Just voted the web’s sexiest blog. Or was it the one most likely to send you to sleep? Anyway, happy 100 posts.

February 28, 2012

That sound you hear is the uncorking of cheap champers. The cracking of party poppers.

Here in the Executive Offices of the Hold All Tickets corporation, there’s a celebration underway. Our highly paid researchers and writers are letting their sometimes unwashed hair down.

This week, the little blog that usually makes little sense chalked up 100 posts. If you still need the kids to turn the computer on for you, that means I’ve churned out 100 often nonsensical stories

Yep, we’ve hit three figures. And apparently, in the high-powered blogging world, this is something of a big deal.

To mark the occasion, I thought it would be a grand idea to look back at some of our ground-breaking bits.

It all started on March 23 last year. Me, stuck on the lounge, with a dislocated ankle pointing north. Bored to within an inch of my being.

It was suggested that writing a blog would be a good idea. Who for, I’m still not quite sure. So, under the influence of a belly full of powerful yet legal pain relief, the scribbling began.

In that first piece, I promised there would be no home renovation advice, or pasta recipes. I’m happy to say I’ve been true to my word.

What started as weekly ramblings about the racing game, soon expanded to include the chaos that is my life. From one post a week, to two.

We’ve covered all the big issues since day one. From my favourite daytime television shows (Prisoner re-runs), to starting Saturdays with Hannah Montana. (If you don’t know her by now, it’s too late).

A few of you giggled at my hard-luck motoring stories (the only man to start his car with a screwdriver), while others got a kick out of the weird and wonderful friends I found on early morning walks.

Sport has featured prominently. Racing, of course. My initial piece on Black Caviar went out in that very first week. We’ve been celebrating her greatness ever since.

There was State of Origin fun. And lots of debate, on how many years it takes for a bloke to call himself a true Blue Maroon. That will be on again in a few months.

Some of my favourite pieces have involved digging back in time, to recount precious memories with Mum and Dad. It never ceases to amaze me how many of you enjoy such flashbacks. There’ll be more reminiscing, as long as my fading brain cells continue to co-operate.

It must be said, however, that the most popular segments have involved my girls. The Teenager and Daughter Two have become the stars of these pages. By doing nothing more than growing up.

You seem to enjoy my pain, trying to negotiate the rocky yet delicate path that is fatherhood. Especially as I stumble, time and again.

Who would have thought that the bumbling efforts to hide my two junior beauties from young, dangerous males, would give you all such guilty pleasure?

The girls themselves have put up with the madness with good grace. Yes, I know that might change anytime soon. In the meantime, I’ll continue to carefully outline our fun and games.

The wonderful thing about this blogging caper, is your feedback. Everyone has an opinion. Some positive, some negative. All welcome.

I find myself reading other blogs. Some by incredibly talented colleagues sitting a few desks away. Others by people I’ve never heard of, on topics I’ve previously had little interest in.

It seems we all have stories. I’m enjoying telling mine. Sometimes you might doze off halfway through. That’s ok. You might like the next one.

Hopefully you’ve been tickled by something along the way. Even inspired. And if it was just a nod over your Corn Flakes, that’s fine too.

Here’s to the next 100. There’ll be change around us, of course. Sadly, nothing stays the same. We’ll do our best to battle on. And keep writing.

From the entire team, thanks for your support. And tell your friends. Possibly the ones you don’t like. Who knows, if you play your cards right, there might even be a pasta recipe on the way.

From first boyfriends to Black Caviar. School bus bullies to our lost dog. Looking back at a memorable first year.

January 3, 2012

It’s a new year. I’m assuming you’ve all returned to some level of sobriety. To celebrate, let’s take a journey back in time, to the old year.

This blog came to life last March. The result of a dislocated ankle, that had me laid up at home for weeks, on the brink of outright insanity.

Someone, somewhere, suggested I start writing about stuff. So I did, with a bung leg pointing skywards.

Over time, it developed into a twice-weekly affair. Life, laughs and the family on a Tuesday; racing and sport on a Saturday.

Quite a mix. Something for everyone. Or, two piles of crud to be totally ignored.

The kids have featured prominently. For the most part, they’re fine with that. They usually get a giggle from it all.

To share details of their dance concerts is great fun. Possibly sleep-inducing for some. But still great fun.

Tales of my first meeting with Daughter Two’s boyfriend tickled a few of you. Horrified the ladies. Mortified Daughter Two.

Lots identified with my feelings at watching my other little girl become The Teenager. Dads everywhere were nodding quietly.

I’ve found myself thinking more about the old days. My childhood. Mum and Dad. Trying to recall the people and events that shaped me.

From feedback you’ve given me, we like the reminiscing. Simple things. Like playing outside as a kid every afternoon. Mum’s cooking. And facing up to bullies on the old school bus.

Of late, we’ve shared details of our first jobs. Sacrifices our parents made at Christmas. Many of you had similar memories. And how those of our generation (definition – old farts), are paying the price for being kids who didn’t know what sunscreen was.

There have been stories through the year that have been shared on Facebook and Twitter. The marvels of social media. So great to be a part of it.

The tale of our lost dog Coco has gone far and wide in recent days. Sadly, she’s still missing. But the support and encouragement we’ve received has been nothing short of amazing. Thank you.

We talked State of Origin. Those outside of Queensland and New South Wales were probably scratching their heads. No problems there. It’s only for a few weeks.

Something that did strike a chord was when a bloke becomes eligible to officially support his adopted state. Ten years? Twenty years? Never? Everyone had an opinion.

The debate even slipped into the mainstream media, in the days after the blog ran. That was a first. Maybe a coincidence. Maybe not. We’ll have another crack at it this year. Go the Maroons.

Not all of you are interested in the Saturday racing pieces. That’s ok. Racing is a passion of mine. I’d write about it even if no-one was reading. Which is sometimes the case.

It was a joy to describe the jubilation at Doomben, when Black Caviar came to town. Tears and cheers at a packed racecourse. Something we haven’t experienced for years.

We were able to have a giggle at kooky Kim Kardashian being scratched from Melbourne Cup week. And my excitement at the tradition of going to Stradbroke Day with a much-loved childhood mate.

Sad times too. Young Corey Gilby’s tragic death at a country race meeting. And the pain that lingers, after losing the amazingly talented Stathi Katsidis, way too young.

Then there was the highly sought after Melbourne Cup guide. Great fun. Of course, my top selection was scratched on Cup morning. And I gave the winner no chance. Who else can boast that sort of strike rate?

You can find all these stories and more in the blog archive. That is, if you care. And you are so mind-numbingly bored that you actually want to read more. That also tells me that you probably need to see a doctor of some kind.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe, so you never miss a word. Twice a week, direct to your e-mail address. Fill out the box at the top of the Hold All Tickets page. It’s free. Or, sign up someone you don’t like. Now that would be funny.

So, to the year ahead. There’ll be more fun. A few laughs hopefully. A crook tip or two. And a look back every now and then, at how things used to be.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. It means a lot.

Who would have thought that getting busted up doing the gardening at my mother-in-law’s place, would lead to all this? Lucky for me, fact around here is almost always stranger than fiction.