I Shall Reclaim My Crown

hyperbaric chamberI bask in the sunlit garden of utter defeat. Little did I know, all would be taken from me so swiftly; my dignity, my honour, my standing in the community, cruelly torn away at its zenith.

My son just beat me at lawn bowls. At this point, the fact that he is my son matters little, because he is eleven and inexperienced, while I myself am a renowned champion. Nay…a former champion. I no longer deserve the title, after my humiliating and highly-public defeat. The dinner table has been transformed into a place of scorn and mockery. Who knew a teenager had such a capacity for vitriol, constantly reminding me of my immense failure?

I need to be stronger to reclaim my crown, and I’ll do anything. I’ll drink disgusting smoothies, wolf down supplements…and I’ve heard that Melbourne’s hyperbaric medicine industry is currently thriving, especially for sportspeople. Also, those with breathing issues and those recovering from injuries. My injury may not be physical…but my heart and pride are deeply wounded. Meditation within a hyperbaric oxygen chamber may be exactly what I need; I shall meditate on victory, banish thoughts of victory and all the while increase my physical state. I need to be in prime condition to defeat this upstart eleven year old and take my place at the top once more.

Practice will also be necessary. My previous level of greatness was clearly not enough, and thus I’ll need to extend my training regime into the night. My technical skill must be perfect, my mind in a state of constant readiness, and my body…well, hopefully Melbourne’s fine oxygen therapy can help with that. Also, smoothies. Whatever it takes to be the king again.

-Trevor

Only Safe to Talk Toolboxes

roof racks and bars‘Wanderlust’. It’s a strong desire to travel and see the world. Funny how sometimes you can just discover the perfect word for you, like all your feelings have been stuffed into a few little letters. The only vaguely exciting place I’ve ever been to has been Indonesia, and even then my family just stuck to the overcrowded tourist areas. I think I saw a sea turtle at one stage, but it’s not a story that tends to bowl people over at parties. “One time I might have seen a sea turtle. Could’ve been a really dense pile of seaweed, but I’m pretty sure it was the first thing. Most charismatic guy in the room, right here!”

I can’t talk about it at work. It may be an office, but it’s an office for a plumber’s company and there’s this sort of unspoken agreement that everyone here is a total patriot and never wants to leave Australia. Even our equipment is all from Melbourne. Aluminium toolboxes to plungers, you name it; if the boss finds out that we’ve sourced something from overseas, he gives us all a tirade on how not buying local is killing the economy and how buying Australian is ALWAYS THE WAY TO GO. Sometimes if we say that a part we need is in Perth, he goes a bit off. Like, he’s not just proudly Australian; he’s proudly Victorian. I get that, but it’s also not a place where I feel like talking about my hopes and dreams of seeing the world. One minute we’re talking about aluminium toolboxes and ute trays, and the next I might casually mention that I’m thinking of taking a trip to Japan. Whoops.

Hasn’t happened yet. Still new, don’t really know who I can trust. Right now I just need to join in the conversations on roof racks and bars and other tradesperson things. Maybe I’ll grow to appreciate them, who knows?

Talking About Pest Controllers

termite control FrankstonWhat do you do in your uni lessons?

Well…I interview tradespeople. Not what I thought I’d be doing when I signed up for an Economics course, but I’m starting to see why. We’re supposed to be studying the economy and how the world goes around and such, and tradespeople are all part of that great circle of currency. Now I just need someone to talk to and ask intimate questions about their business.

I want to do well on this one, too. I almost failed my module on Enterprising and Opportunities since I forgot to include the statistics and graphs attachment. Stupid mistake and it almost made me repeat the subject, so this one really needs to be good. Something that no one has done before. Well, I live around Rosebub, and pest control people are always going to and fro in front of my house. Maybe one of the people who works for the company lives on my street, or something. It could just be that we have a lot of pest issues, but I’m thinking probably not. In any case, I’m willing to give it a go.

