Wednesday, December 30, 2015

time for some full size flying

It is this time of the year where we go to a gliding comp. This time we're heading to Benalla (Victoria) for the multiclass nationals AKA pre-worlds.
I'm flying XM in the 18-m class and Zig is going as my professional best in the world crew. 80 pilots signed up, many of the from overseas. They will be flying the worlds in Benalla next year and want to get some practice.
So we're heading off to Waikerie tomorrow morning. I will try to get a flight in since I haven't flown with the updated software yet. We will then pack up and travel to Benalla on Saturday. 800 km with the trailer ... it will take the whole day.
The nationals start on Tuesday the 5th of January.

here is the competition website:

Stay tuned!

Christmas @ the beach

Another Christmas spent on the beach ... will I ever get used to it? What I mean is that I love it. It just still feels strange.

Zofia and Paul's deck

Boogie boarding is soooo much fun! It just leaves some memories in form of bruises in some odd spots. I still think that next year I will ask Santa for a boogie board. It's almost like gliding - if you jump on the wave at the exact right moment, it will take you a loooong way :) Great fun that was.

summer Christmas day dinner

We also did some serious modelling business. Zig and Paul flew their fancy high performance toys, while I was enjoying my new Radian Pro. It may sound funny for all the model flyers out there but this is my first model with ailerons and flaps. It only adds to the complexity of flying something not actually sitting in it. But I'm learning!

Robe is really amazing as you can fly models out of an real airfield and nobody could care less. OK, we know how to behave not to interfere with the full size traffic but still it's quite unusual.

Ross was into his usual business, giving joy flights to tourists:

Unfortunately, or maybe I should say fortunately, we fell in love with the cladding of this coffee shop. So here comes another DIY project - we will do the same to our house extension:

Have you ever seen an inch ant? They are called inch ants because of their size - they are actually ca. one inch long and enjoy painfully biting humans:

Have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Men's Shed

Oh well, not quite men's shed. It doesn't really look like one either. One way or the other there is a big story behind a little shed.
Moving into a smaller house and selling our 22m x 18m hangar sort of forced us into realizing that we do need a shed to fit all the tools that we've collected over the last few years. Luckily the backyard of our house was big enough to fit one in so here it came:

It was errected next to the existing tin garden shed and looked quite ordinarly. It was big enough to fit everything in and this was all we needed. We can always work on the looks, can't we?

So here we are, 8 months later with the shed completed and all tools having their new home:

Not too bad, huh? Wait till you see the inside. It's quite deceiving from the outside and doesn't really reveal how much usable space is hidden behind these barn doors.

So everything is in and there is still space to move around and work on the projects. OK, I know, the bar fridge is missing but the kitchen is only 20 metres away so I think it's acceptable.

The next and final project (for the time being) is brick paving and landscaping around the house, which will be done in January after we come back from the Nationals in Benalla.
We can then sit down, relax, watch and come up with the next project. A never ending story ...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"back in the saddle again..."

Here we are! Summer is finally here. We spent the whole last week in Waikerie getting some practice in before the Nationals in Benalla in a few weeks. XM needed some fine tuning including software updates for LX9000, flarm, vario and the mighty flap sensor.

There was no really booming weather so no records were set but we still had lots of fun with a great crowd and clocked some hours each.

photo by Gonski

yes, even Australia can offer windy, low, blue and crappy days

personal alarm clocks as soon as the sun is up

I was really slack with keeping log of my flying hours for the last ... hmmmm ... few years ,,, and had to sit down for hours and hours to fill them into my logbook. Luckily I had all flights on my computer. It was still painful and I promised myself never to achieve this level of slackness again ;)

job done for the day for the alarm clocks

Going to Benalla this time will mean a looong drive. It's much further away now and we'll need the whole day to get there from Waikerie. This means that we'll have to get to Waikerie a day earlier, get everything ready and hit the road to Victoria early in the morning. We will be exploring a new route which we've never driven before so it's still gonna be fun.

