When I told you I’d be Missing in Action a few weeks ago, I honestly had no idea it would be this long.

It turns out, waking up at 6.00 in the morning and actually having to eat breakfast before 9.00 am is much harder than I thought.

Not to mention the extreme challenge of learning to differentiate between the varieties of footy (ie. football) in this country.

Prior to starting in this job, my footy knowledge went like this:

  • There’s a ball.
  • They kick it.
  • It goes on for months and months and ends sometime in September.
"Dynamism of a Soccer Player" Umberto Boccioni. 1913, courtesy shooting_brooklyn

“Dynamism of a Soccer Player” by Umberto Boccioni. 1913, courtesy shooting_brooklyn

Now, in case there’s any doubt, what I just said is plain and simply un-Ostralyin.

Way worse than not attending church.

If you don’t follow a footy team (go the Dogs!), then it’s pretty much social suicide. Which, when you work at home alone, is no big deal.

But when your job is taking bookings for manic footy fans?

I’ve been learning a whole new vocabulary.

“Freo” stands for Fremantle, “The Cats” are actually Geelong, the “Rabbitohs” are Souths (which, by the way, are Manly) and no, that’s not the AFL (Australian Football League), that’s NRL (National Rugby League) and never mind The Asian Cup (what the heck is soccer, anyway?).

I’ve learned what the centre line and the fence line are, but I’m still unsure about the wing. I have been winging it a lot, though. Which is what happens when you are looking at a map of a roughly square stadium with no compass or description as a guide.

It may also explain why some fans were booked seats with the opposing Cheersquad (oops!).

Until recently, I thought Home and Away was just a bad Aussie soapie. But apparently there are things called Home and Away teams, and which team is Home and which team is Away makes a difference as to where you sit.

And while we’re on the topic of vocabulary.

You know those words you only ever read, and never have to say out loud until you’re talking to a customer?


Repeat after me. It’s Rod-ree-gss. Not Rod-rig-yooz. O.o

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more miserable…

Les Miserables.

The good thing about being Australian is, you only have to say Lay Miz and you’ll be right!

It certainly has been an education.

Not enough of one to excuse my lengthy absence, though.

The WindThat is down to a few not wholly unexpected, and yet confounding, life twists, which I hope to make known to you in due course.

For now, it is enough to say that life is in flux. And that I’ve missed you. And I’m back!

Maybe less predictably than I once was, but let’s face it, I never was that good at keeping pace 🙂

Looking forward to catching up with you all soon. xox


What’s one new thing you’ve learned these past two months?


  1. says

    I don’t think Souths are Manly, you might wanna check that — but who knows, I only watch rugby league and some rugby union, because those other footy codes are, ummm, what’s the word, oh yeah, stupid. Aussie Rules is silly enough, but soccer, that’s half acting half golf half pretending you’re an aeroplane. Mostly acting though.

    I’m glad you don’t hate your job.

    One new thing I’ve learned these past two months is that if I pretend to be a woman and write in a genre that women like, I can sell a lot of books.
    Regardless of how many men know all sorts of stuff about footy, it’s a woman’s world, particularly if you want to sell more than just a few books. I doubt Harry Pants will ever do another book. I am two women now, and I say that with a straight face and a long grey beard.

    It’s possible I understand the game of rugby league better than any other woman alive. Except for a few of those tough women who play it. Yay.

    What a rambling comment. I hope I’m not pregnant.
    Oh dear, now I’ll really be in trouble. Maybe Harry should do just one more book.

    • says

      Ah, there you go – now that you mention it, I think Manly might be Panthers?? Proof right there that you should not rely on any information provided herein. Especially about footy. Luckily, I’m not booking you tickets!! 🙂

      I wonder what Ms iSkirt thinks of your new gender identity?? This must indicate a role reversal of the 19th century… when women were busy selling books pretending to be men. This is a good sign, and one that surely means I had better get-to and write like a woman!! 🙂

      (But, of course, you have neglected to mention the name and title of the books that are selling…….)

      • says

        And I won’t be mentioning that name or anything about the books either — but I’m happy to tell you privately, so email me if you’d like to know.
        I’ve really enjoyed writing these books though, they’re great fun — and they’re selling like hotcakes.

  2. says

    Nice to see you back even if you’re just popping in. This was a really enjoyable read. I have the same sort of lost feeling when it comes to sports here in my adopted America! I still don’t understand why they have to have an offensive side and a defensive side in football – can’t the players do a bit of both!

