Friday, August 31, 2007

So Much to do, So Little Time to do it!

With just a few days to go until we set off for the eastern states on our family and footy finals adventure time is running out to get things done; like find a house-sitter (done, thankfully) and paint the bedroom in preparation for The Heir's return from England in November, and try and get my tax return documents in order (not looking too promising this year, now that I'm driving the taxi I fear rather than a refund I'm likely to end up with a bill from the ATO) and organising transport to Perth for Carolyn and the boys so we don't end up with both cars in Perth and none in the driveway while we're away.
Tomorrow I'm on roster in the art gallery to cover for the days/weeks when we'll be away.
I've got taxi shifts tomorrow night, Saturday night and Monday morning to bring in the last few extra dollars in prep for the trip.
And the final soccer game of the season on Saturday, followed by the wind-up picnic in Bridgetown on Sunday afternoon!
When I put it all together like that it makes me doubt I'll fit it all in and get up to Perth on time on Monday night (I've got a Beach Mission exec meeting).

All going well I'll do some prep for the Cool School Race Camp on Tuesday then pick up Carolyn and the boys and take them to the airport for their flight to Brisbane.
I leave for Melbourne the following morning.
We all rendezvous in Queensland on Monday.
As you can see it's going to be busy busy busy for the next few days.
It will be good to get away so we can relax a little!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Elanor Brinen

When I was 20 I sold everything I owned, bought a one way ticket to London, and set off on what turned out to be a two and a half year adventure. I lived in London, travelled to Europe for a few short visits, mainly for soccer games, including the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, and twice went to the USA to work on a Summer Camp.
The camp in question was called Camp Schodack, set in the Adirondacks, north-east of Albany, the capital city of New York State.
I had a fantastic time at the camp, met lots of people and got along well with the campers.
One of my favourite kids was Josh. He was into drama and writing and if I remember correctly played the part of Daddy Warbucks in the camp production of Little Orphan Annie.
After the camp finished (it ran for 8 weeks!) I went and stayed with Josh and his family for a couple of days and they really spoiled me.
One day they gave me the car keys and $50 and sent me and Josh to the nearby Amusement Park where we rode roller coasters and thrill rides all day. Josh was about 10 at the time.
I had another Summer with him at Schodack, further cementing our friendship.
About 8 years later, in 1992, I went on another trip to the US to attend a Youth Leadership Conference in Montreal and stayed with Josh for a night in New York City. When I rang his mom to find out where he was she was thrilled to hear from me again and confided in me that he had written a book and named one of the main characters after me!!
Then, a number of years later when my Mum went on her first trip overseas I gave her a few contacts, including Josh. She has been to stay with him a couple of times since, and keeps in closer contact with him than I do!
Josh of course has grown up and is now married. (Apologies but I can't remember his wife's name!)
Recently they sent Mum some photos of their baby daughter Elanor, and that's who is gracing this post.
She certainly looks like a cutie.
Hopefully I'll get back to New York one day and visit Josh and his family again. They are expecting their second baby in March.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Honourable Cheeseburger Yadda Yadda

Fashion Boy has returned home after hi trip to Perth for the State Youth Parliament full of stories and full of beans, caffeine beans that is! Coffee and coke and endorphins seem to have fuelled his experience! He said it was Fantastic. When I asked him how many friends he'd made he reeled off the names of about 20 kids, including Scarlet from Bridgetown, which is handy seeing as his grandparents live in Bridgetown and we go there often.
I haven't heard many of the details yet but from the sound of it he had a great time, which is exactly what I was hoping for, having been on some similar things when I was a kid. I met one of my best friends, Sally, on a Creative Writing and Drama Camp when we were both in year 12 and 28 years later we are still really close.

I've got some sort of cold, itchy throat, cough, runny nose, mild headaches so I slept all morning and played computer Scrabble all afternoon, in preparation for my return to the Scrabble Club tonight for the first time in a couple of months. I lost my first game after Marg made Circlets on a triple word score to rack up 100 points with her first move, leaving me playing catch-up for the rest of the game. I won the other two games, despite not realising that Gail had made a 7 letter word with her first move that was spelt "MEATING"!!

