Sunday, June 2, 2013

It seems that everywhere I turn people are getting together, getting engaged or married, making babies and settling into domesticated bliss. It seems like that is the price I am having to pay for the career ambitions that I have.

Start dating a nice person - get deployed.
Get dumped via text message - get sent home from deployment for promotion.
Get ready for promotion course that will run for 6 months - get posted.

Not sure where I am meant to fit in meeting someone and starting a relationship.

Hell I can't even work out how to meet someone just for some no-commitment-consensual adult fun.

Maybe I am destined to be exactly like my mother - alone, workaholic, unable to commit myself to someone.

Who the fuck knows.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


So I am home now - have been for a week.

Struggling with insomnia. Can't seem to get to sleep at night then waking up late in the morning. When I factor in the 5-6 hour time difference between here at Afghanistan it makes complete sense, it's just going to be a pain in the ass when I have to go back to work this week.

I'm still angry - I can't seem to shake it. I'm getting better at swallowing it down, at smothering it with other things but I find myself sitting here at night, alone in my house, looking at all the things I have and no one here to share them with.

I am all alone. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deployment Entry 14

Well it's 2300 hr local time and I'm contemplating a nap before I have to be up and checking into the plane ride home. The last few days have been interesting. Did an RnR run with B3 on the Sunday. The city part of Dubai reminds me a lot of the streets of Penang - just a little bit cleaner. But the cheap trinkets and bartering was just the same. Australia really is a beautiful place. Did a lot of walking around and even managed to go to the gym that night for some PT. Need to do something to shift the 7kgs or so I seem to have put on. Fuck knows where?

Monday was a day of appointments. RTAMS was pretty straight forward. RTAPS was something else. It seems I am very angry/pissed off still at being sent home so early. Thankfully I haven't bumped into my replacement here because I think that would just fuck me off even more. The up side is that the psych says feeling like this given my situation, is completely normal and that it's ok to be angry and frustrated. I am sure it will be alright once I get home.

Went on a night RnR Amenities run to the local shopping mall. Holy Shit! Now there's the fancy snobby Dubai everyone talks about. It was a very high end shop - though it did have Cinnabuns! So I got to see what all the fuss was about. OMG amazeballs. Bought a box for P but since I couldn't get  a way to get them in country to him I ate them myself. Shared them with an American officer so I didn't have to deal with eating them all myself.

Today was uneventful - just straight forward dekitting, some more PT and then a lot of sitting around. Not looking forward to the long ass flight home but it will be good to get home and back into a routine, I think. Since my deployment was so ridiculously cut short that I am not going to fill this book I might use it as a diary for my time at OTS as well.

Write more when I am back in Aus.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Deployment Entry 13

The last few days seem to have been a real blur once I knew I was going home. I'm sitting in my transit accommodation back in Al Minhad, Dubai, having flown out of TK earlier today. It was strange - I felt a sense of loss, a disconnection from 'family' as I left Afghanistan. I know I'm doing the right thing in going home early but didn't make leaving any easier. Everyone kept asking me if I was excited to be going home. If I had been in country for 13 weeks already then maybe I would be, but having only been there just over a month all I feel is a deep sense of disappointment and incompleteness - like I have left something unfinished.

The days leading up to my departure were interesting. Played my last game of TK poker - only managed a 4th this time and somehow, knowing it was my last game, it just wasn't as much fun. The same could be said about the indoor cricket. I played well but it was not as much fun as it has been, because it's done now. To top it off I seem to have inadvertently thrown out my deployment bracelet! Bin diving to no avail - so that totally topped off my morning this morning. Fucking Afghanistan!

Work was strange. Tasking after tasking was systematically taken away from me or just overtaken, by C, until I felt like I was just sitting around doing nothing. I understand taking some ongoing things off me, since I won't be there to see it through, but things like the badge applications was something I could have kept doing right up until I left. Ah well. Fucking Afghanistan!

Last dinner in TK was alright. Went to down Cole and tried friend Catfish for the first time. It was actually pretty tasty. The boys from the Badge Office came to dinner so I hung out with them for a bit. Was really nice of them to come to dinner and see me off in their own way.

Had my first Role 2 a few days before I left. A young 12 yr old and his older brother (25) brought in with gunshot wounds. I had to watch as the older brother, guts falling out, died in front of his little brother while his father sat outside waiting for news. Nothing like helping out someone's insides back in as you're trying to scan him after he's died. Was a pretty crappy thing and kind of surreal really. Shot by the ANA - the fucking people who are meant to protect them and look out for them when we leave. This country is just fucked up and will go to shit again soon after we pull out. I hate to think the last decade has been for nothing but a part of me can't help bit think we have made very little difference really. The people here just don't want to learn a new way of life. They want to be primitive stone age people regardless of all the things we try to teach them.

