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Guess I’ll Get Away by Climbing Trees

No one leaves this place. It’s like…Melbourne’s official place of dead-ends. Everyone just gets a job in the local cafe, or the clearance warehouse, or at the school. You don’t leave; you just become a part of the furniture.

Pretty sure I’d like to break that curse, once I’m finished school. Or if I can’t move out for practical reasons, I’ll at least get a job that lets me move around. Something outdoors, where I get to do something with real results that I can see. Maybe I could go into demolition? Ah, but you’d need a lot of training to make sure you’re not totally wrecking the place. Maybe I could go for being an arborist instead. Or do some pruning.

I bet Melbourne based tree pruning companies at least get to travel around the place, pruning and trimming wherever they’re called. They don’t get stuck in one little corner, going to the same places, doing the same jobs over and over. In fact, by definition, tree removal has to be doing different stuff. What, are you going to be called back to the same spot thirty years later because the tree has grown again? That’s just good business, getting repeat customers. Plus you’re golden, because you’ve definitely forgotten what that place looks like in the last thirty years.

So I guess it’s my goal to pick up an arborist job, or something in trimming, or…what else lets you do the job and leave? Construction might not be so bad. Build a building, then off you go to build another building somewhere else.

Ugh, but even the builders around here just take local projects, like they’ve been locked in by a forcefield. Only the tree trimmers can break the curse and get away from it all. For that is the power of tree removal. Ormond residents take note,  if you want to explore new suburbs become an arborist. 

So either that, or I have to learn how to blow up buildings for fun and profit, really fast.


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Replacing the old rugby nets

Two replacement crowns and several harsh words later, I’m thinking we need new sports netting. Which is, you know, just what I’ve been saying for about three years or so.

The nets we have right now date back to World War II, but since we’re in a picturesque town in the Dandenongs, everything MUST remain the same. The seats must be the same, the sports equipment must be the same, the rugby nets, ALL the same Think of the heritage! Think of the history! What would visitors say if they came to have scones in the tearoom and saw that there was something *new* in town. Well, we’d be the laughingstock for miles around.

The traditionalists here absolutely do my head in sometimes. You’d think our history stretched back to the ancient Roman Empire, with our sports netting a prized heirloom that contains the soul of our very town. No, it was hastily cobbled together over half a century ago, and now there are far better sports netting alternatives available. Even now, after the prestigious annual rugby game- attended by all the town’s residents under pain of shame and disdain- has seen a ball blasted through a gap in the old netting and straight into the lovely Mrs Abery’s face, people are still refusing to see the truth. Mrs Abery’s teeth are probably still lying where they fell, and still people refuse to entertain the possibility of changing the rugby nets.

Perhaps it’s time for drastic action. Maybe some local vandals- who no one will ever see as they slip into the night- will sneak in at night, set fire to the nets, maybe break a few squash rackets to make it believable and vanish. Oh, what a shame. We’ll need new nets! Well, their time had come, so sad, a bit of history lost.

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Solar Dave wants to Save!

My cousins have had the farm since my uncle passed on, and I’ve got to tell you, tradition will be the end of them. It’s a dairy farm, a pretty big one outside Melbourne, and they keep getting hit by the ongoing milk war and even worse, the crazy expenses of running a dairy. I knew he wanted to find out more about how to keep energy costs down in the industry.  With the price of power continuing to rise, it’s not wonder the poor guy is desperate for a lower cost solution. 

He made a trip into town last week and asked about the company I called in to have my workshop fitted out with commercial LED lighting. Melbourne tends to eat Dave alive so he didn’t hang around and was keen to get home- although that could possibly have been because he was keen to get the ball rolling on some serious savings. Dave pretty much did the same thing as me and fell off his chair when he found out that LED lighting can save up to 80% on a bill and that LED lights have a 1% failure rate.

He’s hardworking guy when it comes to traditional business, but if ever you’ve seen someone who hates considerable change, Dave would outdo him. I think he has been wearing the same gumboots since his feet stopped growing as a teenager. I had to explain to Dave how easy the transition had been for me. This made me realise that most people avoid changes like this because they seem too good to be true- I guess people assume that there’s a huge catch.

Dave has made an appointment with the guys I had fit the shop out by.

I’m not going to say much until he does, because knowing Dave, he will want to completely get the hang of a new system before he says anything about it. Can’t wait to get the low down from him though- it’ll be great to have something to talk to him about that isn’t about the milk wars.

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My cousin will never drive my car again…

This morning at the lights, I had a real shock. I thought my brakes were going to fail. This was the beginning of a realisation that my cousin Tyler is absolutely a jerk.

I loaned my wagon to him while I went overseas. I got it back yesterday and I am really wondering what he’s been up to, considering I nearly sailed through a red.

Ok. So it appears I missed some vital signs. I should’ve realised that the tank on empty and the stink of stale fried chicken (found two empty take away bags under the passenger seat) were signs I needed to do a thorough examination.

