Monday, May 31, 2010

She's Back

My wife is home. All's good with the world.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tonight's Gonna be a Good Good Night

The car is packed, I'm on my way.
Mrs Holt Press arrives home in just over two hours. 
The Heir is picking her up from the airport and I'll see her at Bruce's 60th party shortly after that. Yeehaa!

Overheard in a service station tonight

"Yeah she had to go home, her psychotic nerve was playing up"!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

She'll Be Back

Mrs Holt Press is coming home! On Saturday. She's been away for three weeks already so I know everyone will be glad when she gets back. I think Favourite Daughter has had about enough of being the only woman in the house! Her Dad's condition has improved a bit the last couple of days, partly because of the involvement of a different doctor. Mrs HP is none too impressed with the hospital or the regular doctor which has been frustrating for her and her Dad.

Footy umpiring went well on Sunday except that I tweaked my calf muscle again. The game was at Donnybrook against Harvey-Brunswick. It was nice to receive compliments and handshakes from several players as we came off the ground rather than criticism and abuse! I felt satisfied with my performance although there are always times when doubt and uncertainty creep in, especially when players start having a go at you. "Did I miss something? Did I get that decision wrong? Was I really born out of wedlock?!!"

The Cornerstone Giants lost the soccer 4-2 to the Redbacks on Saturday, the only bright spot being that Sport Boy scored a very good goal. I'm questioning in my mind whether I should continue coaching the team, whether I have anything useful to give them or if they'd benefit from a change of face and style? 
Rehearsals for the play were frustrating tonight, I'm struggling to remember my lines and that is impacting on the rest of the cast. I sense a bit of annoyance amongst some of them. I can't pull out, we open in a week and a half, but I don't want to undermine the performance either. Spike was encouraging on the way home and offered to help me learn my lines which should help. He's doing well with his part and should get plenty of laughs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Giants and Cats

Saturday morning in Busso and it's wet and cold and Sport Boy's soccer game starts in an hour and a half. Winter's not here yet but it's coming. I'm always happy to see it raining but I don't envy the kids running around in the wet when it's cold. I'm sure they won't mind and I know Sport Boy is looking forward to the game.
He and a couple of other kids were invited to play up a division in the U15s team who were short this morning but I said no, I don't want him being tired, or worse, injured for our game. Hopefully the other parents took the same view of it and we'll have a fit and healthy team come game time.

The Giants play the Redbacks today.

I loved watching the footy last night, the Cats were too good for the Magpies in the top of the ladder battle. It's always good to beat Collingwood but all the more so in such a big game which was played in front of 88,000+ people, the biggest home and away crowd ever for a Geelong game. Unbeaten in their last 5 games and kicking big scores gave Collingwood hopein the lead-up but the Cats are a class above again and re-affirmed their status as premiership favourites. Another interesting stat from last night, Geelong have won their last 16 quarters of football in a row, over 4 games, which has never been done before in VFL/AFL history. Suggestions that the Cats would lack the hunger necessary to win another premiership seem short-sighted or hopeful! And they're not even at full strength, with Corey, Ottens and Rooke all out injured. Along with the rest of the football world I'm loving  the emergence of 28 year old rookie James Podsiadly, "JPod" in the Cat's forwardline.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Carolyn is still away. Her Dad is improving slowly but had a bad day yesterday. She was going to go over to visit Ray at Bruny Island for a couple of days then head home on Tuesday but the uncertainty of her Dad's day to day status has put those plans on hold. We soldier on in her absence.
Favourite Daughter has bailed to Perth for a couple of days, it's Claire's birthday.
That means we're down to three blokes in the house, pray for us!
Domestic responsibility confronts me at every turn.
I am becoming more closely acquainted with the washing machine and more aware of the vagaries of the weather, "Oh no, it's raining and I haven't brought the washing in!!"
I swept the kitchen floor yesterday because it was getting harder to dodge the food scraps and debris.
I haven't yet resorted to getting the vacuum cleaner out but it's probably just a matter of time.

I've got a couple of extra day's work coming up, including a spot as track announcer at the Inter-school athletics carnival tomorrow, a job I used to do for "free" when I worked at the school. Nice to know my "talents" are still in demand!
I didn't go to umpire training running last night so I could be here for Sport Boy, dinner duty etc. I did get to Scrabble Club later though and racked up a few wins. Some of the Scrabblers are going to come and see me in the play in a couple of weeks.

