Friday, January 29, 2010

Changing Rooms

It has been a strange week, for reasons that I won't go into but it seems as if things are settling down again.

We did a major rearrangement in the three kid's (still living at home) bedrooms this afternoon which has improved the space in all of them and the cleanliness of one in particular. I won't mention any names but think 18 year old male and you'll be on the right track. Moving furniture enabled significant vacuum work to be done and a good thing too.

Favourite Daughter has decorated her walls with numerous maps  of Australia which will serve as an inspiration and a pre-education for her trip around the country in the Kombi. Departure is scheduled for some time soon after her 21st birthday (Mar 24) although the Kombi took a bit of a battering the other day as she and Spike were returning home from Perth: The side door fell off! To compound the problem, they couldn't put it back on because the bottom bracket had actually snapped and they then had to drive past a police car. Not surprisingly the cops pulled her over and although they were very friendly and helpful they still had to give her a yellow sticker. So now she has to find someone to fix the door. There are no VW mechanics in these parts so we may need to check some wreckers and get what we need from Perth. The joys of owning an old car!

I've been drawing while watching the tennis tonight and am glad Andy Murray has made the final of the Aust Open, I'd like to see him win it especially as no Brit has won a Grand Slam since 1936!!
There is a very entertaining exhibition doubles match on now between Pat Rafter/Henri Leconte and Pat Cash/Wayne Arthurs, they are hamming it up mercilessly and the crowd are loving it. I'm recording it for Sport Boy to watch tomorrow, he'll love it too.

Mrs Holt Press' Mum, Granny Jones has been quite unwell the last week or so and has had a couple of nights in the hospital which is of great concern. Her Dad is almost blind and deaf now so it's pretty stressful for him too. Mrs HP will go over and see them some time in the next week or so once the results of the latest tests are known. She's also going to go and visit her brother Ray who has opened a cafe/store on Bruny Island in southern Tasmania while she's on that side of the country.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bachelor Weekend

Mrs Holt Press has been in Perth the last couple of days, along with Sport Boy. Favourite Daughter, The Heir and Spike are all in Perth at present too, though not all together all the time.

In their absence I've worked two long shifts in the taxi and slept a long time!
In the the times when I've been awake but not working I've been tidying up the carport, cooking BBQ dinners for myself, drawing and watching a bit of tennis.
Tomorrow is my first day on the job in my new job.
The start of a new era.

I was talking to Noel yesterday and he made a comment that got me thinking.
"You were a chaplain so long it really defined you."
For over 15 years I not only worked as a chaplain, I lived it. It's one of those sort of jobs that you are rather than you do.

Now I'm starting a new career path, which means a new direction, new experiences, new relationships etc
I guess it will take a bit of getting used to. Hopefully it will be a positive and rewarding change.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Employment Update

My employment situation has changed again; I have been offered a full time job with the local bus company, based in Busselton. I have been training as a driver with them this week but the position of depot supervisor has opened up and they have invited me to fill it. In fact the position will combine some driving with the supervisor role. I'm meeting the departing supervisor tomorrow to discuss the position and hand-over details and will probably commence work on Monday. The job I thought I was going to get originally was also as a supervisor but based in Bunbury so this is a lot more convenient. It's quite a departure from chaplaincy but the company believe my skills and experience will be transferable and applicable to the job, I hope they're right.

Petticoat Lane went quite well last night, lots of positive comments about my art and I actually sold a set of 4 small paintings I had just done this week and a few cards and badges too. There was a small profit after the cost of the stall was subtracted.

After many requests I finally had a game of squash with Sport Boy this evening. Although I beat him I was impressed with his game, there's no doubt that with practise he'll be a decent squash player.

I went and saw Avatar tonight, the 2D version. It's a pretty impressive film, the animation and effects are stunning. I might even go and see the 3D version to get the full effect.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Work Developments

There has been some progress on the employment front. I didn't get the job I thought I was going to but the company, Veolia Transport/SW Coachlines, contacted me to say that they are keen to get me into the company! Initially I'll be working as a bus driver but with strong prospects of another position opening up.

So on that basis I did my first training day today, to familiarise me with the buses and some of the routes I may drive. I drove the last run of the day, from Dunsborough back to Busso and managed not to hit anything or anyone! The regular work will be on a school bus run when school goes back in a couple of weeks.

One good thing about that is it will leave me time free during the day to work on the contract jobs with the school, initially organising the Beach Carnival in late February and other events such as Country Week in term two.

At the same time I want to formalise the Behind the White Crosses program and see about getting it accepted as a regular event on the school calendar for all the local high schools. There are two public and three private high schools in town. I'm more motivated than ever following the horrific crash in Melbourne on the weekend that killed five young men!
The Sunday Times newspaper called me a few days ago to ask about BTWC and are sending a photographer down tomorrow to take my picture for inclusion in a story this weekend. There has been consistent support and goodwill for the program. The next step is to get it formalised and present it to the schools. One of the staff at Busso encouraged me to get it recognised as a a curricular option so that students would receive credits for participating. I'm not sure how to go about that but it makes sense and ought to make a stronger case for it when schools are considering their options.

Tomorrow night is Petticoat Lane, the annual street market in Busselton and I'll be running a stall and hoping to sell some of my paintings and drawings. I've been busy framing several of the the last couple of days. I have another taining shift in the buses tomorrow as well so it will be a busy day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Catch-Up Pictures

Camping has changed a little! The front room of our tent became the newspaper office as well as the print room for other team members needing stuff printed.

