Happy Fathers Day

My Dad died on 14th August 2004, a little over five years ago and that was the catalyst for starting this blog and in so many ways the trigger for most of the changes in my life.  It was the moment when the midlife episode hit leading to an awakening and a realisation that things would never be the same again.   There’s been good and bad since that time for me.  I have changed, in some ways becoming more honest, mainly with myself.  I have learnt where I was weak and in the process I think I have become a better person.   But you know what, hardly a day goes by when I do’t think of my Dad, when I don’t wish that our relationship had been better, that I had taken the time to spend more time with him, that instead of being just father and son, that we had also been mates.

And I sometimes wonder in looking at myself in terms of that relationship, how I might have been a better father to my kids.   I know now that my biggest failure as a person is that I am a master at keping feelings to myself.  Ironically that has been seen as a strength by many work colleagues because they percieve me as someone who is cool calm and collected and always in control.   They don’t realise that sometimes that facade is hiding a little boy who sometimes quakes in hs boots.

That little boy tends to reflect on days like today.   I remember going to the local shopping centre on Saturday mornings and getting a hair cut with Dad and then sprinting along the street to the milk bar for a milkshake.  I remember him sitting on my bad at night smelling of beer and cigarettes and fetching me a glass of water.  I remember the cubby houses we would build out of sheets of masonite he would bring home from work, and the days spent setting up my cowboys and indians and farm yards on the lounge room floor.   I remember playing marbles in the backyard.

After I separated from my then wife and whilst I was living alone in a flat no one came to about two years after Dad died he came to me and sat on my bed.   I know I was more than likely asleep but it was a very vivid dream and I was once again that little boy who got comfort from that nightly visit by his Dad.

I expect to see three of my four kids today.  I fear it’s not because they want to but because they think they should and maybe that is a reflection of the type of father I have been.  My ex did tell me after I left that they kids had discussed things and thought that I was never there when they were growing up.  And it’s true I worked long hours but I never missed an event or any of the many games of sport they played.  I didn’t play cowboys and indians with my sons, nor marbles, nor did we build cubby houses, but we played basketball and built lego towns and I read them stories at night whilst they fell asleep.  Could I have done more?  Undoubtedly.  But I was what I was and that is all I was.

For anyone who is interested I have looked back over the posts on this blog and found some familiar themes in older posts.

Bad Jokes Good Father?
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Father
Things I miss
Cats in the Cradle
Parents and the Damage Done
Josie’s Interview Part 2 – A non-sozzled Loz

So if you happen to be lucky enough to still have your Dad, make sure you contact him today and tell him you love him.   Don’t end up with some of the regrets that I have.   And if you happen to be a Dad make sure you also tell your kids how much you love them, that if at times there have been some cats in the cradle moments, that is a weakness most fathers have.   We carry that burden of provider, pre-programmed into us and for some of us it is something we will bear till the end of our days.  If we’re lucky our inevitable midlife episode may give us a shake and awaken us to some of the other possibilities.  Maybe that’s why some of us make far better grandparents than parents.   Perhaps being that little further down the road means that we can choose to live the moment differently.

Lost Job and swine flu

My youngest son messaged me today telling me he has lost his job. He rang his boss to find out where he was supposed to be working tomorrow and was told that there isn’t enough work and that he is therefore sacked. No real explanation why it’s him and not someone else although I think he has had a bit of time off lately with a virus and also having just been diagnosed with a hernia. He works as a scaffolder so maybe that is the real reason.

I told him that I will help in whatever way I can but truth is I feel pretty helpless. I have no work to give him. My lady has said that we will help financially [he has a car loan] but I haven’t told him that yet. It’s more important that he gets motivated to start looking for work immediately.

Lot’s of people have been crook at work in the past few weeks, but although Melbourne is apparently the swine flu capital of the world only one person I know of has had that illness. There is the odd person seen walking through the city with a face mask on but for the most part people are just getting on with things.

I am still waiting to finalise my new contract only because the HR Manager has not had the time to deal with it. I will admit a little anxiety over not having it in place yet, but that’s based on what happened to me last year, not because I think my position is in jeopardy.

