Yes, We Got the Emails. All of Them.

It’s the weekend. FINALLY. There’s only so much of my co-workers I can take before I need a medically-mandated break.

First the office gossip is making secret plots to try and take the bosses job, and EVERYONE besides him can see it. Then he leaves and she goes full-on dictator for about two weeks. And now she’s bored of it, I guess? She’s just drifting round the office, hovering behind our desks like a little lost puppy. I don’t understand this woman.

And if I get one more email about the state of our Melbourne conveyancing clients I’m going to scream. Yes, we have conveyancing clients. We have the big meeting with them on Thursday. I’ve done countless hours of research around property conveyancing and know all the ins and outs. We have ALL brushed up on conveyancing solicitor terms so we know what we’re talking about. And we knew all of this…several weeks ago. And yet Sandrine has been emailing us daily, and sometimes even twice a day: ‘Just a reminder, everyone get ready for the big conveyancing meeting!’ ‘Me again, ha ha! Just letting you know that it’ll be at 2pm, so make sure you’re back from lunch on time!’ ‘In regards to the conveyancing meeting, just an extra note to make sure you read up on the sale of land act, because we might not have time to go over it. Keep up the good work, ha ha!’

I can’t figure her out. Maybe she’s lost her purpose, now that she has everything she ever wanted? I guess she should’ve set her heights a little higher than just owning this office. And then, what is is they say about the chains of leadership? They drag you down into…something, I think. If that’s the case, I hope I never get promoted, because I don’t want to end up like that.

Oh…wait what? It’s SATURDAY. We KNOW we’re meeting with a representative of Melbourne’s conveyancing solicitors. Go home!


Posted in Housing

Ned More Aluminium…Got an Island to Service

You know…I think I might have been wrong about these mobile games. All my friends at book club are all over them, and I always thought they were a silly waste of time. ‘Sugary Smash’ seemed like the most inane, though perhaps my burgeoning hatred was made all the more intense by all the requests I kept getting on Visage-Tome. ‘Play Sugary Smash! Earn points! Help Millie reach Ice-Cream-Ville!’

How about no. But then I just started Industry Island, the interactive simulation where you can meet people, develop an industry and learn all about the civil sector. It’s SO addictive. I just earned enough money to purchase tool box central locking for my entire fleet of plumbers, which will stand them in really good stead since there’s currently an in-game event going on wherein bandits are stealing tools to sell on the black market. Most people didn’t see the need for security, so they’re all walking around the island with regular aluminium toolboxes. A few people have splashed out for padlocks, but personally, I don’t feel like it’s enough.

As if I didn’t already have enough to worry about, by the way. I thought I’d saved up enough for some extra gas bottle holders, but it turned out that i was hit with an emergency gas situation in my company break-room (ironically enough) and it became a choice between the gas bottle holders and the under body boxes. I went for the latter, but I won’t say I’m 100% convinced that it was the right decision. I never actually knew that running a business would be THIS involved. I thought I’d just be sending out my staff to various parts of the island, then spending my time wandering around and chatting to other business owners. But nope…it’s EVERYTHING, right down to the ordering of the stock. What I’m trying to say is that it’s very absorbing, and thus it’s the perfect excuse for why I haven’t finished the chapter for book club this week. I had to place an order for roof racks and bars, but then there was a freak snowstorm and the order was delayed, so I had to complete a big job in the mayor’s house for extra points, and then…


Posted in Aluminium

A Nightmare on Wallpaper

We had got it into our heads over the summer break that we needed to go whale watching. We got a great place, tickets for the boat, everything lined up beautifully. You couldn’t have told me we’d end up starring in our own custom designed and printed wallpaper.

Pre-trip, staff offered everyone on board seasick tablets. We all refused, except for Freya, who gets terrible motion sickness. She’d get sick riding a bike unless she looked straight ahead and well into the distance. We found that out the hard way when my partner decided to take her for a ride in his brand new ute. The car was never the same.

