Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Once Burned Twice Shy?

I think that's how the saying goes, little bit of gold has just come in from Oz!
It'll be more entertaining if I set up the history first; last year on the Cool School Race Camp the campers spent their first night at Steel Blue Oval, home of the Swans (I think) a WAFL footy team, pitching tents on the turf. At about 2am the sprinkler system came on across the ground. Absolute chaos ensued! Kids running everywhere! Tents became fountains! Big Bad Bruce Boelan and myself slept peacefully through the whole debacle in our strategically placed tents, using our incredible ability to ignore any distraction from sleep. The chaos was brought under control by TOM who lead a team of year eleven boys who galantly turned spronklers away from tents for most of the night. TOM himself had prophetically chosen to sleep without a tent in the grand stand, safely out of harms way. (Trust me there were some raised eyebrows about that one the next morning!) After laughing about the whole incident which of course went down in the history books of the Cool School Race Camp I assumed a lesson had been learnt and future problems such as this would be avoided in future....
Or maybe not. I just recieved a text message from TOM to say that the sprinklers have just come on at Perri Lakes Stadium, this years location for the first night of the camp. (For those who haven't gathered; the location of the camp is mobile and campers actually have to work out where they are supposed to be staying each night!) This fantastic piece was destined for my blog the moment I heard it! Absolute Classic!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Cool School Race Camp

TOM is a rather creative old bloke. Amongst his creations is the Cool School Race Camp, possibly his greatest creation to date. The camp is a year eleven leadership camp that draws students from more than five schools around Western Australia.
Some wisdom and clues for this years campers: There are a bunch of new photo's this year, TOM seems to have scoured the state for interesting things to confund you with. I don't know the location of all the photo's but if you find one have a bit of a wander around the area/suburb it's in and you might just find a few more. Talk to everybody!!! People love to get involved and they love to help, you'll be spending a fair bit of time on public transport, take up some conversations with people on trains, they often know more than you'd think.

Check out TOM's old stomping ground, there are a few to be found near this one. The only question is, which of his stomping grounds is this?

This statue may or may not be there when you go looking for him, he tends to move a bit. Confused? You won't be when you meet him, he likes to hang out around Freo. Again a thorough search of the area might be worth some points to you.

A source of great amusement last year was the addition of outlying locations worth A LOT of points.(Ask Mr Hacket about the fun his group had with that one). My advice, plan it out, use your time wisely and go for three or four major photo's if you're gona make it worthwhile.

My final tips; TOM takes great pleasure in hiding valuable bits of information right in front of your noses. Take a VERY careful look at EVERYTHING you are given and don't dissmiss ANY possible source of help. Lastly, everything is for sale, it just depends on what it's worth to you.

Good luck and enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dream World

On Friday night I was on a skype to theDarling, one of the PoaPosse in Oz, and she told me that she had had a dream that myself and Hero had cut our dreadlocks off. Then she woke up and remembered that Hero had cut her dreads off in April this year and THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL that my dreads are gona be cut off anytime soon!!!! Having reassured her that I stilll had my dreads we talked for a bit and then went to sleep.
I awoke from a nightmare that night in which I had cut off my dreads!!!! The effect of which was that I actually looked good in a strange way, with one or two strategically placed dreads left uncut and blending into a new hair style, but thats beside the point!!!! I woke up and nervously felt my hair which, to my great relief, was still knotted and matted into my treasured dreadies. Retaining my dreads was a minor relief but the dream has sparked a series of weird and scary dreams over the weekend which have been vividly odd.
Last nite I found myself building Youth Cafe's in an amusement park and then riding a BMX bike on a massive ramp that jumped up to a platform where I collected Christmas presents for friends and family from a huge pile, put them in my backpack, hopped back on my BMX and jumped off the platform back on to the ramp and rode away.
Needless to say with strange dreams I haven't been sleeping amazingly for a few nights. I'm not particularly worried about any hidden meanings in the dreams as they weren't those kind of dreams but at the same time I love my sleep and when it's interrupted I'm not a happy chappy. I think I can fairly blame theDarling for this series of dream world oddities, and I'm hoping that last night saw the last of them.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Meet the Posse

