Saturday, May 31, 2008

Big Blow In Busselton

The storm I mentioned last night struck Busselton at about 6.30 this morning. Apparently a small "tornado" or "cock-eyed Bob" cut a path through parts of West Busselton, near Dolphin Rd and the highway. Lots of houses were damaged but not extensively, mainly fences trees and a few roofs. It was about 5km from our place so we weren't affected but some friends from church were. Their neighbours rang them to say you'd better come back from Perth to deal with the damage. Their fence was knocked down and their outdoor setting was strewn all over the yard, with the glass table shattering like a windscreen as it smashed into the fence.
While the damage could have been a lot worse, and no-one was hurt, I'm glad we weren't hit by the storm.

Sport Update:
The kids won their soccer game this morning. It was 1-1 at half time and I had to remind them about several aspects of the game that they were neglecting! It's very rare that I go crook at them but they needed some "encouragement" to get back on track. It must have worked because they came out and scored 6 goals in the 2nd half and won 7-1. Sport Boy played goalie in the first half and gave away a penalty for bringing a kid down as he dived on the ball! He redeemed himself in the second half by scoring two goals and very nearly heading a third.

This afternoon was spent garage saling, then installing the purchased goods, a king size single bed in Favourite daughter's room (She's been sleeping on a mattress on the floor) and a CD player in The Hair's room to go with the speakers and amplifier I bought at Nick's auction last week. The bed and mattress cost me $130 and the CD player $2!! I love a bargain!!

We're about to go to church then it will be home to watch the footy, the Cats and the Blues.
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We're on our Way

Melbourne Footy Trip

I bought the tickets to Melbourne today!

16 seats on Jetstar, flying from Perth to Melbourne on July 8, returning on July 15.

Like all the other steps in this saga, it wasn't a straight forward process. I had to get a cheque from the school for $4750 cleared immediately as well as gather together all the other payments required to pay the total bill of $6949. The benefits of living in a small town proved useful, the bank manager plays volleyball and I've given his team some coaching and encouragement along the way. For a few brief minutes I had $7000+ sitting in my account before I made the transaction on the net and all returned to normal!

I had to call in a couple of favours to safe-guard the deal, and had a couple of humourous exchanges with Dad on the phone.

Having rung him two days ago to wish him happy birthday I thought I'd put him to the test and wish him happy birthday again and see what happened.
Sounding slightly confused he said, "Has it been a year all ready?"

(On reflection Pop that wasn't a bad response!)

State Youth Games
Favourite Daughter and The Hair have gone to Bunbury for the weekend for the State Youth Games, a huge three day sporting carnival run by the Churches of Christ . The house promises to be quieter and saner in their absence.
It's a long weekend in WA so we've got an extra day to enjoy the serenity.

There may not be too much of that in the morning. There are gale warnings from Mandurah to Albany forecast tonight, basically the whole SW corner of the state is about to be pummelled with wind and rain, right around the time I take Sport Boy to soccer.

The taxi went well tonight, a few less drongos than usual and some good tips.

Soccer coaching duties commence in 6 hours so bed calls.

Sports Update:
Ricky Ponting became the third Australian cricketer in history to score 10,000 test runs tonight, achieving it just after I pulled up in the driveway.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to The Heir

21 years ago today I became a father.

21 years ago on May 29 1987, The Heir was born, our first child, our eldest son.

I remember it clearly, every detail.

Watching his birth was amazing, my first experience of witnessing the miracle of a life beginning.
(We video-taped the birth but The Heir has never watched it!)

I was over-whelmed with emotion and a sense of responsibility, that I had played a part in creating this new life, this wonderful little boy, and my life would never be the same again as a result.

He has grown up and become a man, surviving our over-enthusiastic and at times heavy-handed parenting. The pitfalls of being the first-born! There are plenty of things I'd do differently if I had a second chance. Not that we were terrible parents, but we were pretty serious and earnest, and The Heir had to blaze a trail through our mistakes and shortcomings.

He'd be the first to agree that Sport Boy has a much easier time of it by comparison as we have become more relaxed and less stressed about raising our children.

It has been a pretty quiet day as far as celebrations go, just the family for dinner tonight and coffee at Eagle Bay with his mum and sister at lunchtime. We'll organise something a little more auspicious soon although it does have echoes of my own 21st birthday which was spent in the Spanish town of San Sebastian, riding around on the back of a motorbike with an English guy I'd become friends with. No big party, no embarrassing stories, no drunken revelry or rites of passage, just me and a mate and a motorbike.

We are very proud of The Heir and are glad to have him living back at home with us at present. He spent the best part of the last 4 years living away, in Perth, Tasmania and England which has helped him to grow up, mature and become quite independant. He is a great son and a terrific young man and we love him very much.

Happy Birthday Son.

The Wait is Over!

I'm a happy blogger.

Finally, after a week of waiting, today I recieved approval for the footy trip to Melbourne!

