Mum: I got an ‘ology!

I received some mail today that came recorded delivery from the University. An ominous sign so I thought… surely I hadnt got in trouble with the Dean already? I’m pretty sure there were no cc TV cameras when I…. but no no no, uno momento por favor! Low and behold it turns out this is indeed  something to celebrate, something in fact to write home about. Mum: I got an ‘ology! So it seems I finished top of the Marketing Management course and they gave me this certificate of merit! Hahah how do you like them apples? 🙂 simple pleasures – fully stoked!

Dalai Lama

I dont usually do this….but in keeping with my flags I thought I would share this little snippet from ol’ Dalai!

Dalai Lama

“Warm-heartedness reinforces our self-confidence – giving us not a blind confidence, but a sense of confidence based on reason. When you have that you can act transparently, with nothing to hide! Likewise, if you are honest, the community will trust you. Trust brings friendship, as a result of which you can always feel happy. Whether you look to the right or the left, you will always be able to smile.”

Picture take in Laos in 2009, thanks Canuck, good times

Date Change Ski Trip

I’ve changed my dates for the ski trip to 17th – 22nd June due to the Economics exam, very crazy to have an exam on a Saturday but what can you do! We are still on though, so anyone that hasnt signed up yet get cracking! Let me know if you want a custom hoodie, I’ve got a couple on order but will need to order them a good month prior to going to ensure they ship on time!

Here is a taste of what is to come!

Team Toro!

So the ski trip is starting to gather momentum and along with it the hoodies as promised. To  the right and below you can see mockups of the final products. These will be available in black and brown for this style. There are also many other styles and even garment types should you so wish from underwear to overwear which also come in many different colours too. So get involved, sign up and grab some gear as a mememto! Flights will shortly be increasing in price and whilst there are deals to be had out there, the more that join the cheaper it will be as the discount gets shared out among all. Don’t forget in the event there isn’t enough snow to ski, these will come in handy for the sky diving! A reminder of the dates and contact details are, 16th-21st June. Call Karla Boots on 02 9870 7572 and mention my name or email her on karla.boots@studentflights.com.au. The venue can be seen here http://reavers.co.nz/ its a 5 mins walk from the centre of town.

Honorary Twitcher

For all you Sydneysiders this post might be funny, for the rest of you possibly more so! I’m trying to get into some creative writing in anticipation of future adventures and endeavours so here is an attempt, in between slaving away at the books and company. I moved to Sydney from Cape Town four months ago. Jetlag coming this way is tremendous and my circadian rythms, as they are known, did not level out in the prescribed manner of one day per timezone crossed as they ought. For the first few weeks I could barely get a wink. After a fashion however it occured to me this was more to do with the local fauna than any lack of correct melatonin level or rythm there of! I’m staying in Northern Sydney and whilst clearly not “bush” there are hundreds of different bird species here. The cacophony of noise they produce was initially fascinating and in fact enjoyable, this soon turned to despair when they started sitting in the tree by my window, seemingly rotating their duty to keep me awake! Trying to turn a negative into a positive I’ve become what I understand to be called a “twitcher”, or at least an honorary one. So the first culprit is this ugly gestapo looking fella, commonly known as the Australian Mapgpie aka Gymnorhina tibicen. Now the magpies I recall in the UK don’t make much of a sound, this chap however revels in ganging up with his mates and letting loose. His range is four octaves and apparently can mimic thirty five other bird species as well dogs, horses and even humans at times. I wouldnt believe it if I hadnt heard it. Sitting outside the window with his buddies he is only rivalled by the cacophany that comes from the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo aka Cacatua galerita. In fact cacophony is too fine a word for this ear insult! I’d love to know how these birds ever find a mate when making a sound like that. I’m sure everyone has heard it but when there are half a dozen at your window screaching as they do, there is no mercy but the mental asylum. Apparently often domesticated it too can imitate humans, if only they would perhaps take tips from Billy Holiday or the like, it truly is a flea infested mongrel and I struggle to find its good points! Speaking of mongrel though this brings me nicely to the Flaming Galah better known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo aka Eolophus roseicapilla. Rivalling its sulphur crested cousin in the racket department this variety at least has looks going for it. It was at the sight of this and the realisation of the name connotations that I started to soften to my new feathered friends. Whilst noisy they are colourful and quite relaxing to watch once the aggression of being woken up has subsided!  Speaking of aggression this brings me onto this veritable dinosaur; the Australian White Ibis aka Threskiornis molucca. The size of a turkey they thankfully don’t tend to say much but what they lack in voice they more than make up for in gall. With the gait of the gestapo bird and the lack of manners to boot, they’ll happily relieve your sandwich straight out of your hand. Moving onto the last two is proof that I am softening and where the title of the honorary twitcher comes to the fore. The Rainbow Lorikeet aka Trichoglossus ubritorquatus, what can you say, most definitely my second most favourite bird in the world and immediately smitten I was! With the colours of the rainbow on its back and seemingly joined at the hip with its lover, it has no cares in the world other than to fly free. If I am to be reincarnated this would be high on my wish list at the pearly gates! Saving the best to last I give you the Laughing Kookaburra aka Dacelo novaeguineae. Initially this was the straw that nearly broke the camels back but as its call its possibly the most amusing thing I’ve heard in a long time, it too was responsible for my new found birding fascination and appreciation. I’ve seen a kookaburra before, as a lad I owned a kookaburra cricket bat for a while too, but I never realised they could sound like the cross between a hallucinating hyena and a mental monkey! I have yet to get a picture of this little beauty and I apologise for the poor pictures above, they are however at least mine… as I type it seems a possum has taken on the mantel of sleep depriver while he services his missus in same said tree! More to follow as and when I find the inspiration, I do after all also now have wings 🙂

Queenstown Ski Trip

You only need to look at that view to get excited about it! I’ve booked my flights for the Queenstown Ski Trip, anyone else that wants to join is more than welcome. The more that come the greater the discount will be for everyone, so sign up asap. Flights will get more expensive and accomodation more scarce the longer you leave it. In order to get the discount please contact Karla Boots at 02 9870 7572 and mention my name or email her on karla.boots@studentflights.com.au. The venue can be seen here http://reavers.co.nz/ its a 5 mins walk from the centre of town. Considering its a relatively new lodge the facilities are good and $600ish will get you car hire and accomodation including breakfast for 5 nights and a ski pass for 3 days. If you book your flight now it will also be about $500ish return. There are dorms, singles, twins, doubles, apartments etc. I am happy to share with one person to save some $! My dates are 16th – 21st June but you can stay longer if you wish! We’ll be creating some personalised hoodies, so let me know if you are interested in that as well. Send me a message if you have any queries, I am booked and definitely going, on my own if need be! 🙂

Clipper 70

Some of you asked for a picture of the boats we will be sailing in the 2013-14 round the world race. The only trouble is they are still being built! On the right you will see a picture of how they ought to look when completed. 12 of these identical 70 foot long babies are currently being built in, yes you guessed it, China! Nauticstar Marine in Qingdao are tasked with constructing these beasts and so says Joff Bailey, Clipper Race Director: “By incorporating the very latest features in the hull design, massive asymmetric spinnakers flown from the six-foot bowsprit and state of the art electronics from Garmin, the new boats will deliver improved performance, and new speed records are likely to be recorded when they surf on following seas. Crew signed up for Clipper 13-14 and beyond can look forward to speeds of 30 knots and upwards,” Training for me will possibly start in Singapore later in the year for a week and then a further 3 weeks in the UK in 2013, details on that to follow. Thankfully this gives me time to finish the MBA, transfer my pilots license to Australia and perhaps set up some business at the same time! Bring it!