When you hear ‘tradesperson’, most people will think of builders or plumbers. I mean, that’s what I thought of first…but everyone will be interviewing them. I want a slightly off-kilter industry, so the tutor at least has something new to look at. And I’d say it was a pretty stable industry as well, since it’s not going anywhere. No one’s invented a magic spray that keeps the termites away from every home, ever, so termite inspections will always be popular.

So now I guess I just need some kind of company. I’ll do a search, find one with a friendly-looking website. Some termite control agency in Frankston or wherever will want to have a chat about their economic impact. Maybe.

-Michael

Preserving Melbourne’s PREMIER ATTRACTIONS

mobile scaffoldingAs caretaker of one of Melbourne’s premier attractions, it pains me to see that it’s in a state of disrepair. There’s really nothing I can do about it, either. I’ve sent in multiple applications to the tourist board all through last year, asking for extra funding to repair the place, and I’ve only just got the go-ahead this morning. At this stage, one of Melbourne’s premier attractions is going to fall into obscurity!

I need to act fast, obviously. It’s going to be a painful few weeks, with the place covered in aluminium platforms and under construction for…however long it takes. But that’s the price you pay for preserving history: sometimes you have to cover them in platforms for a while. Well, what needs doing needs doing. The pub where Ned Kelly’s friend’s mum’s cousin’s dog was born needs to be preserved for the sanctity of future generations. I just hope the regulars won’t be put off by all the scaffolding. I’ll have to set up sandwich boards stating clearly that we’re still open, and to come in while minding their heads.

The story of Ned Kelly is a fascinating one, but people so often miss out on the crucial details surrounding his life, as well as the details of those around him. Ned Kelly’s friend’s mum’s cousin’s dog is reputed to have visited the original farmstead at some point, with the wild nature of the dog inspiring Kelly to take up a life as an outlaw, free from all obligations. There’s no actual proof, but I do have a real photograph framed in the pub of the cousin with the dog, and it looks pretty wild. It’s no unreasonable to assume that at some point Ned Kelly met the dog, and soon afterwards the legend was born. Thus, I am the custodian of one of Melbourne’s premier attractions, and I deserve the appropriate funding.

Took them long enough to realise. Oh, and the mobile scaffolding has arrived, right on schedule. I must get to work on that sandwich board…because we wouldn’t want visitors to miss out on one of Melbourne’s premier attractions.

-Faye

I’ll be the Captain…Someday

marine weldingI used to wish I was a pirate, purely based on the Colonel DugScrub books I read as a kid. That guy was a pirate, but he was always clean and never killed anyone. Sometimes he’d search for buried treasure, or maybe brandish a sword at someone, but it was kid stuff. Very sanitised. Then I did a project on pirates in Grade 4 and learned that pirates DO still exist and they’re absolutely no fun. Just a lot of guns and being a pain in the butt of the local coastguard.

So much for that dream, but I do feel the call of the sea. It’s why I got intersted in a plate aluminium boat. Sure, I don’t get to RIDE on boats all that often, but I’m often dangling beneath the hull of a cruise ship and drinking in the atmosphere. It’s a rich atmosphere indeed. I still hope that one day I can be a legit captain of a cruise ship, and I’m hoping marine fabrication is what’s going to get me there. I know exactly how a ship’s hull is welded and fabricated, which has got to count for something. In fact, I’ve also picked up the ins and outs of how big ships work in general. Could probably fit a plate alloy boat if you really needed me to- and that reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask the boss if I can get into that.

How do you become a captain, anyway? The movies would have you believe that it’s as simple as owning a boat or ship and calling yourself a captain, and sometimes you don’t even need that much. Something tells me that becoming the captain of a luxury cruise liner isn’t quite like that, unless…no. Nobody owns a cruise liner all by themselves. That’s such a huge waste of space, and nobody has that many friends.

Nope. I’m hoping Melbourne’s stainless steel marine welding industry is my ticket in. Someday, at least.

