Those who live in glass houses…

Working from home presents a never-ending string of spatial puzzles to be solved. It’s an ongoing process of figuring out how to maintain separate areas for separate parts of life. This is hard when these spaces are, at the end of the day, physically adjoining. I’m looking into doing an office decor overhaul, and I’m taking it as an opportunity to improve the logistical flow of the space.

I receive clients in my home office on a regular basis, so it needs to look legit. I’m having one small problem with this. The space I’ve allocated for work is a stand-alone structure that faces the back of the house, which is essentially a wall of transparent glass. This means that anyone situated in the office can see directly into my kitchen, which I don’t feel is the best look (especially in light of my tendency to forget to do the dishes). I’ve been reluctant to do anything about it because I really love the big glass panels.

Someone has just put me onto the idea of getting window frosting. Companies in Melbourne, apparently, can do this, and it could be a way of making my huge windows less openly transparent while still letting in the sun from above eye level. It’s meant to look similar to sandblasting or etching onto glass, but is done with some kind of film – which means I wouldn’t need to get all my glass replaced.

I’m also keen to investigate the possibilities for adding some decorative window designs. In Melbourne, anything is possible when it comes to customisation. I reckon there’s someone out there who can set me up with a faux stained glass situation – maybe on some kind of high-tech film material?

It would be cool if there was a way of combine the window frosting with a stained glass aesthetic. I’m a marriage celebrant, in case you were wondering, and I believe something like this would contribute to setting up a mood that’s matched to what I do. At the same time, I’d be making my living quarters more private while creating a sense of spatial continuity between them and the office. Dreamy!

A Bathroom Fit For My Clients

It’s been six months since I started teaching fitness classes in the converted garage out the front of my house. Time to take stock on how it’s been working out! I have to say, I’m really proud of how consistent business has been. I’m equally proud of my awesome clients – some of them have come a long way. And I’m stoked with the studio; the renovation worked really well.

One thing that’s missing is a dedicated bathroom for my clients. It bothers me that they have to come into my house to use the toilet, and some of them have expressed a desire to be able to shower after a particularly vigorous session. I’m starting to think that it might be worth investing in a bathroom installation. Melbourne has no shortage of gyms, studios and specialist classes in the fitness realm, so I really need to stay competitive. This could be worth my while.

I’m going for a particular aesthetic with this business – I want everything to be visually beautiful, with gentle lighting and high-quality surfaces and finishes. If I’m going to go to the trouble of installing a new bathroom, it’s got to be designed to work in with this vibe. If it’s done right, it could be an opportunity to showcase the unique look of the space in more depth.

The more I think about it, the more this seems like a great idea. Given that I’m going for a ‘luxury’ market, I should really be providing comfortable and beautiful bathroom amenities to my clients. I’m getting so pumped for this now! This being Melbourne, bathroom design services of the kind I’m imagining shouldn’t be too hard to track down. I’m thinking a custom cabinet that doubles as a wardrobe for guests to hang their work clothes in, with a full-length mirror, and some textured tiling.

It’s not going to come easily, but the whole ethos of my business is that quick fixes aren’t the answer. I love the idea of that being reflected in the smallest of details, like the bathroom design.

Ditching a Razor for a Laser

I’m constantly late. I can’t seem to keep track of time, I need to plan in advance to get anywhere that requires an early morning or long distance travelling, and I absolutely hate having to let people down. For me, time management is a huge challenge and anything I can do to carve a few minutes off my schedule is warmly welcomed- which is why I LOVE laser hair removal. Melbourne is welcoming warmer weather; I’ve committed to swim squad completely, and that means more hours in the pool, and the squad I joined last year expects the best from me. Which means early mornings in the water and great average times.

I knew that when i joined, I’d need to shave my legs every swim day. Smooth skin helps you glide through the water, but my fuzz grows at a crazy rate and the problem is, I always forget to de-fuzz, even when I’m not running too late. For someone who doesn’t have the time and needs to be faster, you can see my predicament.

For a wiry-haired pale person like me, pain free laser hair removal was the answer to my prayers. I have a friend doesn’t swim, but like me has pale skin and dark leg hairs. She had a few treatments and amazingly, her leg hair is down to almost nothing. She showed me herself, there were only a couple of stray hairs hanging around, and she hadn’t shaved for over a week. So naturally, I booked, because shaving every day is just not going to suit my lifestyle.

My treatments have been a lifesaver! I am loving the freedom that laser hair removal has meant for me- no crazy razoring away before training and even better, great times in the water without having to constantly think about maintaining them. I’m completely sold.

My Hair Will be Magnificent, if Somewhat Solid

The Annual ‘Galaxy Hair’ contest is coming up yet again, and while I’ve pretty much never won before, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t take home the grand prize this year. I’ve actually studied this time, both from a professional in the craft and previous winners. And they HAVE to be the best people to learn from, because…well, they won. What most people don’t understand about the noble art of whipping one’s hair back in forth in a rhythmic fashion to music is that it’s a multi-faceted process. It’s not just about the song, or the movements, or the choreography. It’s a unique blend of many different elements; all of those, and of course a gorgeous hairstyle that can withstand all that constant motion.

