My Accommodation Must Have Mints

I’ve been looking at hotels for an hour, and none of them mention whether or not they have mints. Seriously, this is an international problem, because I’ve been looking at hotels all over the world and no one so far has mentioned it. That’s…unforgivable. The mint on the pillow is a basic service. It’s the thing that makes you feel like you’re somewhere else, as WELL as giving you a burst of minty freshness. Oh sure, there are a FEW things dotted around the hotel room that might give you the first thing. Nobody has a telephone in their bedroom any more, for example. But that unique combo can only be achieved with mints.

Guess I’ll just be taking my holiday is Lorne this year…again. We always go to the same cosy beach apartments in Lorne, ever since I was a child, and I know for a fact that the owner puts mints on everyone’s pillow. It’s like, 50% of the draw of the place, knowing that you’ll be receiving a minty fresh welcome. When do you get THAT at home? Never. That’s the answer to that question.

It’s not that I don’t like Lorne, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go somewhere else. I suppose there’s also merit in going somewhere familiar, though…because that way, you know exactly what you’re in for.  In your mind it becomes a place of relaxation and no stress. It is your special holiday place, where everyone knows your name. I’ve eaten at all the best restaurants in Lorne and the owners are always happy to cater for my family.

If I went off to Tokyo or something, I’d be stressing constantly about the language, and getting around, and getting lost, or committing some kind of foreign crime.

Too much stress. I’ll stick with the luxury Lorne accommodation, thanks very much.

-Tennyson

The Architect has Spoken

I like to think of myself as an architect of the future. Like, I don’t actually build anything, and I’m not a real architect, but sometimes I look at a place and I can just SEE what it’ll be like in the future. Or…what it should be like.

Energy-saving methods just keep getting better, and it’s not just bulbs. Solar power, wind power, hydrogen power, punching power, moon power, crystal power and many, many other kinds. Commercial energy storage in Melbourne will one day provide most of the city’s power needs, which will become greater because people will always need more power. As the world becomes smaller and more connected, the power requirements soar. 

 While I’m sitting here in this cafe  I can’t help but wonder what it’ll be like 20 years from now. In the future, I imagine that there will be no friendly person to greet me and take my order, sad as that may sound. I’ll enter my order into a terminal, and a robot barista (not shaped like a human, because that would be silly), will be the one making my coffee. Or maybe just a machine? But the machine will be able to talk and make light conversation, because obviously we’re still human (barring implants). Where does all the power come from, you might ask? Well, commercial solar power will be more efficient than ever. In fact, the parts of the outback we haven’t converted into lush forest will be coated in solar panels, providing basically all of Australia’s power needs. This all get routed into large commercial energy storage banks, so basically we can use all the technology we want without any fear. Also, gigantic catapults along the equator toss any waste we DO create into the sun, so…easy. Between Melbourne’s commercial energy monitoring and utterly renewable power, I foresee that we don’t have anything to worry about.

The architect of the future has spoken.

Change is Inevitable, Home Buying is Fun

I’ve been saying for years that this family is due for a change. People are so afraid of that little word…they hear things are changing and they curl up into a little, metaphorical ball and just refuse to negotiate. Well, now is a better time than ever!

I know, I know…the circumstances aren’t perfect, what with our family home being a burnt out shell. There are so many things that could be said, and are being said. ‘What were you thinking?’, for example. ‘You said it would be a nice surprise’ is another. ‘Fireworks are clearly marked for outdoor use ONLY’ seems to be a favourite of my wife and kids at the moment.

But it doesn’t matter how it happened; it happened, and we’re making the most of it! We can have a good old look around Melbourne. Buyers advocates are lots of fun; we can look for one of those too. Then we can add even more people to the fun adventure of us finding a home! Also, they specialise in finding the perfect home, which we’ll be needing since…I will admit…the way we lost our last one was slightly traumatic. We deserve a really nice house hunt and a happy ending, especially if it means we don’t have to live in this caravan any more. Not that living in a caravan is entirely a bad thing. I like to think it’s a grand adventure in and of itself. It’s like we’re travelling circus folk, hooray! Just like in those old Surreptitious Six books. So fun times lie ahead. We’ll find ourselves a quality Melbourne property advocate, have ourselves a good old home hunt and spend our nights looking up at the stars, toasting marshmallows on the fire that we built because the heating is broken. But that just makes it more adventurous. An open fire, just like the old days!

-Gareth

An unusual path to beauty

Everyone has a unique story about how they got into their career. Some people start off sweeping floors in a factory and work their way up to middle management. Others graduate with an Arts degrees and end up as network security officers. For me, it was an equally strange and unexpected route.

I wasn’t doing much with my life after finishing college. In fact, I spent a lot of time in my bedroom watching beauty videos online. They’re really quite addictive. I particularly enjoyed listening to them on my headphones late at night.

