Verona Street shall be victorious, and this year, I plan to make that an absolute certainty.
Twenty years I’ve spent trying to get people to trim their lawns, grow some flowers, paint their fences and just generally tidy up a bit, but we’ve never once come close to winning the Best Kept Melbourne Street Award. Of course, if someone would maybe keep up with the weeding, then we might be in the running instead of presenting the judges with a garden that looks like a jungle. By someone, I mean, Doreen. I couldn’t care less if you’ve just had a new hip fitted, that’s no excuse to not look after your own property!
I keep telling people, go above and beyond. Don’t just plant a few petunias….look into cement rendering! Actually, you don’t even have to look into it; I had it done to my own house as an example of how wonderful it looks. Look at it, street! Your own homes could look this lovely, and I can hook you up with every concrete renderer in Melbourne who’d be willing to do the job!
Not that simply having your home look concrete and uniform is going to win us the grand prize, but mark my words, it’ll be a great start. A great start on our road…to victory. That victory we would’ve had, if someone had bothered to fix their picket fence, Doreen. Open heart surgery is not an excuse for tardiness, especially when it comes to winning great honour for our street. We were supposed to be renowned throughout Melbourne! And we will be. I have three months to get everyone whipped into shape, after which we’re inviting the judges over for tea, cake and some splendid houses ringed by exquisite gardens. Oh, just imagine if every single one of them decided to get concrete rendering. Melbourne will never have seen the like, all our uniform homes in a row…and the prize would be ours for sure!
Don’t mess this up for us, Doreen.
Last night I saw a movie about an icebreaker ship, conveniently titled Icebreaker Ship. You know the ones; big clunky numbers, chopping through arctic ice as people go on expeditions and hunt whales and such, except in this movie the people were investigating a crashed alien ship in the arctic. It wasn’t all that realistic- for one thing, the aliens were these big tentacle monsters who didn’t seem like they could tie a pair of shoes, let alone construct a blinky-lights ship for intergalactic travel- but the ship was rendered pretty well.
I had my phone, natural curiosity mingled with boredom (it was a pretty predictable movie) and eventually I was on the web, looking up outboard motor servicing in Melbourne and all kinds of nautical matters. Weird, because I’ve never been interested in boats before. Maybe this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought, since I was so fascinated by the big icebreaker that I wanted to know more.
You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that Melbourne dockyards currently have no plans for icebreaker construction. I guess ice in the waters around Australia isn’t a big concern, although I tried to see if any drifted over from the South Pole. You know, Tasmania is pretty close to the South Pole, much closer than you’d expect somewhere supposedly ‘hot’ to be. No dice, however…ships in the Tasmania harbours seem to have very little trouble with being frozen over by massive sheets of ice. Here, outboard motor servicing and anchor winches are the main industries, so I guess I’ll have to travel to the frozen north if I want to see one of them in action.
Do I even like the cold? Eh, it’s not too bad…but the people on board this massive ship seemed pretty miserable, and not just because of the aliens. Maybe I’ll stick to somewhat-sunny Melbourne, anchor winches and all. I guess those can be exciting.
I think my mum is having a midlife crisis. I mean, who can blame her? Honestly, and this is just the perspective of her teenage daughter, but damn her life seems as boring as hell. All she did was go to and from work every single day, and even when she got home, nine times out of ten she was working after dinner or fixing up some kind of presentation or whatever while she was watching tv. Frankly, the whole thing was just kind of sad and I honestly just felt really bad for her.
And then, one day, basically out of the blue, it was like she just kind of snapped. In like a week she quit her job and started taking me out shopping and going out to dinner and things. It was like she was a completely different person. She’s trying really hard to get out of the grueling industry she was in, which was only supposed to be a short-term thing when she had me since it paid pretty well.
Over dinner the other night, she told me she’s basically always hated it there, and that it was her dream to work for one of the best office fitout companies in Melbourne. Honestly, I was astounded when she said that, it was just so far removed from anything she’s done my whole life. But, I swallowed my surprise and told her the same things I tell everyone I’m close to: follow your dreams. So now she’s looking into applying at different commercial office design jobs in Melbourne and, thinking about it, she’s kind of like a completely different person and I’ve never seen her so happy. I just never want things to end and go back to the way they were. If this keeps up, it’ll be the best mid-life crisis ever.
It’s Chinese New Year, and everyone’s coming round. Don’t get me wrong- I love being part of a multicultural, diverse family that celebrates all kinds of traditions- but there are just…so many of them. For Christmas, which some members of our family don’t even celebrate, we hosted seventeen. Our home is not that big, so some were forced out into the garden.
For Chinese New Year? We’ve probably got about forty or so. Forty. I just don’t have the social energy to get around to everyone. Oh, and we just have the one bathroom. Imagine queuing for the bathroom in your own home, and you’ve got the idea.
