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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

Holt Press
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

Holt Press
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

Holt Press
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

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Collins' of Lesmurdie

 
Grant and Jillian and their two boys William and Daniel were my hosts on Friday night.
I feel very fortunate to have such a wide range of friends to stay with on my frequent trips to Perth. It keeps me in touch with lots of people and means I'm not too much of a burden on anyone in particular.
Attentive readers will remember that Grant and I went to the Dockers V Melbourne final at Subiaco a few weeks back.
It's funny to see him as a married family man now, I remember a day a few years back, following a chaplaincy PD Day, when Grant asked me about marriage because he was considering getting married to Jillian. Obviously nothing I said talked him out of it! Posted by Picasa

One of my Retreat Paintings

  Posted by Picasa

Winners Dinner - Lobstergate

 
Tryhards coach and 2006 CFFL premier Grant Collo Collins enjoys the spoils of victory, a flambaed lobster dish at The Dons restaurant, and nearly sends the rest of the league broke! The Tryhards name will be added to the trophy, making them the 5th different team to win the premiership in the 5 years of the league's existence.
Letchy and Broady shared the Brownnose medal when their players Cameron Bruce and Daniel Cross tied after the vote count. Broady added a second award for the night when I presented him with the Marcus Holt Medal, given to the player who made the greatest contribution to the result of the Grand Final. History will show that Broady wasn't in the Grand Final (Wazza played Grant) but it was Brett Kirk (Broady's player) who was instrumental in keeping Brendan Fevola to one goal in the Sydney v Carlton game, thus ensuring victory for the Tryhards. It was a controversial decision, but that's par for the course in matters concerning the CFFL. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Chaplains on Retreat at New Norcia

 
I didn't know that many of the group on the retreat this year, or rather, none of the people I'm closest to attended, thus I had the opportunity to get to know some new people. Of course, Heather, the Mother of all Chaplains was there, and Alison my area chaplain, but I hung out with Mark, Ben, Andrew and Matt a fair bit. I'd point out who's who but Picasa is not being all that cooperative at the moment and I can't see the picture, just the html that will enable it to be posted! Posted by Picasa

The Things You Find

 
I was doing some reconnaisance for the Cool School Race Camp, taking pictures of interesting and unusual items around Perth, statues, artworks, monuments, signs and buildings. I was on a back road somewhere between Armadale and Fremantle when this caught my eye on a property I was driving past. I knew I had to take the picture for my Dad, even if it doesn't get a gig on the camp. For the uninitiated and the previously blissfully unaware, the man in question is Slim Dusty, a prolific country music artist and Aussie icon.
At the risk of this degenerating into a country music blog, this is the last time I will publish a country music singer's picture on Holt Press. Posted by Picasa

Tough night

Holt Press
I had a long and at times frustrating night in the cab. I started at 4.00 and didn't finish until about 2.30 and didn't get a break. The best I could manage was to order a pizza on the phone, pick it up in between jobs, and try and eat it without making a mess. I failed dismally in the last task.

Unfortunately Carolyn has not been well tonight, suffering from a migraine, complete with vomiting.
She's asleep now so hopefully the worst of it is past.

Tomorrow is the last day of the school holidays so we'll try and do something fun together as a family, though it will take me a while to recover from my late shift and Carolyn from her migraine.

Spurs drew and the Mets lost, not a very good night for sports results.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Home Again, briefly!!

Holt Press
Home again after 4 days away, just time to blog for a minute before I have to go and drive the cab.
I was plagued by cold showers and lousy internet connections while away,I sat for an hour at New Norcia yesterday afternoon waiting in vain for the computer to let me log on to blogger, had to give up in the end cause I was due back in Perth.

I did 4 and 2 1/2 paintings while I was away, it was great to have the time and space to paint, and chat, and play trivial pursuit etc.
This morning I went to my favourite art shop in Perth and got some expert advice on what I need to make my own canvases and boards to paint on. I need to cut some boards to suit the frames I've been buying.

Last night's winners dinner will go down in CFFL history as Lobstergate. We ate at The Don's "Mafia Styled" restaurant at Kalamunda and had a great time until we got the bill and discovered that Grant, the winner, whose dinner the resat of us were shouting cause he won the grand final, had ordered the lobster at market price, which turned out to be a hefty $65, plus dessert and coffee! Even splitting this 7 ways added a substantial amount to the rest of our parts of the bill! Broadie wasn't happy as he'd ordered the cheapest meal of anyone!
In spite of the bill dilemma the food was good and the company excellent. The night took an "interesting twist" when Wazza the commissioner decided to read out the votes for all 18 rounds of the Brownnose Medal!! The statistically minded attended to the count while the rest of us rolled our eyes, laughed and chatted quietly amongst ourselves!

