"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Monday, March 02, 2015

RIP Hoss.

For long time bloggers... I think I'm right in saying that its 6 years ago on March 10 since we lost an all time favorite b***ger... Ol'HorsetailSnake like many who read this I was always in awe of Gene's sense of humor and his down to earth grasp on things, (like dung beetles).
I sure hope he has made his pile up yonder, if ever anyone deserved to it was Hoss

RIP old friend.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A trip down memory lane.

I recently spent 3 days with my Son Marcus on a trip planned mainly to catch up with some of my friends and family that I missed when I was unable to attend my sister Merle's funeral last year, as luck would have it we found ourselves standing at Merle's grave on the anniversary of her passing, this added significantly to the visit.

We started out with my cousin Dan and his wife Kath, Dan and I were great mates when we were children, you know how you have that special cousin!!!! but had lost touch over the years, we spent about 4 hours together with barely a break in the chatter, a great visit.

On to the cemetery next, I seem to remember having difficulty keeping photos in order with Blogger, hope they come out right, next was a quick visit with Merle's oldest son John and his lady Heather, always a joy to catch up with them.

To round of day one we visited a lifelong friend Keith where we spent an  enjoyable night, chatting into the wee small hours, Keith had a golf game organized for the next morning we were able to indulge Marcus' passion for browsing second hand and antique stores for a couple of hours.

Another town and another lifetime friend, my best mate Alan's widow Jan and their lovely daughter Carol, more good times and memories,  we left there with just enough time for a quick visit with their son Gary and his wife Christine before Marcus had to head for Geelong and work, as his car was in Melbourne that left me with some time to do some more nostalgic sight-seeing.

This included drive by visits to old movie theatres, I used to frequent, a couple of old Pubs where we used to hang out, a couple of the old houses we lived in when I was a kid, in short a full dose of memories to top off a great weekend, thank you Marcus for excellent company and all those we visited for their hospitality and company.

 Kath, myself and Dan sharing memories at Benalla.
 Merle and Harold's grave site at Shepparton.
 Myself and my "Little Mate" Keith at Tocumwal.
 Jan and myself at Yarrawonga.
 The charming Carol at Yarrawonga.
 Myself and Marcus while we were at Yarrawonga.
The house we lived in when I was 10 to  14 years old.
 This was where we lived when  Merle married and left home, that's when I discovered that I missed her!!!!

The intersection where we gate crashed the Royal visit in 1954, see post on Facebook Jan 13 for details.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Australia Day 2015

January 26th already, its the Australia Day long weekend here in Oz, time to fire up the barbie, grab a cold beer, play some back yard cricket and celebrate living in the best country in the world

 Green & Gold... Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.

Sausages and Aussie Burgers!!!

The shirt says it all!!!

I'll have my steak Australian thanks!!!

The things we do!!!

As usual... Finished of with a joke!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Welcome to Holtieshouse!!!

Woo-Hooo... we're back on the air, so to speak, now what to talk about?
Perhaps an up-date on the last 12 months, moving from Queensland (after 20 years) back to my State of birth, Victoria, note to self, don't do that again so close to Winter, in Queensland the Winter climate is almost perfect... in Victoria its just COLD.
OK, climate aside the move has worked out well, I have 2 of my 4 kids close at hand and I have a social life pattern that keeps me in touch with life time friends, I have got my new home to the stage where it feels right, my health is back to where its been for most of my life.
During October/November 20014 I drove to Perth WA and back, to visit with family, my other 2 kids live in Perth, the secondary reason for driving (almost 10,000 kms) was to prove to myself that I could still do it, both objects were achieved, I had a good visit with the kids and also some lifetime friends in both SA and WA.
The down-side of the year was the loss of my dear Sister Merle, it hardly seems possible that its been almost a year since she passed away, gone but never forgotten.
In honor of her memory I'm going to close this post with a joke as was her habit.

Bert feared his wife Peg wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid.
Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem.

The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.

'Here's what you do,' said the Doctor, 'stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a 

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was In the den.  He says to himself, 'I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens.'  Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?'

No response.

So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, 'Peg, what's for dinner?'

Still no response.

Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his Wife and asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?'

Again he gets no response.

So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. 'Honey, what's for dinner?'

Again there is no response.

So he walks right up behind her. 'Peg, what's for dinner?'

'For F*-#?? sake, Bert, for the FIFTH time, CHICKEN!'

Until next time...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Are we there yet?

