Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recent News

My thoughts were with my good mate Phil and his family yesterday afternoon following the recent death of his mother, Joy. The funeral was held in Perth on Saturday and I really wish I could have been there. Phil's dad, Malcolm, died just over a year ago. I didn't know them very well at all but I am feeling for my mate in his grief and sadness. It is a reminder too that my own parents are getting older and whether we like it or not, closer to the end of their lives. Confronting mortality will be a new experience when the time comes.
(Don't worry Pop, I'm not expecting you to go any time soon, but it is a reminder all the same.)

For the first time since we moved back to Victoria I wasn't able to go to the footy to watch Geelong today. Another driver did a shift for me a few months ago so I could go to my nephew's wedding and today he needed the day off to go to a Christening. I couldn't refuse, even though I hated missing the footy. I spent a somewhat tense and nervous afternoon driving passengers around Geelong with my eyes on the road and my ears on the radio. After a close and scrappy tussle the Cats emerged with a 10 point win. Not altogether convincing but a win is a win.

Spike has only been back in Perth for a week but it seems like things have changed significantly for him and there is a good chance he too may soon make a "permanent" move to this side of the country. We would love that. It was great to have him here for a few weeks and we'd love to have all the family back closer together.

I was stirred out of my slothful existence on Saturday morning with the return of local football and the resumption of my second job: Footy umpire. I umpired two games at Ocean Grove, the 16's v Bell Park and the 18's v Geelong Amateur with my co-umpy, a girl called Jess. I was pretty sore and tired by the end but buoyed by unsolicited feedback from two different people, both from the losing team, that we had done a great job. They had gone out of their way to come and tell us how well we'd done so I felt pretty chuffed. The combination of some forced exercise and a little extra income make it worthwhile.

Mrs Holt Press is taking a well earned break next month and going back to WA for a short visit. She's looking forward to catching up with friends and family in Perth and Busselton for a week while I mind the fort and supervise domestic operations. (Note to self, get number for Domino's).

The ebay enterprise is still going strong, I sold another 5 footy cards today for a total of $110!

I have a 5.31 start in the morning, my first really early shift for several weeks so I'm not complaining but I do need to go to bed so the 4.30 alarm won't be too horrendous.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Louie Louie

I like football. 
(I know this comes as no surprise; I am just setting the context for the rest of the post)

As I said, I like football. Playing it. Watching it. Talking about it! And not just the game, I like the culture, the history, the books and stories, the souvenirs and memorabilia etc.

I collect sports badges with a particular interest in footy badges and most especially Geelong FC badges. In a fire, they would be the first thing I'd grab!!

I also collect sports and footy books, most of which I've bought in op shops, garage sales, swap meets etc. My library contains over 300 volumes at present.

Ebay is both a blessing and a trap when it comes to collecting. I've had to modify and curtail my hunting and gathering tendencies to suit a limited budget. I've managed to get some great badges and books but recently I got a fantastic bargain, in more ways than one.

It started when I won a lot of 20 assorted football books for the meagre sum of $2.47!!

Books are a bit heavy to post so I arranged to pick them up the next time I was in Melbourne.
While I was there the bloke mentioned that he had some other footy stuff if I was interested.
Naturally I was and he brought out a box of Footy Records (Match programs for the uninitiated).
They dated back to 1974 and included a large number of finals and Grand Final records.
While these are not my specific area of interest I recognized they were of interest and some value. He then produced a shoe box full of old footy cards, cricket cards and basketball cards.

We haggled over a price and settled on $50 for the lot. It was more than I really wanted to spend but he was very keen to get rid of them and I was pretty confident they were worth more than that.

I enjoyed looking through them and sorting them out when I got home.

Amongst the footy cards, which were mostly the old Scanlens/Stimorol gum variety, was a set I didn't immediately recognize. A little investigation on ebay soon revealed that they were released by Coles in the early 1950's, putting them at about 60 years old. I was now very interested, especially as they were in very good condition. There were 4-5 players from each of the original 12 VFL teams and included a few very famous names such as Bob Davis, Bob Rose, Roy Wright, Charlie Sutton, Bill Hutchinson and the legendary John Coleman.

I listed 4 North Melbourne cards on ebay to see if they would sell and sure enough they did, partly because I priced them at $5 each. It turns out that was under-valuing them. Significantly.
I have since listed and sold 23 of them at a starting price of $15 each. The final prices have ranged from $15-25. The best result though came for a card featuring Louie the Lip, Lou Richards from Collingwood. He was a premiership captain at the Magpies but is best remembered for his time on World of Sport, League Teams with Jack Dyer and Bob Davis and as a channel 7 commentator.