The CO came and saw me off today which was pretty nice. She presented me with an Anzac Day Coin even though I won't be there on the day. I think the WOD had a lot to do with that but I am grateful either way and will cherish the coin and the short time I spent in theatre.
B and I are going on an RnR run into Dubai tomorrow which I am looking forward to. Going to see about getting some Cinnabuns for P and some proper chai to take home for myself. I'm really just looking forward to getting out and seeing the city. Other than that it's just dekitting and relaxing to be done here. I will probably go to the gym Monday and Tuesday. Nothing much else to do here really. Then it's the long flight home early Wednesday.

Can't wait to see my boys. Miss their adorable faces so much!! Feeling a bit tired and flat so might sign off for now. Oh - did enjoy a 10 minute shower tonight for the first time in over a month. Looking forward to a massage and maybe a pedi/mani when I get home.

P.S. Might even be tattoo time soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Deployment Entry 12

It's getting very hard to feel like I have been robbed of an experience that will truly be once in a lifetime because I have made the choice to go home early. It appears that I will be departing TK this coming Saturday - and I will be flying out of AMAB Tuesday of next week. So not only have I been denied Anzac Day in Afghanistan, it now appears I will be denied Anzac Day in an operational environment full stop. I have marched with my MWD every Anzac Day since I joined, and I told myself missing it this year was made up by the fact that I would be experiencing it in a deployed location. Well apparently not!

I know I am going home to begin a new chapter, to more into a new phase of my career, and I am excited to do that. But I cannot help but feel robbed of this once in a lifetime thing. Does that make me selfish?

Already I fell a sense of disconnection with the team. They're already putting aside shirts and the like for my replacement, and talking about her in front of me. I haven't even left yet! What feels like salt in the wound is that all along WDW stressed that she had to seek my replacement ASAP because she couldn't hold a gap. Yet I leave this Saturday - my replacement will still be in Australia. So apparently she can hold a gap when it suits her, but it doesn't suit her to keep me around for an extra week? I honestly don't understand!

I wish it wouldn't upset me so much though. I'm tired of being emotional and crying over this crap. I'm going. I can't change it, so now I just want to get home, enjoy a ridiculously long shower and spending time with my boys. It will do me good to see them. I have missed their cute little faces and waggy tails. I still don't know what to do about M. I no longer feel like a k. I no longer get that buzz when she calls me "Mine" and it seems unnatural now to call her by any title. Now she is just the net friend I have in the USA that I talk to a lot. Maybe this was always going to happen? Maybe we were always going to grow apart like this? Maybe I was always a fool for thinking it just might turn out differently?

Maybe I deserve to feel like this?

Maybe I can't do it anymore?

Maybe it's all just in my head because everything else is going to shit - why shouldn't the best thing in my world go to hell too?

Maybe I subconsciously sabotage the positive thing in my life so that its all dark and black and full of pain?

Trying to arrange an RnR run into Dubai for Sunday so I can see what the city is like before I go home. Fingers crossed.

For now though I am going to try and shut off my depressive mind and sleep a dreamless sleep - I can't lose her. I love her too much.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Deployment Entry 11

It's the 13th today - yes I know... slack! I had a rest day from the gym. Will see tomorrow whether that was a good idea or not. Also had a nice long shower tonight since I missed the water cut off the last two nights and had to baby wipe and ENJO fibre wash with a bottle of water. It's interesting how nice it feels to have smoothly shaved legs again.

B2 was supposed to organise an FPSS photo today before the boss goes on leave but of course he didn't.  His ineffectiveness is mindblowingly obvious. Not sure how he will go as the acting OIC. And of course B1 has only been back a day and already the laziness is evident. I typed up 3 IR's this afternoon without so much as a helpful comment or anything from him. I suppose I should expect no less really.

Not long now until I head home. Had hoped to have more to write about and more to experience here in TK but the limited pages of my rambling will have to suffice.

Trying to work out now what the best career path and posting plan is for me. I have a feeling I might be headed for a posting to Darwin. Will be strange to be out of Brisbane and away from everyone I know and love. But then it's all part of life in the military I guess and people have always said that the travel is one of the best parts. Haven't truly experienced that yet because I've been in the same place for my entire career.

Really not sure what to do about M. Tested the waters a little last night it would seem, in my overly tired state. Made the mistake of mentioning the terrible V word - visit. Shot me down pretty damn quickly which was like being cut open and then kicked in the wound with salt covered boots.

