Thursday, April 30, 2009
We'll see come Saturday!
In an act of divine benevolence the taxi Co. rang today to say I'm rostered for Saturday night instead of Friday this week! No struggling out of bed at 8.30 for a 9.00 kick-off after 2 hours sleep this week!
We've lost four players from last season, and gained four new ones: untried and unseen, straight off the rookie list, no draft picks, no testing, no video scrutiny, just four new kids to somehow assimilate into our finely tuned game plan and attacking style!
Good luck kids!
Sport Boy wanted to discuss possible team line-ups when we got home but I was too tired and proceeded to fall asleep in front of the TV. As a result I missed Mrs Holt Press' phone call to tell me she has arrived safely and all is going well in Adelaide. Sport Boy passed on the important details when I woke up an hour later.
The volleyball season also starts tomorrow night and I'm again playing for Six Pack. I expect I'll be a little rusty but it will be good to get back into some activity and competition.
There's BIG NEWS in Favourite Daughter World; she has been offered a job as a teacher's aide to an autistic student at a school in Hall's Creek where one of her friends teaches and she has accepted the position. We booked her flight to Kununurra last night! She leaves on May 9!
All very new and exciting, a big adventure.
In other travel news Walter has returned home to Bridgetown after his trip to visit family in South Australia and Mum is having a wonderful time staying in a village in the south of France with Auntie Ev and Uncle Ken.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Today was a public holiday for ANZAC Day so the big crowd was all the more impressive.
Late in the day Kingy rang me to ask if I could cover his shift in the taxi tonight as he was crook so I drove from 5.30 to 10.45. It was fairly quiet but the extra money is handy.
Mrs Holt Press leaves for Adelaide tomorrow, she is going to spend a week with my sister Vicki who has been under-going a comprehensive range of medical treatments for the last few months in order to try and reduce her pain levels and bring her illnesses under control. By all accounts it is working which is great news. Hopefully she and Mrs HP will have a great and therapeutic week together.
In a handy piece of timing, Favourite Daughter is coming home to Busso tomorrow for about a week, just in time to lend a hand with domestic duties!! It will be good to see her.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Gary Ablett did his Brownlow medal chances no harm and Cam Mooney and Tom Hawkins both had good games, although Hawkins did miss two easy shots at goal from right in front.
That's the good news. It pales into insignificance compared to the bad news.
After the footy I went round to visit a father and family in grief. Their son took his own life a couple of days ago. As if that isn't enough, another son died in a fire a couple of years ago, (I conducted his funeral service). Since that time their marriage has broken up. How do you handle that much tragedy and sadness? I can't imagine. It was one of those times when there is nothing you can say, you just go to show you care. The Dad has two surviving sons, one of whom is only 11.
God, please comfort this family and give them the strengh to survive.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
These few words are amongst the most sacred ever uttered in Australia and today they were spoken many times in many places as Australians in cities and towns across the country gathered at dawn services for the commemoration of ANZAC Day.
Although I was extremely tired after working all night, I am very glad that I did bite the bullet and wake up Sport Boy and VTES early this morning and take them to the dawn service. Poor V didn't know what on earth was going on and thought she was in trouble when I woke her up but she finally grasped what I was saying and staggered out of bed and into the dark.
I haven't been to a dawn service in Busselton before and wasn't sure what to expect but was very impressed to find a huge crowd of people gathered silently in the dark around the war memorial when we arrived. I told V it was a solemn occasion and she responded appropriately even though she really didn't know what it was all about.
The bugler played a faultless rendition of the Last Post.
The words of the ode pierced the darkness.
The crowd respectfully repeated the final lines.
It was sad yet beautiful, haunting yet magical.
A thousand strangers in the pre-dawn dark joined in spirit and purpose to pay their respects to the fallen of Gallipoli and Flanders and the Western Front, and in tribute to the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces.
Lest we Forget.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It's 4.30am ANZAC Day morning.