The performance dates for "It Runs in the Family" at the Weld Theatre in Busselton are June 3,4,5,6,10,11,12,13,17,18,19,and 20 in case you feel like coming along! The Sunday shows are matinees.
The sad part of that is that I have to miss going to the footy with Chris to see the Cats play West Coast on June 5! And there are Thursday night shows which will cut across volleyball! Talk about suffering for my art!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

3 Big Games

The Cats smashed the Lions at the Gabba tonight.

Chelsea won the FA Cup, beating Portsmouth 1-0 in the final at Wembley and in doing so also won the coveted League and Cup Double in the same season.

Both notable achievements for sure, but not as noteworthy as the 7-1 victory recorded by the Cornerstone Giants over the Dunsborough Raiders this afternoon. The kids were in great form, vastly better than last week's patchy performance and played really good soccer. Jacob scored 4 goals and Sport Boy had a really good game, as did everyone in the team.

Mum is here for the night. Spike is working as a roadie at the Moving the Groove concert in Bunbury and SportBoy is sleeping over at Ben A's place. I enjoyed a night off watching the Cats and the Cup Final with Mum before umpiring at Donnybrook tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Headlines

Mrs Holt Press is still away over east. Her Dad is doing OK, the rehab is going slowly but she is enjoying being there and being around her Victorian family.

Sport Boy has been selected in a Regional statewide soccer team to travel to Singapore in October. Standby for news about "Send Sport Boy to Singapore" fund raising events!!
The Cornerstone Giants started their season with a 1-1 draw against a much improved St Joseph's on Saturday; in fact St Joe's really deserved to win and but for the heroics of Ben A in goal they would have. Training is this afternoon; we need to work on a few things before this week's game!

Favourite Daughter is covering for her Mum admirably on the home front and continuing to work on her Kombi, making it a cool home on wheels. She's driving for Eagle Boy's 3-4 nights a week and seems to enjoy it.

Spike and I are fully into rehearsals for the play coming up in June, "It Runs in the Family". He's working part time at the bakery. He had a bad headache which lasted for 3-4 days but seems to have shaken it off now.

I umpired, and survived, my first game of footy on Sunday down at Margaret River. Made a couple of dubious calls (according to the spectators and players!) byt generally enjoyed it. Even managed to drag myself back to training last night and not pull up as sore as the week before! I've got a game in Donnybrook this Sunday.

Work is happening steadily in preparation for Country Week in late June. It will get busier as the event draws closer. Getting all the kids lunch, dinner and T-shirt orders sorted out is the first big task, hopefully by next week. Favourite Daughter is going to do the lunch catering for me, 140 lunches a day, that will keep her busy.

I'm leading the Bus 9 Footy Tipping comp and generally the bus run is going well. Trying to get the kids to tone down their bad language is my main challenge. I'm driving town services tomorrow. Also hoping to swap my Sat taxi shift for a Fri shift because Mum is coming over to stay for the night, and because the Cats are playing the Lions on Sat night. It's been three weeks since their last game on free to air tv so I'd like to see this one!

I received a very welcome surprise gift in the post this week. Incoming packages usually contain badges I've bought on ebay but this one contained a Geelong Cats cap sent to me by Birchy who found it at the MCG after the Carlton game a few weeks ago. Although he rudely suggested it may have been thrown away in disgust after the Cat's very poor showing I still appreciated it and that he was thinking of me! I love roaming the MCG after games seeing what I can find! Footy Records, caps, scarves, umbrellas, cushions, money! I've found them all! Thanks for scavenging in my honour Birchy!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur and the Spurs Go Marching On!

