Sunday, May 31, 2009

Looooonnnngggg Weekend

Because it's a long weekend the Cornerstone U12s had a bye so I was able to sleep in this morning after last night's tiring taxi shift. I had a look at a few garage sales but found very little of interest or worth, the sum total of my purchases being $2 on a Big Bird stuffed toy which will next see life as a mascot on the Cool School Race Camp in December.

I took advantage of a 20% off sale at Hardly Normal to buy an external hard drive and came home with the intention of backing up then reformatting my computer which has been non-functioning for quite a while. Unfortunately it still is! No matter what I tried I couldn't get past a series of annoying error messages that prevented the computer from even starting the XHD! Calls to the NEC helpline were fruitless because of course, computers only malfunction Mon to Fri between 9 and 5. As it happens, Monday is a public holiday in WA but not the rest of the country so I may be able to get the help I need then. In the meantime I am blogging on the laptop.

I made it to church tonight for the first time in a couple of weeks. The crowd was small (long W/E) but the service was good.

I came home to cook dinner on the BBQ, some large shark fillets I bought at Woolies. Because they were so chunky they were a little tricky to cook but I managed it at the second attempt and enjoyed them very much.

Sport Boy and I then settled in for a feast of football on the TV, firstly the Dockers V Richmond game that I had on time shift, followed by the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Everton at Wembley.

The Dockers game was a real thriller with both sides having chances to win it as the lead see-sawed in the last quarter before the Tigers got up by 3 points, which is good for them, and Terry Wallace, and Gary, but once again foiled my chances of tipping all 8 winners! Tipping Freo is fraught with risk and sure enough they let me down again. It was a great game though.

The soccer started in spectacular fashion with the quickest goal in cup final history when Louis Saha put Everton 1-0 up after 25 seconds but in the end Chelsea were too good and wore them down, Droghba equalising and Lampard scoring a stunning winner to give former Socceroos coach Gus Huddink victory in his last match as Chelsea manager. By then Sport Boy was fast asleep on the couch.

1973 Sunderland Leeds United 1-0
The first FA Cup Final I remember, famous for Ian Porterfield's goal and Jim Montgomery's stunning double save to deny Leeds Utd in one of the great giant-killing acts in Cup history.

1974 Liverpool Newcastle United 3-0
The first final I watched live, Kevin Keegan winning it for Liverpool and Malcolm McDonald doing nothing for Newcastle.

1975 West Ham United Fulham 2-0
2nd division Fulham couldn't cause an upset.

1976 Southampton Manchester United 1-0
Southampton could! Another 2nd division winner against the world's most famous soccer team, I watched this game at Gary Thurkauy's place in Rosewood.

1977 Manchester United Liverpool 2-1
Can't remember this one.

1978 Ipswich Town Arsenal 1-0
Minnows Ipswich beat the Gunners and I was very happy, Russell Osman scored the goal.

1979 Arsenal Manchester United 3-2
One of the best cup finals of all time with Arsenal coming from behind to win, Brian Kidd scored.

1980 West Ham United Arsenal 1-0
My mate Graham barracked for West Ham so we were all pleased when they beat Arsenal, Trevor Brooking scored the winner.

1981 Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City 1-1 aet
replay Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City
My beloved Spurs made it to the cup final. I watched it in Nathalia where I was staying at the Gallaghers with my mate Nick. A Tommy Hutchison own goal earnt Spurs a lucky draw.
The replay on Thursday night was possibly the best cup final ever, certainly the winning goal scored by Argentinian Ricky Villa was the best cup final goal of all. I was doing cart wheels around the room in celebration, suppressing my shouts of joy because everyone else in the house was sound asleep as it was about 4 in the morning Oz time.

