aluminium toolbox

A Sensible Energy Plan for the Future

Most of the reason I still read ‘The Daily Moon’ the cartoons. I’d appreciate it if they didn’t keep changing the page they were on, but still, I think in terms of short newspaper cartoons they really do have the monopoly on quality. I like the one about the lazy dog. Always makes me laugh!

Still, their agenda has gotten really aggressive lately, which is why I don’t read the articles. All stuff about how the government is ruining the country, and how we shouldn’t eat certain foods because they’re full of sugar…and the celebrity stories. SO many celebrity stories. The only page I read besides the cartoons is the opinion page, usually because it makes you think a bit. This week’s was all about industrial solar power. Now, if this had been a traditional Moon story, they would’ve been saying things like ‘everyone should be running on 100% solar power and if you’re not then it’s discriminatory to the concept of energy!’ But fortunately, the opinion pieces are a bit more lax on the agenda. This one presented a thoughtful discussion on the nature of solar power, and how we currently think about energy monitoring. Currently, all our stats come from energy monitoring, which is fine and dandy until you get to people who interpret the facts in their own way. Instead of looking at solar power facts and figures and flying into a doomsday panic, we should instead take a good long look at our energy usage and work out a plan for the future.

Sounds great. Except The Moon actually ran a front-page piece last week where they declared that Melbourne has commercial energy monitoring that has proved that we’re all doomed, and global warming will soon mean that Australia is underwater. They said that, last week. So they really need to make up their minds on the issue, you know?


aluminium toolbox

Venue Hire Woes

Mismatched table cloths, well hung exposed light bulb chandeliers, home brewed beer and ciders, this is how I’ve always pictured the big day. In terms of venue, I hadn’t really given it that much thought. I suppose I always pictured it under some kind of canvas but that’s as far as I’d ever thought. This weekend Mark is whisking me away to look at options for venue hire in Melbourne. I think he has more of a ballroom, long gowns and champagne approach so I have a feeling we are going to have to battle to meet each other in the middle. He is refusing to tell me the actual locations he is taking me to see as potential Melbourne CBD party venues, probably because he knows I will refuse to go in the first place. In exchange for my agreeing to go and look, just look, at his chosen function rooms, he has agreed to come with me to look at home brewing methods to create our own wedding blend.

I think the wedding planning will go on like this for a while, give and take, an exchange of compromises. We are going to end up with some kind of glamorous, bohemian chic hybrid wedding. It actually doesn’t sound too bad but it has made it hard to picture the end result. I never pictured myself being someone that would be arranging function room hire in Melbourne. I suppose though, there are two of us planning this party, and if we can’t come to some kind of compromise about the party venue then what does that say about our impending marriage? We do have a way of finding a balance between our two outlooks, so far it has served us well and created a pretty lovely equilibrium. Hopefully the equilibrium extends to our wedding and beyond!

aluminium toolbox

Curse of the new house

In the last few stages of building our new house I became increasingly anxious about moving in. I was worried it wouldn’t feel right and things would not work or break as soon as we started using them. For two years we had watched the bricks being laid, the wiring fitted and the ducted vents installed. I had gone over every last detail to ensure it’s exactly what we want and suddenly I felt it just was all too good to be true and I was anticipating a major flood or wall collapse within our first week. Luckily I can safely say we have now lived in the new house for two months without any major disasters. We have had a problem with our air conditioning. Canberra is currently experiencing an unusually warm summer so it has been a little sweaty in the house leading to some rising domestic tensions.

We managed to get it fixed quickly but honestly I was just so glad it was a solvable problem that didn’t result in major structural damage so I felt pretty relaxed about it, much to my husband’s dismay. The company that installed our ducted air conditioning system were on hand to come and fix it. They were extremely professional and we had our cool air blasting through in no time. The air conditioning breakage put my mind at ease, I figured that was our moving in crisis and from now we are plain sailing. With our completed air conditioning repairs, Canberra was cool again! And I was cool again too. I was no longer inspecting every single crack and squeak with a fine tooth comb. I read too many tales about the curse of the new house, one woman reported that after two weeks of moving into her new home a major underground pipe exploded and caused damage worth more than the renovations they had completed. All I’ll say is I had our pipes serviced multiple times.

aluminium toolbox

Hardy Plants for the Winter

I think I can see the end of winter! It’s the little bit of blue in the clouds. Yes, we probably have another month or two of chilly air and cameo sun appearances, but we’ll get through it. It might not be time for me to go out there, planting and sowing (I  just don’t have the energy any more) but maybe I should be looking into some hardier winter plants. After all, it’s not like every flower in the entire world just shrivels and dies for a whole season every year. And it’s also unlikely that places that are always cold have no flowers at all.