All of my favourite videos revolved around beauty therapy, like facials and laser hair removal. Melbourne has this crazy strong beauty culture that I never understood until recently. I was enjoying the content so much that I wanted to recreate the experience for other people. That’s when it occurred to me that I could look into a beauty therapy course. Melbourne has a few of these colleges that teach and qualify you to work as a professional beauty therapist. So I chose one that looked good and I went for it.

During my studies, I found myself enjoying the hands on beauty therapy stuff just as much as watching the videos. The students got to practice on each other so it was a good way to build muscle memory, far more effective than learning out of a book. I enjoyed rubbing lotions into people’s faces and the satisfaction they got from looking great made me smile. We also learnt how to do some specialist stuff like spa treatments and lash and brow tinting. I remember giving one girl in Melbourne anti wrinkle injections and thinking, “I never thought I would be taking beauty courses!” Girls seem to have this unquenchable need for beauty treatments, which means I’ll never be short on business. So long as people are sprouting hair out of their bodies and are needing to impress others, there’ll always be jobs for me.

Landscaping Nostalgia

It’s true what they say: reboots ruin everything. They’ve just rebooted my favourite 80’s cartoon, and it’s nothing like the original. It’s all computer generated with bad voice acting and they’ve dumbed it down so much, even my four-year-old niece thinks that it’s silly. I watched the premiere with her, all excited…and we were both left disappointed by the end. And they got back the original main voice actor as well! Stop ruining my childhood!

Lots of people think nostalgia is just for the past…well, that’s the reason I become a landscape designer. North Melbourne is full of landscape solutions, or at least it used to be. I’ve noticed that most gardens follow a very simple theme: respectable. Something to impress the neighbours and in-laws when they come calling. That’s all well and good, but what if you really want to let loose?

That was my very first design job, from a friend of a friend who just so happened to also be obsessed with that cartoon. His wife wasn’t much of a gardener, and she was hardly ever out doors, so he took over the process. But he didn’t want regular landscape gardening design. He wanted something truly revolutionary that reached deep into his childhood and recreated that love and excitement he felt while watching his favourite cartoon.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance to complete my first job on such a subject. And I did an amazing job, too…no modesty, it was because of my passion for the show. I set him up a retaining wall in the same shape as the Ninja Evolution Motorbikes that the characters use to become stronger and fight the bad guys. The plants were arranged like his favourite characters, and I even managed to colour the grass to look like the show’s logo. My finest and first job. His wife wasn’t happy, but hey…she should’ve shown interest a little bit sooner!

Soon afterwards I was replaced by a company that does driveway paver based in North Melbourne. They’re also known for award winning landscape designs. It’s probably for the best that the pros took over. I’m great at 80s/90s nostalgia but not so great a garden landscaping.

Controlling the Pests Through (My) Fear

Some people ask…if you’re terrified of insects, why are you trying to get into pest control?

And then I respond…that’s why it’s PERFECT.

For you see, what greater pest control agent will there be than one who wants all pests gone, all the time, forever? You call up someone in Rosebud who does pest control and your service is pretty good. They’re professionals, and of course you’re going to get a good service because that’s just how the industry is nowadays. Reviews on Google and all that. BUT…all the people working for pest control are unafraid of insects and other small beasts. They do their jobs as would people who are not in perpetual fear. If I got into the job, I’d have the ultimate motivation, all the time, to do an amazing job. I’d just want the termites and ants and spiders and everything else to stay away from me at all costs, and thus I’d do my job magnificently. I’d be called to a house crawling with pests, and in a fear-induced panic fuelled by adrenaline, I’d get rid of every single one in record time.

As a plan, you can’t fault the psychology. And I never wanted to be one of those people who just keeps doing their jobs day after day, never making a change because they’re too bored and stagnant. Well, that won’t be me, because every single day on the job will be a heart-thumping thrill ride. I’ll be kept on my toes, never bored, always alert and always wanting to do the best job possible, and give the greatest pest control service in Sorrento and beyond. Just think of how much I could get done in a blind panic on every job. I’d be the greatest industry professional ever! See, this is how you take a phobia and turn it into something positive.

-Alfie

Stray cats under ute canopy prevent man from working

An out-of-work plumber on unemployment benefits claims he cannot accept a job due to the family of cats living in his ute.

Chris Ranger, 37, was fired from his last job eight months ago and now refuses to accept employment as he does not want to disturb the family of cats.

The custom aluminium tray on his ute had been left open for several months when it was not being used, and a stray cat has since used the space to raise a litter of kittens.

“There is actually an effective shelter to be found in aluminium trays, in Melbourne stray cats are known to seek out dark, sheltered environments in which to birth,” said Ranger.

The ginger cat, who he has named Scruffy, bore eight kittens who are now four weeks old.

Ranger refuses to move Scruffy and her kittens when they are at such a young age. Cats may abandon their kittens if they are handled by a human. Ranger plans to let the family of cats live under the aluminium tray for as long as they need.

He has adopted Scruffy and places food and water under the ute canopy every morning and night.

