Monday, November 29, 2010

Big Week for Spurs

It's a good time to be a Spurs fan. I have passionately followed Tottenham Hotspur since I was 12 years old and saw them win the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup in person back in the early 80's. Tottenham have had their share of success but not quite delivered in the league, their last championship occcurring in 1961, the year I was born. Admittedly they did win the League and Cup double that year.
Last season they qualified to play in the European Champions League for the first time by finishing 4th in the Premier League. Despite being drawn in the same group as the holders, Inter Milan, Spurs have done extremely well and currently lead the group, having beaten Inter in London a couple of weeks ago.
The last week has seen them play arch rivals Arsenal, and Liverpool in the league either side of a mid-week tie against Werder Bremen from Germany.
The game against the Gooners was atway at the Emirates Stadium, a daunting task considering Spurs have never won there in the league and indeed haven't beaten Arsenal away for 17 years!! By half time we were 2-0 down and looking like continuing the losing streak. But, not this time! Spurs hit back to draw level and then in the final 5 minutes grabbed the winning goal, 3-2. Beating Arsenal is about as good as it gets for a Spurs fan, doing it at their ground and denying them top spot on the table in the process is even sweeter.

 Kaboul gets the winning goal against the Gooners.

Next came the Champions League game against Bremen. A win would guarantee Tottenham qualification for the second round. It was never in doubt as Spurs triumphed 3-0. Top of group A. and be in the last 16 in the competition, awesome. Modric and Kaboul scored against the Germans.

Then last night Spurs hosted Liverpool at White Hart Lane and came from a goal down to win 2-1 and move to 5th in the League. Aaron Lennon scored the winner in the 92nd minute.

I'm a happy man. A few months back, while I was still in Busselton I met a bloke from Sydney, David, who is as mad about Spurs as I am and since then we have been swapping text messages most weeks, discussing the team's great form and wonderful results. It's cool to have a friend who shares my life-long passion for Tottenham.

In other sports news, the NY Giants beat the Jacksonville Jaguars this morning (Melbourne time).

I've got a day off today before another week of early starts, 5.30 tomorrow morning. Next week I finally get a reprieve and have a week of late starts (and finishes). Although I don't like the early morning starts, I do admit there is an upside when I finish work by 1 or 2pm on those days.

Sport Boy and Mrs Holt Press went to Melbourne on Saturday to watch Brody compete in an internation Brazilian Ju Jitsu tournament. Brody is the son of Dave, with whom The Heir works and he and Sport Boy get along really well. He didn't win his bout but they had a great day by all accounts.

Favourite Daughter is still in Halls Creek but has let us know the good news that she'll be flying to Melbourne on Dec 20. It will be great to have her back with the family. Sport Boy in particular will be rapt, he is missing his friends from WA at the moment but having his big sister around will be a real blessing for him.
I'm just about to go and pick him up from school.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Anyone know who this is?

The one on the right I mean...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sport Boy Becomes a Teenager (Tomorrow...)

I have to work on Sport Boy's birthday (starting at lunchtime) and as there are no brothers/sisters/rellies around to celebrate the occasion on the day we decided to start the birthday events a day early. This afternoon we went and played golf together. It was his first ever game and I think he has a healthy respect for the difficulties of the game now. Mrs Holt Press came along to caddie and keep us company. My back is now feeling the effects too; it was my first game in several years.

Now we are about to go out to The Mex for a birthday dinner, that being the local Mexican restaurant in case it wasn't obvious.
Tomorrow morning there'll be presents and church before I leave for work.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sport Boy's Sporting Weekend

Sport Boy and I took full advantage of our new-found proximity to premier sporting events on Sunday.
We snuck out of church early and drove up to Melbourne to go to the final round of the Australian Masters at the Victoria Golf Club. There was a certain (recently notorious) African American golfer playing and we along with thousands of other people were keen to see him in the flesh (pardon the pun). Despite multiple off course discrepancies, he is one of if not THE greatest golfer in history, the highest paid sportsman in the world, and a genius/superstar at his chosen sport. Although he started the day 10 strokes behind the leader and was for all intents and purposes out of contention, he finally found some form with the putter, burned up the back nine and finished with birdie, eagle to become the clubhouse leader on 7 under. 

The overnight leaders faded as if to script or according to their names, Gaunt and Bland and dropped down the leaderboard, leaving Victorian and crowd favourite Stuart Appelby to storm home with a round of 6 under to win the Masters.
Sport Boy and I followed Mr Woods for several holes then after some food and a mosey through the merchandise and sponsor's marquees sat ourselves on the edge of the 18th green to watch the last couple of groups finish. Appelby received a rapturous response from the gallery and very nearly eagled the last hole, his putt missing by millimetres. It didn't matter, he was two strokes clear and could have two putted from less than an inch and still won the gold jacket.

Golfers have a reputation for shocking fashion sense.
As you can see, it is fully deserved!

Phase one complete, Sport Boy and I dashed back to the car and headed for Aami Stadium to see our team, Melbourne Heart play top of the table Brisbane Roar in the A League. Traffic, a poor sense of directionand lack of parking  meant we didn't get there till late in the first half, at which point Heart were leading 1-0 in a high quality game. Brisbane are not on top for nothing though and always looked more threatening in attack. Sure enough they equalised mid way through the second half and should have taken the lead when awarded a penalty but the Heart keeper saved the (poorly taken) spot kick to keep it 1-1. The home fans were the ones "roaring" at that point and Melbourne had opportunities to score but failed. Late in the game Brisbane took theirs to win the game 2-1. 

