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Sunday, November 19, 2006

I've Moved

The new address for Marcus' Blog is www.holtpress2.blogspot.com

Just click on the link and it will take you to my new home.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Blogs They are a Changin'

I've just tried to switch to Blogger Beta for the second time, and was unsuccessful again. It appears my blog is too big. I guess size does matter.
I have created a new version of Holt Press with the new version but won't be able to transfer my history to the new blog which is a real shame. I will leave a permanent link on here so that my readers (all four of you) can find it.
It is still called Holt Press but the URL is different.
www.holtpress2.blogspot.com should get you there.
Well, here goes!
See you on the other side.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's the Weekend! Yeah!

Holt Press
7.30 Big Brekky, reasonable crowd, cooked eggs on barbie for first time.

11.00 Funeral at Dunsborough, quite different to Wednesday's, very sad

1.00-4.00 Recruited camp staff, 5 knock backs, three acceptances (2 definite, one conditional), phone calls and emails

4.00 Outward Bound meeting, sharing ideas about Amazing Race style camps.

6.00 Start cab shift (earnt over $250 for the night) put up with usual array of drunks, yobbos and people you wouldn't want to take home to meet your mother, with a reasonable scattering of nice/normal/sober people thrown in, including three older ladies from Geelong here for a Heritage Rose conference (can you believe it?) Recommended the Gardener's Blog! Always nice to have Cats fans in the cab.

4.00am Finish shift, resolving to come home and go straight to bed.

4.15 Count up the night's takings and prepare paperwork.

4.30 Blog!! as the first light of dawn breaks through.

4.45 In bed, sound asleep, hopefully!

Not driving tomorrow night so have rest of weekend to rest and catch up.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Laundry Makeover Complete

Modest as our laundry may be, it is vastly improved since I completed the makeover tonight. The cupboard I assembled yesterday has replaced the original which was twice as big. The dryer has been relocated above it, it used to be on the right above the trough and was a head hazard. I put up the duel shelves and even hung the cottage craft calendar. Carolyn's happy, not only because it's safer but she also has a flat surface to put clothes and baskets on and moving the dryer has let a lot more light in. All in all a very successful and satisfying project and achieved for just over $200.

I spent most of today working on the finances for the camp prior to a teleconference to get some approvals on things we wanted to do, and it was all thumbs up and green lights which is a relief.
The other very good news is that I have secured a venue for campsite 2. I'd struck out a couple of times so was very keen to get it settled, I was very relieved when I got the confirmation.
Campsite 1 is still not finalised yet which is a little frustrating but I'm not too worried, I'm waiting to hear back from one venue and there are still several other possibilities if that falls through.

I didn't enjoy watching Sport Boy's basketball game this afternoon, even though they won. I do not like basketball generally, but I especially dislike it for kids because of one key reason; because of the way kids play it (selfishly) they do not pass the ball and it is quite possible to go through a whole game and not get the ball and thus be a spectator. Unlike most other sports where either the ball is hit to you, eg tennis, volleyball or you can go and get it yourself, eg. football, soccer, in basketball you are completely at the mercy of your team mates, you can't just go and get the ball (unless you're tall, another reason I don't like it; because it's a huge disadvantage to be small whereas in most other sports your size is not critical). So, if your team mates don't pass you the ball you just run up and down the court the whole game becoming more and more frustrated. Which is pretty much what happened to Sport Boy this afternoon. He wasn't happy and neither was I!
Later on, when kids are old enough to know they have to pass the ball around and play as a team it improves marginally, but it's still not a good game. I agree with the Coodabeenchampions who refer to it as The Nonsense.
I've probably alienated a basketball fan out there somewhere, but I don't care, I know I'm right!!!!!!!!

The new series of The Amazing Race started tonight which always makes me happy. With the CSRC coming up, watching The Amazing Race is like professional development for me! Only 20 days till the start of the camp, got to pick up the pace!! Posted by Picasa

Purchased today, Assembled Tonight, That's Impressive!

Well, it is for a no tool-guy like me! For Birchy it would be a 5 minute kob with his eyes closed but for me, correctly interpreting and following instructions and wielding tools is a challenge! See post below for background info about the cupboard!
And No, this is not a slow news day at Holt Press, quite the contrary, I just wanted to celebrate a little masculine achievement! Posted by Picasa