In between the computer and human word battles I had an appointment with my therapist.
I seem to be getting somewhere, albeit slowly!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grand Final III

Apart from the AFL Website comps, I also made the Grand Final in the Chaplains League, beating my mate Cam's team, The Belmont Romantics, who had been on top of the ladder all season, by a goal! He wasn't happy!

Rolf and I had lunch in one cafe today while Carolyn and Nonna had lunch in another! Then we all went down to Dunsborough with Sport Boy to have an ice cream at Simmos and visit Favourite Daughter in her new place, a townhouse she is sharing with two friends.

I wasn't feeling well on the way home, headache, sore throat etc so I lay down for an hour in order to try and recuperate sufficiently to be able to go to the Father and Son event up at the Church of Christ. Sport Boy was very sad at the thought I couldn't go but thankfully I was able to drag myself out of my sick-bed and take him. He loved it. The theme was rockets and Apollo 13 (One of my all time favourite movies). We made a rocket out of wire and alfoil wrapped around a CO2 cannister which we hope to launch along a fishing line tomorrow afternoon.
I was glad I went and Sport Boy was over the moon (pardon the pun).

Dream Team Grand Final II



Dream On



team johnno


My 2nd Fantasy Footy team is called Dream On and having finished on top of the ladder have also won through to the Grand Final!


Dream On


Left Right Out





team johnno


Grand Final: to be played this weekend


Dream On


team johnno


Dream Team Grand Final I

I had a big weekend in Fantasy Footy, playing in 3 preliminary Finals and winning them all!!!
Two were in the Coke Zero Dream Team comp on the AFL website and the third was against Cam in the Chaplain's League!

My team in the comp table here is the Bussell Muscle.

First week of the Finals






Bussel Muscle




Adam's Athletes



Lovell's Legends




Santa's Superstars



Helen's Heroes







McBrett's Clan


Third week of the finals: Preliminary Final Round.


Bussel Muscle





McBrett's Clan




The Grand Final, to be played this weekend.


Bussel Muscle


McBrett's Clan


Monday, August 27, 2007

Eternity 3

This is the commissioned painting I did for Tina over the last couple of days. She's very pleased with it and I'm very pleased with that!

Can't let the weekend pass without acknowledging that Geelong lost to Port Adelaide today, ending their 15 game winning streak. Though Port were the better team all day Geelong nearly won when they came back from 18 points down to lead by a point after a brilliant Gary Ablett goal, only to have Port kick the winning goal with three seconds left on the clock!!!
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The Van Wollies

Rolf and Nonna arrived this evening to stay for a night. They are on the Augusta Family Festival team with us and are great people so it's really good to have them come and visit. We'll spend the day together tomorrow and maybe go out for lunch somewhere.
Rolf and I are co-directors at Augusta and seem to balance one another very well, he is good at details and dealing with admin stuff and keeping the whole ship afloat, I'm good at the up front stuff, making us an effective leadership team. Nonna is very funny, especially when she's not trying to be.
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday Catch-Up

Just finished a 12 hour shift in the cab, and had my biggest night ever, collecting $718 in fares and clearing over $300 for the shift. The holiday fund continues to grow.

Another contribution will come from the sale of a painting I've just completed, a commission from one of Carolyn's friends, Tina. She came to see it today and gave it a BIG thumbs up which was both gratifying and a relief. Picture to follow.

Fashion Boy left for Perth on the bus this morning where he will be participating in the WA State Youth Parliament for the next three days as the representative for the electorate of Vasse. I was asleep when he left (post-taxi) but I left him a card with some words of encouragement and affirmation. He must have appreciated it because he left me a note saying he'd been feeling nervous and it had "really boosted his confidence". He has prepared a speech on an issue relevant to the area, the restoration of the Busselton Jetty, and I think he should do quite well. I went on special camps and events when I was at school and always had a great time. One of my best friends, Sally, and I met on a creative writing and drama camp when we were at school. It would be great if FB also made some good friends through the experience.