It’s my job this year to have a Melbourne plumbing company on standby. I don’t want to name names, but…actually, I’m totally naming names. Uncle Jeng is a character, great at parties, makes everyone feel welcome and is basically the king of giving gifts. But he does tend to spend a long time in the bathroom, and sometimes the pipes just can’t take it. No more details required.
And then there’s the hot water situation. Mum had the boiling water tap installed after last year when our kettle died mid-celebration. Obviously tea is a big part of the festivities, and it becomes no fun when you’re trying to brew for two-score people with a saucepan on the stove. Except the plumber said those things are temperamental at the best of times, and I just know it’s going to be overworked. We really just need an extra house grafted onto the end of this one to properly accommodate. That’s what we get for being the most central relatives. At least there’s a park at the end of the road with a barbecue…most years, all the younger relatives filter down there while the older ones relax in the house and complain about the noise.
It’s a great celebration, really, it is! I’m just old enough now for it to be stressful. So, emergency Melbourne plumber on standby. Maybe an electrician, too. And the fire brigade, because there will be fireworks.
Being on TV is a traumatic experience, and I can’t recommend it to anyone. There, I said it…and they didn’t say in the contract that I couldn’t, so there.
House Hunt! Is the newest hot reality TV sensation, with everyone who’s anyone tuning into the latest episodes. It’s one of those things everyone rushes home for, and then talks about all day at work when we’re supposed to be…working. Never dreamed that I’d find myself on the show as a contestant, but I know a guy who knows an uncle who has some major connections in the Melbourne buyers advocate industry and he managed to get me a spot on the show. I was utterly thrilled, because the winning contestant actually gets to hire a buyers advocate to find them their dream home!
That was the plan, anyway. I felt like I was prepared for the rigors of the show, and I even crammed the night before we filmed so I knew everything about houses. They always start off with a quiz segment, like…what’s contained within the sale of land act of 1962? That one would’ve been an easy question, and sure enough, I breezed through. Then we went on to the home decor round, and it all fell apart. On national television, in front of all my friends and family, I recommended to a pair of new home buyers a set of lilac curtains.
The walls were a pale yellow, but the light was dim and I mistook them for cream. Lilac curtains would’ve gone great with cream, but yellow? That’s a monstrosity. I might as well have painted a massive sign above my head: DOESN’T DESERVE TO OWN A HOME.
I couldn’t face Melbourne’s property agent after that anyway, so it’s probably a good thing I didn’t win. Now back to trying to salvage my reputation…
My beautiful luscious green (rather expensive) grass was laid on Monday. Immediately afterwards my beautiful, black, streamlined (and rather stupid) Labrador has spent each waking moment destroying it. I don’t need this kind of stress this week.
I’ve been really busy lately finishing off my dry needling course, I just wanted to have a relaxing weekend outside enjoying my new grass. Why do things like this always happen to me? I’ve been so busy lately and things just haven’t been going well. I haven’t been very social lately, and my friends are starting to notice my absence. It’s always more of a worry when they stop calling or texting to hand out.
I told everyone that I had been busy with the Melbourne Dry Needling Courses, they knew I would be out of action for a while. This new dry needling course is going to make it easier for me to get ahead in my career, why can’t they just understand and be supportive? I was really looking forward to spending time outside this weekend enjoying my grass.
So, after feeling depressed for a suitable period of time, I thought to myself ‘how can I fix this problem?’. I wonder if dogs respond to dry needling. Could I use my newfound skills from the dry needling course and apply them to my dog? Probably not, I doubt my pup would sit still long enough to get the first needle in. Lucky, the name of said Labrador, performs equally as appallingly at every park we’ve been too, so the problem clearly lies outside the simple to apply ‘buy more grass’ solution.
I want my garden to be beautiful enough to uphold that proud tradition. That’s why I sat down with this enormous cup of coffee, a hot pack on my lap, and my glasses on. I just need something my silly puppy can’t tear up and preferably something child proof as well (the kids are almost past that phase but you never know). I’m really just looking for someone I can rely on to install it quickly and at the best possible price, something that will last for as long as possible and look as natural as possible. Please, send any information you can my way, it’s all helpful.
It’s that time of the year again, time to head up to the communications building to find out why we’re having problems. I have to go up there way too often, I don’t know why nobody answers my calls when I try to ring them. It has become a regular monthly trek to find out their latest excuse. The head of the department was supposed to contact a Melbourne antenna installation business to help us with our connectivity issues. The plan was to replace the existing satellite which was aged terribly with a top of the line modern antenna. The new antenna will hopefully allow us to connect with other school instead of having to rely on the existing network. The current satellite at the top of the building doesn’t work the way it should, all it seems to do is point visitors towards the communications building.
It has been on the blink for years, I had half a mind to head up there to try and fix it myself. I’ve been getting into DIY a lot lately. I spent an entire evening reading the DIY blogs of ‘Mr Risk’ and following his exploits. The man has done some interesting stuff in his time in the DIY world. I don’t think I’m quite qualified to fix the TV antennas, Melbourne has experts in the field that I can call on for that. I’m not sure if the antenna people are going to install a new satellite dish or they’re leave the existing one there. It’s a good thing we have a rainy day fun, being dean of the school means I have to make tough decisions. I had the soccer coach come to my office asking for emergency funds to paint the dead grass areas of the soccer pitch green, I turned him down. I get request like that all the time, I have to weigh up our wants versus our needs. We need this antenna issue fixed asap.