Little did I know at the time, that ignoring the value of seasickness tablets was going to lead to a photo worthy of self-adhesive wallpaper. Boarding the boat was exciting. We had no idea that conditions were so bad.

It wasn’t until we hit the wide open ocean that Rebecca and I started feeling queasy. Rebecca has terrible tolerance to discomfort. She’s a princess.

The boat rocked wildly, and looking around me, I noticed that although everyone had been enthusiastic when we boarded,they now looked like they were hanging on for dear life. Grey, sweaty and panicked, I turned around to see a little kid cry hurl into a paper bag.

It wasn’t long before everyone followed suit. Freya, however, was leaning out of her seat with a pair of binoculars. She’d spotted two humpbacks. But everyone was too sick to care, apart from the crew, who were focusing all their attention on her. One guy, Marc, offered to take her photo with the whales in the background. Pity he took it at my worst moment, with my head in a bag and Rebecca with tears streaming down her face. But Freya, with her rosy cheeks and windswept hair giving us the thumbs up, and a whale breaching in mid air right behind her.

Naturally we had the image made into wallpaper for our living room at home. I’d never considered wallpaper as a design choice for my home, but I simply couldn’t resist. Now whenever we have breakfast as a family we can admire the wallpaper and think back to wonderful day.

Posted in digital wallpaper

How can I resist you, Agnetha?

It’s been at least twenty years since I last visited Brighton. Vet clinics these days are a lot different to how they were back then. I feel like people today have a lot more  general respect for animals. If you just take a look at how people view the whole ‘pets in pet stores’ issue, you can see there is a whole new realm of realisation going on.

I’ve come to Brighton to pick up Agnetha, my darling Russian Blue, who I recently purchased from a registered breeder in the area. I adore cats and this breed is by far my favourite. They have such a wonderful temperament and are great around children. It is the most excited I’ve been since I was a child, sitting in the passenger seat of our Gemini, on the way to pick up our brand new jack russell foxy cross pup. Back then there were zero conversations about the best vet in Bayside to have your pet desexed. It’s funny, all those feelings of nervousness and excitement have come flooding back. I loved animals, always throughout my childhood I felt red hot rage at the indignity of being denied a cat. We were a dog family, I was told… but how could that be when I knew how wonderful it might be to have a cat companion?

I was never sure I could really look after an animal well enough, but then I realised I was mostly worried because I desperately wanted the animal to be happy, I decided not to put it off any longer. I called about Agnetha as soon as I saw her picture, she was a tiny blue face in a tangle of siblings, and my heart just opened up. I knew she was to be mine, and now we are together. Save for a few uncomfortable moments with the vet, Agnetha and I are going to have a wonderful life together. Warm in my lap, I know she agrees.

Posted in pet care Tagged with:

Nan’s sweet ride

Looking through the glove box of my Nan’s car, and checking out the vehicle I’d been left with, I was amazed at how dedicated she’d been to keeping her car maintained over the years. It was like she was certain that all hell might break loose if she dared miss a log book service. Ringwood had been home for Nan for most of her adult life, and she’d been very stoic in her ways, she stuck with the things she knew wouldn’t let her down.

Nan had kept every inch of the car beautifully primed- the seats threw up clouds of dust when you sat down but that was about the only thing that gave away the age of the vehicle, a silver convertible Peugeot 504, which had been kept in a shed since it was first purchased.

I have great memories of this car. For example, the one when Nan picked me up from school in it once with the top down, it was the first day of spring and she had been excited to have someone to ferry around.

‘Lets go for cups of chino!’ Nan had squeaked excitedly, her cheeks bright with rouge.

I felt pretty worried when I knew that Nan had left me her car, I wasn’t convinced it would be easy to look after considering it’s age. But the second I got behind the wheel, I loved it and wanted to look after it for her.

My new little Pug was due for it’s next service in less than two weeks, and wanting to stay true to Nan, I booked it in to the same place she’d had car servicing done in Ringwood from day one.

I love the continuity that having Nan’s car has meant for me. It’s a good feeling to be responsible for her pride and joy, and I know how much she loved driving it.