Sport Boy scored another goal this morning as Cornerstone reversed the result from our first game against Dunsborough. They beat us 3-2 early in the season but today we completely outplayed them and won 7-0, scoring a couple of cracking goals in the process.

I wish I wasn't so tired right now because Ian McNamara is broadcasting "Australia All Over" (ABC Radio Programme) from Bunbury this morning and I've always wanted to go to one of his outside broadcast shows. This is the closest I've ever been to one but I'm just too tired to drive to Bunbury again, having already been up there and back twice tonight in the taxi. Because of the time difference (WA is two hours behind the East coast) the show started at 4.00am our time. It has been a wild night in the region, very strong winds and heavy rain storms. Not ideal for standing around in the dark watching/listening to a radio show!
Hopefully I'll get another chance some other time.

Finally, on the topic of missed chances, I picked up a group in the cab tonight and we talked about the footy. On discovering I was a Geelong fan he said "We just buried my brother who was a staunch Geelong supporter. He dropped dead of a heart attack last week, aged .....47!!" That's one year older than me! I've said before if Geelong don't win a premiership in my lifetime I'll die a very unhappy man. This is our best chance in 44 years and this poor bloke droppped dead 6 weeks before it might finally happen! That's sad and sobering!

Talking of Geelong, their game starts in 7 hours so I need to get to bed and get some sleep in preparation.

Our friends Rolf and Nonna are coming down from Perth tomorrow arvo to stay for a night. It will be nice to have some guests in the house.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I did a few window deliveries for Dave today, out to Dunsborough and Yallingup.
While I was fitting a couple of flyscreens to a chalet in the caravan park Alex rang to ask me a theological question. There went the next hour!
The question: Can you forgive someone if they don't repent?

My answer: Yes

Typically, Al was not satisfied and wanted some scriptural back-up. He'd done a lot of reading and thinking about it, and shared a good deal of his results with me.

I don't think I convinced him.

On the other hand it was a good reminder to me about the power of forgiveness, and the need to say sorry when I'm in the wrong (which seems to be often!)

I stopped at Dunsborough to get some Quickeze as I've been having a lot of indigestion the last few days. Also had a look at a little Art Shop with some interesting ocean themed caricatures.
I've been working on a couple of paintings this week after a bit of a break from the brushes.
A friend of Carolyn's likes one of the ones I've done and has commissioned me to do a larger version in the same style.
My first commissioning! woohoo!

Soccer training was aggravating, the kids muck around and don't listen and tease one another and get under my skin! It's hard to believe they are the same team who play such good soccer on the weekends! In a game they are great! At training they are painful!
Talking of pain, Sport Boy fell off his bike the other day and hurt his finger. After several days of complaints we took him to the doctor today. X-rays to follow. The worst news was that the doctor told him he can't play soccer this week!!!! Could there be a worse outcome?

Volleyball tonight was a bit weird. We had two game, and only two players. When I rang Stu to ask if he was coming he said "No, I've lost interest"!!!
We used fill-ins and ended up having two good games and a lot of fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Grey Day

It was a wet grey cold miserable day in Busselton today.

I observed most of it from the driver's seat of the cab.

My mood was not as grey as the weather but nor was it bright and sunny.

When I go down I crash hard.

I don't recover quickly or easily.

I have picked up a little though 1 & 2 Petes, thanks.

One piece of news did lift my spirits a little, though it gave me pause to think whether that was the right response; not wanting to rejoice in other's sufferings, but Daniel Kerr is injured and almost certainly won't play again this season.
That's bad news for him but good news for Geelong!
One less obstacle to winning the flag.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Opposite of Up

Taxi yesterday.
Windows today.
Taxi tomorrow.

Personally the manure has hit the rotating cooling device again.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Weekend Wrap

Great number plate spotted on our trip to Bunbury on Wednesday.

Lately I seem to enter a blogging black hole over the weekend. It's because of driving the taxi on Friday and Saturday nights and sleeping late the following mornings. Throw in Sport Boy's soccer on Saturday mornings, a Geelong game some time over the weekend, and the mandatory eating, showering and domestic requirements and the blog comes last until about now (Sunday evening). Not through lack of care, just lack of time.