I’ve had a few interesting exchanges of emails with a former employer and a few more facts about my sacking have fallen into place including the fact that there were three Board members wh pushed for my removal and not one of them ever said that they had any issues with my work performance. I was also told that some of the false information that they were telling people after I was sacked was a deliberate attempt to discredit me and they have come very close to finding themselves with a defamation case. I’ll dig a bit more over the next few weeks simply because I beleive I am owed the truth.

The strangest places

Perceptions are an odd thing I’ve decided.  The other day my son asked me how I survived in the Police Force being a non-drinker.  I told him that I didn’t know any different, but unlike a lot of my peers I didn’t spend a lot of time socialising at the Police Club which in those days was adjacent to Russell Street Police Station and always full of coppers, most of them off duty, unless you were a detective and then given you were on duty all the time it didn’t really matter whether you were on or off shift, if you get my drift.

Anyway, the truth was that I was never at my best in crowds or social situations.  I was shy, I didn’t enjoy smoky, beery environments, and at the time, I was a young married man with a couple of young sons and I much preferred being home than out.  I don’t think I was ever given any credit for that.  And that doesn’t mean I think I deserved it, just that the homeliness wasn’t appreciated.

The being home thing is the one true trait that reveals me as a Cancerian I guess and not much has changed over the long years since.   Looking back [and maybe some of you who have regularly read this blog will know] my loner personality was evident pretty early in life.  I’ve heard recently that someone I used to be close to had described me as a boring man and as someone no one would look twice at, and to be fair, that has an element of truth.   Social situations and building relationships used to scare the crap out of me.  I’d much rather lock myself at home rather than put myself in a situation where I might have been vulnerable.

So son, if you one day read this.  I have no regrets about spending the time at home rather than getting pissed with my mates.   I wonder sometimes whether I may have ended up with closer and better friends than I had, but it is a waste of time wondering for too long.  In the end we do what we do because it seems the right thing at the time.  Sometimes experience and hindsight may tell us that we should have explored some things more fully, that letting walls down and friendships in may not be such a bad thing after all.   But two wise men have left behind two wise comments –

“To thine own self be true.”  and
“I yam what I yam and that’s all I yam”

And for those who don’t recognise the quotes the first is William Shakespeare, the second is Popeye, which simply proves that wisdom can be found in the strangest places.

The strangest places

Perceptions are an odd thing I’ve decided.  The other day my son asked me how I survived in the Police Force being a non-drinker.  I told him that I didn’t know any different, but unlike a lot of my peers I didn’t spend a lot of time socialising at the Police Club which in those days was adjacent to Russell Street Police Station and always full of coppers, most of them off duty, unless you were a detective and then given you were on duty all the time it didn’t really matter whether you were on or off shift, if you get my drift.

Anyway, the truth was that I was never at my best in crowds or social situations.  I was shy, I didn’t enjoy smoky, beery environments, and at the time, I was a young married man with a couple of young sons and I much preferred being home than out.  I don’t think I was ever given any credit for that.  And that doesn’t mean I think I deserved it, just that the homeliness wasn’t appreciated.

The being home thing is the one true trait that reveals me as a Cancerian I guess and not much has changed over the long years since.   Looking back [and maybe some of you who have regularly read this blog will know] my loner personality was evident pretty early in life.  I’ve heard recently that someone I used to be close to had described me as a boring man and as someone no one would look twice at, and to be fair, that has an element of truth.   Social situations and building relationships used to scare the crap out of me.  I’d much rather lock myself at home rather than put myself in a situation where I might have been vulnerable.

So son, if you one day read this.  I have no regrets about spending the time at home rather than getting pissed with my mates.   I wonder sometimes whether I may have ended up with closer and better friends than I had, but it is a waste of time wondering for too long.  In the end we do what we do because it seems the right thing at the time.  Sometimes experience and hindsight may tell us that we should have explored some things more fully, that letting walls down and friendships in may not be such a bad thing after all.   But two wise men have left behind two wise comments –

“To thine own self be true.”  and
“I yam what I yam and that’s all I yam”

And for those who don’t recognise the quotes the first is William Shakespeare, the second is Popeye, which simply proves that wisdom can be found in the strangest places.