1982 Tottenham Hotspur Queens Park Rangers 1-1 aet
replay Tottenham Hotspur Queens Park Rangers 1-0
I was there! Having sold everything I owned and bought a one way ticket to London I set off to fulfill a life long dream of seeing Spurs win the FA Cup. Making the final for the second year in a row convinced me to go even though I had no guarantee of a ticket. Upon arrival in London I was picked up at Heathrow by my pen friend Tania and her family at 6.00 Sunday morning. On the way home we stopped at White Hart Lane, Spurs' home ground, and asked a bobby on the gate if I could come in for a look around so I got to walk on the hallowed turf.
He asked me if I'd come over for the cup final?
Have you got a ticket yet?
Well, I've been looking for a worthy cause, here you go! and he handed me a winning ballot ticket for the cup final! I'd been in England for two hours and I had a ticket!
Ironically the game was a draw and not a patch on the 1981 final. The good news was that tickets to the replay were much easier to obain, we just had to line up at Wembley the next morning and were able to buy them.
Glen Hoddle scored a penalty in the 8th minute and that was it, Spurs won the cup for the 2nd year in a row. My dream had come true.

1983 Manchester United Brighton and Hove Albion 2-2 aet
replay Manchester United Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0
I was still living in England and after the previous year's experience we headed off to Wembley and bought tickets to the replay, which United won easily, meaning that I've been lucky enough to go to three FA Cup Finals.

1984 Everton Watford 2-0
Elton John's Watford lost.

1985 Manchester United Everton 1-0 aet
Around this point my memories of cup finals become a bit vague. I always watch the game but can't clearly remember the winners or the details like I could when I was a kid.

1986 Liverpool Everton 3-1
The first merseyside derby final.

1987 Coventry City Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 aet
The most disappointing final of all. Spurs lost their perfect cup final record, going down to lowly Coventry City. I was running an Uncle RYLA camp the weekend it was on and Mrs Holt Press, who was pregnant with The Heir had to deliver a TV up to the YMCA campsite at Stoneville for me so I could watch the game.

1988 Wimbledon Liverpool 1-0
Another upset. Wimbledon had only been in the football league a few years when they knocked off mighty Liverpool in the cup final.

1989 Liverpool Everton 3-2 aet
Liverpool beat their Merseyside rivals again.

1990 Manchester United Crystal Palace 3-3 aet
replay Manchester United Crystal Palace 1-0
Palace were brilliant in the first game but succumbed to United in the replay.

1991 Tottenham Hotspur Nottingham Forest 2-1 aet
Another memorable final, with Spurs winning yet again in a year ending in 1. (Spurs won trophies in 1901, 1921, 1951, 1661, 1971, 1981 and 1991!) This was the game where Paul Gascoine had a brain fade and should have been sent off for two reckless tackles. As it was he badly injured his knee and missed a year of football. Spurs won and I was very happy.

1992 Liverpool Sunderland 2-0
No memory of this game.

1993 Arsenal Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 aet
replay Arsenal Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 aet
I think Arsenal played Wednesday in both cup competitions that year.

1994 Manchester United Chelsea 4-0
This was the beginning of Manchester United's total domination of English football under Sir Alex Ferguson. They have won about 44 trophies in his time as manager!!!!

1995 Everton Manchester United 1-0
They didn't win the cup this ear though.

1996 Manchester United Liverpool 1-0
This year they did!

1997 Chelsea Middlesbrough 2-0
Boring game from memory.

1998 Arsenal Newcastle United 2-0
Arsenal won, rats!

1999 Manchester United Newcastle United 2-0
Newcastle lose for the second year in a row. They haven't won a trophy since about the 30's!

2000 Chelsea Aston Villa 1-0
Chelsea started to emerge as a football power in the early noughties.

2001 Liverpool Arsenal 2-1
Arsenal won the next two cup finals so thank goodness they didn't win this one!

2002 Arsenal Chelsea 2-0

2003 Arsenal Southampton 1-0
Ho hum

2004 Manchester United Millwall 3-0
Millwall's dreams of giant killing were rapidly destroyed by United.

2005 Arsenal Manchester United 0-0 aet
Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties
First cup final decided on penalties, shame the wrong team won!

