Running Hot and Cold

Capital cities are funny places, especially when you’re just passing through. That’s what Billy and I were doing in Canberra on the weekend. We were on our way out west to see her sister and needed a stopover to break up the drive, what with having a baby in tow and all.

We booked ourselves into a moderately classy hotel – comfort first when you’re on the road. At least, that was what we counting on. It’s not exactly high summer, so we deliberately picked somewhere with ducted heating. Canberra can get pretty cold, you know. The room we ended up with, though, fell quite a bit below the mark when the heating got stuck on full bore in the middle of the night.

Baby Hughie wasn’t very pleased with this state of affairs, and neither were we, really. We had to call up the management, who concluded we’d need to change rooms. Just what we wanted at 3am! There wasn’t really anything else for it, though. After all, heating repairs near Canberra aren’t available at the drop of a hat in the wee hours.

I can’t really blame the establishment, I suppose. They can’t be expected to have everything working perfectly 100% of the time; we just got unlucky. That said, I have noticed problems with the climate control systems – both heating and air con – at a bunch of different hotels I’ve frequented. I do wonder if they could, perhaps, stand to put just a little more thought into sticking to a maintenance schedule.

Anyway, baby Hughie finally went off to sleep just as we’d decided to call it a night and get up out of bed, so it was room service for breakfast. They do a very decent coffee there, I’ve heard, but I opted for a big old glass of iced water, in light of the fact that I’d been rocking the high temperatures all night.

Ain’t No Office Like a Millennial Office

Among my people, we have a saying: “There ain’t no party like an S-Club party.”

Surely, there is truth in those words. For you see, millennials grew up in a more enlightened time, when TV was good, children’s TV was golden and we knew exactly how to have fun: it was after the embarrassing disco era but before the time when everyone was just on their phones at parties, not paying attention. You could say it was the golden age of history, right behind the empire of Alexander the great and perhaps slightly ahead of the year someone started to make pizza pockets. That might have been the nineties, actually. Wouldn’t surprise me.

And so we have started a revolution, my fellow millennials and I. The culture of commercial office design is steadily changing to suit our personal tastes, which will soon be everyone’s tastes, because they are the best ones. For example, it’s now totally okay to bring your cat into the office. And some offices even have specialised nap zones! I haven’t had the pleasure of working in one- my current, boss says that we’re not allowed to sleep during the workday because it ‘lowers productivity’ and ‘we should be adults’ or whatever- but they do exist, and their number grows day by day. I’d love to own my own office design company, or maybe even just work for one, someday. That way I can unleash all of my own, wonderful ideas on the offices of the world. That day may never come, but until then, me and my allies are going to do whatever it takes to drag the world back into the golden age of the nineties, except with phones and office pods for napping, and office cats for petting and general stress relief.

Alright, think of it as a fusion of two eras. The best parts of the nineties, mixed with the modern office design of the current era. And then, my friends…the party will be like that of an S-Club jovial gathering. It will be a good gathering.


New House Teething Issues

Apparently, moving house is considered almost as stressful an event as getting divorced. I’m not sure I’m qualified to weigh in, as I’ve never gotten divorced (or married, for that matter). But I will say that, if my experience of moving single-handedly is any kind of barometer, it could well be a common cause of divorce.

I’m joking. But you get my point – moving is a pain. In this case, a redeeming feature of the event is that this is officially my house, for the first time ever. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about having to do it all again in a year. The downside is that I’m fully responsible for it, dodgy-looking stains and all. So, uh… who are your go-to mobile carpet cleaners, Melbourne folks?

It’s not just the carpets that are looking worse for wear. There’s also the matter of the mouldy grout in the bathroom. These things need to be addressed before I can really make myself at home, which means I need to call a cleaning service on the double. It’s kind of embarrassing to say, but I’ve never had to call in a professional cleaner before.

Why is it embarrassing? Well, it’s not that I’ve never lived in a place with carpet stains and scummy tiles before, that’s for sure. It’s just that I’ve generally been able to call the real estate to do something about it, or else just put up with it. It now falls totally on me to recruit a company to deal with the carpet steaming and grout cleaning. Melbourne, at least, surely has plenty of options for this, given how well our climate lends itself to mouldy tiling and the like.

Look, I realise I’m being ultra petulant about this cleaning thing. So I should clarify that, on the whole, I’m genuinely really excited to be moving into my new abode.  It’s just that a week of moving heavy furnishings has taken its toll on my attitude; I just want get settled in already. It doesn’t help that my lounge got dropped in a muddy puddle yesterday. Upholstery cleaning, anyone?

Physio Sister

My sister, Marissa, has been calling me on a fortnightly basis for the last few months to rave about her new physio. I have to say, it makes a nice change from her previous obsession with texting every couple of weeks with detailed updates on her mysterious back pain. This physio must be doing something right.

That’s good info to have, given that I’ve been noticing something amiss with my shoulder of late. I told my Pilates instructor about it and he thought it sounded like a soft tissue thing. He said he could refer me to a good myotherapist near Cheltenham. I’m not sure, though – maybe I just need a good sauna session.