My quandry now is whether to-
A.) stay up and go to the ANZAC Day dawn service in about an hour and
B.) if I do, whether to wake up Sport Boy and VTES and take them with me to the dawn service.
It would be a special opportunity for V, as an exchange student, to experience one of the most significant and iconic events on the Australian calendar, and for SB to start to gain an appreciation of the meaning and significance of our most sacred day.
I just wish I had thought of it last night so I could have fore-warned them.
Going in and waking them up just after 5.00am and convincing them to get up and go into town to stand in the park in the dark when their brains will not be fully operational due to interrupted sleep may not be that easy. But it seems like the right thing to do so I think I'll give it a go.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sport Boy has recovered sufficiently to go and sleep the night at a friend's house.
Spike (the temporary and perhaps to become permanent blog name for he who used to be dubbed The Hair: I actually wanted to call him Spike before he was born but was outvoted by Mrs Holt Press and my Mother-in-law. Turns out it would have suited him well, he has a penchant for spikes, wristbands, belts and other punkish paraphernalia, not to mention a nasty looking nose ring) has been working nearly very day durin the holidays and is very pleased with himself and the money he's been earning. He has modified his saving plan to a slightly less radical goal of saving 50% of what he earns. He's off to Bunbury in the morning to stay the night at a mate's place, and tells me he's hoping to go to Perth on the weekend with his girlfriend and her family.
I did a quick reconnaisance this arvo to the Catholic campsite where we are holding the chaplains retreat this week, it all looks good and I'm really looking forward to it.
Then I caught up with Birchy and family who are in Busso for a family camp. He's going to join us for some of the retreat as well.
I've had way too many ultra-late nights over the last week or so; not tonight.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
He and Sport Boy spent three good days together, much of it spent at the pool or rip-sticking.
Sal and Warren picked him up this morning, minus his wallet which he lost somewhere, possibly the cinema.
Yesterday all of us went to two of our favourite places, Goanna Gallery for lunch and Simmo's for ice cream and mini golf. Waz lead the whole game until dropping a couple of shots on the last hole allowing me to snatch victory with a birdie!
While the boys went to the pool the four of us went for a long walk on the beach, taking in the beauty and serenity of Geographe Bay in all it's glory, complete with stunning sunset. Mind you, with the end of daylight saving we finished the walk in the dark.
I was out-voted 5-1 in the choice between Eagle Boys and Dominos pizzas for dinner but am happy to say that Eagle Boys was much better than any other time I've had it, especially the steak and prawn!
Sally refused to accept my challenge of a game of scrabble when we got home but agreed to play Balderdash then insisted that I blogged that she was winning at the time we(she) stopped the game!
The scrabble board awaits Sal!!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
THPCFKATH has got himself a job at Quinn's Bakery and has worked three of the last four days and seems to be enjoying it. He surprised me tonght by handing over his ATM card and instructing me not to give it back to him until he's got a thousand dollars in the bank! Good for him. Sadly he didn't give me his PIN as well!
Monday, April 13, 2009
I wasn't happy or impressed with their difficult attitude and pointed out that thanks to me they had gotten home safely without getting picked up for drunk driving, or killing anyone in a car crash and that if they weren't so tight and cheap they'd realise that the $16 fare was good value!
Unimpressed with my persuasive argument the bloke, who must have been 60 if he was a day, threw the $12 on the seat and got out whilst delivering a stream of complaint, abuse and eventually threats.
They had put their eskie in the back of the car and when they requested it be returned I requested they pay the money they owed me! I turned the car around and attempted to drive away but the most obnoxious one of them stood right in front of the car and refused to move, even when I kept driving forward! He in fact sprawled himself across the bonnet and continued his abuse. I couldn't dislodge him but as he realised my intent was growing finally climbed off the bonnet and "agreed" to pay the balance of the fare in order to ransom his eskie. All the while he continued to berate me and tell me what he would do to me if I'd only get out of the car! I told him to go away, in more colourful language! He proceeded to punch the car window twice then smashed the side vision mirror, leaving blood stains on the window as evidence of his aggro.
