Back in the slow lane….

So, here we are again – I didn’t really write anything about our trip home, I guess once you’ve spent a bit of time on the Aurora it becomes a bit hum drum to be locked up in a cabin keeping yourself amused with as many books as you can read – It was made interesting by the fact that as soon as we’d left we had to return a couple of days later to perform a medivac for one of the winterers – A quick turnaround, two days of bursting through ice, stealing some more fuel from the station and another round of goodbyes and we were back on board and heading home again…

So, I’ve been back nearly seven weeks now I think, it doesn’t take long to adjust back to the world you left before even if the first few weeks are a bit weird. I departed the Aurora Australis on the morning of the 3rd of April, got rushed through a welcoming ceremony and quickly dashed to the airport with a bunch of others keen to get home in time for the Easter weekend. Being as we departed in Hobart it wasn’t the busiest place in the world and as such we weren’t dunked into a heaving pile of urban scurry, it was all quite palatable…

At the airport a few of us completed shopping errands in terms of buying SIM cards, getting cash out of ATM’s and then sat down for a final beer with each other before all drifting off onto our respective flights back to wherever we first flew in from all that time ago. One thing of note was when we all spotted a ‘fly’ going about his business in the departure lounge, having not seen insects or anything other than penguins or seals for the past 18 months he became quite an object of interest for a few minutes as we chased him around the chairs before finally getting bored of him. The flight back to Brisbane was fine, again, a few of us were on this and again we said our goodbyes at the other end when family and friends emerged at the gate to drag us back to reality and our homes.

For me I’ve kept myself fairly busy with doing up a camping trailer for a bit of time away –  Rewiring the electrics, installing roof tents and awnings, trying to repair broken fridges and fixing my mountain bike etc. I’ve also had the pleasure of fixing all the broken computer equipment that has failed in the last eighteen months whilst also re-establishing the ‘levels of command’ in the house to children who think that using a playstation is a credible career path and must consume numerous hours of study…..Nah, denied….

One thing I was keen to complete before I got involved in anything else was my video of the expedition – I’d done as much work editing as I could on the ship but needed to record my ‘voiceover’ when I got home – I did try to do this on the ship in the cupboard where they stored all the toilet rolls to try and dampen any outside sound but it didn’t work at all….I’m not please with the voiceover, it sounds emotionless but at the end of the day it is finished and gets the information across, so, yes, done, tick, now I can finally delete all 2 TB of footage I’d built up over the past couple of years..

In terms of what we’ve been up to? The kids have been at school, Ellie has been at work, I’ve been ‘hanging’ about the house and trying to think of what to do next – But mostly we’ve been out and about, taking the camper trailer to a few beaches and across to Straddie Island to explore a bit, meeting up with some of the lingerers who may or may not appear in some of the pics 🙂 – The weather hasn’t been fantastic admittedly but then we are English so that is perfectly normal for us when camping…

To keep life interesting and ticking along I applied to do the same job in Antarctica starting this November, that’s not likely to happen now (as with all of these jobs there’s generally a queue of people who want to do it!) so I’ve not been selected to come back next year – I’ve looked into the Australian Air force but unfortunately I need to be an Australian Citizen, to become a citizen I first need to become a permanent resident, to become a permanent resident I need to have my IT and management skills assessed (even though I’ve been doing the job for govt clients for fifteen years) – This will all take time and every step of the application costs money (permanent residency I reckon is going to cost about $15k alone) – It all gets a bit too difficult what with paying family bills etc so I have turned my attention to the NZ Air Force instead – Yes they’re smaller, yes the likelyhood of me getting to role I want is far less likely but it will cost heaps less, take less time and will have less barriers hopefully……The application was submitted this morning, let the next chapter begin……(He says with fingers crossed…)






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