Carol’s Blogging Meme

This meme came to me from Rod at Inside Rod’s Head and his lovely lady Beth at My Moon Rising I think it originated with Carol at “My View of it”. Before I get into it let me apologise for not getting to it sooner. I’ve been slack at getting around to answering tags for the past couple of months mainly due to lack of time. But better late than never I guess.

I thought that in answering this meme that I would re-visit some of my older posts to give some context to my comments and to show some of the key points of the journey over the last year.

In order to embrace the new, we must release the old.
I want you (and me) to reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn’t and what you learned.
This is my Blogging Meme to you, (and the last of the year for me :)

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)

I learnt a lot about myself. It was a long and wearying year in many ways when the boy inside the man discovered reasons why he is who he is. It was a year of exploration and of questioning, one in which self esteem suffered badly and then recovered. I am a different person at the start of 2008 than I was at the start of 2007.

I wrote about some of the challenges in these posts –

There Are Doors

The Flutter of Butterflies Wings

Choices

Masks

I am afraid!

2. What did I accomplish?

Professionally I was named Basketball Victoria Administrator of the Year for the second year running. The Association I work for was named both the State and National Association of the Year. On that front, therefore, there was not much more to achieve.

On a personal front I challenged some demons and came out the other end.

Of Guilt and Other Just Desserts

The Beginning

3. What would I have done differently?

I’m not sure that changing anything would have altered any outcomes. If there was one thing I had to name it is that honesty i the best policy, even if it hurts in the short term.

Quandaries and Rhetorical Questions

4. What did I complete or release?

More than anything I came to terms with the relationship I had with my father. I would not say that it is complete, simply that I have come a long way towards understanding his love for me and mine for him.

A Drink of Water

4. (cont): What still feels incomplete to me?

My relationship with my kids is still incomplete, or maybe what I really mean is that it is still evolving outside the family unit they were born into.

Bad Jokes Good Father?

Dreams and Laughter

The Inevitability of Hurt

It’s Easy to Judge

Cats in the Cradle

Red Letter Day

5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

That’s a hard one. I think the realisation that I needed to make a decision to move on was the most significant because it meant that my family could to.

Making a decision to move in with someone else.

The re-establishment of a relationship with my daughters in particular. I now take them out for dinner once a week and I am not glad to say that probably means I am spending more actual quality one on one time with them in that few hours each week than I did when we lived under the same roof.

Wonder

6. What did I do right?
I have to put this into the context of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements” and my attempts to ensure that I live by those four tenets.

Be Impeccable with your word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions

Always do your best

6. (cont.) What do I feel especially good about?

About my attempts to do my best. Plenty of failures along the way and likely more to come but I am trying to be a good person and I have learnt that lying inevitably hurts.

6. (cont.) What was my greatest contribution?

I’m not sure there was one.

7. What were the fun things I did?

Had a month with my son around July when he decided to come and stay with me.

There was an indulgent holiday to Tasmania.

(cont.) What were the not-so-fun?

8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

More than anything the finalisation of the old family unit with all it’s hurt and judgement and guilt.

And So They Judge

Where the past can explain nothing

9. How am I different this year than last?

I like to think I have recaptured a sense of wonder that got lost somewhere along the way. My own fault entirely and not an uncommon one for a man in midlife.

A Boy’s Life

The Passage

10. For what am I particularly grateful?

My Mum, my sisters, my kids and the new lady in my life.

Mothers Day

From My Sister

**************************************************

So there it is. A brief journey through my past year.