I don’t think I’m doing too badly on the body maintenance front, all things considered. I’m going on 40, after all, and have managed to get this far without any major issues – I’ve never even had a filling. I play basketball every week and go to the gym and keep my stress levels pretty low. Marissa, on the other hand, always has some new complaint, which I’m convinced is due to the fact that she works like a maniac at the law firm, never factoring in any downtime unless it’s forced upon her.

Her birthday is coming up soon. Maybe I ought to book her in for a remedial massage. Moorabbin is her neck of the woods; anyone know of a great massage therapist around there? I can probably sell the idea to Marissa by telling her that massage is known to improve mental alertness. I won’t focus on the stress relief and sleep improvement benefits – she’s the kind of person who believes that stress is her friend and sleep is for the weak.

I do wonder just what it is that her magic physio has been getting her to do. Is it exercise? To my knowledge, she’s never made that a priority. But it’s getting to the point that if she doesn’t start soon, her body will start having something to say on the subject.

People who work in glass offices…

I’ve been running around like a headless chook today. First there was that issue with the servers, then the electricity blew out just before the big presentation. While I was tending to all that, Mavis in accounts somehow sent her swivel chair flying into one of the glass partitions and put a big crack in the thing. When did this place descend into such chaos?

I’ve delegated the task of sorting out commercial glazing services to Rick, my assistant; it’s high time he became a bit less clueless about that sort of thing. Also, aside from not having a spare moment for it, I feel it’s not my responsibility seeing as I was against having the glass partitions installed in the first place (with people like Mavis around, it just seems like a massive liability).

That sandblasted glass stair balustrade at the front entrance could do with being looked at, now that I think about it. The logo is completely out of step with the rebrand, and nobody seems to have noticed. I reckon it could be tweaked somehow, but I don’t know if that’s the done thing or if we’d need to have the glass panel replaced with a new one.

I could go on. The mirror in the women’s bathroom is long overdue to be replaced – it was a good six months ago that we all started noticing that weird texture developing on it. I’m sure it can’t be the best for morale. But we share that bathroom with the lawyer’s office next door, so it’s something we’d have to discuss with them, I suppose.

Why am I even thinking about this? It’s not my responsibility. I guess it’s because I don’t trust Rick to think of combining the glazier call-out re the partition with having the balustrade situation assessed. I feel like I’m the only one here that thinks to do things efficiently. But I suppose the only way for him to learn is to leave him to it.

I’m Sticking With the Mechanic Gig

Everyone’s rushing out to go and engage in new careers, and here’s me…just still doing mechanic things. My favourite video game, ‘Over-Botch’, has been updated about…what ten or so times now? They keep patching in new career paths, and of course as soon as a new one comes out, all the new players jump on it like their previous careers didn’t exist. They’re not in it for the actual experience; they just want the new stuff. Kinda annoying if you ask me, but I’ve chosen to be a mechanic since day one, and I’ve stuck with it. I’m not an addict or anything; I just love the game, and I put in a few minutes every day.

As a result, I now own a mechanic empire, and most of the players still on that route work for me. It’s pretty nice. I’ve been having some issues with the brake repair in Ringwood, however. That is, virtual Ringwood. The guys working in real world Ringwood doing tyre repair are fantastic. I’ve had my car serviced at that mechanic for years.

This is not the case when it comes to the virtual world. You see, virtual Ringowood is where most of the really wealthy players have chosen to live, and the latest patch introduced hover-cars. Everyone with a bit of cash has bought a fancy car, which leave us with the serious problem of a vanishing client base for our brake repair and replacement branch. See, this is the type of high-power business problem the game helps you to deal with.

We’re just going to have to up our game to the point where we become boutique. Those people still clinging to actual tires will choose us, because we’re special, exclusive and we get the job done. Probably going to have to shave off a few jobs, however…which I hate. And then there’s the fact that a lot of these cars also fix themselves. I’m hoping we can turn a profit on the occasional roadworthy certificate. Ringwood is honestly the best place to be when it comes to virtual world and I’m far too invested to change career paths now. 


Mental Health Help

I was just listening to a mental health expert speaking on a podcast. It got me thinking about all the factors that go into a person’s wellbeing, and how some of them are perhaps more likely to be overlooked in mainstream mental healthcare systems.

A dear friend of mine – let’s call her Felicity – was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a couple of years ago. She sees it as a good thing that her condition was identified, because she has been able to access effective medical treatment in the form of pharmaceuticals. However, following the diagnosis, she developed a fair hefty dose of anxiety and depression – understandable, given the chronic nature that bipolar is generally considered to have.

So, although psychiatric treatment in the form of medication has been essential to Felicity’s regaining her mental health, psychological treatment in the form of counselling has been equally important in helping her to come to terms with the ramifications of her diagnosis. Fortunately, here in this day and age on the Mornington Peninsula, psychiatric services and psychologists are available together in one clinic and able to refer to one another.

It seems to me that virtually everyone can benefit from expertise in this field at some point in their lives, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, health crisis, or even just a significant change in life circumstances via having a baby, relocating or retiring. In fact, the process of finding a psychologist on the Mornington Peninsula has been an important event for a lot of people in my life.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like every aspect of our lives has some kind of impact on our mental health – from the people we associate with and support we’re able to access, to the food and other substances we take into our bodies. Felicity was actually referred to a dietitian by her psychologist. I think it’s really important for mental healthcare providers to take a broad view of the diverse range of factors that can influence wellbeing.


