29 July 2010

RFDS Boxes

We finally have a Royal Flying Doctor Service medical chest for our remote exploration camps, so we headed to their Perth offices to learn whats in it, and the procedures involved in using it. Its got lots of  basic equipment, prescription drugs and some very hardcore drugs (adrenaline, morphine etc etc)

For those that have never really heard of the RFDS, its basically what it says on the tin! It was the idea of the Rev John Flynn, a minister with the Presbyterian Church. He witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas where just two doctors provided the only medical care for an area of almost 2 million square kilometres. Flynn’s vision was to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ for these people and on 15 May 1928, the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service) came into service in Cloncurry, Queensland. 

It spread throughout Australia, and in 1936 the first services in WA officially started up, working out of Port Hedland. Some planes were working in the Goldfields area prior to that, but not as an organised service. They provide healthcare advice over the phone (and still sometime over long distance radio, but that is being phased out) to people who can't get to a doctor in any kind of reasonable time frame, and provide emergency evacuation when needed.

The RFDS now operates 53 aircraft out of 21 locations across the country, and are a lifeline to people living and working in the remote heart of the country.

So what does the chest mean to us?

Well, in theory, we're moving our camp about 4 hours drive away from site, which means we're about 8 hours drive from Port Hedland and probably about 4-5 hours from Newman. You don't want anything to go wrong when you're that far from help. So now, if something does go wrong (broken leg, dislocated shoulder, general unknown illness, car crash, snake bite, even just a bad headache) we can ring up and get a doctor to assess the situation, prescribe drugs to relieve the symptoms and let us know if we need to get them out in a hurry or when we can or if they're going to come and get us.
And everything in the chest is numbered as well as named, so theres no worry about not being able to figure out some random chemical name- "Give him 2 tablets of garble garble-adine, its number 32 and it will be in try B". A very good idea in a stressful situation!

Which means I'm much happier about being responsible for a big bad drill rig and a heard of people in such a random location.

Lets just hope we don't have to use it!

26 July 2010


I had a post all planned out in my head about how horrible and drawn out the visa process for Australia is.
And, you know. Fair enough.
But its very horrible when you're lost in the system for over a year and have no real way of knowing what is going on.
My migration agent thought that the thing that was holding us up was maybe our de-facto status. 5 years and no ring seems to confuse people. So she asked if we had any further proof of our "ongoing committed relationship"


When I got off the plane I had a text saying to ring her.
We didn't have to worry about the extra documents, but to book some over seas flights instead.

They let us in.

She'd had to ring up at the end of last week to sort something out with a different application and got a really helpful woman, so she pushed her luck and asked if she could have a look over our case, as we're in Australia, both working, nothing controversial that should be holding us up... but nothing seemed to be happening.
And today the confirmation came through.

Sp now we need to leave Australia for about a week, and our old visas will be dissolved on leaving and then the residency will be officially processed and when we re-enter we'll be residents.

I feel great!

22 July 2010

And here's me freaking about my mini marathon efforts...

My friend Al just finished his first Ultra.
In Iceland.
Around the volcano thats been causing all the chaos.

55km in 6h:33.
And third in his age group.
Across terrain like this.
If you're as impressed as I am, go sponsor him here:

17 July 2010

25 down, 17 to go.

So, this morning I set out to run at least 10km, preferably 15, but not to push my dodgy knee too far too soon after 2 months of minimal running.

I didn't take any of the energy gels I bought in an effort to sort out a running nutrition plan, because I wasn't running far enough to need it.

Then at about 12km (I use the MapMyRun iPhone app on runs like these where its all free form and unplanned) I decided I was feeling pretty good, just a little fatigued but not muscle soar. So I decided to carry on and try and get to 21k. After a stop at the shop to get one of those breakfast replacement things to power me up a bit. I only drank half though, from fear of stitches and because it didn't taste too hot!

After 19km I decided to carry on even further.
After 23km I got a call from the Boy to make sure I was still alive :)
After 25km I got home.

Then post run brunch of chicken omelet with wholegrain toast, coffee and electrolyte drink.

So fingers crossed I will survive this!

I just love the feeling of getting to an intersection and knowing that I could turn left and head home, but choosing to go right. Over and over and over again. :)

16 July 2010

Curry Night!

Last night we had a couple of friends round for curry and interesting beer.

I made (from scratch):

Lamb Saag (based on this)
Chicken Jalfrezi (from the "Ministry of Food" book)
Bombay Potatoes (from here)
Naan breads
with rice.

It was awesome!

We got lots of beer from our local amazing bottleshop too,

Pomegranate Ale, Chocolate Oatmeal stout, Japanese Owl Beer (Hitachi Brewery), some from BrewDog.
And we finally drank the Christmas Ale we bought at the TangleHead brewery at least 18 months ago... It had kept brewing in the bottle so it was more like christmas wine. Not too good anymore, but I think it would have been good up to a year ago... Ah well! Lesson learnt!

13 July 2010

New shoes, New Challenge

Ok, I've hinted at it before, but I just signed up for the 

Chevron City-to-Surf Marathon.

Yes, all 42km of it, complete with hills from the half way mark.
I was doing well with training before I went off on my jollies, and I've had these chest issues in the last 2 weeks, but its nearly time to get serious. There are 2 month to go (well, actually probably more like 6 weeks), but I think I'll be OK. 

The plan is to do hill and distance training, and running at least 30km in one go (preferably 32) before the big day. Hopefully I'll be in and around camp, not way out bush, so I'll be able to get some treadmill work in. If not, I'll just have to find a way.

And I have no running time aim. The cut off is 6:30, and I put 5:30 as my estimate...

And the new shoes?
After accidentally leaving my good trainers in the back of a taxi in Cairns, I started running in my older but still OK pair again, but just couldn't go back after the luxuary of really good trainers. So today I replaced them with some gel Kayano 16s. So pretty, and oh so comfy. And $100 off in the sales!

11 July 2010

Sick leave Make and Create

So, I've been back home nearly a week, and been ill for nearly two. :(
I'm meant to be at work, but the doctor wouldn't allow me out of Perth because the cough (that came with whatever little bug both Dave and I have) has badly affected my asthma, especially since my lungs were weak and irritated anyway from my allergy to my parents Dogs.
So I'm on steroids to keep my lungs open, but other than that I'm not to bad... but VERY bored.

So, after watching lots of boring day-time TV I cleaned out the wardrobe and made some extra space and better organised it all:

Then I decided to try some more projects with my sewing machine.
And voilĂ  - Two new cute bags, based on the ButterCup Bag pattern:

The one on the right is meant to be a strawberry. 
The leaves are much more green in real life.

I made some pretty accessories too:
This necklace is made out of rolled up pages from magazines.
And from all the scraps of material I made a million flowers, as broaches and hair bands and clips and decorations and whatever :)

Here's to being ill!