It's on! We're going! Yeehaa!

Some of the kids were in the office when the phone call came through with the good news so we were all happy together!

Mind you, the challenges are not all over. Because of the change in status the school can't process the funds or pay the air fares which means issuing refunds and starting again. I spent the afternoon getting signed authorisations from all the parents to enable me to receive the money and act as an agent on their behalf to pay for the tickets. The air fares come to $7168 so it's a significant transaction. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be able to make some real progress.

I woke up with a really sore neck this morning and bizarrely, so did Sport Boy and The Heir. I was uncomfortable all day and concerned about whether I'd be able to play volleyball tonight. A couple of Neurofen helped a little and once I got warmed up it wasn't too bad. We had two games tonight and won them both.

I spent the rest of the evening painting. I'm trying something very different, seeking to emulate a style I really like. So far it doesn't look very good but I'll keep working on it and hope to improve by the time it's finished. Meanwhile, a painting I donated to the Esther Foundation is being auctioned on Saturday along with about 30 other pieces of art, at a fund raising event at the Perth Town Hall. Hopefully it will draw a few bids and help them in their cause.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Ever been put on hold and then abandoned? Left dangling for 20 minutes before you realise they ain't coming back?

That's how I feel at the moment.

I'm awaiting approval to run the footy trip to Melbourne in July from our insurers, and I'm waiting, waiting,waiting!!
Meanwhile the prices are going up, the planes are selling out and the whole trip is delicately balanced between viable and exorbitant!

The kids have paid their fares but I can't commit to buying the tickets until we get approval!

It's a frustrating wait and nothing I do seems to be speeding it up.

The Heir turns 21 tomorrow! My eldest child will reach a significant milestone.
As a pre-birthday celebration we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie tonight. Well, it really had nothing to do with his birthday, especially seeing as I made him pay for his own ticket, but I'm claiming it for the blog!

Talking of birthdays, Pop turned 72 today! He still had enough strength to come to the phone and enough wits to sustain a conversation but he's clearly on the downhill run!!
Happy Birthday Pop! You'll have to pick up your present in person!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Finally, the Full Story

I started driving the cab at 4.00pm on Saturday so by 4.00am I was ready to knock off. My last fare for the night came through, destination Millbrook. Not knowing where Millbrook was I asked the customers, a young couple, who replied a little nervously, out the back of Yallingup. A long ride. We set off, via an ATM to get enough money to pay the fare, and when we reached the area they directed me up a succession of dirt tracks, heading towards a chalet high on the hill. Then came the unexpected news ,"oh, there's a tree across the track here, you've got to go around it". Fair enough I thought! Wrong! The detour was sloped and slippery and sure enough I got the cab bogged! Not deeply but just enough for the wheels to spin on the wet surface and refuse to grip.
I turned off the meter and we got out and attempted to dig it out and put some tree branches under the wheels to gain some traction. No luck. So one of the customers, the girl, set off up the hill to awaken their friends in the chalet and bring back help in the shape of a car and a rope. We hooked it up and tried pulling the cab out, with limited success. We managed to extricate it from it's most bogged position but could not drag it up the slope and back onto the track. A second, bigger car was sought but it was not successful either, managing to snap the rope instead.

By this time my absence from Busselton was causing concern and one of the other drivers called to see where I was.
When I described my predicament he said "no worries, I'll bring my rope and come and pull you out." The battery is flat too I confessed. "No worries, I've got a battery pack". When I mentioned the tree across the track he became even more enthusiastic, "I'll bring my chainsaw too"!
A man for all seasons!

With help on the way I sent the customers on their way to bed and awaited my rescuer.
He duly arrived, sized up the situation, and set about the task. A small tree was impeding the path so he reached for his chain saw, eyes filled with glee! Sadly for him he couldn't get it started. "Must be out of fuel" He whipped out a fuel can and filled the tank then resumed his efforts to get it started. No good. Meanwhile I managed to break the offending branch off with my hands and cleared the path. He quietly put the chain saw away and set about tying the rope, complete with a "perfect bowline".
Once charged the cab duly started. Next came the pulling phase. It came out pretty easily and we were soon back on the road, heading for home, some two hours after leaving town in the first place.

I got home at 6.30.

My next dilemma was that I'd arranged to meet a bloke at 8.30 to try and get The Heir's car going, it having been stuck at work for a week when he couldn't get it started.
I knew if I went to bed at 6.30 there was Buckley's chance of me waking up and getting to Broadwater by 8.30. So I bravely decided to stay up, and parked in front of the computer and web surfed as my eyes fought a desperate battle to close.