"I love you" - but I never want to physically be in the same place as you. "You're my love" - but I will keep you at arms length and be reluctant to share too much with you. "I miss you" - but I won't ever call or let you hear my voice. "I need you" - but I'll never actually send you the things I claim I will. "I own you" - but I won't trust you enough not to be guarded and distant.

I must be the biggest idiot on the planet. An idiot with a permanent reminder of just how naive and lame I really am.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Deployment Entry 10

So I keep apologising for being slack and not updating in here often enough. It's not so much a case of slackness as it is just sheer exhaustion. The days here are long. I am used to long hours at home but those are generally done at night where I come home and fall straight into bed to sleep for god knows how many hours. Here I am up at 0445 hr to go to the gym, then at work from about 0730 hr right through until generally somewhere around 2000 hr that night. Wouldn't be so bad if I then went straight to bed but my brain doesn't work that way.

It's been an interesting few days. We all got our asses ripped by the boss on Friday and none of us can seem to work out why. Think its got something to do with someone back home talking out of shop or something because it doesn't seem to be from our end.

Getting a good crash course in picking my battles. C decided to throw around her CPL weight today and alas, being the lowest rank here, for now, meant I suddenly became a gopher to her laziness. I understand that as a new CPL she needs to learn to delegate tasks and to manage troops, but there is a difference between delegating out of work efficiency or necessity, and delegating out of laziness. Had a good chat to P about it though so it didn't phase me too much.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Deployment Entry 9

Sorry that I haven't written much lately - haven't really had anything positive to write about to be honest.

So I sat down with the CO and advised her that I wished to RTA early so that I could take up mu commission this year and head off to OTS in July. This means replacing me here, which I understand, but from everything that was said to me I would still get a decent amount of time here to make the deployment worthwhile.

Went off to KamAir which was it's usual cluster fuck. P and B had to go off to a Role 2 casualty so that left C and I running KamAir on our own for 30 minutes. In a country where women hide under burkas and are subservient to men you can imagine how well that went down and how much they bothered to listen to us. Something that should have been finished earlier than normal, since we started an hour earlier than we usually do, took all fucking day. Add to that one of the KamAir vehicles got a flat tyre so we spent forever getting that all sorted.

Get back to the office ready to finish up for the day and BAM! MVA into the outer perimeter wall. This was pretty cool though, even if it too took forever. A US Navy Seal big rig snagged a massive section of the outer perimeter. I took some pretty cool photos of it for back home. Day was done by 8pm.

Got in to work the next day, after taking the morning off from the gym, to find out the CO wants to send me home from here by April 24. So I only just get a month in location - because they want to ensure the replacement member gets a true deployment experience. What the fuck about my deployment experience? That obviously counts for sweet fuck all now that I have decided to go home. And if that's not enough of a kick in the guts - I miss out on the last Anzac Day in Afghanistan for the ADF most likely. So definitely feeling like an outsider now and like I am no longer a part of the team that is ROTO 6. Well go fuck yourself WGCDR DW.

Played my first game of indoor cricket in over 10 years last night. I played like crap but it definitely beat sitting around the chalet trying to act like I wasn't pissed off.

From what I can tell the brief I gave the boss went really well and I am a day ahead of schedule on the final report - which he is really impressed with. Not bad for a doggie who has never done a SPIC course.

So now I am just treading water for the next 17 days and trying to find some kind of enjoyment in this place. Really - I'm obviously not wanted here enough that she wants to fuck me off as soon as possible, so now I just want to go home. I fucking hate Afghanistan!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Deployment Entry 8

Big day today. Lots to think about, lots to stress about. I really wish I had M's contact number here with my because I could have used her advice today. I heard back from DP-AF this morning and the goal posts have changed for me again. If I choose to stay here for the full term of my deployment then my commission date gets pushed back further than originally thought.

The original thought was that it would push back until some time in January, which meant just delaying by a measly 4 months. But now, if I don't RTA early it pushes everything back until June/July of 2014 and puts my IET back until Feb 2015. So I am not fully qualified until April 2015 and cannot be deployed as an Officer until that time. Plus it means returning home to be a ploddy LACW for a further 12 months. A lot to weigh up, a lot of things to consider.


The advice I have gotten from the few people I have spoken to has been really freat. Tomorrow I need to convey my intent to the CO to take up my commission this July. What an insane year 2013 is turning out to be!


Investigation is going well. Getting confirmation on a few things and pretty well ready to brief the boss. Just need to go through the best way to do that on Saturday with P first so I don't look like a dick.

