Thursday, January 29, 2009

Been busy...

Well, I ran the Australian Blood Bowl Championships down at Canberra this weekend and it was a great success!  Largest ever Australian tournament ever with 72 entrants!

I got back on Monday night and ever since then, we've been flat chat busy with a variety of things to get done in preparation for me going to Dubai.  Fixing up the house, clothes, luggage, cleaning out crap, putting stuff on eBay, getting cars detailed in anticipation for sale and just going through lists of things!

We're now all very excited though.  The girls are even talking alot about the move and Niki said today that she is really excited.  We've moved from that "oh my god, should we even be considering this" thru to fears and worries and now excitement.  It crystalised further when my webcams arrived and we installed one here on the PC and Niki and I spent an hour last night chatting to each other on Skype across the house.  We have to install webcams at both our parents places and teach them how to use them as well.

Today, we need to get more paint for the new pergola and guttering and get cracking on finishing that.  Also, lots of paperwork needs to be sorted as I need to take Marriage and Birth certificates and official qualifications to Dubai and we all need to have a stack of passport photos taken for various visa and UAE government documents.

Its getting close now!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Long readers of Lime Kettles, know that I share the opinion of an overwhelming majority of people that George W Bush was not only the worst President of the United States with respect to the people of America, but also from the perspective of virtually everyone in the world - with the possible exception of China as their economy has benefitted enormously from the failure of the US to be able to compete on trade.

But today, the world changed.  Hopefully the enemies of the USA will now see an opportunity to negotiate and create a better environment for peace and that perhaps we can finally get on with life and move on from "The War on Terror".

Obama though has a tough road and apart from being black and personable there have been doubts of his political credentials... I hope that they do stand up to the rhetoric to date, but even if he is really not the best president ever, he is deserving of it as the better alternative.  I still shudder to think what the future would be had McCain got in.

Well done America, don't fuck it up.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Well, now that it's all official, things are getting busy. We now have to actually do all the stuff we said we would need to do if we went to Dubai.

On Friday, we had work start on replacing our back pergola as the timber had become soft and rotten. We had only been talking about it for four years now (lol!) and now when we have to leave, we get it done. I just couldnt stand tenants complaining about the leaking roof, so we are currently having it done... will be finished Thursday.

Then we had to repaint our bedroom and the front family room... bedroom is done, family room done tomorrow (or tonight if Niki's 8th wind keeps going!).

Electrical work needs to be done... new BBQ light, some down lights etc etc.

Then there is the renting of our house, changing the mortgage to an investment property, sorting out the relocation costs, getting rid of stuff we don't want, selling the cars... and then there is hooking up Skype to the home PC, my parents and Niki's parents PC's and then testing it all out and teaching the grand parents how to use it. Niki had to teach her parents how to turn a computer on and use the mouse, so you can imagine the learning curve required! But they're keen and want to get it all down pat before we go!

Tax return needs to be done for last year... drivers licenses renewed and I haven't even thought about my new job and the settling in over there bit!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

And the winner is...


Yes, I have accepted the role and this little blogger is off to the Middle East. I don't like to blog about work too much here, but there are exceptions!

Moving to another country is definately one of those!

I looked for work in Sydney, and to be honest there is not alot out there and those companies that were hiring were siting the economic crisis to slash salary expectations. The salaries on offer, I was getting five years ago. Not a great step if you have a mortgage and if I had a Sydney job, we probably would have had to sell the house and downsize.

However, there was never a choice, with the last of my Sydney offers fizzling out at the same time I got the Dubai offer and with nothing else, it was the choice to be made.

Having said that, I did want the Dubai role and we have been spared the choice of taking the exciting but scary move or staying safe in Sydney and slugging it out and making ends meet.

For all of us, the biggest issue is the moving away and creating distance with family and friends. We will be facebooking, blogging and skyping as much as possible, but the reality is is that you're half a world away.

We do get flights back as part of the package and we will be coming home for Christmas each year and perhaps depending on the cash, in the Dubai summer break which is in July / August. We will though be taking the opportunity to see the rest of the world, mainly Europe and I have a keen sense to see India as well, which is only 3hrs away.