According to my research, hippeastrums are quite hardy. Ooh, the hippeastrum apple blossom looks ravishing. And the ambience…looks like it lives up to its name. How have I not discovered this flower type before?

Oh, here I am, kidding myself, silly old girl that I am. It’s not like I’m an avid green thumb. I might plant every year and take care of things, but I’ve always been solely focused on the easy plants. I don’t much care for the flowers that require lots of effort and care.

There’s not a great variety in my garden but what’s there is rather nice. It seems to be a collection of what I’m comfortable looking after and what looks good for when we have visitors. I think that might come from that ornamental liquid amber I bought a few years ago. It was my pride and joy, until it withered one summer, right before we had a dinner party. I had to get Reggie to rip it up just before they came, I was so mortified.

Well, it’s time to branch out, no pun intended. It’s never too late to learn something new, or in this case, plant some gorgeous ornamental Japanese maples. I might even keep this one alive! Let’s hope it’s hardy.

aluminium toolbox

That First Stressful Night

Boat restaurants, believe it or not, often don’t even have motors.

I made that up, but I’m trying to salvage this situation so you’ll forgive me my fanciful wishes. I thought I was being hired as a waiter for the ‘Salty Salmon’ but apparently the boss walked out five minutes before my first shift and…okay, I can’t explain the part where I got the job as boss. I think I was volunteered, but it all happened so fast. We’re supposed to be having a grand re-opening tonight- there’s a bigwig restaurant critic coming along and everything- but the cooks are lazy, the tables aren’t even set up, there’s no layout and I *think* the fish in the freezer were left on the counter for a least a few hours before someone put them in there. Oh, and I’m now sweating as I search for Melbourne places that do outboard motor repair, because ours is totally shot. The Salty Salmon offers a tour of the bay as part of its meal, or so I’ve heard, but we’re not going anywhere until we get the main motor fixed.

In hindsight this was a bad idea. I’ve never actually run a restaurant before, but I think I just said yes because I’ve always WANTED to. It’s been my dream to run a really quality restaurant, and now I have the chance to take this place and really make something of it. It’s on a boat, too! I do love the sea. But why did it have to be on such an important night? Is this a test to see if I can handle the pressure??

Alright, I’ll take it as that. I can do this…just need to whip the chefs into shape, sort the good fish from the bad, look into Melbourne’s outboard motor servicing options, find someone who can actually sail a boat, take my inhaler, make sure we have enough gas and maybe have a look over the menu so I know exactly what it is we serve. And I’ve got a whole…two hours, wow, golly. Wonderful.


aluminium toolbox

Art and utes can go together after all

I’m a theatre performer based in Melbourne and have recently become excited by the prospect of setting up a show in the back of a ute, carefully using the commonly used aluminium ute toolboxes. What a great theatre space, it’ll be intimate theatre along the lines of live art- I haven’t decided too much more and have yet to decide upon whether the audience will be up on the back of the ute with me or somewhere else in relation to it. Heck, perhaps they could be sitting on the back and I can setup the show around them on the ground, with many layers. There are such possibilities!

And I can’t forget the fact that the ute can move if it’s in working condition! It can be a moving show, going from location to location, and I’d need to consider whether I’d transport the audience between a range of relevant locations around Melbourne. There are also a few ute add-ons, such as ute canopies, that are possibilities to add my toolbox of options to use, and would give a great contrast between wide, open spaces around the ute (if that’s what I choose) and a dark, cramped and intimate space inside the canopy. This example would probably require some adaptation of the canopy itself but that shouldn’t be a major problem.

Let us not forget that there are two sections to a ute as well. There are the aluminium trays out back as well as the seated driver’s cabin, with glass between the two where there is visibility. Anyway, this is just be recording my enthusiasm for the new idea, whether it’s achievable or not. There are so many artistic opportunities available with such simple and everyday devices such as this, and as an artist it’s a matter of seeing new possibilities within the common and often mundane. This is what I do, I’m an artist.