Finally 8.30 loomed but I knew I wasn't safe to drive in such a state of tiredness so I reluctantly awoke Mrs Holt Press and asked her to drive me to Broadwater. She readily agreed and we set off. John met us there and with a vastly superior mechanical knowledge than I, and an impressive array of tools with which to do the job, he set about working out what was wrong with the car. Spark plugs? OK Fuel supply? OK Battery? Not OK. Out came his mega battery pack; a few minutes later the car was sufficiently recharged to burst into life, and we were able to drive it home. Good job.

By then I'd got my second wind so we decided to go to the markets then out for breakfast at Samovar, both of which were very enjoyable.

We got home about 11.00 and I went to bed at last.

The only problem was, I was due on roster at the gallery at 1.00!

The two hours sleep seemed to last about 15 minutes!
I managed to drag myself out of bed and down to the gallery where Mrs Holt Press had preceded me to hold the fort until I was conscious enough to relieve her.
The gallery was mercifully quiet all afternoon and I passed the time working on some small paintings and listening to the footy.

From there it was a relatively short hop to the point where I set the scene on the blog on Sunday night.
There is more to the story but I figure that by Tuesday night, the abridged version will have to suffice.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sorry Josephine

Nor tonight either!

I've already had a 3 hour pre-bed nap and am going back to bed now.

The story is worth waiting for! Maybe tomorrow night!

I'm getting my monthly testosterone injection tomorrow, perhaps that will help!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Not tonight Josepjhine

What have a 14 hour taxi shift, two stranded cars, breakfast at Samovar, a rostered shift at the gallery and two hours sleep got in common? They are all part of the reason why I'm about to go to bed earlier than I have since I was in grade 1!
For explanations come back tomorrow, by when hopefully I'll have recovered sufficiently to blog more expansively.

Good night.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh Dear!!!

It's half time in Friday night football and Geelong are getting "smooshed" as Sport Boy would say! I'm so glad I swapped my cab shift until tomorrow night so I could stay home and watch the footy!! The worst part is that it's Collingwood, the most hated team in football, that is doing the smooshing! The Cats are 51 points down at half time having only kicked three goals so far, by far our worst performance of the season.
I can't see the Cats getting out of this one!

Backtracking to Yesterday.
The day started in unusual fashion, with a student protest at school. They went on strike to voice their unhappiness that the teacher's dispute has not been resolved and as a consequence they are going to miss out on going to Country Week. Country Week is just about the biggest event of their whole school lives and they're starting to realise it's not going to happen. As Country Week manager I encouraged them several weeks ago to get political, yesterday they finally sparked into action. Alas I think it will be too little too late to change things.

After that I went to Bunbury to attend a Childwise workshop on Child Sexual Abuse. Interestingly, one of the biggest news stories of the day is the closure of a photography exhibition in Sydney which contained several nude pictures of a 13 year old girl. The police are laying charges against the photographer who is one of Australia's most highly regarded artists. It's a shame he couldn't work out for himself the difference between art and pornographic exploitation of children.
In this country 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused and 1 in 6 boys. Those are chilling and damning figures.

At 12 o'clock I picked up Mrs Holt Press from the train station after her 10 days in Victoria visiting her parents. We returned home to Busselton after she forced me to stop at Spotlight first!
While I was there I at least availed myself of the opportunity to buy a frypan as a gift for my secret friend at work, this week being secret friend week. My surprises and gifts to an unsuspecting Ian included some lolly snakes, a can of soup, a packet of pink M&Ms for Breast Cancer, the fry pan, and a Leunig cartoon book, all accompanied by art cards I bought in Fremantle a couple of months ago.
My secret friend gave me chocolate, toasted sandwiches and today a footy magazine. It's a good fun activity to build staff morale and camaraderie.

Footy Update:
The Cats have kicked the first goal of the 2nd half!
And the 2nd!
And the third!
A good start but there's along way to go!

Last night I ran a quiz night for the BPW group at the Esplanade Hotel. They had plenty of people and everything went well, people seemed to enjoy themselves and there were no dramas or mistakes. Using the laptop and projector for the questions works really well and as one punter said afterwards, makes the whole thing more professional. The winners were a group of kids and adults from school; two of the boys are coming on the footy trip to Melbourne and two of them went on Rypen with The Hair last weekend so I'm getting to know them a lot more.

Footy Result:
Things did not get any better for Geelong, they ended up losing by 86 points!! A shellacking!!!
Having won 27 of our last 28 games I can't complain, we were "due" for a loss, but I'd have preferred it to be closer and not to Collingwood!!
Not surprisingly I had a message from Warren celebrating the Magpies win, thankfully it went through to voice mail!

Sport Boy's team have a bye tomorrow but The Hair is playing at 9 o'clock, it will be good to be able to watch him play as I don't see their team very often due to coaching duties with the 11's.
I'm driving the taxi from 4 tomorrow arvo.

She's Back

Mrs Holt Press is home!

Much rejoicing at Holt Press.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Faith Hope Love

This is the painting I sold last week. It was hanging at the Tu-Art Gallery in Dunsborough and sold for $350.