Having received the balance of the fare and surrendered the eskie I was finally able to drive off, angry and shaken. All this over $4! I waved down a police car and reported the incident as well as going round to the taxi depot to tell the boss what had happened. I heard later that the passengers had also contacted the police to complain about me. Not sure if any more will come of it but the police were very sympathetic towards me, knowing from their own experience the particular pleasure of dealing with drunks and their obnoxious, aggressive and anti-social behaviour.
Later I was flashed by a kid with his penis hanging out as I drove past, his mate pointing and waving in order to make sure I saw what was on display!
Then as I returned from a fare to Dunsborough a car I overtook tail-gated me for a few kms then overtook me, yelling abuse as they did, before slowing down and forcing me to also slow down until we were both doing about 45 in a 90 zone! This continued for a further 4-5 km until I picked up the phone and rang the police to report their behaviour and rego number. They must have seen me on the phone because shortly after they pulled over and I was able to go past and continue on my way back to town unimpeded.
An eventful and at times unpleasant night in the life of a country taxi driver!
Australia has a notoriously high Easter road toll each year. Encountering this sort of behaviour and getting caught up in it emotionally and personally makes me realise just how easily bad things can happen.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
It was a shame to miss it but I was needed here. Happy Birthday anyway Letchy.
Sport Boy has returned to the church camp following his misadventure and late night trip to the hospital. He was injured while playing soccer and had a very sore hip and lower back but after examination at the hospital there is no major damage, just soreness. He hobbled around home this morning and by mid afternoon had regained his strength and enthusiasm to go back to the camp, though obviously he'll need to take it easy.
I cruised a few garage sales this arvo, scoring a jackpot at one, a cap covered in badges from China for a bargain $3 plus several books for 10c each including the classic Catch-22 which I will recommend that The Holt Press child formerly known as The Hair (THPCFKATH) read for both his enjoyment and education. He had a late night at Dunsborough with Zac W and co last night and is sleeping it off. He came out at one stage tonight, not awake, mumbling and asking strange questions before telling us "He's not to be killed". That's good news. Later he staggered out, sat on the couch for a couple of minutes and told me he had got a job before again retreating to the safety of his room. He used to "sleep walk/talk, do strange things" quite often, as did his older brother The Heir but has not done it for quite a while.
I swapped a few text messages with Chris V after St Kilda thumped West Coast today provoking her to call me a "smug toadie". Uncalled for I felt. Even though I tipped Carlton I was very happy to see them lose to Essendon by 4 points tonight, they were starting to get very cocky on top of the ladder.
Once Mrs HP went back to bed tonight I went round to Glass Dave's to watch the soccer and was pleased and relieved when Spurs beat West Ham 1-0. His grandson is staying with him for Easter, keeping DJ company.
By late tonight Mrs HP was feeling a little better, hopefully come the morning her health will be further improved.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
I took Sam, a kid from school to the dinner with Kevin Sheedy last week. It was a very good night. Sheedy was funny, inspirational and is a lateral thinker about football and about life. We got some autographs and pictures and Sheeds gave Sam an autographed copy of his new book, an autobiography.
We had the school athletics carnival today and standing out in the sun all day left me with a headache so I went to bed when I got home from work. Consequently when I woke up I wasn't tired at bed time so I started painting. I've only just stopped! Thankfully tomorrow is the last day of term before the Easter holidays.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Can't let the weekend pass without reporting that Geelong won again, albeit after a scare from Richmond and by a margin of only 20 points, but they won all the same.
I was cruising the garage sales and listening to the game on the radio but when it got close I decided to go and watch the last quarter at the pub. Steve Johnson turned it on with three goals to right the rocky boat.
This is the last week of school before Easter and the school holidays. The term has been busy and passed quickly. I'm looking forward to the break, especially to the second week when Cameron and I are running a chaplains retreat here in Busselton. There'll be about 15 people coming which is a pretty good number and we've got some great things planned.
