I drove up to Sydney just after getting back from North Queensland, and stopped along the way to be plied with sticky date pudding by minxyminou
and to have a bit of a play with Dora and Mr Burns which included me "stalking" them as they sat on the sofa. It was rather amusing to see the two of them group together (for protection?) and back up as I approached. It was also amusing to see Dora have a brain snap and gallop around the lounge room in a deranged state before hiding under an end table. Yes, I'm a dog person. Dogs have personality.
On Saturday I went to play with the Convicts. I wasn't sure if I was going to go on account of having a cold and running a half marathon next week, but I did turn up and they put me in to start at inside centre. In the backs. I did make one nice run, but overall I don't think I make as big an impact on the game in the backs. On more than one occasion our captain had to pull me out of rucks to get back into the line, and when waiting during a lineout or a scrum I felt awfully lonely and isolated with seemingly acres of space around me. They put me into the forwards later in the first half and I felt better. I took a pass from a penalty tap and ran through two guys who got a hand or a forearm on me and another got me around the waist but I was close enough to the line and had enough momentum to crash over and score a try.
In the second half I was back in the backs and was involved in a couple of turnovers that turned into tries against us. Once I was not quite in position for an inside ball and they scored a couple of phases later. Later on when being tackled I tried to pop the ball up from the ground to one of my teammates who was rushing into the ruck and it must have been knocked forward and recovered by the other team who got it wide and scored. Sometimes I make mistakes, but I know the mistakes I made. I was still awarded three points by our coach and the plaudits of our Maori-lesbian assistant coach (who also brought her girlfriend and her dalmation who was happy to run around amongst the players after the game.) She thought I was a strong runner and used to best effect in the back row.
There was more talk about the Bingham Cup and the prospects of me going. It still doesn't look good, but they are quite keen for me to go (as I am) and a number of my teammates are keeping their eyes open for opportunities. The NRL job, as it turns out, closed just before I heard about it. It would have been a hell of a time to move into that position anyway given the events of the past few days
. To be dropped into that kind of crisis on your first day on the job would be up there with the worst induction ever. (Though not as bad as Winston Churchill, who, on the day he became Prime Minister, found out that the Nazis were invading France. Think about that when you think you're having a tough day.
Then it was back to Canberra, stopping along the way for a brief chat with more dogs, who despite their great size, backed up when I "growled" at them. I stayed in and got up early in the morning (after not enough sleep) for the ANZAC Day dawn service.
I've not missed a dawn service once since coming to Australia. This one was a bit frustrating. I found myself feeling distinctsly stabulent over pretty petty things. The 10 year old boy who read In Flanders Fields read it with no understanding, emotion, or even appropriate cadence. He read thd read the poem eight beats at a time and didn't pause for punctuation. It was as if it was being read by someone who hadn't bothered to find out what it meant. And it pissed me off. It also pissed me off to see two grown men open a gap in a crowd control barrier and jump the queue to get in to the memorial. I didn't say anything. Neither did anyone else. I kind of wish I did.
After viewing Uncle Sandy's and Uncle Jim's names on the memorial roll I left, feeling a bit petty about being the kind of person who gets annoyed by a child improperly reading a poem. Someone suggested that it might just be that I take ANZAC Day seriously.
I'm tired, but don't want to sleep now. Why can't dawn come at a more civilzed hour?