I spent a few hours picking mandarins on Friday afternoon to help a family from church who have an orchard. Jamie has a brain tumour and is having a pretty hard time physically. Carolyn goes and does some exercises with him to help try and keep him mobile. It was my first experience of fruit picking, one of those seasonal jobs people often consider when they're travelling. I'd have to say that although manadarins are not hard to pick and the trees are fairly user-friendly, I won't be quitting my day job, or even my night job to take it up. It was good to be able to lend a hand to some people in need though and I couldn't help but marvel at the bountiful fruit on each tree and the wonderful way God has made things work in the natural world.

Friday night was a very busy shift and a late finish ($$$). The boss knocked off at 3am, leaving two of us on with the observation I'd probably be able to knock off in a few minutes (leaving just one car on the road to carry through till 6am and the day shift drivers). Ha! The moment he parked up the phone went ballistic and we were run off our feet, if you know what I mean, for the next hour and a half. Last night started very quietly but finished strongly and I didn't park up until 5am. That's OK ($$$) :) Nothing much to report, no major dramas or difficult customers, but an interesting encounter with one teenage girl who was going home because she felt guilty about deceiving her parents that she was staying at a friend's place when she was really at a party!

Sport Boy got back on the score sheet on Saturday morning in Cornerstone's 9-0 win over Capel. It was another good game, the team are getting better all the time, with improved skillls and a better sense of how to play as a team: "Passing, passing, passing".
Only three more games till the end of the season and I can have my Saturday mornings back for uniterrupted recovery.

The house was full on Saturday arvo: Mum and Walter came for a visit after spending a riveting half an hour at the Nannup Tulip Festival!
Sport Boy had a friend over to play, which stretched to a sleepover. Rhys is a nice kid so it was no trouble.
Carolyn went into a manic cleaning frenzy on Saturday morning in preparation for the arrival of ........ The Nutrimetics Party!!!! Two friends, Carolyn and the Nutrimetics Lady with her bag of smells and potions for the beautification and healing of just about anything you could think of. There was an inordinate amount of laughter for such a small and serious gathering and I had to admire the NL's perseverance as she battled on against the constant interruptions and outbursts of laughter from the "clients". It sounded like they were having a good time but it did go on for a very long time! "I didn't expect it to go that long" was Carolyn's half-hearted explanation for the lack of dinner or any junk mail folding by Saturday night! I didn't mind, although that may change when I see the credit card statement!!

This afternoon I folded the junk mail while waiting for the (delayed telecast) of the football to start, Geelong v The Kangaroos. It was a tough game which the Cats won by 27 points to take the streak to 15, their best ever in a single season. I compiled a list of all the companies whose ads aired during the game and am considering writing to them to say I'm boycotting their products because of their complicity in a lousy TV broadcasting arrangement which sees a game delayed three hours, presumably for financial/advertising reasons, rather than telecast live, despite there being no other games on at all for the day. Why should we wait, running the risk of some dunderhead revealing the result, in order to watch our national game?!!
Then there was Channel 7's increasingly inane and annoying commentary to put up with! Just as well Geelong won or it would have been a completely unpleasant experience! (End Rant)

The final piece of good news for the weekend is that I won my elimination final in the Chaplains Fantasy Footy League by 1 point, 245 to 244 over The Slayers!-coached by Peter and Kent from SU (Barring protests! I forgot to submit my team on Friday afternoon-something to do with manadarins and taxis!)
Hopefully the Bussel Muscle will have progressed to the Preliminary Final next week.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bragging Rights for a Proud Parent

Sport Boy came home from school with this certificatethis afternoon and I was suitably impressed. You can click on the image to enlarge it but the wording says" awarded to Paul Holt For a Fantastic Attitude towards Everything he does."

This picture is a few years old but at a pinch is the only school photo of him I can find. He's in Year 4 now.