I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin and a cup of coffee, with the top down on the first of spring.

Posted in car service centre

Judging the Sand Down in Lorne

I’m loving being part of a club. In fact, I haven’t been part of a ‘club’ since my school days, which is…let’s see, almost a decade ago now? And even then, things get a lot less fun in the later years with work and study, so I think the last club I was part of was the Poetry Society. Fun while it lasted, but the president was a total autocrat who hated limericks, and I LOVE limericks.

Now I have a new hobby in Beach Critiquing, and I was surprised to find out that it’s a thriving field. Not only does every new member get a hotel booking for Lorne, so they can go on their first assignment, but we also get a free bucket and spade so we can make a sandcastle. That lets us test the sandcastle competition potential of each individual beach, so you see.

I’ve never been to Lorne before, least of all to try to write a detailed critique of its beach, but I won’t let the club down. Of course, there are a lot of beaches, and I’m mostly just focusing on the ones that haven’t already been ranked. Did my first this morning, all very nice, close to the hotel…sand quality wasn’t great, though. I don’t want to come across as harsh on my very first assignment, but I tried to build a very simple sand replica of the Taj Mahal and there was just too much gravelly residue to make the towers. It gets a high mark for being peaceful, despite the fact that it was a short walk from the hotel. Maybe because everyone is at another beach where you can make all the famous landmarks your heart desires because of the great quality sand.

The important thing is that I had a lot of fun, and I got an excuse to go on holiday. I’m still a Shoreline Acolyte at this stage, but if the elders think my beach rankings are good, I’ll progress through the ranks. I hear that that’s when you get the best hotels in Lorne, or so I’ve heard. I bet they’re practically sitting on the beach, and the sand is like walking on unusually-bitty velvet.


Posted in Accommodation

Getting my skates on- 2 weeks to go!

It’s only two and a half weeks until my birthday party.

I feel like a little kid being so excited about it, but I guess I’ve got reasons to be.

I have been sick for most of the year with glandular fever. If you’ve ever had glandular fever, or been sick for more than a couple of weeks, you’ll know how boring it is, and just how much you can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. At first it’s somewhat nice to have some time to catch up on all your favourite TV shows, until you run out. There is only so much TV you can watch before you start feeling like a potato.

Anyway, I’m fourteen about to turn fifteen, and spending weeks in your room feeling terrible gets old fast. I’ve been feeling much better lately,  and started back at school.

Mum must feel like I am up for the challenge because she had me arrange my birthday party all by myself.

“You need to investigate the best function rooms in Melbourne for parties. Make sure you tick of everything on this list.”

And just like that, I became a party planner.

I already knew exactly what I wanted, so it wasn’t like choosing was difficult. I’m not really into kids party games but I really like sport and since I have been in bed for ages, I just want to get back out there with my friends. I found some great function venues. Melbourne has loads of them, but there is this one place really close to the city, they have an ice skating rink and do kids parties.

As soon as I saw it, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.

When I came back to mum with my plan, I knew that seeing as she told me I could choose, she wasn’t gonna say no. Everything you could possibly need in a venue for a party was ticked off the list.

All I had to do was send out the invitations and turn fifteen.

Posted in ice skating, Uncategorized

The Traveling Chronicles: Lorne

Things feel like they’re changing. It’s a slow change, but it also has to be slow. I know it doesn’t seem to make much sense and it seems a bit crazy, but I like how things are going. Well, that, and my home hasn’t been set on fire recently, because that was getting really old. The young ones are going on another holiday, and this time it’s a bit more to my liking. My best mate Blake said he knows a really great place down in Lorne, where luxury beach accommodation is as good as advertised.

Last time he booked the accommodation we ended up trudging through the wilderness, sleeping in a tent. We also built a mud hut, which was fun. Not this time, for I have seen the pictures of the luxury hotel. Now Blake’s plan to be a wacky prankster has been taken from him, because there’s a difference between misdirection and straight up lying.