It feels like I need a brake replacement. Ringwood has an abundance of places I could go, but there’s a workshop I know that has a great reputation so I’m not worried about finding a mechanic I can trust. Straight to the mechanic from work on my lunch break. There’s a great workshop in Ringwood that  services all cars. By great, I mean trustworthy, unlike my cousin, Tyler.

But seriously, what’s my car been put through over the last six weeks? I probably should’ve known better than to loan my car to someone who is glued to video games and has a countdown app for Nascar on his phone.

My cousin isn’t a terrible person but I’m having a hard time not thinking of ways to torture him when I realise the tread on my tires looks pretty grim. I have a feeling the reason he was in such a hurry to get moving when I came round to pick up my ride this morning. I’d thought he was just stretched for time.

I tried his number on my break to see if he’d fess up to anything or let me know what else to expect, but he wouldn’t answer. I booked in with the mechanic and thought of ways to casually drop into conversation with my Aunt, Tylers Mum, that he’s up for quite a bit of coin for obliterating my wheels. So what’s appropriate punishment for this gormless rev-head? Need some ideas!

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Property transfers? Section 32? Cooling Off Rules? You don’t scare me

In hindsight it was obvious, but at the time I had no idea. If I’d only known that step one was finding someone to translate all my questions about property conveyancing. Melbourne had been our home for almost eleven years and it was time to leave, but I hadn’t expected to feel so spun out.

The administration was craziness.  I’d left it up to my partner when the first home we purchased was sold to us- but now, it had been left up to me and I had no idea what I was doing. To be completely truthful, I didn’t  understand conveyancing at all. While I thought It was mandatory, I was surprised to learn that it was only a recommended service. And when I found out what a property conveyancer does, I couldn’t believe that some people actually go without their assistance.

First off, I’m not a law-minded person. As transfers are all about the laws regarding selling and buying homes, I knew I had to outsource right away. I found an amazing property transfer specialist in Melbourne who walked me through all the benefits and possible problems, explained the whole Section 32 thing- and helped me navigate uncharted territory with banks and agents.

I absolutely could not have done without her help.

The information my conveyancer broke down for me made everything manageable and I know that the control I gained from understanding what was happening at every stage during the sale of our home helped me remain calm and focused for my family as we planned around the sale and our interstate move. I’m feeling completely ambitious now, as though all the loose ends have been tied off and we can move on with certainty in the next phase of our lives. I know it’s not a feeling everyone is lucky to have after the sale of a house, but I feel certain that finding a great conveyancer has quite a lot to do with that.

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Heroic Conveyancing Academy: Thousand Year Land Sale Darkness Blade of Promised Destiny

I sure do love Japanese anime. In case any of you casuals aren’t aware, that’s a beautiful, superior form of animation from the greatest and most culturally-enlightened nation in the world…Japan. Man, those people just do everything right. I wish I’d been born there, but the best I can do is identify as half Japanese (my soul half).

I think my favourite part of anime is where they take a completely mundane or everyday subject- like golf, or food shopping- and turn them into a phantasmagorical adventure. As a matter of fact, ‘Ultimate Perfect Golf Hero’ is one of my faves. I like how the protagonist can activate a super mode that lowers his par, makes his club swings 60% more accurate and causes him to levitate off the ground while glowing.

My new addiction: ‘Heroic Conveyancing Academy!’

They’ve even taken property conveyancing and made it AMAZING. This one concerns a young conveyancer from Caulfield. That is, anime Caulfield, which was almost destroyed by a monster in 1975, and has now been rebuilt as a neo-metropolis where one in every ten-thousand people are born with an innate conveyancing gift. Anyway, he wins a scholarship to an elite conveyancing academy in Tokyo, where he quickly meets a group of quirky friends, gains three diverse love interests on his first day and is completely incompetent at everything, except when he activates the mysterious power inside of him that makes him one of the most powerful and efficient conveyancers in the series.

I mean, if I was a property conveyancing lawyer in real life, doing property conveyancing and stuff, I’d be really happy that my profession is being portrayed in a positive light. I think this one has a lot of Western appeal, particularly since it’s about conveyancing around Mentone and surrounding suburbs. Almost where I live! And there’s nothing better than the place where I live ALMOST being represented in a masterfully-crafted anime. Sugoi!!


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Why Would Anyone Leave the Congo?

As a wise man once said: “Bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo. No, no, no, no, no, no.”

He was very insistent, but if you know his story, then you can follow his reasoning. He doesn’t want to leave the Congo, no, no, no, no, no, no, because he finds the lack of bureaucracy refreshing. Here in modern times, everything is based around tiresome things, like waiting in queues and spelling the word ‘queue’. Look at it. Just take a long, hard look, and then try to spell it without the voice in your head warbling ‘kyu-way-way-way’. I bet they don’t have time for such things in the Congo.