Me and the Conveyancers Must Save Layla!


No, but you see, Layla can’t move out. I went to see my tarot reader, and he said that this relationship would end in total disaster. Now they’re getting married, which is total disaster for me, so that turned out to be correct. I went to visit him again recently and told him everything that had happened, and he said…that I needed to stop the wedding. Because if they go through with it, Layla and Pete are going to go on a honeymoon and it’d going to be interrupted by a pack of wild wallabies, so I must stop this at all costs. Thus causing Layla to continue living with me. Tragic, but it’s for everyone’s good in the end.

I cannot tell you how many conveyancers I’ve visited in the last few days. Did you know there are multiple conveyancing solicitors in Sandringham alone? I never even knew that conveyancing was a thing until like last week when Layla said she was getting their help with some…property thing. THE property thing. The property thing that means she’ll be ‘conveying’ herself out of the house, leaving me high and dry and having to find a new housemate while she lives it up in wedded bliss. Ugh, disgusting.

I mean…wonderful. And I feel terrible having to visit all these conveyancers. I don’t mean to waste their time, really. I bet they have just so much conveying to do. Many title transfers…a great deal of glancing over the sale of land act 1962, which I just looked up because I care that much as a friend. I’ll make it up to the conveyancers. You better believe that when it comes time for me to move, I’ll be visiting every conveyancing office in St Kilda to the other places that aren’t Melbourne. Yep, plenty of custom, all for the conveyancers, because it’s not like this is their fault.

I mean…it’s nobody’s fault. Layla simply cannot move out, and into this bigger house with her husband-to-be, because…wallabies. And I’ve seen her conveyancing paperwork, too. Definitely a few subsections that she needs to inspect more closely.

-Denise, Denise

Hyperbaric Chamber of Medical Secrets

My dad’s friend, Jeffrey, came over for dinner last night. I hadn’t been aware of this, but he’s been in hospital receiving treatment for decompression illness, which he acquired while scuba diving. I won’t go into the details of that, but something that interested me in his rundown of events was the use of a certain kind of oxygen therapy by the hospital in treating the condition.

From what Jeffrey said, it seems to involve spending time in these things called a hyperbaric chambers. In Melbourne there aren’t that many facilities that have these oxygen chambers. Even so, their use is quite well established in current medicine. I didn’t fully grasp the whole concept, but it’s something to do with breathing air that contains more straight oxygen than ordinary air.

It seems that this is used to treat a whole range of conditions, not just decompression sickness. I think it’s sometimes used in conditions involving, like, necrotic tissues, because it enables more oxygen to reach the tissue that’s struggling to access it. Good stuff.  People are even getting into it as a way of attempting to mitigate certain effects of conditions like autism, to the extent that it’s possible to buy portable hyperbaric chambers for home use.

It’s pretty cool that there is, in fact, a solid treatment for decompression sickness – that whole shenanigan sounds pretty terrible. It’s also good that the technology exists here in Melbourne, so that Jeffrey was able to access it. It’s a funny thing with these advances in medical tech – I’ve never heard of hyperbaric therapy before, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

I wonder what people pay for these portable chamber systems. I’d imagine that it’s the kind of thing someone might choose to invest in if they new they were going to be having long-term, ongoing treatment; Jeffrey kind of insinuated that it wasn’t cheap receiving it at the hospital.

Can Conveyancing Just Convey…Everything?

A conveyor belt brings things from one place to another. To convey a sentiment to someone is to let them know of that thing.

So you’d think that conveyancing was basically picking up everything and moving it to one place.

It’s all wishful thinking on my part, of course. I know what conveyancers do, and true to their name, they do…’convey’. It’s just more to do with paperwork than one would think. I won’t be bothering the good folks of Melbourne’s property conveyancing with requests for them to move our furniture, or possibly pack everything we own into boxes, because that would just be silly.

Oh, but…it’d be nice. Four moves in five years, and they never get easier. You don’t know how quickly you can start horading junk until suddenly you’re in a different house and you’ve run out of storage space six months in. And the trinkets…oh boy, the trinkets. Coming out of the draws in the hundreds. Pens, keyrings, wires and leads to things that you don’t know you’ll ever use again but you’re too petrified to throw out because there’s a chance you WILL need them and spend two hours looking, only to have a sudden flashback to when you threw them out.

If there WAS a conveyancing service that came and sorted you out, put everything in boxes, swept under the rugs, kept the loose change (because who needs it anyway?) and generally took all the stress out of moving, they’d be the greatest conveyancing service in Melbourne. But maybe moving is just inherently stressful, no matter what. Conveyancing professionals can do what they can, to the best of their ability. Moving people can lift the heavy things, and anything pre-boxed. But moving home will always be a pain in the neck. Best to just avoid it entirely. Be born, live and die in the same house, seriously. It’s so much less hassle than having to decide whether to keep or chuck that old oil heater.