Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taking a break

Kate-Lynn's Graduation celebration lunch with Granny and Mom

Taking a break from the hectic past 2 days with Kate-Lynn's graduation victory, we celebrate with her and granny and enjoy the pool's relief from the sweltering heat in Durban.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kate-Lynn Graduates Top Achiever 2011

Our incredible daughter scooped all 3 top academic awards at her Graduation Ceremony today. Not only did Kate-Lynn graduate with a B.Ed. degree in foundation phase teaching, she was awared the Top Academic Achiever Award, Top Award in Teaching Practice and Overall Top Achiever Award for her class of 2011 and also picked up a Special Reseach Prize for her efforts and one of only 2 students to make a formal presentation at an Education Conference at the end of last year.
Well done Kate-Lynn, this is an amazing achievement and follows top student awards each of the 4 years of her degree training. I am so proud of you!!!

Here's the link to more pics on Facebook.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Welcome to Durban Skies for Danish friends

Christoffer and Simon from Copenhagen fly our Sling ZDL

Great to be back in Durban and able to fly our plane again. January was hectic re-opening the office, then our January big bash party and last week of January driving to Cape Town then flying to Bulgaria for skiing. So good to be back and up in the skies again (in Red Rocket).
Today I started my first lesson converting my NPL licence to PPL at Virginia and then took our Danish Couchsurfing guests up in the air for a short flip. The weather was not lloking great and rain was predicted for the whole weekend, but it's been holding off, so I managed to get some air-time and took both Christoffer (who said he was afraid of heights) and Simon up for the first flip in a small plane. Exhilarating and they both did well, despite them having a considerable hang-over from the night before.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Welcome Couchsurfers

 It's great to be able to host Couchsurfers from across the world. Usually we take turns cooking the different national dishes - last night was Shay's turn (from Israel) and tonight Christoffer and Simon from Denmark will show us their stuff. Everyone pitched in to help though including my daughter Kate-Lynn. We had meatballs (Shay's mom's recipe) with lentil rice, a vegetable stew and hummus, with Fatoosh salad. Very yummy and we all ate too much. Welcome to Durban guys!!
Christoffer, Mayan, Llewellyn, Dave, Simon and Shay

Monday, February 6, 2012

Poor Emirates Service

We never got an upgrade and NO REPLIES
Emblazoned across a full page advert of the Sunday Times Emirates advertised ... "Fly Emirates and get an upgrade" from economy to business class on a leg of the journey if booked by the 30th November 2011. This prompted me to book a seat for a party of 4 of us to go skiing in Bulgaria in January 2012, having just returned from that trip.Despite the advert and the booking, I never heard from Emirates regarding the upgrade promised and so logged an online query on their website shortly before departing. NO REPLY. Further queries and NO REPLY. Contacting their local office I eventually was given an email address of their Customer Complaints department in Johannesburg... NO REPLY. 2nd email NO REPLY.
I get to the check-in for our flight from Cape Town to Dubai on the 25th January and was booked in to economy.. No one at the check-in had heard of the advert and said that sales department usually handle these promotions and check-in could not help. She gave me the email address of sales at Emirates.. whose reply was to the effect that "my hands are tied and I am unable to assist" as "this is a customer complaint and needs to be handled by that department".
What kind of a sales campaign is this and what kind of service or after-sales service is this?
As you will have guessed we continued on economy for the forward and return journeys and have never heard further from Emirates!!!
Is this really the way Emirates wants to do business in South Africa?

Here's the link to the Avcom Aviation forum posting on the matter which has had over 1000 readers viewing the complaint.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Some scenes from our Dubai and then Borovets Ski holiday

After settling Mark in his new digs in Cape Town, he and I jetted off on an Emirates flight via Dubai to Athens and Bulgaria for snowboarding and skiing.

When Emirates re-scheduled their flights we got to spend a day and a night in Dubai and a chance to take some pics around the world's tallest building. Pretty awesome and the monorail, built since I was last there a few years back, is now fully operational and the best way to get around Dubai.

After that we landed in Sofia, Bulgaria, via Athens, in heavy snow and our taxi took us to Borovets.. the most snow seen there in 10 years and with temperatures plummeting to -18c and with wind factor on the top of the mountain -40c... incredible and sooooo cold!!

Staying in our ski-apartment on the slopes of the Borovets Ski Village, we were warm and cosy and even did some cooking in. Shopping was in the nearby village of Samokov where I ventured down for groceries a couple of time. The first day we tried snowboarding again, and managed to stay on the board of. mark did well but Llewellyn and I migfrated back to skis.. we are more capable and faster on these and even managed the red slopes.. although the blue cross country route was the more enjoyable.