The Plumbing Alliance

The case was far from over. We had a symbol and a connection to the blocked drains near Brighton, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. I was about to dive into a world I never even knew existed, but thankfully, I wouldn’t have to book a Melbourne drain plumber to get answers, as I had one right beside me to help burst this case open.

After following a trail of breadcrumbs, we found ourselves in the heart of Essendon, where whispers of an underground society had reached our ears. The plumber’s expertise meant that when it came to drain unblocking, Essendon didn’t stand a chance. He would certainly come in handy as we navigated the city’s sewers, searching for answers.

“Detective, I’ve never seen anything like this before,” the drain plumber said, as we discovered a hidden entrance to a vast underground chamber. “Who would’ve thought that beneath the city, there’s a whole other world?”

As we ventured deeper into this subterranean realm, we found ourselves in the midst of a society living beneath the streets of Melbourne. They were a resourceful group, skilled in drain camera inspection, pipe relining and other forms of plumbing maintenance. It was no wonder that they had managed to survive undetected for so long.

But the blockages we had been investigating were causing them problems, too. Their way of life was threatened by the same villain we were hunting. And so, we formed an alliance, combining our resources and knowledge to unravel the mystery and bring the perpetrator to justice.

In this strange new world, the drain plumber and I had found allies we never expected. Together, we would continue our investigation, plumbing the depths of Melbourne’s sewers in search of the mastermind behind the blockages. And with each new discovery, the stakes grew higher.

But we were determined to see this case through to the end. For the sake of our city and the people who called it home, both above and below ground, we would stop at nothing to uncover the truth and put an end to the villain’s nefarious plans.

Neighbour borrows car









I’m going away on holiday for a month and am letting my neighbour borrow my car. Is that weird? Everyone I speak to about this says it’s weird. In fact, my mum believes I should tell absolutely no one about my holiday because it means my house will become a target for theft. I think she’s just being a bit dramatic. As far as the car goes, I had no issue with my neighbour using it. She has a good job and keeps her home in well-kept order. I fail to see how her borrowing my car could pose any sort of a risk. She had a car up until about three months ago when she broke up with her boyfriend. I’m not exactly sure what happened there, but she ended up keeping the place and she let him take the car. I guess there’s great peace of mind that she’s not carless because she’s a poor driver who crashed her car. 

Part of the arrangement for her borrowing my car is that she promises to get the car cleaned before I’m back and that she will also take it for its log book service while I’m away. Ordinarily I’d rather get the service done while I am still here, but the mechanic informed me that he has a backlog of appointments and will be away for a few weeks which meant I wouldn’t be able to get my car in for at least another two months after I return. 

My neighbour wasn’t phased at all about the car service. She was just appreciative that I was happy to let her borrow my car. I guess it does help the fact the mechanic isn’t too far from where we live. I’ve managed to find a really reliable mechanic near me. Moorabbin has several mechanics, but I wanted to pick one who I was sure wouldn’t stuff my neighbour around. While I’m doing the favour of letting her borrow my car, I don’t want her experiencing any hassle while trying to do me a favour in return.

Moving Far Away!

I’ve got to get out of this town. I’ve been here my whole life, but I just can’t take it anymore. We’re having our annual Bridge Celebration Week, and I’ve experienced enough of these for a dozen lifetimes. Bridge Celebration Week is the absolute worst. Everyone goes out of their way to drive over bridges throughout this week, which makes it pretty much an absolute nightmare to go anywhere. My commute to work has tripled in time this week. Next year, I’m going to be living somewhere else. No doubt about it. Although, I’m not sure what kind of person would want to buy my house in this bridge-fanatic town.

I’m thinking that I’d like to live in the Bayside area because there aren’t any bridges there, but really, anywhere else in Melbourne would do. I’ve been contacting buyer’s advocate agencies in the Melbourne CBD all week, telling them to just find me a house without any bridges nearby. No bridges, and no weird festivals. If there’s a festival celebrating odd bird toys with vibrant colours and fuzzy hairdos within twenty kilometres, I don’t want anything to do with that place. For once in my life, I’d love to live somewhere normal. Is that really too much to ask? Am I cursed to always live in a town with absolutely crazy people?

There was one buyer’s advocate close to Hampton that sounded pretty confident they could find me such a home. “Is it on Mars?” I asked when the agent told me. I have no desire to join Mr Tusk’s expedition to the red planet, but what are the chances of me finding something perfect on Earth? Turns out, pretty good! This buyer’s agent told me a house had just gone on the market today that would be perfect for me. I figure it’s way too good to be true, but I have an appointment booked with him later this week to discuss the potential new home of mine. Dare I dream that this all works out?

Drain Unblocking Champion

Welcome back to Melbourne’s Annual Drain Unblocking Competition! I’m your host Sue Ridge and I’m joined this afternoon by Shannon Gardiner. We’re only moments away from one of the contestants becoming this year’s drain unblocking champion, and I’m so excited that I’m tingling! How are you feeling Shannon?