Me in Action at Meelup this Morning

I'm pleased and relieved to report that the funeral service went very well this morning. The setting was stunning, the weather was perfect and the mood and tone of the service was great, despite the obvious sadness of the occasion.
Nathan's family requested people to wear bright colours, or at least not dress in black, so I wore my brightest shirt, a lovely yellow number. Further to the casual mood was the relaxed footwear standards that normally apply at funerals, thus I am to be seen sporting my blue rubber thongs which from memory cost me $5.99 at Big W.
Not surprisingly there were many people there and after the service I received several compliments on the the job I did which was a relief, I'm always a little anxious about how it will be received, particulary my part of it via the message. A few people said it had really helped them, had put some things in perspective for them, or had been touched or challenged by it.
I'll hopefully post a copy of my message tomorrow once I've let Nathan's family know about it.
The committal in Bunbury this afternoon wasn't quite as tight or smooth, I basically winged it because A. none of us had really thought about or discussed what we wanted to happen and B. never having done one this way before I had no idea what I was doing! It was short and simple but also very emotional, being the last chance for Nathan's family to say goodbye. They stayed for quite a while at the end. I can imagine it would be very hard to leave knowing this is truly the final farewell.

After everything was over I needed some time out so I got a little retail therapy, buying some paint for me and a laundry cupboard for Carolyn, don't tell me I'm not romantic! She's been wanting a new one for ages, a smaller one so that when we replace the bigger one I can relocate the clothes dryer from above the sink and she can stop banging her head against it when she does any hand-washing!
I even managed to assemble it when I got home and apart from a slightly misaligned door it looks pretty good!

I bought some garlic King Prawn noodles for dinner, and got some more to bring home for Carolyn and the kids, then went and saw Clint Eastwood's new movie, Flags of our Fathers, based on the iconic photo of American soldiers hoisting the flag at the battle of Iwo Jima. It was good but not great, but one part was particularly interesting, concerning one of the men involved, Ira Hayes, a native American (Referred to as an Indian in the film which was set in pre PC times) who was a reluctant hero and an alcoholic. The reason it's interesting is because there's a song about Ira Hayes on one of the Johnny Cash albums I bought recently and now it makes a lot more sense. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another Big Day Ahead

Tomorrow I'm conducting Nathan's funeral service. I spent much of today preparing for it and have just finished the final draft of my message. Carolyn read the first one and made some helpful suggestions and helped me soften and lighten the tone of the first draft.
The funeral is at 11.00 followed by a wake, also at Meelup Beach, then later in the afternoon the committal and cremation in Bunbury at 4.00 so it's going to be a long and intense day. I may have said that in my previous post but it's no less true for having been said twice if I have.
The picture above is the country week soccer team I coached last year. It features Nathan's younger brother Vaughan. It's going to be a tough day for him and the other two boys tomorrow and for their parents.
I hope and pray I never have to go through this experience with any of my own children.

On a much lighter note, Tottenham ended a 33 game streak without a win against Chelsea when they beat them 2-1 at White Hart Lane on Sunday night. The signs suggest Spurs are improving and their season might just be turning around.
And the NY Giants beat Houston to stretch their winning streak to 5.
A good week for the Holt Press teams! Posted by Picasa

For the visually cahllenged

Holt Press
Before anyone complains, yes I know the font in the post below is hard to read! It looked better on Word when I previewed it but on Blogger everything is reduced in size and thus it's become hard to read.
For those not prepared to persevere with it, here it is in plain text!

I visited both the families of Nathan and Bianca today, the young couple killed in the Dunsborough fire. They were not as desperately sad as they were last week thankfully and have received a huge amount of support and care from the community. The outpouring of love toward them and their children has given them a great deal of comfort to help them cope with their grief.

I spent about an hour with Nathan’s family preparing for the funeral service on Wednesday morning. It’s being held at Meelup, a beautiful local beach, and will be a relaxed and informal event. I’ve been told to wear my best thongs!

Most of tomorrow will be spent preparing and writing. It’s an important job and I always want to do it as well as I possibly can, a funeral is a once only chance to farewell the person whose died so I want to get it right.

Family Visits

I visited both the families of Nathan and Bianca today, the young couple killed in the Dunsborough fire. They were not as desperately sad as they were last week thankfully and have received a huge amount of support and care from the community. The outpouring of love toward them and their children has given them a great deal of comfort to help them cope with their grief.

I spent about an hour with Nathan’s family preparing for the funeral service on Wednesday morning. It’s being held at Meelup, a beautiful local beach, and will be a relaxed and informal event. I’ve been told to wear my best thongs!

