Welcome to Knox Street
So I’ve been back in New Zealand for about 5 days now, and the most significant news is that CP40 aren’t back in Clearways. Unfortunately, for some reason, the number of cadets here exceeds the number of rooms available and as things stand “there’s no room at the inn”, as it were. Not only that, but our backup accommodation Peachgrove is full as well, apparently of CP48 newbies (are we up to CP48 already?! Bloody hell) so CP40 are now residing in Knox Street in the centre of Hamilton – apparently a former army barracks used to be here but now it’s all relatively nice studio accommodation. It has its pros and cons when compared to Clearways but generally it’s pretty nice and we’re happy with it.
The cons first. Obviously it’s not brand new like Clearways was when I moved into there the first time, we’ve only just got the internet sorted and the wireless signal is a bit weak for some of the guys, we’re quite far from the airport compared to Clearways, we don’t have much of a lounge and, worst of all, the room between Craig and me is occupied by a very strange Kiwi girl. When I say strange, I mean in a bad way – last night I was woken up at 3:30am by her having a row with someone on the phone. Like Clearways, the walls in this place appear to have been fabricated from a few sheets of paper stuck together, and the inordinate use of four letter-words beginning with F and C were clearly audible. Not only that, but she has a tendency to walk round the place with headphones on singing (badly) at the top of her voice, and quite often that happens at inappropriate times of the day as well. It’s pretty bad, and not what you want when you’ve got a flight the next day and you need a good night’s sleep. I think a set of ear-plugs may be required if it carries on, and we’ll certainly be visiting the accommodation office. I can handle living next door to someone who’s a sandwich short of a picnic / gherkin short of a Big Mac / etc – after all, I lived next door to Hegarty for 7 months in Clearways (only joking, Heg!) – but getting woken up in the middle of the night by a constant stream of effing and blinding isn’t on.
On the plus side, of course, the proximity to the centre of Hamilton is quite a novelty compared to the rather isolated Clearways. Knox Street is within 2 minutes
staggering er, walking distance from The Bank, our ‘regular’ here. It’s nice to have a change of scenery; Clearways, although it’s nice and has good communal areas, sometimes feels like merely an extension of the training centre. Being in Knox Street at least lets you feel like you’ve gone home for the day once you’ve finished working. Being close to supermarkets and shops also means it’s not a half-hour round trip every time you fancy a pizza or need a bit of shopping, and I’m hoping it cuts down on fuel bills because, although we’re further away, there’s actually less running about between accommodation and training centre. When you consider that both our cars are Toyota Platzes – for which fuel consumption can be considered in gallons per mile rather than miles per gallon – this is a definitely a good thing. We have carpet here too, which is far nicer than the laminate flooring we had in Clearways. So all in all, it’s not bad; when you compare it to the dreaded Dey Street, where we lived for the first 3 weeks out here last August, it’s far better.
Flying-wise, all of our long-course chaps are back in the air again now; the short-course guys are just waiting for enough instructors to be available to get them going on the Twin Star, which shouldn’t be too long. I’d have been looking forward to coming back a lot more if I’d been starting on the Twin Star now and not still finishing on the Cessna, but it’s not too much bother as long as the weather stays reasonable and we can get finished quickly.
Quite looking forward to tomorrow; Shaun and I are off to Ardmore to pick up JSP which has been up there for maintenance. Hope the weather is good enough – the forecast is a bit crappy.