Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Country Week

Country Week is off and running for another year and I am in the familiar role of team manager for Busso High School but under different circumstances. No longer a staff member, I am now a contracter. There are subtle differences but essentially the job is the same and the pay scale is better!

To add to the experience, Favourite Daughter has been contracted to cater for the team and provide lunches for 107 people each day. It was a bit of a hectic baptism into the catering business this morning but she managed pretty well and learnt a number of things that will improve her efficiency for tomorrow and the rest of the week. She has "employed" her brother Spike to help her out and he arrived this evening on the bus from Busso. They are now cutting tomatoes and cucumbers and preparing salads for tomorrow's lunches.

The team had a good day with a number of wins in volleyball soccer and football.
We went ten pin bowling at Warwick then onto Hog's Breath Cafe at Joondalup for dinner tonight, a good night.
The kids are tired and in bed now, or at least quiet in their rooms with lights out!

I'm watching Holland bore their way to victory over Slovakia in the World Cup.
Don't get me started on the travesty that was England's disallowed goal against Germany last night! Germany deserved to win and probably would have won anyway but it was the worst decision of the World Cup and that's saying something cause there's been some shockers!!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Dad Life

This is great!

A BIG Day!

What an amazing day!
Who could have forseen what would happen today?

Italy have been knocked out of the World Cup!
The reigning world champions were eliminated thanks to a 3-2 defeat to Slovakia!

New Zealand are out too but remained undefeated with three draws, a very creditable effort.

The Socceroos were brave and courageous last night but despite beating Serbia 2-1 went out on goal difference. I woke Sport Boy up and we watched the game together, as well as the Germany v Ghana game. Germany won but didn't do us any favours by scoring lots of goals and thus Australia went out on goal difference.

And England did enough to beat Slovenia 1-0 and progress to the second round with Tottenham's own Jemain Defoe scoring the only goal.

Oh, and Australia got a new Prime Minister today, and she's a woman too!
Congratulations to Julia Gillard on becoming Australia's first female PM.
I feel sorry for Kevin Rudd who I think did a lot of good things in his 2 1/2 years as PM.
I'll probably blog about the political goings-on in the next couple of days.

At the moment my mind is on sport. Apart from the World Cup there is a HUGE game of footy Friday night, the Grand Final rematch between Geelong and StKilda at the MCG. The news tonight is that Norm Smith medal winner Paul Chapman is out with a hamstring strain! Rats. Mooney and Scarlett are back which is better news. I can't wait.

Can't close without mentioning the amazing tennis match at Wimbledon between John Isner and Nicholas Mahut that Isner finally won 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68! The crowd certainly got their money's worth there!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tonight's the Night

It's D-Day at the World Cup.

In about half an hour England play Slovenia in a game they have to win. I have always had a soft spot for England in the World Cup, depsite their constant failures and disappointments. I went to the World Cup in Spain in 1982 and went to all of England's games, in Bilbao and Madrid.
They have again been disappointing so far in South Africa but they still have their fate in their own hands. A win over Slovenia puts them through to the 2nd round. With Defoe, Crouch, Lennon and Dawson from Tottenham in the squad perhaps the Spurs factor can get them through.

Then the BIG one, Australia v Serbia. After the terrible effort against Germany and the unlucky circumstances against Ghana, with Cahill and Kewell sent off respectively, the luck has to turn for the Aussies to go through. Firstly we have to beat Serbia (remembering that they're coming off a 1-0 victory over Germany!!) and then we need the right result from the Germany v Ghana game. Ironically, a win to either of them suits us depending on the scoreline. If we win and Ghana win we go through although that's the most unlikely outcome.
If Germany win they need to score lots of goals to help counter-balance our poor goal difference as a result of the 4-0 loss to Germany. Germany will probably win but will they score enough goals? And can Australia get it together and win by 2-3 goals over Serbia?
Realistically that's unlikely.
I think the most likely outcome is Australia will not go through, even if they win tonight.
But, let's hope for a footballing miracle.
Go the Socceroos!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Shortest but Best Day of the Year

Happy Birthday to me
I got a flat screen TV*
Happy Birthday for the World Cup#
Watching sport and Footy

* Less than half price at a 3 hour sale at Hardly Normals**
** Also got a reverse cycle air conditioner at the same sale***

*** Which helped convince Mrs Holt Press that I should get a flat screen digital TV for my birthday!!

# What a terrible World Cup the Socceroos are having!! We need a miracle to get through to the next round and I can't see it happening, so I've done what every proud and self-respecting Aussie would do, I've invoked the spirit of ANZAC and jumped on board the Kiwis bandwagon.
And my new team were brilliant in holding World Champs Italy to a 1-1 draw last night.
C'arn the All Whites!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Chance

There are only two performances of "It Runs in the Family" left, tonight and tomorrow night. It's been fun but I won't be sorry when the season ends, it has taken a lot of time and energy. On the plus side, the audiences have been rapturous and uproarious. Last night they laughed so much we had to slow down our lines so they wouldn't miss things! If you're local I do encourage you to come and have a look, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Things are cranking up on the work front with just over a week until Country Week. Finalising numbers, bookings, orders, transport arrangements, T-shirts, hire cars and meals etc. Favourite Daughter is going to provide all the lunches for the team while we're in Perth, that's 107 lunches a day for 5 days. She's a little stressed getting the orders and quantities sorted out but I'm confident she'll do a great job and we'll all be well fed.

