Bonds between animal and trainer – a guest’s eye view and an eye to a dream

The bond between a trainer and an animal is something to behold…. this is why I will never give up on my dream of one day becoming a marine mammal trainer. I have learnt that the friendship between a trainer and an animal is one that is earnt through trust – to work with a animal many times your own weight is phenomenal.

Bella and me – hugging (2012)
Me and Bella – hugging (2015)

I have learnt that first hand – it’s one of the many things you learn when you visit a marine park like Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour. The trainers all have a love for their animal charges (such as Bella above) and their welfare comes as priority to them. I have the utmost respect for the trainers – as a guest in three in-water dolphin interactions, I have learnt a lot of stuff about these majestic animals and am still learning!

I will become a trainer – one day…. I take every day as it comes. When my time comes, I will do my studies/work placements – my dreams never waiver!

Depression, Loneliness and Invisible Illness

Annie has touched on so many truths with what I am going through – all of what I feel! Loneliness as I can’t get my feelings to flow…..


Depression and lonliness can exist together, but they are not exactly the same thing.

Lonliness is something experienced by all people at some point but it is not always accompanied by depression.

Usually lonliness is thought of as occurring in solitude but this is not always true either.

Some people experience lonliness in combination homesickness , when they are away from familiar people and surroundings. They can feel this even when there are people around.

Other people feel like they do not fit in and this leads to lonliness with people around. Some people feel more lonely around groups of people than they do when they are by themselves.

There are other circumstances where people experience lonliness with other people around. Some of these circumstances tend to cause a co-existing condition of depression and lonliness.

People with invisible illnesses like chronic pain, chronic illness, and mental illness often feel both…

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Stories from my travels: Part 1

I have some seriously funny stories I would love to share from my travels….

This story is from my first trip to Coffs Harbour in 2012 – I was on my way home from Sydney after an almost 6 hour layover. I fly Qantas/Qantaslink and they don’t have their Bombardier Dash-8 turboprops where they have the jets – the turboprops are in an entirely different section of the airport. Anyway – Qantaslink had just called our flight (QF2048) for boarding so we had to leave the terminal through gate 58 (this was back when Qantaslink was in terminal 2). We then had to walk down to a waiting bus which took us around to the plane – I was already on board the bus so I watched to see who was coming. Little was I to know my boss, Roger Fletcher, was going to share the same flight home with me….. I realised I had to be on my best behaviour for this flight! He boarded the bus and I had a spare seat next to me so I offered it to him – we got talking and I showed him the photo from my dolphin experience at Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour. An hour and a quarter later, we were back on home soil at Dubbo Airport. That was a weird experience and one I’ll never forget

Rasing awareness

Let’s help Pascale get to 1000 blog followers on WordPress….. keep this going and get the word out there on CdCS

Lessons from my daughter

February 29th is Rare Disease Day

In my own way, through writing about our experiences raising Emily, I continue to spread the word about Cri du Chat Syndrome (CdCs)

I do my best to share experiences that are positive, fun and inspiring. I don’t shy away from writing about struggles but I will always respect Emily’s need for privacy on some more personal topics.

Did you know…

Only 1 in approximately 50,000 born will miss that tiny part of their 5th chromosome…. chances of knowing or meeting another child with CdCs are really small.

Emily was diagnosed before facebook, the information available was outdated and scary. It took us 15 years before we met others with Cri du Chat Syndrome.

Now with facebook, association and blogs, our reach is far greater and parents find up-to-date information much faster.

That being said, it is essential to increase awareness to promote acceptance…

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Dolphin Marine Magic Videos 2015

Thanks to the powers that are the National Broadband Network, I have finally been able to upload the videos that I received for my birthday last year – and here they are:

Ultimate Dolphin Swim Part 1:

Ultimate Dolphin Swim Part 2:

Ultimate Dolphin Swim Part 3:

Ultimate Dolphin Swim Part 4:

Seal Swim:

Of course, I can’t have this without this photo:

Me and Bella – hugging

National Broadband Network (NBN)

Australia is being progressively upgraded to the National Broadband Network. There are three options for NBN internet in the Dubbo (2DBB) region and they are:

  1. Fibre – two types available: Fibre to the premises (FTTP) and Fibre to the node (FTTN)
  2. Copper – using the existing copper lines
  3. Fixed Wireless

In my region (2DBB-51-12-NORY – North Yarrabar), we can only connect to the Fixed Wireless network. And it’s easy to be connected to the Fixed Wireless network – here’s how!

You need to contact a Internet Service Provider – in our case, we contacted Telstra. They then set up a time and date range in which the owner of the network, NBNCo, will use to organise a date and time to come in to test the signal strength (which was really strong and from 2 towers) and install their equipment (photos below).

