I Must Become the Sport-Master

So far, the new year’s resolution is going…

Yep, that’s it. Definitely going. It is making progress in a linear fashion, and that’s all that needs to be said on the matter. But for real, becoming a multi-disciplinarian is hard. I’ve always thought I was pretty well-rounded in sports, so I thought…why not play them all? All the most famous athletes specialise, and good for them taking one thing and being good at it, but no one has ever been famous for being pretty good at every sport. It’s always one person being really good at one sport.

So that’s it. Sport 6 days a week, a different one every time. I think it’ starting to mess with my brain a little. I showed up to football practice and briefly wondered where the cricket nets were, as well as wondering why no one was using a bat. Wrong sport; that’s Tuesday night. Still, I don’t think I was really on form that evening either. All my techniques started to blur a bit, and I found myself stepping into kicks in the same way that I step into bat in cricket.

So that’s unhelpful enough, but no I have to replace the indoor cricket netting at my local club because I leapt into it trying to make a diving catch. Nope…that’s baseball. Anyway, I tore it out of the restraints on the ceiling, and it was mortifying. I just totally mixed them up for a moment. And it hurt, too. Both the act of shoving myself into the netting and it collapsing on top of me.

So now that I’ve bought the leisure centre some brand new indoor cricket nets,  It’s time to reevaluate. I’m not giving up on my dream to become the ultimate omni-sportsman. But I do need a way to stop them from leaking into each other and ruining my chances of success. Ideally.


Posted in Sport

Shocking Secrets from Within the Chamber

That is, the chemical symbol for oxygen, because this Week of Our Lives was all about oxygen therapy. Of course, it was both respectful to the oxygen therapy services in Melbourne and skillfully written, with a touch of the usual subtlety. It’s usually such a prime example of subtle storytelling, albeit with more than enough twists and turns to keep the forums ablaze every week.

So anyway, Viva was trying to establish her business selling herbal supplements to capybara owners, and she got a call from her long-dead Uncle who turned out to be alive, living in Aruba and actually a local celebrity with his majorly successful self-help book: 1001 Ways to Communicate with the Ocean and Other Large Bodies of Water.

Anyway, he heard about the oxygen therapy in Melbourne and sweeping the nation and came back in disguise to experience its services. For you see, Viva’s uncle had developed a severe case of Aruban Bronchitis, for which he had no time, and he thought hyperbaric chambers could help with his breathing issues. Of course, while all this was going on, Lance was feverishly researching the hyperbaric chamber creation process to confirm his theory that his father didn’t actually disappear at sea, but instead time-traveled into the future to save mankind from a great banana shortage. As it turned out, the word he was looking for was ‘hyperbolic’, so the hyperbaric chamber treatments in Melbourne were innocent. AND they helped Uncle Spartacus with his bronchitis, although the episode ended on a cliffhanger as he tried to explain to Viva why he faked his own death, but he was inside the oxygen chamber so she couldn’t hear him properly.

And that’s why, if you’re stepping inside a hyperbaric chamber, you should explain your life secrets to shocked family members beforehand. This show is SO educational, seriously.


Posted in Health

Tree Activist Group Refuse to Back Down

Repeated tree removal in Melbourne has lead to vehement protest from a previously unknown activist group known as ‘Disciples of the Tree’, who have expressed outrage at the removal of local greenery.

Much of the work of felling trees is to prevent the danger of collapse branches. Pleas from local council to end the protests have fallen on deaf ears. Attempts to explain the cities motives for tree felling have nonetheless been met with opposition. Tree trimming across Melbourne suburbs

Is currently on account of the protests.

Arborists have reported spontaneous protests right across the inner suburbs, including the CBD.

Leigh Cross, who claims to be the spiritual leader of the sect, has stated in an interview that his group formed online and only recently decided to get active.

“As you can see, there are more of us than you’d think,” said Cross last week at a large protest outside town hall. “We realised after a few months that our group was growing more and more each day. We care about nature and we know that it takes physical effort to stop it from being destroyed,”

Cross also went on to describe the newly founded group.

“Disciples of the Trees is a peaceful group,” he says. “We’re here to serve the trees. We’ve been given stewardship of them and it’s our job to preserve their precious life.”

The Disciples of the Tree have an estimated number of adherents in the hundreds, though exact numbers are still unknown. Planning supervisor city council member Jeremy Wiles has released a statement asking the group to cease their activities.

“You are hindering effort to keep this city safe from falling branches,” said Mr Wiles in a live speech yesterday night. “These trees are a danger to the people around them, and need to be removed. We have already allocated taxpayer funds to pay for the arborists, Melbourne residents are more important than a couple of trees.”

