September 28, 2006


As I mentioned previously, so much has been happening lately, I can hardly think where to start...
September has been a busy month in the Burbs. You can ask my friends, I am not much of a sporto, but September became sportz month. The national football code took an exciting turn when the team I support and love started winning a few games on the trot. The highlight being the win in the Western Derby against the Wiggles. It hardly matters that the Wiggles are now in the grand final and Fremantle are not. The thrashing Freo gave them in the Derby was moral victory enough to sustain me until next season. As well as Fremantle finishing third on the ladder at the end of the home and away season. That was a surprise beyond all hopes and the disappointments of many years are fading…

Now back to me. Here is a picture of my actual hockey team (We decided to ditch the figure hugging uniforms that were mentioned in an earlier post. A looser polyester arrangement is much more satisfactory). This is a photograph of us just having won the grand final. I cannot explain what a relief winning was especially since being in the GF was first mentioned in April. The game itself was exciting. A team that beat us in the semi-final two weeks previously were caught unawares as us old ducks sprung out of the blocks to score two quick goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. It is difficult to come back from that. My team went on to score another two goals (one by a thirteen year old who just left everyone else on the field standing still and watching). The opposition also got 2 goals, but in all honesty, they were consolation goals that we generously gave them to keep their spirits up and game alive…Not true. They were good goals and they must have given it a good old whack as I had bruises on my legs and shoulder afterward, but – as they will confirm – the goals of the loosing side are irrelevant.

Other photo is me. I was absolutey stoked. I can honestly tell you, there is no feeling in the world like winning the grand final. There may be better feelings, or different feelings; but this one has its own special place. And I would guess that is because sport is basically pointless, yet there is so much effort to win, and winning something is rewarding. The shared experience of it all cannot be underestimated either.

An observation on the team. I have played hockey since I was 11. I played every year up until I left this country for the Channel Islands. I started playing again soon after I returned. So, all up, I have played hockey for 18 years. That’s about 400 games (not including intervarsity carnivals…). In all that time I have never played with a team of people with so much self-belief. This team does not train during the week. There is no coach. Most players turn up about 20 minutes before a game. The warm-up is hysterical. But most of them (other than the 13 year old) have played for many years, and the game is second nature. Half of them don’t know all the rules of the game, but they get the drift. No one talks about the game before the game, its just idle chit chat. A casual totter on to the field of play and the whistle blows and they are kind-of into it. But they all just know they can win the game. And they do win the games. We’ll be a goal down - as the clock keeps ticking over, the ladies continue a consistent application of pressure backed up by some sturdy skills, and eventually the effort is rewarded with a couple of goals, and – voila – another win.

The self-belief comes out at half time with discussions of ‘we’re not winning because we’re not playing our game and we’re not having fun. If we go out and have fun, we’ll win’. And they do. It’s as simple as that. And so now the Hustlers have won three premierships on the trot. This team could be a case study for some sports psychology research student.

An AFL coach would kill for that kind of world. I might give Chris Connolly a call and share my insight. I am sure he would appreciate it.

I’d tell Woosha, but I couldn’t really give a tinkers cuss if the Wiggles win the GF or not.


We went to the beach after work today. We went for a drive in the hills last Sunday. We went for our first swim of the season last week. The Saturday before last, I won my hockey grand final. This all adds up to one thing. Spring has sprung.

For those of you who haven't seen it for a while, here is a photo of the direction known as 'West'.

Well, home based broadband certainly doesn't hold a candle to the internet speed that one experiences working at a higher education institution. Blog updates to be done in the lunch hour from now on. And I have a lot to update. For one, I bought a digital camera. Waterproof and all. I can hardly wait till summer to go out and break it. And I can tell you, summer isn't far away. There is that feeling in the air. The sun is up and there is a bright light in your bedroom window by half five and you now have about 3 hours to do stuff outside before going to work. And you don't have to wear the uggies every night. And the grand final is on this weekend. That is a sure sign that summer, and therefore, cricket, is on its way.