office window tinting

Office Observations

It needs to be said that summer has well and truly hit here in Victoria. The sun is intense! In fact, it’s getting to the point where I feel like I might be getting sunburnt at the office. It’s amazing having a desk that faces towards a floor-to-ceiling window – it’s one of the best positions on the go around here, especially in winter. In the warmer months, though, it can be a bit of a pain in the neck… or in the face. if what I’ve been reading about UV rays is anything to go by it’s best not to spend too much time in the sun without some sort of shade protection.

I’m going to suggest we invest in getting the office windows tinted. Melbourne CBD in high summer seems to have a strange ability to suck the heat down into a concentrated bubble. I don’t know if it’s something about the design of the commercial buildings, the geography of the city, or a combination of the two. Whatever it is, it can get pretty intolerable. I guess that’s why so many office blocks have that kind of reflective look to their windows – I’m assuming that it’s a tint that bounces back the heat and glare.

The more I think about this, the more I think it could be a wise investment. If it can keep the building cooler, we can expend less energy on air conditioning. Everyone would be more comfortable, and so more productive (at least, that’s what I’ll argue). And we can have a schmick-looking reflective exterior that doubles as a privacy-maximising device.

On the topic of privacy: I, for one, am tired of Meg from marketing glaring at me from across the way whenever I go to the photocopier. I think this office could do with a bit of partition glass frosting for our interior dividing walls. I’m not sure what she has against me; maybe she thinks I’m using up all the print toner. All I know is that, in this case, separating our different working spaces wouldn’t go astray.

office window tinting

Home Decorating in the Tropics

I heard from my old pal, Rebecca, the other day. She’s just had a baby! I’d never have guessed. We’d both fallen off each other’s radar; I’d assumed she was just on hiatus from social media. As it turns out, she’d spontaneously moved to far north Queensland with some guy she’d met at a festival. Now, seemingly, they’re living the tropical dream of year-round sunshine and affordable mortgages. She’s popped down to Melbourne for the week to show off the new bub.

Despite all this life-altering stuff that’s been going down for her (which, to be clear, she’d failed to fill me in on until we met for coffee on Tuesday), she seemed pretty keen on keeping the discussion firmly centred on her newfound delight in DIY home decorating. Granted, her interest in the subject seems to be firmly rooted in her new motherhood. In particular, she’s become an advocate of self-adhesive fabric wallcoverings.

Rebecca told me she’d been found some cool-looking, non-toxic kids’ wallpaper on the internet and that, between her and her guyfriend/baby dad, it wasn’t too hard to rig up. She was so amazed by the transformative effect that it had on the room that she’s started taking an interest in decorating the rest of the house – she reckons it helps pass the time when baby is asleep and she’s wide awake (apparently, that’s a thing for her).

She said she’d been hunting for a particular type of geometric design as a wallcovering for her bedroom, and hadn’t been able to find it in any of her newly discovered online decor stores. She’d then found out about the concept of custom digital wallpaper, wherein you can upload any design for one-off digital printing on wallcovering material. Through this process, Rebecca has successfully been able to plaster her bedroom walls with a copy of this insane geometric print that had been made for her by a Peruvian shaman back when we were backpacking through South America.

It was good to learn that she hasn’t lost the adventurous spirit that I’d come to know and love!

office window tinting

When you love the park more than your kids…

For a parent trying to find the perfect place for a kids party in Sydney, (especially with kids that hate being outdoors) the outset was looking like a logistical nightmare. Let me explain. Even though I am an outdoors person and my partner is very much an outdoors person, our kids, 7 and 9,  have light sensitive eyes, and actually hate bright light. While the kids’ schools have been accommodating and we’ve made adjustments that allow the kids to be a part of everything, it’s still something that we have to factor into everything we do.