And one final thing I am grateful for, dear readers, is the contribution you have all made to that journey through your comments and your support. I have appreciated that the foibles and weaknesses I have spoken about at length have been listened to and been met with a non-judgmental attitude. I have not been the best of persons throughout my life. I have hurt people and deceived some. I have done my best on days when that best has not been very good. I hope that I have learnt some valuable lessons and that in future the memories of the hurt will be overtaken by the memories of good times. I have no idea if friends read this blog or not, but if they do then may I say that I am sorry I have not been the best of friends and I hope that you will forgive that too.

I am no hero. I am an ordinary bloke who has made mistakes. Perhaps somewhere along the way I have been able to reveal some of those mistakes and I would like to believe that some people may have come to know me better and perhaps even learnt some lessons of their own through what I have written here.

Because this is meant to be a New Years meme I will not tag anyone here. I’ll leave it up to you. If you choose to undertake this meme then please let me know.

Carol’s Blogging Meme

This meme came to me from Rod at Inside Rod’s Head and his lovely lady Beth at My Moon Rising I think it originated with Carol at “My View of it”. Before I get into it let me apologise for not getting to it sooner. I’ve been slack at getting around to answering tags for the past couple of months mainly due to lack of time. But better late than never I guess.

I thought that in answering this meme that I would re-visit some of my older posts to give some context to my comments and to show some of the key points of the journey over the last year.

In order to embrace the new, we must release the old.
I want you (and me) to reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn’t and what you learned.
This is my Blogging Meme to you, (and the last of the year for me )

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)

I learnt a lot about myself. It was a long and wearying year in many ways when the boy inside the man discovered reasons why he is who he is. It was a year of exploration and of questioning, one in which self esteem suffered badly and then recovered. I am a different person at the start of 2008 than I was at the start of 2007.

I wrote about some of the challenges in these posts –

There Are Doors

The Flutter of Butterflies Wings

Choices

Masks

I am afraid!

2. What did I accomplish?

Professionally I was named Basketball Victoria Administrator of the Year for the second year running. The Association I work for was named both the State and National Association of the Year. On that front, therefore, there was not much more to achieve.

On a personal front I challenged some demons and came out the other end.

Of Guilt and Other Just Desserts

The Beginning

3. What would I have done differently?

I’m not sure that changing anything would have altered any outcomes. If there was one thing I had to name it is that honesty i the best policy, even if it hurts in the short term.

Quandaries and Rhetorical Questions

4. What did I complete or release?

More than anything I came to terms with the relationship I had with my father. I would not say that it is complete, simply that I have come a long way towards understanding his love for me and mine for him.

A Drink of Water

4. (cont): What still feels incomplete to me?

My relationship with my kids is still incomplete, or maybe what I really mean is that it is still evolving outside the family unit they were born into.

Bad Jokes Good Father?

Dreams and Laughter

The Inevitability of Hurt

It’s Easy to Judge

Cats in the Cradle

Red Letter Day

5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

That’s a hard one. I think the realisation that I needed to make a decision to move on was the most significant because it meant that my family could to.

Making a decision to move in with someone else.

The re-establishment of a relationship with my daughters in particular. I now take them out for dinner once a week and I am not glad to say that probably means I am spending more actual quality one on one time with them in that few hours each week than I did when we lived under the same roof.

Wonder

6. What did I do right?
I have to put this into the context of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements” and my attempts to ensure that I live by those four tenets.

Be Impeccable with your word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions

Always do your best

6. (cont.) What do I feel especially good about?

About my attempts to do my best. Plenty of failures along the way and likely more to come but I am trying to be a good person and I have learnt that lying inevitably hurts.

6. (cont.) What was my greatest contribution?

I’m not sure there was one.

7. What were the fun things I did?

Had a month with my son around July when he decided to come and stay with me.

There was an indulgent holiday to Tasmania.

(cont.) What were the not-so-fun?

8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

More than anything the finalisation of the old family unit with all it’s hurt and judgement and guilt.

And So They Judge

Where the past can explain nothing

9. How am I different this year than last?

I like to think I have recaptured a sense of wonder that got lost somewhere along the way. My own fault entirely and not an uncommon one for a man in midlife.

A Boy’s Life

The Passage

10. For what am I particularly grateful?

My Mum, my sisters, my kids and the new lady in my life.

