Friday, August 31, 2012

Kelly Clarkson performs Home (Michael Buble Cover)


Army's darkest day: It has been the darkest day imaginable for our troops in Afghanistan.

As news broke of the tragic death of 5 more soldiers in Afghanistan I found myself slipping into melancholic reflection about my life. I'm pretty lucky really and I don't treat that lightly or overlook having the things that I have, despite the ordeals I have experienced during my life. My reflection was far more sporadic I guess, random and seemingly isolated.

I feel like I am slipping away from people, like I am becoming a social hermit. It's quote ironic to say that considering I go out several times a week to play basketball and referee. But that is essentially the extent of my social activity. Weeks when I do not get to play basketball, because my shifts conflict with the playing timetable, it starts to feel like my life is simply work, work, work. I feel as though I am slipping away from those people who used to be so integrally important to me. People are busy, we each have our own lives and own things going on, but I have found that I don't seem to catch up with people much anymore. Friends I used to see at least weekly, I go for weeks at a time without seeing. Best friends are now people I find out about the goings on in their life through Blogger, and the difficulties of time differences and the responsibilities of singularly raising two young girls has me feeling as though I can't stop this distance from growing more between the most important person in my life and myself. I find myself tossing and turning in my sleep, this recurring dream that she is slipping through my fingers, that I am losing my hold on her, that I am doomed to forever be kept in the dark, plaguing me.

It wouldn't be so bad if I was content to have my life filled so wholly by work. But work has me filled with disillusionment. I go to work every day and work harder than most, in order to make the section I work for the best it can be. I watch as people around me not only lack basic professionalism, but who seem to treat such things like values and ethics as insignificant non-essentials. I continue to watch as complaints are ignored, or handled internally so as to be swept under the rug. I watch as troops junior to me get supported and rewarded with deployments over and above me but then the concept of seniority is used and thrown in my face when it suits them to justify denying me the opportunity to take on a position that will go well towards my chances at promotion next year.

Everything is crossed that the debacle with the QPS is sorted in my favour - I need professional change. I need to reignite myself and find some meaning to my work. I need to feel like I make that difference that was the motivation behind my enlistment. I need my contribution to matter to someone.

And finally, and perhaps the most melancholic aspect of my reflection - I'm lonely. I'm ready to settle down with someone. I'm ready to start a family, or be a part of someone's family. I fear I am going to turn into my mother.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


So I am back home again now from the basketball trip. Didn't really get much chance to post as the trip was going due to limited connectivity and the various training and game schedules we were maintaining.

The trip was really good. We all arrived safely and got in to some good training sessions before our first game against the WA Police. We were a little bit 'rusty' not having really had much time to gel together as a team but still managed to come away with a solid performance and a good win against the Police side. They had a lot of height on us but our boxing out and muscle, as well as good transition play saw us take the lead and not surrender it.

Plenty of recovery sessions - one at the beach which resulted in the vehicle keys getting swallowed up by the ocean *laughs* and some more light training before we moved on to the next game. This was against the Wannaroo U/20's rep side. They were quite a good side, albeit overly physical. There were a lot of forearms into the back that went unchecked by the referees and unfortunately we squandered our opportunities and didn't play to our full potential. That game was lost 56-55 though there was a very obvious push in the back against me with 20 seconds to go that wasn't called. Unimpressed doesn't even begin to describe my feelings on it.

Social activities were well and truly enjoyed by the team with plenty of nights down at the Boozer hanging out as well as the occasional night out on the town. Got to explore some of Perth and Fremantle during the days which was nice as well.

We hit the road part way through the tour for an exhibition match in Albany. It's such a lovely little town by the edge of WA - some 5 hours from Perth. A strong physical game, which included a rather savage collision between myself and an Albany player - I was almost knocked out but was OK. We had a solid commanding win in that game, which I top scored in. I couldn't stay out very late with the team because of stiffness that kicked in as a result of the collision and by morning I could barely move my head, neck and shoulders but after some heat packs and rest I managed to recover enough for training.

Unfortunately about a week into the tour sickness swept through the team with some players being suspected of suffering Pnuemonia. It sapped our energy dramatically and really hampered us in our remaining two exhibition matches. All of us struggled to move up and down the court, with the ability to breathe clearly hindered. Sickness had rocked our team so hard that our second last game was regrettably cancelled as we would not have physically been able to back up the next night for the final match.

Both games were unfortunately a loss. We were up against well skilled, healthy and young opposition who had been playing together for months and years, unlike our week and a half. I personally believe we had the skill and ability to beat both teams, especially the final match against Stirling, but with the impact of the sickness we were all suffering, we were operating at around 70% of our maximum. It's too difficult a handicap to overcome.

Even though I am now home, sore and sick and still trying to find the rego of the truck that seems to have run me over with this flu/bug I had a great time on tour and hope that the opportunity to represent the ADF in Basketball presents itself to me again.

Made some great friends, got to see some wonderful places and spend more time on the court in a short period of time than I have in ages. And then I got to come home to two furry little boys excited to see me.

All in all a pretty good 2 weeks away!