Mrs Holt Press will be home tomorrow night, sort of. She arrives around midnight so will spend one more night in Perth before coming home Thursday. We'll all be pleased to see her. the BIG CLEAN UP is on tomorrow!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Growth Spurt?

Sadly despite the early bed time, The Hair was not well this morning and didn't make it to school!
Sport Boy made it but had to war his sports shorts because I managed to not put his school shorts in the dryer with the rest of his uniform. He also put his jumper on backwards. When I pointed this out to him e said, "I thought it felt a bit strange".

I cooked Italian Chicken and rice for dinner. Sport Boy then had dessert. 10 minutes later he asked me to make him some eggs! "I'm still hungry Dad" said he to my qizzical look!
After the eggs he asked for more food! "Do you think my growth spurt as kicked in?" he queried!
He ate an apple. Still hungry!! I tried to send him o bed but his hunger was still not placated apparently so I gave him the last two cream biscuits before finally banishing him to the bedroom.

Mrs Holt Press rang tonight to check on us. Apart from The Hair who sounded like death warmed up I assured her we were all fine. She'll be home in a couple of days and we all know what that means! I've got two days to get the house clean and tidy! I'm sure we've got a vaccum cleaner somewhere.

I spent the evening in front of the tv watching 4 Corners and Enough Rope with the laptop in my lap preparing for a quiz night I'm running for a local Business Women's Group on Thursday night. Having it on the computer as a powerpoint file makes the job way easier, I just copied the quiz from last week and used it as my starting point, kept similar themes and topics, just changed the questions. I got 50 questions done tonight, the fastest prep time ever.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I finished cleaning the gutters today. They appeared not to have been cleaned for several years.
The stuff I cleaned out, leaf litter and sludge, looked like it would make good mulch so I threw it on the "garden". Regular readers will know that the word garden does not often appear on this blog! For good reason!
Having cleaned the gutters I then did something I've been putting off for even more years! Some time in the distant past I bought 4 rolls of gutter guard. We brought it down from Perth when we moved 4 years ago. So today, I put it in the gutters! Theoretically this means that the same level of debris will not build up in the gutters again. We'll see!

While I was in "work" mode I decided to move some of the contents of the old shed back into the old shed! I hadn't wanted to but there have been delays on finishing the new shed and the stuff piled up in the patio was getting annoying, not to mention wet when it rained.
I'm hesitating on laying the concrete floor in the new shed, partly because I don't know what I'm doing, and partly due to the cost. I got a quote yesterday on the concrete, for $400. Too many bills at the moment to do it right now.
On the plus side, I've sold my second painting for the week, "Faith Hope Love" through the gallery at Dunsborough.

Then I settled down to watch the footy and see Fremantle snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for the third successive game!!!!!

The Hair came home from his weekend at Rypen raving about how good it was and how much fun he had. I've sent him to bed early so that there's at least half a chance he won't be too tired to go to school tomorrow morning!

Mum and Walter called in this morning to pick up thr trailer. They've been helping clean out Walter's daughter's house in Bunbury and stayed at the Geographe Resort where The Heir works last night. I called in for a much needed haircut last night.

Pompey Win the Cup

Portsmouth won 1-0 in a pretty good cup final.

1-0 at Half Time in the Cup Final

Sport Boy is asleep, he only lasted about 10 minutes before the exertions of the day and the comfort of the sofa lulled him into unconsciousness.

Goal in the Cup Final

1-0 to Portsmouth, Kanu scored from what looked like nothing. Shame cause Cardiff have been playing well.

FA Cup Final Report

Cardiff have been playing better and creating more chances in the first 25 minutes but Portsmouth just missed the best chance so far.

0-0 after 25 minutes

Soccer Saturday

After minimal sleep I dragged myself out of bed in time to drive to Capel for the soccer game which kicked off at 9.30. Within 5 minutes of the start we were 4-0 in front and Sport Boy had scored a hat trick!!! It continued to be that sort of game with the final score being 18-0!!! Despite the one-sided nature of the game the other team didn't give up or become despondant.

Later in the afternoon he went down to Margaret River with the other kids for the third week of the Country week team trials. He came home happy and dirty and tired.

I spent the middle of the day watching Geelong beat Richmond in very wet conditions at the MCG. The Cats remain unbeaten so far this season along with Hawthorn, both being 8-0. The football world is eagerly awaiting them playing against each other but in a weird piece of fixturing they are not scheduled to meet until round 17! I can only imagine the hype in the build-up to that game if they both manage to remain unbeaten until then!

Church started early tonight, at 4.00 o'clock and was followed by a going away dinner for a couple who are moving to Molloy Island.

Now we're home watching the Cup Final.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's FA Cup Final Night

Cardiff City v Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium in the most famous soccer match in the world.

Sport Boy is rugged up on the sofa and the game is about to kick off.

