Friday, July 31, 2009

Not Much to Say

Work. Soccer training. Home group. Work. Kicking the footy with Sport Boy. Volleyball.
Two days in a nutshell.

I've got an early meeting tomorrow and have been getting to bed way too late so that's it for tonight.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catching up over Coffee and Cake

Coloured pens on card

I had a YouthCare meeting tonight where I give a monthly report on my work. Most chaplains have a quiet time during the holiday break, but for me it's been a busy month, with Country Week and then the footy trip to Melbourne. I'm hoping to get a couple of new programs up and running this term and have also got the Big Busso Quiz Night in three weeks. I prefer being busy and having plenty to occupy me. You can see from the pictures of my doodling above what happens when I get bored.

After the meeting four of us went to McCafe for a coffee and catch up. I almost didn't go (Grand Designs was on TV) but I'm glad I did because we talked about some pretty major things going on for people at work and personally and it felt good to have a level of trust and openness amongst colleagues. There is a level of challenge and stress involved in chaplaincy that all of us feel, and deal with in different ways. Blogging, art and football are all stress relievers and creative outlets for me. Tonight I've been playing around with some of my pictures on the computer and printing them on 5x8 photo cards. I'm considering framing some of them and perhaps selling others through the gallery. I haven't done any new paintings since before Country Week and feel the need to get back into it. In the meantime I've been working on some doodle designs which are quite pleasing.
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Hole In Off One

Unbelievable golf shot, awesome reward!

Pretty Funny

I'm not sure if this will work, I have trouble embedding YouTube clips for some reason.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend in Busso

"Circles" pen on paper

Favourite Daughter just rang, she has arrived back in Halls Creek and starts work at the school again tomorrow morning. I feel very proud of her; for taking on a potentially challenging job so far from home and all the familiar comforts of family and friends. She is happy to be back there and looking forward to working with Leo, the boy for whom she is a teacher's aide.

After the rigours of the long night on Friday I slept most of Saturday before going to church with Mrs Holt Press. Noel talked about the Lord's Prayer and will be speaking about it for the next few weeks.

After church I went round to Dave's place to watch the replay of the Geelong Hawthorn game on Foxtel. It was comforting knowing the result considering how far behind the Cats got early in the last quarter. Dave arrived home with his date, Yvonne; they had been out for dinner with friends. The Foxtel days may be numbered because sadly Dave has had to close down his business, and consequently is tightening his belt. Another victim of the economic troubles.

He's hoping to pick up some work pretty quickly to keep the cash flow going.

With my body clock out of whack I stayed up very late last night and slept late again today. Mrs HP took Sport Boy to Australind for his tennis academy training then they had lunch with Mrs Robinson who was on her way home to Perth from a church camp in Busso.

I went to see Harry Potter then bought some fish and chips to take home for dinner for the family, a nice treat.

Thus ends another typical weekend in Busselton.

"Red Circles", pen on card


Go Cats!!
28 points down 5 minutes into the last quarter against Hawthorn.
5 goals, bang bang bang bang bang.
Scores level.
Bartel marks in the pocket.
Siren goes.
Jimmy kicks a point and the Cats win!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Awake, Barely

You are "lucky" to be reading this because by rights I should be asleep. I finished my cab shift pretty late and having a 9.00am soccer game to coach made the brave but reckless decision to stay up rather than get an hour and a half's sleep then try and wake up sufficiently to coach the team. By about 7.30 as my head was nodding and my eyes rolling in front of the computer I doubted I would make it but I managed to stay awake long enough to get a second wind. We've just returned home from the game, a 6-0 triumph against St Joseph's and I'm again starting to flag. I had hoped to be able to watch the Geelong Hawthorn game at lunchtime but it is not on until 8.00 o'clock tonight. So, I'm off to bed, and will have to be content with watching the game 8 hours after the event.
Go Cats

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Stranger

I came home to a woman that I did not recognise, with apologies to Billy Joel.
Mrs Holt Press told me she was getting her hair done today, but she didn't tell me what she was getting done.
You can see for yourself.
It took me by surprise, but not in a bad way.
I like it.
Sport Boy told her it makes her look younger, you've gotta be happy with that.