We’re already regular goers-to of jungle gym, indoor tennis, cricket, swimming, everything possible that was active and allowed them to test their bodies and build their confidence.While these things are great, we wanted them to have a fantastic birthday party that they could really let loose in without us having to badger them all the time. We felt quite stuck when we went looking for birthday party venues. Sydney, however, seemed to have the pick of the bunch.

We were devastated when we realised our kids were generally just happier people inside. I mean, I know it could be worse, but to be perfectly honest, we always imagined we’d be raising outdoor kids. It’s not that they aren’t active though, which presents a whole new world of problems in itself. It was never going to be ideal to have our kids ricocheting off the furniture and destroying our rental, so we had to find a way to get them the exercise they need, and make sure they’re inside. So this party place was ideal. They did great real party food catering, and issued each kid with a security bracelet so there was absolutely no need for any parent to panic.

We all sat back in the cafe and watched the kids burn off the cake, while chatting over coffee and party fare.

office window tinting

Family Adventures in Australia

We are finally doing the family trip I have been planning for over two years! It has been so hard to get everyone together, but after months of schedule arranging we have it sorted. We are going to spend a week travelling along the great ocean road, staying in lovely hotels along the way! I must have research all the best Lorne hotels that exist to find rooms for all of us on the nights we need! It is finally done and I can start getting excited for the trip. As there will be quite a few little kids it made the accommodation situation a bit harder than expected. I decided it was best to not have to resettle too much, so we’ll be spending three nights in Lorne and four nights in Port Fairy. All at beautiful, child-friendly beach front apartments. I have tried to draw up a fairly rigorous itinerary to keep everyone busy, I think that’s key to avoiding any clashes. Low GI snacks are another essential for long road trips. Sugary snacks will leave the kids hyper and unable to sit still for the many hours of travel it’s going to take.

We have morning surf lessons planned, picnic lunches and even some sand dune quad biking. I’ve built in two days of separate family time which will hopefully be enough space to keep everyone happy. I have even planned a day where we rent out a boat together. Really, I couldn’t have done much more unless I physically carried everyone on the entire trip. I am particularly excited about the accommodation in Lorne, it looks so lovely. We all have our own little family apartments but within walking distance of each other. I figure we can set the kids up with a movie while we get to the wine and whiskey in another room. I can’t remember the last time I actually hung out with my siblings without one of us changing a diaper or reprimanding a naughty toddler half way through.

office window tinting

Got to Get Myself Some Walls

Personally, I’m still waiting for the great crash. That’s what it’ll be called: the Great Crash. Just add in whatever year it happens- probably soon- and you’ll have your event, which is definitely coming, in which all our electronic data will be erased. Why do you think I was so keen to get a leg up in the property market? You have to jump on this stuff really early, otherwise the Great Crash will wipe out any record that you owned everything and the world will descend into chaos. Of course, it’ll be tough defending my home from the wandering, tattooed, cannibalistic petrol heads, but the fact that I own my own property also means I have some time to shore up the defences. Maybe I’ll build a moat…

Of course, I, uh…don’t really HAVE that leg up. Not just yet, anyway. There’s a lot to consider, and I only confirmed that Great Crash theory recently. I need, like, a Melbourne based buyers advocateThose people in Melbourne who go round and tell you what high-end home to buy, you know the ones. I just need to get me one I can trust, give them a list of demands and try not to raise too much suspicion. Don’t want everyone getting wind of my theory and clamouring to live in my fortress. I’ll have to play it carefully, but I think I can give a list of demands for my dream home and just make it seem like I’m the paranoid sort.

Enough land for a moat, obviously. Very high walls. Space in the basement- must have a basement, OR  sturdy loft space- for a backup generator for when the power goes down. The surrounding land can’t be solid bedrock, because I’m going to have to build a tunnel to go out for supplies and such. Then…maybe a spa bath. Always wanted one of those.