2006 Liverpool West Ham United 3-3 aet
Liverpool win 3-1 on penalties
A brilliant game that West Ham were unlucky to lose, although they fell apart badly in the penalty shoot-out.

2007 Chelsea Manchester United 1-0
The lesser of two evils!

2008 Portsmouth Cardiff City 1-0
Finally a Cup final without one of the big 7! (For the first time since 1973 the cup final didn't have one of the big seven teams in it: Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham) Either side winning would have been good and Cardiff were unlucky, having been the better team for much of the game but Pompey won the cup.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0

Sport Boy was very happy with the result in the Champions League Final with his beloved Barcelona triumphing 2-0 against Man U.
We watched it at 5.00am and I've been suffering for it all day!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

He's from Barcelona

Sport Boy went to bed early tonight, wearing his Barcelona shirt, with emphatic instructions to wake him up in time to watch the soccer tomorrow morning. It's the European Champions League Final and his team Barcelona are playing the reigning champions Manchester United.
We're both looking forward to the big game.

There was encouraging news on the Melbourne Footy Trip front today with a number of new kids saying they are very keen to go. Interestingly several of them are girls. They were worried about catching swine flu but I reassured them the chances of that happening were very small. At this point there could be 10-11 kids on the trip, in the July school holidays, but I now have to convince one of the female staff to come with us.

Spike is staying the night at Zac W's tonight, theoretically to work on a presentation he has to give at school. We'll see how it went by the results I guess.

Favourite Daughter spoke to her Mum a couple of days ago and is really enjoying her time at Halls Creek and especially all the little kids who are everywhere all the time. She's going to Broome with her friend Casey this weekend.

I have a headache that's been hanging around for a couple of hours so I'm going to bed now and hoping I can sleep it off before the soccer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scenes From the Footy

Picasa and Blogger are giving me a lot of grief tonight and I'm not happy about it. This is the 5th attempt to post this! Needless to say this will be an abridged and less satisfactory post than the original version!

My comment to accompany the collage was;
I love footy.
I love Melbourne,
But most of all I love going to the footy in Melbourne.

I also love Dennis Commetti's footy commentary and while I was in Melbourne I bought a little book called "Centimetre Perfect" and it's a gem! It's a collection of some of Dennis' funniest on-air comments, a testimony to his sharp mind and quick wit.

I'm planning to post some excerpts throughout the rest of the footy season.
Each is accompanied by a short explanation from Commetti of the context:

Big crowds are part and parcel of Friday night football:

"It's a very big crowd tonight with all major genders represented".

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Home Safe and Sound

I'm home safely.

Breakfast Club was great tonight, all four members were there, Indian food, lots of catching up and stimulating conversation, and of course lots of laughs.
It's very late and I've got a footy team to coach tomorrow so more detailed blogging will have to wait.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Final Footy Fling

StKilda and Hawthorn both won as expected but both games were exciting and enjoyable. I even managed to get 7 out of 8 tips right for the second week in a row.
One more night in Melbourne then home tomorrow. All good things must come to an end.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Three Down Two to Go

Saturday in Melbourne can only mean one thing: Another day at the football.
I saw the Dockers get overrun by the Kangaroos at Docklands, then Richmondgo the same wayagainst Essendon in the Dreamtime at The G. They were both great games. I've had some interesting experiences and encounters with different fans at the games and on the trains.
I'll write more about them when I get home.

I love Melbourne but I am shocked and disturbed at the huge number of people who smoke here, they're everywhere, at the train stations, all aroung the footy grounds, evry street corner and footpath! Way more than in Perth or Busso. The health message is clearly not getting through!

Two more games tomorrow to finish off the weekend.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Cats Win Again, JUST!!!!

Wow! That was close! What a thriller at Docklands tonight! The Cats and Dogs fought tooth and nail and the Dogs could have won it with a goal after the siren but Brad Johnson missed and the Cats hung on to win by two points. What a great game to see and to kick off my footy weekend!