Most of tomorrow will be spent preparing and writing. It’s an important job and I always want  to do it as well as I possibly can, a funeral is  a once only chance to farewell the person whose died so I want to get it right.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Night in Sleepy Town

Holt Press
For regular visitors (G'day Pop) who may not scroll down, I've added some explanatory text to the Jack and Harry picture from the other night. A plug for me and a plug for them.
It's Sunday night and the weekend is winding down. I slept in this morning while Carolyn and the kids went to church.
Watched the episode of House I recorded on Wed night.
Had a phone call from Walter who has arrived back home in Bridgetown following his part of their big adventure to Germany and America. Mum has stayed on till Thanksgiving and the snow arrives. He had a great time but his back was giving him a lot of trouble so he's glad to be home. He's since had an injection for it and feels fine again.
I spent the afternoon on roster at the gallery. None of my paintings sold but I did sell several other items, a pottery dish and some stuff from the wood turners, while I worked on a painting.
My production rate has slowed down of late, coinciding with the start of driving the taxi I guess.
I had a little nana nap this afternoon when I got home and was listening to Australia play the West Indies in the Champions Cup Final so I may do some more paiting now.

The Maxi Taxi

Holt Press
I drove the Maxi Taxi tonight, a 14 seat min-bus used to take bigger groups of customers.
It tends to get the big jobs. An average fare around Busselton in a normal cab is about $10.
Tonight I had fares of $64, $69, $70 and $125, the last one being to take a group of young women to Bunbury so they could go night clubbing.
$125 is a lot for a taxi fare but split between a bunch of people it's not so bad.

The customers were a lot quieter and more civil tonight compared to normal.
Last night was flat out because of the show, tonight was much quieter though I still made a reasonable amount of money, courtesy of the big fares.

We went back to the show for another couple of hours this afternoon so Sport Boy and Sophie could get some show bags and go on a few rides. Letting them drive the dodgems was a near suicide decision, neither of them had any idea what they were doing, and Carolyn and I as the hapless passengers may well need visits to the physio this week to deal with the whiplash caused by a couple of head on collisions!!
We survived but only just.
Carolyn got to have a go at the ping pong ball in the clown's mouth on sideshow alley and came away with a soft toy key ring for her consolation prize.
I had entered some paintings and photos in the show competitions but was disappointed not to win anything, not even a highly commended. Worse, because my photos were framed "wrongly" they were not even hung in the competition!!!! And my sculpture made with parts of our old microwave was beaten by a pair of metal high heels in the metal and wood section. Local bias and favourtism must have played a part in the results I'm sure!

Jordy had his final performance of The Pinafore Pirates this afternoon, not sure how it went but I know he was looking forward to the pizza party with the cast after the show.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sport Boy with his heroes Jack and Harry at the Busselton Show

  Posted by Picasa
When we went to the Show last year we met Mervyn Davis, author of a book called "Jack & Harry" which he and his brother Barry were selling. They travel around the country to shows and fairs selling the book which tells the story of two boys who run away from home after being falsely accused of stealing a bike and end up having an amazing adventure which takes them through the heart of Australia, all the while with their frantic parents worried sick about their whereabouts and well-being and their attempts to find them. Merv did a good job convincing me of the book's merits so I bought it and over the next couple of months read it aloud to Sport Boy at bed time. (Ironically, the credit card payment I made to buy it caused me a great deal of consternation. When my statement came it had a mystery entry of $25 to a motel in Midland on it. I had never stayed at the motel and could not understand how it came to be on my account. I contacted Visa to query it and ended up reporting it as fraudulent. A couple of months after that a receipt turned up which I had indeed signed and was in fact the payment for "Jack & Harry". Turns out Mervyn's credit card payments were made into his business, a motel in Midland!!)
Sport Boy and I both loved the book, as did Jordy when he read it, and just the other day SB asked me when I thought the sequel would come out? The first book ends in such a way that a sequel is required.

Fast forward to Friday night and our visit to this year's show and who de we find but "Jack & Harry", literally as I'll explain in a moment. Merv and his brother Barry remembered us, asking me about computing as I had told them about my blog last year. Sport Boy immediately asked them when the second book was coming and Barry said that he was locking Merv away in a room early next year to force him to write the next book, as well as the script for a "Jack & Harry" movie which is planned.
They both have deep gravelly voices and look similar as you can see. Barry divulged to us something he hadn't said last year, that "Jack & Harry" is their story, it's about real life events that happened to them as kids! That made it all the more special.
Barry then said to Sport Boy, hang on mate, I've got something for you, and proceeded to give him a "Jack & Harry" hat and T-shirt, which he immediately put on and hasn't taken off since!
Carolyn took him back later to say goodbye before they left the show (I'd left by then to start my cab shift) and we dropped by to say farewell on Saturday afternoon as well. Apparently they invited Sport Boy to come and visit the set when the movie is being made!
Two lovely Aussie blokes, selling their life story in a typically Aussie way, travelling round the country in a van, sharing their story with people they meet.
I find them and their story, both the written and the living versions, inspirational.

As far as I know the book is not available in shops but keep your eye out for "Jack & Harry", appearing at a country show near you!

