Plumbing for the Big Celebration

emergency plumber MelbourneIt’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.

-Boqin

Keep an Eye on Those Curtain Colours!

property advocatesBeing 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…

-Delia

Chilling out before my dry needling course

Melbourne dry needling coursesMy 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.

Long overdue upgrades to the TV antenna

TV antenna MelbourneIt’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.

The Deforestation Begins!

Melbourne tree cuttingThis 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?

-Leticia

A Game…About a Plumber?

24 hour emergency plumberDay 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.

-Terrence

The Old Mail Tale of Conveyancing

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?

-Cletus

Those Who Can’t Teach Fix Nets

soccer nettingThose who can’t teach, teach P.E. Yeah, very funny…not like I haven’t heard it all. The sad thing is, I’m not just one of those sporty people who happens to also like teaching. I really hate exercise, sport, fitness, nutrition…in fact, you could say that I’m against them. Life was made to be enjoyed, and work aside, the best way to do that is by eating what you like and never exercising, because exercise is for idiots who wants to run themselves into the ground.

But still…I teach P.E. Life has a funny way of just working itself out in ironic ways. I never would’ve even gone to a cricket game when I was younger, but now I’m looking at indoor cricket nets and wondering how they’d fit in the gym. I guess you can just look at this like it’s a typical job, like…data entry. People entering data don’t really care about the company, what its offshore holdings are or what their quarterly profits are shaping up to be. Nope, you just do your job and don’t complain. So here I am…looking at cricket nets. I guess there’s a small amount of gratification to be had from telling people to exercise when you yourself don’t actually have to. I’ve literally made a career out of watching other people exercise, with the perfect excuse to never join in myself. It’s better than being in an office, because the way my friends tell it, there’s all this pressure to join in gym sessions and other unsavoury stuff. Nope, no thanks. Teachers are mostly hard-working folk who like to go home at the end of the day with piles of marking and not think too much about strenuous exercise, let alone pressuring other people into doing it.

Actually, all this talk of nets has reminded me that the soccer nets over on the third oval were eaten by birds recently. Of course that would be THE furthest oval away. Like…so far away. I’m feeling tired just thinking about walking all the way over there.

-Mace

We Booked a Stylist…?

home staging expertI’m 32 and my memory is going. It’s always been like a sieve, I suppose…shouldn’t be surprised that it’s vanishing now like morning mist. Still, it’s lead to some embarrassing situations over the last few weeks, especially since we’re selling our home and that’s always a leading cause of unnecessary stress. Stress makes it worse, I’m fairly sure.

Okay, so our home is a bit…vintage. It’s nice enough, but it was built about 40 years ago and you can really tell from the décor. Funky wallpaper, basically. We were having trouble selling, so we turned to a property stylist Melbourne real estate agents recommended to us. Took me a week to remember to make the call, and then I wasn’t there when they actually came along. I came back from work, walked into the house and found a complete stranger doing what I thought was insulting my chandelier, which happens to be the one vintage thing in the home I sort of don’t mind.

So then I gave them what for, asking who the heck they thought they were coming in and telling us that we needed to change the way we were living. That’s when Glen gently reminded me that we’d booked a property stylist, and I died a little bit inside from intense, searing-hot embarrassment. I just started almost yelling at someone for doing what we hired them to do. At this point I expect that the estate agent is going to come to the door and I’ll tell them in a huff that we never wanted to move. Or maybe we’ll have an open day, go out while they’re showing people around and I’ll freak out because I’ll see signs of people being in the house. Glen has been great through the whole thing, but he’s not psychic; he can’t tell when I’m about to forget something!

And then we’ll end up following the advice of the home staging expert, the furniture will shift, the wallpaper will change and maybe I’ll walk down the stairs one morning and wonder if I’m in the right house. I really need to start taking medication, or something

-Addi