-Kerry

Too Much Moving, Need to Settle

property advocateI move every year and it’s getting really old. One rental after another, always squirelling away funds for some great house purchase that never comes. One half of me wants to be on the property ladder, and by now I could probably buy myself a mansion if I wanted. And then I think of how I get bored with places so easily, which is why I just keep moving on. Packing up is really taking its toll, however. Got to make a decision soon.

Maybe I need a houseboat. Or I could go backpacking in Nepal for a few months, sort myself out and find my zen. Or…I suppose there’s always buyers agent. Melbourne has then, from what I can tell, and whenever I raise this issue at work Amelda always tuts and says “Daria, just get yourself a buyers advocate. They’ll do the pavement-pounding and you barely have to decide a thing except that you want one of the houses they come up with.”

Amelda is just full of great advice, given that she’s worked the same secretary job for sixteen years and spends 90% of her time doing her nails. Sometimes I think she gets paid to file and dispense life advice, but maybe there’s finally something in what she’s saying. Wow, that’s a first! We should put that up on the running tally: 1.

But I mean it: perhaps I’ve spent the whole time doing this because I’m looking for the right place and I just don’t know where that is. Maybe I should let the experts take over, see how they handle it. It’s not like I have to pick one, anyway…I just look at the best options. In fact, they can look for things that are perfectly suited to me and make all the decisions in my stead. I am getting tired of moving, so maybe it’s time to take a step forward. Melbourne’s property advocates probably aren’t ready for my level of indecision, but let’s give it a go anyway!

Plumbing 101, Change of Career!

Melbourne Plumber serviceThat’s my life now: walk into the wrong room, change jobs forever. Maybe it’s in my blood; after all, my dad was a carpenter, and that’s basically the same thing as plumbing. It just involves more wood and furniture instead of plungers and pipes. I bet plumbers in Melbourne and carpenters get along just fine. Actually, why aren’t more pipes made of wood? Oh yeah, the soggy factor. See, I’d know this if I was a plumber. Correction: I WILL know, when I’m a plumber. Working with my hands is most definitely in the family, which I guess is why my IT career wasn’t going anywhere.

They did send me to a conference, which I was excited about at first, until Lenny said that it’s what they do to everyone who they want out of the office for a weekend. They find the cheapest conference in the cheapest place they can find and send them away for a bit, so that everyone else can get some work done. So…yeah, that was a blow to my confidence, in a job that was already starting to get me down. Like, have you tried turning it off, and the turning it back on again? You haven’t, and the problem is fixed? Good for you, talk to you again in an hour or so when you have basically the same problem.

And then I walked into ‘Plumbing 101: Pipes for aPprentices!’. They could’ve worked on the title, but even after I realised I was in the wrong room (IT was across the hall; ‘Computer Class: Creating Crafty Keyboard shortCuts!’), I felt like I belonged. And I didn’t even learn anything! For real, all the guy talked about was how as a plumber, we should respect the power of the wrench and feel the nuance of the plunger. Clearly he wasn’t one of Melbourne’s plumbing service professionals, which made sense since the conference was out in the sticks. Still, this terrible presentation spoke to me at my core. I’m going to quit my job! Go to plumbing school! Become a plumber! FEEL THE PLUNGER NUANCE.

I mean, it could be good advice. Maybe I’ll ask on my first day of class.

-Vaughn

Shona the Homewrecker, Messing With Home Buying

home buyer advocatePyramid schemes! Betrayal! Geese! Soap operas truly are the pinnacle of entertainment. They have it all, and it’s so much of an emotional rollercoaster that I had to take the day off work. My nerves just can’t handle these intense storylines. Fortunately my boss is a big Week of Our Lives fan and she totally understood; in fact, she said she wished she’d had the same idea. This girl gets it!

So, Shona is being a homewrecker, as per usual. Shona is the worst. She’s the one who convinced Brad that he needed to find a Melbourne property advocate before the wedding, so that Tania would know he was serious about buying a nice home and starting a new life. Of course, Tania freaked out because buyers advocates are only for expensive properties and Brad should’ve known that she has a crippling phobia of displays of wealth, instilled in her by when she was six and asked her obscenely rich father for a ball pit that was full of coins, after which she dived in and almost drowned. Brad should’ve KNOWN!