Go Cats

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Counting Down

This time tomorrow night I'll be boarding a plane and Jetstarring off to Melbourne for a footy weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Warning! Nothing But Football Ahead

Meetings meetings meetings. Nothing but meetings at the moment.

Country Week Meetings.

Student Services meetings.

Junior footy team meetings.

Attendance and behaviour meetings.

But tonight's meeting was fun. Because tonight's meeting was about a Footy Trip to Melbourne!
After the success of last year's venture I have advertised another trip for this year and tonight a small group of students and parents came along to find out more about it. And despite the low numbers, they were highly enthusiastic and very keen to go for it even if it cost a bit more.

So it looks like I'll be leading a mall group of intrepid footyheads to Melbourne in the first week of the July school holidays. One of the biggest attractions on the trip is the mouth-watering clash between Geelong and StKilda in Rd 14, in every likelihood a preview of the Grand Final. The problem will be that tickets will be very hard to obtain as the game is scheduled for Docklands with a capacity of just over 50,000. One of the kids tonight said that the AFL are considering moving the game to the MCG to cater for the massive crowd who want to see the game, which includes us! It's not out of the question that one or both of the teams will still be unbeaten by then, just to add even more drama to what should be a classic contest.
So, fingers crossed we get tickets to that game.

I forgot to include the latest Fantasy Football news in last night's sports update. The Bussell Muscle are on top of the CFFL having won 8 out of our 9 games so far this season. This is uncharted erritory for me, my teams usually struggle, but this year we're on fire, three games clear on top of the ladder. The much awaited mid-season draft is on this week, an event we all look forward to, lots of negotiating, horse trading and manouvreing as we all try to improve our lists for the second half of the season.

It will be a good lead in to the weekend: I'm off to Melbourne to see the footy, the Cats and Dogs on Friday night being the main attraction. I'll also be doing a bit of reconnaisance in preparation for the Footy Trip with the kids.

Ahh, I just love the footy season!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ball Photos

Spike and his girlfriend on their way to the school ball on Saturday night.
Three Amigos, Spike with Sol (L) and Zac (R). In case you're wondering/worried, no they didn't wear the hats to the ball.

No idea what was going on here.
Everyone had a good time at the big event although there was one moment of drama. Spike copped a whack on the nose in the mosh pit and had to rush to the bathroom to clean up the blood. The joke is that there were only him and his two mates on the dance floor at the time!!!!
Sport Update
The Cats had another big win on Saturday, by 70 points over North Melbourne. Imagine what they'll be like when Ablett Ottens and Chapman are back in the team, not to mention Egan and Hunt!
Spurs beat Manchester City 2-1 on Sat. night t keep their feint hopes of qualifying for Europe alive. All they hve to do is beat Liverpool on the last day of the season now!!!!
Cornerstone U12's beat Capel 10-0 on sat. morning, Sport Boy scored one of the goals and had a good game. He's also been to play a game in Bunbury tonight with the Academy team. They lost but he played quite well I thought although he tired badly by the end. He didn't even take his socks and shin pads off before he climbed into bed when we got home!!
I managed about two and a bit quarters of footy against Dunsborough yesterday before they took pity on me and dragged me! I had two kicks for the game, neither of which hit a target!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

All Work and Some Play

It's the end of the working week, and the start of the working weekend. There was a brief moment of respite between them this evening which I used to go to footy training. At my age and in my physical condition, footy training is an exercise in humility and a series of warning signals from a body clearly under stress and out of its depth. Copping a whack in the goolies after spilling a low mark just added to my pain. I think I could see blokes in the other lines jostling for position so they could avoid having me kick to them. Its bad enough when your skills let you down, it's even worse when they make your teammates look bad as well!
Thankfully there's nothing but encouragement and support no matter how wayward the pass may have been or easy the mark you've just spilled was.
We've got a game at Dunsborough on Sunday which means the humiliation goes public.
In the meantime I drove the taxi tonight and am driving again tomorrow night, coaching Sport Boy's soccer team at Capel in the morning, watching the Cats play the Roos at lunchtime, and doing some of the parental duties (chauffering mainly) for the school ball that Spike and his girlfriend are going to tomorrow night.
By Sunday night I'll be looking forward to going back to work so I can get some rest!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bad Language Part Two

It's nice to see a bit of response to my last post, I'd begun to wonder if anyone was still reading my contributions to the blogosphere.