Mothers Day

From My Sister

**************************************************

So there it is. A brief journey through my past year.

And one final thing I am grateful for, dear readers, is the contribution you have all made to that journey through your comments and your support. I have appreciated that the foibles and weaknesses I have spoken about at length have been listened to and been met with a non-judgmental attitude. I have not been the best of persons throughout my life. I have hurt people and deceived some. I have done my best on days when that best has not been very good. I hope that I have learnt some valuable lessons and that in future the memories of the hurt will be overtaken by the memories of good times. I have no idea if friends read this blog or not, but if they do then may I say that I am sorry I have not been the best of friends and I hope that you will forgive that too.

I am no hero. I am an ordinary bloke who has made mistakes. Perhaps somewhere along the way I have been able to reveal some of those mistakes and I would like to believe that some people may have come to know me better and perhaps even learnt some lessons of their own through what I have written here.

Because this is meant to be a New Years meme I will not tag anyone here. I’ll leave it up to you. If you choose to undertake this meme then please let me know.

Carol’s Blogging Meme

This meme came to me from Rod at Inside Rod’s Head and his lovely lady Beth at My Moon Rising I think it originated with Carol at “My View of it”. Before I get into it let me apologise for not getting to it sooner. I’ve been slack at getting around to answering tags for the past couple of months mainly due to lack of time. But better late than never I guess.

I thought that in answering this meme that I would re-visit some of my older posts to give some context to my comments and to show some of the key points of the journey over the last year.

In order to embrace the new, we must release the old.
I want you (and me) to reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn’t and what you learned.
This is my Blogging Meme to you, (and the last of the year for me :)

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)

I learnt a lot about myself. It was a long and wearying year in many ways when the boy inside the man discovered reasons why he is who he is. It was a year of exploration and of questioning, one in which self esteem suffered badly and then recovered. I am a different person at the start of 2008 than I was at the start of 2007.

I wrote about some of the challenges in these posts –

There Are Doors

The Flutter of Butterflies Wings

Choices

Masks

I am afraid!

2. What did I accomplish?

Professionally I was named Basketball Victoria Administrator of the Year for the second year running. The Association I work for was named both the State and National Association of the Year. On that front, therefore, there was not much more to achieve.

On a personal front I challenged some demons and came out the other end.

Of Guilt and Other Just Desserts

The Beginning

3. What would I have done differently?

I’m not sure that changing anything would have altered any outcomes. If there was one thing I had to name it is that honesty i the best policy, even if it hurts in the short term.

Quandaries and Rhetorical Questions

4. What did I complete or release?

More than anything I came to terms with the relationship I had with my father. I would not say that it is complete, simply that I have come a long way towards understanding his love for me and mine for him.

A Drink of Water

4. (cont): What still feels incomplete to me?

My relationship with my kids is still incomplete, or maybe what I really mean is that it is still evolving outside the family unit they were born into.

Bad Jokes Good Father?

Dreams and Laughter

The Inevitability of Hurt

It’s Easy to Judge

Cats in the Cradle

Red Letter Day

5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

That’s a hard one. I think the realisation that I needed to make a decision to move on was the most significant because it meant that my family could to.

Making a decision to move in with someone else.

The re-establishment of a relationship with my daughters in particular. I now take them out for dinner once a week and I am not glad to say that probably means I am spending more actual quality one on one time with them in that few hours each week than I did when we lived under the same roof.

Wonder

6. What did I do right?
I have to put this into the context of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements” and my attempts to ensure that I live by those four tenets.

Be Impeccable with your word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions

Always do your best

6. (cont.) What do I feel especially good about?

About my attempts to do my best. Plenty of failures along the way and likely more to come but I am trying to be a good person and I have learnt that lying inevitably hurts.

6. (cont.) What was my greatest contribution?

I’m not sure there was one.

7. What were the fun things I did?

Had a month with my son around July when he decided to come and stay with me.

There was an indulgent holiday to Tasmania.

(cont.) What were the not-so-fun?