Then again, some people thrive off that sort of thing. I once knew a conveyancer in Brighton who basically needed paperwork to live. He was the sort who’d spend his evenings watching documentaries about the economic crisis in Uganda, and during his final years of school he took three maths subjects. It’s not really for me to judged what people like and do not like, especially when it doesn’t affect me and actually makes our strange and complicated society go round. I certainly wouldn’t know how to do conveyancing, if for some reason, all of them were raptured. Neither could I perform banking duties, real estate management, making coffee in the way that baristas do it (with all the steam everywhere) or the slaughtering of animals for meat. Cows are pretty cute, in my opinion, so I’d have my qualms about turning them into steak. But so long as it happens in a place well away from me, I’m fine with it.

So I suppose it takes all kinds to run our convoluted society. I should stop glaring at the conveyancers office in local Collingwood; it’s not their fault our society deals with so much paperwork. And so long as there are people who enjoy that sort of thing…I suppose it’s fine.


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A Melbourne Professional, Just What We Need

People don’t understand what it’s like, trying to write for a soap opera. I’ve been o the forums, I’ve weathered in indirect abuse as I see people criticising me and the team. I know they think it’s just a matter of us drawing ideas out of a hat and writing it into a script…but they’re wrong. We pour our souls into ‘Week of Our Lives’, each and every week. Otherwise you wouldn’t be getting such intricate plots, filled with well-thought-out twists and turns, overloaded with poignant character moments!

And while I’m on the subject, we’re really puzzling over how we’re going to save Veronica from both the pit of rabid lemurs and the crippling case of scurvy she got when she was trapped on the zombie pirate ship. Christmas specials are always a bit of a pain to clear up after…no problem. Honestly, I think making her go to Melbourne for property advocacy services was a stroke of genius on our part. We needed a character in Melbourne to act as a link for all the crossover episodes, and we needed to introduce one fast, especially after Briella died in that freak yacht fire. I LOVE buyers advocates and I’ve been trying to get a character on the show who does it for a while. It’s the most elegant of all the real estate professions, in my opinion. Our new guy Josh really stands out as a Melbourne local. That’s advocacy for you…trendy, hip, current and very Melbourne.

Maybe we can have Josh scouting out houseboats for a client, at which time he discovers Veronica in the abandoned pirate ship, dangling above the pit of lemurs and about to lose her grip.

Do Melbourne’s professional property advocates actually deal with houseboats? I’ll have to look into it, actually. I’m sure there’s someone on the forums who does it for a job…or they at least have connections.


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Cosmetically Assisted Aging

There comes a time in every woman’s life (and I suppose man’s life, but in a different way) where she has to accept that she’s getting older. You can be an absolute peach in your youth, and there’s certainly such thing as growing old gracefully, but you just have to let go of that hourglass figure and thick blonde locks and accept the inevitable. People get old. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last! Besides, I think I’ve aged rather well. Reggie tells me that all the time, though he always adds a cheeky wink so I’m not sure if he’s actually being serious, the sly thing.

So I’ve taught myself to be discerning with my beauty treatments. Oh, if there’s a birthday party or a big anniversary, I might get something nice done. I know all about clinics in Melbourne for eyebrow tattooing and that sort of thing. But I also have to be sensible and only get things done that will suit how I look now. I stopped colouring my grey hair years ago, so suddenly going full-blonde for a wedding is just going to look terribly odd. Eyebrow tattooing looks great at any age, though, if it’s done well!

Of course, Reggie is from a time where they didn’t really involve themselves with that sort of thing, so he thinks I’m being silly. Maybe I am, but it’s the kind of silly that isn’t hurting anyone. I feel great when I come back from the salon having had my hair curled, or I’ve gone and got myself some laser hair removal and I’m feeling lovely and smooth. Modern technology never ceases to impress. We certainly never had wonderful things like dermal fillers and laser hair removal in Melbourne when I was younger, so I’m having a ball trying them out now. But not too much, and not all at once. I’m old enough to be content with the way I look right now!

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Terry and the Termites

I went for a drive down the coast yesterday, with the notion of visiting my cousin, Terry. As it happened, she’d gone into the city for the day; we’d totally bypassed each other. She suggested that I go and check out this wooden cabin down the back of her property, which she had been thinking of using as an art studio. I agreed to stick my head in.

Walking up the side of her house, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of ants in her driveway… like, a lot. Wondering what this was all about, I traced a line of them back to its point of origin, at which point it became clear that the ants were coming out of the cracks around the windows. It’s an old house, so cracks harbouring insects are to be expected, but this was ridiculous.

Seriously, this could only be described as a full-on infestation. I had half a mind to get out my phone to dial up a pest control expert near Rosebud. But I decided that Terry was probably aware of the problem, and continued on down to check out the prospective studio.

The first thing I noticed was that it was more of a shed, really. The second thing was the roof had caved in on one side, which seemed like a bit of a worry if Terry was planning to use it for anything other than firewood. After a bit of poking around, I realised that the entire thing was overrun with termites. At this point, I couldn’t resist texting Terry to advise that she arrange for a termite inspection for her house, alongside the necessary ant extermination. An emergency termite inspection in Mornington shouldn’t be hard to tee up, I told her.

Well, according to her, it is too hard. She actually got quite shirty with me, saying she didn’t appreciate me telling her how to live her life. Erm, okay, Terry. I hope you enjoy your new housemates.