Clinic Needs a Treatment Plan

Business has been slow here at the clinic this past year. I blame it on the endless stream of competitors that seem to be cropping up everywhere… the clinical Pilates studios in particular are going crazy down here on the coast, and people seem to be turning to them for help with sports injuries. I’ve thought about offering group classes here, but we don’t have the space.

I’ve come to the conclusion that, instead of trying to mimic our competitors, we need a point of difference. That’s why I’ve signed us all up for a clinical dry needling course. Melbourne doesn’t have a huge amount of sports medicine clinicians who are equipped to administer this treatment, so it’s something we can say hold up as point of difference.

It’s all to do with trigger point stimulation, which is something I’m sold on. I’ve heard really good things about the technique as far as treating musculoskeletal conditions like tendonopathies and movement impairments, and believe it will add genuine value for our clients.

The clinical dry needling course we’ve booked in for is a one-weekend thing, which means we don’t need to take time off to head into Melbourne to complete it. Kerry pointed out that it’s not a bad networking opportunity, either, given that a requirement of entry is having a degree in a manual therapy discipline, and preferably being a practising clinician in that field.

I’m not much of a networker, myself. But I recognise that we can do with all the professional connections and referrals we can get at the moment. I’d be interested to know if other clinicians are having trouble or if it’s just us, and if there’s anything we can do differently to bring us up to speed.

At the end of the day, our main goal is to help our patients improve their sporting performance while experiencing a higher quality of life, particularly after an injury. If dry needling can enhance our ability to do that, we’ll be on the right track. 

From shack to chic new home

Isn’t it crazy how in life sometimes everything can just happen at once? Like, one minute you think to yourself, ‘gee, you know, I’ve actually got everything really under control’, and the next minute you’re under so much pressure you could crush a lump of coal into a diamond.

For example, I thought I was completely on top of my wedding preparations. I’m a very organised person, and my fiance and I have a very similar vision for what we want. He’s also very involved, so I’ve been able to actually share the load extremely evenly between the two of us. It isn’t my wedding, it’s our wedding.

On the back burner for some time now has been our house hunt. We’ve talked even talked to a Melbourne based conveyancer about our options. I know it’s a bit of a strange thing to be sort-of-not-really doing, but with a whole wedding to put together, we’ve had to shift priorities a little bit. Over the years, we’ve seen lots of places we’ve loved the look of come and go, but one house has always had a special place in our hearts.

A month ago, we found out our dream home was up for sale once more and so, naturally, we jumped at the chance. One of the things I definitely didn’t realise was going to be such a huge deal has been doing all the property conveyancing. Melbourne has some pretty strict rules and regulations that my fiance and I have gone head-to-head with over the last few weeks as we desperately try and push the sale through as quickly as possible.

Amazingly, we got it! But that meant that we’ve been going through the process of finalising that purchase with our wedding quickly approaching. Talk about doing two things at once!

Our conveyancers have been amazing, navigating the sections 32 statement without them would have been nearly impossible. My goodness, it’s a lot of pressure to put on a newly married couple.

Hair, As Applied to Cooking Techniques

It’s a good thing the only clients they’re letting me see are the good sports who know the situation. I don’t know anything about hair, salons, styling, curlers, blow dryers, dyeing and those helmet things that look like something out of Space Track. And yet, here I am. Participating in a piece of rubbish television for recognition and cash.

I did like the concept, though. A top chef (that’s me) and a top hairdresser swap places for a week, with the former (still me) setting up a temporary hair salon and the hairdresser setting up a temporary restaurant, all the hilarious results recorded. I was allowed to sort of… ‘intern’ in a hair salon in the Melbourne CBD for a week, which basically just means I sat there for a few hours each day and tried to note down what they were doing. The overarching idea of the show is to see how many skills transfer between hairdressing and cooking, with my preliminary answer being ‘not many’. I can cook anything you care to mention, but I must’ve watched them blow-dry a client’s hair a thousand times and I still can’t replicate the casual expertise. It’s like, a…flip, wrist flourish, wiggling of the fingers to separate the hair strands…but it looks a lot better. It’s all in my notes, anyway.

I don’t think I’ve totally ruined all my clients. They all came in with a spirit of fun, to find out what the chef can do with their hair, and they mostly left with cuts that could do with a bit of a tidy up. I also dyed a lady’s ear red by accident…still guilty about that one.

In the end, I think that award winning hair salons should be left to their own work, and the top chefs should be the same, and we’ll keep offering top quality service without burned scallops or dyed ears. That’s what I’m going to say in my post-show interview, anyway.


A dramatic composition of aluminium

Over the last few months, I’ve been getting more and more into photography. A friend of mine is working professionally, and I went with him to one of his gigs, just to help out. While I was there, though, I started getting really interested in what he was doing – the intricacies of the whole thing – and so I got him to show me a couple of things afterwards. After a lot of experimenting, I’ve found the most incredible new aesthetic. I think I could really make it my signature look and, miraculously, I stumbled across it almost completely by accident.