Imagine my delight when the auction closed and Louie sold for $51.50!!
Little Louie had recouped my entire outlay in just one sale!!

I have two different John Coleman cards and I am expecting them to fetch the highest prices of the lot. 
I won't be surprised if they push up to $100 each. That's what I'm hoping.

So far I have sold just over $400 worth of the Coles footy cards and I still have about 30 left to list.

Then there are the footy records to sell.

And the other footy cards.

I am feeling very pleased with myself and my $50 investment I must say!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cats V Hawks According to The Heir

Regular readers will know I'm a BIG fan of, and occasional contributor to The Footy Almanac.
The Heir shares my feelings, for footy, for the Cats and for the Almanac.
This is his version of events of the game on Easter Monday.
A pretty decent effort if I do say so myself.
Check it out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wow! What a Day! What a Game!


Nothing but football ahead (with small traces of family/nuts).

Vicki had promised to take Shannon's boys to the footy on Easter Monday but sadly they were refused permission at the last minute. Some power plays at work and typically, the kids are the innocent victims. So Vicki drove down from Tatong/Shepparton with a basket of snacks and goodies and no kids to eat them.
(Until she got to the MCG that is and her little brother and nephew availed themselves of said treats.)

The Heir and I took the early footy train up from South Geelong. He scrambled off at Southern Cross to drop his gear home and grab some warm clothes, the weather having taken a decidedly wintery turn. 
I got off at Richmond and was greeted by a hail storm on my way to the G.
Task #1 was to pick up our family membership cards from the deluged Geelong marquee.
Task #2 was try and get some decent seats in the Great Southern Stand.
Having accomplished these I settled in for the long wait till game time and the arrival of the others.

The Heir arrived about half an hour later but a phone call from Vicki confirmed my fears that they had closed the MCG carpark, a sneaky trick they pull without notice whenever wet weather arrives! Because of her poor health/chronic pain I knew Vicki wouldn't be able to manage a long walk back from a city carpark so I said I'd go and park the car somewhere while she went in to the game. Good fortune smiled upon us in the form of a sympathetic car park attendant who granted us special entry after I explained the circumstances. We ended up parking within 100m of the ground and managed to get in and up to our seats by half way through the first quarter. By then Stevie J had kicked two goals and the Cats were 6 points up against the Hawks. I was pleased. We often start slowly against Hawthorn and play catch up for the rest of the day.

The game was an absolute RIPPER, a see-sawing affair with both sides having dominant periods before the other side fought back. Early in the third quarter Hawthorn had broken 21 points clear and it looked like the tipsters were going to be right, they were going to beat us for the first time since the 2008 Grand Final.
(On the strength of Darlow's conviction that we were going to win I had gone against the trend and tipped the Cats. A tip in faith more than confidence although our record against Hawthorn did give me cause for hope).

When Hawthorn kicked their 5th goal on the trot I told The Heir I was "a little worried". His grim expression suggested he agreed, and Vicki confessed later that she expected to lose the whole day.
The Cats fought back to level the scores and we all took heart. Geelong's resilience, fighting toughness and never-give-in attitude were in evidence yet again.
Sparked back into action the Hawks kicked the next three goals and at the final change were 18 points in front.

I told The Heir I was "a little worried".

Joel Selwood's head was swathed in bandagesfrom a cut in the first quarter but he just fought harder and even another, accidental, whack to the head early in the last couldn't stop him. Yes he looked wobbly for a minute or two, but after a brief visit to the bench he was right back in the fray.

Jimmy Bartel did what Jimmy Bartel does. Heroically. He kicked the first goal of the last quarter, which was being played in driving rain and swirling winds by the way, and was in everything forward and back.

And then there was Tom. Tommy Hawkins. The Tomahawk. He was magnificent and monumental. He took 12 marks, 5 contested inside 50, had 22 possessions and kicked three goals to be best on ground. His Grand Final form had been a preview not a climax it seems.

The JPod chimed in with 3 great goals in the last quarter and 5 for the game, the last of which put us in front by 3 points with 6 minutes left.

An epic arm wrestle followed as both teams attacked ferociously and defended grimly.

