Ever discovered that a hobby is in fact far larger and more prominent than you realise? Yep, all of that. Lots of that. I used to think fishing was an extreme niche hobby that’s been on the decline ever since…I don’t know, TV was invented? You just don’t her about it any more, except from elderly folk who like to call it a sport even though you’re mostly motionless. It’s not like you’re ever going to see Olympic fishing. How would that even work?? It probably wouldn’t, is what I’m saying.
But then i recently discovered that fishing is alive and well. Thousands upon thousands around the country meet regularly and talk about snapper racks and rod holders, and…how to catch fish, I imagine. But these people tend to love their boats and marine fabrication. Guess that just comes with the love of the sport, just like people who are into cars talk about engines and types of wheels. This is just boats.
And there are SO many of them, way more than I ever thought. I asked my friend Hannah, and her casual response was that her husband Bob is all over fishing. Apparently it’s a thing that a lot of guys pick up after they get married, maybe because it gives them some definite guy time. Or maybe it’s just genetics: get married, suddenly you want to meet with other guys and talk about snapper racks and boats. Sometimes boats with plate alloy. That keyword kept coming up when I was researching that, so i guess they must be popular.
So yeah, I’ve discovered a thriving, secret subculture that isn’t to do with putting a tail on yourself and getting in touch with your inner animal. Fishing is definitely better. Plate alloy boats are definitely more wholesome. And hey, I like eating fish. Maybe I need to find myself a man who likes to catch them.
Sometimes I wonder if my nephew is really as qualified as he says he is. He says he’s worked for a bunch of highly-qualified and prestigious Melbourne plumbing companies as an apprentice, but I’m starting to realise that could mean anything. Maybe he kept stuffing up and being punted around until nobody else would have him. I mean, he DID go to a TAFE of sorts and get his degree, but I asked him about it once and he said it was MTSC, or the Melbourne Technical Skills College. Now, its reputation has skyrocketed in recent years, but that’s only because it was previously regarded as a rubber stamp college where the lecturers were all frauds and nobody cared that the buildings were falling down.
Ernie is…earnest, I suppose. Whenever I tell him that one of my properties needs some maintenance work, he jumps right to it and gets there in record time. Plus he hasn’t set fire to anything yet, so that’s a plus! Still, a few of my tenants have expressed some…doubts at his efficiency. Ernie said that he hasn’t noticed anything, but he’s such an optimist, I feel actually telling him the scope of the problem would crush him.
Alright, I know full-well that nepotism got me into this mess. I’d do anything for family, including getting them into jobs that might not suit their skillset. Ernie is so sunny and great with people, I feel like he’d be much better suited for a job as a counselor, or…something similar. He loves kids. He just can’t get enough of baking. So why was it plumbing? It’s not even in the family!
So now I have to fire my nephew, which is going to cause some awkwardness when the family Christmas rolls around. I’m sorry it had to come to this, but there are local emergency plumbers in Melbourne who could just do so much better at the jobs. I can’t continue to rely on family for my tenant’s plumbing needs, when their plumbing needs are not being met.
Perhaps I can soften the blow by highlighting Ernie’s actual talents.
Maybe that sofa could be a little bit more to the left. The windowsill is so bare, how have I never noticed?? I need some flowers, even if they’re not real. The next person who owns this place can do what they like, including putting the sofa back to where it was, but it’s crucial that they get a good impression of the place. Selling a home is usually stressful, which is why we got the home styling people in in the first place, but this is something else. That’s what we get for buying a home supposedly haunted by a vengeful spirit.
Oh, it’s ALL just stories. I swear, the people around here in Keymore have the most vivid imaginations and they gossip like it’s 1790 and social media hasn’t yet graced this part of the world. It’s this sort of silly superstition that makes me want to move away and find somewhere a bit more in keeping with the modern world. We can have all the property styling Melbourne has to offer, the place can be made to look like an absolute dream and a family haven for years to come…but that doesn’t stop the neighbours stopping potential buyers in the street (every time! Are they watching from the windows on some kind of rota?) and casually mentioning that seventeen people were killed in this building eight years ago as part of some silly ritual or something. Petty details! What matters is the here and now: the positioning of the furniture, the ample garden space for pets and kids, the ensuite in both the master and guest bedrooms, the new curtains that let in just the right amount of light, the cozy study that can be converted into a bedroom in a flash and the masses of storage space under the stairs.
People don’t need to know that this place was known as ‘The Charnel House of Keymore’. How silly. They don’t need to know that the taps sometimes turn themselves on, or I don’t know…the whispers in the night that promise revenge upon the world for injustice. Oh, and the little raining blood thing that happens in Tamara’s bedroom. Amongst…other things.
Our house staging has been fabulous, though, so we’ll be out of here soon! I really hope…
People say Canberra isn’t fun. And they’re right, mostly.
When you’re a kid you don’t really notice, because kids make their own entertainment, they don’t go out as such and, like…friends and stuff. Then you get to be a teenager like me, and you can’t wait to go to university in Brisbane and just go completely wild because this place is SO BORING. I think just the act of living is putting me into a coma.