Big Night in Busselton

Just Finished the late late shift in the cab, I saw the sun go down at the start of the shift and saw it starting to come up again by the end of it!!
Tonight was Busselton Show Night, one of the busiest nights of the year in our small town so the cabs were all working flat out.
My last fare of the night was to Capel, about 24km away, so it was a profitable trip.
I start again at 5.00 tonight so it's time for some much needed sleep.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sam O'Nella

Wow!! My son's a star!!
We've just come home from his school production of The Pinafore Pirates in which Jordy played the role of Sam O'Nella the irish cook on a pirate ship full of women and he was wonderful! I had no idea he would be so good. He maintained a great Irish brogue all the way through, even when singing his solos. He was the comic relief and the crowd laughed appreciatively as he delivered his lines.
Acting is challenging, doing it with a convincing accent is more so, but to also sing solos in front of a crowd of a couple of hundred people was truly impressive.
I'm on record as not being a big fan of musicals, but seeing Jordan do such a good job sold me, and he wasn't the only one, all the kids were great, in a huge cast, and several of the girls especially sang superbly, considering they are just year 9 and 10 students.
I felt very proud of him and pleased for him.
He was pretty high after the show, laughing and talking and celebrating as many people came to compliment his performance and say how much they enjoyed the show.
The pictures I took are not great because of the lighting but the show was recorded by someone so I hope to get a copy of it, I'm sure his grandparents will be keen to see it. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Joys of Blogger

Blogger is really giving me some grief lately, posts are just disappearing into the ether!
Did some drug ed seminars this afternoon, trying to convince 15 year old kids that getting drunk is a bad thing! They didn't seem convinced!
Saw The Departed tonight, a violent film with the biggest line-up of stars since the last planetary alignment!

A Difficult Day

Holt Press
I spent this morning visiting the two families of the young couple killed in a house fire in Dunsborough yesterday. Both visits were difficult. The families were as you'd expect, numbed, shocked, and devatstated. Their pain and grief was overwhelming as they talked about the respective son and daughter they had lost.
I found myself in tears as I listened to their story and we all held hands and cried together. There was another surprise twist that I hadn't expected, the young man who was killed was the nephew of the lady whose house we rented for the first year we were in Busselton. Both families felt at a loss about how to handle things and were overwhelmed at the thought of arranging funerals etc. There can surely be no greater pain and sadness than that of a parent whose child has died.

Between the two visits I had a bizarre experience.
As I was driving from Busselton to Dunsborough I spotted a snake curled up on the road. I have always been fascinated by snakes so I pulled over to have a look at it. It started to move a little and had just stuck it's head up when a car ran over it throwing it up in the air as the wheels hit it. It was not killed but sustained serious injury. It lay still for a while then it's tail started to twitch and eventually it began to writhe and turn itself right way up. Just then another vehicle hit it, causing further serious injury. Some more feeble movements followed before a third vehicle delivered the fatal blow and it was dead. It was a Dugite, about a metre and a half long and although I share a healthy fear and respect for snakes it was shocking to see it die such a brutal death.
Perhaps I was extra sensitive due to the nature of the visit I had just had and the one I was on my way to I don't know. I couldn't help also the passing thought that the snake has always been a symbol of evil in the world.
I'm not suggesting anything about the timing or the incident.
It just seemed to me that the deaths of the two young people in the fire were not just tragic but unfair. Both lots of parents told me that their kids had been emerging out of difficult times and were starting to get their lives in order. It seemed cruelly ironic that they should survive through bad experiences and then have their lives taken away so suddenly and in such an awful way.

After a draining morning I needed a Vanilla Diet Coke and a break before going back to school.
I dropped a few paintings and photographs that I'm entering in the Busselton Show off at the showgrounds.

This afternoon I spent over an hour talking to Kori's Mum, the boy whose funeral I did a couple of months ago.
It was good to be able to spend some time with her but not easy, she is still having a pretty hard time coming to terms with her grief and sadness. I am encouraged by her strength and thoughtfulness, she has a very supportive and caring attitude, as does Kori's Dad and this strength has really helped them manage the last couple of months.

I "shot some hoops" with Sport Boy after work.

Jordan had his first performance in the school production of Pirates of Penzance today for the year 1-3's. It went pretty well by the sound of it. He has to sing several songs which is pretty tough on him. We're going to see the show on Thursday night.

Tonight I had a Synoptic meeting with Stu, Rick and about 20 young people we are wanting to encourage to take on leadership roles in the youth ministry of Synoptic, it was an encouraging meeting with some plans being made for 2007.