Just so everyone has a way of working out what the hell I'm talking about, and more to the point who I'm talking about, I thought I'd post a list of some of the crew who make/will make regular appearances on The Posse House. They don't all live in the Posse House but we'll make them honourary members anyway. I'll also put a list in the sidebar when I work out how but for now; Here's the Posse!
TOM or BadGrammarMan- Marcus my father from Western Australia.
MommaCaz- my mother Carolyn. (may change if I think of a better or more relevant name)
TheMexican- my Grandfather lives in Queensland but is originally a Victorian.
FearlessLeader and MrsFearless- Martin and Jenny our team leaders in the UK.
AtariMan- Dan, my supervisor, and his wife Danni and their boy Simeon.
Timbo- my youth work mate and partner in crime.
LeviJeans- my best mate from Tasmania.
CpnJustice- a guy called Guy, lives in Oxford.
Hero and MissKynda- Heather and Krystalyn, in that order, two Canadian girls I met in Oz.
That's probably about all you can handle and I can think of right now but I'll keep you updated with the Posse's growth. Peace Out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mouse in the Posse House

Yesterday the Fearless Leader made an entertaining discovery, we have a mouse that has moved into the Posse House. This doesn't bother me much after living in the Palace for six months. (The Palace is a house in a park in Poatina, Tasmania which is often mistaken for a toilet block and where mice are the least of your worries compared to the Possums who are regular visitors- more on the Palace later). The Fearless Leader wasn't too phased by this development either... Mrs Fearless on the other hand is apparently not so fearless when it comes to small rodents in her house.
So of course there was an initial attempt to squash MouseMan with one of Fearless Leaders boots as he had chosen a rather exposed hiding place but when that proved unsuccessful we moved on to Plan B; the Humane Mouse Trap.
As you can see from the picture the mouse runs in through the gate attracted by the food inside but when the trap is tilted by the mouses weight the gate swings shut. When the mouse tries to turn around and walk back out the gate is held shut by the prongs which are by that stage stuck under the trap.
Now, my bet is that this thing was really invented by some kid who wanted a live mose to "play" with, cos letting the mouse go wasn't the first option that enterred my mind or the most appealing. Look out MouseMan, the Posse House is boobie trapped!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Bad Grammar Man" and other family photo's

"Bad Grammar Man" is one of "TOM"s alter ego's who harrasses me about my spelling. The others are family photo's dating from 1990 to 2 days ago.

Living with Ambiguity

A theme in my work and training, (and life in general), is living with ambiguity. Ambiguity means vagueness, uncertainty, doubt... you get the drift. Anyway, Thursday night as I was finishing off preparations to go to Eastbourne, (a small town on the south coast of England), for a youth work conference when the Fearless Leader called from Germany. Fearless Leader and Mrs Leader had been over in Germany since Tuesday at a conference, in preparation for the community festivals we are running during the 2006 World Cup, and Timbo and Atari Man (Dan, my supervisor) were going over to help for the weekend.
So the Fearless Leader was talking to Atari Man and the rest of us were only getting one side of the conversation, but my name was being used quite a bit, (not always a good sign but this time it was ok). It appeared Fearless Leader and Atari Man felt that it would be a better use of Atari Man's time to go to Eastbourne... leaving a vacant plane ticket to Germany! Said ticket was then offered to me. I offered up a very grateful, "I'll do it!" and all of a sudden I'm headed to Germany!
Ten minutes later Fearless Leader is again on the fone to Atari Man saying he's not sure it's worth sending me over and maybe we should move the ticket to be used at a later date. Dissapointed but seeing the logic to this I agreed that it would be a better use of resources and I would go to Eastbourne with Atari Man.
Five minutes later the Fearless Leader is back on the fone saying that the ticket couldn't be moved so they were going to send me over after all! Another change of plans and mindset was followed five minutes later by yet another call from Fearless Leader to say that he had gone to change the name on the ticket and the airline had wacked a futher 200 euro's to the fare so he'd had to cancel the ticket when left with no affordable option... Yay Eastbourne?
So that's how I ended up in Eastbourne this weekend at a very good youth work conference which was a great time of encouragement and inspiration. I was a little dissappointed about the whole fiasco on Thursday night but as our whole team is going to Germany in April, I haven't really missed out. So, as ambiguity is quite a theme in my life I'm starting to get used to it. Tip for the Trip; Just be willing to work with what you get.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Birthday!!!