There’s just…nothing for teens to do here. There are only so many times you can go to the cinema, and it’s not like the restaurant/night life is happening. Everyone is in bed by 9pm with a cup and tea and the evening newspaper. It was better when I was a few years younger, I remember. One good thing about Canberra: kids birthday party venues, but don’t ask me why. I used to have birthdays in some seriously cool places, for real. Just imagine climbing frames and fake pirate ships and slides, all the stuff that kids really love. Even if it was once a year, I used to look forward to that stuff. And now I’m old and life is boring. I think there might be a nightclub somewhere, but I’m too young for that. Too old for an indoor play centre. Although I don’t know if they have an age limit, so maybe I could go to relive the glory years.
Yeah, they probably DO have a limit. Wouldn’t want a teenager crawling around inside a colourful pipe and making everyone uncomfortable; fair enough. Still, I have to do SOMETHING or I’m going stir crazy. Maybe I could round up the crew from school and make a trip to Melbourne or something. They must be as bored as I am, and we’re not great friends but there’s no better time to get to know each other a bit better. We could reminisce about the time when Canberra’s fine indoor play centres fulfilled all of our hopes and dreams…and then we grew up. Shared grievances, or whatever.
You know that thing people do, when you mention something you don’t currently need and it sounds like the worst thing ever? Okay, let me explain…you’ve just been out for a four-course dinner, you come home and someone asks if you’d like a chocolate biscuit. Just the very thought of a chocolate biscuit makes you feel queasy, when earlier that day you got back from work and were knocking them back like shots on a Friday night. See what I mean? It’s a thing you were just loving, but now, it’s become terrible to you. So strange.
I feel the same way about air conditioning. Melbourne is getting a whole load of it right now, ads everywhere, people talking constantly about having their air conditioning units fixed for the upcoming summer. Then I think about people in, say…Iceland. Glasgow. Novosibirsk. Imagine them coming home and finding their entire house cooled by air conditioning. You’d just walk straight out again! And yet if they came to Australia it’d be something you’d really need in most places, at least during the heat of summer. Very odd.
Of course, this is Melbourne. Our own air conditioning is highly dependent on what the weather decides to do that day, or that hour. Just last week we had frosty mornings that eventually gave way to warm days, so nobody really knows what to wear, what to think and how to invest when it comes to air con. But then, those long stretches of searing-hot weather are coming. There’s always one or two of them, mark my words, and if you don’t do anything about your air con now you’ll end up regretting it for the rest of your summer.
It must be so strange going from the dead of winter to the throes of summer. Almost like some kind of jet-lag, but…for heat. That’s why we need to make Melbourne’s air conditioning services welcoming for all. Got to avoid that temperature jet-lag. Could be dangerous stuff.
There’s the neighbours off arguing again. Honestly? I’ve come close to calling the police a few times. They’re always going up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants, slamming doors, slamming anything they can find, chucking stuff around…and in the back of my mind I’m thinking two things. First: it can’t be THAT bad. I’m just blowing it up! Second: was that a vase breaking? Maybe I could doom someone by inaction here…
Man, they’re the same every year once the hot weather rolls in. They get on fine with their heating, but when it’s time for a bit of air con, they obviously just can’t afford it or something. Temperatures flare and so do tempers, creating a constant brewing storm. Makes me want to raise a collection, find a place in Perth that does air conditioning and give them a hand in achieving married harmony in some way. I mean, how frayed do your nerves have to be to completely explode whenever the weather gets a bit hotter? That’s not just a lack of air conditioning. That’s something much worse. Imagine every time you go somewhere the air con is broken and just being a raging beast the whole time. Imagine going on a camping trip and spending the whole time bickering and chucking supplies around because the wilderness doesn’t have air conditioning.
I’d hate to think what they’d be like without heating. Pretty sure they’re set up on that front, because all the arguments seem to stop during winter. Well, at least the windows are closed so maybe it’s a year-long thing…I try not to pry.
It’s REALLY hard not to pry, though. They’re just so very loud all the time, mostly on the subject about how he really needs to start saving so he could find some Perth air conditioning services place and improve their marriage, and about how SHE needs to stop nagging and maybe get up off her butt for once and…more things. Terrible things. Things that can’t be typed.
Okay I get it, winter is coming to a close, there can only really possibly be a few really, truly cold weeks left, but darn it, if I don’t do this pretty much now it just isn’t going to get done. So I should, and I will. I know that if I leave until next year, I’m pretty much definitely going to forget all about it, and then I’ll be in this exact same position all over again. For pretty much the majority of this year’s cold season, I’ve lived without working ducted heating. Adelaide, being pretty far south in the scheme of things, actually gets quite chilly during the winter months. There have been days when I have hated myself for being such a lazy, responsibility avoiding excuse for a human being. But it’s not just my general apathy towards taking any kind of action that’s holding me back. It’s also the fact that I make pretty much nothing at work. I mean it. They are one hundred percent paying me illegally, but for a whole bunch of different reasons, I’m pretty much roped into this gig. So there’s nothing more I can really do about.