I did a few hours work for Dave at the Glass Factory today, assembling window frames ready for installation in a house under construction.
It was an ignominious night for "Son of Miffy the Cow"- my volleyball team, I was the only player to show up for our game at 6:30! Ross and Magda have a valid excuse, seeing as they are currently in Poland, but Stu and Scott should have been there! We pulled together a team of fill-ins and had a scratch match, which ironically, we won!! Shame the points don't count!!

One of my mates, Cam, let me know about a friend of his, Lisa, who has a blog. She has worked with Aboriginal Communities in isolated places and like Cam, is very concerned about recent events happening in indigenous Australia with the Federal Govt intervening in what is supposed to be an effort to stop child abuse which is a significant issue in some places. It seems the govt's heavy-handed approach goes beyond these issues and threatens land rights, so hard-fought for in Australia over the last 20 years. I'm not across all the issues but am open to hearing opinions from those who know more than me on the subject.
You can check out her blog and keep up to date with news and events here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Amazing Grace

William Wilberforce, as portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd.
Carolyn and I just made it in time to see "Amazing Grace" at Bunbury this afternoon and were both very glad we did, it was great. It's a historical biopic of William Wiberforce, who led a long and ultimately successful campaign in the British House of Commons to abolish slavery in the early part of the 19th century.
Wilberforce's friendship with William "Billy" Pitt the Younger (Benedict Cumberbatch) who became Prime Minister was a central theme in the film as well as being instrumental in the final victory, which came against the ruling aristocracy's deep roots in the slave trade throughout the British Empire and the threat of financial ruin and possible revolution, as was taking place in France at the same time. It took more than 15 years from the first introduction of the abolition bill till it was finally passed and an end was put to the barbaric trade in human cargo.
Wilberforce was both inspired and influenced by his friend and former slave ship captain John Newton,(Albert Finney) whose repentance and transformation is so gloriously memorialised in the song he wrote about his own salvation, Amazing Grace. I knew a little of Newton's story but was not aware that late in his life he became blind, bringing a sublime irony to the lyrics he had penned,
"I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see".

The whole film was well written, well acted and convincingly made. Even though I knew the outcome, I cried at the end when victory was achieved. A beautiful film about a terrible subject.
I highly recommend it.

I have no doubt we will use it at some stage down at Augusta when we're running beach mission.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Slept in pretty late this morning, as a direct result of staying up very late last night, as a direct result of indulging in my football addiction in the shape of watching Footy Classified, which for no good reason (other than ratings presumably) has been switched from a 10:30pm to a 1:00am time slot, and surfing around one of my favourite websites, I did at least fold 240 bundles of junk mail, comprised of 13 different pamphlets while I was watching TV and found discounted underpants on sale at Best & Less in my preferred style. I know there are all sorts of good sound ethical reasons to despise junk mail (and underpants too possibly), but slavery to the dollar counter-balances most of them, and if we don't do it someone else will. I know it's a weak argument but it's the best I've got and right now I'm trying to earn as much extra money as I can in preparation for our impending 6 week trip to Victoria and Queensland; just over a month until we set off. Along with the taxi money and maybe some window making for Dave over the next couple of weeks, the bank balance is growing nicely, which is just as well because we haven't yet settled on a means of transport home from the east coast and if we do take the quick easy option of flying we've still got to buy some tickets. My preference is still to drive, enabling us to call into Vicki and Rex's place for a visit at Wudinna, and give the boys the chance to experience the drive across the Nullabor, something everyone should do at least once I reckon. I myself have done it numerous times, the last time as recently as March, a post/pre-wedding crossing with Dad. Several crossings involved hitch-hiking in my late teens and early 20's. There is a turn-off to Whyalla, just west of Port Augusta, which is the last place you get a lift to before the big crossing really starts and I've spent more than one night camped on the side of the road there, jumping up every hour or so to stick my thumb out to a passing car or truck. It's fry pan hot through the day, and fridge cold through the night and I always felt greatly relieved when I finally got picked up from there and was on my way home, albeit home was 2-3 days away still.