This unusual sight greeted us as we arrived at school this morning.
The work of vandals with a creative bent.
If it was just the wheelie bin pyramid on the library roof I wouldn't really have a problem with it. A bit of inconvenience to get it down and redistribute the 21 bins back around the school counter-balanced by a bit of creativity and flair.
Unfortunately, to achieve their work of art the culprits emptied the contents of the bins outside the library, and finished off their efforts by breaking some windows!
What a shame that they had to be destructive rather than just mischievous.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jetty Jumping

While Favourite Daughter was back on holidays she and Toni, Spike and Sport Boy decided to go jetty jumping, even though it's the middle of Winter and the weather has been bitterly cold, wet and windy!
Jetty jumping is a popular pasttime and rite of passage for kids in Busselton. In Summer.
Spike seems to be dreading what's about to happen. With good reason!
You can see how thrilled Sport Boy was about the prospect of plunging into Geographe Bay, and he had a wetsuit on!!
Favourite Daughter goes in.
Not sure how smart their adventure was but you've got to admire their bravery!
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bon Voyage Favourite Daughter

Favourite Daughter has received confirmation that she has got the job at Halls Creek, the same job she was doing last term but had to apply for! So she's leaving for Perth tomorrow and flying back to Kunnunurra on Saturday. It's been great to have her around for the last few weeks and especially to have her company and help on the footy trip, but it's also great that she's going back to a place and a job that she loves.

The students returned to school today at the high school, meanwhile Spike and Sport Boy don't start again until Thursday! What's with that?

Tonight was Scrabble Club and I survived a couple of close games to retain my winning record, 3 from 3. For those (The Heir, Spike) who think I take advantage of my opposition who are all older ladies, including a 75 year old, it is not all plain sailing, I have to work hard for my victories! In the final game I started with C H O N G E R on my rack and made CHORE. After picking my new tiles I had E O U G E N A and made ENOUGH. Then the rot set in, my seven letters were E E E A A R U. I managed to use 4 letters to make ARENA, only to pick up the exact same letters again have E E E A A R U on my rack! I'm not one to complain about my letters but this did prompt me to groan! I fought on though and played my way back into the game, even after my opponent made DANDIES for a 50 point bonus. It was neck and neck until late in the game when I got my own 7 letter word down, BOARDING, and went on to win by 100 points.

Ahh, the sweet smell of victory!!

After work this arvo I watched the replay of the Geelong/St Kilda game for the first time, on the DVD Glass Dave recorded for me. It was still exciting to watch even though I knew the result, it was truly one of the great games of AFL footy. I'm confident the Cats can beat the Saints even though they are undefeated this season. Hopefully that opportunity will come in the finals or the Grand Final.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back to Work

Back to work, sort of. No kids today, just staff. The real thing starts again tomorrow.

Just as well cause I couldn't drag myself away from the TV last night and the drama of the British Open! Initially I was hoping Aussie Matthew Goggin would win but when that was no longer possible I was barracking for 59 year old Tom Watson's attempt to win his 6th Open and become the oldest winner of a major by some 11 years!
Sadly he crumbled on the last with a bogey when a par would have given him victory.
Instead he went into a 4 hole play-off with Stewart Cink.

At that point I went to bed, and Watson fell apart, losing the play-off by 6 strokes.

The Aussies have also lost the 2nd test of the Ashes, their first defeat at Lords since 1934!!!

NB. I've posted several photos from the footy trip on the footy blog if you're interested.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some of the art we saw in Melbourne and Adelaide

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Uninvited Visitor

Not this one. Favourite Daughter and I had lunch with Vicki and Mum in Adelaide and the car was full of pot plants. This one provided FD with some camoflague.
Nor this one. With Fred Chaney at the chaplain's conference this week.
This one! Somewhere in the car!! As I was driving home from Perth on Friday night a spider came scurrying across the windscreen (on the inside). It hid behind the GPS then roamed back and forth around the sun visor. I'm not overly scared of spiders but the thought of this one, a small huntsman, dropping from the roof into my lap or onto my head didn't thrill me! I kept thinking of that song about the funnel web in the car, "Somewhere in the car...". I kept a wary eye on it whilst trying not to run off the road or into the path of an oncoming truck. Finally I was relieved when it crawled down to the door and I was able to wind the window down and rapidly flick the offending arachnid out of the car, hopefully into the path of an oncoming truck!
BTW, that's it's hairy leg sticking out in the picture above.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back to the Real World

I drove my first taxi shift in three weeks tonight, and I'm knackered!

More tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I had the privilege today of meeting the Honourable Fred Chaney, one of the keynote speakers at the conference. I also attended a follow-up workshop with him as he further explored the subject of Reconciliation. Fred has worked in this area for some 50 years and it was humbling to hear of his long struggles and small but significant victories on reconciling black and white Australia, a challenge he described as "the most important issue in Australia today."

