapchat withdrawal. I also print the daily newspapers to remind others that we’re really quite lucky to not be living in a warzone or currently facing the wrath of the planets changing weather moods as the environment tries to slowly boil everything and cause phenomena not recorded before..…

Casey Station is located further East than Davis station where I was posted before, in longitudinal terms it’s just west of Perth so takes about eight days to sail there as opposed to the ten or eleven to Davis….That’s the theory anyway, the sea ice can change those timescales drastically if it doesn’t want us to get through quickly..

My first few days saw me running around trying to get email, phones, network and radio issues resolved so I didn’t have much time to think about anything else. The first few days at sea are usually the worst if you’ve not been offshore for a while, I do get a bit nauseous if I’m down below for too long and the rough conditions usually mean that I’ll take Avomine to hold back the seasickness whilst I’m adjusting. There is a rather nice effect side to Avomine though (well for me anyway) in that it makes me very sleepy and I’ll go into a bit of a ‘ships coma’ for a few days and enjoy sleeping for fourteen hours at a time…I think it’s the closest I will ever get to realizing what it’s like to be a cat e.g. wake up, eat, sleep, repeat…..

On the notion of eating, well that’s something that’s not so good – I am in no way complaining about the food, in fact the complete opposite – The food onboard is some of the best I’ve ever had, if I were to eat Bob’s ‘Moroccan Chicken’ for the remainder of my life I would die with a massive smile on my face, no, no complaints at all…..The problem is my willpower, or to be more precise, my will ‘not’ power….I like to think that during normal life that I’m a fairly fit bloke generally, don’t eat too much, exercise regularly etc…That is not possible on the ship due to facing amazing free food on offer all day long – I reckon I’ll have put on about 40kg during my time onboard and of course, coupled with the fact that there is nowhere to go for a walk or run I shall remain in an exercise debt for my return..

We had a reasonable trip South this time, seas were fairly good, no large twelve metre swells to slam through, not needing to tie myself into my bed with a bit of old rope each night is a sure sign of good conditions. We started to see occasional bergs on about the 6th day and slowly the amount of ice increased until we were in the thick of it, none of it quite as bad as two years ago though when we spent twenty two days trying to crack through two metre thick sea ice to get to Davis station, in comparison this was a doddle.

Another triumph for this voyage was the fact that there were only twenty eight expeditioners – Let’s be blunt, nobody wants to miss Christmas and New Year at home so the usual number of around ninety PAX onboard will be greatly reduced at this time of year….However, one advantage of that is that you get a cabin all to yourself, a cabin that’s normally shared by three…Now for that alone It’s been great and I would say is one of the best voyages I’ve been on to date, everyone was really relaxed.

It was strangely familiar to see Casey, and in the same way strangely different…The systems are the same at different stations, the Ops building is yellow, the RMU’s are Blue, the Green store is, well, it’s green…There’s the sat dome, the Hagglands and all the familiar vehicles etc…..But they’re all in a different place, so you know what they are, what they do but, sort of don’t know where they all are. The main accommodation building is the red shed which I kind of liked, it’s got a good layout and everything is under the one roof unlike Davis which has some Summer accommodation outside which would change the dynamics of it all – I was only there for all of a day ashore anyway before heading back to the ship so it was a quick chance to catch up with old friends who are working there this Summer which was great.
But I’m back now, and the ship has sailed again for V3 which is the Marine science voyage which seems to last forever….and has lots of people on board…..which is more than one person to a cabin…..Eeeeeewwww, no thanks, I’ve obviously been spoiled J

On a sad note it was unfortunate to see the loss of one of the great heli pilots Dave Woods at Davis this year due to an accident during a helicopter refueling op, no doubt a shock to his family and especially those Summering / Wintering at Davis this year – Dave will be sorely missed.

