Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hello Ian

It seems my absence from the blogosphere has been noticed, missed even. My best blogging intentions have amounted to very little but I appreciate the interest of my hardy surviving readers, whoever you may be.

Since the footy season ended in such disappointment I have been busy with other pursuits, which I will relate in limited detail here.I didn't manage to get a ticket to the Grand Final but I did meet up with my mate Collo before and after the game. 
You can probably tell at which point this picture was taken! Despite the disappointment of the Dockers going down to Hawthorn we went and had dinner after the game and I really enjoyed catching up with him. Mates are great. Footy is fantastic. Mates AND Footy, does it get any better than that?

Stalking a few footy notables during the finals!!
One good outcome from the footy season: a change in the pecking order!

A few family items.

The Heir and his partner Briony are in America, having spent the past month in Hawaii, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago and New York. They posted some great pics on Facebook last night. MY highlight of THEIR trip was that they went to see the NY Giants play the Minnesota Vikings and saw the Giants have their first win of the season.

Favourite Daughter has been house and cat-sitting for them. They have a nice little apartment in Northcote, across the street from Westgarth station, 2 minutes from High St and about 1km from Nan & Pa's old house in Clarke St. It is fun to go back to a part of the world that figured so prominently in my childhood.
FD has been getting a bit more photography work recently, including doing a wedding for close friends back in WA and she is growing in confidence the more she does. On a sweet-sad note she sold her beloved Kombi van this week. It has been on the market for a long time and finally sold to a couple from Melbourne. She will be able to clear her debts and make a fresh start which is a big relief for her.
                                                     Two Rare Birds  photographers with Flair

Spike is living and working back in Perth and seems both happy and healthy for which I'm grateful. At the moment in the "tug-of-war" between family and friends his friends have the greater pulling power. That's fine, I just want him to be happy, but I do miss him. I arranged to send his G5 McIntosh computer over to him this week, the third time I have shipped it across the country!!!! If you don't know how big and heavy a G5 is, Google it sometime!  I also sent him two boxes full of his clothes which is a double blessing: they don't fit me and are much more useful to him, as is the space cleared in the wardrobe in his old room which Mrs Holt Press is claiming as a craft room etc.

Sport Boy had a  job for the first week of the school holidays with a great bloke from church. With the $ he was able to pay for a return ticket to Perth and with our blessing he went and spent a week with his old friends and mates around Busselton & Perth, and hung out with his brother as well. He turns 16 this won't be long before he too is spreading his wings and leaving the nest...theoretically at least!
He is starting at a new school next year, a surfing based course run by SEDA at Torquay. It's not quite as loose as you imagine, they assure us there will be plenty of schoolwork done, and a strong practical component in a range of areas around the surfing industry. That's where his heart lies so hopefully it will lead to some good career options.

Mrs HP has been at a bit of a loose end since her Dad died. So much of her time and energy had gone into supporting him over the last three years that his passing left quite a gap. She is very keen to fill that gap with meaningful and fulfilling pursuits and to that end has started doing a sewing course, has signed up for a basket weaving course and has begun looking at new career options, with a leaning towards art therapy. 
Of course there are all the regular things to be done: keep the household running, taxi Sport Boy around, go to the gym, read, etc so she is never idle.

I suggested that in the footy off-season we start a family "Culture Club" and pursue a range of cultural activities: art, music, drama, film etc to broaden our horizons and take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to us in a great cosmopolitan city like Melbourne. Our first venture was to the Monet's Garden exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. While there we took out membership in the Gallery and look forward to regular visits for touring exhibitions and special events.
A couple of weekends ago we ended up with a double booking of sorts. Mum invited Auntie Ev & Uncle Ken over for the weekend and on the Sunday afternoon we arranged to go to a a Jazz concert at The Potato Shed in Drysdale. The problem was that I then heard about a storytelling event in Melbourne on at the same time which appealed much more than an the jazz! A compromise was reached. We had dinner with the rellies on Saturday night and followed up with fish & chips at Queenscliff for lunch on Sunday before parting company. Mrs HP went to the jazz, and loved it, while I caught the train up to Melbourne and met up with Favourite Daughter to go to "Now Hear This" the story-telling "Slam" run (and recorded) by ABC Radio National. It was GREAT! Those who wanted to put their name in a hat and people were then drawn out and invited to come and tell a story, (5 min duration) on the theme of "Unexpected". It probably won't surprise you to hear that I put my name in the hat. Nor that my name was drawn out first!!! FD said she "knew" it would be!!
I told the story of how I got the ticket to the 2007 Grand Final which is just about my favourite story. The judges liked it too because I got three 9/10 scores to take an early lead. In the end I came third and received the dubious prize of a One Direction USB thumb drive!!! The winner got a 2kg tin of Milo! Clearly we weren't in it for the prizes. There were some great stories told and we really enjoyed the whole thing. So much so that we are planning to go to the next one on Dec 15. Apparently my story, along with the others recorded on the day, will be played on Radio National some time in the new year. The program is called "Now Hear This". If I get a heads-up on a broadcast date I'll let you know.

Another Culture Club excursion was to the Gasworks Gallery in South Melbourne where Mrs HP's friend Tracey works to see an exhibition based on The Hobo Code and inspired by the art of a New York artist called Basquiat who was a contemporary of Warhol. Mum came with us and after the gallery visit we went to have dinner cooked by FD in Northcote as part of a celebration of her 75th birthday (Mum not FD!)

A couple of weeks ago we had a brief catch up with Julie who was down from Mildura for a quilting show at Geelong Grammar School. I was working but had a conveniently timed break at nearby Lara so after lunch Julie, Pam and Mrs HP came over to say g'day.

Another night recently we met up with Phil & Julie for dinner . They'd been at a TEAR conference on Philip Island and on their last night in Vic we went out in Lygon St Carlton. It was great to see them and swap news and stories.

After Alan Jones died Mrs HP and her brothers  spent a week cleaning up and clearing everything out of the house. After people had chosen items they wanted to keep we brought the remainder home and last weekend held a big garage sale where we managed to dispose of quite a bit, but not all of it. Mum joined in with us because now that she's moved into her new unit in Drysdale she too had too much stuff. 
I've loaded up the leftovers and am taking it all to a swap meet market on Sunday morning. What's left after that is destined for Ebay or the op shops.

Last time I was in Perth I caught up with a lot of mates and friends, including the newly crowned West Australian of the Year! Bruce Robinson: ABL

Finally, I love checking out op shops for bargains and treasures. Badges and footy books are my main target.
This caught my eye recently. Somebody's idea of a sick joke perhaps or a radical new therapy?!!!!

Bye for now

Happy Hello Ian