If I needed any more convincing it came tonight when I went to see a new Australian film, "Samson and Delilah". It was brilliant but gut-wrenching; telling the story of two young Aboriginal people and their struggle against exploitation, substance abuse, prejudice and disadvantage. It's not an easy film to watch but worth the effort.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Home and Away

Normal blogging will resume from here as of now.
I'm away again but only for a couple of days, at a staff conference in Perth. School chaplaincy has grown massively since I started 16 years ago, I hardly know anyone any more! I sat in the back row and cracked jokes with a few mates and familiar faces, many of whom are now sporting greying hair!

Tonight I had the first executive meeting for Augusta 2010, it was good to see everyone again and begin planning for next year's mission.
I'm staying at Bruce and Jacqui's while I'm in Perth.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Out of the Office

Away at the footy in Melbourne.

For updates go to my footy blog: Melbourne Footy Trip.

Link now fixed.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

We've Arrived

We're here. Here being Melbourne. Box Forest SC Glenroy to be precise.
The boys are blowing up their air mattresses and hyper-ventilating in the process.
We've been to the first of our 6 games, Collingwood v Essendon at the MCG on Friday night Football. The Magpies were way too good for the Bombers, who I think are over-rated.
There were 77,699 people at the game, with the usual percentage of feral fans, from both sides.
The kids were pretty impressed with their first taste of footy in Melbourne.

The trip from Perth had elements of The Amazing Race. The flight out of Perth was delayed taking off and lost a further 10 minutes due to poor tailwinds, reducing our connection window fom 50 minutes to about 40. The staff did their best to assist us within the bounds of rules and regulations. Then, just to add a touch of drama, upon touch down in Adelaide we were instructed to remain seated while paramedics attended to a passenger with a medical emergency during the flight. Finally we were allowed off and I made a dash for the check-in counter while the kids went to retrieve the bags. The check-in attendant wasn't very impressed with us cutting it fine, admonishing me and saying if we were in a big airport like Sydney we'd have missed the flight for sure. The thing is we weren't in Sydney. And the web page instructions say allow 30 minutes to be at the airport and checked in before your flight, and we should have had 50. She remained unimpressed but I didn't mind, by then the kids were arriving with their bags and we were assured of making our connecting flight to Melbourne! Celebrations all round. We had made it.
One of the kids made the Amazing Race comparison and it seemed appropriate.

Further drama ocurred at Tullamarine, Alex and Haydn's bags had not made it for some reason and would arrive on the next available flight. They'll be dropped off by courier in the morning.
Hopefully! Haydn had already left his pillow behind at the security screening in Perth.

We had kebabs from Glenroy for dinner then missed a train by one minute. The next train was delayed by 8 minutes. Thus, we were a little late for the game, arriving just before quarter time.
The game passed without incident, except for the disappointment of Collingwood winning.

When we got on the train at Southern Cross the boys found a mobile phone someone had lost so we spent the train trip home tracking down the owner, a girl called Mani as it turned out, after talking to her Dad, in Northern NSW, her friend Anthea in Brighton and finally her boyfriend Duane who was most appreciative and is coming round in the morning to pick it up.

Fortuitously Coles at Glenroy was still open when we got back so were able to buy some provisions for breakfast.

Meanwhile the boys have discovered several of the air beds have leaks and are not looking forward to an uncomfortable night's sleep! We'll deal with the problems tomorrow.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Beautiful Laundrette

I'm blogging from the laundry at Mountway Apartments. We've been out to the Country Week Dinner Dance tonight and got back after 11. A few kids (girls) wanted to do washing/drying so I told them I would do their washing and sent them to bed, they have games to play in the morning, they need their sleep more than me.

The Dinner Dance went pretty well although they took too long serving the food and thus by the time the captains and coaches speeches finished we had run out of time for dancing. Noone seemed to mind too much, certainly not the boys. I did have to chide the group on their inability to be quiet and show respect when someone is talking to them! Seems like speaking in public AND listening in public are unknown concepts to teenagers in 2009!
Thankfully there are some great kids amongst them who shine in many different ways and give me some cause for hope when I'm tempted to lapse into my Grumpy Old Man persona!

Another day at Country Week, another trip to the hospital, this time for a broken collarbone, the result of a collision in the football. Not much you can do for a busted collarbone, just a sling and some painkillers. Another kid went home tonight due to illness, we are shrinking.

Tomorrow night is my night off, and Mrs Holt Press is coming up, and along with Favourite Daughter we are going to the Simon and Garfunkel concert! Next day the kids will be Homeward Bound but I'll be leaving on a jet plane, headed for Melbourne, woohoo!

The washing is still going, I wonder if it will be finished before the tennis, Hewitt V Roddick at Wimbledon?