Monday, October 30, 2006

More Sad News

Holt Press
There was very sad news for our community on the radio this morning. A young couple died in a house fire in Dunsborough, a neighbouring town. They both had younger brothers who go to the high school. Tomorrow I will go and visit both families to offer my condolences and support. I can only imagine how they are feeling and how their world has come crashing down.
There are two devastated families and many other friends and people who will be affected by this tragedy.
On the day after the federal govt announced a $90m funding injection for school chaplains, which has attracted a certain amount of criticism in the media, it is a sobering reminder that in the absence of any traditional connection with local churches, it is often school chaplains who are called to respond when crises occurs.

Year 12's Last Day

The days of running amok and committing acts of vandalism in the name of leaving rights are thankfully past. Schools have learnt to manage the process of students finishing high school pretty well, ala the Yr 12's last day at Busso on Friday. A sausage sizzle and a fancy dress day kept everyone happy and entertained.
They're a good bunch of kids and I got to know several of them through things like footy teams, Country Week and the trip to Melbourne. It is sad to see them go but exciting to see them heading off on the next stage of their journey through life. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Post but No Pictures!! Grrr!!

Holt Press
I'm not happy, I've "posted" 4 pictures tonight via Picasa and none of them have made it through cyberspace to appear on my blog!!!

I spoke at Dunsborough this morning and it seemed to go well, people laughed at the right times and gave me a warm response and compliments afterwards. I got the kids painting a banner while the service was on, it was messy but they enjoyed themselves.

Spent a whole 15 minutes at the footy club wind-up BBQ, just enough time to say g'day and have a couple of snags, before clocking on at the Gallery for the afternoon shift, it was quiet, I didn't sell anything, of mine or anyone else's.

Came home and mowed the grass so that we can see the front of the house again. The rabbits didn't like the mower and huddled in the corner of their hutch. Sport Boy said I was a bad man.

I then "fixed" the hoses on Mum's car which had caused me all the trouble the day I drove home from Perth, the day it took 7 hours for a 3 hour trip! Hopefully the problem is solved, although, the heater won't work anymore, just as well Mum likes the cold, she did move to Bridgetown because it's the coldest place in WA after-all!

Tonight I bought a telescope at a garage sale. I'd seen it at lunchtime and remarked there was not much point trying out a telescope during the day time so they said "come back tonight", so I did. We aimed it at the moon and it was amazing, being able to see the surface clearly and the vast number of craters was enough to persuade me to part with 50 bucks for my new toy. We do a star spotting thing at Augusta sometimes so I'll put it into action in January. Pretty cool.

Pipe Dream

I love what can be done when an artist takes "non art" materials and creates something that really works, like this concrete pipe inlaid with pointy tiles which I discovered at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Posted by Picasa

Student Art

Some of the art on display at a school in Perth that I visited last week. I've always liked art, without taking a strong interest in it, just enjoying and admiring the the things people create, I've been to plenty of galleries in different places and am always impressed with what I find. But now that I've taken up painting it's a bit like buying a new car and you suddenly notice the same model of car on the road everywhere, everywhere I look I notice the artwork, in cafes and restaurants, homes and offices, parks and city streets, it's everywhere, and it's great. Posted by Picasa

Some New Additions to my Growing Collection of Public Art (pictures)

Several of these pieces are outside the Busselton police station and courthouse and the others are in Fremantle. Posted by Picasa

Sign of the Times ?

Guaranteed to confuse! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Home from Mandurah

Holt Press
We're home again after a very long day.
I "dozed" in the car on the way to Mandurah then much to my surprise managed to stay awake and mostly alert throughout the whole training day which finished at 7.15pm. Everything went well, we had a really good turn out and we got lots done. Birchy came to his first meeting, he and Katherine and the kids are coming to Augusta to be on the team for the first time which is fantastic news. Getting the Letchies involved a few years ago was wonderful, now having the Birchy's on board too is doubly good. The three of us (Greg, Darren and I) are going to jointly lead the teenage program this year. We added it up at lunchtime and worked out between us we've got at least 63 year's experience in working with teenagers! On that basis we should be able to manage a week long beach mission program.

Jordan got his wish after the meeting when we went to Gloria Jean's for coffee and dessert.

Ironically, despite my tiredness I stayed awake the whole way home, while the kids slept in the back.

Tomorrow is also busy, I'm speaking at Dunsborough Community Church in the morning, about chaplaincy and the trip to Uluru earlier this year.
We've got the Masters Rules Footy wind-up BBQ at lunch time which I'll only be able to stay at for an hour cause in the afternoon I'm on roster at the gallery down at Art Geo.
Suffice to say I'm looking forward to tomorrow night when I can finally get some rest.

Apart from now, when I'm about to go to bed.