NBNCo Fixed Wireless Aerial and receiver
Network Terminating Device or NTD

Then a few days later, Telstra will come in and install their part, the Wireless Gateway.

NBN Fixed Wireless Gateway – the only part Telstra supplies

The NBNCo technician, however, installed our gateway for us to make sure everything worked as it should. He also set up my computer and my mother’s tablet to connect and we were in business. Super fast and quick too – compared to my slow ass mobile wireless connection, this set-up is pretty fast!

Mobile vs NBN Fixed:

Mobile was good – but it was slow and tended to be prone to dropouts. The device I had was starting to automatically shut down and be a prick – this fixed wireless is much better as it doesn’t rely on the mobile network because the towers used to get input aren’t tied to the Telstra 3G/4G mobile network.Speeds are much quicker than mobile too! I will give you the download speeds below but let me say this: uploading videos to YouTube is much quicker (20mins) using the fixed wireless than the mobile (up to 2hrs).

Download speeds for Mobile Wireless vs NBN Fixed Wireless:
Mobile: 3.5-4MBps down, <2MBps up
Fixed: 21-25MBps down, >4MBps up

Result: I am 6+ times faster on downloads and twice as fast on uploads using the NBN Fixed Wireless compared to my mobile wireless. So it’s highly recommended by me as an option for those who can’t get FTTP, FTTN or copper connections, aptly those who live in a area that is not as close to the exchange or cannot be serviced by the other options.

Country Music Review: You Made Me Stronger – The Long and Short of It

I had the honour of meeting Patsy Toop and David Baird, the members of The Long And Short of It, while I was in Tamworth. I purchased a copy of their album, You Made Me Stronger and what an album it is!

You Made Me Stronger – The Long And Short Of It
Patsy Toop and David Baird – The Long And Short of It

Songs I really enjoy is Fifty Bucks And A Case of Beer and Latter Day Cowboy – Latter Day Cowboy is a song that I really relate to as it’s the story of a boy who became a truckie.

Now he don’t wear spurs that go jingle
He don’t spend his nights around the fire
It’s diesel oil that his horses require
He is a latter day cowboy
Dressed as a truck drivin’ man
Driving his wheels and his dreams to shine

There’s a lot to like about this duo – Patsy is the Long and David is the Short…. but their musical talent doesn’t stop with their albums. No sir – their live performances are as awesome as their album performances. I had a moment to listen at Tamworth and they rocked their concert – would highly recommend seeing these guys if you can!

Rating: 5/5

In closing this blog, here is the film clip for Latter Day Cowboy:

Mental Illness Week at Joe’s Blog – Part 2: Identifying your Mental Illness

Mental illness is quite complex and hard to diagnose…. but here is a list on what you can ask your doctor about….. I will go into detail on each of the different mental illnesses in future entries

  1. Anxiety – anxiety is a blanket term for many complex issues. Anxiety can be broken down two ways: generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety (SA). One of the most common mental illnesses
  2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD and C-PTSD) – a disorder brought on by traumatic events (eg. war, traumatic accident, trauma as a person, etc)
  3. Depression – another common mental illness which affects most people with anxiety. Anxiety and depression go hand in hand

These three are my main focus points during this week as I know people with the above and as a sufferer of two of the three myself – part 3 coming up tomorrow

Langley’s Coaches Fleet Profile: 1988 Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354

Today, I have a very special vehicle profile for you – this little Austral is the subject….

Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – 3/4 LHS front

Originally owned by Deluxe Coachlines of Wangaratta, Victoria, wearing fleet number 203, it then went through to Hopkinson’s of Sydney as TV533, then Australia Coach in Cairns, Queensland as 578IDY then to Coach Australia (Red and White Coaches) as 578IDY then COA30 before coming to Dubbo, NSW and joining the Langley’s Coaches fleet as TV8354.

Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – front view complete with original Deluxe destination box roll

Phil Langley was one of Deluxe’s employees and had an idea to repaint the Minimaster into their colours as they purchased all five Minimaster units that were built – Austral made coaches to what their customers required. This particular example was the third to come off the production line.

Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – 3/4 RHS
Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – RHS
Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – rear
Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – driver’s station
Austral HRP2 Minimaster TV8354 – saloon area

This particular coach is very, very smooth in it’s ride – being that it is 10.6m long helps in that smoothness. My mother and I were very fortunate to be taken out by Phil for a pretty long ride – the big 6V92 combined with the 6 speed Spicer crash box made for a smooth ride as well….

Thanks must go to Phil as I would not have had this opportunity if he wasn’t there….