What a great day to be a Spurs fan! For the first time in their history, Tottenham have qualified for the European Champions League. They achieved it by beating Manchester City last night (3.00am our time) 1-0 at Manchester thus ensuring they will finish no lower than fourth and therefore earn the coveted final place in the Champion's League.
I Couldn't watch the game live so I avoided the news this morning in order to be able to watch the replay at Dave's place. Sport Boy had looked up the result on the net but did a very good job of not giving anything away this morning before school.
Peter Crouch scored the vital goal that sent Spurs fans around the world into raptures. Apart from being the most prestigious club competition in the world, qualification also virtually guarantees a club a 50 million pound pay-out, which in turn strengthens their position in the transfer market and gives them a better chance of securing world class players and of course with world class players clubs improve their chances of playing in the Champions League! Unlike in Australian Rules footy which by way of the draft and the salary cap is egalitarian and "fair", in soccer the rich usually get richer and the poor stay poor. That's part of the delight in Spurs' qualification ahead of Manchester City: City were taken over about a year ago by some of the richest men in the world and received a massive injection of funds with which to buy players. They were widely fancied to push into Europe and perhaps even challenge for the league title. For Spurs to beat them to it is a great achievement. I look forward to seeing a lot more of Spurs on tv next season because SBS give considerable coverage to the Champions League.
Come on you Spurs.

NB. In a quirk of fate, Spurs played Manchester City in another hugely significant game, one of the greatest FA Cup Finals of all time, in 1981, winning a replay 3-2 thanks to an incredible goal by Argentinian Ricardo Villa, a game I will never forget and which was largely responsible for motivating me to go to London the following year when Spurs again made the FA Cup Final against Queens Park Rangers. That in turn lead to me living overseas for 2 1/2 years  from 1982-1984, one of the best things I've ever done in my life.
I accidentally became a Tottenham fan when I was 11 years old. I was at my mate Anthony's place, the soccer was on TV and Tottenham were playing Woverhampton Wanderers. Anthony told me he barracked for Wolves so I said I'd go for Spurs and it stuck! So much so that it's been a lifelong love affair. When I went to England I followed Tottenham all over the country, in fact I went to every Spurs game home and away for two seasons bar one when I missed the train. Not only did I see them win the FA Cup in 82 but also the UEFA Cup in 1984 in a dramatic two legged final against Anderlecht of Belgium that went to a penalty shoot-out. Spurs keeper Tony Parks was the hero, saving two penalties to win the trophy for Tottenham.
Another great day to be a Spurs fan!!

Hope you enjoyed all these Spurs reminiscences Ian!!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Orange Maggot

Remember I mentioned I was thinking of getting back into football umpiring? 
I'm not sure if that was a smart move.
I rang the bloke in charge, Greg, and he duly signed me up and even rostered me on to umpire a game this Sunday down at Margaret River. Fair enough. They obviously need umps and I'm available (although it will be at the same time as the BIG Game between the Cats and the Swans is on! I guess we all have to make sacrifices!)
Greg then invited me to come to training, in Bunbury, Tuesday evening.
So I dutifully rocked up, never having been to umpire training before. 
What would it entail?
Discussing the rules of football?
Working out how to interpret situations?
Decision making?
Strategic placement so as to be in the best position to umpire a game?
Proper signals and calls?
All of the above?

None of the above!!
There was a lot of running.
In fact there was nothing but running!
It was all running!
Short running.
Long running.
Paced running.
Sprint running.
Sideways and backwards running.
Hill running.
Running running running!
I guess they prefer fit umpires to ones who understand the game and can make good decisions!

Guess who is feeling a little stiff and sore this morning?

Guess who tried to put in one last big effort in the final 60 metre sprint in a set of 10?

And guess who felt a sharp pain in his right calf at the 40 metre mark? A tweak of some sort, not a full blown pulled muscle but still an uncomfortable pain!

I had paced myself throughout the session, content to sit at the back of the pack and finish last in each exercise, a distant last usually such as in the 1.2km run. I even sat out a couple of sprints to catch my breath and contemplate my future. But having manfully persevered through the first nine 60m sprints I figured I could put in one last big effort to finish off.
That's where I was wrong!
I'm now limping a little. I iced it up last night. I was fine driving the bus this morning.
But will I be able to run around and umpire my first game on Sunday?
We'll have to wait and see!
NB. I did get a set of umpiring gear including black shorts, orange socks, wrist bands, umpires association shirt and jacket, all very nice. The only thing they didn't have was the orange shirt I'm supposed to wear. Similar to the background of this post.  They said a white one will do.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Carolyn's Dad