That last one has been a bit of a snag. I’ve visited every top-class hairdresser in the Melbourne CBD, and don’t get me wrong, they’re all wonderful. When it comes to hairstyles that I’d wear to a business meeting, or a glam rock concert, or maybe a party themed around the 1920s, that’s all just fine. But when I present my plan of what I need to do to my hair to make it flowing, fabulous and flexible, they say it’s ‘dangerous’ and ‘really bad for the roots’ and ‘you might end up not having any hair at all’.

All true, my hairdresser friends. But this is one trophy for which I’d give nearly everything. Year after year I’ve watched people get out there on that stage in front of tens of people and whip their hair back and forth, whip their hair back and forth, whip their hair back and forth, they whip their hair back and forth, and they’re always so much better than me. This special blend of hair herbs and spices and hairspray and mousse and wax and clay and mud and perhaps a little bit of bleach and industrial-strength bonding agent might be what I need.

Alright, maybe Melbourne hair salons are too responsible to do this to me. I respect that. I’ll just have to…apply it myself.

-Barb

A Case for Taking the Cake

My sister recently started dating a guy who’s a pastry chef. Why is this remarkable? Well, because her dates and boyfriends have consistently – almost invariably – been property lawyers. Melbourne has its fair share of assorted men to choose from, so why this extreme trend of attraction to people from just one profession?

I’ve never understood it, even in light of the fact that my sister is, herself, a property developer. Some of our friends seem to think this serves as an adequate explanation for the whole deal. Is there something I’m missing here? Like the allure of discussing the finer points of medium density multi-unit developments? Or the hypnotic mood created by the registration of subdivision plans? Maybe there’s a feeling, unfathomable to the rest of us, that can only be captured through a shared awareness of Section 173 agreements.

It might also be something to do with sis’s need to finance her ever-growing personal collection of properties. She hardly needs a partner to help her out there. But I guess it would make sense if only someone in a property-related field could really get their head around why she needs apartments in three different countries.

Our brother used to work for a commercial law firm. Melbourne life ended up taking its toll on him – it was too quiet, apparently, and he buzzed off to London to work in international law. He ended up dating a guy who was a professor in international economics at a very prestigious university. Even our parents are similarly inclined high fliers within the same professional field. Dad’s a pilot and mum’s an aircraft engineer.

Really, I don’t know what it is about this family – it all seems a bit overblown to me. I’m kind of secretly hoping that this pastry chef will introduce her to some new ways of looking at things – and maybe provide me, his girlfriend’s sister, with fancy cakes. I’m pretty sure he has to, by law.

Add Picking a Home to the List

So the girlfriend dragged me along to this carnival, which I have to say is pretty boring. The most interesting thing that happened- and I use the term pretty lightly- was when I went to see a fortune teller. Or…’fortune teller’. It was pretty theatrical, or whatever, so it wasn’t totally boring. Still, the most specific she could get was that ‘something is coming in your future! Something BIG!’

Well, yeah. We’re moving house soon, which we for some reason chose to do before the wedding. Not my idea. I mean, we’ve got one of Melbourne’s best property advocates helping us out with the search, but it’s still one extra thing to think about. Even if you get a buyers agent it’s not, like…nothing. I’m just waiting for the girlfriend to come to me one day and say ‘by the way I’m pregnant, or whatever’, and it’ll be the perfect storm. But that’s…unlikely. SO unlikely. I’m just not going to think about that. I already have like sixteen house options to go through, either because these people are too good at their jobs or because we didn’t give them enough search parameters. Well, I didn’t…she had a lot more to say that I did. I just don’t want our commute to be a nightmare, I want some space to have a family (if we decide to go that route, or whatever), a garden would be nice (although I’m fine with an apartment and…good. Just a good house. I’m not huge on DIY, so a functional place would be nice. Whereas the girlfriend had a list of demands that sounded way too long at the time. Looking at the list of places that we’ve got, I really don’t think it was. It’s our first time with a property advocate. Melbourne just has too many appropriate places for sale, I guess, so that’s one more list of stuff to go through and whittle down. Uh, why did we go to the carnival again? There’s way too much to do.

Gosh, Now it’s Underwater Welding

It is I, Georgina Glass.

As if I wasn’t already busy enough, I’ve now been contacted by the Melbourne stainless steel fabrication industry. Imagine that! They sent me a message saying that they saw a design for an underwater welding pod that I’d drawn about ten years ago for a school project. The teacher just told us to take something used in the industrial sector and make our own version of it; I think it was in metal tech? Anyway, everyone else was making weird-shaped cement mixers and whatever else- I think my friend took a wrecking ball and made it a gigantic cube- but I wanted to go a little bit further. I took an interest in welding, because it’s a fascinating industry when you really get down to the nitty-gritty of things. Underwater welding, for real? That stuff is crazy. So I did a bit of a mock-up for an underwater welding chamber, a bit of a different design to how they usually do things. And I’m not saying that I want to upend the industry or how they do things, but apparently there’s a stainless steel welding conference and and they’d like to get me to speak. That is, on a design I did in school ten years ago. I don’t think I’m the keynote speaker or anything, but wow, the fact that they want me to talk at ALL is seriously surreal. I don’t know too much at the moment, but they said that my design was really interesting, and there’s always a section on designs for the future. It’s only one night…at the moment. Hopefully this won’t interfere with my plans to meet up with the BF’s family, my cosmetics job, my course on energy usage…wow, I’m really spreading the whole thing a bit thin. Still, I can brush up on marine fabrication in Melbourne, see how they do things. And maybe they’ll give me a design job! Always wondered what that would be like…

