Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Au revoir Melbourne

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. It's been a great trip.
Time in Melbourne, exploring, shopping.
Time with good friends, catching up and chewing the fat.
Time with family.
And of course, the highlight, the footy.
A great Grand Final.
A great result.

I'm about to head for the airport.
Perth here I come.

Going Home

This is my last night in Melbourne before flying home tomorrow afternoon. I spent the last couple of nights staying at the Armstrong's place in Geelong; the town is a sea of blue and white and everyone is celebrating the Cat's premiership.
Yesterday I went for a drive on the Great Ocean Road as far as Lorne. I'd like to have gone further but time didn't permit; it is a very beautiful part of the world.
I also had a very fruitful search for old watches, the Scouts op shop in Belmont coming up trumps.

I visited my in-laws this afternoon, they're both in good health and good spirits and were happy that the Cats won.
Upon arrival back in Melbourne I went looking for a place reccommended by Mrs Holt Press, the Chapel St Bazaar. She had seen it on the Collectors on ABC1 and new that I would like it. She was spot on, it is a collector's paradise, a veritable Aladdin's cave of interesting treasures, although most of it was out of my price range, not necessarily a bad thing probably.

I rang Sport Boy for an update on the soccer team's progress at Country Week. They've had two wins and two losses so far and he sounded as if he was enjoying himself. I will see him tomorrow night and be with him and the team for the rest of the week.

Gary and Christine got ribs for dinner in my honour tonight, very tasty, then we set about "de-banding" all the watches I've accumulated. They even hunted out several of their own old non-working watches to add to my haul. Gary took me out to his shed and showed me something quite interesting; all my old letters which he has kept from as far back as 1981!

The rest of the night was taken up with answering his questions and queries about the Bible. As ever, he is inquisitive and open-minded, it was good to discuss faith and belief with an old mate.
I value Gary's friendship very much, especially due to it's origins, his Dad Alan and my Dad Peter were life-long friends up until Alan died suddenly a few years ago. And there are signs that our respective sons, Nathan and Sport Boy may carry on the friendship into a third generation.

As usual it's late and I need to go to bed. Thankfully my flight doesn't leave until 2.25 tomorrow arvo so there won't be any mad rush or panic getting to the airport.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Geelong Win the Grand Final

What a game! What a Grand Final! Easily the most tense and stressful game I've ever been to. I started the day believing Geelong would win and the opening gave me confidence but from that point on St Kilda were fantastic and as the game went on looked more and more like winners, especially when they kicked goals at the end of the first second and third quarters to lead at each change.
The weather was awful, cold grey and showery with blustery winds to boot. At 3/4 time I thought we were gone. The last quarter took everything to a whole new level, PRESSURE, INTENSITY, FANATICAL DETERMINATION, DESPERATION like I've never seen, heroic acts from both sides, but in the end the Cats kept St Kilda goalless and kicked three themselves to win the game.
I was an emotional wreck by then but when the siren went I gave the policeman standing next to me a huge bear hug!!
It took me several minutes to compose myself enough to join in singing the song!
What a game!
What a Grand Final!
The mighty Cats are Premiers!
And I'm just about to watch the replay!

Grand Final Day

I'm off to the G.
The day is here.
It's Grand Final day.
The Cats and the Saints do battle for the biggest prize in Australian sport.

Hopefully by the time I next talk to you I'll be celebrating Geelong's premiership victory.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Melbourne Turns on a Grey Day

As predicted, it's been a very wet grey day in Melbourne, making the Grand Final parade a damp and subdued affair. The players rode in the cars rather than on the back as they normally do. The crowd was noticeably pro-StKilda, perhaps the Cats fans weren't too fussed about getting wet seeing as it's Geelong's third Grand Final in a row? When the opposing captains jointly held aloft the premiership cup I yelled out "That's the last time you'll get to touch it Nick" and a few Saints fans looked at me with a mixture of pity and incredulity!

the parade I went to the MCG to collect my ticket. That's what I thought at least! It seemed a natural conclusion to draw that Grand Final tickets would be available for pick-up at the venue where it is played! Not so! There were no ticket windows open at all and instead I had to go to the Ticketek outlet outside Rod Laver Arena. But, regardless of where and how, I'm happy to report that I now have the ticket in my possession. It is only a standing room ticket but no matter, I'll be there!

