Saturday, February 26, 2011

Home Again

I spent 12 hours on a bus today coming back from Adelaide and arriving just in time to get to Docklands to see the 2nd round NAB Cup game. I needn't have bothered! The Cats copped a flogging from the Saints, just as well it's only pretendy-footy!
I'm home again now, woohoo.

Favourite Daughter has flown back to WA and will be there for about three months to go to a couple of her friend's weddings.
Then she and Toni are going to drive back here in the Kombi.

Had a great couple of days with Vicki, lots of talking, lots of laughing, lots of running around Adelaide.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Off to Adelaide on the Train

One of the many things I like about my job is that every 22 weeks I get a rostered week off, and this week's the week! In fact, with a weekend at the start and a Tuesday re-start I actually have 10 days off.
 I didn't have any specific plans for it but a speculative text to my sister Vicki which revealed that she will be in Adelaide this week has prompted me to book a train ticket to the city of churches. I board The Overlander at 9.45 tomorrow morning and arrive in Adelaide at 5.45 tomorrow afternoon. I'll have 3-4 days with Vicki before coming back on either Friday or Saturday. 

Another of the benefits of the job is that I get free travel on just about all public transport in Victoria, including on V-Line services to Adelaide! However, the V-Line service runs mostly by coach and I really love and prefer trains for longer distances so I've bought a ticket for the trip over on Great Southern Rail and will probably use the freebie on the way back.
I want to be back by Saturday night so I can go to the footy at Docklands, the Cats are playing old enemies the Saints in the 2nd round of the NAB Cup. I went to the round robin games against North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs at Kardinia Park yesterday. It was great to be at the footy and see the Cats for the first time this season. The NAB Cup doesn't mean much except that the real thing is getting closer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

UEFA Champions League: AC Milan 0 Spurs 1

It just keeps getting better and better....if you're a Tottenham fan :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Not Quite as Planned

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement regarding my weight loss goal. So far so good: I haven't succumbed to any of the sweet temptations but I did have 3 slices of pizza for dinner the other night. Considering I would normally eat a whole pizza in a sitting this wasn't as bad as it sounds. I did eat the rest for lunch a couple of days later but only in the interests of not wasting food. I live with three gluten-intolerant family members so if I didn't eat eat it no-one else would or could. In the interests of honesty and the spirit of self-disclosure, I really enjoyed it! A guilty pleasure.

On Saturday Sport Boy and I went to Melbourne Heart's last game of the season in the A League. He spent the last couple of hours of my shift riding the bus with me then we planned to take the train to Melbourne. Unfortunately we missed one by 5 minutes and rather than wait another hour for the next one I decided to drive. There was a lady waiting on the platform who had missed it as well and consequently was in danger of missing her connecting train to Shepparton. 

I offered her a lift with us and she gratefully accepted.  If I'd known that 10 minutes down the highway she would admit to being a Collingwood supporter I would not have been so magnanimous but by then it was too late. These recurring acts of kindness towards Magpie fans must not continue! (Warren, you have been warned). Deb, said CW fan, did give me a good tip on a short cut to Spencer St via Barkly St Footscray so it wasn't a completely negative experience! 
I spotted this sign in a shop window while we were stopped at a red light!

Don't ask me what "eyebrown waxing" is but the mind boggles!

Deb was appreciative when we dropped her off at Southern Cross station and I trust she made it to Shepp for her grandson's birthday.

Sport Boy and I parked the car near Nth Melbourne station and took the train and tram to AAMI Park for the soccer. It happened to be John Aloisi's (he of the winning penalty to send the Socceroos to the 2006 world cup finals in Germany) last game so there were special celebrations beforehand including a helicopter delivering his kid with the match ball and a line-up of former teammates and Socceroos including Mark Viduka.
The game was entertaining and despite having a man sent off the Heart led 2-1 with 5 minutes to go courtesy of a goal from man of the moment, Aloisi, before Sydney finally found a way past the dogged 10 man defence to snatch an unpopular equaliser.

As soon as the game finished SB and I took off to catch a tram to Docklands and arrived in time to see the last game of the NAB Cup triple header round-robin between Collingwood and Carlton. We scabbed a couple of tickets from some Tigers fans who were leaving so at least I wasn't guilty of paying to watch the two most hated teams in the AFL! We were barracking for Carlton on the principe of "the lasser of two evils" but sadly Collingwood won! Not exactly a surprise but not something you can ever enjoy or get used to.
We also had the misfortune to be sitting right next to the aisle where the Collingwood coaching staff made their way onto the ground. At least Mick wasn't amongst them, having handed the reins to Bucks who is set to replace him as senior coach at the end of the season.

We were pretty late getting home to Ocean Grove and subsequently slept in and missed church. Mrs Holt Press was feeling crook with a headache and hay fever so she didn't make it either.

After lunch Favourite Daughter and I headed back to Melbourne, this time to go and view some footy badges about to be auctioned in a major footy memorabilia auction at Charles Leski's in Hawthorn. We'd hoped to combine that with a visit to see the "Bald Archies", a satirical portrait competition response to the Archibald Prize. Unfortunately the Bald Archies exhibition is currently in Canberra, not very accessible! 