    • says

      Now you’re getting technical! I haven’t ventured that far into it yet… who knows if I ever will. But it’s funny you mention the sports in US as I work with someone from there who is completely lost by the Aussie footy terminology. Thanks for your comment – lovely to see you here and I hope to pop in a bit more from now on 🙂

  3. says

    Alarna Nice to see you back. I had a chuckle reading about the general customer you deal with. I use to work in the stadiums, checking tickets and hosting in private boxes, I still do not like footy and yet I did enjoy the crowd watching. Taking notes for characters in stories.

    I have learn’t that its okay to be turning fifty, the alternative does not sound too good.

    • says

      It truly is great character research for stories, that is true! And I’ve been enjoying getting to know what makes this country tick from a different perspective.

      So it’s Happy Fifty, is it?! 50 is the new 40, anyway, so don’t even worry about it…you’re going great with your art, too, I see… 🙂

    • says

      The best thing about this job has been realising I’m not the only one with no clue about footy! What’s happening with you? I must go see…. Are you back home from your travels yet? It’s terrible I don’t know what’s happening anymore…

  4. says

    Nice to see you 🙂 One new thing I’ve learned in the past two months is how to arm-knit, it’s knitting but with just your arms, no needles. Get me with the crafts!

    Oh, and while I’ve got you, could I please book 2 seats for the…

    • says

      Haha. Oh, but you really wouldn’t want to do that 🙂

      Arm knitting? That’s something definitely new to my ears. Sounds like a good workout, but what do you make doing that??

    • says

      I’d never heard of arm-knitting, and neither had Ms iSkirt, so we just watched a video of someone doing it — how cool!

      However, given my new status as a female author, I am NOT doing it. Who am I kidding, I’d never be able to work out the intricacies of it anyway. I’d end up with my arms tied in a knot … around my head.

      But thanks for sharing it, it’s awesome.

  5. says

    Sounds like you are going to be an expert in no time. So glad to know there are other people who are lost when the topic of sports come up! 😉
    And great to see you again! I haven’t been around for a long time too, what with college applications eating my time…
    These last two months, I have learnt that there is no possible way to satisfy all the requirements for all the colleges, and that luck plays a major role in admissions!

    • says

      Very interesting! I’d say that’s true for job applications, too. It’s probably got more to do with the mysterious zing factor than anything. I’m sure you will have the pick of them, though 😉 Lovely to see you, as always xo

  6. says

    The ins and outs to mobile app development and media/PR, hence an absence.

    You need to pin an annotated map to the wall perhaps for all the codes/teams/etc/etc…

  7. says

    Oh gee! I thought a footy was what I put on my feet to keep them warm when the temp drops below 65 F. 🙂 I would absolutely fail at the jargon you have learned. I fail at American sports. Life is full of fluxes, but it is good that you took a breath, came up and updated us. Best of everything to you, Alarna.

  8. says

    Welcome back! I’m guessing footy is like soccer in our neck of the woods. I have learned that I can’t keep up with my kids as much as I used to — but I’m more determined than ever!

    • says

      It’s funny how many words there are for essentially the same activity. Though I’m sure a real footy fan would kick me for saying that! 🙂

      As for kids, they exist to keep parents at the edge of their game, don’t they? I’d back you all the way 😉

  9. says

    There you are! I was just bickering with the hubs about what football is called in other countries. I thought football was soccer and soccer was footy, but I’ve got it wrong. I think. Actually, our football is called American football elsewhere, and soccer is called footy. Yeah. That sounds right. 🙂

    • says

      All I know is, soccer definitely does not qualify as “footy” in this country. Which makes no sense, when you think about it. So you could probably tell me anything, and I would believe it (just don’t tell my boss) 🙂

  10. karenmcfarland says

    I’m going with Les Mis because I know what it is and saw it on stage in London. Now the Football, we over here in the Americas messed things up with that definition. So confusing. But it’s so good to see you Alarna. You were missed! 🙂

  11. says

    Ha! Love the Boccioni painting. Anybody who gets to play footy at work, well learn about it anyway, at work, has got to be on the right track. I mean field. Welcome back.

    • says

      It’s been entertaining, that’s for sure! I was struck by how much art soccer has inspired… there’s some pretty amazing works out there. And this one seemed to do justice to my discombobulation 🙂

  12. says

    Sounds like it’s at least been interesting, even if it’s impossible to identify with the reasons why people want to go to these games in the first place. I have the same experience with baseball — at my old condo here in Northern California, the road leading to my place would regularly be blocked off by police whenever there was a baseball game at the nearby university and I would need to ask permission to go home. The attitude of the town was like “what does it matter? No one’s going to want to enter or leave their houses when the game is going on.” In my case, they were wrong.

    • says

      Roads blocked off! That seems a bit extreme, not to mention, extremely inconvenient. Clearly they don’t know about the band of us bloggers hiding out on the internet during these games. Shhh, I won’t tell if you don’t 😉


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