I spent the rest of the afternoon looking around Swan St and Bridge Rd Richmond in my on-going search for sports badges and old watches. I found a few badges but had no luck with watches (at the price I'm willing to pay for them that is, which isn't much!) They don't have to be working but even with this generous condition I wasn't able to find any today.

Once the Grand Final and hopefully the celebrations, are over I'll continue my search.

While on the subject of post GF activity, if the Cats win I'll join the throng of celebrating Cats fans at Fed Square and beyond, hopefully catching up with Scott. If we lose I'll go to Etihad Stadium to watch the NRL Preliminary Final between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos.

Grand Final Eve

Tomorrow is AFL Grand Final day, the showdown is nearly here and I have arrived in Melbourne for the big game. I'm feeling confident about the Cats. Form and fitness and finals experience should give them an advantage over the Saints and the weather is tipped to be cold wet and windy, conditions Geelong are more accustomed to at Kardinia Park than StKilda who played most of their games under the roof at Docklands. None of this guarantees anything, StKilda have been great this season and Nick Riewoldt is capable of winning the game off his own boot if he gets loose. The game in round 14 was a classic and there's every chance the GF will rival it. The experts and commentators are tipping Geelong at a ratio of about 3 to 1 and the bookies have them as favourites. The Saints will have the majority of support from the neutrals because of having only ever won one flag, back in 1966 and it would certainly be a romantic victory for them. Any other year I'd be happy for them to win it, but not this year, not against the Cats.
At lunchtime I'm going into the city for the Grand Final parade then to the MCG to pick up my ticket.

I'm staying at Gary and Christine's place at Doreen which is near Whittlesea and Kinglake, scene of the horrific bushfires earlier this year.
As an extra bonus, Russell and Lucy have leant me their car while they're away in New Zealand for two weeks which makes getting around a lot easier.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Very Happy

It's been a great day for Cats fans, and for this Cats fan in particular.
After three years of being favourite, Gary Ablett finally won the Brownlow medal, an award he fully deserved. He has already won the AFL Player's Association MVP, the ABC Footballer of the Year, and the Lou Richards medal this season but now he has football's highest individual honour of the all.
And I got a ticket to the Grand Final!!
My number came up in the member's ballot (for the second year in a row!) and I'm guaranteed a ticket to the BIG Game. It is fantastic news. Checking the ballot results was a nervous exercise. The numbers were printed randomly rather than in numerical order and it wasn't until the 35th of 36 pages that my number appeared. Considering Geelong has over 37,000 members and only received an allotment of 12,500 tickets to the game, I feel very fortunate and blessed to be going.
Carn the Cats!

I don't even have to worry about missing the A Grade volleyball grand final because we lost the prelim final tonight and didn't make it through!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's the Cats and the Saints in the Grand Final

Geelong thumped Collingwood tonight by 73 points to set up the Grand Final most people wanted, the two best teams in the league playing off on the last Saturday in September.
St Kilda won a thriller last night, coming from behind more than once to beat the gallant Bulldogs.
It sets up a mouth-watering prospect for the Big One.
While I was very happy with the Cats win, I was VERY unhappy with Channel 10 who did not show the game live in Perth (where I currently am, having come up to Mandurah for a training day). I could not believe it! The second biggest game of the season and they have a delayed telecast, a full quarter behind the live action!!!!! Even Queensland got it live, as did regional WA. eg. Busselton, where I would ordinarily have watched it!
I had to screen my text messages and advise the various footy texters messaging me that I was not getting it live and not to reveal the scores or the outcome.
TV channels play us punters for fools, knowing they've got us over a barrel and there's nothing we can do about it but Ithink it is despicable and will be writing to express my disgust!
Here endeth the rant but I had to get that off my chest!
I have a flight booked to Melbourne for the Grand Final. I will find out on Monday morning whether I've scored a Grand Final ticket in the member's ballot. Even if I'm unsuccessful in the ballot I am still going to Melbourne, and hoping to be there to see the Cats win the flag.
Go Cats.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

GMAS United 2 Cornerstone 0

GMAS were too good for us in this morning's Grand Final and deserved their victory. Sport Boy played well but we didn't get many scoring opportunities and GMAS took theirs.
It was a good game, disappointing to lose, but it's been a great season.