I was walking to work about two weeks ago when I sauntered past two utes parked, one slightly further forward than the other, parallel with a brick wall. Immediately, I saw something special about the composition of those aluminium trays. Melbourne has lots of different things that are all incredible in their own right that I guess I could have chosen to photograph, but I didn’t. Instead, looking at the way they were set up – thoughtlessly yet strikingly. I grabbed my camera and began to take pictures of the aluminium trays, hesitatingly at first and then with more confidence.

The scene before me was thrilling. After that moment, that bubble in time where my creative energy took control. I went about my day at work, but spent every moment waiting until I could get home and have a look at the pictures properly, on my computer. The result was beyond my wildest hopes. With a bit of editing, the pictures looked amazing. With just a glint of the aluminium toolboxes showing from inside the ute, the composition and contrast between the metal and the brick was almost overwhelmingly indicative of the proletariat society we’ve moved away from in recent decades. A remnant from a time we’re in danger of losing. A transition through time, captured forever in my lens.

Crazy Kids in Canberra

Why did we decide to drive via Canberra again? I can’t remember. It was something to do with wanting to check out an exhibition at the national gallery, but that prospect now seems dwarfed by the inconvenience of the extra hours in the car with the kids. Am I a bad mum for saying that? 

Anyway, here we are in hotel room. It’s raining cats and dogs, and the kids couldn’t care less about viewing large-scale light installations. They’re also climbing the walls, due to having been boxed into a car from Sydney for hours. There’s only one thing for it, as far as I can see, which is to take them somewhere where they’re officially sanctioned to tear around indoors. Alright, then, inland capital – what have you got for me and my kids? Indoor play centres in Canberra, show yourselves. And maybe batten down the hatches in preparation for the particularly fierce tornado that is three year-old Belinda.

Seriously, the kids get beside themselves with excitement about going to these play centres. To someone who’s not a parent, they might just look like germ-riddled, hyped up gymnasiums, but there’s a hidden genius to the whole thing. They really come into their own as children’s party venues. In Sydney, we’ve been to more than a few of these places for birthdays. You wouldn’t believe what a lifesaver it is to a have a crew of four year-olds going nuts together somewhere other than your house.

Perhaps you can tell that I’ve done this before. As a mom of five, I do have a bunch of experience in dealing with situations of just this nature. That experience has taught me a few things, not least that most capital cities have at least one set of giant indoor play equipment safely nestled behind some form of security system that prevents your kids from running off into the suburban wilderness.


A Frosty Reception

My brother’s acupuncture clinic has just relocated, and I’ve been recruited for purposes of kitting out their new space with a bit of vibe. I’ve actually never done a job quite like this before – I mean, I do have experiences with coordinating spatial decor solutions, but not for this type of operation. The aesthetic they plan to push is very clean and crisp, yet not corporate per se. It must have their spiral-centric logo featured and splashes of translucent blue in the mix for good measure. The brief is all fairly specific.

I think I’ve got the solution, though. Their new treatment rooms are to be framed by glass dividers, and there’s an opportunity here to leverage the dual needs for privacy and branding. I believe we can meet these needs with some custom glass frosting. In Melbourne, this stuff is pretty common in offices and clinics. It’s kind of a film that attaches over the glass, and you can have designs digitally cut or printed into it – a logo, for example. Colours can be added to the mix, too. Perfect.

Alright, that’s sorted. I suppose if that’s what’s happening, we might as well look into tinting the windows while we’re at it – I’m guessing the crew wants the clinic to be some kind of cooling oasis that feels distinct from the outside world. I know that, here in Melbourne, window tinting for commercial spaces is pretty standard, so it should be easy to find a company that can make it happen just way bro and co want it. Who knows? Maybe there’s even such thing as a blue tint. That’d be nice.

If I’m not mistaken, window tinting is done with films that are similar to the ones used for glass frosting. If we’re lucky, we can get one company to do both jobs. But yeah, apparently this tinting film rejects something like 99 percent of UV rays, which keeps the indoor temperature low even when it’s hot outside.

Bro is lucky to have me on board! Time to go and badger him for a free exercise ball or something.

A Touch of Glass

There’s something about a beautifully designed office space that really speaks to me. Maybe it’s something to do with having worked in fairly dull medical centre offices for the past few years, but I seem to be developing a real appreciation for thoughtful details and custom finishings that make the space feel special.

For example, I recently visited a retail store in Hong Kong that opened my eyes to the power of natural light in showing people in, well, their best light (literally). It was a designer clothing boutique, and I was struck by how the glass skylight over the change rooms made me look everything look unusually flattering in the well-angled mirrors. And their glass display units were tastefully lit from within – I couldn’t quite figure out how it was done, but it made the glass appear sort of invisible.

I don’t know how this would translate to an office, but I’m willing to bet there are glass-specialising designers who are in with the whole retail architecture thing, and would be able to install interesting features like these. At the very least, there must be some half-decent commercial glass installers in Melbourne who are capable of repairing the cracked bathroom mirrors at my office (not that you’d guess, given how long things like this seem to take to get repaired).

Perhaps my preoccupation with spatial design has something to do with wishing the managers of the building I work in would lift their game. I mean, not to this boutique’s level, necessarily, but just to one that’s a bit less depressing. The stairs, for instance, could do with a new handrail, but apparently it’s not deemed a hazard… yet. Why not just get in now with the glass balustrade installation and be done with it, instead of waiting til that flimsy beam gives way?