But, what that means to me as just a part of my day-to-day life, I find myself in a bit of trouble. So with the heating, I’ve been saving for literally months to be able to afford the kind of high quality, long-lasting ducted gas heating repairs you need in Adelaide. It is quite an effort though, and so now I’m looking the heating, and looking at all the money I’ve saved, and I can’t help questioning whether it’s really worth it. There are so many things I could spend this money on, and even though I know I’ll be kicking myself in 6 months time if I use it to do something else, there are so many awesome things I could do. So many possibilities and so many practicalities.
There was an ad on the bus this morning- a new one, and I’d know because my bus ride is an hour long and I tend to notice every inch of the pace- and it was talking about kids watching TV. All red letters and ‘DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING??’
I don’t have children, so I know that they’re watching a whole lot of nothing, because they don’t exist. But still, it makes me wonder what these kids could possibly be doing. When I was in school, the worst behaviour problems were those kids who sold ice-cream behind the bike sheds. I never found out where they got it from. Oh, and there was that indoor play centre in Croydon that later got knocked down. Yep, me and Gregory Langwood used to go right up to the top of the climbing frame and eat those little packets of sugar that come with an edible dipping spoon. There was a kid who sold them in the ball pit.
I used to think we were so rebellious, doing that. Like, look at us up here, no parents to tell us that sugar will rot our teeth and spoil our dinner! It was the absolute height of rebellion. Too bad one day one of the centre workers climbed up there and found us sitting there in a pile of wrappers, giggling about nothing. He told the parents and…well, that was the last time they took me there. Whenever Gregory Langwood came to our house after that, all of our activities had to be approved by the parental governors. Look, I’ve never agreed with this, personally…Gregory was the one leading ME astray. I was an innocent victim, caught up in his wiles. I don’t see why I had to be barred from the play centre.
When I do have children, probably in 2026, I’ll be finding some kids birthday party venue in Bayswater (the place in which I live) and they’ll be there ALL the time. Doing what they want. Like real kids.
So apparently my grandfather thinks he’s taking part in a mind control experiment conducted by the government. Obviously, he isn’t. That would be completely crazy, and the truth of the matter is that he is crazy. Well, not crazy. Just old, suspicious, a conspiracy theorist from birth, and a man touched by the early stages of dementia.
The story goes that his doctor recommended he do some oxygen therapy in Melbourne, so my dad did some research and found out about this wonderful new form of technology. The problem is that although hyperbaric therapy is completely legit and actually really good for older people looking to get greater mobility, like Gramps, it looks pretty space age. Personally, I think it’s cool, but apparently the whole time Gramps was in there he was talking about the “aliens” and the “government mind control system”. Dad said that, the second time he went in there, Gramps was wearing a tinfoil hat underneath his cap.
I realise that this is all objectively funny and I have to admit I’ve had quite a good laugh about it, but still. It’s kind of sad. I’m sure when he was back in his heyday, he would have questioned the legitimacy of any technology this high-tech (Nans has a story about him throwing his brand new mobile phone off a pier) but still. This is something recommended by his doctor. A brand new technology in Melbourne. Hyperbaric oxygen therapies may not be a traditional form of relief, but oh my goodness, if it helps, why even question it? Take the cure and run with it, I say. We always laugh about Gramps being crazy, but if he’s really going to put his health at risk for the sake of protecting his deteriorating mind, maybe we should take it a little more seriously.
I’ve been thinking about organ donation. I mean, like, I already donated one of my kidneys so that a starving child in Ethiopia could have something to eat in the freezing winter months. A poster was advertising it and I just thought…why not? If I was starving, I’d give my right kidney for someone in the cushy Western world to give their right kidney so that I could eat it and not be hungry any more. That might be a ‘me’ thing, however…I do tend to get both hungry and angry.
But then I was watching a video of a sloth on Me-Straw when an ad popped up. Almost skipped it, but then I thought…no! Some poor Melbourne corporate video production person has poured hours and HOURS of work into this lovely advertisement. They’ve sat there at their videography computer and worked into the midnight hours to bring me this wonderful thirty-second clip. The very least I can do is honour their efforts. And wouldn’t you know it, the ad was about organ donation! It was SO well put together, convincing in the right ways, emotional with the right touch and deeply moving. Some people live without organs, their lives a mess because they can’t run as fast or they’re in medically induced comas. And here I am, with SO many organs! Basically all the organs a normal person has, besides one.
I know I shouldn’t get sucked in, but sometimes a video really makes a case. I forgot whatever I was watching and rushed to the website to see if they needed any kidneys. I mean, at least I know for sure that’s a part of me that people want. I guess without any kidneys left I’ll just have to be careful what I eat, but I’m willing to give them up for someone in need.
Look at me, all passionate! See, this is the power of some quality videography. Melbourne folks in need of organs…I’m on the case!