Burning the candle on the "Wick-end"

Holt Press
Just finished a 9 1/2 hour shift in the cab, have to be up in 3 1/2 hours to go to Mandurah! Carolyn will drive, hopefully Ill sleep!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Saving the World

Some of the year 11 girls helping me count the money raised for the 40 Hour Famine, I banked just over $3000.
Funny how having your hands on that much cash brings a smile to your face. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Footy Team at Kelmscott early this morning

After breakfast we discussed the day's plans, 10 pin bowling was abandoned in favour of a movie but we still had at least 2 hours until anything opened.
I took the boys for a drive up to Kalamunda then down the zig zag road and parked on the 2nd zig in order to walk up to Statham Quarry, a place I used to often take groups abseiling at. They are adolescent boys so of course there were various whinges and grumbles about "Where are we going?" and "Why?" which despite their predictability are annoying in the extreme.
As we sat on the cliff top, surveying the 45m drop to the quarry floor and the panoramic view of Perth complete with planes cruising in to land at Perth Airport below us, I urged the boys to do away with whinging and negativity, to have an open mind when suggestions are made, and be prepared to try things and even risk enjoying them, even if they don't know if they like it or not beforehand. The message seemed to sink in because there were a couple of positive responses to things later. We had in fact had quite a good debrief of the day and discussion about life and drugs and sex the night before in the gym.
We drove to Cannington, the boys had another fast food fix at Maccas then we went to the cinema to see "Kenny", a very funny Australian movie. Most of the boys enjoyed it, Daniel, the other staff member with me on the trip, loved it.
From there it was straight onto the bus and we hit the road for home. A quick fuel and dunny stop, with obligatory spending in the shop, and we made it back to school by 3.00pm, just as Daniel predicted.
The Chaplains Cup is over for another year. Posted by Picasa

Keep Your Eye on the Ball!

An action shot from the Chaplains Cup yesterday, played at Fremantle Oval. The Kelmscott player dropped the mark, the Busselton player behind seems to be grasping at thin air rather than the ball. That's sort of how the day went for the boys from Busso. We played 4 games, and in a very consistent display, lost all 4 of them.
I only got to see 2 of the games because by then we had 2 players needing hospital treatment. Liam copped a knock to the head in the first 10 minutes of the first game and was concussed, having no recollection of the incident or the ensuing few minutes, even though when I walked him off the ground he was lucid and answered my questions correctly. Alex copped a blow to the body in our second game and went down in agony clutching his side and suspecting broken ribs. After some phone calls to parents and making arrangements, we took both boys to the hospital which was very handily located next door to the ground. Thankfully both boys were ok and after being seen and given pain killers were free to go. They both went to stay with family members in Perth for the night which was sure to be more comfortable than sleeping on the gym mats at Kelmscott high school like the rest of us did.
Carine won the Cup for the second year in a row, beating John Curtin in the Grand Final.
Despite the 4 losses and 2 injuries the boys all enjoyed the day and had a good time.
They weren't "too" difficult to get settled down and into bed and after about 45 minutes of talking, laughing, wriggling, and of course, farting, they all fell asleep. Sadly, a combination of the dawn breaking through the curtainless windows and the vigorous application of the loudest blower vac in the known universe by an unwitting cleaner, served to awaken us around 6am, long before we had sufficiently rested from the previous day's endeavours.
More of the Chaplains Cup story to follow once I've had my dinner. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chaplains Cup - Getting the very last drop out of the footy season!

Holt Press
Today is Chaplains Cup Day, an inter-school football competition for year 10 students, being played at Fremantle Oval. I'm driving a bus load of 15 year old boys to Perth this morning, pray for me!!!!
They play football all afternoon and don't finish until 8.30 tonight, with the finals played under lights. Then we're camping in the gym at Kelmscott High School before coming back to Busso tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Used to Live Here