Protests have, thus far, been largely peaceful, though there have a been a number of arrests due to physical harassment of removal workers.

Posted in tree cutting

A history of tulips

Most people give each other flowers in significant occasions. It may be an anniversary or a death, flowers can serve so many symbolic purposes. What most people don’t realise is that each of the most popularly cultivated flowers has a deep history from which its contemporary meaning derives. I want this to be the focus of my next documentary.

For this one, I’m thinking of tracing the history of of the tulip, from tulip bulbs to mature plant. I’m going to use the growth of the flower from its budding stages to its flowering and maturity as a metaphor.

I was mistaken by thinking that the tulip was a western European plant. I guess they seemed hardy to me and they seem popular in England and Australia so I thought they derived from the anglophone speaking world. However, they actually originated in the Levant, particularly Turkey where they were harvested many thousands of years ago. You can see tulips in ancient Turkish art and motifs, it’s really fascinated. I’m already getting ideas for my next short documentary on the hyacinth. Bulbs slowly sprouting and turning into flowers. I think it could even be a series.

Today, tulips still represent perfect love. I guess that’s why they’re so popular on Valentines Day. Is there such a thing as perfect love? Who knows. One things for sure, there is a perfect tulip.

One of the more interesting things I learnt during my research on the tulip is that there are some discrepancies between the symbolism of the colours nowadays, compared to back them. For instance, yellow today is symbolic of friendship and cheerfulness, and all-purpose amiable colour. But back then it represented love, the kind of love that makes you feel helpless, wild and jealous. However, some people send yellow tulips to someone they love when they know that the other person doesn’t reciprocate those feelings. So that’s something to keep in mind if you ever experienced unrequited love.

Posted in flowers

Real Grandmas of Melbourne: Anti Wrinkles

I have always had an interest in creating a documentary about people who undergo cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate themselves. It’s been done before numerous times and there is a classic angle to take when filming it, but I really want to get to know the people who opt for these procedures and understand their perceived benefits. Is it really about looking younger? or is it just about feeling younger? My mum actually has a few friends who have had anti wrinkle injections in Melbourne and as research I decided to crash one of her ladies lunches and try and get on to the topic. To be fair they did all look pretty good for ladies approaching sixty. I could barely see one wrinkle around the table and my face was certainly the most natural there. I didn’t even have to try very hard to get onto the topic of cosmetic procedures before Judith mentioned her latest penchant for chemical peels.

Apparently it is a strong variety of chemical peel and leaves your face feeling brand new! I’m not sure I’d like a brand new face but Judith did look resplendent. If I didn’t know how old she was I would have guessed she was in her early 50’s. When the conversation naturally turned to anti ageing treatments, my ears perked up, they were discussing how it has become so popular they can actually notice when people haven’t had it done now rather than when they have. It seems for this group of ladies, who are 60 going on 25, the change in their physical appearance has led to some kind of mental reset. They are all thriving, engaged women, many of whom say they are finally getting the most out of life. I asked them if they thought that cosmetic treatments was cheating. I was promptly shown a photo of young man that one of the ladies was dating, point taken. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Binge-Watching is Essential

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. But the fire! It’s so delightful!

Delightful for burning our old television aerial, that is. It seems to have properly warmed up, and the weather might just stay that way, but the damage has been done. All those foolish hailstorms have done a number on the house, but worst of all, they’ve smashed the old aerial that we’ve had since the eighties. Sure…it’s not the BEST ever made, but it did the job. With all the Christmas specials coming up, this is crisis time for our family. One of our favourite pastimes is sitting by the fire…I mean, the air con, and watching trashy Christmas television.

So…need to get that sorted. The Christmas special of Week of Our Lives is fast approaching, and Darla will go nuts if she misses it and gets it spoiled by her friends. I need to find an antenna installater in Melbourne with good reviews, and they have to understand the joys of Christmas binge watching. You don’t understand: this is a family institution in danger of being ruined. Every Christmas for us is the same. Get up, open some presents, go to church, come back, open ALL the presents, have Christmas dinner/lunch, and then turn into passive potatoes for the rest of the day. There was that one year where we took a break from all th Christmas specials to play a game of scattergories, but…meh.

We’ve just never had this kind of antenna-killing weather before, especially around Christmas. Or if we have, old faithful has weathered the storm. Now we need a need a NEW antenna. Preferably one made in this millennium, weatherproof. Easy channel surfing. Surely Melbourne’s best antenna installation specialists are kept busy during this Christmas period. Still, we have time…right?? The Space Conflicts: Holiday Special II is coming up, and they’re promised that it’s going to be even better than the last one. Don’t know how that’s possible, but I HAVE to see it. Catching up online is not an option.



Posted in TV

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

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