There's a few more words to add to my Bad Language list.

Thanks Pop for reminding me about good old
12. "vunerable", a venerable contribution to the list for sure. Where the "L" does the "L" disappear to? (There is a private joke between my dad and I dating back over twenty years on the subject of the word vulnerable).

I remembered the next day a couple that are regularly heard, on radio and TV and in the real world:

13. Simily and its brethren, Particuly and Reguly. People plain refuse to use the "lar" that should come before the "ly". I admit it can make the words a little more clumsy to pronounce, but the absence of the "lar" "lar" "lar"s turns the words into non-words. I regularly hear particularly said wrongly, and similarly similarly is abused as well.

14. There is a whole raft of words ending in "er" which are almost universally mispronounced in Australia. Ponda, Rememba, Gardna, Amba, Mista, Wonda etc etc, the list goes on and on. I'm not claiming immunity on this one, I hear myself do it all the time. Perhaps if Australia had been spelt Australier it might have been a better influence on our speech?

15. Noi. One that I never used to notice until pointed out to me by an American friend and that is now reaching epidemic proportions is Noi, the nasally negative which ought to be pronounced "no". Kiwis are often made fun of for their funny way of pronouncing "i" words, fush n chups being the common cannon fodder, but Aussies are just as guilty of butchering their "iii"s, replacing them with "oi"s. It is more an issue of accent and dialect than ignorance or laziness in this particular case I think but "Oi've lost count of the toimes oi've heard footy commentators descoibing a player as loining up for a shot at goal."

16. Medcine. This one surprises me and I often think I detect an English influence in the mispronunciation of "medicine", clearly a three syllabled word but often shrunk to two. James Lush on ABC radio does it all the time.

17. Enviroment. More subtle than most but many people drop the "n" that belongs between the "o" and the "m". We need to take more care of the "environment" in my view.

The list is not exhaustive or complete, feel free to keep suggesting additions via comments.

Before I finish I'll just share a classified ad in this week's local paper that caught my attention:

LOST: Dad's camera, Fuji Finepix S5700, with bag, Broadwater area. Need it ASAP before Dad finds out. Please contact Busselton police.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bad Language

Bad language drives me mad. I'm not talking about swearing; that does bother me too but I'll save that for another post, no, what I'm talking about is poor use of the English language.
The butchery of words.
Here are some of my pet hates:

1. Like! The mindless insertion of the word "like" ad nauseum. This is like mostly perpetrated by like kids and like teenagers who haven't like learnt to like speak properly etc etc
To quote an infamous language mangler, "I don't like it", thank you Pauline.

2. I mean. By this I mean those people who insert the phrase "I mean" continually into their speech. What do they mean? I don't want to be mean but it means nothing and is very irritating, especially when repeated by sports commentators. The late George Grulesjich fell into this bad habit late in his career and every sentence he uttered was prefixed with "I mean" then liberally sprinkled thereafter.

3. Probly. Australians like to shorten names and words but the complete removal of the middle syllable of this commonly used word is a national pasttime. Please add the "ab", that would be fab!

4. Proply. "er" See above.

5. Satday. Apparently this is the day of the week that falls between Friday and Sunday and perhaps because neither of these days saw fit to have a middle syllable it has been excommunicated from the first day of the weekend. There's an "ur" in the middle of the word. This may come as a surprise to many as it is very seldom used these days, but I assure you, it lives in the middle of the word.
To further exacerbate the problem, many people truncate the word even more, reducing it to "Satdy". aaaghh!