I guess I’m probably in the wrong industry to be demanding an up to the minute, aesthetically oriented work environment. Having custom glass fittings isn’t exactly a primary concern of medical administrators. I’d probably be happier to go in to work if it was, though.

Reno Madness

I’ve had it up to here with these godforsaken kitchen cupboards! I’d like to think I’m a reasonably chill person – I’m not usually too fussed about this kind of thing – but this shoddy old cabinetry is driving me up the wall. To elaborate, the shelf above the sink that I keep the mugs on has just collapsed, leaving me with a whole lot of broken ceramic to deal with. I really don’t have time for this!

Clearly, it’s high time I dialled in a pro kitchen designer. I’ve been putting it off because renovating seems like a massive hassle, but it’s getting to the point where it would be less energy than leaving things as they are. So, to cut to the chase – who should I go to for custom kitchen renovations in Melbourne? I don’t have the foggiest idea of where to start. Someone tell me what to do!

I’m getting in a bit of a tizzy about this, I know. But what else do you do when the layout of your kitchen cupboards is fast becoming diagonal? I love my hard-earned kitchen appliances, and I don’t want them getting damaged. Not only that, but the taps are so old that the water comes out everywhere except where it’s supposed to. I just want my kitchen to be a place of relaxation and retreat – that’s not too much to ask, is it?

I’m going to take charge of the situation and ask my brother who did his bathroom renovation design. I’ve been avoiding the topic because I know he’ll use my enquiry as an opportunity to badger me about my kitchen (as if I don’t know it needs replacing), but at the end of the day, his bathroom does look super schmick. Is it reasonable to ask a bathroom installation company if they do kitchens?

One good thing about this is that, once the process is complete, I’ll have survived my first ever reno situation. There’s plenty to be done on the rest of the house, after all.

Quite the…Electrifying Finale

I sometimes wonder if the scheduling people are having a bit of a joke. They have ‘Jack of All Trades’ on at 6:30, followed by ‘The Great Australian Trade Off’ at 7:30. So you get an hour of everyone being snippy and awful to each other in a game show, followed by another hour of everyone being terribly lovely and sportsmanlike. I should just be glad they’re aired in that order, so you don’t go to bed mumbling and raging at the indecency of some folks.

Still, it WAS the grand finale of JoAT, so people were a bit nicer. They had to go into a building under construction and basically fix everything in there, turning it into not only a finished product, but a building that would be cutting edge. They each had fifty workers assigned to them, with a number of eliminated contestants on both teams to act as sub-project managers.

Nathan was the most interesting, going instantly for the idea of commercial energy monitoring and storage. He gave this speech where he said that energy-usage was going to decide the future of the company that inhabited the building, and they were going to secure that future by giving them the most efficient energy usage possible. And actually, I almost welled up a little bit. Nathan was SO low-energy in the early stages, so much so that the judges nearly kicked him of for not having enough passion for the process. And of course, let’s not forget his many gaffs in electrical week. Now he stands here, burning with life and drive, talking about energy storage, commercial LED lighting solutions for Melbourne companies and directing like a champion. It’s exactly what he needed to be, and he’s shown that he managed to get there with his own moxey.

And then there’s Lucille, who made a big song and dance about how there needed to be proper insulation and then managed to fill the whole building with asbestos, all due to an ordering error. So yeah…not the closest finale. It had its ups and downs, certainly.


Fixing Boats, for AUSTRALIA

I remember back in the day when it all used to be about patriotism.

I mean, I don’t, because I’m only 26, but I’ve read about such times, and it’s obvious. People used to do basically everything because they were doing it for the glory of the country. So not just going to the Olympics, either; you’d sell fruit, and you’d do it for AUSTRALIA. Or you might teach children, for AUSTRALIA.

You know, that sort of thing. I miss those times, even though I’ve never actually participated in them. Just think it’d be nice. I wish I could go to get my boat fixed, to have my outboard motor servicing done in Melbourne, and I’d bring it in and they’d say YES, I’LL DO IT, FOR AUSTRALIA. Not in a super dramatic way or anything, so the caps might be a bit misleading. They’d just take it in, I’d say I think the outboard motor needs to be checked out, and they’d say something like ‘no problems, we’ll have that sorted out for you, and also we’re doing it for Australia, as we always do. Because patriotism is just a regular part of our day.’

Yeah, that sounds really nice. Nowadays, people don’t really know why they do anything. I go to work, and I work to get…money? Not money for Australia; it’s money for me, so that I can live and eat food. That’s why I think we need to bring back this blessed age of true patriotism, so that every tiny thing- from outboard motor repair to fruit selling- is done for a greater purpose. Like, you can go to other countries and say “Hi, I’m Carl, I do outboard motor servicing in Melbourne, which is in AUSTRALIA, the greatest nation on Earth, thus it is my driving motivation.”

And they’ll think it’s totally cool, because they also feel the same way about their country, and we’ll all be happy loving the place in which we live. So nice.