Monday, 31 March 2008

Bushcraft...

Received list of gear that I need to bring (not shared gear yet) for bushcraft course in a few weekends. I'm surprised that I have a large percentage of the required gear (well obviously none of the food stuff) and I guess this is from day hiking. Glad they put toilet paper on the list (in a little waterproof bag) as I definitely would have forgotten that. I need to get a ground sheet this weekend, as well as a few other bits and pieces (just as well I wrote them down as I've forgotten already :) ) And I love suggestion to put sun lotion in to small container like old film canister (bet there's not too many of us out there who have one of them!).

Looking forward to it all though admittedly somewhat wary. Hope the river crossing skills done near the end of the second day... though this being NZ I very much doubt that will be the case. We'll probably do that early part of day 1 or something. Yummy... wet boots!

Fingers crossed horrible rain we've been having recently backs off a bit!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Ooops I forgot...

I listed four or five books that I read while on hols. While browsing bookshop today at lunch time I remembered that I read another two books as well. The final book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Amber Spyglass and Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. Both highly recommended.

It was my first day back at work today after over 3 weeks on holidays and found myself on more training and again tomorrow. I guess it's not a bad way to ease myself back in to the working week...

This evening had my first visit to a Japanese restaurant where I had a lovely seaweed salad and teriyaki tofu steak. I guess I'm just not huge fan of asian sauces as they're a bit salty but the meal was lovely and the salad was yum. Seaweed is definitely quite chewy and wonderful to munch on :)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

It's sunny!

After 3 weeks in a somewhat cold Dublin I'm back in a sunny and warm Wellington. In fact, I'm not long back from a walk where I looked forward to the bits where I was walking in the shade... and this was just along the first part of the Southern Walkway walk which while involving some decent uphill is still, at the end of the day, a walk in the city not up a mountain somewhere! Apparently the temperature here is on average 2 degrees higher than last year... about 23 degrees today. Anyway, hoping that the walk will help me sleep slightly longer than I managed last night... 2 am wakeup... sooo not impressed. I mean, yeah I do get shitty jet lag but the one thing that i used to be guaranteed was a good kip my first night on arrival where I'd arrived to. I managed to stay up until 10:30pm last night (I'm well impressed with that) as I didn't want to be going to bed too early, and then look at what happened! 2am for God's sake! What sort of time is that to be waking up I ask you?! At least I'm not back at work until tomorrow so tonight there'll be having stern words with myself if I wake up at silly hour like that.

While it was a tad on the cold side back in Dublin it was lovely to see people again (amazing how that time just wasn't enough to see everyone) and to get a bit of shopping in. If I'm to be honest I probably did more than a bit of shopping; I did quite alot. What stopped me buying any more was the fact that I had to get everything I bought back here. I did manage that though left some stuff back at house. Prob got have got a bit more in but it was suitcase weight I was worried about... damnit I had 1.5 kgs to spare! I also got a few concerts and a visit to the Chester Beatty library in too though unfortunately the first floor of the latter was closed. I didn't eat as much cheese as I expected while I was back but that's okay as I did get a few decent tuna paninis in which I'd been looking forward to. The coffee was very disappointing! Had some fairly nasty ones though Munchies on Baggot St do a fairly decent americano... and a tasty pain au raisin :) Oh, and I read 4 books while back (well including flight back here as well) which helps to make up for some of my poor reading lately. For anyone interested I read The Book Thief (beautiful book, highly recommended), Day by A. L. Kennedy (not a "can't put down" but still worth reading I think if a little hard going at times), The White Lioness (3rd in detective Kurt Wallender series; fantastic series!) and The One from The Other (Philip Kerr - detective Bernie Gunther who is post WWII private detective based in Germany. Great stuff).

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Which time zone??

