Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Catching Up and Catching my Breath

It's been busy the last few days. Here's why.
Friday I had the brakes fixed on my car. That metal on metal sound was becoming annoying. Mrs Holt Press did the dropping off and picking up because I was driving a bus all day doing the town service (long shift, 10 hours)  runs. ie. four trips to Dunsborough, one to Geographe and 1 1/2 to Broadwater. In the arvo Jeff rang to ask if I wanted to cover a shift for someone in the taxi that night. Yes. Thankfully it was a 9pm start and early finish (by early I mean 2:15, as opposed to 4.00am). As taxi shifts go it was quite good, not too many ferals and reasonably busy, those being the two critical criteria for a good night in the cab. A couple of drive-throughs at McDonalds with some friendly rather than obnoxious customers, that sort of thing. Maccas is open 24 hours now but only for drive through after midnight so the pub crowd with the munchies have to hire a taxi to get their fix of fast food. Quarter Pounders seem to be the most popular.

Saturday morning I was up early (8.00 rather than 12, a typical post cab rising time) because there was a trundle bed for sale at a garage sale in Abbey. Mrs HP had mentioned she'd like one a couple of weeks ago. With the high number of sleepovers and house guests the kids entertain it would be more convenient than the mattress on the floor routine. The trundle was not exactly as I envisaged it, ie. white metal and "girlie" looking but this was no time to be fussy, trundle beds don't come up very often besides which the two mattresses were in good condition. 
Feigning casual interest I asked how much they wanted for it. 
Hmmm, a bit more than I wanted to pay. 
Of course, as you well know I am a committed haggler. 
After a couple of thoughtful minutes I asked "would you take a hundred?" as my opening bid. 
That was easier than I expected! Nice!
And they even offered to deliver it once we worked out it wouldn't fit in the back of my car, even with nice new brakes.

Of course I didn't just drive past the 4-5 other garage sales I saw on the way back but apart from a few cheap dvds I didn't buy anything else.

I was by then under a little bit of time pressure as I was due at the foreshore at 10.00am for the official opening of a memorial built in honour of Carol and Brendan, the two Busselton people killed in the two Bali bombings. Their family and friends, along with Rotary worked hard to create the memorial which is perfect in my opinion. I was invited to speak at the opening. The list of speakers read as follows:
Lawrie Walter, Rotary Club President
Troy Buswell, local member and state treasurer
Barry House, local upper house member
Ian Stubbs, Shire President
and me! Introduced erroneously as "Reverend Marcus Holt"
I gave a reflection and concluded with a prayer. I'll post a copy of my message seperately.
Several people thanked or complimented me for my words when we moved on to The Equinox cafe for refreshments. 
It was nice to be asked to be involved seeing as I am no longer the chaplain at the high school. 

Saturday afternoon I did the short town service shift in the bus (5 hours) then straight into the cab for another 10 hours of taxi driving on
Saturday night. I was pretty stuffed by about 2.00am and on the way back from a trip out to the sticks had to pull over and sleep for a couple of hours or I would not have gotten home safely. I had already done a long run down to Rosa Brook, south of Margaret River to drop some kids off at what looked like being a pretty wild party. Some one was throwing handfuls of stones at the cab while I was turning around. Tempted as I was to get out and "sort them out", I decided to drive on and leave them to their drunken stupidity.
I'd seen a sign saying Busselton 50km on the way so decided to take this "short cut" back to town! Hmmm!
Might reconsider that decision next time.
There were no further signs, just a succession of intersections, cross roads, T-junctions and dirt roads to choose from. I made it as far as a T-junction on North Jindong Rd which sounded familiar but by then I'd lost my bearings and with the southern cross seemingly directly overhead couldn't work out which way was north so I did what any intrepid explorer would do, I rang Spike on my mobile and asked him to google some directions for me!
Sadly that didn't work out easily as his interpretation of google maps left something to be desired. Just then a light appeared and I waved down a young bloke in a ute. 
"Are you lost?"
"Follow me, I'll get yo to Vasse"
Great, thanks.
To my dismay he turned down what I would have considered to be the third of the three options available!
But, within a couple of minutes I was on Kaloorup Rd and headed back to familiar territory.
The fare by the way had cost them $122, $36 of which was taken up with driving into town so they could buy booze at the bottle shop. The drink of choice? Two warm bottles of Chardonnay for $5 each!! Very classy!

I crawled into bed at about 5.30 only to be up again 5 hours later so we could drive up to Perth on 
Sunday morning
for the footy. Geelong v Fremantle at Subi. We being the whole family minus Spike who somehow skipped the football gene and thus is definitely the black sheep of the Holt Press family!
Enroute we dropped off a trailer loaded with a BBQ and a mattress at The Heir's place in Munster (seriously!). I bought a Barbie at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago so passed on our old (but still good) one to The Heir. That's what Heirs are for after all.We'd been planning to park 'n ride and take the train to the footy but time was running out so we ended up driving all the way in and parking at my favourite secret parking spot, behind St Barnabus' church. A few other people have discovered my secret but I managed to squeeze in.
We met The Heir at the game, and what a game it was, a real thriller, 14 lead changes I think!
The Cats played great but the Dockers played just that little bit better and got up by 7 points in a thriller.
I was not disheartened. Geelong were by no means disgraced and in the circumstances had nearly pulled off a great win against the odds. It was a "coming of age" game for Freo and represents their best start to a season ever! (Pitiful that 3 wins in a row is their best ever start but let's not be churlish!)
We had texts and messages from various Freo fans scattered around the ground and I caught up with Big Brother the accountant and Julie, a former colleague and fellow Cat fan at half time.
Despite the loss I had fun stirring up the big crowd of Freo fans inching their way through the subway tunnel at West Leederville, inviting them to join me in singing "We are Geelong, the greatest team of all"!
Predictably I was booed and howled down along with plenty of laughs before the "Freo Freo" chant drowned me out!

We had dinner at Hans Cafe in Subi, (beautiful fish curry Mmmm!) followed by ice cream at Il Gelato before I was dropped off at the Chatteau d'Taffrail and the rest of the family headed for home.
I stayed up in Perth because I had  a job to do on 

driving a bus back to Busselton. It had been being serviced at a place in Kewdale and as I was already going to be in Perth it was convenient for me to pick it up and drive it home. Which I did. Uneventfully.

Monday night I had rehearsals for the play, "It Runs in the Family", in which I am playing the police sergeant
and Spike is playing an 18 year old punk!

Sport Update: There was another disappointing result on Sunday night. Tottenham, despite being hot favourites, were knocked out of the FA Cup, losing the semi-final to lowly Portsmouth who are not only bankrupt but also destined to be relegated from the Premier League. I couldn't watch the game but followed it closely on the internet and had a growing sense of foreboding that it wasn't going to be Spurs' day as chance after chance went begging before Pompey snatched the lead in extra time! Rats. The Champion's League spot we so covet is also under threat having been overtaken by Manchester City following the loss to Sunderland last week and the run from hell starting this week with successive games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United which will no doubt decide our fate!

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