Played my second game of poker tonight and managed somehow to come second again. Quite amusing since I don't really have much of a clue as to what I am doing. Must work on that.

Loving seeing all the pictures of the boys on Facebook. Can't wait to get home and see them, even if I will be disappearing again relatively soon after.

Got a great surprise when I opened my email tonight. Not only did she email me, but she attached a photo!!! OMG!!! This woman is breathtaking. Her smile just makes me melt every time I see it. What I would give to really see her smile at me like that.

DOLA day tomorrow so a small sleep in for me before the fun filled adventure that is KamAir.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Deployment Entry 7

Can't sleep - too stressed so think I might hit the gym nice and early (3am).


Ok so the early morning run session probably wasn't the best idea. Now I feel like ass. Ugh and we have KamAir today.


Update!!! Phoenix has been found. The wonderful people at the pet shop around the corner recognised him from the Qld Lost Pet Register post on facebook and got in touch with my house sitter. The knot in my stomach has lessened significantly safe. No sign of Blaze though which worries me. He is a pure bred Cav so more likely to be kept than a 9 year old Boxer (as beautiful as my old man is).


KamAir done and dusted. It actually went nice and smooth today which was a pleasant change. Seems that the boss has been made aware of the cock up that was yesterday because he has come in today and issued us taskings for the week. I am effectively running the investigation into the burn pit which is pretty awesome! Hopefully I don't stuff it up!

P has been awesome, teching me how to draft up Final Reports and Requests For Information. B & C on the other hand make running things painful. If I ask for something by COB I don't expect to have to reask it the following day and then also have to explain why I need it!


UPDATE!!!! Just spoke with mum and the lovely lady who found Blaze. They took him to the vet who scanned his chip and rang mum as the emergency contact. So both my boys are back home!! Phoenix has scratched his eye so is on some drugs and eye drops. The boys are up at mums for a few days and already I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders, knowing they are safe and relatively unharmed. People can turn around and say 'they're just dogs' but they're my babies. They're my kids and being over here helpless while they're lost, scared and stressed out - it was hard. Mum says Phoenix is stressed out and sticking to her like glue. My beautiful boy...

I will be home soon.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Deployment Entry 6

Happy April Fools Day!!!

Well the last few days have been long and tiring which is why I haven't written much. We have had to work from 7am until 7/8pm most days recently and then been on call up until around midnight waiting to see if we were needed. Add getting up for the gym and that makes for a very tired pnut!

Saturday was a long but interesting day. It started off with the usual drug run out at ECP 1 & 3. Nothing much in the bins for collection that day, just some hashish and used naswar. After that we had a walk around Camp B. That was pretty cool walking around all the Apache helicopters. We are hoping, once B gets back from leave, to get some photos. I think that would be awesome!!! The rest of the day was spent working on an investigation that I was involved in, interviewing the offender again and writing out a statement/report.

I did manage to go to Nabi's and have decided to order myself a tanzanite which I will get made into a necklace with white gold. I need to google how expensive tanzanite is so that I can be sure I am not getting ripped off but I don't think I am. Still waiting ror my protein powder to arrive and then I will have to pay E at badging some money but once that is done I will be done with spending money here I think.

I joined in with the chalet poker game saturday night. It's all good fun and not real money so I figured it wouldn't hurt to play. In saying that, I don't actually know how to playing poker - but somehow I managed to come second, only just losing out to M in the final hand. It was pretty funny really to see me, the girl who doesn't even know how to play, knocking out seasoned players. It costs $10 to play each night, but the money raised goes towards an end of deployment function we are going to have in Dubai. Still, don't know that I will make a habit of playing every poker night. We shall see.

We had a comms lock down, or a CLP RED, saturday night due to 2 soldiers being injured. Haven't really heard anything more about it so I am assuming they are okay, or at least that there hasn't been any fatalities.

Sunday was the RAAF's 92nd birthday. We had a BBQ lunch which was really cool. Most people got to knock off early but we were busy writing out statements and setting up ops for today. Still managed to get off to G's hard to get (butt and thighs) class. I love the class, even though it hurts like a motherfucker.

Hanging out in the chalet of an evening is fun. I get to laugh a fair bit chatting with the CO but I still haven't quite adjusted to the fact that the place is practically empty by 2030 hr. I'm still wide awake (most nights) at that time. I'm quite sure in a few more weeks that may change but for now it's still how my body is working.