After a rather long journey I made it back to Dublin. I left my apt in Wellington at 7:30am Sunday morning Kiwi time (that's 6:30pm Sat evening Irish time) and headed off airport. No delays nor nothing unexpected at Wellington or Auckland airports. I was flying with Korean Air and had read a bit about their seats so wasn't overly surprised to see that seat incline wasn't particularly great, about 60 degrees if I remember correctly. But at least seat was relatively spacious and excellent leg room. Got nicely excited when I look at the entertainment magazine and saw some movies that I wanted to watch - Juno, Atonement etc. Somewhat disappointed with the TV show offerings. Other airlines tend to offer a series of House or Boston Legal or something like that and i love the short shows as allow me to snooze in between. None of that. Anyway... can you imagine my shock when after we took off the steward comes over and opens a page of the entertainment guide and tells me that I can choose from that page. This was a page with about 13 channels on it (9 movie) and basically each channel showed a movie or a short and it just looped around. In short, it wasn't Video On Demand! I was stunned. I was then more stunned to see that June and Atonement were offerings on the From Seoul leg not the To Seoul leg. But in fairness I watched two good movies - In the Valley of Elah and American Gangster. I went for a walk/stroll a few times to stretch out back and quickly realised how lucky I was... in economy class they didn't even have individual screens on their chairs. Apart from Aer Lingus this is the only airline I've been on (I'm sure there are others) where all seats don't have their own screen.

We arrived in Seoul not long after 8pm Sun evening (that would have been 1am Mon morning Kiwi time and midday Sunday Irish time) and I was checked in to my hotel for hte night by 9pm. I amazed myself by staying up until gone 10:30 local time. Just reading, watching tv etc. It was lovely to have a bed to sleep in I have to admit. I went for a walk around the place the next morning but as Inchon airport is artificial island (I was on it in the 90s when it was a building site!) whose sold purpose is to be an airport there's not a lot of interest to see. But it's a busy place with big roads and hotels and stuff. It was cold out... about 3 or 4 degrees I'd say. I know it's cold here in Ireland right now (and trust me on this, it is!) it was a very dry cold. Rather refreshing though my ears were freezing :) I would have liked to have taken a few pics but as camera was packed with luggage...

Bigger plane for the leg to Frankfurt so seats reclined more (like the Malaysia Airlines ones do) and there was video on demand. I watched Juno and Lions for Lambs. Didn't watch Atonement as I'll be more limited on my return flight when it's not on demand so saving that one. It was a long old day iwth it being gone 5pm German time by time we landed (that's 1am Korean time, 4pm Irish and 5am Kiwi). Last leg of flight was due to be at 8:25pm but actually it was 9:40 before we took off. I have to admit to being fairly disgusted with Aer Lingus as no announcement was made of the delay until about 30 mins before flight was originally scheduled to depart and that was just announcement of time. No apology, no explanation, nothing. I was dead lucky though in Dublin in that for once my luggage came through really quick. About 3rd case on to the carousel so between plane doors opening and me getting in to arrivals hall, only about 15 mins passed! I was well chuffed :) Collected by the bro and girlfriend and home by about 11:40!

So yes, now I'm back. It's pretty cold here folks. Not sure I'm liking it that much, but at least we have central heating here :) I just unpacked earlier, mainly because I have to sort my stuff as I'll be packing again tomorrow for trip to UK on Thurs! Ah yes... the weary life of the jet setter... :)

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Freaky!!

It would appear that my funky little MacBook is psychic... and moody! I sort of completed my packing this afternoon before flight tomorrow as early start and out this evening. The intention up until this point had always been to bring my macbook home with me in hand luggage. However, I was recently asked to a do couple of days work in Dublin office which I have no qualms doing. I've discovered that while people in office back in Dublin are willing to help with queries, so much gets lost over email and with the 13 hr time difference it's tough at times. So I plan to just catch up with relevant folk to query them on work stuff. Now that's fine but it means i need to bring my work laptop back with me too.

So, this avo, I made the decision not to bring my Mac Book. It was tough (I'm surprised how hard it was... the thought of not having easy access to my email or MarsEdit for my blog entries or iPhoto for all my photos... But I can only carry one creature in my hand luggage and much as I would prefer that to be this wee thing, needs must. So, I made decision and got work laptop and placed in hand luggage. I then turned around, and plugged my iPod in to MacBook to recharge before journey and to ensure I have all my latest podcasts for journey. I pottered off and did some other stuff and when I came back I realised that Apple was sulking. He was responding to nothing. Had to ring my local Mac Guru for help and all fine now. But, I swear, the timing of my deciding that this wee guy wouldn't be heading to Ireland with me and him freezing...! Hmm... maybe he's just highly strung :)