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Sue. I’m on the edge of my seat here. Before the ad break, George was the clear frontrunner, but his pipe burst and now the remaining gunk is seeping all out onto the floor. One of the requirements to qualify for the win is to have no sewerage remaining anywhere in, on, or around the blocked drain. He’s going to need a bucket and a mop pronto, especially with Tom hot on his tail. 

Yeah, Tom is doing a great job. He’s quite a bit slower than George, mostly because he spent so much time on the initial drain cleaning. In the Melbourne CBD, the cleanliness of our drain network is taken very seriously, which is why it’s a part of the competition’s completion criteria. While it looked like he was potentially going too slow, it now seems like it was the right thing to do. It almost reminds me of the tortoise and the hare situation. Maybe George will be caught out.

I think it’s safe to say that he will be, Sue! George has now completely finished his drain repair, but he can’t announce it because the area around him is so disgusting. It’s quite an oversight by him, that’s for sure. I saw him call someone, presumably his wife, about ten minutes ago. Will she make it from home in time to give him a bucket and a mop before Tom finishes? I’m on the edge of my seat.

It doesn’t look like it, Shannon! Tom has just finished his drain unblocking. In the Essendon area, they must breed them differently. For a man to think about keeping the space clean the entire way through is unheard of. I wish my husband was like that. Anyway, congratulations to our champion!

Melbourne Buyers Advocates

Okay, so I was all on board with the idea of buying a house with my best friends. I mean, we’re only young once so why not? But that was until we had a meeting with a buyers’ advocate. I was looking at my best friends’ lists and I was actually in shock. We’re in our mid-twenties – why would anyone want to live in the suburbs? This is the time to live in Hawthorn or somewhere cool and close to the city. We can live in Bayside when we’re old at like thirty. 

I think I’m going to have to go off on my own and chat separately to a buyers’ advocate. Around the Hawthorn area would be my ideal place to live, but if I can’t live there I’m open to buying in suburbs nearby. If my friends and I were all on the same page then we could easily afford a place in Hawthorn, but apparently, my best friends of the last ten years are all dumb! Who would’ve thought? Not me. 

I might have to have a chat with my outer-circle friends and see if they’d want to become my tenants. I obviously wouldn’t let them buy a house with me because I don’t trust them, but I would let them live in a room and pay me rent. I wonder what a buyers’ advocate would think of that plan? I know they’re not in the rental business so it may not be something they’ve thought about, but who knows. I may as well use every source of information possible, and you’d think a buyers’ agent situated in the Melbourne CBD would have a pretty good idea on stuff like this.  

Now that my friends have gone haywire, I don’t know if I’m ready to buy a house. I felt a lot more comfortable with the idea of sharing the financial burden, but I don’t know if I can afford to buy one by myself. Maybe I’ll just go and blow all my money in Europe instead.

House of Zombies

I was shocked to discover that Forgotten Springs has a thriving undead community, so long as you use the word ‘thriving’ very loosely. All of the ghouls, zombies and skeletons live in a dungeon on the edge of town, sharing a cramped space that is often invaded by trespassers. I travelled into the dungeon to interview one of the zombie leaders, Smasher.

“It’s tough being a zombie. Honestly, I’d probably rather just not be undead at all. You can’t eat anything, you can’t sleep, and your fingers are constantly falling off. Not to mention all of the adventurers who think they can just waltz in here (sometimes literally waltzing), swing their swords about and take all of our possessions. They have some serious nerve. Of course, we always try to defend ourselves, which perpetuates this idea that we are violent monsters.”

For a short while, Smasher and I discuss the idea of moving out of town and buying their own houses. When Smasher points out that nobody would sell a house to a zombie, I suggest visiting some property advocates near Melbourne. They could help buy property anonymously so that nobody can discriminate against the undead.

“It’s an interesting idea. One which I have considered before, admittedly. I once visited what was considered the best buyer’s advocate Armadale has to offer, but I decided to not go through with the idea. Even if I got my dream house, people would still discriminate against the undead. At least here we are a known quantity. Sure, it sucks having to deal with the intrusive adventurers, but we will manage. The buyer’s advocates were brilliant, though. They really sold the idea to me, but in the end, I had to make a choice, and I chose to stick with what I know.”

I feel bad that there isn’t anything I can do for this undead community, so I discuss with Smasher the idea of installing some traps in the dungeon. He thinks that’s a brilliant idea, and we get to work.

Foot Pods

I’ve got this great new idea that I just can’t keep to myself. I know I probably should keep it to myself, rather than handing it out for free to strangers on the internet, but that’s not the kind of person I am. This is too good to keep bottled up in a patent office, at least until I iron out the details. Then I’ll be on a one-way trip to riches, unless one of my readers gets in first. I trust you, though.

So, without further ado, here’s the idea: foot pods. What is a foot pod, you ask? Well, dear reader, it’s a new and improved alternative to the humble shoe. By hovering just off the ground, it reduces wear and tear on the feet and ankles while offering unparalleled arch support. It’s like wearing a pair of custom orthotics without any discomfort – just weightless, responsive support perfectly matched to each micro-movement of your feet. It’s like walking on a cloud!