Didn't get up for the gym this morning as I was a little tired and my back was a bit sore but I will be going this afternoon. Today has been the worst day here so far. It's quite ironic that on a morning when the boss sits myself and C down and assures us that we are both part of the team and very valuable members I have spent the majority of the afternoon feeling anything but. I have been systematically and completely excluded from the surveillance of the scrap metal yard and burn pit despite it being my ground work that led to the conformation of what was happening, by who, when and how. It seems today that all I am good for is running around like a gopher.

To just top off what has been a shitty day, just spoke with mum and found out that my boys have run away. De ja vu! I'm stuck here on the other side of the world while my dogs are wandering around lost. FML!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Deployment Entry 5

Happy Good Friday!!!

The last few days have been a bit hectic so I haven't really had the time or energy to sit and write in my journal.

Did some cardio the other morning and cracked the 45 minute mark on the treadmill and notched up 8kms. Almost cracked the 60km mark. Decided I am going to keep a track of how far I run each day and see how far I run whilst deployed.

It's been an interesting few days. Last night we had a late call out to a drunk contractor on base. This normally wouldn't be a huge deal back home but alcohol is illegal here in Afghanistan and is definitely a prohibited item here on the base. It was funny and entertaining to watch this contractor stumbling around drunk bit after talking to him again this morning I feel kind of sorry for him. Looks like he unwittingly had a spiked drink. We should know more in the coming days.

So today was another KamAir day. Everything pretty much went as planned which is kind of a first. But it still made for a ridiculously long day. The locals here like to work in what we call 'Afghan time'. It's kind of like Fiji time. Now if I was relaxing by a pool in Fiji, I wouldn't mind so much but when you're standing around for hours wearing body armour Afghan time can go fuck itself. Though as it gets hotter I may just sweat those few kilos off!!!

Another late night tonight - though for no reason now it seems. Had a call come through that we may have had to go down to the Role 2 for a casualty but after sitting around for 40 minutes we've just been stood down as they've been sent to the local ANA hospital.

Didn't get to the gym today because of KamAir which put me out of rhythm for the day. Going to fix that tomorrow with a solid cardio session in the morning.

One plus tonight has been the ability to hang out with some of the people in the chalet. I really dig the CO. She's fucking hilarious - an absolute cracker and quick off the mark. I've not laughed so much as I have here these past few days.

Just waiting for the end of Minority Report and then its bed time for me. Although I gave myself a little sleep in this morning I still feel tired. Looking forward to tomorrow. We are off to Camp B to get a tour of the Apaches. Gonna be awesome!!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Deployment Entry 4


What a day.

Hit the gym nice and early again, though honestly I really just wanted to stay in bed for a little bit longer. Just decided to do a hill climb instead for 45 minutes then some abs. Got everything sorted and squared away for KamAir then headed out to the burn pit again with FLTLT C. I enjoy hanging out with him because he has some really interesting things to say, isn't too serious all the time and gives great advice. Plus it's just nice to get out of the office and do something different sometimes.

Once that was done it was KamAir time. Can we spell CLUSTERFUCK???? C is so frustrating and it irks me that she picked up her CPLs before me (as irrelevant as that all is now) because today she demonstrated quite clearly that she has no idea what she is doing. The problem with that happening today was that it totally compromised the safety of the rest of us. And that is something I am not at all okay with.

Honestly, the last few days the one thing that continues to stand out to me is that that she is just too old now. C is 58 - 2 years off of compulsory retirement - and her age is extremely evident. She is very slow to do most things, drives like a nanna and needs things explained several times to the minutest detail. Even then, like today, she stuffs it somehow.

Today I had to deal with a pissed off sponsor who needed a badge renewal approved and C had knocked it back just because it was hand written, even though this sponsor had already spoken with FPSS about the specific badge application. It just makes us look bad!

Got some good news today from mum though, about the house, which took a lot of stress off my mind. Can't wait to get a package from home with some photos in it so that I can decorate my bunk space. I really should have thought to bring some with me because I don't really have that 'little piece of home' to enjoy when in my room or feeling particularly home sick.

Had an interesting chat with the CO last night. She was asking about my tattoos, boyfriends, kids etc. It was strange but I felt oddly comfortable talking with her. I think she is a CO I would really enjoy working for in the future, though from out chat I learned she is looking to discharge and relocate to Melbourne. That will certainly be the RAAF's loss.

Easter is almost upon us. Trying hard to avoid the copious amounts of chocolates here and doing alright so far. At least I am doing enough PT to make up for any dietary lapses, though my knee is a little tender at the moment. Sill having some issues with adjusting to this whole going to bed at an earlyish time of the night. My brain just doesn't seem to want to settle down enough to let me sleep. It's 2130hr and almost everyone is in their rooms or asleep. Yet here I am sitting out in the communal lounge area on my own. Hopefully this will sort itself out soon enough and I can find a normal rhythm. I just don't want to burn out here.