Grand Final Eve

In just under 4 hours the Cornerstone U12 soccer team will take to the field to play GMAS United in the Grand Final. Hopefully they'll be in better shape than me. I had a late shift in the taxi and was struggling at the end. Ironically since knocking off I've perked up a bit but I doubt I'll be feeling that way in 3 hours time when I have to get up!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I did something I've never done before today, I coordinated the netball competition at the winter carnival. At the briefing this morning I told the assembled coaches I could run the day so long as they remembered one thing, I know nothing about netball!
Thankfully they did, and I survived. Busso won the A Grade and were runners-up in the C grade.

As the carnival was held in Bunbury I took advantage of the chance to look around the op shops, hunting for old watches. I've accumulated 23 so far but need over 50 for the project I'm working on. If you've got any old watches you don't want, send them to Holt Press. They don't have to be working, in fact I'd prefer it if they weren't.

We had home group tonight and continued on last week's very interesting discussion about what "church" means and what we want from it.

As predicted, the house is quiet without Sport Boy around, hopefully he's having a great time at his year 6 camp, and he's getting plenty of sleep and not getting injured!
There's only three days till the U12s Grand Final.

It's finals season: I've got a volleyball semi-final tomorrow night, and of course, Geelong play Collingwood in the AFL preliminary final on Saturday night. Go Cats.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Soccer Training

Sport Boy's class go on camp tomorrow until Friday so the soccer team trained tonight instead of Wednesday, our last session before the Grand Final on Saturday. They trained pretty well, which isn't always the case! Hopefully they'll get plenty of sleep at the camp and no-one gets hurt!
It will be quieter around the house with Sport Boy away for the rest of the week.
Spike will be the only child at home, when he's here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Night

In between fares and flat periods in the taxi last night I listened to the footy and as it neared a very exciting climax came home to watch the last few minutes. Collingwood overcame the odds and came back twice to win with a goal kicked in the last minute, knocking out the much hyped Adelaide Crows.

So next Saturday night it will be the Cats and the Magpies in the prelim final playing for a place in the Grand Final, against the winner of St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. We were at the prelim final between Geelong and Collingwood in 2007 and it was an unbelievably tense affair. Hopefully we'll account for them a bit more comfortably this time, although I'll take any sort of win so long as we win! I expect it to be a Cats v Saints GF. They've been the best two teams by far all season and the GF deserves to be the final showdown of the best teams in the league.

My dilemma now is what to do with the tickets I booked (with reward points) to fly to Melbourne several months ago. I have to make a decision before A. I know whether the Cats are in the GF and B. whether I have a ticket for the game! Do I go for the GF or do I postpone the flights till next year some time? (I was going to go to Melb for a week and see the prelim and Grand Finals in the original plan but with the trip to NZ coming up in November I can't afford that much time off work). Either way there will be a monetary cost (More points actually which seems less of an impost) for the changes but going now will mean only changing one flight and thus one extra charge. There's also a clash with Sport Boy's Country Week soccer tournament in the first week of the holidays. Lots of things to consider. Tricky.

I'm leaning towards going, but...

Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions or advice!

The cab was actually verging on busy last night, a welcome change. Winter and the GFC have not been kind to the cab business in Busso the last few months.

This morning I took Sport Boy to Bunbury for his tennis academy training. On the way we caught the last quarter of the SWFL Colts prelim final and saw Busselton go down in a thriller to South Bunbury by 4 points; a few kids from school play in the team, no doubt they'll be disappointed when I see them tomorrow.

While SB was at tennis I hunted for garage sales but didn't find much. One had the best signs and the worst wares I've seen at a garage sale in a long time! Absolutely nothing of interest.