I stayed at Grant's place at Lesmurdie for the night and met his two boys William and Daniel. Lesmurdie and Kalamunda, sitting at the top of the Perth hills are beautiful little "towns" nestled in amongst the bush and the parks and the attractive town centres.

Gotta go and get ready for the cab, photos to follow tomorrow.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm Back from the Blogging Wilderness

Good news everyone, I'm back! My two day blogging exile is over. I was sitting in the common room painting when Matt walked in and said he'd been to the monastery library reading and using the internet. "Internet?" I yelped in a slightly too eager voice, causing several people to look up from what they were doing! I downed my paint brush and set off for the library post haste.

I did try and blog from Galleria shopping centre yesterday morning on a PIE web booth but I spent my entire two dollars/20 minutes waiting for it to load the page and the sign in pop-up!! A complete waste of time. The monk's computer seems to be much more responsive.

New Norcia is the only monastery town in Australia, having been founded about 150 years ago by some Spanish Benedictine monks, I'll put a link to their web page in this post. Now there are only about a dozen monks left and they are getting pretty old so the long term future for their order doesn't look great. New Norcia link.
It's a tourist town now with bus tours coming through every day, but they also host groups like ours for retreats and camps.
It's very peaceful and relaxed, and the program is pleasingly relaxed also, we can pick and chopose what we do, we can rest, read, sleep or wander, or in my case, paint. Things liven up a little at night when the annual Men V Women Trivial Pursuit Challenge happens.
WE had the first game last night, with the boys winning so there'll probably be a rematch tonight as the girls try to even the score.
I am a Trivial Pursuit devotee and am usually the driving force in getting the game happening, wile Heather, The Mother of all Chaplains, leads the troops for the girls, usually in an animated and consultative fashion.

Backtracking over the last couple of days, here are the highlights in random order of importance.

Staying at Greg and Demelza's place was good except for the lack of hot water on Tuesday morning. I flirted around the outskirts of the shower, ducking my head under just long enough to be able to wash my hair and underarms. I did two circumnaviagations of their house before I located what appeared to be the only thing that could possible be a hot water service in the vain hope that perhaps by looking at it in a quizzical way I could spak it to life sufficiemtly to provide me with a decent shower but it wasn't to be.

I spent Tuesday driving around Perth from Midland to Armadale, to Fremantle to the city doing reconnaisance for the cool school race camp, setting up contacts with businesses and asking them to get involved as chekpoints on the camp. Most people were very willing to help, and a couple remarked that they wish they'd had a similar opportunity when they were at school.
One day when I get the time and courage I am going to have a go at selling the camp concept to an organisation for use as a training and development exercise. I'm convinced it would work and be really well received but I don't know how to go about promoting and marketing it. It's easier in a school where I have a captive audience and a lot of goodwill built up over the last several years that the camp has run.
I also browsed through a few shops and found a fantastic birthday present for Sport Boy who turne 9 next week, it's so cool I can hardly wait to give it to him cause I'm sure he'll love it so much.

I went and saw the movie kenny on Tuesday night. If you haven't already seen it then I thoroughly recommend you do so at ypour earliest convenience, it's a fantastic movie. It's a mockumentary about Kenny whose job is providing and servicing mobile toilets to functions such as shows and race meetings. He is a totally lovable character and the story is charming, despite the natuare of his business. I reckon it's likely to become another cult film in the style of The Castle anmd people will be quoting lines from it in general conversation for years to come.

Wednesday I was able to have a hot shower before setting off for New Norcia. I stopped at Galleria SC to look for an art shop but there wasn't one there so I leftempty handed, my only outlay being for a couple of bottles of vanilla diet coke, and the afore-mentioned internet booth.
It rained heavily all the way up here making the drive a bit more of a concern than normal, with semi-trailers sending up huge plumes of spray off the road and reducing visibility significantly.

I arrived after lunch and spent the afternoon hanging out, talking and painting. Mark sat and watched me paint for an hour as we talked before it got too much for him and he asked if he could have one of my canvases so he could paint too. This afternoon he said, "You've inspired me Marcus, you've awoken me from my 10 years of unpaintingness"!!
At dinner last night I was called upon to give an account of my fish story. Before I stood up to speak Matt asked me if I'd used a rod or a hand line, I replied, neither, I used a net!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Week Ahead

I'm just about to leave for Perth. Tomorrow I'll spend doing preparation and leg work for the Cool School Race Camp. Wednesday to Friday I'm going to the annual chaplain's retreat at New Norcia where I suspect I will be out of blogging range, though I'll be trying to find access to a computer somewhere.
Friday night is the highlight of the social calendar, the CFFL Winners Dinner, a post season post mortem in celebration of another great year of fantasy football.
I'm staying with Greg and Demelza for the next two nights.
I'll be back in Busso Saturday, I have a taxi shift starting 4.00 that afternoon.
Aloha.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Starsky and Stew