I’ve applied for another SCTO position for the forthcoming intake this year (commencing July / Aug 2016) but we’ll see how that pays out, politics and other factors may get in the way…I have a lot of other things lined up this year too which is going to keep me busy & travelling frequently…Will update with the next chapter (which I’m currently starting tomorrow J) soon…

Cheers

Stu

Stu and Go-Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Once Again is the Renegade Master…

D4 damage with the ill behavior? Actually no, it’ll be D5 as that’s the cabin number traditionally allocated to the comms CTO aboard the Aurora Australis…..and that, my esteemed friends is my justified Segway….. OK, enough. If none of that made any sense then you probably shouldn’t bother with the rest of this blog as that was the best bit right there..

So, anyway, I’m back in Hobart again starting another short contract with the Australian Antarctic Division, it all seems very familiar and nice to be here even if the wind is blowing up a nice 30 knots with a bit of sleet and hail thrown in, to be honest it’s just like being back in Wellington, NZ again just without everyone wearing All Blacks jerseys and declaring that another country has stolen its pavlova…

A much shorter stint this time, I’m just contracted to help out with comms support on the ship as it makes its way down to Casey station to resupply and then return to Hobart, all up I’m likely to be back in Hobart by early January but that does of course mean I’ll miss yet another Christmas at home (third one in a row now) – Still, it does save on Christmas presents and means I also get to escape the dreadful office Christmas parties and being forced to talk to the CEO’s wife about how lovely the weather is in Florence at this time of year…blah blah…

I’m reckoning this trip should be fairly cruisey compared with some of the prior ones, not because the work will be any different but because I suspect there will be fewer people on board, in return meaning that there will be more bunks available…Which is nice… The difference with Casey to all other stations is that it has an ice runway that they can land a jet on, specifically the A319 contracted by the AAD to regularly fly in staff, VIP’s and equipment during the Summer months. Obviously the plane can’t carry everything so the ship still sails down to resupply all the containers of food, building materials and transfer the 600,000 litres of fuel to replenish the their fuel supply however, this trip most of the staff will already be there by gift of deployment via the A319. You may have noticed just recently that a trial landing of the RAAF C17 Globe master (nearly a Renegade Master but not as good) was carried out at Casey, this was followed up by an operation to transport some heavy gear to station and perform a practice Medevac run should it be required for future – Have read of the news regarding that trip…

C17 Proof of Concept Article

As for me, I’ll more than likely just be aboard the ship for the whole time, there may be a chance for me to get ashore at Casey but it’s such a transient place with all the guests being flown in and out that accommodation there can be scarce if the weather takes a turn for the worst – If that’s the case it’ll just mean I may just have to stay aboard the Aurora Australis whilst we’re anchored offshore.. It’s not a bad place to be though…

Resupply V3 004

There’s no internet access on the ship, no Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Daily Mail, no media sensationalism, no X Factor and most definitely no Celebrity Come Dancing…I shall most likely find it quite a pleasurable trip given the aforementioned disconnection from reality (shows). There is however very limited email which is limited to 50kb bursts of data every 30 mins via the BGAN system – Enough for me to make a few phone calls or type enough email and keep in touch whilst away.

The main source of entertainment will most likely be LAN gaming with anybody else who happens to be aboard, last time on the trip home we all got a bit excited by playing HALO on our laptops each evening and blowing each other to smithereens – that was actually quite a good laugh!

So, no pictures of penguins or anything remotely interesting to show you, I did make the effort to get some shots of my accommodation here in Hobart though I’m sure you’ll agree I probably shouldn’t have bothered…

Right, toodlepip…

 

Six Months On…(and Man Flu)

Some blogger I am, I go away down South for a bit then come back and don’t write anything for months – You’d think that there’d be much more to ‘blog’ about back in the normal world with so much going on yet for some reason for me it was so much easier to write about the anomalies of being trapped in an ‘ice prison’ for 18 months than what happens here in ‘the real world’….