I'm barracking for Cardiff who are in the Championship (old 2nd division) because they're the underdogs, but I really don't mind, it's just nice to see two teams other than Manchester United Chelsea Liverpool or Arsenal in the Cup Final.

Friday Night

Just finished a quiet night in the cab, apart from a couple of drunken slobs.
The "early finish is helpful cause I've got a soccer game to coach at Capel at 9.30!

Sport Boy stayed the night at friends because as well as me, Favourite daughter and The Heir were both working and The Hair has gone on a Rypen camp this weekend.

10 minutes before the footy started tonight I went on a hunch and switched from St Kilda to Collingwood in the footy tipping which proved to be a smart move. Influenced by me The Heir also switched, I hope he's grateful. I'm looking forward to the Cats game tomorrow lunch time, in between soccer duties.

Friday, May 16, 2008

And the Winner is...

Blogger's autosave has failed me big time!
I accidentally wiped out the post I was writing and autosave had not saved it, despite saying it had!
Now comes the difficult task of overcoming the disappointment and recreating the wit and eloquence of the former post!

I talked about volleyball and the moral dilemma facing me; do I cross over to the Dark Side and join the most controversial team in the league, Six Pack. Yes, they have won the last several Grand Finals in a row. But, they are the most full on team in the comp, and they have regularly plundered other lesser teams, such as mine, poaching players. Two of my former teammates have already crossed over to the Dark Side.
I filled in for them tonight, and enjoyed playing at a higher level than I'm accustomed to. One of their players has done his knee so they've got a vacancy.
What should I do?

Talking of decisions, it's time to announce the winner of the "Find a new blog name for Fashion Boy" competition. I had a few suggestions, thanks for those who contributed, but have decided on a new name for my third child.
And the winner is....

The Hair!

It works in nicely with his older brother The Heir, and reflects his dominant feature, his mop of long curly hair which usually hangs down over his face.
Talking of the Hair, he enjoyed his trip to Perth to visit state parliament, particularly his lunch with the leader of the opposition, the notorious Troy Buswell.

Mrs HP rang this evening and spoke to The Hair while I was out. She sends her love, which I'm happy to pass on to you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Family Continue to Survive

Day three of the experiment has passed without incident.

Soccer training went "well". I bought a soccer training manual off the internet and tried out a few new drills tonight, with mixed success. No matter how many drills you try, the thing kids really want to do is play a scratch match! So we did, against Stu's team, for the last 10 minutes.

I got the volleyball umpiring course underway at the school, part of my role as umpiring coordinator for the local association. Two reps from VWA have come down from Perth for a couple of days. 7 people are doing the course which will bolster our stock of qualified refs considerably.
There are two sessions with students at two different schools tomorrow, then the ref
course concludes tomorrow night, followed by beginner and advanced coaching clinics.

Then it was home to cook dinner, home made hamburgers, mmmm hamburgers!!!

Fashion Boy went to bed early tonight, he's going to Perth for a politics excursion tomorrow which includes lunch with Troy Buswell. Hopefully he'll behave himself, and FB too.

I spent the rest of the evening painting while Favourite Daughter and I watched an incredible documentary on the life of Douglas Mawson, the Australian explorer to Antarctica. I knew his name but none of the details about his amazing life and incredible survival against the odds on the world's most inhospitable continent. I recommend it if you ever get the chance to see it. I'll have a copy on DVD if you visit!

No news from over east today so I presume all is well, as it is here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two Down, Eight to Go

Our second mother-less/wife-less day has passed without mishap. Both boys went to school, and stayed for the duration. Sport Boy had his guitar lesson, and practised for nearly two hours after school while I continued cleaning out the gutters and discussing cameras with The Heir.I cooked dinner and received positive comments from the eaters.

After dinner we played a family game, which involved a lot of throwing of hackey sacks and a lot of laughter.

Once SB was in bed we watched a DVD, a very interesting film called "Into the Wild" based on a true story of a young man who turned away from the American dream in search of truth and a pilgrimage to Alaska.
I enjoyed it and gave it 8/10 on the Holt Press movie rating scale.

I sold another painting last night. It's the one I posted a picture of on April 23, "One Blue Square" that I painted at the retreat at Katanning; price $450. I had offered to auction it at the quiz night (See below) but the crowd were not an auction bidding/art buying audience and after I struggled to get $105 for a $250 voucher from a photography business I decided not to subject myself or my art to possible humiliation, nor did I want to sell it for less than it was worth, which as it turns out, was $450.
There's no way I'd have got close to that at the quiz night.

My picture and my picture on the front page of Friday's Times.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Soccer Round Up

One day down without Mrs Holt Press and the family appear to have survived, after a fashion! Sport Boy had a headache when I woke him up so I let him stay in bed and when I called in later, to drop off Fashion Boy who had been feeling sick at school at 2.00pm, SB was still sound asleep!
They were paying the price for their big weekend!
I cooked steak on the BBQ for dinner and sent them to bed early.
Mrs HP rang to say she'd arrived safely, that it was 9.30 and her folks were in bed, and she was about to retire as well.