I know you’re probably wondering how the hovering mechanism works. Well, like I said, there are some fine details to be ironed out, and that would be one of them. I’m sure it can be done with quantum magnets or something. What I want you to focus on is the main point: with this technology, shoes will be a thing of the past, a relic of a bygone era, a very long dark age in the history of functional attire.

The next question is how I’m going to transform this vision into reality. I think the first step will be getting the right backing. If I can get some of the top podiatrists within Melbourne on board, that’ll be a great start. All I need is their recommendation. So, if you’re keen on this idea and would like to see it come to fruition, you can help by bringing it up with your local foot specialist.

Walking Everywhere

As a young woman who doesn’t have her drivers license, I do a lot of walking. I live in the city so I don’t need my license, and I genuinely really enjoy walking. The only problem is that because I spend so much time walking around (I average 40,000 steps per day), my feet often really really hurt. It’s gotten to the point where I think I may need orthotics. Around Cheltenham, which is on my train line to the city, there’s a podiatry centre that always stands out to me for some reason. I’m the type of person to trust my gut so I might check ti out.

My first ever foot appointment is next week. I’ll admit I’m a little nervous that there are deeper problems than just my need for orthotics. I’m obviously no foot expert, but I know that something doesn’t feel right. The issue is, if something is wrong with my feet and I have to stay off them, I’m not going to be able to get anywhere. When you rely on walking as your major mode of transportation, it puts a very big spanner in the works if you can no longer walk anymore.

I really hope that the foot specialist has some good ideas about what I can do to keep my feet in good condition. I don’t want to ruin my feet, but I also don’t want to drive. I know that by going to a foot specialist that I’m putting myself in the best position to have the healthiest feet possible. I hope to walk places for the rest of my life and so I really hope I can get on top of my foot pain as soon as possible.

I love living a healthy lifestyle, which includes reducing my carbon emissions, looking after my body and looking after my feet.

Reverse Tinting

Is there such a thing as a reverse tinted window? I mean ones that prevent you from seeing outside, rather than stopping others from seeing in. That would be nice since there’s this really hideous water tower just outside my office at work, and I can’t stand to look at it anymore. I can’t have the window removed (I’ve asked, the boss said no) so maybe we could just get it tinted really dark.

I should probably do some research into it, calling up all the commercial tinting businesses around Melbourne to see if they can do such a service. It’s probably something that the whole office would want to get, since the views around here really aren’t that nice. I don’t know why someone thought it would be a good idea to put an office building here. It really defies logic.

Hopefully both sides of the window could be tinted because it would be quite awkward if someone came up to our building and just looked through the windows, and we had no idea they were doing it! Good thing I thought of that, otherwise we might have gotten one-sided tinting without realising the implications.

That’s the sort of office this is. Just a lot of random people doing random things without thinking about the consequences. I guess that’s why they put the building in such a random spot. Well, I think getting commercial window tinting near Melbourne would change a few things around here. It would show everyone that I am serious about my position, and maybe that would make them be serious too.

I do enjoy the randomness of working here, though. Yesterday I went to print something and found out that Jim had connected twenty party poppers to the printer, which went off and got in my coffee. Good one, Jim! 

Yeah, things sure have been a little weird ever since that Mitchel Scarn came around.

Bathroom Consultation

It’s been a strange day for designing an office bathroom, particularly since we don’t even have a roof on this building yet (nor a foundation, for that matter). Since it’s now winter, the rains are really starting to come down. I’ve been standing with Space Wizard, trying to work out the best tiles to put around the bathroom mirror, all while a tempest threatens to uproot my office and send it flying across Sweden, Victoria. It’s crazy, but the producers of Australia’s Next Top Office insist it makes for great television.

Space Wizard and I are having a bit of a disagreement on the whole tile issue. Ultimately I will have the last say in the matter, since he is stuck in a water bottle, having been liquified by Archerak. Basically Space Wizard has gained an odd affinity toward the colour pink since arriving on Earth. Not any pink, but bright, hot pink. He thinks it’s an awesome colour. Given that we’re designing the men’s bathroom at the moment, I’m not sure it’s the best choice. Now, I’m quite a modern guy. I smash glass windows across Melbourne because I want the world to change for the better. But that would be a little too feminine even for me. I know it’s not necessarily the opinion of all bathroom designers, but I think social politics and change should be kept out of the bathroom.

If I want to get top points on this challenge, I’ll need to make the best bathroom anybody has ever seen. We can’t be tiling the walls with hot pink. I thought Space Wizard would love the idea of a dark blue appearance since it’s a bit like outer space, but he’s really set on this hot pink colour. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should call a bathroom renovations business. Melbourne has at least one of those, surely. If they agree with Space Wizard, I’ll do his idea, even if it does hurt my eyes.

That’s what being a good design partner is all about. If you can’t agree on something, see what other people think. Then when they inevitably agree with your point of view, you use that as a way to win the argument. And that’s why we’re going to win this competition; because we’re the best.

– Glass Smashing Bandit