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Sam Billings’ December Blog from Australia

Wednesday 12th December 2012

Time has come again to scribble down exactly what has been going on over the last month… it is safe to say it has been a hectic one for me but an extremely enjoyable month.

The Flinders Ranges were the first stop this month. Otherwise known as ‘the outback', the trip which was designed to be about mental toughness, leadership and a chance to really analyse yourself as an individual. Consisted of A LOT of walking up hills/mountains, sleeping under the stars without a tent, rationed food and no Facebook/Twitter or phone which was surprisingly refreshing! Safe to say, I have never seen stars like it, was incredible sleeping out in the open. Trip finished off at a homestead where we had an awesome bbq and safe to say copious amounts of red wine were drunk, a very good vibe!

On the way back from the Flinders we stopped off at Jamestown and played a t20 against some of the locals and coached around about 120 kids from the area; the hospitality was amazing and thoroughly enjoyable from everyone’s point of view.

The Test match was the next stop for me; my club side had a ‘bye’ (no game on a Saturday for two weeks) so I went to see Australia vs SA at the Adelaide Oval. It was such a good day, was a great social and some enthralling cricket. Never knew so many girls liked cricket!

The following week was the second week of my ‘bye’ and I was approached to play in a charity/annual cricket match down on the Yorke Peninsula, about two and a half hours drive from Adelaide. Utterly incredible place down there, unbelievable beaches and I was put up by one of the main farmers in the region. Again, the family were so hospitable and really made me feel at home. Got a chance one evening to go shooting Oz style off the back of a 4×4, and being a country bumpkin myself I thoroughly enjoyed it and was in my element!

On the cricket front, the results for my club, Port Adelaide have been mixed – we had a good t20 win to which I was happy to contribute 40* to see us home. We have played some really competitive cricket in the longer form, but just not getting the rub of the green at the moment. From a personal point of view, I have been training really well, and felt good but have just not turned it into the big scores I’m looking for. But I feel my game is improving, so as we all know all I can do is keep giving myself the best chance and it’ll come. I am my own downfall at the moment I feel.

As always, the fitness is as brutal as ever, it really is tough but the results from testing keep improving which is always good.

Finally, I’m sure it’s getting very Christmasy at home, it certainly isn’t feeling at all like Christmas over here. Hotting up massively, have had a few 40-degree days; a taster of what is to come! Over the break I head off to meet my good friend in the Kent dressing room, Sam Northeast, in Melbourne for Christmas and then we are having a road trip up to Sydney for New Year, so really looking forward to catching up with him. Can’t wait!

Till next time, Happy Xmas to all…! SWB