Celebrating Mothers Day with lunch at The Goose.

I mentioned in passing the soccer on saturday but neglected to say what a close and exciting game it was, or that the final score was 6-6!! We were 4-1 ahead before the opposition scored 5 goals in a row to lead 6-4! To the kids credit they fought back to level the score, and would almost certainly have won but for the heroics of the other goalie who was far and away the best goalie I've seen in junior soccer, he made 4-5 great saves. Sadly we don't have anyone who wants to play goalie so I just rotate the kids through the position. Sadly, for the team and for him, the kid who played goalie this week is not a goalie! Some of the goals he conceded were a little soft but I didn't go crook at him, he was trying his best. It was a great game and the parents on both sides were very excited and appreciative.

Thankfully there was none of the conflict I encountered last week!

Sport Boy went to week two of the Country Week trials down in Marg R. later and from the sound of it really enjoyed the skills and drills they set for them.
One day last week a little bird flew into my office and I managed to get a couple of photos before it found it's way out the door.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

We had the special pleasure of honouring two mothers today, my mum and the kid's mum. Mum came over from Bridgetown yesterday to come to the quiz night and be here for mothers day.
We went out for lunch at The Goose, overlooking Geographe Bay and had a really good time, nice food and lots of fun and laughter. fashion Boy was struggling to recover from the exertions of the school ball and afterball last night. He looked very cool in his suit and black shirt and had a wonderful time; he was high on life when he got home.

The rest of the family were at the quiz night which was a resounding success, just under 200 people came and we raised about $3000. The Heir helped Stu with the scoring, Sport Boy and Stu's daughter Emily were kept busy all night as runners, distributing and collecting puzzles and answers, collecting money etc and having a great time. Mum and Mrs Holt Press were on a table and said they really enjoyed the night.
The only bummer of the night was that some low-life swiped the three portable floodlight stands we had put out to enable people to see as they arrived and departed!!!! Not a quiz night customer I'm sure, just some passer-by siezing a dishonest opportunity!

Mrs Holt Press is about to board an aeroplane bound for Melbourne. She'll be away visiting her family for 10 days, leaving me in charge of domestic policy and famililal responsibilities.
Readers given to prayer may want to offer a few extra up for us, me, and the kids!
The Heir went up to Perth with her to drop her off at the airport and bring the car home. He's not back yet but shouldn't be too long now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Too Late Too Tired

It's been a very BIG day and a very good night.

But it's very late so I'm not going to tell you about it now.

Happy Mothers Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One More Sleep until the Big Busso Quiz Night

Congratulations to Rachel and Michael on the birth of their first child, a boy, named Angus. That's great news.

This morning was spent "rescuing" The Heir, whose car refused to start and retrieving him from work. He's been staying on site for the last week, working on a miner's convention. Even the soon to be renamed Fashion Boy and his mate Zac worked one night.
The Heir's car is an old (ancient) blue Falcon station wagon bought for a peppercorn sum in January. Now, showing it's first sign of vulnerability since he got it, the age old debate has re-commenced. Do you send good money after bad knowing that ultimately the car (read: any car) is a black hole capable of sucking thousands of dollars out of you, never to be seen again, for repairs and mechanical issues! Or do you bite the bullet and put your money/savings toward something a little better but a little dearer? At this point a crystal ball would be very helpful. A quick look that reveals a starter motor, a fuel pump and an oil seal all about to go kaput in the next 6 months would make the decision much easier!

Having gotten The Heir home I returned to work where I spent the rest of the day getting ready for the quiz night. Moving 30 tables from around the school to the gym that is. I gratefully accepted the help of a couple of teachers and their classes with the heavy lifting! A lot of progress was made but I'll still have to spend a couple of hours down there tomorrow afternoon getting all the chairs set up along with all the technology. Then it was back to the paperwork side of the prep, the answer sheets, puzzle pages, cheat sheets etc.
I had to knock off at 5.30 so I could get home in time to go and drive the taxi.

And that's where I've been for the last 10 hours. It was a slow night although I did see one unusual sight. In the middle of a huge downpour, which prompted many of the pub patrons to walk home rather than stand around in the rain at closing time, there was a girl walking east along Marine Terrace who I'm 95% certain had no top on! She was holding what I can only presume was her shirt across her chest but the rest looked like bare skin to me. There was a guy, fully clothed, with her, and she didn't look distressed or in danger, other than from catching a cold, but it certainly had me wondering what was going on!

Tomorrow 's agenda starts with kid's soccer, looking at a painting a local artist did for us by request, setting up the rest of the gym and running the quiz night. Meanwhile Fashion Boy will be getting ready to go the school ball at Abbey Beach Resort.
Once all that excitment dies down, Mrs Holt Press will be heading for Perth on Sunday evening and flying out that night to spend 10 days in Victoria visiting her parents and family.

