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Showing posts from September, 2016

No beaches in Beechworth

There's a hurricane between us and America. Lucky we didn't go there. A big storm hit South Australia and the Riverina is flooded so it's fortunate we changed our mind about heading there as well. But how were we to know that it is a religious holiday in Victoria in honour of their most sacred event (the AFL Grand Final) and that all the food outlets would be full? Should have stayed back to watch our local NRL team play its first Grand Final in years? Who are you kidding? I honestly don't care. Besides which, I was born in Melbourne. Go the Storm? More like go into the storm. There was blue sky as we left Sydney but we were soon beneath the grey and white mass of clouds on this cool day. With the temperature outside in single digits the rain held off for a while, but after we passed the Federal Highway turnoff the showers started. Wind turbines shrouded in mist, churning the air in the stiff winds that fought us outside. The countryside was greener th

Cancelled America

On days like today I look out of my office window and watch the big jets turn across the sky and head away east towards the USA. I especially like to see the biggest of them, the Qantas A380s and 747s as the roar overhead. I could have been on one of those flights in a week and a half's time. Late last year I took advantage of a half points deal and booked us flights on Qantas to New York via Los Angeles and returning from San Francisco. It was done in a rush and without as much forethought as was sensible. Despite the ubiquity of the United States on our screens, in our culture as a whole, and even having read books on its history I realised how little I actually knew of the country. That's understandable. It's bigger than Australia with many more people scattered across its reaches. It is a country that both celebrates and fights it's diversity, takes pride in its role in world affairs but apparently suffers ignorance of them. The flights had

Battle of the little jets

"Relax," says Sempai Neil when I try to demonstrate my kata. "You're too tense Andrew!" Too right was I tense! I shouldn't be. The weather today was perfect. The weather tomorrow predicted to be the same. Turbulence should not be an issue. But an anxiety is not rational. It is a sense of dread, a tension. The night is a bit disturbed and I wake before the alarm sounds at 5.20 AM. But I wake feeling more relaxed than when I had shut my eyes. I take the dog out to do his business and give Alex and B cuddles before stepping out into the sunrise and off towards the bus stop. On a domestic flight like this I'd normally put sleep and family time ahead of time at the airport, but this flight has been booked through our corporate supplier and I can't check in online. Our team is moving in the organisation and a meeting was scheduled to talk to our new friends. My two Sydney colleagues were flying down and I didn't have much choice but to join