All hail the new bathroom renovation

bathroom renovations MelbourneI don’t know how long this renovation will take, but I am optimistically saying that it will take at least 2 more weeks. There is just the bathroom renovation left to do and the stuff we’ve ordered is almost here.  The cabinets looked amazing in the photos I just hope the benchtops match as well in person. I’ve spared no expense on this little project of mine. When I showed the projected budget to my husband I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He wasn’t prepared for how ambitious my plans were. When you want imported Turkish marble counters then it’s going to cost a little extra, it’ll be worth it though.

My best friend Linda has the very same benchtop, it’s part of the reason that I chose that particular design for my bathroom. She’ll be furious when she finds out that I have used the same backsplash and tiles as her. It looks great and really does fit in well with the rest of the renovations in the house. I am to be honest, I have copied the design almost completely from Linda, the kitchen and living room are really modelled after her home. I even went to the trouble of hiring the very same bathroom renovations company in Melbourne. They were fantastic help every step of the way and made sure to keep me informed. Linda had suggested I give him a go once I told her that I planned to make some updates to the old house. I neglected to mention that I would be borrowing her designs. I get the feeling that I will be the most popular person in my group of friends soon enough because I will be the trendsetter. There will be lots of people I know who are going to be jealous and want to call the bathroom renovations experts from Melbourne. If anyone asks I’ll tell them I came up with the designs on my own. I just can’t ever invite Linda to my house again.

Behind the lens

horse barnsDo you ever get the feeling your parents love your brother or sister more than they love you? If you do have that feeling, you know just how much it sucks. Now, imagine just for a moment, that it’s not a feeling that’s niggling away at the back of your mind, but a confirmed fact. Imagine that they told you, not subtlety over the years but in plain English, that they had a favourite child and you were not it. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my life.

My sister, younger, objectively prettier, and subjectively better is the apple of ma and pop’s collective eye. Whatever she wants, she is given. In fact, as I live and breathe, we are on the way to Tamworth, yes, Tamworth, to find the finest horse barn builders in all the land to build my sister’s little pony shelter for the winter. Apparently, these people do livestock sheds as a speciality in Tamworth, so I have been forced, against my will, into a car with mother, father, and the brat. Why am I here? To take photos. Apparently, the only thing I’m good for.

As a minor who has greedy neighbours on all sides, the parental units are unable to leave me to fend for myself in the suburban wilderness, so I get dragged along whenever darling sis has an engagement of any kind. Since I’m not too bad with a camera (and have even won a couple of competitions and things) they’ve decided to use that as their excuse this time around. As if anyone can’t just point and shot a decent photo of a couple of horse barns in Tamworth. So really, despite the lies they tell their friends, this is just one more example of me being dragged along to take photos of my sister’s life. Sounds like fun, right?

An adult who cannot adult

ducted gas heating Canberra'I am one of those humans who should just not be allowed to human. I’m just too bad at it and to be perfectly honest, if we were still living in a cut-throat world where natural selection was a thing, I probably wouldn’t exist. It’s only our ability to avoid evolution that has made me possible.

“Why am I lamenting my own existence?” I hear the curious reader ask. Well, I’ve done something so unbelievably stupid that I homeless and property-less. I managed to burn down my entire house.

About maybe six months ago, I had gas heating installed throughout my house. I’m not really sure why, but I should have gotten the foremost ducted heating experts in Canberra to check out what was wrong. So in the end, I assumed it was going to cost more or less the same amount to get it back up and running properly, or I could put in some new gas heating.

At this point, I was feeling pretty annoyed at the ducted heating situation. I’d been trying to get up and running since I moved in, so I decided – to hell with it – let’s install a whole new system. Gas heating all the way.

Well, perhaps for a competent adult, that would have been fine. I am not a competent adult. I leave a pretty messy life, and must have left something flammable too close to the heater, or at least that’s what the fireman said. There was no way I could move even an inkling of blame onto the people who repaired the gas heating. Canberra has very strict rules about all of that and those guys had done everything absolutely to code. No, this disaster is a hundred percent on me. I just don’t know how to break it to my parents that I’m going to be moving back in.

Cringeworthy hilarity

aluminium pool fencesA universally known truth and a terrible reality is that it’s kind of funny to watch dogs mess up. I don’t know why, but there’s just something intrinsically humorous about watching a – let’s be honest here – pretty stupid animal try and do something it just really shouldn’t be doing. To see them fail, and fail hard, is hilarious. In fact, the bigger the fail, the funnier it is. It’s as if there’s some part of the human brain that’s just wired to find otherwise really cringe-worthy things funny.

After months of construction and waiting, our new pool was finally (almost) ready and we had to get all the pool fencing installed. Melbourne has all these weird laws about fencing and even though there are no children at our house and none of us wanted a fence, we had to get one. Anyway, once we put all the fencing in, our dog Roper just couldn’t cope. It was a little sad to watch, but, at the same time, it was so funny I almost cried. He just kept walking into the fence face first. It wasn’t even like any of the fencing was glass or anything – the whole pool is ringed by the nicest aluminium pool fencing Melbourne has to offer (dad made sure of it). But our stupid dog just kept walking headlong into it.