One thing I know for sure is that Blake is well-connected, a foot in every camp, a piece of real estate in every port. His family used to go down to Lorne for their family holidays, and while I’m not a huge beach person, I do love a good seaside town.

They always have such interesting gift shops, with postcards divided into ‘regular’ or ‘wacky’ sections so you can browse accordingly.

Nice coffee shops and artisan goods that are unique to the area. It all lends itself to the air of relaxation. Everything in Lorne is peaceful and relaxed, no curveballs. I might have a very active mind, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate stepping down from that every now and then to chill out. If I really need entertainment, I can make my own. I do that a lot anyway.

That’s the trip we have planned, to spend a few days soaking up the sun in lovely Lorne accommodation. The weather won’t even be that hot, thanks to the southern hemisphere being so very opposite. No need to worry about a tan, which suits me just fine.

Posted in Lorne

There Are Trees Out There…

The weather is getting warmer, and you all know what that means.

That’s right: there are a bunch of jobs in the garden I can stop ignoring. And that’s terrible, because winter was the perfect excuse for everything I did not want to do. The log fire? Let’s just use the bar heater, all the logs are soaked anyway. At least we have the sun to take care of that little problem. Grass is overgrown? So is everyone else’s. That old tree is leaning precariously close to the house? Shush, it’s cold, we’re not even outside long enough to see it.

That darn tree…my ultimate nemesis. Oh, I’m aware that there are tree removal contractors in Caulfield. I’m so terrible aware, because my wife won’t let up about it in the summer. I keep saying I’ll do it myself, which postpones the execution ever so slightly, but it’s still there, year after year. Mocking me. Standing there in the middle of the garden, lilting slightly to the left in a mocking gesture. Yeah, stuff you tree. Don’t think I can’t see you, just existing without my permission. A few times I’ve wished for it to be blown down in the opposite direction, but the wind here flows in the other direction, so no dice. If it ever does come down, it comes down right onto the roof. I have to make sure that doesn’t happen at all costs. And that…if you think about it…is even more hassle. Hassle through the roof, you might say.

Maybe it’s time. Time for me to put my gloves on, buckle up…and make a phone call to some tree removal arborists. Armadale sounds pretty good. Or…I don’t know. I could just leave it another year. It’s not tilting THAT much, and it’s still pretty cold some days. No use making people remove trees when it’s cold. That’s basically workplace cruelty.


Posted in Tree

Dreaming of Shifty Brakes

I have this recurring nightmare – not that often, but often enough for it to count as recurrent. It’s basically my unconscious mind’s go-to representation of general life stress. In it, I’m driving a car in heavy traffic, and the brakes don’t work. Not only that, but when I press the brake pedal, the car speeds up! It’s terrible! Okay, I’m sure there are scarier nightmares doing the rounds, but it’s still not cool.

Point is, I had one of these dreams last night and now I’m feeling paranoid about my car’s brakes IRL. I’ve been noticing this thing lately where the car pulls to the side slightly while I’m braking – is this a sign of impending brake failure? I vaguely recall my sister-in-law recommending a car brake specialist in Ringwood; I can’t remember the details though.

There was also that thing a couple of weeks ago – my girlfriend borrowed the car to pop over to Vermont, and came back convinced that it was taking longer to come to a stop than it had the last time she’d driven it. I kind of dismissed it at the time, but she could be onto something. It’s true that her car puts mine to shame with its spotless service record and its lack of empty takeaway containers all over the back seat. I should probably pay more attention when she makes observations of this nature.

Then there was the incident just the other day, when I pulled up at a red light in Croydon and the brake pedal started pulsating. That was mildly disconcerting at the time but, again, I didn’t think much of it. Dang it, unconscious mind – you know know too much about my lazy approach to vehicle maintenance! It’s clearly time to put my mind at ease and track down the best auto workshop in Ringwood.

As suspicious as I’m feeling about the condition of my brakes right now, at least I can take comfort in the fact that they don’t make the car speed up. 

Posted in car service centre