6. Everythink and its cousins, somethink and nothink. I am waiting for the day when Oxford and Webster et al are forced to include these bastardizations as "words" in the dictionary based on their common usage. The prevalence of these mispronunciations is so widespread as to be alarming. A former high school principal I know was often heard to utter "somethink" and "everythink".
Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, these words end in the letter "g". There is no "k", either in the spelling or the pronunciation! OK?

7. eckcetra. Not so common but just as inaccurate is the mispronunciation of the abbreviation we read as "etc" which when said correctly is "et cetera" meaning literally "and so on".
Where the 'eck the "eck" came from I don't know, perhaps the same place as the next word on my list...

8. Ongions. I was reminded of this one the other day while buying fruit and vegetables at Woolies. A woman said to her partner, "Do we need 'ongions' for the BBQ?" It can be tricky I know; as a kid I thought there was a "g" in the name of this vegetable, but on closer examination, I discovered there wasn't, and there still isn't, and the unnecessary insertion of it is enough to bring me to tears.

9. Bought/brought. After I had "bought" my groceries I "brought" them home. The former refers to the purchasing, the latter refers to the transporting, they are not the same, they are not inter-changeable despite the overwhelming majority of people who use them in exactly that way.

10. Allbut. This is an unusual offence, committed primarily by Ken Judge on Saturday morning Sports Talk on ABC radio. He means to say "albeit" but I suspect Mr Judge skipped english class the day this particular word was taught. His fellow commentators obviously don't feel the need to enlighten or educate him but I have felt sorely tempted to ring in one day and explain the finer workings of the english language to him. It seems to me that if you are being paid to broadcast on the radio the least you could do is learn to use the language correctly.

11. Fremandle. This is another colloquialism restricted mainly to the domain of football commentators, the substitution of a "d" for the "t" in the name Fremantle. This annoying trend tends to spread its tentacles to sweep up unsuspecting victims such as "Nick Dal Sando" as well.

There are others that get up my nose, and possibly yours too, "like" "you know" "basically" words that aren't wrong just massively over-used.
Maybe there are some that annoy you that I haven't heard or don't notice.
Feel free to add to the list of "Bad Language" via "comments".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

I rang Mum to wish her a happy mothers day today; it was a long distance call, all the way to Siorac, a village in the south of France. That's where Mum is at the moment, holidaying with Auntie Ev and Uncle Ken, and she's having a wonderful time.

Meanwhile Favourite Daughter arrived safely in Kununurra yesterday and today was heading for Halls Creek and her new job.
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Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Joys of Golf

I played in a charity golf day yesterday, organised by the Masters Rules footy club. It was my first game of golf in about 4 years so I didn't have any great expectations but that didn't stop me tying to belt the ball 200m straight down the fairway the first time I hit it! Needless to say it didn't happen, my customary slice reappearing despite the long lay-off. I managed to tone down the swing, relax and ease off, with reasonable pay-off. I hit a few good drives down the fairway and enough other good shots to be able o enjoy the experience. Being an Ambrose competition took all the pressure off, with each of us playing our ball from the best position of the foursome each time. We parred plenty of holes but couldn't crack it for a birdie. As the day went on the standard deterioated which could have had something to do with the frequent visits of the drinks van and the significant amount of alcohol drunk by the rest of the team! It was certainly a colourful day!
I enjoyed it enough to think I wouldn't mind playing a game every now and then, which is of course the great and dangerous temptation suffered by all mug golfers, being lured back by the pleasant memory of the odd good shot despite the reality of the rest of the duffs, slices, hooks, shanks, triple putts and visits to the beach!

Sport Boy played soccer this morning but the Cornerstone 12s were on the receiving end of a 6-3 loss, despite the other team only having 9 players!!! We were 2-0 down within the first three minutes! Things improved a little after the horror start but the Redbacks took each and every one of their opportunities to score while we let in soft goals and wasted chances!

I've been watching the Cats beat the Swans at Kardinia Park this afternoon to record their 49th win from their last 52 games, a record unequalled in the history of Australian Football.