I also plan to get some more painting done, with the aim of getting ready for an exhibition!!!
Over the wekend I helped Sport Boy prepare and practice a speech on "Argentina" which he had to give at school today. He volunteered to go first and obviously did a good job because the teacher said it was "outstanding, and that he had obviously put a lot of work into preparing it"!
Good job Sport Boy.
Meanwhile, a blog name change may be in the offing for The Hair! More on this breaking news tomorrow.
Oh, and tomorrow night is Scrabble Club night! I've been practising on the computer and I'm out for redemption! I made EQUALITY on a triple word score tonight for 113 points!! Look out ladies!!
Monday, April 06, 2009
And of course I'm paying the price for it now, hobbling around the house, stiff and sore.
The joys of football!
Sport Boy played in his first tennis tournament today and managed to win all four of the games he played, including a 7-5 victory after trailing 0-5!! He enjoyed himself.
I'm a little concerned about Mrs Holt Press, she worked tonight starting at 6 and is not home yet despite it being after midnight, most unusual for a Sunday night.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Adrienne and John got married this afternoon and we were privileged to be invited to the wedding.
I lve weddings. They always remind me of our wedding and what a special day that was, and of he vows and promises we made to one another. Even though they are not so fashionable now, weddings are the most joyful and happy celebrations of love and life, surrounded by family and friends, people who are all there to join your celebration and who want the best for you.
I even enjoy the speeches; they come in different styles, some better some worse but I like the gathering together of people and the saying of special things, emotional messages, important words and the mixture of love and humour and memory and hope.
Adrienne's brother Brayden sang a beautiful song which I think is called "The First Day of my Life".
He told me later who the band were who wrote it but I can't remember, although he said it's on one of the Triple J Hottest 100 CDs so I'll have to have a look for it.
As well as the bride and groom and their families, it was also great to spend the day and evening with close friends, the Letches and the Van Wollingens, who along with the Edwards' are all Beach Mission friends.
There was a moment of drama during the ceremony when the bridesmaid could not untie the knots holding the rings to the pageboy's cushion. Eventually I couldn't hold back any longer and stepped in to assist by snapping the ribbon they were tied on with. Always good to be involved!!
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Her age: She was 18, still on P plates.
And that she blew .144, which in her own words, "was way over the limit".
Resisting the temptation to lecture her or make her feel more guilty, I did make the obsevation that she was actually lucky, she could have been dead.
She agreed, admitting that she had no memory of getting into her car and starting to drive home!
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Mark the lead singer was particlarly taken with this large pencil sculpture, "Line in the Sand", as the band encourage a return to old school pasttimes such as hand writing letters and writing with pencils. They even sign their autographs in pencil.
Tomorrow night I'm taking another kid to a special dinner, with Kevin Sheedy, legendary AFL coach. The kid in question is a bit unengaged at school and getting himself into trouble. This is an attempt to do a bit of bridge building and try and get him moving in the right direction. The tickets are $100! but I managed to get a deal for two for the price of one from the organisers.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
One of the challenges was to see if they could traverse the table( ie. start on top and go all the way round underneath and back to the top) without falling off or touching the ground. Lots of them tried, only two succeeded.
Unfortunately the game was disrupted by some touble-making older students throwing food and when I asked the culprit to pick it up he shoved a piece of it in m face! I was stunned at his audacity and brazen disrespect. Resisting the urge to flatten him I told him not to touch me. To my even greater astonishment he then proceeded to reach up and touch my face twice and my chest once, taunting me as he did!! This in full view of a quadrangle full of kids!
I called a teacher over to intervene but by this stage the kid was beyond control and told him to go away in more graphic language.
The result of the incident was him being suspended for 10 days and a great deal of concern and support expressed towards me from the staff and students.
Now comes the time for him to return to school. I have arranged to visit him at home this week as a gesture of goodwill and an attempt to resolve the situation. I had never met the kid before and bear him no ill will, I'm just hoping that he will accept some responsibility for his actions and make an effort to make amends.