One thing I am looking forward to, when I get home, is taking more than 2 minutes to shower. And really washing my hair! The water is so hard here that even when I was my hair it feels like crap!

Today I saw my first really confronting thing. One of the passengers for KamAir was a young man in a wheelchair because both of his legs were missing. He had lost them both from an IED. I wouldn't have put him a day over 25. Just a sobering reminder that I really am in the middle of a war zone, and that constant vigilance is needed to make sure I get home in one piece.

Alright, forced bedtime I think.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Deployment Entry 3

So today I racked up my fifth year in the RAAF. It is hard to believe it has been that long already. No doubt the next 5 years will go by in a bit of a blur too.

The day started and ended reasonably well - though I have to admit it was fairly well shit right in the middle. I got up this morning and took myself off to the gym for some cardio. Given the Butts and Thighs workout I did last night with G's class, I was happy to just be able to sustain a good steady pace on the treadmill for the 30 minutes.

Headed in to work nice and early so that we could conduct an OP. That was interesting and a fair bit of fun. But then when we got back to the office the boss had sent an email back about the IR report I had done the previous evening. I thoroughly dislike being told my work is rubbish or crap, most especially when I am told to write up a document I haven't even been shown how to write, with fuck all information (on a matter I didn't even witness!!!)

Been here a week and the Boss thinks I'm incompetent thanks to the laziness of the FSGT. As you can imagine, this put me in a fairly shitty mood. It was hard to shake it off, but I managed to when I got the chance to do a recky on the burn pit with FLTLT C. Tomorrow is another KamAir day so hopefully it is better than today was. I think I will let C do the searches tomorrow and I will be the sentinel. Will see how it all unfolds anyway. I think tomorrow morning I will just do a hill walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes or so - get a nice burn into the legs. Maybe a nice session on the stepper? Plus I think I need to work on lowering or reducing the size of my lunch time meal. Even though it was healthy I think I over indulged a bit today, quantity wise. Oh well, it's all new things to try and learn. Mum is handling the damage to the Jacaranda tree well - hopefully the house is fine.

Fingers crossed for a more enjoyable day tomorrow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Deployment Entry 2

The search went really well - nothing was found, which is a good thing, but everyone worked together nice and smoothly. Got to hang out with the really cool girls from the badge office while we searched the female accommodations. One of the poor girls had a dildo hidden in her pillow, which the boys found. She has an awesome sense of humor though - thankfully - so is laughing it off quite well. Kind of have to when dealing with grunts who have no appreciation for discretion.

Today was an interesting day again. B has gone on ROCL so his phone was automatically given to C, since she is a CPL. Every now and then my position as the lowest ranking team member is made very obvious - like giving her the phone even though she is answering it wrong per OPSEC. Or her talking over me, even though I am the person asked for information relating to something. I particularly liked it today when she was tasked with finding something out, yet didn't ask enough questions. I am not about to make her look more competent than she is by doing the work for her.

Had a bit of a stealth mission today, doing some discreet surveillance on a vehicle suspected of looting metal from the burn pit. C is incapable of being discreet though and makes it painfully obvious that we are taking photos etc. On our low radar perusal of the local Afghan shops on base today - she stuck to me like glue and openly talked about what we were supposed to be discreetly looking for and listing. It does my head in. She's lovely, just frustrating.

Hit the gym tonight for G's butt and thighs class. Going to be hurting a bit tomorrow but no pain no gain as they say. Have met some really cool people here. I enjoy talking with FLTLT C (Dave Schapel in our TK movie cast). He is great value and has given me some great advice on how to deal with the rank issues in the team etc. He's a great sounding board - is similar to me in the whole 'not living in each others pockets' thing.

Our CO is absolutely fantastic. She has the best sense of humor and a great Scottish accent, though I am quite sure I do not want to be on her bad side. My room mate is a Defence Civvie who seems to keep to herself and doesn't really interact with any of the service people in the chalet. She seems nice enough though. A bit of a pain in the ass in the morning because she sleeps later than the rest of us, so I am often dressing by torchlight so I don't wake her. I think that by 6:30am I am just going to start turning the light on.

We have limited wifi here in the chalet which is handy. It makes it a lot easier to keep in touch with everyone back home on email and facebook, as well as with M. Still get a kick out of hearing how happy mum is when I get the chance to ring home and talk to her.

