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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

19 years ago

Holt Press

19 years ago today I married Carolyn. That's a long time. It hasn't always been easy. Marriage is a difficult thing to make work, witness the 1 in 3 marriages in Australia that doesn't make it. Many of the couples whose weddings we went to are now divorced. I'm pleased to have made it this far and hope to string many more years on to that figure. Carolyn has had to put up with a lot. (Dear Anonymous, no need to comment). I'm not an easy person to live with, my problem, as the laconic detective in Hawaii 5-O drily observed is that I'm "part of the human race". That carries it's own built in problems. Which is why I'm also celebrating the other big event on the calendar, Easter. Thank God for Good Friday, and even more for Easter Sunday and the power and promise embodied in it's message (pardon the pun).
There's no connection to either of these two anniversaries in my next announcement, I played golf for the first time since my abrupt retirement some 3 years ago. Just a friendly stroll in the park with Brad, my daughter's boyfriend and his dad Cliff, with Sophie pretending to be caddie and Paulie there as commentator and flag attendant. "That was a terrible shot Dad" Thanks Paulie!! Brad equalled his best ever score, 37 for 9 holes. I wrote the numbers out of habit rather than any serious effort to keep score but I have to confess that I did enjoy hitting a few down the middle and parring a couple of holes. The golf gods were flirting with me, trying to entice me back, I know their ploy! I'll let you know if it works!
My brother Bruce and his wife Jane came for a visit over Easter and we had a good time, a couple of BBQs, a couple of sunsets on the beach, a card game and some digital photos. Very nice.
Back to work tomorrow! The party's over!

Monday, March 28, 2005

I told you the Wizard Cup means nothing!

Holt Press: March 2005

The preliminaries are over and the pretenders have been exposed. A mate of mine alluded to the Emporer's new clothes recently but now we know that it was the Blue Baggers running round naked, their pre-season form a mere charade. All it took was a few bouncy roos and a has-been Sav to reduce the Princes Park boys to 2nd best also-rans. What a surprise!
Meanwhile the Cats got off to a decent start with a 10 goal thumping of Richmond whose super-coach was helpless against a better team. One game does not a season make, but one pre-season does not even make a game.
Oh it's good to have the footy back!
I want to go on record as saying that the actions of Chris Scott and Mal Michael in deliberately aggravating the injury to Nick Riewoldt was disgusting, unsporting and un-Australian. Yes footy is a tough game and injuries are one of the risks players have to be prepared for, but that does not excuse or justify the deliberate targetting and hurting of players and the Brisbane player's actions brought the game into disrepute and left a very unpleasant taste in the mouth of all fair-minded footy fans. I doubt the AFL or tribunal will do anything about it, but footy fans will not easily forgive or forget these ugly actions.
As for Riewoldt being labelled a sook, come off the grass. Footy is an emotional game and to be badly injured at a critical time in a big game, the first of the season and your first as captain was obviously a highly charged emotional situation and tears were no cause for shame. As a bloke whose been known to be moved emotionally and cry in public myself, I feel for Riewoldt and admire him both as a player and a man. His courage, guts and ability are well established and I hope he makes a speedy return to the Saints.

Good Friday Posted by Hello

Committed Cats Posted by Hello

You bewdy, the footy season has started, and the Cats had a big win. My love for Geelong goes way way back! Posted by Hello

100 metres down the street, any given evening Posted by Hello

UFN Posted by Hello

Tigers at Sunset Posted by Hello

Me Bruce You Jane Posted by Hello

Cousins Posted by Hello

More joy Posted by Hello

Sibling affection, a joy to a parent's heart Posted by Hello

This looks dangerous, because it is. Posted by Hello

Simmo showing his feelings at Sophie's 16th Birthday surprise party. That's Brad with his arms around my daughter! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

News Flash

Holt Press

Great news, I've crashed through the 100kg barrier. The weeks of exercise and sacrifice are starting to pay off, yesterday I stepped on to the scales and the result was a 2 digit number! This is the first time that's happened since last millennium. And in the manner of all good science, I repeated the test this morning and got the same result! Hallelujah. It has not been easy, and there's a long way to go, but I feel good! Last friday night my mates sorely tested my resolve at the Fantasy Footy Auction and Draft, for the uninitiated, see a future blog entry, with a vast array of delicious looking, highly tempting fare. I resisted the chips and cheese dip, passed up the cake and sweets, refused the chocolate and stayed away from the brownies. Well, I held out until after 11.oopm at least, when I succumbed to the temptation to eat one chocolate brownie, just one, and it was delicious!! Those who know me (G'day Bruce, Dave) know that in a previous life that food would not have gotten out of the lounge room alive or intact.
Further struggles occurred on Saturday night at the Rypen team meeting when I faced the awful realisation that CC's have 26.5g of fat per 100g!! I had already eaten 6 of them before this shocking discovery! I had to hold out until the BBQ and a generous plate of salad to go with my honey soy and garlic chicken. I also chose fruit salad and low fat ice cream over the very alluring home made chocolate cake covered in thick icing and flaked Flake!!
The crowning moment of my dietary discipline over the weekend was when not once, or twice but the three times when I needed to eat takeaway food I elected the chicken caesar salad or low fat chicken and salad roll instead of my previous staple, whopper with cheese and fries. Mmmmmm
It is nice to see some reward for my efforts.
For those keen to be kept up to date with my squash results, I won 3-1 last night against Tony. He came back in the second set to beat me 10-8 after I lead 8-2 and I returned the favour in the 4th, coming back from 8-3 down to take it 10-8. The other good news is that the racquet I bought at the swap meet for $3 on Sunday morning proved quite serviceable.
Diet and exercise, who'd have ever thought they had anything to do with weight loss?
Sub 95kg here I come!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Holt Press