I've been training a new driver to do my school bus run while I'm away in Perth. He is getting the hang of it. No-one taught me the run or the process when I first started so he's got a head-start on me.

I've been to the physio this morning for some treatment on my calf which flared up after I started footy umpiring. The physio has recommended I take a week's break and with a bit more treatment should be right to take up the whistle next weekend.

Not sure if you've heard about this but the World Cup has started and Australia got thumped by Germany in their first game. We shouldn't be surprised, Germany are on of the true powers of world soccer, but Aussie expectations were inordinately high before the game. Perhaps a little more realism will help us find our true place in the scheme of things. We could possibly win against Ghana and or Serbia but the chances are more likely that we'll get knocked out in the first stage.
I'd love to see England win the World Cup. If not them Spain. But most of all I just want it to be someone new and different, and definitely not Brazil, Germany or Italy!!
Chances are though it will be one of these three dominant nations who will hold the trophy up at the end!

Anyone know how to fix dodgy car doors? We bought the cheap Commodore on behalf of the Heir on the weekend but the driver's door won't open from the outside and clambering over and around the seat to open it from the back door is a pain in the bum! I'm summoning up the strength to dismantle the door and see if I can fix it! Wish me luck! For an $800 car it's OK. Not fancy but so long as it runs reliably for a year or two it will have done its job. Meanwhile I'm continuing to ride the scooter to work and around town. I can rug up against the cold but the rain is a pain and the wet roads make me a little nervous. I filled it up this morning; it cost me $4.89 so it certainly has its upside!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Moments of Stress. Moments of Bliss. Wed to Mon.

There's been too much going on to give you the full story so here it is in point form.

Wed 7:30pm Final dress rehearsal of the play. Goes ok but still needs work.

Wed 10.30 Drive to Augusta in order to drive Augusta school run Thurs AM.

Wed 11.30pm Discover another driver asleep (snoring) in only bed at Augusta depot. Curse mis-commiunication that lead to this predicament.

Wed 11.45 Drive to Caravan Park and ring doorbell hopefully. Discover they don't have on-site vans. Gary takes pity on me and offers me the bed in the lounge room. Embarrassed but grateful to have somewhere other than the car or the back seat of the bus to sleep.

Thurs 6.00am Crawl out of bed, shower and go to bus depot.

Thurs 6.40 Start to worry at inability to get bus started. Call Busselton depot. Get Doug's number, he'll know what I need to do. He does. Reconnect battery isolator. Bus starts but now I'm running late.

Thurs 7.15 Depart Augusta, pick up anxious students enroute to Busselton. Curse Dennings bus, a horror to drive. A gearbox from the abyss and the turning circle of the Queen Mary. Decide not to do Augusta school run again unless they get a new bus.

Thurs 3.00pm Do return run to Augusta. Arrive 5.00 Put bus in shed, get in car, go back to bus and collect gate keys, get in car drive to gate, go back to bus shed and find phone, get in car, lock gate, stop at petrol station to fill car. Ring supervisor to ask for PIN number for fuel card. Commit PIN to memory.

Thurs 6.30 Arrive home. Pick up Spike. Drive to theatre for opening night. Remember most of my lines. Audience warm. Cast happy.

Thurs 11.30ish to bed.

Fri 7.00 Up and off to drive regular school bus run. Remember to take footy fixtures for kid's tipping comp.

Fri 9.30-2.30 Drive town services, Geographe 9.30, Broadwater 10.00 Dunsborough 11.00 Geographe 12.45 Broadwater 1.15.

Fri 3.00 Take school kids home. Tell them I've made special arrangements with the govt. and they don't have to go to school on Monday. Two kids laugh, thirty groan.

Fri 7.00 Arrive at theatre for Friday night performance of "It Runs in the Family". It goes well, we're starting to gel.

Fri 10.30pm Drive to Augusta. Arrive at depot 11.30. Nobody else in my bed. 

Sat 5.20am. Get up, discover there are no towels. Decide not to have shower. Depart in the dark. Pick up 3 passengers in Augusta. A dozen more in Margaret River. Make decent time and connect with 7.40 Perth bus in Busselton.

Sat 8.00am Ignore the call of garage sales. Go home and sleep for a few hours.

Sat 11.40 Drive bus to Augusta. Most passengers get off at Margaret River.
Sat 1.00 pm Buy lunch at Augusta bakery, eat in the car overlooking Flinders Bay while listening to footy on radio. Mistake reef break for whale breach. Go to pub and watch the Dockers lose to the Crows.

Sat 4.00pm Drive bus to Busselton. Pick up lots of unticketed passengers at Margaret River. One apologises. I say "Good to have you on board, better than driving bus empty" She responds, "You're the nicest bus driver I've ever had". Smile. Realise that welcoming attitude and hospitality are easy to give and greatly appreciated (and perhaps sadly lacking?)