I used one of my discount tickets to go to the movies for $5 at lunchtime. At that price any movie seems good value. I indulged in a dose of adrenalin pumping action adventure "violentertainment" (a Holt Press coined term Zac just in case you want to play Beat Bad Grammar Man) courtesy of Die Hard 4.
"That will be $5 thanks and your brain at the door! Please suspend belief and deposit all sense of realism in the receptacle provided as you enter."
Under those conditions few do escapism better than Bald Bruce Willis. There was plenty of computer caused chaos and wildly implausible shoot-em-upping and escapeeing on a roller coaster ride, with a few funny lines thrown in to provide the necessary comic relief amidst the death and mayhem!

Not high-brow. Not Oscar material. Not intellectually stimulating. But certainly entertaining!

Next stop Margaret River for an appointment with my therapist which was quite good. I've had a good week, low stress, no work (school), no conflict, so it made me more relaxed and at ease. We talked about anger but I stayed calm throughout.
I've got a little homework to do before next week. Nothing too heavy thankfully because homework has always been one of my weaker subjects.

Stopped at the Fish and Chip shop on the way home to get some dinner for the boys. It wasn't bad but it's always a meal of mixed emotions. Tastes good but ...!

I also called Dad on the way home. I've been wondering how his shares are holding up in light of recent dramatic events on the stock market. He was pretty calm and pragmatic about it. Yes the value is down but it only matters if you have to sell, and he doesn't, so he can afford to ride it out, the market is bouncing up and down a fair bit but should recover and improve in time.
He assured me that the inheritance was still in good shape!! I told him to feel free to start selling off the country music CD's if things got worse! (That's another story, one which will have it's last humourous act in the execution of his will whenever that day comes. Who knows, hopefully it will be so many years from now that my brain will have softened to the point of thinking Country and Western is a valid musical style!)

Just had my weekly dose of House M.D. tonight, one of my/our favourite TV shows. Predictable unpredictability and caustic brilliance from the drug addicted genius medico.

Tomorrow Carolyn and I are going up to Bunbury for the day. She wants to go to Spotlight (aaaggghhh!) I'll get some blank DVD's so I can continue the mammoth project of transferring my old video tapes onto DVD via the Hard Drive Recorder. It's a slow process but ultimately worthwhile, A. to preserve the good stuff and B. to create considerable free space on my bookshelves once I dispose of the old technology. If time permits we may go and see "Amazing Grace" the story of William Wiberforce, a Christian Hero of the 19th century responsible for bringing about the abolition of slavery.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Desert Stream

A recent painting, an experiment in Planscape!
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Quotes from the Kids

Sport Boy couldn't find a friend to play with on Saturday and was bored so we went into town, bought a tub of ice cream, and went down to the foreshore to eat it.

As he looked out over a calm Geographe Bay drenched in winter sunlight he said, "It's a beautiful day"

I replied, "It doesn't get much better than this, a beautiful day, a tub of ice cream, and your favourite Dad to share it with."

"Yeah, but only cause you're my only Dad"!!

Favourite Daughter came and found us after she finished her shift at the Esplanade. Thankfully I had saved some ice cream for her despite Sport Boy's protests!

Favourite Daughter has moved into a house in Dunsborough with Claire. I called in on Friday night in between jobs in the cab. It's very nice, furnished, with access to a pool, but at that stage there was no food in the house!

FD said, "It's not like at home where, when there's "nothing to eat" there's still something!"

Fashion Boy just walked into the study and asked, "How many men does it take to change a light bulb?"

How many?

"None, men aren't afraid of the dark".
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Dirty Game

Saturday's soccer game was played in the mud at Margaret River and it was a suitable tough slog. Cornerstone won 2-0.
The kids seemed in two minds about the mud, whether to tip toe through it and stay clean, or go jumping and sliding and have a mud bath!
For the 2nd week in a row Sport Boy didn't get a goal, a scoring drought looms! He has been prolific throughout the season so I'm sure the dry spell won't last long.
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The Dream is Alive