Holt Press

Sunday's paper came complete with the guide book and ticket oder forms for the Commonwealth games in March 2006.
I've been planning to take the kids to the games following the fantastic time Zac Sophie and I had at Sydney 2000.
As I perused the pages of the program a 75W light bulb went off just above my head, complete with think bubbles and exclamation marks!!
Why don't I take a group of school kids to Melbourne for the games?
What a great idea!
I think!
I went with a group of yr 9's to Sydney and canberra last year and had a heap of fun, it can't be that difficult to organise? Tickets, travel, flights, accommodation, schedules etc etc. Hmmm, this may not be so easy!
We're about to find out.
I took my 60W bulb to the Principal and, guess what, she did not flick the switch, in fact she turned the dimmer back up to 75 and encouraged me to go for it!
So, the pressure's on, time is short, tickets have to be ordered within 5 weeks, and before that i need to find 18 kids willing to go and more importantly, 18 families willing to pay for it!
I've found a school in Melbourne interested in hosting us and providing billets, both Qantas and virgin look like having return airfares for around $450, a draft schedule would give us two events each day at an average of $70 and cover about a dozen different sports, who knows? this may actually work!

There's a long way to go but it's an encouraging start.

Roll on Melbourne 2006

Friday, March 11, 2005

Another tough week in paradise

Holt Press

Let's recap. Monday was a public holiday in WA so we had a few friends around for a barbie. The delicious aroma of onions and steaks sizzling on the BBQ, a dozen people sitting out on the front lawn, followed by a lively game of Bocce, a tribe of kids running round the house and Busselton's famous weather turning on a treat, it doesn't get much better than that. Tuesday, spend the morning watching 50 kids play tennis in an inter school tournament at Busso tennis club, located on the foreshore opposite Busselton jetty, take some pictures and enjoy the day. Next, supervise soccer training for the Country Week team before running two sessions of Rock and Water, a self defence and self confidence course we're running with all the yr 8's this term. Finish the day with the Tournament of Fun, a staff social get together, playing Bocce in the Yr 8 quad.
Wednesday, had to go to work but a fairly cruisy day, more Rock & Water and handing out reports at a Parents Night after school. Wed night we hosted week three of our 40 Days of Purpose home group, I'm loving this book, a real refresher and wake up call with lots of good stuff to think about and act on.
Thursday, a productive day at work completing lots of little jobs and tasks including the dreaded first 5 week stats summary, a relatively painless exercise. Thurs night left the kids at home while carolyn and i went up to Bunbury for some late night shopping and a movie. Thought I'd found a bargain in my search for footy boots, size 13's (never easy to find) discounted to $30, but figured I may as well see what Jim Kidd had to offer, and lo and behold they had a pair for $20! Betty Bargain Hunter strikes again! I tried them out at footy training tonight and they passed the test, though my skills are so rusty I'll need to take a can of CRC with me next week. Million Dollar Baby wasn't on so we settled on The Aviator and were not disappointed. It's an amazing story(based on the klife of Howard hughes if you're not familiar with it) and Leo DiCaprio does a brilliant job, capturing the tortured personality and mental health traumas of a brilliant and highly driven man.
That brings me to Friday, Beach Carnival Day, one of the highlights of the Busselton school calendar. A 1000 kids having a wonderful time playing beach volleyball, beach cricket, kayak racing, tunnel ball, egg leaderball, iron man and woman races etc etc. I spent the day taking over 600 pictures and enjoying the kids enjoying themselves.
The icing on the weekly cake was riding my bike to and from work along the beach path, a 6 km journey along Geographe Bay, a charming mix of beach, bush and coastal homes. One day the sea was so calm it was like glass, the assorted dingys and yachts sat perfectly still, the scattered holiday makers were soaking up the morning sun and the stunning vista and I made it to work in under 15 minutes.
And for dessert? The weekend awaits.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Gap before Posted by Hello

Me at The Gap near Albany Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Holt Press

Holt Press

The beach volleyball season is over following our loss in the semi final last night. We struggled to get a regular team on court all season and last night was no exception with one player not available, leaving just Carolyn Peter and I. We were joined by my daughter Sophie, a baptism of fire for her though she did very well in the circumstances. I love volleyball and playing on sand with nets all round makes for a non-stop and exciting game. Despite the friendly nature of the sport, I find it difficult to curb my in-built competitiveness, I always play to win, though, and some people will find this hard to believe, it doesn't actually matter whether I win or not as much as that I play my best and don't make mistakes. I'm hard on myself, and at times other people if I think they are not trying or doing their best. That doesn't make me the most fun play with. Sorry to all those people out there who've been on the receiving end of my zeal or frustration!
In light of that perhaps it's a good thing that the sport I'm playing now is squash. In fact I went straight from volleyball to the squash courts. I played a very tough hard fought 5 setter, coming back from 7-2 down in the 4th to level then go on to win the 5th and take the match. I was stuffed by the end of the game, covered in sweat and relieved it was over. I've never played competition squash so it's all new and fun, and helping in my aim to lose weight. I'm down to just over 100kg and hoping to get to 95kg this year.
I faced a tough challenge yesterday. Entering a meeting in Bunbury I was confronted by a huge plate of chocolate biscuits on the table! There was a time when those biscuits would not have gotten out of the room alive but I'm pleased to report we both came away unscathed. I haven't shown that much self-control for a long long time!
Before I fool you into attributing more virtue to my act than I deserve I should say that we had just come from lunch at a Chinese restaurant!
Tip of the Day 3: Looking for a cheap lunch in Bunbury you can do a lot worse than the Marlston Hill Chinese restaurant’s $6 lunch special.