Now I'm off to drive the taxi on the early shift.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Happy Happy

Sport Boy is happy: Barcelona scored in injury time to beat Chelsea and go through to the Champions League Final in last night's soccer semi-final. I suspect we'll be getting up in the middle of the night to watch the final against Manchester United in three weeks time.

I'm happy: because Mrs Holt Press is home. Not without a bit of drama and delay when my car wouldn't start and a mobile auto electrician was required to come and get it going, and charged $100 for his services. She had a wonderful time with Vicki and feels that the trip was well worth the effort. She also reports that Vicki is in much better health as a result of the treatment she's been having and that there is no lnger any sign of the Cushing's Disease which had such a devastating affect on her last year.

I had meetings all day and volleyball tonight; we lost.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I spent the day in a PA van as the announcer for the inter-school athletics carnival. It was a beautiful day and I had a lot of fun. The only awkward moment was when I was forced to fill in time while we waited for the final scores to be tabulated and I had to resort to doing impressions for the assembled students. They didn't seem to appreciate them much!

Soccer training followed after school, then home to cook tea.
The Heir rang to ask if I could express post his computer cable and his sister's spare car key which is lost apparently. Hopefully Australia Post will do their bit and it will turn up tomorrow.

Mrs Holt Press' plane touches down in 20 minutes and she'll be home tomorrow after spending the night at Favourite Daughter's place. Yippee!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Thin Blue Line

I cooked chile con carne for tea tonight, one of my favourite meals. It must have been good cause Sport Boy asked for seconds after he'd had dessert!
I had to cook because both Favourite Daughter and The Heir have gone back to Perth.
Only a couple more days before Mrs Holt Press comes home.

I've just finished watching a remarkable documentary called The Thin Blue Line about the wrongful imprisonment of a man for murdering a police officer in Dallas in 1976.
Despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence he is still in prison (or was when the film was made). I find these sort of sories fascinating but harrowing, the injustice really bothers me, possibly because along with it comes a feeling of powerlessness.

Good news! I just googled Randell Adams, the subject of the film, and he was finally released after 13 years in prison when the real killer confessed to the murder.
Adams was originally sentenced to death and came within three days of being executed before a judge ordered a stay of execution.
You can check out the story in more detail here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Catching up on some bits and pieces

The painting I bought for Mrs Holt Press at an auction to raise funds for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Other pieces went quite cheaply to a single bidder; this one on the other hand attracted two determined bidders and the price kept going up and up, well beyond what I had set as my "limit"! I almost withdrew but made one more bid and it was mine. The money was going to a very good cause so I didn't mind paying a bit more than planned. I didn't know at the time but it was actually painted by the wife of a former deputy at school. I ran into them the other day and told them I'd bought the painting. It's nice to know the artist as well as appreciate their work.
I've been focussing my badge collecting on sports badges of late and have managed to find lots of good ones, mostly on ebay. This is the Holt Press collection of Sports Badges, featuring AFL, soccer, Olympics, baseball, gridiron, sailing, horse racing, tennis, golf, rugby etc.
I have a set of baseball badges arriving in the next week or so which will kick off the second display board. If you see any sports badges in your travels don't hesitate to snap them up on my behalf!

While we were out at Goanna Gallery with Sally and Warren a couple of weeks ago I was persuaded to buy this wire card frame for Mrs HP. I didn't need too much persuading seeing as Sally had just paid me for the painting she commissioned for BBQ Sauce Boy's bedroom redecoration.

In a somewhat different style but still constructed of wire is this cute lttle motorbike I bought at a garage sale on the weekend for $4.
I love people's ability to take a medium like wire and create pieces of art using just a pair of pliers.