Buddy Franklin twice tried to drick (dribble kick) goals running into the 50 and twice failed to score. Breust missed a set shot from 20m out. The Cats were hanging on. Just.
Then the pivotal moment came. Franklin soccered the ball across the goal face to Osborne who had merely to toe-poke it through to grab back the lead. Instead he picked it up. Andrew Mackie, who had been 10 metres behind him somehow made up the ground, laid a tackle, forced Osborne to drop the ball and then scrambled it through to concede a behind.
We stood and cheered, and stared, and shook our heads in disbelief, wonder and admiration.
Mackie is prone to turning the ball over but in that instant he saved the game and the Cats held on for an incredible two point victory.
We sang the song at the tops of our voices. 
We yelled and cheered and hugged and laughed in a wild and joyful celebration of yet another miraculous Cat's victory.

It was a long slow drive back to Geelong through the rain and the traffic but we were warmed by an inner glow that has still not diminished.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Resurrection Sunday

This seems like an appropriate day to revive this poor neglected blog.
I've had people contacting me to see if I'm OK because of my lack of blogging, it's nice to know people care, and that my humble little blog still holds a place in the heart of the blogosphere...

I have been hampered by a lack of motivation and a period of feeling "down". My moods vary according to a wide range of factors and influences and when I'm struggling the blog is one of the first things to suffer.
I have begun to feel a bit better and brighter the last couple of weeks. And now that the footy season has started there's a little more to look forward to :)

I'm not promising a return to daily posts or any sort of high frequency blogging, but I can say that HoltPress is not dead yet and on Easter Sunday, if Jesus can conquer the grave, I can breathe some life back into this old blog.

Following  The Heir's move to Melbourne in Feb, we have been further blessed by the arrival of Spike in March, albeit just for a visit and not the permanent move we had anticipated and looked forward to. His plans have altered due to the interference of Cupid and his famous love-stirring arrows!! Spike has met a girl called Bree and they want to be together, which is fair enough, even though we'd rather he/they were over our side of the country.
They are talking about a serious long-term relationship if you know what I mean. There's no specific plan or time-frame at present but who knows what may happen over the next few months or year?
He is heading back to WA on Friday and going back to his old job at the child care centre which he loves, and where he in turn is much-loved. Bree is moving up to Perth as well, from Busselton.
Meanwhile it has been great to have him here and especially good to have all four of the HoltPress offspring together for a few weeks. Spike has been hanging out at Favourite Daughter's place , "The Hippy House", in Barwon Heads a lot of the time. The Heir is down from Melbourne for Easter so we've had plenty of meals and laughs as a family the last couple of days.

Sport Boy got crook a few weeks ago and missed a fair bit of school but thankfully he's been much better for the last week and enjoying having his big brothers and sister around. His health improved  at the same time as the school holidays, purely coincidental I'm sure...

In the search for a cure Mrs HoltPress took Sport Boy for some blood tests, which in the end ruled out Glandular Fever,  but unfortunately for him the nurse forgot to do one of the tests at the clinic. She generously offered to come round to the house to do the said test. On the bright side, she brought him jelly beans!

I swapped a shift  and worked on Good Friday instead so I'd be free to go to the footy tomorrow arvo: Geelong v Hawthorn at the MCG. Along with the Heir, my big sister Vicki will be coming, along with three of my little sister Shannon's boys, who have never been to a footy game before. We're very much looking forward to it, even though everyone seems to think the Hawks will finally beat us, for the first time since the 2008 Grand Final. I'm not so sure...

 This poster advertised an Easter event run by the Student Christian Union at Deakin Uni and I thought it was especially clever.
Mrs Holt Press and my Mum on a walk along the bluff at Barwon Heads, the night before Mum took off on a trip to Greece, Italy and France with here friend Mona. Lucky girls!

Regular readers will know that I am a pedant when it comes to correct use of the English language. I'm always on the look out for wrongly spelt signs, wrongly pronounced words etc. This one caught my eye at the Belmont Hotel in High St. Can you C the problem?
NB. What's driving me MAD at the moment is the extreme frequency of the "word" 'goverment' in the media and its close cousins 'govament' and 'govment' (Yes Mr Rabbit I'm talking about you!).
The word is GOVERNMENT, there are two Ns and both should be pronounced!

 How awesome is this sculpture, which can be found at a very cool and quirky business in North Geelong called Iron and Gum Trees (I think). It is made of old railway spikes welded together. Brilliant. I drive past it in the bus when doing the number 11 and it always brings a smile to my face.
(Click on picture to get a better look)
The Holt Press boys also at the bluff. How I love them and how proud I am of them!
In the words of one of my favourite artists, John Lennon: "Beautiful Boys"