We went looking for suitable (gluten-free) food on the way home but after crossing the West Gate Bridge I drove through Williamstown, Newport, Sunshine and Altona without finding a Red Rooster. Just as we'd given up hope I tried one more exit and we found one tucked around a corner. Hunger dealt with we headed for home. Sport Boy was asleep before we were half way home, fed, happy and content after a great day out.

On Saturday morning I braved the rain and cold to cruise some garage sales. I found a bargain at one, a set of golf clubs for $20 including several Cobras, the weapon of choice of my favorite golfer, The Great White Shark in his heyday. I've been thinking about playing golf again, not in a big way, when I used to play every week, but just an occasional hit. We live less than a kilometre from Ocean Grove golf club so it's pretty handy.
The garage sale proprietor and his family are moving to France to live next week so he was keen to get rid of stuff. I walked out with an armful of free books too.

A little later I paid $5 for an odd-bod bunch of old clubs at the Anglican Church fete. I figured Sport Boy might like to come and have a game with me.

While fossicking around the fete stalls I came across this reminder of "home".

This week I have today and tomorrow off and am working Saturday and Sunday. Mrs Holt Press and I are hoping to go up to Melbourne tomorrow for a look around. Once I finish blogging and paying some bills I may  go and try my "new" golf clubs this arvo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living the Ocean Grove Life

We went for a walk along the beach after I got home from work this arvo. Mrs Holt Press Sport Boy and I. He had been off school today with a headache but the walk in the sea air reinvigorated him. We threw the (American) footy back and forth most of the way. There were plenty of people on the beach, some walking, some swimming, some surfing and a few crazy ones jogging. 
Mrs HP enjoyed it, the first time she's had a decent beach walk since we got here. We walked all the way round to the mouth of the river and back, probably 4-5km in total.
By then it was a bit late to buy food and cook dinner so after a significant amount of persuasion I succumbed to the suggestion we have fish and chips for tea.

I had an unusual and quite special experience this morning. I was at Corio Village shopping centre buying some rolls for lunch at 11am when a voice came over the PA asking everyone's attention. They then proceeded to have a Remembrance Day observance, played the last post followed by a minute's silence. I am accustomed to these events in schools but have never seen it done at a shopping centre. To my surprise there was a great response and at the given time the whole complex fell silent. Very respectful, very impressive.

Just had a text from Alex to say he's at the hospital with the Heir who fell off his skateboard and hurt his arm. Not broken apparently though we await further updates.

Talking of the WA offspring, Favourite Daughter has set off on her first big adventure in the Kombi and she and Patrick were in Broome yesterday and all was going pretty well. They did lose the keys while swimming in a gorge but managed to break into the car through the sunroof and find the spare key in order to get back on the road. Some good problem solving skills being exercised by the sound of it. They should be in Halls Creek within a day or two.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Weekend in Ocean Grove

The new working week starts in 8 hours.
I've got 6 o'clock starts every day which means getting to bed early, AND hoping for decent sleep. I have been waking up a lot during the night the last few weeks. I don't know why, maybe it's my bodies reaction to the altered sleeping/waking times.

Sport Boy spent the weekend with his new friends from church. Yesterday they went mountain biking at Angelsea. Today they went surfing but there was no surf. Mrs Holt Press and I enjoyed the time to ourselves. Saturday we had lunch with her Dad and Trevor Anne and Rachel in Pakington St then drove out to Bannockburn for a Collectables Fair. I found a few sports badges to add to my collection.
Today after church we had lunch and read the paper at a cafe  in town.
When we got home I mowed the grass. Picture African explorers hacking their way through the jungle with machetes and you'll have some idea of the challenge I faced, ....and overcame!

The ARIAs are on TV at the moment and we're excited because nephew Josh is part of Dan Sultan's band and they've won a couple of ARIAs. Josh flew up there this afternoon to be part of the big event.

A little politics before I go.
The Democrats/President Obama copped a shellacking in the US mid-term elections, apparently because people aren't happy with the slow pace of recovery from the Global Financial Crisis. I'm no expert but it seems to me Obama has been doing a pretty good job in difficult circumstances. Here's a link to have a look at, along the lines of Monty Python's "What have the Romans ever done for us?" from The Life of Brian.
I think this is the PG version, there's another one with swearing in it. What Has Obama done so far?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus...

It's been a long week. I finished my driver induction and training and on Thursday headed out on the road solo. Apart from a couple of missed turns things have been going pretty well. I'm enjoying it, and am even managing the early starts, though I was pleased that today's shift didn't start till 1.50.
I'm looking forward to the weekend: not that we've got any plans but it will be nice to have a couple of days off. Sport Boy is going bike riding at Angelsea with the church youth group tomorrow.
Mrs Holt Press and I might take a drive down to Torquay if the weather is nice. The last couple of days have been warm and sunny but prior to that it's been COLD! We've had the fire alight most nights.

Favourite Daughter has set off on her first big adventure, driving "Kimberley the Kombi" up to Halls Creek with her friend Patrick to visit Casey and the kids at the school who she worked with last year. 

The Heir and Spike sound like they are surviving without us which is no surprise though we do miss them.

The new car is running very well and Mrs HP is enjoying having her car back and her independence. Her Dad is doing OK, she goes to visit him 2-3 times a week and talks to him on the phone every day.

Better mention the big sporting news of the week: Tottenham beat Inter Milan (reigning European Champions) 3-1 at White Hart Lane on Wednesday and are top of Group A, pretty cool for their first season in the Champion's League.