Following on with the problem of the hi-jacking of this blogsite I have done some tidy up chores here and I believe I have fixed the problem, as a method of checking this I would appreciate it if some readers would follow the link back here and let me know if there is still a problem. My intention is to do a weekly??? post here as I still love the principle of blogging.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Its 2015, must be time for a post.

I don't know whether anyone is going to be able to read this, time will tell, after all this time... almost 10 years and 1125 posts, it seems someone has hi-jacked holtieshouse, I have had my computer serviced and the repair shop managed to clean the hi-jack from this computer but said it would probably still affect others???
If this is so I will report it to Blogger in the hope that they can do something.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A new home for holtieshouse.

Seems like ages since I have written anything on F/B (or the blog) and it certainly isn’t because nothing has been happening in my world… the very opposite in fact I have been on a whirlwind ride which was going much to fast for me to jump off.
In something like chronological order, since Christmas 2012 which I spent in Victoria with most of my family, the decision to move back to Victoria became a reality so some lifestyle investigations began, after much to-ing and fro-ing I decided to buy another house and live independently while I was still able to.
There was a pretty good range of homes available in my price range so I made an offer on one of them then headed for home to sell my Queensland house, Vicki rang me a couple of days later to tell me that the offer had been accepted so the game was on in earnest, I listed my house with a local agent and we agreed on a selling price, after one open house which was very well attended the agent rang me to say the house was sold… so in a two week period I bought and sold houses in two different states.
My dear sister passed away at the same time I was booked into hospital to have the reversal of my colostomy done, the surgery all went well and I have since received a clean bill of health report. 
Marcus and Alan came up for a week to organize a garage sale and pack up my stuff, as an added bonus the people who bought my house bought my furniture too so the move became much easier. Thanks to the boys efforts the garage sale was a success, we gave the surplus to charity and I set sail for my new home and life.
I am at this moment, 1.00pm Wed March 19th, sitting on my new front porch typing this post while I wait for my mew Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Bedroom Suite and Lounge Suite to be delivered, The carpets were all cleaned yesterday and my stuff from Gympie arrives tomorrow so I’ll probably move into my new home on the week end…. WooHoo.
Its now 10 pm and all the expected things have happened, so I’m off to bed… a big day unpacking tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Merle's Last Goodbye.

Merle's pride and joy, her four children, Julie, Geoff, John, Kathie.

Myself (Peter) and my sister Merle.

Merle in happier times, when she always wore that lovely smile.
Hello to all of Merle's friends, I'm afraid that I am the bearer of some very bad news, my dear sister Merle passed away today, (Saturday February 8th) quite suddenly but fortunately peacefully.
During my last conversation with her Merle told me that she had had enough and was just waiting to die, while this surprised me at the time I now see that having made peace with those of us she cared most about she simply shut down her resistance and allowed the inevitable to happen.
We are hoping for one last miracle, that is that her funeral can be arranged for Tuesday 11th February so that I can attend before my surgery booked for Thursday 13th February, to those who may not know about this, its the reversal of my colonoscopy after my encounter with bowel cancer last year.
To any of you who followed her blog and/or facebook please know that you enriched her life with the joy she got from her "internet friends" we had many discussions about how deeply we both felt about  those "friends" we had never met and in most cases never expected to meet.
The world is a much better place because Merle spent time in it, not enough time , but then I guess that always applies.
Thank you for the pleasure you gave to Merle.
Rest In Peace.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Heading Home for a rest!!