We took a tram along Toorak Rd only for FD to discover she had lost her wallet, presumably on the train. We rang V-Line but they hadn't found it or had it handed in and the conductor on the train home later wasn't able to locate it despite ringing the "connie" who had been on our earlier train.

By then we had been walking for quite a while and FD suggested we check on the directions via iphone and we discovered we had walked too far. Back-tracking it dawned on me that we were going to be too late to get to Leskis in time for the viewing. Sure enough when I rang them there was no-one still there and our trip was in vain!
Three strikes and we were out!

We continued walking back towards Auburn train station and found a few little places of interest and treasures along the way so the trip wasn't a complete waste of time!!!

We had some dinner at a sushi place in Flinders Lane that wasn't particularly impressive ( the food that is) and then caught the 7 o'clock train back to Geelong.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Day Out on Day Off

I've got the day off and am about to go and renew my love/hate relationship with golf. I used to play a lot but I gave it up after realising golf is not a game but rather a source of frustration. I had a game a couple of months ago for Sport Boy's birthday and remembered why I gave it up, but also that there are pleasant aspects to it if you get your head right. (And your grip, and your stance and your backswing...hahaha) 
One benefit is getting some exercise. Not exactly aerobic but at least a good couple of hours of walking. 
This is important because I made a declaration last week that "I need to lose some weight". 

Foolishly I made it in front of the family and they have taken me seriously. 
Evening meals are now being prepared from weight loss inspired cook books. 

Having bitten the bullet I'm taking it one (foolish) step further and declaring it to the blogosphere, or at least to the very tiny echelon inhabited by Holt Press and it's small but hopefully loyal band of readers. The plural may be more optimistic than realistic in that last sentence, especially as my blogging output has diminished significantly over the last few months. 

Anyway, for what it's worth, I am declaring here and now on this here blog that I am setting an initial weight loss target of 10kg. That would bring me down to 100kg!
I was honestly stunned when I asked the doctor who did a medical check-up for my job here in Vic what my ideal weight should be and she said I was 20kg overweight!!! I know I'm overweight but I would never have said by that much. I still don't really believe her but the jury is out I guess. (It's a close run thing clearly, my personal opinion and hurt feelings against her medical degree and years of practice) 
I'll aim for 10 and see how I feel.

The two obvious strategies for weight loss are eat less and exercise more. (Always was good at stating the obvious!)
I'm proud/amazed to report that in the last week I have not eaten any chocolate, or cakes/slices, or biscuits, or pizza, or hamburgers, or chips..... or lollies or.....wait for it.....the big cream!!!! Wow, talk about sacrifice!
I have to battle the mid shift cravings and I spent most of the inward and outward route 34 yesterday, mentally justifying the one small bar of dark chocolate I was going to buy at the 7-11 in town! Inspiration saved me when I pulled up in Highton and dropped in to say a quick g'day to Auntie Kath instead (Mrs HP's Auntie) instead.
Good deed done and no chocolate bought/eaten/enjoyed/devoured!

I have a wicked sweet tooth so foregoing all of these regular treats even for a week is no mean feat. I have been loading up on fruit as compensation. Grapes, cherries and nectarines. I love stone fruit season.
I'm taking it a day at a time but hopefully each day without excess sugar and fat will pay dividends. I've also cut back a bit on lunches and fortuitously discovered a range of cheap "Lean Cuisine" meals at the NQR store up the road. I can't categorically say they are beneficial but the servings are moderate and tasty and make me feel good about myself  and I'm spending less to boot!

And now to add to my growing sense of calorie deprived smugness I'm going out to get some (gentle) exercise.
Hopefully there will be encouraging updates in the weeks ahead as I report on my weight loss! Hopefully!

Meanwhile, here are a couple of pics from a day off last week when we went on a family adventure that took us to Lal Lal Falls and Ballarat where a good time was had by all.

Check out the pair of hotties in Buninyong. Note the newly tie-dyed top Favourite Daughter is wearing, and she says she's not a hippy!!

Movie Review Alert

I've seen a few films recently. Here are their Holt Press ratings out of 5:

The King's Speech ***** Brilliant, without fault, Firth and Rush superb
True Grit ***1/2 Decent rendition of the John Wayne original. "Fill your hands you son of a ....."
The Fighter **** Christian Bale will pip Geoffry Rush for the Oscar I think. True story.
Black Swan ** Great performance by Natalie Portman but a disturbing and unpleasant film
Unstoppable ***1/2 Not a train wreck haha. Another true story and I'm a sucker for those.
The Next Three Days ***1/2 Russell Crowe action jail break for "justice"
Faster ** Violent retribution vehicle for DuaneJohnson but a couple of good moments 
#NB I only went to this because it was cheap Tuesday and they wanted to still charge $19 for The Green Hornet in 3D!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Kerry O'Keefe

This is a classic piece of Kerry O'Keefe shenanigans, very funny and it cracked the ABC commentators up for a considerable length of time.
Thanks Chris for putting me onto it.