8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

More than anything the finalisation of the old family unit with all it’s hurt and judgement and guilt.

And So They Judge

Where the past can explain nothing

9. How am I different this year than last?

I like to think I have recaptured a sense of wonder that got lost somewhere along the way. My own fault entirely and not an uncommon one for a man in midlife.

A Boy’s Life

The Passage

10. For what am I particularly grateful?

My Mum, my sisters, my kids and the new lady in my life.

Mothers Day

From My Sister

**************************************************

So there it is. A brief journey through my past year.

And one final thing I am grateful for, dear readers, is the contribution you have all made to that journey through your comments and your support. I have appreciated that the foibles and weaknesses I have spoken about at length have been listened to and been met with a non-judgmental attitude. I have not been the best of persons throughout my life. I have hurt people and deceived some. I have done my best on days when that best has not been very good. I hope that I have learnt some valuable lessons and that in future the memories of the hurt will be overtaken by the memories of good times. I have no idea if friends read this blog or not, but if they do then may I say that I am sorry I have not been the best of friends and I hope that you will forgive that too.

I am no hero. I am an ordinary bloke who has made mistakes. Perhaps somewhere along the way I have been able to reveal some of those mistakes and I would like to believe that some people may have come to know me better and perhaps even learnt some lessons of their own through what I have written here.

Because this is meant to be a New Years meme I will not tag anyone here. I’ll leave it up to you. If you choose to undertake this meme then please let me know.

Effigies and Bollyline

This one is going to be a bit all over the place because I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately. That sounds odd when I’ve had a couple of weeks off work but I found my head buried in around six books over the past couple of weeks and spent a lot of time just relaxing. I certainly found the motivation to write lacking.

I returned to work on Monday and have to say that I missed my afternoon nap, but with the heatwave we’ve had lately it’s been good to be back in an air conditioned environment. Plenty to do – audit has started, got a lot of stuff on with regard to new stadiums which will unfold during this year, and I’m also finalising this years budget around a month late.

My daughters get back from their holiday today but our regular Thursday night out has been postponed to Friday this week because they have visitors tomorrow night. My boys have been asked around for dinner a few times but have declined because they’re busy leading their own lives although we did go and see “I am Legend” together last week.

The cricket test match I spoke about last entry ended with an Australian win after a few controversial umpiring decisions went our way. An Indian player Harbajan Singh allegedly called Andrew Symonds a monkey denying that it was a racist comment but with the full knowledge that when the crowd in India chanted monkey at Symonds a few months ago, that it was regarded as a display of racism. Singh himself said in a TV interview that was replayed last week that that sort of behaviour was unacceptable. The Indians have spat the dummy and yesterday, after Singh was found guilty and suspended for three matches, threatened to cancel the tour. Looks like the International Cricket Council [ICC] have caved in and have decided to allow an appeal but have delayed that for 9 days which allows him to play in the next test in Perth.

Now let me say a few things. Firstly, cricket hides behind a facade of gentility. The expression “It’s not cricket” is used to denote unsportsmanlike behaviour. But like many sports, cricket has always been a hotbed of sledging or in the American vernacular, of trashtalk. Maybe cricketers have gotten away with it because it is a comparatively slow paced game played in the middle of vast arenas where voices haven’t carried to the boundary line. Australia has been a past master at it and in sport attempts to gain psychological advantages are acceptable tactics. If you can put someone off their game by talk where you get under their skin then so be it.

Years ago, racist comments were no doubt common place but times change and what may have been acceptable 10, 20 or 30 years ago isn’t now. Lines have moved and if people step over the line they need to accept the consequences. The Australian’s have been criticised here for having the audacity to make the complaint. I haven’t seen anywhere a comment from the Indians or from Singh that he did not say what he is alleged to have said, in fact one Indian journalist said that it was ridiculous to consider it racist because India is a Hindu country and monkeys are sacred over there. Sounds like crap to me.

