October 2004

Thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hit the open road again. Went just over half way to Melbourne on Friday afternoon and stopped when it got dark. Then on Saturday, took a bit of a detour through the mountains on the way into Melbourne for Lisa’s 21st birthday party, again fancy dress as you can see. As expected, a great time. Wonderful family and I am so pleased to see that Simon has become an integral part of it.

It looks like we were roasting a leg with a knee in the middle!

Then on Sunday, headed for Jamieson for an overnight at the Sanctuary. And took advantage of the public holiday Monday to mosey on for the remaining 6 hours to Canberra.

I was too tired today to start on circuits, which are very demanding and would have been even more so today because of the winds, so Tony and I took the plane out on a photo mission to take some photos of a friend’s farm. So I finally remembered to have the camera in action to get some photos of me actually flying the plane. You can see the concentration! We even got a couple of reasonable shots of the farm as well.

Oh, that look of concentration!

See? Straight and level.

Julie and I are now starting to put together firm plans for Christmas and the New Year. I arrive in Seattle on Dec 16th, just in time for our anniversary on the 18th, by which time she should have most of her “stuff” in order, suitably sorted into categories, like leave, throw, carry and shift. During the few days before Christmas, I’ll be working with the movers on the actual uplift. Then we’re hiring a car, spending Christmas with Bob and Ada at Whidbey Island and then taking 12 days to cruise on down via San Francisco for New Year’s Eve, to LA for the flight home on Jan 6th.

Even with all of this forward planning, I still manage to drop back into the low periods when the stress gets too much. Ages ago, Bev described my condition not as depression, but as passionate sadness, which is just as appropriate today, just not as deeply sad. I really am enjoying putting my life back together again. Doris of course is still very much around, which I find is a constant source of comfort as well. Julie reminded me recently that it was just 12 months since we first met. How far we have both come in that time!

It’s funny. Stewart and I have done a swap this week. His washing is up to date and I have a pile of dirty laundry on my bedroom floor. I seem to have gotten an attack of the lazies. I’ve also been struggling with a huge range of emotions again. Perhaps it was a bit premature to wean myself off the anti-depressant medication, so I’ve gone back on it. I feel like I’m getting to the point that I have enjoyed being in my own space and now it’s time to share that space again.

I still haven’t started on flying circuits, because the winds have been too heavy. I even switched from afternoons (after work) to first thing in the morning, when the weather is usually very calm. Got out there on Tuesday, did the daily checks on the plane, fired it up, checked in on the ATIS (Airport Terminal Information Service), only to find that the winds were up around 18 knots. As Tony joked to someone as we parked the plane on the apron, OK for the student, just too rough for the instructor. He’s a funny bugger sometimes.

Meanwhile, I’m working on things like getting a storage unit so that we can clear out the little garage downstairs and start using it as a mini workshop, clearing out my wardrobe of old jocks, socks and shirts so that there is room to put some of Julie’s clothes in there, and generally getting Stewie’s room organised, now that his bed has FINALLY arrived. Actually he gave up waiting for the one via his mate and went out and bought one. And Julie has started going through her stuff, she already has a tentative quote from a removalist, she’s waiting for the certified copy of our marriage certificate to arrive from Vegas so that she can formally put in a name change, and we’re still hanging around waiting for the visa approval. Apparently, if it’s applied for outside Australia, she needs to be outside Australia when it’s approved. Which is pretty silly when you think about it, not knowing when it will be approved. We figure we’ll just go ahead anyway and move her here, and if it’s still not approved by Christmas, she’ll go and stay with her friend in New Zealand for a while. But I figure it’ll come through in time, because when you put it out to the universe, …. don’t insult the universe by doubting. I have a young friend in Victoria who put it out to the universe, went to a wedding in Townsville and fell in love with the best man, who comes from Darwin and is in the process of moving to Hobart!

Well I finally made it onto the circuit. Landed rather heavily twice out of two.

And went to the Canberra Hospital Heart to Heart Ball, with proceeds going to the Organ Donation Awareness Foundation. Had a great time and did manage to make it home safely.

Circuits are now progressing, as the weather allows. One day last week, it was the worst wind that Tony has seen out there in the 4 years he’s been with the school. The smaller commercial aircraft were forced to use the short runway, because the cross wind on the main one was too strong for them. I did manage to get in a quite reasonable landing, so now I know what it feels and looks like.

Stewart and I have also acquired a puppy, a miniature dachshund, which is something that he has wanted to do for a couple of years. His name is Datsun. Datsun the Dachshund. Very small and very cute, and of course toilet training is the hard part.

And to finish off the month, news from Julie that her visa application has been approved! Now all we have to do is to get her name changed and we’re ready to move on with the packing and moving phase. What a relief! And we’re working on finding a house for the 3 of us here, either now and move into it in December, or after Julie arrives and we can go looking together.