I'm celebrating finishing on top of the ladder with my team "Dream On" in the Dream Team fantasy Footy comp on the AFL website. More good news on the weekend when my team won the 1st Qualifying Final and advanced to the preliminary final.
In fact, I have two teams, in two different leagues and they both won their way through to prelim finals over the weekend. The 2nd team, the Bussell Muscle, finished 4th but beat the top team to progress.
With Geelong winning their 14th game in a row yesterday, against Adelaide, and securing the minor premiership with 3 rounds to go, everything is good in my football world!!
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Friday, August 10, 2007

@ Peter's Family

2 Peter, sister Val, Mum Aileen, Dad Brian
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2 Peter in the Flesh

2 Peter and I , in his parent's backyard. They've lived in Busselton most of their lives and he came home for a brief visit before heading back to Tassie tomorrow. We all got together for a coffee and home-made scones this morning.

For the uneducated or newer readers, 2 Peter is a regular reader and commenter here at Holt Press, having discovered the blog after a Google seasrch of Busselton Blogs one day when he was missing home.
Our relationship has grown over the last year or two and became fully6 established today when we met face to face for the first time.
It was great to meet him and his family which included his sister Val who works off shore on an oil rig.
Carolyn really enjoyed meeting his Mum and Dad Aileen and Brian, she's always gotten along well with older people, and I can see her dropping in for occasional visits even with 2 Peter as a chaperone.
I liked them too but have to say they scored a couple of black marks by virtue of being staunch West Coast supporters, and Slim Dusty fans!!! (There are other blogs where those tastes will be more appreciated!) They won brownie points for being fans of The Chaser though!

2 Peter (so-named because his comments sometimes follow those of my Dad, also called Peter, thus making 2 Peter 2 Peter, which for those who know also has Biblical undertones) dropped back around this afternoon to meet Favourite Daughter, Fashion Boy and Sport Boy, all of whom he's read about often through regular visits to the blog.

As a parting gift, and to cement the growing friendship, I gave him one of my paintings as he was leaving. (For your information Broady it was one that he had earlier admired! and the only comment he had to make on my appearance is that I am taller than he'd thought!)
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Blogging Breakthroughs!

It's an exciting day at Holt Press. This humble little blog has been noticed by the world's press.
A real journalist named Chris Brown, who works for that august journal and bastion of news reporting, The Leongatha Star, picked up on my recent story about my Auntie having John Coleman's autograph and rang me in order to track her down so they could write a story about her and put her picture in the paper.

There! That's impressive! Apparently I had a number of mentions when he googled me!
Remember, you read about it first on Holt Press.

Further, tomorrow I get to meet a regular reader and Holt Press commenter in the flesh, 2 Peter is in town! We're gonna meet up in person, although after nearly a couple of years of commenting on the blog, I already feel like I know him.
Pictures to follow!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


A painting I started the night I stayed at Trevor and Anne's place and Rachel and Vera were both knitting while we watched TV.
I finished it at Alan and Lorna's place but ended up giving it to my cousin Pene (because she was the only one who said she liked it!)

I really like it and plan do to a much larger one. In fact, I may even do one like it as a mural on one of the kid's bedroom walls.
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A painting I did while I was at Auntie Ev's place at Leongatha. I gave it to Gary and Christine as a thank you for having me while I was there.
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Faces at the Footy

Top Left: Cameron aka Mooney d'King on Big, the Geelong fan I connected with before going over. We went to the Collingwood and Bulldoags games together with a bunch of his mates.

Top right: Nick, a mate from work, and his daughter. Nick is a Saints fan but I met up with him at the Geelong v Collingwood game. It was amazing actually. At half time I got up and walked out to the concourse, pushed the number on my phone and rang Nick cause I knew he was at the game somewhere, along with 85,500 other people, and just as it started ringing Nick walked up to me and said g'day! I couldn't believe it!

Bottom left: Gary's son Nathan, as you can see, a Tiger's fan. We all went to the footy together for his birthday.

