July 30, 2012

Day one

First day of my recreation leave today (aka 'holidays' to us native English speakers over here).  I have two weeks off work - primarily to de-stress a bit; watch some of the Olympics*; and go spend some quality time with my Mum while I can (I won't put in a rant here about how much I hate Cancer. Such a cruel disease)

Of course I first have to get over the latest bout of the flu/cold illness that I contracted last week. So taking things slow for the first few days until that passes - and making sure I am 100% before going anywhere near my parents place.

Other plans for the fortnight include (hopefully) - a visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I need to get some "cute Aussie animal" pictures to send to my two current adopted Soldiers - and I'd like to write a review on how I enjoy the place in case any of my overseas friends head this way. (the last time I was at Lone Pine I was about 4 years old.... amazing how time flies ;D)

I would like to also go visit the Douglas MacArthur museum.  Not sure if they allow photography inside there but will review & report.  The Museum is only open a few times a week so I will have to check times and synchronise my iPhone clock [trivia fact - I don't wear a watch these days. I used to have a lovely pendent one that hung from a chain but time & travels have done for it. All clock watching now is done via the ubiquitous mobile phone]

I am also rather obsessively watching all news reports on the status of Public Service jobs. The Newly elected conservative State government here is decimating the public sector - taking no interest in who actually supplies the work or information required to run things effectively or efficiently but rather minimising on a "numbers" system only (20% more jobs to be gone by X date thank you very much).  And since I am well aware that Libraries are seen as "un-necessary" extravagances by the Philistines above us - then it is rather likely that my job will be declared as "unrequired".

As you can guess my stress levels are somewhat high.  It's all really a waiting-game at the moment

Oh and for anyone offering helpful "Go look for a new job NOW" advice - there aren't any in my field being offered. I really need to either change my employment field OR get my Librarians degree - both of which will require that I attend University full time for a few years. Which is an option that I am seriously looking at should I have the funds to do so.

Ah well.. at least I can spend the next few days working out Plan B to F - for Pax's future. You never know - I might even be able to finally do some travel. My Bucket list is immense :)

*with the time difference from the UK to Australia I can catch some of the events live from 7.30ish at night and into the wee hours o the morning. Luckily I have a Foxtel version of Tivo and can record the rest to watch in the mornings.

July 28, 2012

70 years ago

US General Douglas MacArthur - who guided the US war effort in the Asia Pacific region from his war room in Brisbane - arrived in Brisbane 70 years ago today.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/marking-brisbanes-part-in-macarthurs-war-70-years-on-20120722-22hzz.html

July 27, 2012

And you thought YOUR native animals were weird!

Just sharing for those of my readers that keep thinking that Australian animals are cute & cuddly

Photo found via Facebook and I can not find the owner to attribute. If *you* are the
copyright holder please let me know so I can attribute OR take down if requested
More information on our exciting Aussie aquatic mascot can be found HERE

I recently sent a toy one of these to my newest Soldiers' Angels adoptee - I'm sure he is going to be opening the box and going "Wuh....?" 
[and since long time readers will surely ask - no musk sticks in this parcel. He needs to *ASK* before I will supply those.  And just to make sure he knows what he might be getting in to I sent him off a printed copy of the BEST musk stick review I have ever read. Bwhahahah!]

July 23, 2012

Pax's Dad

My Dad emigrated to Australia when he was 17 - assisted by the Big Brother foundation who paid for his travel across the waves and arranged for his first job in the Bush.

When he turned 18 he was required - as were all Australian males at the time - to join the Australian Army under the National Service Act (1951).  They were required to attend 99 days of full time training and then two years in the Australian Citizens Military Forces (rather like the Reserve forces or National Guard requirements of today).

My Dad has the best memories of this time - and he found me the below photo taken of him and some of his platoon. 2nd Lighthorse Division

My Dad is the tall one - 3rd from the right.

Photo was taken at the Holsworthy Army Barracks - 1951.

Love you Dad :)

July 8, 2012

Pax'ing the Past 2012

Yesterday I stepped back in time and attended the Abbey Medieval Festival

It was a bit of an adventure to reach the event site - 2 hours of travel to get there (bus to the city - train to Caboolture - Event bus to the Abbey area.  However it was worth it to catch up with a number of my Medieval Reenactor friends; to watch some of the tournaments; to eat rather delicious but-bad-for-me food; and to do a small amount of shopping at the market booths.

Here are a few of the snapshots I managed to take. Sadly, I failed to remember that I had a camera with me for some of the time, so these are just random photos. [and Very Sorry Guys - I missed a shot of the Comely Lass in the Mini-mini-mini Red Stretch-Velour dress and knee high leather boots. Her outfit can be termed "meji-e-val" since it had a Double-headed crest over her most salient features. You will just have to visualise it instead!]

Citadel Free Company

Cozzles wielding a Mighty Sword!

The Big Bad Wolf (aka Horn'd Beast) was there too.
Obligatory "Furry" shout-out to NavyOne! :)

Obleix et Asterix Domesticus
(the attendees are encouraged to dress-up - this one was a crowd pleaser!)

I did a very little bit of shopping (there were so many nice things but sadly I have to save my dollars until I know if I'm going to be retrenched from my job) however I did find and buy two of the above small "Knightly" charms (they are about an inch long and so shiny that the camera didn't manage to capture any details).  I will be sending one each to my two current adopted soldiers :).  [Adoptee the third goes "Mail Stop" on the 15th of July so sadly no more cards or letters or silly gifts can be sent to him from here]

All in all an enjoyable day - my spirits weren't even "dampened" by the icy drizzle that was happening on and off all day.

July 1, 2012

Pax and July

And enter the month of July...  it is going to prove to be a challenging month indeed!

In the next few weeks I may discover if my job is to be axed or not :(.  Under the new State Government that was recently elected, any positions they consider "non-front-line" are to be reviewed and considered for retrenchment.  This is to reduce the Public Sector workforce by over 20,000 jobs so that the State can start to balance their budget. [I personally support the idea of paying our bills and being in the black but think their method of doing so will prove to have a rebound effect in the long run with 20,000+ (not counting all the temp & contract staff that have lost their positions already) joining the unemployment rolls]

On the Lets-look-on-the-bright-side - I am very good at what I do (financial management/purchasing for Departmental needs) and have a good work ethic, so there is a high probability I can find another job at my level if any are offered. [or perhaps the Powers-that-be actually DO value knowledge and information and might leave some of the Library operating.... I can only hope]

In happier news - I have heard from one of my Adopted Soldiers.  He and his troops are coming home earlier than first expected and I am so very happy for them all.  If you feel inclined - please say a small prayer that they all make it home safely - only one more month to go until they are back on USA soil.

My other two adoptees remain "Silent Soldiers" for now - meaning I have heard nothing from them.  And that's okay - choice of reply/contact is *always* theirs to make.  My Newly adopted Marine is about to receive his very own Water Balloon Launcher so I hope it makes him smile and smile.

And now I am off to sleep - long days at work ahead of me. I am trying to get a project started and hopefully finished before they do any radical changes to my position - plus... can't hurt to look keen can it?