This is it. My nerves can’t take any more. I’ve just had a Week of Our Lives binge and I’m feeling totally frizzled. Frazzled to the max, one might say.
Of course, I should’ve expected something like this with the season 47 finale, because they’ve been building up hints for the entire season that Kellie was bad news and she had a massive secret. As it turned out…she WAS bad news! Who could’ve seen it coming!
Her secret plan was to woo Raul into marrying her, which gave her a 25% share in the Melbourne tree removal industry. Afterwards she managed to worm her way up to the higher levels, becoming a tree pruning expert to enact her ultimate plan: the complete deforestation of ‘Realsville’. When Kellie was a child she was bitten by a bull ant, and she’s secretly hated nature ever since. Of course, this put her in direct opposition to Lira, who runs the local mysticism shop and worships trees. Everyone thinks Lira is nuts, and to be fair, there was that time she invited everyone to a barbecue and served up her sautéed possum in gum-nut juice.
But also, Lira knew from the start that Kelsie was trouble, and not just because of the mysterious arsonist who kept trying to burn down the shop. Apparently Lira talked to the trees, and they told her of Kelsie’s plan to summon a host of Melbourne tree pruning professionals. And then it was revealed that this contravenes the deforestation act anyway, which Kelsie failed to look up because she was too busy making Raul and the entire population love her.
They finished on a cliffhanger in which Kelsie has just told Raul she never loved him, leaving him to be crushed by a falling tree. Meanwhile, Lira has met with the tree removal people, who’ve confirmed that yeah, you can’t just remove all the trees in an area, that’s illegal, and now Kelsie is armed with a blowtorch and planning to burn everything. And Fergie might be late for her date with Brendan because she’s locked herself out of the house and can’t apply her lucky perfume!
What happens next?
Day 22 in the game design office. It’s not exactly what I expected, though maybe I inflated my expectations somewhat…like, I had it in my head that we’d just be playing games all day, and occasionally someone would say something like ‘oh hey, we should make a game’ and someone else would be like ‘a mole with a bazooka that has to find seven sapphire gems to save the underground mole kingdom from the clutches of a crocodile with magical powers who is also evil, boom done’, and then we’d go back to playing some games.
Maybe I missed that golden hay-day, because now it’s all about the work. Work, work, all the time…
And then there are the idiots. Now, I get the role of plumbers, I really do. I think all of Melbourne’s emergency plumbers deserve some kind of medal for getting up at 4am to fix our disgusting pipe problems, and I was recently made aware of this by the fact that it happened to me. Shaving over the sink…it’ll never happen again. But then some guy today at the idea generation board meeting suggested that we make a game and have the main character as a plumber. Not a game about plumbing, mind you. Just your average adventure…starring a plumber.
Okay first, no. People want heroes who are relatable everymen, and not everyone has been to TAFE to learn how to unblock drains and replace pipes. And then it’s almost an insult to the plumbing profession. Like, how many plumbers have you seen who shoot ice-balls and slide under things to kill them? Why would you even use a plumber for that, anyway? Makes no sense. Also, there’s a very similar game concept out there right now, and NO ONE wants to get sued.
Let’s leave Melbourne’s plumbing services to their own jobs, instead of creating games with unrealistic expectations. Sort of like the ones I had regarding this job.
Don’t you just love old mail? Like, mail from the person who used to live in the place before you. I know I’m not supposed to open it, but I get so curious. Sometimes they have dire warnings on the outside, and I just have to think…ooh. THIS could really enrich my day! And besides, it’s being delivered to my address, so technically that makes it mine, plus the fact that I don’t know who any of these people are. You know how it is, when curiosity gets the better of you!
Anyway, so, got a nice little something recently. These people must’ve been moving home at the time….which makes sense, because they don’t live here anymore. Anyway, they got a letter, some Collingwood conveyancing firm asking them to confirm some documents. All very clerical, but that wasn’t the interesting part. No, the best part was the fact that I’ve kept every bit of mail I’ve ever received, pinned to the wall of the study in alphabetical order. Shush, that’s a very normal thing to do! Mail is important, and you have to get yourself a decent filing system or things just fall to pieces.
No, the best thing was that I was able to piece together an entire narrative, from before they decided to sell and then after they got in touch with the conveyancing people to organise it all. I like to imagine that they’re here, reading the mail and planning their house sale accordingly. The husband was called Bruce, he wanted to go with some conveyancing in Elwood, but Eleanor said that it was too far away from her work and I could tell when I was going through their trash (this was before they moved) that their baby was going through a troubled phase.
So eventually they went through, and…well, the rest is history. Aren’t people fascinating?