Today I started continuous full time service for the Australia Army, one day down 202 to go. We had a fitness test (I failed the run :S), filled out some paper work, got some patches denoting our operation, and listened to brass talk about what colour shorts to wear. Then Mark and I played botchie with some grunts. I’m playing with the HQ coy which is a pleasant change from the basic combat communications course I completed a week ago with the grunts. That was two weeks of been treated like a grunt, it wasn’t great but it was a good chance to get to know the people we’ll be talking to. We’re going over to the Solomon Islands on OP Anode. My Job is to talk on the radio. I’ll be positioned at HQ which is a paid resort. We’ve got wireless internet, door service washing, a pool, air conditioning, a gym, foxtel and a decent mess. The grunts get tents if they’re lucky. I’ve been rubbing this fact in where ever possible. I don’t know how these grunts do it, they just get stuffed around. We were issued with some chest webbing and body armour. The grunts struggled off with their bags full of equipment and we put it in a trailer and marched back to our separate cosy lines. It’s the little things.

I’m sharing a room with Mark. He will be on this deployment with me which is nice as this Christmas is an away Christmas thus I should be spending it with Nathalie’s family. It’s just too bad that Nathalie won’t be there as well. I’ll miss Nathalie but it’s good being a sig, I get access to satellite phones and the internet so we’ll be able to stay in contact.

A lot has happened this year. I started studying a BA in terrorism, counter terrorism, and security through Open Universities. It’s good being able to travel around and I’ve been taking full advantage of this. I’ve been on over a dozen flights this year. I spent 2 months in Perth early on this year (I played army with Mark’s unit), some time in Melbourne, and another month back in Perth. The first two months in Perth were at Nathalie’s fathers apartment. It was right in the city on the main strip of North Bridge. A couple had moved in the second time I went to Perth so I was playing house husband in the suburbs.

I’ve been living with Stuart and Janell in Lane Cove North. It’s been great spending time with them. They wedding is during our stand down period in November. There is a chance I will miss the bucks night which is poor form for the best man and I hope Stuart understands. I’ve booked us both in for sky diving on the Wednesday before the big day :) which will be a nice surprise for him. I yet to get excited about this deployment because I’m stressed about my duties as best man. I don’t want to fail Stuart but I kind of feel like I’m failing him both ways. Fail him as best man or fail him as a solider.

Anyway, I’ve put on a bit of extra weight :( the vegetarian mess food is pretty fatty, it’s normally deep fried :( so I’ve been preparing myself for eating meat. The girls at the mess are nice to me and I don’t want to fail them because I know they try to get me nice food. I over heard them ordering tofu after they saw me arrive today. I’m pretty sure I’m the only pseudo vegetarian that visits them at the mess. One of the reasons for my vegetarianism is health and 203 days of deep fried vegetables is not healthy.

After my BCCC I had a week off back home and decided to do a nephew run. I flew down to Melbourne to see Oliver, Ninny, and Gerard and then up to Newcastle to see Zander, Sam, and Aaron. Nathalie was also in Melbourne so she came around for dinner and we had lunch in the city with one of her friends. It was good to see her again if only for 24 hours but I’m not sure if it was a good idea to expose her to a baby, chicks are weird like that. Oliver says a few words, I can’t understand them but Ninny translates. I changed some nappies and went to Oliver’s or Ninny’s mothers group. Oliver is one good looking baby, Anne says he looks like me :). Zander doesn’t look as much like me but he’s still handsome. I love the way he screws up his face before he starts crying. He’s very close to getting up on two legs. I kept videoing him, hoping to get his first steps, instead all I got was him crying when his teeth hurt.

Anyway, I’d best get to sleep. Tomorrow is lectures so I need my beauty sleep to stay awake :)