I should make this a bounty. No property advocate in the Melbourne CBD has ever had a search this challenging. They’ll need some way to fill their time…before the end…

-Marcus

office window tinting

Garden Prep For the Wedding

Having a wedding is like directing a Broadway play. Or at least it’s what I have always imagined directing a Broadway play must feel like. At the end there is a fantastic show that everyone comes to see and claps at the end, but there is months and months of preparation that goes into it that is largely ignored by those that enjoy the final product. There is a script to be written, a stage to be set, characters to be cast and so on. When it came to my wedding I had no idea the kind of tasks I would have to deal with in the build up.

We got married in a beautiful garden in Melbourne. A few weeks prior I had to deal with getting the land ready and even this involved a multitude of jobs that I was largely unprepared for, including arranging tree removal. Ormond gardens, although a magically gorgeous destination, are a little unkempt and required quite a revamp to set the scene for our fairy-tale wedding. I’d also gotten in touch with the local council to see if they could help us out in any way.

From arranging land clearing to relaying turf, it was no easy feat. The back wall of the garden was lined with overhanging tree branches but due to instability, we had to get them removed professionally. This highlighted yet another thing for me to arrange: the tree removal. Armadale gardens were looking like a more attractive option as the task list increased.

The Ormond gardens were getting a full on makeover for the day. Aside from my landscaping duties I also had to arrange the outfits for the bridal party, the menu and book a honeymoon. Its funny how so much joy can turn into so much admin. With the landscaping completed I had a little break before moving on to the next set of wedding tasks. At least now I had a beautiful groomed canopy of trees under which I could begin to detail the set for the main act.

office window tinting

To my Dad, whose career change saved me.

I’ve grown up with intense back pain almost my whole life, so I know how debilitating it can be. As a physiotherapist, my father did everything he could to alleviate my pain and help give me full mobility. That’s why, when my Dad took on a course in Christchurch for dry needling it changed our lives drastically.

The bike accident happened when I was 12. I was clipped by a car and landed hard on the kerbside. The damage to my lower back was serious and I had to learn to live with spasming and pain. For an eight year old, I’m not sure if knowing only a little about pain was a good or a bad thing.

Anyway, one Christmas, our family were playing in the sprinklers out the front of my grandma’s house, when I slipped on the grass and my back went into a spasm. It was the  worst pain I’d had yet and this was the catalyst for my Dad  to find something that would actually help me.

We went home that night and Dad started looking for courses in New Zealand for trigger point needling.  Dad was a footy player whose career was ended by a bad tackle and he went from a career as a professional player into a career in physiotherapy.

One of his colleagues, Marie, had been having incredible success treating her patients on a non-invasive level from dry needling, and she had treated Dad with amazing results.Dad had Marie do an after hours treatment for me, and I was immediately relieved. No painkillers.

So, Dad decided to go back to study so he could treat me with dry needling in the same way. In what seemed like no time at all, Dad suddenly had a whole new world of working opportunity come to him.

So I’m in year twelve now and I’m hunkering down so exams go well. I’m planning on following Dad into a similar line of work, and I hope to get into osteopathy, applying trigger point dry needling in the same way. If i worked for me, I can only imagine who else it might work for.

 

office window tinting

The Imaginary Hair Salon

I’m putting this question to you, dear reader. What’s the best hair salon in Melbourne? My friend Leon has assigned me the task of writing up an overview of top local ‘beauty destinations’ for his website. The problem is, I’m not exactly one to frequent hairdressers, which surely Leon must realise – I mean, I’ve been rocking a shaved head for several years now.

Never mind – I’m sure I can figure it out. Narrowing down what I would find desirable, if I were in the market for a hairdresser, might be a good place to start. Let’s see about this. Firstly, I guess I’d want any hair salon I was going to drop significant money on to have a stellar reputation. Maybe it’s been running for at least a few years and has a good number of high rating online. Staff seniority is based on years and breadth of experience, with the most senior staff having their fingers on the pulse of the latest in hair care technology and trends. Styles change with the times, so I need someone who knows what hair cut is going to be on trend. 