The prototypre "Fun Bin" for the business venture I wrote about before Christmas. It's just a shame that I printed up a whole stack of flyers before changing internet providers and getting a new email address. is the new email if you'd like your bin transformed!

Parkes NSW held their annual Elvis Festival a couple of weeks ago but at Arthur River the dunnies are designated in his honour.

Sport Boy washing dishes at Beach Mission, an event that needs to be recopgnised for its rarity.

Fran and KerriAnne welcoming the team to dinner on Curry Night.

Letchy and Hotchy providing the commentary at the beach cricket game which kept the crowd entertained.

A recent drawing: "City Plan".

Chris, easily hiding behind my considerable bulk! We stayed at Chris' place while we were in Esperance, though sadly she was away in Melbourne at the time. We caught up when she came and stayed for a night at our place on her way home, it was great to see her. We've got a date booked for the footy in June, West Coast v Geelong at Subiaco. Bring on the footy season!
Bronny and Stu, the space travelling dinosaurs who starred in the riverside dramas each morning at Augusta. The fantastic space ship set was built by Birchy out of scrounged materials.

The Birches and the Edwards' at the bakery, traditional departure point on the last day of Beach Mission. The team meet there after all the packing up is finished and enjoy a few treats before saying our goodbyes. The Birches are off on a round Australia caravanning trip in a couple of weeks time and Birchy showed me through the van, complete with a few of his modifications. The trip sounds great, they're heading for Tassie first.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Picture Catch-Up

Smiling Mrs Holt Press at the beach in Esperance.

Thanks to my DIY techno-wiz dad I've got a quick and easy way to resize and post pictures on the blog, thanks Pop. BTW did you see Zac's response to your comment? very funny.

Bendy Figures. I experimented with a new style of drawing the other day and am quite pleased with the results. I've coloured and framed a couple which makes them look even better (IMO).
Grand prize winners of the Augusta Sand Castle competition with a beach buggy Beetle, they even brought a little surfboard to adorn and complete it.

One opf the many beautiful beaches around Esperance.
This shouldn't be on it's side, not sure why it is but either way, BB the Accountant is clearly happy with his Christmas present.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gone in 60 Minutes

While I was in Bunbury I went to Hungry Jacks for lunch. As I pulled up in the car park I noticed a group of four young people trying to open their car with a piece of wire and some packing tape. Sure enough they'd locked their keys inside and had been trying to get the car open for an hour. In fact they were on the verge of breaking a window to get in. I offered to have a go and as luck would have it after a couple of minutes I managed to get it open. They were very happy and grateful and then one of the girls said, "Did you used to be our school chaplain?"
Oh oh, sprung again, displaying minor criminal abilities! Turns out they were from Carine and had been down to Busso for Southbound. It was nice to see them and to be able to give them a helping hand, which after all is one of the main objectives of a school chaplain.

I wish someone could give me a hand. I've got lots of photos from our time at Esperance and Augusta taken on my new camera and I'd like to post a few on the blog but they are too big (4-5mb) each and for some reason I can't get my photo editing program, Gimp, to open in order to scale them to a more acceptable size. It looks like it's going to start up and then just disappears without trace or warning. I've even tried deleting and reinstalling the program, with no improvement. So until I find a solution the blog shall remain photo-less.

I'm still waiting to hear back about the job and not enjoying the uncertainty.

Mrs Holt Press' mum is in hospital at the moment, having had high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate. It seems like the Dr. has got it under control with medication and she may be able to go home tomorrow but I think Mrs Holt Press will be heading over to Geelong soon for a visit and to give her Mum and Dad a hand. They are both quite old and their health has declined over the last couple of years so we are concerned about them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not So Straightforward

My job situation is again uncertain. I met with the operations manager in Bunbury yesterday under the impression it was a "confirmation" meeting only to find it was more of an "interview" and that the position is by no means definitely mine.
This threw me a little bit as everything I'd been told up till then gave me confidence to believe the job was mine.
Notwithstanding this new state of uncertainty the interview went well and I have some confidence that I will get the job but I won't know until some time later this week. If successful I will start next week.
Thus I am in limbo at present, not where I wanted to be.

On the bright side it is helpful to have a few days to recover from the exertions of beach mission and get a few things sorted out, like my new internet provider. I spent over an hour on the phone to them today (in the Philipines!) and thought it was all sorted but my email does not appear to be working yet and is doing strange things.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Home Again

We're home again.

Beach mission was great, 10 really good days at Augusta.

We're pretty tired now though.

We've had a special treat tonight, a visit from our friend Chris whose house we stayed in at Esperance for Christmas. She is on her way home after a trip to Melbourne and it's been great to catch up with her. Mind you I fell aslepp in a chair while we were talking and had to have a nap to recover some energy. Fish and chips for tea and looking at Chris' wonderful photos of the Kimberleys and Esperance on her laptop.

Favourite Daughter's friend Casey is here too having been to the Southbound concert for the weekend.

And Spike's mate Zac is also here for the night so there's not much room at the HoltPress Hotel this evening.

I have a meeting in Bunbury at 10 in the morning about my new job, the start of a new year brings the start of a new era.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

All the best for 2010.

The transition phase is ending.

8+ hours of driving home from Esperance with a quick visit at Bridgetown.

1 day of prep.

12 hours in the cab starting last year, my best ever takings for one night but pretty tired by 6 this morning.

A few hours sleep.

Packing what I can take in the car and about to leave for Cowtown to pick up the marquee.

Then onto Augusta for the first stage of set up.

Here we go!