Sat 5.30pm Ultra quick turn-around for final journey of the day back to Augusta. Lots of passengers. Most going to MR. Drop last two passengers at Caves Rd so take short cut to depot. Discover forgotten passenger as I turn into last street before depot. She assures me it's OK she lives "just over there".

Sat 6.45pm Jump in car. Check I have everything. Check again. Lock gates and drive sedately back to Busselton for 7.30 performance. Arrive in time (I don't go on stage until half an hour into act 1.) Get changed. Get distracted listening to the football as West Coast play above themselves and cause minor concern before Cats prevail. Miss cue for first appearance on stage! Run on stage and act with heightened pulse rate. Miss some lines. Lead actor a tad annoyed.

Sat 10.00pm Play ends. Go home. Get changed. Discover my wallet is missing. Hunt high and low for it. Ride scooter back to theatre. It's not there. Go home again, Discover wallet buried beneath pile of stuff on the bed.

Sat 10.30 start shift in taxi.

Sat 10.40 Pick up first passengers, head for Broadwater.

Sat 10.45 Get pulled over by police. Start to sweat. May have been going a little fast.
Cops point out one headlight not working. No ticket. Breathe BIG sigh of relief and continue to Broadwater.

Sat 11.00 -1.30 Very quiet in cab. Become very tired. Decide to pull over for power nap rather than falling asleep at the wheel. Pull into bush off Marine Tce. 

Sun 1.40 am Bog taxi in sand. 

Sun 1.45am Attempt to dig taxi out. Fail. Make second attempt. Fail again. Realise cab is buried up to the chassis.

Sun 2.00am Give up. Lock cab. Walk back to shed. Pick up scooter. Ride home. Plan to dig cab out in the morning.

Sun 2.30am Go to bed.

Sun 10.00 Get up, wake up The Heir. Go to church at the pub. Enlist help of Oscar and his 4WD. Oscar pulls cab out at third attempt. Take cab back to shed, boss cool about it.

Sun arvo, recover, doze in front of footy on telly.

Sun night. Get decent night's sleep.

Mon. Public holiday (in WA) Borrow maxi taxi and take family out for lunch at Woody Nook winery and to look at MR Cow Parade art exhibition. Stop on way home to look at 87 Commodore for The Heir. "Runs Awesome" according to ad. Actually runs ok. Decide to buy it at haggled price of $800. Lovely day with the family.

Friday, June 04, 2010

It Runs in the Family, Opening Night

The play opened tonight to a packed house and raucous laughter throughout the show. Despite a few mistakes and missed lines it went very well and both Spike and I enjoyed ourselves. The crowd were certainly into it and their enjoyment was obvious not just from the laughter but the warm applause at the final curtain.
I managed not to fluff any of my lines which was a relief. Spike is one of the comic stars of the play and did a great job. With first night nerves out of the way hopefully we can iron out the glitches and put on a really polished performance over the next three weekends.
Tickets are only $12 from Callows which is pretty good value for a night of live entertainment. Let me know if you're coming. It's on Thurs Fri and Sat nights and there's a Sun matinee this weekend and next.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

It Runs in the Family

Tonight is the final dress rehearsal for the play. Tomorrow night is opening night.
Monday's rehearsal was the best so far so perhaps we'll be ready by the time we open.
I play the role of Sgt Connolly in this Ray Cooney comedy. Spike plays the role of Les, a young man looking for his father, a doctor at St Andrew's hospital.
I'm a bit anxious about it. I've struggled to remember my lines and to get the timing right of my scenes.
There are 12 performances scheduled over the next three weekends, Thurs, Fri & Sat nights and a Sun matinee. If I'd realised how big the commitment was going to be I'd have reconsidered my involvement! 
Anyway, we're nearly there now. Hopefully the effort will be worth it and the audiences will enjoy the show.

The end of the week is going to be busy. After tonight's rehearsal I have to drive down to Augusta ready for tomorrow morning's early bus run. Thurs night the play opens. Friday there's the regular school run and town service driving and the play in the evening.
Saturday I'm doing the full day of Augusta bus runs, the play and a taxi shift! 
Sunday there's a matinee performance.
Thank heavens Monday is a public holiday, I suspect I'll be sleeping all day!

Mrs Holt Press returned to work tonight, delivering pizzas for Eagle Boys. It's been great to have her home and not just because of the domestic workload! We went to the movies yesterday to see an excellent Australian film called "Beneath Hill 60", a WWI drama. 

Cornerstone had a good win on Saturday, 5-2 against GMAS although Sport Boy couldn't play as he'd been sick and away from school for a couple of days.
And of course the Cats had another good win over Melbourne to extend their winning run and set new records in the process.

I am getting around on a scooter at the moment having "swapped" my car for The Heir's scooter on a trial basis. The car is more practical for him to get to work and uni up in Perth and apart from the cold, and no doubt soon wet weather the scooter works well for me down here. I had to go to the Salvos today to buy a pair of gloves though!