Hello to Blogland, I hope that 2014 has been treating you well, my normally quiet lifestyle has been given a real workout since I arrived in Victoria just before Christmas.
A part of the reason for this trip, aside from spending Christmas with some of my family, was to investigate the housing alternatives available so that I won’t put my family through the same chaotic conditions that 2013 brought about should my health again pose a problem.
Christmas Dinner was at favourite daughter Vicki’s lovely new home near Geelong, it was historic in that Vicki and Marcus had both their parents with them for Christmas dinner, first time for about 7 years and only the second time in about 40 years, we also had lengthy phone calls with the boys from Perth, Alan and Bruce to complete what has been a great Christmas.
Two days after Christmas I got a morning call from Alan, oldest son, who asked if I could pick him up from the Geelong Railway Station, I assured him that I certainly could and inquired when?... well I’m here at the moment was the reply, we hastily went and picked him up only to learn that his plan had been to hire a car at the Melbourne airport and come and knock on the door at about 8.00am, there wasn’t a single hire car available at the airport or at Geelong when he arrived there, all this after a 20 minute phone call on Christmas morning when he gave no clue about his plan, which included a 3000 km red-eye flight across the country, had already been booked.
Some fairly extensive house hunting started in the new year, this included several alternatives at a retirement village near Vicki’s house, a more conventional Caravan Park in Geelong, I hastily add for American readers, this bears no resemblance to a “Trailer Park” as I understand them to be, as well as some conventional houses, one of which I submitted an offer on… not accepted but I have established that there is a fairly good supply of homes in a price range where I feel comfortable.
So I’m a man on a mission… to prepare for sale and sell my house in Gympie, get my surgery done and then MOVE interstate… not really looking forward to all that!!!!
My worst fears about moving back to Victoria were well founded during the first 2 weeks I had my mid winter uniform on, Jeans, Shirt and light weight jumper, and this was in mid summer!!!! This last week has been a real heat wave with temps. Of 38 to 45 degrees Celsius, approx. 98 /108 Fahrenheit.  
It was hot enough today to melt some fairly extensive sections of new bitumen on the motorway as I drove to Shepparton to visit again with my sister Merle, she is in the Shepparton Private Hospital waiting on a placement in respite at a nursing home, she has finally conceded that she is unable to look after herself at home so the move into respite will become permanent when a suitable room becomes available.
Merle has succumbed to Dementia over the last few months, its sad to see her repeating the same things over and over and with a fairly serious case of the “Oh Dears” which she prefaces almost everything with, “Oh Dear… I didn’t sleep well last night etc.”  
On a brighter note I stopped of at the pretty little town of Nagambie close to Shepparton, This is where the Champion Mare “Black Caviar” was bred, they are understandably proud of her and have erected a statue with details of her racing career on display, 25 straight victories before being retired to stud where she is now expecting her first foal.
Again, I wish you all the very best for 2014.


  In her familiar "Racing Mode" she had a huge stride, much longer than normal which wasthe secret of her racing success. There is a lovely lake in the background of this shot which is a summer wonderland for the town and its visitors.

 Loved this vine clad "Water Tower" which supplies the towns water from the "Header Tank"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A journey into the unknown.

 Hello in blogland, a land where I once used to live, I've moved to the inner city slum known as facebook along with many other ex residents of blogland, be all that as it may... some of you might be aware that for the last 20 some years I have been sending my Christmas greeting to my friends in the form of a poem, I have broken with tradition this year and decided to let any stalwart readers who might still exist also share in my wondrous journey through 2013.. Its long and boring so only venture further if you are made of stalwart stuff.
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Hey its getting to be a lot like Christmas... Poem time

 Roses are red
Violets are blue
If I write a poem
I'll send it to you.


Twas the night before Christmas
As I toiled at the computer
But no the juices weren't flowing
For a poem this year I'll need a tutor.


 As Christmas time draws near
I face my annual fear
My mind is blank as slime
This year ain't gonna rhyme.

 Nah... getting worse

 This year you get a letter, I'm already feeling better... stop it.

 Well friends what a year its been for this little black duck, I took a road trip to Victoria in January where I did all my normal visits with Friends and Family, both Marcus and Vicki are now living in the Geelong area now so, as will be explained later in this letter, there is some pressure being applied for me to once again take out residency status in Victoria.

As usual I had a great time during all of my visiting, the only blot on the copybook being my sister Merle's health, she had a couple of weeks in hospital then another 2 weeks in respite care which did her the world of good but then inevitably they sent her home again.

She has been coping reasonably but about 2 weeks ago she had a return trip to hospital and frankly I, and her family, hope she will go into a care situation from there as she has had some problems over the last few months, very stubborn and wants to finish her time in her own house, not the best for her family who are constantly on edge and wondering how she is going.

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 Enough of that lets get back to me, me, me, I learned that when you are sick and feeling down the whole world revolves around you (in your mind that is) having always enjoyed good health this was one of the many lessons I was to learn during the year, along with a whole new language with words I had never heard before, much less used, words like Colonoscopy, stoma's, chemotherapy, radiation, cat-scans and a host of others that either described what was going to happen to me. or the person who was to perform it, pretty scary stuff at times, because we live in the kind of world we do health providers are obliged to tell you of all the possible pit falls in what they are proposing to do to you usually ending with "and of course you might die", this got to be one of the highlights of my sessions with them.

Lets go back a bit, I arrived home from Victoria at the end of January and immediately slipped back into my reclusive pattern of life, that is until the  15th, 16th and 17th of February, over this period I had been becoming more and more uncomfortable with  as I first thought a severe case of constipation.