I mean, really, how dumb can you get?

Every time it was as if he thought he’d just slip through the gaps or something, and I guess if he was a chihuahua he might have, but an obese lab like him has no chance. So even though it makes me a terrible person I just stood there, watching him, for a weird amount of time. It was all just so funny I couldn’t help myself. I just thought I’d share that little memory with you all. Please don’t hate me.

Icy Boat Tours Only!

outboard motor serviceIt’s winter, so you know what that means. That’s right: boating season! That was definitely what I was about to say!

It’s no secret that I love me some boating madness, and it really isn’t authentic if you’re not being battered by icy winds and pouring rain. My dream is to be the captain of an icebreaker, but that’s neither here nor there. The main thing is that I’m so happy to be giving real folks guided tours of the bays of Melbourne, anchor winch specialists and outboard motor repair folks right alongside me. Mostly. They sort of get their jobs done really quickly and then go back indoors, which I don’t really understand. If you haven’t felt so cold your fingers and toes could all just drop off at any moment, you’ve never TRULY been alive, I say.

Anyway, at least there are still anchor winch people willing to work during the winter at all. When I first started my winter-exclusive tour package, I was wondering if anyone would be willing to brave the elements to help me out. Funnily enough, not everyone LIKES to spend time out in the freezing cold for most of the day. Even the folks I take on my tours tend to start complaining after the first four hours or so- that’s why the one and two-hour packages are so much more popular. But I’ve managed to gather a team of hardy sailors who’ll be my land-crew, along with a couple who don’t mind lending a hand out on the open, rolling sea.

It’s the way the sea should be, really. If you’re sailing through a sunny day with calm seas, where’s the challenge? Where’s the sense that you might not make it out, and this grand voyage could be your last? When Melbourne companies that do outboard motor servicing hold your life in their hands, you really gain a new perspective on life. And that’s the reason that my tours are, and always will be, winter-only.

-C. Dog

Reach For What You Want!!

conference speaker AustraliaIt’s true what they say: follow your dreams. That is, if your dreams are relatively practical. I think mine are, although it’s taken some recent events to convince me that the saying really is true.

So I figured…people love boxing. People love MMA. And people just love them some golf. And absolutely nothing bad can come from taking two unrelated things and mashing them together, so that was the source of my grand plan: full-contact golf. No, really. JUST THINK ABOUT IT. Both people can hit the ball at the same time, and they can do pretty much anything (using golf clubs if they like) to stop their opponent from reaching the ball. Imagine how the ratings will soar when they both make it to the green at the same time! Think of how crazy it’ll be when multiple people are all in the running!

I never would’ve made it this far, however, without a good little jolt from a motivational speaker. Well, sort of. I work a desk job, nothing special and I don’t feel that much loyalty towards the company. A real ‘just a job’ deal, basically. Anyway, they got in this keynote speaker, one of those guys who stands at the front with a microphone and says things like ‘how are all you guys doing today?’ and ‘I want you to REACH for what you want!’

I don’t usually respond well to that sort of thing, but I know it’s just me. I sit there every time trying to make myself as small and unnoticeable as possible, because group participation terrifies me. But this time, the guy mentioned something about fighting for your dreams. And man…that really resonated with me. I began to think about what it’d be like if I was facing him in full-contact golf. And that made me smile.

I realised that my sport was good. It could give people hope, and a release. As the guy finished, we shouldn’t let fear hold us back from making the world better, at any cost. Wow, when did conference speakers in Australia get so good? I’m bringing my golf idea to the masses! It WILL be a success! I’m REACHING for what I want!

-Fergal

Poor Police Bag Handling


Funny how there are some old shows that you miss, and others that you don’t. I remember being obsessed with
Colonel Universe for a good year or so. And I mean I was wearing t-shirts and trying to convert all my friends at school into watching it too. I was a fanatic, and then suddenly they stopped airing it and I dropped off. No more interest. It was all in the sugary-sweet buzz.

But there was also a show I loved just afterwards, Kid Cops. It was about little kids solving crimes, with all their voices dubbed over with adults. In retrospect, it was kind of creepy, but it’s what I loved, and I still kind of do. Their methods for handling evidence bags were a little bit off, though. Like, right now I’m well into cop shows, having seen many, many more that star adults and people who do research into this kind of thing, and the police bags on Kid Cops were a joke. One time, Tammy (she was the four-year-old with the blonde hair- secretly in love with Jason, five years old, dark and handsome, I guess) was at a crime scene, I think maybe in the season 2 finale. Anyway, she picked up a severed toe and put it in the bag, and then if you look at her in the background of the next conversation, she’s just…swinging it around. I don’t even think she sealed it properly, she’s just…I don’t know. There are all kinds of blatant breakings of policing rules if you look at the kids in the background. Like when Suzie was investigating a double-homicide by a crazed schizophrenic, and she just waltzes into his apartment without a warrant. What mad kid stuff! Sometimes it was the child actors, sometimes not. But I’ve been catching up now that I’m older and wiser, and some of the things they do just wouldn’t fly if it wasn’t a kids’ show. All that wasted security packaging, with a generation of kids just not knowing how it all works.