Another feature I’d like to see in my dream salon is an emphasis on eco-friendly hair products. Again, I’m not the most knowledgeable on this subject, seeing as I don’t use hair products. I’m sure I’ve heard my sisters raving about salons that do Aveda hair treatments. Melbourne, what’s your take? Do you love this brand as much as my sisters seem to?

What else? I suppose a beautiful environment never goes astray. Personally, I tend to gravitate toward classic modernist furnishings, or anything with an art deco vibe if I’m feeling extra flamboyant. Any salons around that are styled after these aesthetics?

That seems like a respectable list of desirable features, at least as a starting point. I don’t think it’s too much to ask, either. It’s almost enough the make me consider finally growing my hair out and seeing what Melbourne hairdressers have got these days.

office window tinting

Eavesdropping for Oxygen

I spent some quality time eavesdropping while waiting to go in for my dental check-up this morning. The conversation wasn’t particularly interesting until it turned to the topic of oxygen therapy. I pricked up my ears at the mention of this – I’ve been doing some breathing exercises lately as part of my yoga routine, so have been taking an interest in how the body interacts with oxygen in therapeutic contexts.

When I tuned in more closely, I discovered that the subject at hand was something known as hyperbaric treatment. In Melbourne, the conversationalists were saying, this can be obtained at a handful of different treatment centres. Apparently, it’s been shown to be helpful in treating certain conditions in which the supply of oxygen to particular body part is reduced, like in gangrene and diabetic wounds and stuff. They were saying that even things like chronic fatigue and some brain injuries can sometimes be treated with it.

What’s interesting to me is that, from what I understand, oxygen is normally transported around the body by red blood cells. But it sounds like hyperbaric oxygen therapy allows oxygen to be dissolved into the bodily fluids at large – the plasma, lymph, central nervous system fluids – and even bone. That means it can get to areas where circulation is being blocked for whatever reason. The mammalian body is so weird and amazing!

The last bit of the conversation that I caught, before I got called in to have my teeth cleaned, was to do with there now being portable hyperbaric chambers for sale in Melbourne. I’m assuming that means there are companies from whom you can buy kits for setting up in your home or wherever. I’ll have to do a search to find out what form they take – I was picturing the chambers as something really massive, but maybe they’re more like the size of a float tank.

Such are the places one’s mind goes to while bored at the dentist. Better than a flicking through a year-old gossip magazine!

office window tinting

Downlights and the Downward Dog: Perfection!

Five years ago, before Chris and I met and he introduced me to yoga, I thought I’d had everything figured out. But I was bored and wanted more out my working life. You couldn’t have told me that within a few short years, we’d have our own studio and we’d be looking for a commercial lighting consultant. Melbourne had been amazing for us for many years in our office jobs, but now we’re the owners of our joint business, and it’s all about to take off.  

So just last week, we met up with a consultant to talk about our ideas for designer lighting. We wanted to offer something really special, and the space needed to be perfect for helping people get the most from their practise. We found an ideal space with perfect acoustics, in a fabulous area with lots of parking- there was just one thing to get perfect- the lighting.

We’d had lots of challenges come up in this time. Having both left the corporate world, I sold my business and Chris took a pretty significant pay cut to get our dream off the ground. But our hearts are focused and centered on this, Chris ( who was already a professional instructor from way back)  introduced me to yoga and before long, we were conducting weekly small classes through a local studio. The only next natural step forward was to actually make our sessions our own.

When I first started doing yoga as a beginner, my first session changed me. I was blown away by the energy in the room. The lighting was dim, but warm, the room was quiet, the whole vibe of the studio was ambient. Stepping in off the street was like being transported into another dimension. I wanted to replicate that. Talking to the lighting consultant I realised just how important it was that she understood what was important about that initial experience. And she did. I really believe my studio is a way for people to escape not from themselves, but to themselves. We can’t wait to open the doors!