Have an early start tomorrow for some reason, but still want to get my gym session in so best sign off now and get some sleep. My body clock is starting to adjust to the whole daylight hours thing - I think.

Hopefully things start to dry off a bit after the rain the other day. It just turns all the dust here to sludge. There is mud on everything!!! And only a 2 minute shower once a day to rectify it. Love it!!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Deployment Entry 1

NB: Names have been omitted to protect the privacy of others.

Well my first week here is done and dusted. It's so different here. It's dirty, dusty and looks like a massive construction site but it's extremely well organised and run with a high degree of precision. Everyone here has a purpose and moves around with a sense of seriousness about themselves. It has definitely been a bit of an eye opening week. I have settled in quite well all things considered and am finding my feet with the role here.

Every Tuesday and Friday we do security for a civilian airline called KamAir. My job is to search local female Afghans coming onto the base to catch the flight. It's pretty full on. We are all kitted up in body armour and at the 'action' condition of weapon readiness. There is not much more than a big ass HESCO wall and about 30m separating me from Tarin Kowt city during the KamAir days. So it's pretty well as close to the front line as I am likely to get.

The Afghan women that come through are really interesting. We have a female interpreter, O, who is an absolute cracker. She helps facilitate language issues. The women here are really quite beautiful once you get them out from under their coverings, but we have to make sure that they search area is clear of any males because if they see the women uncovered, that would be a death sentence. It's a lot of pressure, to be responsible for someone's life with something that we would consider so insignificant. Some of them are really good with the searches; laughing and giggling with O while it's all being conducted. It must be a strange experience for them, not only seeing women in uniform whose faces aren't all covered up but also being physically touched by a woman as well. Some of them seem absolutely terrified by the entire experience and no matter how much we try to reassure them you can just tell they are petrified.

The children that travel with them are quite cute, and whilst it is a confronting or scary process for them as well, we are usually able to smooth it all over with a little bit of chocolate or a lollipop.

I have to admit I was nervous the first day. These people are coming onto the base, the men being searched by local Afghan security working with ISAF but the women don't get searched at all until they reach me. While there hasn't really been any intel to suggest the use of women as PBIEDs there is nothing to say it won't happen, so I could very well be searching a walking, talking bomb. The thought had my stomach more than a little unsettled at first.

The rest of this week has rolled on smoothly. A second KamAir under my belt now. Finding it easier to get around the base now and starting to look at the shops and getting a bits and pieces to take back home. So far I have been able to go to the gym for an hour each morning, which I am enjoying, and I have done a good job so far of avoiding the massive amounts of chocolate and soft drinks here. I have even skipped desserts - though that is easy to do when you don't go to the DFAC for dinner.

Friday morning we had pancakes breakfast at the chalet, cooked by the WOD and one of the FLTLTs. It was bloody delicious and massive. I treated myself to a pancake and some fruit. Figured it was ok as a treat.

I cannot get over how prolific drugs are here in Afghanistan. We are regularly collecting seized packages from the AMK9 teams whose narc and explosive dogs check vehicles coming onto the base. I've learned how to test the various substances, which is really cool. Tonight we are doing a raid/search on a contractor sector in the base to see if we can find prohibited substances because they are not allowed on base at all but are getting in somehow. I will be leading my own search team which is pretty cool!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Delighted Momma: Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (no flour, dairy or r...

Delighted Momma: Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (no flour, dairy or r...: If I had a dollar for every low carb, flourless, cookie recipe that I have attempted over the past four or so months I would probably have ...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It's funny, I often look at some of the friendships that my mother has, the people important to her that have been significant for longer than I have drawn breath, and I have envied that. I have envied the closeness, the reliability, the support that she has shared with them over the years. I have often doubted the likelihood of ever finding such friendships myself, putting them down to rare gems that are not common - not something that happens to everyone.

And then I realised that in some ways I *do* have that. Sure I might not see them as often as I used to, or as often as I would like. But I know I have a very few small number of friends who if I was truly stuck, would drop everything to help me - whether its something simple, like turning off my alarm, or something more important like scouring the neighbourhood for my most precious of possessions, or selling me a car for next to nothing just because they can. Too often, I think I forget those things, letting them be swallowed up by the loneliness and isolation that seems to invade my life on a fairly regular basis.