Another GS proprietor had obviously had enough because there was a large sign out the front saying "Everything Free". Even with such an attractive pricing scheme there wasn't a lot to get excited about, just a couple of box games, a couple of old watches (I have an art project brewing that will require a largish number of old watches), a cane window blind and some computer labels.

After tennis we went and got some lunch at HJ's and had a look around Big W. I found a fantastic book called "The Encyclopedia of Immaturity" which had Sport Boy and I laughing and smiling all the way home. We also briefly watched some very cool and very fast remote controlled racing cars at Hay Park, high speeds and spectacular stacks with no danger of drivers being hurt.

Mrs Holt Press worked all weekend but was home by the time we got back. All of her spare time and energy this week has gone into clearing all the debris out of the front room and setting up her sewing/craft/womens stuff in the "spare" bedroom. Both rooms look good as a result. It was leftovers for dinner and The Bourne Ultimatum on TV tonight, a good way to wind up an eventful weekend.

I'm sad to report that Tottenham's winning streak has come to an end at the hands of Manchester United, 3-1. It was good while it lasted!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cornerstone 5 Redbacks 1

The Cornerstone U12s played just about their best soccer of the season to storm into the Grand Final with a 5-1 win against the Redbacks this morning.

Ben C got the first from a penalty and the second from a free kick, inexplicably given inside the area for handball but not as a penalty!!

Jacob scored the next two, one just before half time and the 4th a great header from Ben C's corner.

Sport Boy had a great game and capped it off with a terrific goal, dribbling around and past three defenders in the box before poking it home for the fifth.

Ben A did a great job in goal, saving two certain goals before the Redbacks squeezed one home in the last minute.

The whole team played extremely well and thoroughly deserved their victory.

We now play GMAS United in the Grand Final next Saturday morning.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cool Clip from Finland

You know I love this sort of stuff.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Art and Church

While I was in Melbourne with The Heir I found an interesting gallery in a back street in Brunswick that had some fantastic pictures. These ones appealed to me in particular. I really like the "naive" style of painting and would love to be able to do it myself but my initial attempts have been unsuccessful. I especially like the crucifixion painting below. The crown of thorns is fashioned out of some rusty old barbed wire and Jesus' hair and beard are made of tightly twisted and torn pages of the Old Testament.
I am trying out new things with my artwork including the use of mixed media, especially using pieces of metal I've collected from various places: this picture inspires me both artistically and spiritually.

We had home group at Stu and Deb's tonight. There are 6 of us in the group and we had a very stimulating discussion tonight on "What do we think church is" and "Why do we go to our church?" It rattled along for 2 1/2 hours and could have still been going on now if we hadn't adjourned the discussion till next week.
It is good to be back in a home group for the first time in several years, it provides a forum for open honest dialogue on big and challenging issues, the mysteries of faith and life, and with plenty of laughter thrown in to keep it grounded and enjoyable.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

2 out of 3 Not Good Enough!!

I was crook yesterday and came home after going on an excursion in the morning to Ellen's Brook and slept the rest of the afternoon.
I wasn't feeling 100% today either but I improved as the day wore on. I took another group of kids on the Behind the White Crosses trip this morning, accompanied by a former police officer who had attended a large number of "fatals" in the area including some that I talk to the kids about and it was great to have his extra insight and first hand experience to share with the kids.
I lost the first game at Scrabble Club tonight! By a big margin. Sue made two 7 letter words, had three "s"s and both blanks, the Q and the Z while I had a succession of vowels and 1 point letters throughout the game, but I don't want you to think I'm bitter and twisted about it, no not at all, Sue won fair and square!
I took it out on my next two opponents with convincing wins! But I won't be satisfied until I beat Sue the next time we play!

Monday, September 07, 2009

All the Fun in the Family

We've had a wonderful weekend with the family as the smiles confirm.

The visitors have all gone to Bridgetown and it's late Sunday night so I'll just list the highlights of a busy weekend.

Friday night Skipping Girl Vinegar played at The Royal Palms and I got to hang out for a little while with Chris and the band.