Secondly, the Indians were in the receiving end of some bad decisions that did affect the outcome of the game – probably. But there have been many times when bad decisions happen in sport. The mark of sportsmanship is to accept that and move on. There were displays of gamesmanship and poor sportsmanship in this match that reflected badly on both sides.

I thought that Ricky Ponting [Australia captain] displayed juvenile petulance when given out leg before wicket when he clearly hit the ball, but failed to walk when he was caught behind after hitting the ball and when given the benefit of that decision by the umpire. You must take the good with the bad. If you’re not going to walk when you know you are out then you should cop the bad decisions when they go against you. But having said that I think the outcry from some people about his behaviour has been over the top.

Let’s also consider the response by the Indians who in an obvious tit for tat move have lodged an official complaint of racism against Aussie spinner Brad Hogg who allegedly called Anil Kumble a bastard. Maybe we should claim that bastards are sacred in Australia. I also bet that even if Hogg is found guilty that you won’t see people marching in the streets here burning effigies of Indian players like we have seen on the sub-continent over the past few days.

Photo from Cricinfo photos.

Effigies and Bollyline

This one is going to be a bit all over the place because I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately. That sounds odd when I’ve had a couple of weeks off work but I found my head buried in around six books over the past couple of weeks and spent a lot of time just relaxing. I certainly found the motivation to write lacking.

I returned to work on Monday and have to say that I missed my afternoon nap, but with the heatwave we’ve had lately it’s been good to be back in an air conditioned environment. Plenty to do – audit has started, got a lot of stuff on with regard to new stadiums which will unfold during this year, and I’m also finalising this years budget around a month late.

My daughters get back from their holiday today but our regular Thursday night out has been postponed to Friday this week because they have visitors tomorrow night. My boys have been asked around for dinner a few times but have declined because they’re busy leading their own lives although we did go and see “I am Legend” together last week.

The cricket test match I spoke about last entry ended with an Australian win after a few controversial umpiring decisions went our way. An Indian player Harbajan Singh allegedly called Andrew Symonds a monkey denying that it was a racist comment but with the full knowledge that when the crowd in India chanted monkey at Symonds a few months ago, that it was regarded as a display of racism. Singh himself said in a TV interview that was replayed last week that that sort of behaviour was unacceptable. The Indians have spat the dummy and yesterday, after Singh was found guilty and suspended for three matches, threatened to cancel the tour. Looks like the International Cricket Council [ICC] have caved in and have decided to allow an appeal but have delayed that for 9 days which allows him to play in the next test in Perth.

Now let me say a few things. Firstly, cricket hides behind a facade of gentility. The expression “It’s not cricket” is used to denote unsportsmanlike behaviour. But like many sports, cricket has always been a hotbed of sledging or in the American vernacular, of trashtalk. Maybe cricketers have gotten away with it because it is a comparatively slow paced game played in the middle of vast arenas where voices haven’t carried to the boundary line. Australia has been a past master at it and in sport attempts to gain psychological advantages are acceptable tactics. If you can put someone off their game by talk where you get under their skin then so be it.

Years ago, racist comments were no doubt common place but times change and what may have been acceptable 10, 20 or 30 years ago isn’t now. Lines have moved and if people step over the line they need to accept the consequences. The Australian’s have been criticised here for having the audacity to make the complaint. I haven’t seen anywhere a comment from the Indians or from Singh that he did not say what he is alleged to have said, in fact one Indian journalist said that it was ridiculous to consider it racist because India is a Hindu country and monkeys are sacred over there. Sounds like crap to me.

Secondly, the Indians were in the receiving end of some bad decisions that did affect the outcome of the game – probably. But there have been many times when bad decisions happen in sport. The mark of sportsmanship is to accept that and move on. There were displays of gamesmanship and poor sportsmanship in this match that reflected badly on both sides.

I thought that Ricky Ponting [Australia captain] displayed juvenile petulance when given out leg before wicket when he clearly hit the ball, but failed to walk when he was caught behind after hitting the ball and when given the benefit of that decision by the umpire. You must take the good with the bad. If you’re not going to walk when you know you are out then you should cop the bad decisions when they go against you. But having said that I think the outcry from some people about his behaviour has been over the top.