The kids will be entrusted solely to my care for a week and a half!
Pray for me/them, whoever you think will need it more.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I met with the principal today and so long as we get a minimum of 13 kids the footy trip to Melbourne is a goer! I've got 8 definites so far. Hopefully we'll get the rest.

I came away from my psych appointment feeling a little better about things after she helped me put some perspective on how I'm feeling.

I reffed volleyball this evening, I still don't have a team which is a real bummer.

The rest of the night was spent on quiz night preparation. Tomorrow will be a big day of setting up and final tasks. I really hope we get a big crowd to make it worthwhile.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


This afternoon I had soccer training with the kids, not always a task I enjoy, but after a bit of a pep talk from the coaches adviser last night I approached it with a more positive attitude, and got more positive results. I need a decent set of drills to work with. I have some idea about tactics and skills and how to improve a team's performance, but practical drills to develop the kids ability is the area I need to work on.

Tonight I met with parents and kids interested in going on the footy trip to Melbourne in the July holidays. Not as many turned up as I'd hoped but those who did were very keen and willing to commit themselves to the trip. We had 6 kids at the meeting, we need a minimum of 13 to make it viable and we've got 18 expressions of interest. Theoretically we should be able to do it but getting people to commit is the hard bit. The school I developed the relationship with in Melbourne when we went to the Commonwealth Games have given the thumbs up for us to stay there again. The trickiest part will be securing flights at reasonable prices for a large group.
We need to make a decision by the end of next week.

The rest of my day was spent on preparation for the quiz night on Saturday night.

I've been feeling tired and flat the last couple of days. After a gradual improvement in my sense of well-being over the last few months it's a bit of a let down to not feel so good.
I'm seeing the psych tomorrow so that's good timing.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Baptism Broadie and Book Club

For some reason the video didn't load from the camera when I moved these pictures. The idiosyncisies of the new computers are still causing us to scratch our heads. The hit and miss approach to whether they'll grant access to the web being the most annoying of them.

Enough whingeing. Here are the before and after shots of Sport Boy's baptism on Sunday.

And here are a couple of rare pictures of Broadie working!

I had him booked up with a pretty full schedule at school today, giving presentations about his work with TEAR Australia. The Tim Tam Model of Resource Distribution was effective and engaging. He also talked about TEAR's best known project, the "Arguably The World's Most Useful Gift Catalogue".

Having made him work so "hard" he'll no doubt take the rest of the week off to recover.

It was great to have him stay for a couple of days. He is one of the funniest people I know so there were lots of laughs, in amidst the tears over the woeful Dockers!

Mrs Holt Press had all the ladies over tonight as it was her turn to host their book club. I decided to spice things up a bit by secretly adding a number of new books to their selection table. The usual selection is dominated by Christian and or women's books so the addition of Real Footballers Don't Cry by Justin Madden, Down Under by Bill Bryson, Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James, a biography of The Beatles, a cheap detective novel, and the literary classic, 99 More Un-Useless Japanese Inventions, certainly got the tongues wagging, especially when the detective novel was found to have, shock, gasp, horror, the F word in it!

Scurrilous goings-on at the book club! Mrs Holt Press' reputation has been blotted by her practical joking spouse!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Baptism and Capitulation

At lunch time Sport Boy was baptised in Geographe Bay, it was a great occasion with quite a big crowd of family and friends from church there. Three other boys were baptised as well.
I videoed it on my digital camera but I haven't got things worked out to upload videos to Blogger on the new computer yet. I'll get it sorted out shortly.

When a team is 51 points in front, they shouldn't lose the game.
When a team are playing the bottom side who haven't won a game all season, they REALLY shouldn't lose.
And when the team surrendered a 39 point lead the week before and thus has some experience in what it takes not to lose in these circumstances, it REALLY REALLY shouldn't lose!
But, if that team is the Fremantle Dockers, you just know they're going to find a way to lose regardless. And that's what they did, giving up an 8 goal lead at half time to allow Melbourne to stage the second biggest comeback in the history of AFL football and win their first game of the season! The whole experience was made all the more painful in that I watched it in company with Broadie who unlike me, who has a mild affection for the Dockers, is a former member and much wounded Freo fan.
I felt for him!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Soccer Starts with a Bang

The soccer season started this morning, with both boys playing at Margaret River. I arrived just in time to see the soon to be re-badged Fashion Boy almost score a great goal. his team lost but he played well.
Sport Boy also had a good game, scoring two goals (and missing a penalty) in a 3-2 win. The only black spot on the game was some conflict between an opposition supporter and I which arose over a wrong call (in my opinion) by the ref. The bloke told me to shut up and let the ref do his job, not altogether unreasonable, but the followed it up by telling me to *%#$ off, in front of some of the kids in his team!! I was dumb-founded and got a little fired up, although I didn't take it any further. Then he launched an attack on me claiming I'd been coming down there for three years throwing my weight around etc! I had no idea what he was talking about and decided to go back to coaching the game. It all erupted suddenly and out of nowhere and left me confused and bemused. Things sttled down after that and a good game ensued, with the kids having their first taste of playing the offside rule. Our kids handled it a lot better than the opposition.