Ranger’s prospective employer, Bob Ascot, is understanding of the situation and says that Ranger is welcome to commence work at a later date when the family of cats moves on.

“He is clearly a very compassionate guy, and I value that in a person,” said Ascot.

“I have never heard of cats living in aluminum ute tool boxes in Melbourne, but I am not surprised,” he said. “No pressure on Chris to move the cats on before they are ready.”

Despite the agreement reached between Ranger and his future employer, his unemployment benefits are being withheld as he is now classified as being unemployed by choice.

Ranger plans on bringing the kittens to the local no-kill shelter when they are old enough to be moved.

Growing a new life

I’ve lived in a beautiful farm house for the last ten years. I really enjoy waking up each day to sweeping views. Sitting out on my decking and eating dinner watching the livestock is quite stunning. I found out not too long ago that I was with child. I’m never nervous but also in a way excited by the prospect of carrying a child. The doctors tells me that I’m about 4 months into the journey. There is a slight problem through. You see my partner and my parents have never gotten along. My parents don’t agree with our union, my father has never gone into detail as to why that is the case. I have a feeling it’s about the garden, my family has dedicated professional gardeners who are experts in the field. My father is getting on in years, I don’t want him outside trying to dig up the yard at his age. My partner turned down his offer and my father has been grumpy with us since. I hope the news of a new baby will change his mood. At his age he shouldn’t be out in the hot sun planting canna lilies anymore. My partner has tried to mend bridges but it hasn’t gone well, at least my mother is a fan. I know for certain that in our new property I want professional garden landscaping.

A relative of mine suggested we have a walk around and see the other garden landscaping in our suburb to get ideas. I love the farm we live in now, there is plenty of space for a good garden. Our new home has to have a good garden. I spend a great deal of time outdoors. It would be nice to sit in my own garden enjoying a good book and a cup of tea amongst the fuchsias. I have several design ideas of my own on how garden should function. I’m confident that the garden landscapers will have suggestions on how best to utilise the space we have. It will be lovely watching the baby grow up as the garden expands. I honestly can not wait to be a mother.

The Big Party Venue

I only vaguely remember my first birthday party. I don’t mean my first birthday party, like…when I was one. No one really remembers things like that, although funnily enough there are celebrations anyway. To be honest with you it seems a bit pointless to spend all this time and money on a party that the kid isn’t even going to remember.

My parents didn’t do the whole party thing until we were old enough to remember it, which was, like…five? I can’t remember how many candles there were, but I had some friends over from playgroup, blew out the candles, ate cake and just ran around. You know, as kids do: making their own entertainment.

That’s what kids USED to do, anyway. Blame inflation, blame the Prime Minister, blame the hole in the ozone layer, but whatever the reason, everything has to be bigger and better now. There are places in Melbourne, kids birthday party venues, and that’s all they do. I’ve got nothing against them as such. They seem really fun. But I guess I just look at them and wonder what it would’ve been like if that industry had been super big back when I was young and my parents were into taking the kids out to venues for big celebrations. Imagine the cake you get in those places. It’d have to be big, right? You can’t take a kid out to somewhere like that and give them a small birthday cake. It’d look really small because the room is so big. The table is also big. Everything looks small on those huge tables, unless the thing sitting on them is huge enough that you don’t notice.

Maybe one day I’ll have kids, and I’ll be faced with this decision. To hire a kids birthday party venue or not? I’m sure Melbourne’s birthday party venues are up to scratch, thanks to inflation, the Prime Minister and kids getting higher standards for their celebrations. Maybe I should just give in and have a celebration.

A garden of delights

The atmosphere as you walk into the main dining lounge is absolutely electric. The hanging lights, textured walls and overhanging foliage create a parallel universe that surrounds and encompasses anyone who enters. I am often skeptical of highly atmospheric restaurants as it can often be a clever way of detracting from the average food. I was impressed but I was aware nothing had passed my lips yet. On the way to the table we passed through an amazing stone archway that looked like an old world relic that had been restored. The archway was covered with climbing roses, transforming it into a gateway to magical lands. Plants and flowers twisted their way through the cracks in the stone and beautiful colourful petals elegantly littered the facade.

I had just about recovered from the archway when my eyes were drawn to even more beautiful foliage on the back wall. It wasn’t really a wall at all, it was a living structure. Flowering shrubs acted as a border around what can only be described as a vertical garden. Spring and summer flowering perennials were popping out all over the place, it was divinely magical. We finally made it to the table after ogling all the decoration and the menu does not disappoint. It follows a slight mystical trend, lots of plant based foods and all the dishes are served with a corresponding flower arrangement that can also be eaten. It give me so many ideas for my garden at home. I was even taking notes on my phone throughout the evening and sneaking photos whenever nobody else was watching. The food turned out to be even better than their already exemplary reputation would have you believe.  I was so thoroughly impressed with the entire evening that I have devoted a whole different section to discussing the drinks, which are a fruity delight with a pinch of colour.