And this time we have the whole Waikerie team going with us. Grant, Craig and Hayden are flying too and except for Grant we are all in 18 m class. Grant had chosen the big wings and will fly in open class in his gorgeous ASG31Mi.

And here is a sequence of photos from last Saturday. Note Ziggy's outfit, particularly his shoes. He said to me that morning: "I'm flying a porshe so why should I wear crap". Well, I think he's right ;)

Zig on tow

such a skinny wings and so strong at the same time

"concentration" is the word written on his face

Friday, November 20, 2015


Well, the phone doesn't stop ringing and the big secret is out.

The answer is: yes, we did it.

We made it official on Friday 13th of November. I arrived to Australia on November 12th, 2010, so last Friday was exactly 5 years and 1 day. We had a small and quiet ceremony in the registry office followed by a degustation dinner with our closest friends in the best restaurant in town. It was an amazing night and a wedding exactly how we wanted it.

Thank you, dear friends, for joining us and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.



Tomorrow we're off for the honey moon! Waikerie, here we come! Our freshly renovated holiday home is waiting and so are our friends. Let the celebrations start with lots of flying, laughs, good food and beer! Oh, did I mention beer?

You don't really need to go for a trip if you live in Adelaide ... this was our day yesterday:

I gave up the idea of having a swim after I saw this jelly fish. Otherwise It would have been a perfect day for it and the water was sooo warm. This thing was quite big and I didn't fancy the idea of colliding with it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

new career?

Man, we're good. It's been a hot weekend topping 36 degrees yesterday but we got a hell of a lot done.

When we bought the house, there was this horrible old gazebo sitting in the far corner of the backyard. Ziggy was trying his best getting anyone to come and just take it. It didn't work. It was quite clear the roof was gone with holes everywhere but we decided to try the pressure washer on the rest and see how "healthy" the timber is. With the pressure washer and some chemicals, it turned out that it's actually savable.

We took off the roof and got a guy to quote on the new one. $2,700 just for the labor, materials not included seemed ridiculous - he obviously didn't want the job. It took us a while to figure out how we're gonna construct the new roof and we came up with the easiest solution possible.

The gazebo before (the day we bought the house):

And yesterday:

just before the final closing-up touches

the task is to squeeze through the hole, close it, seal it, paint it and get down without falling off the roof

someone always gets the s... job

So here it is and it did cost about $400-500 all up. I think we can now open up a "hopeless looking gazebo restoration service". New careers for both of us?

Ziggy can also do the "Construction Site Manager And Know Everything Better" job:

or the "I Can Do It Better Before The Landscapers Turn Up" job:

It was also a quite windy weekend with a wave forming off the Adelaide Hills:

it's not about the roof or chimney, it's about the lennie behind

Friday, August 28, 2015

feels like spring!

It definitely feels and smells like it. Last weekend was the time to take XM out of her winter sleep and let some fresh air around her.
We cleaned all the dust of these beautiful Jaxida covers and let them dry in the sun. XM got a proper wash, some more air into the wheel and was good to go. I checked in the book and the last time we gave the engine a run was in November last year ... whooops ... it's a long time and chances were it won't start.

check out the varios! - behind WGC, what a tug!

Guess what? We must be really lucky. This engine has been running beautifully from the first day on. We never had any problems starting it. It's very reliable. And so was it this time. It took a little while longer for all the lines to fill again and the beast started like it's been run the day before. It made me very happy. So happy that I decided to check out the clouds from the other perspective - from above!

how is this for a selfie?

OK, I got up there cheating a bit. The engine needed a good 10 minute run so that was a good excuse. As always, it was amazingly smooth above the clouds.
Then it was Ziggy's turn and he had fun too. He also couldn't help himself and, after we put the glider away, went back to our caravan and worked on it till it got dark and Jean was calling for dinner. It was a good and physically exhausting weekend.

you gotta love this wing surface

I think we're pretty much ready for the season :)