Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sucker punched by touch football

12 months ago I'd pretty much given up on doing anything much more in touch footy. I'd enjoyed playing with the young guys the year before, but it's getting harder and harder to get fit enough to warrant running around. I played NTL 30s and wasn't really fit enough and I had no desire to be a fat old guy on Friday nights.

The club I played at has heaps of coaches or potential coaches so it looked like footy was over and I could look forward to Cheesemaking and brushcutting my weekends away.

Then I got a call from an old mate of mine. He has a slightly obsessive personality and his involvement goes in a cycle. Gets involved, then crazy involved, scouts and analyzes and puts in the sort of care and attention that NBA teams do with a staff of five and a 10 million dollar payroll. Burns out. Rings me and tells me he is never playing/watching/coaching touch again. Has a break. Gets rung up and asked to play/coach after six months. Repeat.

Anyway, he had been badgered by a bunch of young players to come back and coach the Brisbane rep team. He wanted me to be his assistant, partially because I would be happy to do some of the work, but mostly because I'm not crazy like he is and might offer some balance. I never thought I'd get to be involved in a open rep side so I jumped on board.

It was great fun. I got to try out a whole heap of ideas and the players were all talented, easy to coach and good guys. And we won, which is never a bad experience. I really enjoyed the coaching too, the technical aspect of it.

Halfway through the campaign, simon asked me to come down to a meeting of his club, Eagles. He wanted me to get involved there as well. Personally I thought the coaches there would want an ex dodgers player about as much as a dose of the crabs, but I came along. They asked me to help out with the A grade side, doing a bit of technical stuff to back up the coach, which again, sounded like fun. Right up to the point where the coach had to quit for family reasons and I suddenly became head coach of an open mens team.

So now I'm sitting at a cafe waiting for some of the players, to plan out an assault at an A grade title. Reading my notes and thinking that after I said yes to coaching twice without hesitating or thinking, Simon suggested that when QLD come asking, I might try and play a bit more hard to get.

- Lantanaland from my iPad

Location:Cedlen St,Camp Hill,Australia

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cows on twitter.

I was tweeting my excitement and many photos Saturday because I had finally, finally solved one of my steadily worsening problems at Lantanaland. Cow pregnancy.

A cow will gestate for nine months and will give milk for as long as two years. Laf has been milking for 14 months and despite trying to find AI or a visiting bull for Dolores I had failed miserably. However a recent trawl through some Dexter contacts showed a small stud just over the hill from our little farm, down in the sugarcane fields.

I rang and enquired about two things, one, did she have any pregnant cows she'd be willing to sell? By now I really didn't have enough time to get Dolores preggers and keep milking Laf till the next calf came. I needed to fill the milk gap. Yes, she had a few pregnant cows and even better, she had one that was not a show bred cow, with a bit of jersey in her (which is cheaper). I said I'd ring back and make a time to come visit. I was also hoping to check out the bull as a prospective mate for Dolores.

When I rang back there was no answer. I left a few messages. When I finally got through, Letitcia was sick. I was beginning to think that I was cursed to never get some calves. Or worse still, that I'd have to buy a bull! But after NTL I got the call to come down and have a look. Steve and Letitcia were lovely folk. I think Letiticia's family have been on the cane farm for three or four generations.

I met the cow, so different to my girls, stocky and shaggy and barrel round where the jerseys are all bony hips and sleek coats. We got down to business. I'd buy Candy, a two year old Dexter cow and at the same time bring Dolores down for a six week sex holiday. I'd pay for her feed while she was there then pick her up, hopefully pregnant with her first calf.

I hired a horse trailer, which had problems of it's own. It had separator bars, but at horse height, which she could scrape under. I had nightmares about hitting a bump and breaking her back, so I drove the slowest, smoothest drive to Yatala I have ever done. When I got there I nipped two farms down and packed it out with sugar cane for the return trip, which was still pretty smooth and slow.

She's a lovely girl Candy, but very shy and skittish. She's used to a herd of about ten cows and liked Laf and Buster much more than she did me but hopefully with a bit of food bribery and pats she'll be calmer by the time it comes to milk her.

In seven months or so I'll have a new challenge, a calf, to run round after, but also to enjoy. The last say goes to one of my twitter buddies, a music journalist who I talk OZ hip hop and basketball with. He retweeted my cow photos post with the comment "things I don't normally read"....

- Lantanaland from my iPad