Over the last couple of weeks Carolyn's Dad, Alan, has had some serious health problems which resulted in him having a hip replacement this week. As you know, Mary, his partner for 60 plus years died in February leaving him lonely and alone.  Without Mary beside him to help and support him it is an increasingly difficult and frustrating position he finds himself in.
So, at my urging and her own inclination, Carolyn has left for Perth today and flies to Melbourne tomorrow to go and be with him. Hopefully her presence will encourage and revitalise him and help him to recover his strength. We don't know what the future will look like so at this stage she's gone on a one way ticket and will play it by ear as to how long she stays. Her brothers Charles Trevor and Ray are all doing there part in caring for their Dad as well and I know it is a great comfort to Carolyn to be close to her brothers during this difficult period.

That leaves me holding the fort in Busso with the able assistance of Lieutenant Favourite Daughter and Corporal Spike to manage day to day affairs and the supervision of Private Sport Boy!

I drove my first coach service to Augusta and back yesterday and all went fairly well. The driving is the easy part, managing the paperwork and the timetable is the challenging part. I will end up doing Augusta runs on a weekend every few weeks probably. Organising my time in order to fit them around coaching Sport Boy's soccer team, taxi driving and possibly some football umpiring which I'm interested in taking up again. I used to umpire in Perth before we moved to Busso. A bloke from volleyball was talking to me about his umpiring last week and gave me the number of another bloke to ring about it. Hopefully I'll make it to a training run in Bunbury on Tuesday night and potentially could umpire my first game as early as next week!
Throw in rehearsals twice a week for the up-coming play with Spike, the regular school bus driving and preparing for Country Week at the end of June and life is getting busy.
 In the past I would have been more than happy about that and thrived on the hectic activity but I find myslef not quite so excited about being busy all the time. They are all things I have some control over so if it proves too tiring or unpleasant I'll cut back andsimplify life again. The delicate balance of trying to earn a living to pay the bills and support the family and maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle with sufficient time to look after myself and my own well-being is the challenge. Obviously I'm not alone, everyone faces similar challenges, but I'm changing a bit and don't want to fall back into unhealthy patterns of behaviour, thinking or relationships.

Sports Update:
The Cats bounced back as expected this afternoon to thump the hapless Tigers and last night Spurs beat Bolton 1-0 to mainatain their hold on 4th position in the Premier League.
They have another crunch game on Wednesday night against their nearest rivals for the remaining European Champion's League place, Manchester City. It will be a very tense affair.
I had the pleasure of picking up Ian and Carolyn last night in the cab, they being the Hojos from my blogroll and fellow Busselton bloggers. It was the first time I'd seen Ian since Spurs' fantastic victory over Arsenal a couple of weeks ago and I took delight in recounting the game and the wonder goal to Ian who of course has the misfortune of being an Arsenal fan!

The Western Derby has just started so I'm about to settle back and watch the Dockers belt the Eagles (hopefully!).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Tables Turned

There was a strange feeling in the Holt Press house tonight. In a significant role reversal, I was at home, watching the footy instead of driving a taxi while Mrs Holt Press was behind the wheel of the Eagle-Boys-Mobile delivering pizzas to the hungry hordes of Busselton. She and Favourite Daughter are both doing pizza delivery and both seem to enjoy it. There's an on-going contest to see who gets the most tips.
Sometime you should ask FD about her recent experience of delivering a stray garlic bread! We were in stitches as she recounted the details.

All night I was regretting that I had tipped StKilda to beat the Bulldogs, until the last 5 minutes that is! After trailing all night and kicking a paltry 4 goals for the first 90 minutes of the game, the Saints stormed home to kick three in the last 5 mins and pinch the game! The Bulldogs players and fans were understandably gutted. I would not have wanted to face Rodney Eade after the game!

Favourite Daughter and I had fun this afternoon with some artistic expression. We installed the second of what I hope will end up being a large number of decorated trees, this time with old cds and dvds. You may remember the bottle tree that Sport Boy and I decorated a few months ago. I have a vision for a whole series of trees around Busso becoming living canvasses. Today's tree is on the bus route that I drive the kids to school along every day so I'm looking forward to their reaction when they see it. I'm also hoping to get hold of a longer ladder and extended this particular "work of art" further vertically.