So here we are, September, I haven’t spent so long out of work since I was about nineteen years old I think, I say that, I did manage to pluck up the courage to do a bit of contracting for a whole six days about a month back..Unfortunately that was cut short due to needing to prepare for a different line of work so I’m probably best saying that I’ve been busy, just not gainfully employed….and by gainfully I mean bringing in any cash :-)

My last few months have been filled with the desperate attempt to change my career from what I currently do, probably a mid life crisis or some deep fear that if I leave it too long I won’t be able to – I think the one thing that Antarctica taught me is that I hate being tied to a desk in an office and love to get outdoors as much as possible, I guess that in itself is not so much of a revelation as I’ve spent most of my life outdoors in one way or another, this is more clarification to me that I need a change and I need to make it happen before another ten years passes and I realise I’m doing the same old thing. I won’t knock the IT industry in which I’m currently obliged to be involved.., it’s been interesting, ever changing and pretty dynamic, it’s allowed me to have qualifications that transfer from country to country and allow me to travel whilst not having a degree or any real school education (I know, what a slacker!) – It is however a very ‘grey’ industry….Because of it’s constant change you never really seem to get the time to learn a product well before it changes, updates or becomes obsolete….and to be honest, after fifteen years….The passion to learn new products (usually out of work hours and at your own cost) starts to dwindle.

So, the things I currently have in the pipeline are pretty interesting in comparison, I have a nearly complete application with the New Zealand Defence Force, An application for an apprenticeship as an Air Traffic Controller in both Australia and New Zealand and a bit more work scheduled with the Australian Antarctic Division shortly supporting the communications systems on the ship and doing a ’round trip’ down South to drop off and pick up…(Which is incidentally over Christmas, my third one in a row….You can imagine how popular I am for that one ) – So there is plenty on the go, all of which involves medicals and security clearance, I seem to be spending most of my time at the doctors or filling out forms……My doctor and I are particularly looking forward to the anal and genital inspection booked up for next week, I volunteered to inspect them myself but it turns out I can’t do quite as tight ‘forward rolls’ as well as I used to…

Another interesting remnant of down south, I haven’t had a proper cold since I got back which basically means I haven’t had one since 2013….and oh how I’ve missed them….NOT!

This was the man flu of doom, I seriously deserve a Victoria cross for all I’ve been through over the past three days whilst bed ridden at home in a bedroom that resembles that scene from the excorcist, the kids are currently on school hols and I only vaguely remember speaking to them twice since last Friday as I moaned in my death throes… I often find women not understanding the truth behind man flu so I have tried to break down the finer points of it below so that it is clear…Any males who have suffered the same (and are still alive) feel free to comment and I will add them in, anyway:

  • From the very onset of manflu you must, repeat must not change your clothes or shave until you either die or the last remnant of green stuff has left your body – If survival is granted then afterwards those clothes should be burnt to stop the spread of infection (take them off first)
  • As a man, you need certain tools to assist in the exorcism of the inner ‘green’, it’s best to surround yourself early on before the paralysis kicks in, these items vary per man but will likely include many boxes of tissues, toilets rolls, vaseline, pills and potions, socks, lots of socks, and pictures of friends in case the moment to pass away comes close…
  • All deposits of tissues or debris must be placed in a pile, on the floor, by the bed, this must not be tidied by the spouse else the male cannot judge how far he is ‘through’ the terminal process – If he is to have any chance of survival the man needs to conserve every ounce of his life force until the bitter end and spread his energy across the full term of the evil – Tidying the tissues will throw his timings, cause misjudgment and may ultimately cost him his life.
  •   All food must be spicy. During the exorcism the male body can ‘up’ it’s intake levels to extraordinary levels (a bit like when the hulk gets angry and has massive strength) – Foods that he would never even consider owning in the house are life threateningly urgent – Jalfrezi’s, Green Thai and Jalapenos are mere snacks to a man with ‘Man Flu’ tolerance, his appetite must be satisfied and this is the duty of the spouse to assist in keeping her partner alive as ambulances do not provide spicy food.
  • Experimental drinks formed with Lemsip, Rum, Ibuprofen and an old capsule of daizapam you still have from a first aid course you did in 1996 are a good basis for creating a man flu re-hydration package. Be warned however, water is crap and holds no real nutrition – Spice tolerance requires creativity in liquid form and every man has a different recipe handed down to them from their man flu sensai.

I don’t want to give too many secrets away just yet but feel this is enough information to be getting on with, if you have any questions about man flu and how it can affect your family, ask a man close to you and he should be able to sit you down and let you into his secrets…

Any questions, let me know

Cheers

Stu