I cooked a BBQ for tea tonight then with most of the family all home for a change we had a family game of Pictionary. It was a little more challenging for VTES who didn't understand all the english words and phrases that she had to draw or interpret. Needless to say much fun and laughter was had by all.
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Monday, May 04, 2009


I had one of the busiest nights ever in the cab last night, mostly due to the Half Ironman Triathlon having been held in town on Saturday, there were lots of tired but triumphant triathletes out on the town, all of which was very good for the wallet.
I've got a weekend in Melbourne coming up in three weeks so having some extra money to spend will be very useful.
I started in the cab at 4pm and finished just before 4am so I slept as late as I could this morning before getting up to watch the footy. Geelong chalked up their 6th win of the season, against Melbourne, who put up stronger resistance than I expected.

Sport Boy had tennis at lunchtime followed by a birthday party this afternoon. He came home without his shirt on because "we had a big water bomb fight Dad!" and grinning from ear to ear.
Spike was feeling the ill effects of staying up all night with his mates then having to work early this morning. I sent him to bed when I got up; he stirred later when The Girlfriend arrived.
Favourite daughter cooked spaghetti marinara and seafood pizza for dinner, yummy.
Toni is here for a sleepover, making the most of the last few days FD is around before flying up to Kununurra and heading for Halls Creek.

I helped VTES with her homework this afternoon, helping to correct some of the German to English idioms she struggles with.
And The Heir arrived back in town this evening for a brief visit.
That accounts for the whole family except for Mrs Holt Press who is still in SA, currently up at the farm at Wudinna with Vicki and Rex, helping Vicki with some big jobs that have needed doing.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Favourite Daughter Farewell

A few of Favourite Daughter's friends got together last night as a farewell before she leaves for her new job at Halls Creek. She celebrated the occasion by changing her hair colour, to a deep red shade which looks really good.

The Cornerstone U/12s started their soccer season with a somewhat lucky 2-2 draw. They were 2-1 down until late in the game despite a barrage of chances and near misses before Daniel finally got one in the net to save the day. I had lost my voice by then from all the yelling (of instructions and encouragement). Sport Boy played well, especially in the second half and could have scored a couple of goals with a smidgeon more luck.
2-2 was probably a fair result in the end.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

School ANZAC Day Service

We held our ANZAC Day service at school this morning and at the end I was called on to close the service with a prayer. This is the transcript of what I said:

At 5:30 on ANZAC Day morning I woke my kids up and took them to the dawn service at the war memorial, opposite the cinema. I was pleasantly surprised when we got there to find a huge crowd gathered in the the darkness, in silence, awaiting the trumpet and the sacred ode that we too have just heard.
What makes 1000 people get out of bed on a dark chilly morning and come together in that way? They came to honour and pay tribute to the men who died at Gallipoli nearly 100 years ago, and all those who have since made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation and our freedom.
There's a verse in the Bible in which Jesus declares the value of such sacrifice: "Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends".
Just as he himself did at Easter at his death by crucifixion, Australian and New Zealand service men and women died in order that we might live in safety and freedom.

Let's pray

God we marvel at the sacrifice of others on our behalf.
We honour the memory of those who have fallen and died in war and give thanks for their lives, cut short so others may live.
God cause us to be grateful on more than just this one special day but rather may we take to heart the meaning and significance of ANZAC Day throughout the year and may it influence our lives, our decisions and our actions every day.
God may we be willing to lay aside our selfishness and put the needs of others before our own.
May the country we live in and the nation we build in this generation truly honour the memory and the sacrifice of those who fought and died to make it possible.
And we pray for the safety and protection of those who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in the on-going struggle for freedom and peace.

God please hear our prayers



Immediately the service ended I had to hurry to get to the funeral of the young man who died last week. It was a tragic and heart-breaking service with many many young people joined together in their grief and mourning. His Dad, Mum and Grandma all spoke and each was overcome with their sadness and despair. It was one of the saddest funerals I've ever been to.

The contrast between these two commemorative events is striking: one was a reflection of the pride and gratitude a nation holds for those who gave up their lives and died young defending freedom, the other was a sad, almost pitiful farewell of a young man who had lost hope and given up on life.