Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Many Happy Returns

There's been lots of family oriented stuff happening lately. Mrs Holt Press has returned from her trip to WA where she got to see lots of friends from Busselton and Perth, as well as seeing Spike. He is working part time and slowly making preparations to move over here, something we're all looking forward to.

Pop,Vicki, Mum and I went to Shepparton on Thursday for lunch with family and friends to celebrate Auntie Merle's birthday. I took the train, just managing to get on board at Broadmeadows station. Auntie Merle seemed to really enjoy the day and it was good to see a couple of old family friends.

The birthday theme continued yesterday with a joint celebration lunch for Pop, 76 and The Heir, 25.
Our eldest child is quarter of a century old!!!!!
The food was ordinary but the company was good with plenty of laughs and reminiscences.

Vicki and Pop are setting off for Queensland tomorrow, it's been great to have them here on and off for the last couple of weeks. Favourite daughter has moved back home for a while to help her regain her health as she's been a bit crook. She gets allergies and things and the cat and dog at the hippy house in Barwon Heads seem to have triggered this last episode.

Sport Boy has missed a couple of days school too but when he's not sick he eats like a horse, literally, grazing continually! Despite eating us out of house and home he has not put on an ounce of weight. He has however shot up about 6 inches in the last few months and now stands taller than his mother.

I've picked up a minor cold so was glad to have today off. It's back to work in the dark tomorrow though, starting at 11 past 6! 

Tottenham !

Mum returned from Europe bearing gifts. I was mightily impressed with mine.

After the disappointment of the Champions League Final and Chelsea's tinny victory denying Spurs entry to next year's UCL it gave me some cheer.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Comings and Goings in the Family

Mrs Holt Press has gone to WA for a week's holiday and is enjoying catching up with friends in Busselton at the moment. She'll head up to Perth mid-week to see more people up there and in fact the timing of her visit is excellent as there is a reunion for Joondalup Church of Christ, which we attended for sevral years, next weekend. Life gets pretty intense for Mrs HP with the ever increasing amount of time and energy required to help look after her Dad, on top of keeping the family and household running so I'm glad she's been able to have this break, even though it's only short.

The house is not empty though.
Pop has come down from Queensland for a visit and will be around another couple of weeks, long enough to celebrate Auntie Merle's birthday on the 24th and his own, his 76th, on the 28th of May.
Vicki has arrived back from South Australia having just about completed all required business associated with her settlement and impending relocation to Leopold where she is building a new house and future.
And Mum has returned from her two month trip to Europe with her friend Mona, staying in Greece, Italy and France and is with us for the next few days before returning to Tatong.

The other good news is that Spike, our one child still remaining in WA has decided to move over to Victoria following the end of the relationship that was keeping him on that side of the country. He has got a job for a few weeks in order to get some money together and get himself ready before making the big move. Hopefully Mrs HP will be able to help him with a bit of that while sh'e there this week.

See the Bombers Fly Up!

Further to my recent post "Louie Louie" regarding selling football cards on ebay, my sales have gone from strength to strength.
In the last two weeks I have sold three cards featuring old (obscure even) Essendon players for the following prices (remembering that the whole lot of footy cards, footy records and assorted other cards cost me a total of $50 and that the starting price for each of these particular cards was $15).
Reg Burgess: shot up from $20 to $76.95 in the final 10 seconds of bidding.
John Gill: similarly rose from $20 to $78 in the last 10 seconds.
Fred Gallagher: Final price, $88 (I was having a nap at the time it finished so not sure of the rapidity of the ascending bids but naturally enough I was delighted with the outcome when I awoke!)
 I will progressively sell most of the other cards and records over the next few months but without question the diamond in the rough has been these 1950s Coles Cards.
In total I have made a bit over $1100 just from the sale of this one set of old footy cards already!!
The good news is I still have about 20 cards left to sell including a few famous names such as Charlie Sutton, Ted Whitten, Bob Davis and John Coleman which I expect to fetch handsome prices.
The bloke who bought this Fred Gallagher card sent me a message that he requires just two more cards to have the complete set and one of them is a Coleman card!

On the Buses

As a bus driver I see some strange things. I see a lot of bad drivers and quite a few unusual passengers although unlike many of my colleagues, I don’t subscribe to the view that 
“This would be a great job if it weren’t for the passengers”!!
I’m smart enough to recognize this simple truth of public transport:
Passengers = customers = a bus service = my job
And the converse truth, equally as important:
No Passengers = No customers = No bus service = No job.

I see a LOT of car drivers talking on mobile phones as I drive around the city but last week I saw something new; a truck driver driving with two mobile phones, one in each hand!!!

On the #11 to Corio we go via West Geelong, past West Oval, home of former VFA team Geelong West whom I used to go and watch some Sunday afternoons as a kid in the early 70s. The #11 then deviates via North Shore where the timetable instructs us to sit for about 15 minutes before continuing on our journey. While this time is handy for reading the paper or going to the dunny it is frustrating for the passengers to sit idling idly for no apparent reason.
We wait at the first stop in Seabeach Pde. The next stop is, at an absolute maximum, 150m further up the street. However, the farcical nature of this enforced layover is made comic by the following behaviour which I have personally experienced 4 times, the most recent of which was last week.
After the obligatory 15 minute wait I took off and immediately the bell rang signalling a passenger’s request to get off at the next stop!!  They had endured a 15 minute wait on the bus to travel a distance they could have walked, back and forth, a dozen times whilst waiting!
Before you make excuses for them on the basis of ignorance, anybody who has ever caught the #11 knows about the stopover and even if they’re a first-timer, there are a few tell-tale signs like the driver putting the hand-brake on, going for a walk, taking out a newspaper, having a short nap etc to indicate we are going to be stationary for a while!
It’s as much as I can do sometimes not to burst out laughing when the bell rings but, it’s the passengers’ prerogative to get on and off when and where they choose, my job is just to drive the bus!

There is another regular passenger who cops a fair bit of criticism from other drivers. I think she has some mental health problems and admittedly her behaviour can b a little odd at times and this can stir up some drivers. I have made an effort to get to know her a little bit and be courteous and hospitable and we are on a first name basis. She did surprise me this week though when upon boarding my bus she asked if she had to pay a fare because she had “stepped on a piece of foam that morning”. To the best of my memory fare exclusions only cover certain disabilities and age categories; I don’t recall the stepping on of foam as qualifying for free travel so I made her pay the fare!