While driving around Perth yesterday working on the camp I found myself on The Boulevarde in Mt Hawthorn, a street I once lived on while sharing a house with BB The Accountant and a friend of his in the early 80's. I literally lived on the street because I had an old caravan that I parked on the grass verge next to the house and I lived in it, with a power lead running out from the house to give me light. I had bought the van along with a couple of mates, Tom and Nick, when we set off on an ill fated and poorly planned trip around the country in our late teens. Tom only stuck it out about a month before heading home to Perth. Nick and I stayed on in Melbourne, working at the Melbourne Show to earn enough money to buy an old EH Holden station wagon for $400. We did a couple of trips to Canberra and Nathalia (it was in Nathalia, where my Nan and cousins lived most of their lives,and my cousin Katherine still lived at the time, that I watched the 1981 FA Cup Final replay at about 4.00 in the morning while the rest of the house slept. I could barely keep from screaming when Ricardo Villa scored his wonder goal to give Spurs the Cup in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City. This was before the days of video recorders so while I watched the game I taped the radio broadcast and Nick wrote on the cassette case, "Genuine Marcus Holt Teethmarks" to describe the cracks from where I'd been biting the cover so hard in my excitement and tension.) We stayed in Melbourne for a few more months, him working at a mechanical repair place in North Melbourne and me working as an usher at the Capitol Cinema in Swanston St where I watched the classic Australian film Breaker Morant about 85 times.
We had the van at a caravan park in Altona, on the edge of the industrial heartland of Melbourne and hardly the most salubrious of suburbs. Imagine my surprise then when the manager revealed to us that if he'd seen our van before we'd driven in and parked it the night before he wouldn't have let it in because it wasn't up to scratch appearance wise!!!!!
Nick and I watched the famous 1981 Ashes series on a little black and white TV as Ian Botham laid waste to the Aussie team with both bat and ball to win the unwinnable series.
Finally Nick had had enough as well and drove the car back to Perth leaving me with the van.
I hitch-hiked across the Nullabor to Perth and drove back with my girlfriend at the time, Leeann, to pick up the van.
When Spurs made it to the Cup Final for the second year in a row in 1982 I decided to go to London for the game and it was by selling both the car and the caravan that I raised enough money to buy a one way ticket to London, and thus began my big adventure, living in London following Tottenham and travelling overseas for 2 1/2 years, including two trips to the USA to work on a summer camp and visit my mate Paul in San Diego.
The house, remember the house? in the picture? at the top of this post? has becpme pretty run down which is not surprising seeing as the events I'm describing happened 25 years ago.

ANZAC Memorial

I don't seem to have time to blog these days, this is just a quick post before bed. I pulled up to take this picture at Ballajura High School this morning only to realise I'd left my camera at Letchie's place, just as well I discovered it then and not half an hour later when I was on the other side of Perth. Isn't this a great sculpture? Even more impressive on closer inspection which reveals it is actually a war memorial and the tablets have the words of the traditional Australian ANZAC Day service written across them: "They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old, age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn, at the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them."
I got lots of pictures of cool art and sculptures from around the city today, I'm constantly amazed at how much public art there is in Perth, it's only when you go looking for it that you realise the volume.

I had a great dinner with Hugh last night after the mission meeting, we went to the local food hall as we usually do, he had Italian, I had curry and he told me about his trip to Italy with a group of students from his school, with tales of Florence and Tuscany and art galleries and ice cream. He also spent a couple of weeks in England visiting his brother and friends, lucky man.

I spent the night at the Letchies who were going through some dramas with one of their kids. I had hoped to watch the Spurs v West Ham game as advertised but it wasn't on, although I did get to follow it's progress on news bulletins and am glad to report Spurs won 1-0.

I got a fair bit done in preparation for the camp today and have made good progress on securing camp sites for both nights.
Home again and back to work "proper" in the morning, before turning around and heading back to Perth on Wednesday for the Chaplains Cup football competition at Fremantle Oval with the year 10 boys. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday arvo in Willetton

Holt Press
I've just finished a 3 hour meeting with the Augusta Beach Mission Exec team, a productive and enjoyable time with some very good friends.

I'm off now to have dinner with an old mate, Hugh, who has just returned from a school trip to Italy so I look forward to hearing some of his stories.

Tonight I'm staying at Letchie's place, and hopefully watching Spurs beat west Ham on Foxtel.

Tomorrow I'll do camp prep and planning before heading home tomorrow evening.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Brief Blogging interlude between Taxi Driving and Sleeping

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Only a few minutes to blog before I go and start my shift in the cab. I had a profitable night last night but the late finish meant today was pretty low energy.
I put the final coat of gesso on my 10 boards so they're now ready to paint on. Took Sport Boy and his friend into town looking for a toy he wanted to buy with his pocket money.
He's not feeling well now and has been having periods of being afraid and distressed for no apparent reason. Carolyn is home from her retreat so at least she can look after him while I go to work. She had a great time.
I've got to go up to Perth for a Beach Mission meeting tomorrow afternoon so it's going to be another long night and day. I'll stay in Perth Sunday night and do some more work on the camp on Monday to make good use of my time.

Sadly The NY Mets lost to St Louis and failed to make the World Series in the baseball, I followed the game on the net and felt let down at the end!