-Georgina

Me and My Inadequate Sailing Boat

Well, that pretty much puts an end to my plans of sailing across from Australia to Hawaii using only a rickety fishing boat. I’d done all my research, calculated how much supplies I’d be needing, patched up the boat as best as I could, mapped out my route…only to find out that the coastguard won’t allow it. Apparently it’s tantamount to suicide, and you’re not allowed to commit suicide in Australian waters so they won’t let me go.

RUDE. Anyway, I have to steadily improve my boat until it reaches international water law standards, whatever that means. People are sponsoring me for this as well, so i’d better find a way to make it happen.

So…first up, I need to find a place that repairs anchor winches in Melbourne. Apparently, just having an anchor on the end of a chain doesn’t fit the law’s standards; I also have to have a way to reliably lift it back up, hence the anchor winch. I can SORT of understand…but meh, I don’t really have that much of a problem. It’s good back exercise hauling it back up. Also, I need to get an official to make sure I’ve got this outboard motor thing down pat. For real: I can’t even do the rowing myself. Apparently there’s a certain distance that you can row, and after that it violates some kind of maritime law they put in place after the great Australian boat tragedy of 1976. And look, I know many people were lost, and the whole thing was poorly planned, but I wasn’t going to be like that. I HAD a plan. Also, it’s 2017; you can hold WAY more food in small spaces. One protein bar can keep me going for days. Like, a day maybe. An afternoon, definitely. But now I’m scouring Melbourne for outboard motor servicing, because it’s the law. What am I going to do with all that time I should’ve been rowing? Guess I’ll…read some books?

-Darren

The Present is All Hyperbaric Medicine

They say say there’s no time like the present, because that’s why they call it the present, because it’s a gift.

Wait, let me try that again…every day is a gift; that’s why they call it the present? But then, the gifts of tomorrow actually belong to the future. Wait…is the future the gift-giver in this scenario? The future has the present, and it gifts it to us. That’ll do. But why are we getting a present? Is every day our birthday?

Phew…when I think deep thoughts, I sometimes just bend reality. I’ve been thinking a lot of them in the last half an hour, because I’m actually writing this LIVE from an oxygen chamber. Melbourne is just the forefront of technology nowadays, don’t you think? You can almost say they’re the future…and they’re giving us the gift of technology, now, in the present. I swear, this oxygen chamber is unlocking parts of my brain that I didn’t even know existed. So many great thoughts, flowing as swiftly and easily as the air in my nostrils. That’s a lot of air, I’ll have you know.

Funny thing is, I got this oxygen chamber experience as a present, which means I’m in the present, which was given to me as a present, experiencing something that was given to me…as a present. It’s like unwrapping a gift, only to find a gift underneath the wrapping paper, because the true gift was the act of receiving a gift. This is so many layers of profound; I actually cannot even. Who knew that oxygen, something that we breathe every day, can bring out such deep and meaningful thoughts? If I’d know it would be this good, I would’ve gotten into Melbourne’s hyperbaric chambers a lot sooner. Anyway…I’m going to take a nap. Probably about to dream some premium dreams, too. The ones where you can fly. Maybe even prophetic…we shall see!

-Bailey

Air Conditioning, Great for Parties

It’s true: you don’t see many birthday clowns nowadays. We’re a dying breed, clinging to something once great and trying to keep it alive. It’s a digital world where kids have changed.

Of course, that’s not to say we haven’t changed around them. I know a couple of birthday clowns who still do things the old way, showing up at a party with their full clown makeup and just hoping that the kids will appreciate it. I don’t think it’s going well for them, to be honest.

I used to be like that, but honestly, that’s not something you can pull off in Brisbane. Air conditioning can save your life, but if the party doesn’t have it or- heaven forbid- you have to entertain OUTSIDE, you’re in for a very rough time. That was my very first party, and it was awful. I was called up at the last minute and had to scramble to put on all the makeup. There’s a lot of it, if you want to go full clown. I then had to show up in my ramshackle clown car that barely clears road regulations and certainly doesn’t have any air conditioning, only to be told that while all the adults sat in the air-conditioned lounge, I would be going out into the garden. There was no shade in the garden. Sixteen kids, all waiting to be entertained in the 36-degree heat.

By the first fifteen minutes I was melting in my clown suit, and I wanted to just crawl into the freezer for a bit of relief. The paint was running down my face, the children were frightened…it was awful.

Now I’m a neo-clown, I only work inside. There are plenty of ways to keep kids entertained with multimedia and technology, and all benefitting from some of Brisbane’s greatest air conditioning services. I mean, I guess we’re not really ‘clowns’ any more…but…we’re keeping the name.

-Harry