Eating fresh fish, snapper and mulloway, caught on the fishing trip and cooked on the BBQ.

Sport Boy's soccer game finishing in a 2-1 victory against St Joseph's, a tense and exciting affair. We're through to the semi finals next weekend. Rex and Alan videoed the game, something I've been wanting to do all season.

Geelong showed their premiership credentials with a convincing win against the Bulldogs to go through to the AFL Preliminary Final. The household celebrated and I swapped numerous text messages with friends in Esperance, Perth and at the MCG. Go Cats.

I found some great stuff at a couple of garage sales before and after the soccer.

I drove the taxi last night in a disappointingly quiet shift: the money is useful but I'd have rather stay home with the guests.

Rang Dad this morning for Fathers Day, a rarity having three of his kids all together to talk to him at the one time on Fathers Day.

Sport Boy gave me a Fathers Day card and signed it "Happy Birthday".

The Heir and Favourite Daughter both rang to wish me happy fathers day.

Spike had a great time at Fraser's 18th birthday party.

Brisbane came back from the brink to knock Carlton out of the finals.

StKilda let the air out of Collingwood's hyped up balloon.

We went to Goanna Gallery where numerous lovely items were purchased.
Then onto Dunsborough for coffee and cake.

Swedish meatballs from IKEA for dinner followed by most people being transfixed by the final of Dancing with the Stars and me doing my best to stir them up with wisecracks and mock interest.

And a final family photo shoot before they all left for Mum and Walter's. It would be nice to go with them but I have to work! We did give Vicki and Rex a gift to take with them, a picture of poppies in a field in pastels by Jenny Taylor to go with the decor in their newly renovated home at Wudinna.

As Sport Boy said, "I love it when all the family come and visit". A great time was had by all.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Cats Beat Dogs

No further comment required!

Relly Rally

We've got a house full of rellies for the weekend. My sister Vicki and husband Rex from SA and my brother Alan and wife Lyn arrived tonight and Mum and Walter will be here in the morning so it's a good old fashioned "Relly Bash". It's great to have them all here and I'm sure there'll be plenty of laughs and good times over the weekend.

They all went on a chartered fishing trip off Perth today, with equal amounts of fish and chunder being extracted and deposited by the sounds of it. I'm looking forward to tasting some of the spoils, snapper and mulloway are on the menu.

There are other interstate visitors in town, Chris, the chaplain at Box Forest in Melbourne is here with his band Skipping Girl Vinegar and they were playing at The Royal Palms tonight. I went down for a little while to hang out before the show then saw the opening 3-4 songs of their set before the family arrived at home and I took my leave. They are a really good band but there wasn't a very big crowd to appreciate their talents.

The house is quiet now, everyone's in bed, and I'll be there shortly. Tomorrow morning we're all going to Sport Boy's soccer game, the first round of the knock-out finals, we have to win to stay in. It will be fun having some extra supporters at the game.

After that I'll be racing home to watch the footy, the qualifying final between the Cats and the Dogs! Go Cats!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pins & Painting

My favourite collection, my football badges, AFL, soccer and Rugby, with pride of place going to my Geelong badges.
My badge and pin collection is growing steadily and I have hung a few completed boards on the wall in the study. I'm focussing on collecting sports badges in particular. These ones are Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and a mix of other sports, tennis, golf, racing etc.
These ones are specials or favourites that I've either had for a long time, like the Capital Radio badge I got while living in London in the early 80's or were given to me, like the bowling club badges that belonged to my Grandfather Alex Burmeister or the Sunbeams badges that I inherited after Nanny 'Falia died, the Lenin badge Phil gave me, the Fusion Bushfire badge, Carine and Busselton HS badges, or that represent something or someone I like, a place I've been or thing I've done, Skydeck, Eternity, Chris' band Skipping Girl Vinegar, The Beatles, JFK, YFC, YWCA, Toc-H, RYLA, Nathalia, the U.N. Peanuts, and an assortment of Christian pins.
And, for something a little different, this is my most recent painting, entitled "What will it profit a man?"
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