 
History was made at the Holt Press Home today when our children got pet rabbits! I was about to say they got their first ever pets but Sophie did have a brief flirtation with a budgerigar a few years ago until a friend who was looking after it while we were away let it escape. I'm not a big animals person, I've always preferred to eat them rather than play with them so it's no surprise we didn't have many pets as kids. There was the ill fated Wattsie, a little black puppy which got on a train one morning at Bayswater and was let off two stations later and never seen again! I've heard there are lots of benefits to kids having pets but I've heard some horror stories of $1000 vet bills to fix cats that died anyway and the extra expense of dog/cat food, sterilisation and vet bills and of course the waste product have always put me off.
In this instance however I was left out of the loop, Sophie came home one day last week and said "I bought a rabbit today!" My immediate response of course was, "Great, does it come with a recipe book?" which reminds me of a joke that was popular back in the 70's, "Watership Down, Read the Book, See the Movie, Eat the Pie"! which in turn leads to one of my Dad's favourite sayings, "To make rabbit pie, first catch your rabbit".

Culinary considerations aside, the newest members of the family have been named Starsky (and Hutch, you know, rabbit hutch? Yeah, lame I know but Sport Boy likes it) and Stew! Again with the food! Not sure of the origin, or the spelling, but I'm sticking to the pot version.
They are dwarf rabbits apparently, and rumoured to both be female, which is probably a very good thing given the reputation rabbits enjoy. They are in their hutch in the backyard and the only risk to their well being is that Sport Boy will kill them with kindness, he's very keen to hold them, watch them, pat them, carry them and generally hang out with them.
I admit they are quite cute, but I'm planning on not becoming too attached to them, they are only two steps removed from the freezer on a bad day!

In case any of my home based children should read this blog, don't worry, I'm only being serious!!

Sophie has been going great guns since she returned home, working full time at the corner store, and tonight she started a second job, working for her old boss at a new little restaurant he's started at the Broadwater Food Hall, he rang her up especially to see if she wanted to work for him again which is a great compliment.In fact, she started tonight!
Two jobs! Wonders never cease, what next! The return of the Heir! It's being seriously mooted for early 2007!
In fact, he and his siter have been chatting online and making plans for an overseas adventure, travelling together next year! Now that's exciting!
I've been spruiking the Summer Camp idea in the States for a few years so I'll be giving that another push.

I was on roster at Art Geo this afternoon, it was quiet and I didn't sell anything, mine or anyone else's, but I did hang one of my framed paintings so I'm optimistic about it selling, I really like it and it's drawn a few compliments at home so hopefully someone out there in the public will agree.

After I finished Carolyn and I (and Sport Boy) went down to the cafe at Abbey Beach Resort for coffee and cake cortesy of a gift voucher Carolyn received from the school as a thanks for the volunteer work she does. I enjoyed a very rich chocolate mousse, as dod Sport Boy, while Carolyn had a latte and sticky date pudding.
It was very pleasant, the weather is warming up a little, Summer is not too far away and the beauty of Busselton is once again flowering. Before long we'll be watching sunsets and walking on the beach again.

This evening Carolyn and Jordy have gone to see a movie, Sophie's still at work and Sport Boy and I are at home on a lazy Sunday evening, I'm blogging and dubbing old video tapes onto DVD's. I haven't heard from SB for a little while, it won't surprise me if I find him asleep on the sofa when I go out there in a minute. Posted by Picasa

Saturday Night Drive

 
I did my second nightshift in the cab tonight but it was very quiet, much quieter than last night, thus I only made about half what I did on Friday night. I get 45% of the take for a nightshift so the busier the better.

I am amazed at some of the behaviour, especially the complete disregard for others. The level of swearing is astounding, from the complete range of customers, old blokes to teenage girls, they certainly don't hold back.
There are plenty of innebriated customers but I don't mind that at all, I'm just glad they take responsibilty and catch a cab home rather than driving.
There've been a few surprised looks from some of the younger customers who recognise me from school but it doesn't inhibit them from the same behaviour I've just mentioned!

The hardest parts are finding my way around town, learning all the street names, and finding time to get food/drink/or toilet breaks. I pulled up outside the noodle bar to get some dinner tonight and a couple jumped in the cab and asked to go to Geographe Bayview Resort! I managed to get my Thai Green Curry Chicken noodles at the second attempt and to eat them in between customers.
I finished a couple of hours earlier tonight so there's a bit better chance I'm going to make it to church in the morning.

This afternoon I took Sport Boy and his friend Jack to the movies to see The Antbully which was pretty good, the boys really liked it.

For those who may have been concerned, Mum rang from Iowa today and spoke to Jordan and Carolyn, and she found out the truth about the footy and that West Coast won the Grand FInal, and that "my chickens came home to roost"!! Posted by Picasa