After the game I went to the pub in Margaret River to watch the second half of the football on Foxtel. Geelong won by 27 points but not before Brisbane had given hem a good run for their money and drawn level early in the final quarter.
footy fix satisfied I headed back to the soccer ground where they were holding trials for the Busselton under 12 country week team, something Sport Boy has been looking forward to for weeks. He was one of the smallest kids there but held his own in the games they played.
The trials run for 4 weeks before they choose the squad which means choosing 15 kids from the 30 odd who are trying out. I'm trying not to let SB get his hopes up too high as about half the kids are a year older, and significantly bigger, than he is. He's certainly got a chance but at the same time I'll be surprised if he makes it, pleased, but surprised none-the-less.
There's also the minimum $700 cost involved in being in the team that travels to Perth for Country week in October! It may take until next year before we can afford him to go!!

The new name suggestions for Fashion Boy are continuing to come in, thanks Dad, Keith, Broady and Zaac. A full list of options will be posted in a few days, and maybe an on-line poll, they seem very popular.

Broadie arrived tonight to stay for a couple of days. I've brought him to town to speak at a couple of churches, Down South tonight and Cornerstone tomorrow, and to do some sessions at the high school and Cornerstone college on Monday. He's always good value and the source of many laughs.
If you'd like to sample some of his work go to this link, click on Audio on Demand and type Bert's sport review in the search box. There are a lot worse things you could do with 5 minutes of your life.

Tomorrow will be an exciting day for Sport Boy, he's getting baptised at the beach at 12.30, along with a couple of other people from church. He and Mrs Holt Press have been doing some preparatory studies on baptism for the last few weeks and tomorrow is the big day.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Loyal Customer

I had the same customer in the cab three times tonight and she wasn't happy any of the times.
First she wasn't happy to be going home cause she'd had a fight with her boyfriend.
Then she called again and wasn't happy cause her boyfriend was drunk and asleepso she went back to the pub.
The third time she wasn't happy because the pub had been so disappointing, and she ended up sharing the cab with loud drunken "friends".

I on the other hand was happy to have such a loyal customer.

Two other people recognised me from their time as students at the school, and one of them offered me a spot on their volleyball team!

The rest of the night was quiet and uneventful, punctuated only by the footy on the radio and West Coast losing to the "traitor"-led Blues! Judd jumped ship just in time it seems!

The kid's soccer season starts tomorrow, with both of their teams playing at Margaret River. Sport Boy is jumping out of his skin in excited anticipation of the new season.
Between now and then I need to get as much sleep as I can.

Friday, May 02, 2008


I'm feeling like the kid with no friends.

The new volleyball season started tonight and I didn't play cause I haven't got a team to play in. Miffy the Cow disbanded after last season and I haven't been able to get into a team. Yet! Hopefully I'll find a team in need soon.

In the meantime I refereed three games tonight which is handy as we raised the match payment to $20 this year! I'd rather play but $60 for blowing a whistle and pointing is not bad.

There have been two entries so far in the "Find a New Name For Fashion Boy" competition.

Birchy suggested "Air Jordan" while Sally has offered a more simple and direct moniker: "Jordan". (Not much imagination there Sal!)

Keep the suggestions coming.

Things are starting to crank up in preparation for the Big Busso Quiz Night on May 10. I've put 5 colourful signs up around town and tonight I wrote three rounds of questions. Only 5 to go.

If you're not busy on Sat May 10, get along to the high school, have some fun, win a prize, and help us raise funds for chaplaincy, what could be better than that?

I'll tell you!

I'm auctioning one of my paintings as part of the fund raising, your chance to bid on a Marcus Holt original!

And there's the famous Big Busso Quiz Night Cheat Sheets, containing the answer to every question in the quiz, available for the bargain price of $10!

How can you resist?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Art Day

I spent today driving a group of students to Perth and back for a visit to the WA Art Gallery. Apart from the early start it was a very pleasant day. The Year 12 Perspectives Exhibition was wonderful, and inspirational.

Continuing on the art theme, friends Lyn and Kingsley came round tonight to look at my paintings. They are interested in buying one to go in their bedroom. They particularly liked two, one here and one that is hanging down at The Ship Hotel. Now it's a matter of deciding which one best fits the colour scheme at home.

I did some more work on Favourite Daughter's big green painting tonight. It has been a work in progress for over a year as I've added bits to it. It may never be truly "finished" but she likes it.
It's great to have happy customers!!