It's good to put things into perspective every now and then and to be reminded of everything, not just the more frequent...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Karawatha Forest - trek 1

I have been inspired recently by the myriad of posts by Tara Moss (who I follow on FB/blog) with the bush walking and hiking adventures she and her family have undertaken. One of my New Years resolutions was to get out of the house more, to be a little less of a hermit. I found myself getting rather frustrated that the majority of my limited free time last year was spent at home on my own just chilling out on the couch. South East Queensland has such an abundance of national parks and forests with established bush walking tracks on them that I thought, even if the majority of these treks are done on my own, that was a much better and healthier use of my free time than simply sitting on my ass watching TV.

Hopefully some of the walks I do will be done with friends, but even if they aren't I am determined to work through the list of national parks I have compiled. Karawatha Forest is a bushland reserve area not even 10 minutes from my house so I thought, why not start there? Its somewhat embarassing to think I have lived in my home for 8 years now and this is the first time I have gone walking through this forest/park. Admittedly, when I first set off and even throughout my walk, I found myself checking over my shoulder etc but I think thats just a product of my life experiences, my work and common sense as a young woman walking on her own. But eventually I was able to settle into the walk and enjoy myself. It wasn't a stroll by any means - I had resistance bands on my legs to make the work out even more worthwhile and I hiked through the forest at a brisk steady pace.

I am not entirely sure how far I walked though I walked for a good 3 hours - I forgot to take my print out of the forest with me to know where the tracks were and whilst some of the tracks are very clearly marked out, others were not so much. I found myself walking along and then veering off on tracks that seemed to be established, only to stop after some time and wonder "where the hell am I?" I did make sure to keep an idea of my bearings so that I could back track as needed, and to be sure to turn around and head back to where I parked before I lost the light for the day.

It was a nice walk - I ended up all over the place and eventually came across some other walkers, some mountain bike riders and a few natural residents of the Forest. I have scribbled a rough idea of where I walked on my print out, which just shows how much of the forest I am still yet to see. The blue shaded area is because I know I veered in and around on what I thought were the walking tracks only to stumble across the true tracks accidentally - so who knows how far I walked through this region.

Eventually I came across some really nice sights - I found the picnic area along the Rocks Track which had a great view. Here are a few photos from my trek. As you can see from the above map still plenty of area in the park for me to explore. I might set off next time from the other car park area so that I can see the lower/opposite side of the park.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

See you later 2012


I can't exactly put my finger on the reason why, but I have felt an annoying reluctance to post anything in my blog. I am not sure where it has stemmed from, but it probably has something to do with this overwhelming negative feeling that seems to be tainting everything at the moment. Whilst this blog is my personal space to say whatever I feel like saying, it's not somewhere that I necessarily want to come simply to spout dark, negative issues. Life has to be about balance right?

So 2012 is over and done with, and the first day of 2013 was spent doing pretty much what most free days in 2012 were spent doing. Very little at home on my own. Seems to be the sum total of my life now. If I am not working or playing basketball, or studying (which I should be doing now) - then I am not really doing a whole lot and I am more than likely by myself. It is not that I am uncomfortable in public situations - because I am not. It just seems that my lifestyle is not conducive to being around other people. At least that is the assumption I have to seems if I am not the one chasing the catch up, or instigating some kind of dinner/social activity, then I don't really see anyone. My friendship apparently is not worth the effort or the invitation. So be it.

2012 wasn't all bad. It had some good points:

Toured with the National Defence Basketball squad in WA.
I played in the state side for Defence Basketball again.
We defended our title down in Melbourne and I was selected in the national Defence side again.
Blaze, my beautiful ruby cav spaniel, was introduced into my little nest.
Phoenix sailed through his 8th birthday.
Renovated my kitchen and car port.
Gave my lounge area a facelift with some new furniture.

The not so pleasant things aren't really worth listing so instead let's look at the resolutions/decisions for 2013:

Lifestyle -
* Get out of my house more often, even if it is to do something on my own.
* Put myself back out there in the 'dating game'
* Knuckle down more with Uni/consider taking a semester off if necessary.
* Actively try to spend less $$
* Minimise portion sizes of foods
* Cut sugar out of my coffee completely
* Live a more controlled paleo/primal lifestyle

Fitness -
* 5x unassisted pull ups
* 100kg Dead lift
* 1x 1 arm push up
* Crack 11 min 30sec for my PFT.

And lastly, it may backfire and blow up in my face (figuratively) and may result in my spending more time by myself than I already do (is that even possible) but I am not chasing people to catch up anymore. My friendship is valuable, it is worth something. It is not something to be picked up and put down as it suits you so I am not going to go out of my way to bug people to catch up.

If they can't be bothered, well then they can go fuck themselves.

Bring it on Life - do your worst. I survived 2012. Is that all you got?

So Happy New Year everyone. Let's see what 2013 has in store eh?