It's Paul and Walter's birthday today! I should probably explain that Paul is my youngest brother who turned 8! And Walter is married to my Nan, so I guess that makes him a step something but I just call him Walter or "Poor Walter" when the occaision call's for it, which it often does. I'm quite proud to call him my Opa, (German for grandpa), when, as is often the case; I can't be bothered explaining the whole story. (This is the case now if you were wondering). I'm not sure how old Walter is but it's probably somewhere between 67 and 73.
Happy Birthday Boys! Have a great year and hopefully I'll catch up with you before the next one passes!
*My real Grandpa lives in Queensland and has a cool Blog called Holtie's House, check it out.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wife Swap

I usually get bored and switch off when reality TV shows come on. Because I don't watch much television in the first place I don't like to waste my time on anything that's just not worth watching; usually it takes a show of the calibre of Lost or Joan of Arcadia to capture any serious interest, although The OC and Gilmore Girls have both made the list at various points.
So I was very surprised when the show Wife Swap, which I had previously decided lacked any value what-so-ever, caught and held my attention... TWICE! The show is based around the concept of two families exchanging wives/mothers for a fortnight as a means of gathering another perspective and experience of family life. Naturally the families are always each others polar opposite and the tensions and drama's that arise are played upon by the camera.
This episodes guinea pigs- Bill and Wendy + Allan and Christina. Bill and Wendy are ultra conservative Baptists from South Carolina, and their kids Brittany- labeled the problem child- and Dustin, the good child. Allan and Christina from Texas live in a world of Rock+Roll and have a friendship and communication based relationship with their three kids. You might be getting a bit of a picture of how the families are paired for the show at this point.
For the first week the mum's must follow the normal rules of the house so Christina was cooking and cleaning and Wendy attended her first Rock+Roll gig. Christina, and her whole family in fact, throughout the experience was far more open minded than Wendy but it was Bill's closed dictators mind that was the most shocking. The second week the wives get to change the rules and give the families a taste of their worlds but practically every change Christina tried to make to give Brittany and Dustin a new experience Bill headed off at the pass. Wendy was more co-operative and gained a new perspective on her relationship with her daughter, and on Allan and the kids who she initially labelled Devil Worshippers but later discovered were christian's.
It was great to see how much both families took out of the experience even though initially it looked like one family wasn't going to learn much at all. The best part was the change in Wendy's attitude towards Brittany; at the start she had said, "there's a part of me that wants so much to be her friend, but I can't be her mother and her friend." but by the end she was making an effort to get to know her.
I really loved the Texan's, who kind of reminded me of the Kara Clan, and how much they loved and valued each other, made me think about what I prize in my own life and where my values lie and how much I love my own family.

Fone Fun!

For the last three days the fone in the Posse House hasn't been ringing and no one has been able to work out why. We were still able to call out and were getting messages on the answering service but no one could ring us direct because for some reason the fone just wasn't ringing! This led to games like randomly picking up the fone, pressing talk and answering to see if someone was trying to call at the time. After three days of trying to puzzle out what was wrong some bright spark picked up the fone, found the button that says ringer and flicked it to on. "Who the hell put that button there!?!" Was the half amused-half murderous comment that followed the discovery. We've now had eight fone calls in the half hour since the fone was fixed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Welcome to the Posse House!

Welcome to the Posse House! Despite a long-standing dislike of computers I got inspired to start blogging by my Father's blog, the Holtpress, which is pretty cool. I live in the UK in Oxford with a bunch of Aussie youth workers like myself. It's a pretty sweet gig. My mate Timbolopolus came up with The Posse House as a title for The Fearless Leader's house, which more often than not gets used as our office, and the bounds of The Posse House have kind of grown to surround most of Oxfordshire so that now pretty much whenever we're in Oxford- we're in The Posse House! It came as a bit of a surprise to me how much I love England and the people here. Travelling wasn't on my agenda until very recently and that was a surprise of sorts too, so I'm learning heaps all the time both about myself and the Journey which at the moment has me chilling in The Posse House and loving it!