Let’s also consider the response by the Indians who in an obvious tit for tat move have lodged an official complaint of racism against Aussie spinner Brad Hogg who allegedly called Anil Kumble a bastard. Maybe we should claim that bastards are sacred in Australia. I also bet that even if Hogg is found guilty that you won’t see people marching in the streets here burning effigies of Indian players like we have seen on the sub-continent over the past few days.

Photo from Cricinfo photos.

Effigies and Bollyline

This one is going to be a bit all over the place because I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately. That sounds odd when I’ve had a couple of weeks off work but I found my head buried in around six books over the past couple of weeks and spent a lot of time just relaxing. I certainly found the motivation to write lacking.

I returned to work on Monday and have to say that I missed my afternoon nap, but with the heatwave we’ve had lately it’s been good to be back in an air conditioned environment. Plenty to do – audit has started, got a lot of stuff on with regard to new stadiums which will unfold during this year, and I’m also finalising this years budget around a month late.

My daughters get back from their holiday today but our regular Thursday night out has been postponed to Friday this week because they have visitors tomorrow night. My boys have been asked around for dinner a few times but have declined because they’re busy leading their own lives although we did go and see “I am Legend” together last week.

The cricket test match I spoke about last entry ended with an Australian win after a few controversial umpiring decisions went our way. An Indian player Harbajan Singh allegedly called Andrew Symonds a monkey denying that it was a racist comment but with the full knowledge that when the crowd in India chanted monkey at Symonds a few months ago, that it was regarded as a display of racism. Singh himself said in a TV interview that was replayed last week that that sort of behaviour was unacceptable. The Indians have spat the dummy and yesterday, after Singh was found guilty and suspended for three matches, threatened to cancel the tour. Looks like the International Cricket Council [ICC] have caved in and have decided to allow an appeal but have delayed that for 9 days which allows him to play in the next test in Perth.

Now let me say a few things. Firstly, cricket hides behind a facade of gentility. The expression “It’s not cricket” is used to denote unsportsmanlike behaviour. But like many sports, cricket has always been a hotbed of sledging or in the American vernacular, of trashtalk. Maybe cricketers have gotten away with it because it is a comparatively slow paced game played in the middle of vast arenas where voices haven’t carried to the boundary line. Australia has been a past master at it and in sport attempts to gain psychological advantages are acceptable tactics. If you can put someone off their game by talk where you get under their skin then so be it.

Years ago, racist comments were no doubt common place but times change and what may have been acceptable 10, 20 or 30 years ago isn’t now. Lines have moved and if people step over the line they need to accept the consequences. The Australian’s have been criticised here for having the audacity to make the complaint. I haven’t seen anywhere a comment from the Indians or from Singh that he did not say what he is alleged to have said, in fact one Indian journalist said that it was ridiculous to consider it racist because India is a Hindu country and monkeys are sacred over there. Sounds like crap to me.

Secondly, the Indians were in the receiving end of some bad decisions that did affect the outcome of the game – probably. But there have been many times when bad decisions happen in sport. The mark of sportsmanship is to accept that and move on. There were displays of gamesmanship and poor sportsmanship in this match that reflected badly on both sides.

I thought that Ricky Ponting [Australia captain] displayed juvenile petulance when given out leg before wicket when he clearly hit the ball, but failed to walk when he was caught behind after hitting the ball and when given the benefit of that decision by the umpire. You must take the good with the bad. If you’re not going to walk when you know you are out then you should cop the bad decisions when they go against you. But having said that I think the outcry from some people about his behaviour has been over the top.

Let’s also consider the response by the Indians who in an obvious tit for tat move have lodged an official complaint of racism against Aussie spinner Brad Hogg who allegedly called Anil Kumble a bastard. Maybe we should claim that bastards are sacred in Australia. I also bet that even if Hogg is found guilty that you won’t see people marching in the streets here burning effigies of Indian players like we have seen on the sub-continent over the past few days.

Photo from Cricinfo photos.

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