-Jane

Wallflower Completes Me!

Melbourne makeup coursesI never thought I’d be standing in the fragrance section of Myers, staring at a beauty range that gets me. I’m not into ‘self-care’, I don’t subscribe to ‘pampering’ and sometimes I’ll just go to work with no makeup. More minutes in bed, and I can just toss my hair in a ponytail. I work in a cubicle and interact with the public on the phone, so it’s only my co-workers who have to suffer. And they’re used to it- we’re all friends here!

But now, I’ve found the makeup for me, and it’s transforming my life. According to the big cut-out sign they had when the line was released, it all began with a diploma of specialist makeup offered in Brisbane. The creator emerged with bigger dreams than simply going to some movie set or backstage of a theatre: she wanted to OWN the makeup world. That was what it said, anyway…the fact that she’s now offering a niche service makes me wonder if they’re not just embellishing a bit. Anyway, she used her makeup course to create something wonderful: Wallflower, a makeup line for people who don’t want to be noticed.

Seeing this, it was like a product had finally been tailor-made for my life. I love going to parties, but HATE being the centre of attention. But there’s a weird societal expectation that you have to look really nice for a party, your best, even. So if you want to go and have people not notice you…well, there’s no middle ground. You’re either admired and accepted, or judged for not scrubbing up enough. But now, there’s Wallflower! I’ve already used it for a work function, and it was perfect. I liked what I saw in the mirror, but I was able to hang around at the punch bowl and no one bothered me unless I wanted them to. It’s like some kind of magic.

Sure, Estelle tested the products on herself and was horribly scarred, but there’s a quote from her where she says it was all worth it. Gee, I should get on one of these makeup courses. Around Melbourne…yeah, there should be a few. Now I know makeup really can transform lives!

-Gina

Oh the places I’ll go

makeup coursesToday is it. Today is the day. I’m (potentially) off to great places I (might be) up and away. Whether there are brains in my head is still up for debate, and majority of the time I have foot in my shoes, but I know I can steer myself in any direction I choose. And the direction is (drum roll) back to study.

I know, I know, when I dropped out of my degree (dropped out is hardly fair, the whole thing just fizzled out when it was clear I was vastly under qualified) I swore black and blue I’d never go back. Black and blue. But what can I say? I’m a fickle creature. Not to mention, in today’s day and age it’s nearly impossible to find a decent job without some qualification – which is why I’ve started to look at doing makeup courses in Melbourne.

Anyone who knows me at all knows I love my makeup. I just find the whole application process so calming, I love changing my face, my expression, my whole demeanor with the light feather touch of a brush. It’s not just that it’s relaxing (even though it most certainly is) but that it’s fun. So much fun! I can become whoever I feel like being without practically any strings attached. And, at the end of the day (or the end of the hour depending on how it turned out) I can just wipe it all away.

So, just in my spare time, I’ve started to look at what options are out there for makeup courses. Who knows, maybe nothing will come of it, but it’s fun to look at all the same. Get some ideas and start thinking about real careers in makeup and beauty, instead of just the odd jobs here and there I’ve been doing over the last few months. All I can say is: watch this space.

Chaos Around Tax Time

Melbourne tax accountantsIf there’s one thing I know, it’s that when your six-year-old asks what would happen if you put bugs in a microwave, you should take the microwave and put it up somewhere they can’t reach it. Or at least I know that for next time. The smell wasn’t too bad, actually. I can see why some countries count these as delicacies.

But another thing I know is that getting your tax returns in late just isn’t worth the hassle. Again, this is something I know from experience, sadly. Our company isn’t going to win any awards for being wonderful at punctuality, although we do provide nice coffee. Thing is, our finance guy said we didn’t need tax accountants. Melbourne is full of scams, and he was totally all over this business if we all got our paperwork in on time! Unfortunately, like with the bugs and the microwave, we should’ve kept all business tax return duties away from him, lest he blow everything up and fill the office with the stench of shame and fines for not getting them in on time.

But we all had a part to play. I don’t think our inter-office communication is that great, which lead to Susan forgetting to email us all the reminder. And then there’s Tedward, who just has a habit of setting fire to things when he gets bored during the day. Stacey brings her dog into work for ‘medical’ reasons, even though it’s a pug  and I don’t see how that works. And then little Cheddar goes and chews up all the cables, so we’re without internet for a good part of the afternoon. Except that Yuri the IT guy only speaks Russian, so I think he thought we wanted the lights in the office to be brighter, so further delays as we tried to tell him we wanted our internet back. Meanwhile, I was browsing on my phone for some folks who do IAS accounting around Melbourne, for next time. I hope they don’t have any dogs in the office.

-Pierre

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