Bottom right: Geelong CEO Brian Cook, watching the Geelong VFL (reserves) team play Port Melbourne. I had a chat to him and he was very friendly and approachable. Ironically I've just finished watching him on Footy Classified tonight.
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The Best House in Melbourne

Irish Jayne 375 Clarke St Northcote
The Park The Back Lane

While I was in Melbourne I got to spend an hour with Irish Jayne who used to live in Busselton. In fact she was about to fly to Perth and go and visit Busso. In the limited time we had I decided to take her to the best house in Melbourne. The house in question, at 375 Clarke St Northcote, belonged to my Nan and Pa for about 50 years and we visited them there all the time throughout my childhood. It is the place of many precious memories for me, something like a sacred site. Pa had a small push bike which we all took turns riding around the neighbourhood, up and down the many back lanes so common in older Melbourne suburbs, up to the park, around the grounds of Westgarth State School, and down to Vicki Rd or round to the newsagent opposite Dennis Train Station if we were getting milk for Nan or the paper for Pa. The lane at the rear was the scene of a disaster for me. I crashed the bike into the fence, breaking my leg, which had only been out of plaster for four days following an initial broken leg, the result of running onto a road and into the side of a passing car in Geelong. The driver was pretty traumatised by the incident, it was the first day he had ever driven home from work for lunch! An reckless 8 year old boy ruined his day! In all I spent about 5 months in plaster and became so proficient on crutches I could hop along as fast as other kids could run.
The park was a multi-purpose playground. The paths made great racing tracks, including the gravel road that went around the perimeter. There was steel playground equipment including a rocket with a fireman's pole running down the middle of it affording quick escapes in games of chasey. I related to Jayne, who like me is a mad Tottenham fan, that I played my first ever game of soccer in that park. As an Aussie Rules nut soccer was a game played by immigrant kids from Italy and southern Europe but there was a game happening one day and I asked if I could join in. I don't remember much else but I resisted the urge to pick the ball up.
I was shocked and disappointed to discover on this trip that the sleepout, an outside bedroom in Nan and Pa's back garden had been demolished. This was a place to play, to sleep, to take refuge against the Melbourne weather and to hang out with my brothers and sister. I have clear memories of reading the official record book of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games while laying on the bed in the sleepout. Why anyone would remove it is a mystery to me. In fact the whole back yard has been let go to a terrible state, and a large dog prowls the domain that was once ours, complete with gnomes, mushrooms and a concrete Aboriginal figure, all of which were popular at the time. I loved Nan and Pa and I loved going up there to visit.
Years later in my late teens when I started travelling and hitch-hiking around the country I loved going to stay with Nan and Pa. Nan would always have something yummy in the pantry, yo yo biscuits or my favourites, Lamingtons.
Christmas was made extra special with Nan's famous Christmas Plum Puddings, complete with sixpences.
When I was staying up in Cairns with some mates, at about 18 or 19 I rang Nan and asked her to make us a Christmas pudding and send it up to us! She happily did so but to my great disappointment and shame, we had left Cairns before it arrived and it ended up being returned to Nan's address several weeks later and no longer fit to be eaten!!

I guess our kids have similar feelings and memories associated with going to Mum's (their Nan's) place at Bridgetown. I hope so.

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This is a painting I did for my mate, John Duthie, while we were at Country Week. He is retiring after 28 years of going to Country Week!
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Monday, August 06, 2007

Sport Boy in Action

Sport Boy twisted his ankle at school and also copped a knock on the knee in the first half so wasn't quite at his sharpest during the game on Saturday.
Once we scored our first goal I swapped him with Jack the goal keeper.
SB wasn't that impressed with the move but it was fair, he wasn't running as freely and Jack had spent 75% of the game in goal.
It turned out to be the most inspired substitution I've ever made because within 10 seconds of coming out of goal Jack scored at the other end!! A few minutes later he scored another goal to secure our 3-0 win!
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Cornerstone V Margaret River Tigers.

The kids lining up ready for the corner kick to be taken. Last season we drew 1-1 with the MR Tigers after we managed to score the equaliser in the last 10 seconds of the game, from a corner.
Yesterday was a more comfortable result, a 3-0 win to Cornerstone after it was 0-0 at half time.

NB. Check out the cool new shirts!
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Ready to Strike

Georgia jumps for the header from the corner, Ben is ready to pounce and scored a goal from this attack.
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