The next step is the uprooting and moving... I will need to be in Dubai in February sometime and will be madly prepping the house for renting before I go. Then Niki & the girls will be following 2-3 mths afterwards depending on how quickly I can set up a house, car and the visa's come through.

All very exciting and its going to be a big change....

So, I have perhaps blogged my last rant about CityRail and the like, but Lime Kettles will continue and will "On Tour" so to speak, so you will be able to follow an odd Aussie bloke's journey into the Middle East.

Niki mentioned that she would like to set up a more family orientated blog as well... so will post a cross link when (if) that gets up.

Now... where did I put that Arabic phrase book....

Nelson Bay Trip

Took a short break for 2 nights in Nelson Bay... I have to say was very impressed with the quiet beaches and our accommodation at the Bay View Apartments was excellent. 100m from the beach, walking distance to the Marina with a heated pool and apartments that were clean, neat and cooled with A/C.

We had a great time! The shots below are just a sample...

Enjoying sitting in the boom net of the Dolphin Watch cruise boat...

Niki & the girls with the Nelson Bay beach in the background.

Sand castles!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quick Holiday...

Well, I am still waiting to hear if I got the job in Dubai - will find out tonight I think - but in the meantime, we're off for 2 nights up at Nelson's Bay.  A few days of beach, sun and maybe some dolphin watching will be good :-)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Gaza Strip

Another war in the Gaza Strip... There is fault on both sides and at this point after thousands of years of conflict, its absolutely stupid to try and put "the blame" on one side or the other.

This is why I found Daily Telegraph writer Piers Akerman's article in yesterday's paper so repugnant.

To think that the deaths of Palestinian children is but a mere TV Media stunt is disgusting. Yes, there are terrorists in Palestine, but sending in armed soldiers and tanks is NOT the solution. Children are dying at the hands of the Israeli's and that is a fact that should be pointed out to us in our safe Sydney homes.

It is not a sign that the Palestinians are right and the Israeli's are wrong, its a clear sign that the fighting must stop.

The sooner that Australian media can simply portray the facts and not allow personal views to colour its reporting the better.

Shame Piers Shame!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On My Painting Desk... Chaos Dwarves

Finished my Blood Bowl team for this months CanCon event in Canberra. Very happy with the way these Chaos Dwarves turned out :-)

Chaos Dwarf Blockers

Bull Centaurs


Team Shot - Creutzfeldt Jakob BSC

Monday, January 05, 2009

George W Bush's Legacy... is there one?

This article has filtered through in a slow news week as being a great summation of George W Bush's legacy... there isn't one!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Are we in a Police State?

Went to the test match cricket today at the SCG.  A lovely day, weather was great, the crowd plentiful and the state of play evenly balanced.  All was looking good for a good day out.

That is of course if you're not worried about being arrested for sweet FA.  The security at the ground is just way over the top.  They sell mid-strength beer to control the crowd behaviour (which I hate, but agree with) but the amount of people being thrown out for ridiculous stuff is bordering on facism.  Case in point, a large group of women in one bay and a large group of men in the neighbouring bay were giving each other banter all day... good hearted stuff with the women getting the edge and everyone behind them laughing.  One guy and one girl from the two groups meet in the aisle and share a joke and she plants a kiss on his cheek much to everyone's amusement.  She turns away and he takes her sun hat off and puts it on his own head.  Everyone laughs including the girl and as he goes to give it back, he's grabbed by security and escorted away.

Also, the dreaded "beer snake" in which people stack their empty beer cups into lengths is seen as "criminal behaviour" and all involved in any snake creation was punted from the ground.

Now, we're not talking yellow shirted fat blokes acting as security... we're talking police officers in uniform and also "special" police officers in blue overalls in swat style uniforms and carrying guns.

All of this to stop people getting "carried away and having fun".

On top of that, there was a streaker today... he jumped the fence, but was crash tackled before he got onto the field proper.  End of story?  No way... At least 8 of these swat guys invaded the field and stopped the game.  Why?  Because a guy with no pants was crash tackled on the boundary off the field?  Ridiculous overkill.

A guy with way too much light beer and sun in him takes off with no pants and we call a virtual swat team!

By the end of the day, there were so many people being escorted out early, that it was more annoying for those trying to watch the cricket for what the cops were doing than whatever trivial offence caused the evictions in the first place.

I think its time a collective chill pill was taken!