Lonnnnnggggg Day

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Big Brekky this morning and taxi driving tonight meant I've been working for the best part of 21 hours! Carolyn is away on an overnight ladies retreat with church so I'm really hoping the boys will be quiet and well behaved in the morning while I sleep! It was a pretty good shift, not least because I made about $90 in tips! but I'm apalled by some of the attitudes of customers, particularly drunk young men towards women and girls, horrible stuff that would make you want to lock up your daughters!
To bed!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Jordan, 15 Today

Jordy is a great kid, and even though he's showing increasing signs of teenagerism, there is still a lovely spirit of generosity and compassion in his heart, he laughs a lot and enjoys his growing friendships. He is a smart kid with an interest in, and a developing sense of awareness of the world around him. He reads voraciously which is a great habit to develop when you're a kid. He does a junk mail round twice a week which earns him $50-60 a week and largely paid for his own trip to Sydney and Canberra recently. He's become very enthusiastic about music (that's what he calls it anyway!) and loves doing stuff on the computer like chatting on MSN and playing around with his blog and myspace sites.
He enjoys playing sport but unlike me does not get into watching it, and sadly does not like Aussie Rules footy!!
He's become more conscious of fashion and style and has a growing collection of hats, wrist bands, sun glasses and jackets. He has an interesting collection of bottles, cans and food packets in his room, an unusual hobby to be sure!
When he was little there was a period for a couple of years when he would run out to the carport when I got home from work and launch himself into my lap before I got out of the car. Not surprisingly he doesn't do that any more but he's still willing to give and receive a hug and this morning when I wished him a happy birthday we hugged for a full minute. He got some new clothes before the trip to Sydney as an early birthday present so he wasn't expecting much today, thus he was delighted when Sophie gave him a really cool pair of shorts, Paulie gave him a wristband and I gave him the latest Matthew Reilly book, "7 Ancient Wonders".
He occasionally goes to stay at a friend's place for a few days in Capel and last time they brought him home the family, including 3 sisters and one boy, all said they'd willingly keep Jordan and they loved having him around. It's always nice to hear encouraging and positive things about your kids from other people.
He's not perfect, no-one is, but he's a great kid with a great attitude, I'm proud of him and love him very much.
Happy 15th Birthday Jordy. (He reads this blog!) Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday Jordy

Holt Press
Our second son and third child, Jordan, turned 15 today.
Happy Birthday Jord.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chaplaincy Forum

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I'm just about to leave for a Youthcare/Rotary Chaplaincy Forum and dinner at Geographe Bayview Resort. It's a promotional exercise to raise awareness of chaplaincy in the region and seek financial support.
3 boys from school put together a DVD for the occasion, they just finished it this afternoon! There'll be 5 of us, chaplains, talking briefly about our work in the local primary schools and high school.
Just hope the technology all works as it's supposed to!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New Artist at Work

Sophie threw aside her caution and reluctance to try new things on Sunday night and launched into her first painting. As you can see she's made a good start. It's based on a picture she found on the internet which she enlarged with a free hand sketch on the canvas. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. Posted by Picasa

Family Outing on Sunday afternoon

The kids and I had a lovely afternoon on a family outing on Sunday. Carolyn wasn't well enough to join us unfortunately but we still had a good time, starting with ice cream and chocolate fudge at a picnic table, a visit to Steve's place to pick up my paints which I had accidentally left in his car after I borrowed it to go to Perth a couple of weeks back, then a drive towards Yallingup. We took a dirt road to see where it would lead us, it turned out to be private property which got the kids worried! We parked in the bush and went for a walk up a nearby hill from whwere we enjoyed a lovely view of the valley and surrounding bush. I pointed out a few little bits of bush craft and various tracks as we went, nothing startling but it was cool just walking through the bush and noticing a few little things. Sport Boy wanted to run and race the others and they both obliged him which was nice.
After our walk everyone was hungry so we continued on to Dunsborough for some chips with squid rings and prawns. Posted by Picasa

Seeing the Funny Side

David and Jo are not big footy fans, why else would they choose Grand Final day for their wedding? But they are good sports and appreciated the humour of my footy wielding bouncedown to commence the service. Considering David got married in green gym boots there was never any doubt they'd take it in good spirit. They also had the decency to have the service at 9.30, leaving the guests free to watch the game without conflict. Posted by Picasa

In Honour of the Second Biggest Event in Australia on Sep 30

  Posted by Picasa

Another Retreat Painting

This is a practice run for a larger one I'm planning to do.
Today I got some boards cut at Bunnings and tonight I put the first of 5 coats of Gesso on them, to prepare them to be painted on. The Gesso will give them the same sort of surface to paint on as canvas. I needed specially cut boards in order to fit the frames I've been buying, it's easy to find frames, and easy to buy pre-made canvases, but it's very difficult to find both frame and canvas in matching size.
Sophie started her first painting last night! The bug is catching! Posted by Picasa