So he goes and flaunts his property advocacy know how and Tania gets icy-cold feet, as per Shona’s nefarious plans. Then she goes to convince Joel to lend Selena some of his geese for her photoshoot, even though the shoot was entitled ‘Humans and Birds: A Forbidden Love’ and was meant to be done with non-threatening animals only. Selena lets it happen anyway, because she’s only just escaped being kept in the basement by her uncle for her whole life and being taught that the world had been conquered by aliens. The geese get angry and ruin the whole thing, including their budding four-way love triangle involving a swan and a canary.

I just can’t even deal. Now Shona is talking to property advocates around Melbourne in an attempt to get them to show Tania the most extravagant places on the market. If that happens, the wedding is off, easily. I’m counting on this fictional property advocacy to realise what’s up, but what if they don’t?? I have to find out what happens!!

-Leticia

Excited for my new ute aluminium accessories

I haaluminium service bodiesve some very exciting news to announce! I bought a cool new car, actually to be more accurate, I also bought a cool new ute. I’m not sure which vehicle I like more, my jeep or my father’s classic commodore.

I never thought that I would like a dusty ute better than I would like a sporty car, but I really do. One of the best things about this ute, is the fact that the sale included a number great looking and highly functional aluminium ute toolboxes. Melbourne tradespeople have a thing for under body box storage which is ideal for me.

It’s the most beautiful aluminium tool box set that I’ve ever seen and I would love to have it on my car, if that sort of thing was possible. I can hold all sorts of things in my ute now, and for as long as I can think straight, I’ll always have a place, a secure, beautiful place to hold my drinks when I leave the ute. It is a great place to hold a set of spare tools as well as all of my other power tools and such.

I don’t know how much longer until I just sell the my old car and use the ute full time, because I’m usually the only one driving the thing. I don’t have any passengers in my car, and I don’t even have a work dog. There was a bit of an accident with my last service bodies, Melbourne weather can be unpredictable and you really shouldn’t leave things unlatched. I will never love that way again, and part of me is okay with that. Part of me is okay with not being able to love again, as it frees me up to do my work and to focus on putting all of my energy into my new ute and my new under body boxes. They are both fantastic.

Hungry, Up on the Ladder

aluminium laddersI swear, it’s not my fault I get hungry at the weirdest times, which tends to be a lot of times throughout the day. It’s seriously a detriment, because I work up in high places and there are times when I just can’t control my hunger. Like, I have a big breakfast, then an hour later whole I’m on the job, I needs me some brunch pronto. Substantial brunch. After that is real lunch, and then I start craving afternoon tea. Then I get a hankering for linner (that’s lunch/dinner) and by the time I get home I’m starving for actually dinner. After dinner comes my evening supper, and then a bit of suppreakfast (that’s like supper and breakfast- I have to get up in the middle of the night for that one). And people still give me grief for being skinny.

I’m way up high on aluminium ladders for my job, though. I’ll be painting a house, up on some aluminium platform, and I’ll need whatever meal for which it is now time. I used to just suffer in silence, but the hunger started to affect my balance so I explained it to my boss. He’s pretty reasonable, so now every time I have to get up on a platform, I take everything I need with me. An hour every evening is spent packing my food for the next day, and I eat what I need super quickly during my breaks. It can be tough, clambering around all those planks and trestles with a massive food bag, but it’s better having sustenance than almost passing out because I haven’t eaten my linner. Got to love a good bit of delicious linner.

For me it’s like staying hydrated, except the food version. Some people here eat like sparrows and they’re up and down these aluminium platform like monkeys. What a mercifully slow metabolism they must have. Meanwhile, here’s me on my fifth meal of the day, knowing I’ll be hungry soon…maybe I should ask a doctor or something. Or get a job that doesn’t require so many ladders and platforms, maybe.

-Selasi Rice