On the afternoon of Sunday 17th Feb I took myself up to the Emergency department of the Gympie Hospital where they fairly quickly established that there was a bowel blockage, the method of reaching this conclusion included some poking and prodding into areas that had up until now been private and un-prodded, the verdict was a transfer to Nambour Hospital for surgery.

The next few hours saw me with two more new experiences, my first ride in an Ambulance and my first admission into a hospital as a patient, my Sunday night was the first of a few that I would very much like to forget, because I was to have an emergency stomach operation they obviously gave me some sort of Super Laxative that, perhaps aided by the prodding, saw me up and making a dash for the toilet 10 times that night, I am ashamed to say half of these dashes were not quite swift enough, suffice to say a poor little nurse had several bed changes and clean ups to do, when I apologized for this she said "don't worry its all part of my job" I suggested that perhaps she had better look for another job.

Next day saw me into the operating theatre, another first, where they re-arranged my intestine to a stoma on my left side at about navel height.

Its at this point where the only real problem with my whole treatment comes  in, because this was an emergency operation I can only guess that I was given some pretty potent anesthetics, suffice to say I had some fairly nasty side effects which first of all had them re-sedate me and put

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me into ICU, the second bad experience was that for the next three nights I had
dreadful nightmares, I don't normally dream at all  and these were lulus.

By the time I was put into a ward Vicki and Marcus had arrived from Victoria and were able to go to the Gympie Hospital and rescue my car which had been sitting out the front for 3 days and nights... all good thankfully.

I spent 12 days in Hospital where they did all sorts of tests which ended with me being told I had bowel "cancer" again pretty scary stuff, because the 4inch wound in my abdomen had become infected I was fitted with a wound vacuum pump which aids the wound healing process, this little devil stayed with me for almost a month.

Vicki spent another couple of weeks with me before Alan arrived from Perth to give her a break for a week then she returned and was involved with the start of Chemo/Radiation for a 28 day course spread over about 40 days with no treatments on weekends and Easter Vicki was able to go home again while my good mate Warren came up to baby sit me before Bruce arrived from Perth for his turn at looking after Dad.

Vicki was back on deck again when Bruce left, this time for about 2 weeks then she was finally able to go back to living her own life for a while, during all this time with the 4 kids and Warren looking after me there were literally dozens of medical appointments as well as the housework, cooking etc. so just where I would have been without them all I don't know, there is a debt there that I will never be able to repay though and it ain't over yet.

Major surgery scheduled for June 13th Marcus was the first carer for 2 weeks then Alan for 1 week Warren again for a few days until the ever reliable Vicki returned for another couple of weeks.

During all of this time I managed to avoid all the nasty side affects of Chemo/Radiation and remained virtually pain free for the whole time, I did loose my appetite and consequently lost about 20 Kgs... no real bad thing!! but compared with what some people go through it was  a walk in the park.

The one remaining thing is the reversal of my stoma so that I can finally be rid of the colostomy bag and go back to sitting on a toilet seat again... who knew you could ever miss that???

I said earlier that I would return to the me, me, me situation, I have been surprised and more than a little ashamed of just what a self centered year I have had, people experienced in this sort of situation say its no

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 surprise when your life suffers a major upheaval that you tend to withdraw into yourself, in my case there was never any "Why Me" attitude and as I said I pretty much just went for my walk in the park.

The other thing that I said I would return to is the gentle pressure being applied to have me return to Victoria to live, having put all 4 of my kids through such a year I recognize the fact that it would be easier should this sort of situation ever arise again it wouldn't create the same problems if I was living where at least two of  them are, the jury is still out on that one.

I hope this hasn't been too boring or graphic but you can probably see why it couldn't come in the form of a poem.

To insert a touch of humor and lighten this up a bit, there was a male nurse on night duty who wore an L.E.D. headlight on his tours of the ward, in my mind he was Florence Nightingales brother Frank, you know the lady/guy with the lamp, I was disappointed to learn that his name was Rexie, the other thing that tickled my fancy was when Warren told his sister Denise that I was thinking about moving to Victoria she became indignant and said "he can't do that, he's your best mate, tell him he can't go... no bugger it let me know when he's coming down next and I'll tell him", I hardly know Denise!!!

Finally let me finish of with my eternal thanks to my four wonderful children, my mate Warren,  a special thank you to the daughter of two of my lifelong friends Neil and Joan, thanks Susan for helping out with transport for those who needed help, to my neighbors Diane and Brian for their support, to all of my friends who have helped keep my spirits up when they were sagging a little, to my friends from the internet world who have given their prayers and support I am forever in debt to all of you.

 I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year, my love to you all.