This might be quite embarrassing to say but I used to be a child actor. I was known as a ‘triple threat’. Basically, a triple threat is someone who can sing, dance and act. I did a lot of musical theatre and TV ads. As I got older I stopped with the acting as it evolved from something I was proud of, to something that was embarrassing. I’d say a big part of that was due to school bullies. I remember there being quite a few years in school where I was appearing in many TV ads and catalogues. The other kids found this hilarious and would always poke fun at me. Without even realising I found myself slowly quitting all the acting and modelling jobs. I’ve asked my parents about it and they said that I started to lose interest and that they didn’t want to force me to do something that I don’t feel comfortable with. Now that I’m in my 20s I’ve decided to give modelling and acting another crack. I think I take more pride in my appearance than most males. For example, I regularly make visits to the local Bayside dental specialists near me.
As an actor, I like to ensure that everything about my appearance is in top form. I eat well, hardly drink, and I don’t smoke. I exercise each morning and do my best to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. I still have a few friends who make fun of me for being an actor, but when you’re nearing thirty the words do bother you a lot less. Unlike them, I’m also in a much better physical and healthy condition because I have the motivation to look after myself. I don’t see them being committed to strict eating habits or having regular preventative dentistry visits. In fact, whenever something happens to their teeth they just don’t care at all. I like to think that putting all this effort in will not only benefit my career but also benefit my health as I age.
Thirty years ago I met my now-husband and moved across the country for him. We only knew each other for a year before I decided to pick up my life to be with him, and I’ve never looked back. I love my family just as much as I love my husband, but I followed the possibility of true love and I’m really glad I did. I now live in Melbourne and the rest of my family live in Perth. My family comes to visit twice a year.
When my family visit they tend to stay for a month or so at a time, which we are all really happy about. However, seeing as we’re all grown adults we are all aware of the fact that we need our own space. When my husband and I built our house twenty-odd years ago, we decided to build a fully self contained pool house to go along with our house. That way my family could visit and live in their own space, and we could have our own too. It was a genius idea.
As with everything over time, wear and tear happens. Our pool house is in the need of a few repairs including a door replacement. Melbourne homes are built by the best, but after more than twenty years, it makes sense that parts of our house and pool house need fixing. My husband and I are going to get everything in the house repaired before my family comes over next month. We both want my family to be as comfortable as possible when staying with us, especially because they’ve gone to the effort to travel over three thousand kilometres to be with us.
Whilst we’re at it, we’re also going to get a sliding windows replacement in the main house, which is our home. We can afford it and we enjoy the finer things in life, so we are upgrading our current windows to stunning sliding ones.
Have you heard of that new escape room in the city? My friends and I are going this weekend, and I think it’s going to be a heap of fun. I’ll admit, I was sceptical when I first heard that it was plumbing themed, but Joe has talked me into giving it a chance. Apparently, plumbing can actually be a really exciting topic, and Joe thinks it’s a great idea for an escape room theme. So, I’ve changed my attitude and am really looking forward to it now. Hopefully it’s as good as Joe expects!
Of course, Joe knows all about plumbing, being a professional plumber himself. He claims to have fixed all the blocked drains around Thornbury, which is quite the achievement! On the other hand, that does mean that he finds plumbing more interesting than most other people, so that could be why he thinks this escape room will be so interesting. I’m willing to give it a proper chance, though, even if we do have to drag the rest of our friends there.
Joe originally wanted to go to this escape room with just the two of us, but I thought it made more sense to bring a whole group. More brains mean that we’ll get through the escape room easier. They can be really difficult, and you only get an hour to complete them, so it’s better to have more people, in my opinion. I would have been happy to go just with Joe, but at what cost? How much of the escape room would we have made it through alone?
Anyway, I need to brush up on my knowledge of plumbing before this weekend. Where can you get drain camera inspections? Melbourne, of course! That’s one of my flashcards, helping me get the knowledge needed to pass this puzzle room’s many tests. We’re going to finish this escape room. I’ll make sure of that. If we don’t, we’ll have to come back again next weekend to try a second time.
My favourite thing to do in summer is to take a really long drive out to small towns I’ve never been to before, sleep next to the ocean, check out a couple of antique shops, then head home to catch up on the real world. It generally adds up to around three or four days of solid driving. Most of my friends don’t get it at all, but I enjoy the dedicated time to myself, and my house doesn’t have aircon… seems like a no-brainer to me.
Anyway, today I’m on my way back to a town that has been on my list of places to visit for along time and, low and behold, my car is failing. Please tell there is a highly recommended mechanic in Mornington. It’s beginning to dawn on me pretty seriously that the remainder of the drive is going to be far from enjoyable if I don’t get my car fixed, stat.
I’m guessing that the Mornington Peninsula is the closest area likely to have someone who can help me out on short notice. I’m generally pretty good at making small tweaks to the van on the road, but the air con is one thing I’ve never been any good at dealing with. It helps that I tend to get the thing professionally serviced on the regular, although I did cop out on my last scheduled check-up at the mechanics. In my defence, my registration was due and I had to go to the dentist that month, so give me a break.
I suppose I could use this as an opportunity to get a general car service. Mornington is a nice area to spend an afternoon while I wait right? Surely I can occupy myself there for a day while I wait for the van to get sussed out. I could find a cool cafe for lunch and then take a nice walk along the beach. If it’s nice I could even book a hotel room and spend a weekend in Mornington enjoying the sea air. It seems extravagant, but when was the last time I did that?
I’m so disappointed that the Folk’n Feet Fest has been cancelled. I totally understand that it’s not worth the financial risk at this time; I was just hoping that March next year would be far enough in the future for the organisers to take a gamble.
The main thing I’m bummed about is missing out on seeing the acclaimed Mary Widdlestein Trio. They were billed to be coming out from Memphis especially for the occasion, and given that Mary is 93, I’m not sure how much more international touring she has left in her. Still, nothing surprises me where Mary Widdlestein is concerned. After all, we’re talking about the woman who single handedly positioned toe-picking as a legitimate banjo technique back in the 1960s. She’s a living legend.
She was also the first person ever to receive commercial sponsorship for playing banjo, albeit from a semi custom orthotics manufacturer, which I always thought was a bit of an odd fit. I mean, you can’t very well wear orthotics while toe-picking, in addition to which Mary is almost never seen wearing shoes. I just don’t see her as an orthotics user. But, you know, there’s the whole foot connection so I guess it’s fair.
As for me, I’m not much of a foot specialist. Around Cheltenham, toe-picking isn’t that well known. People tend to look at you funny if you so much as take your shoe off, although occasionally there’ll be one old hippie in the corner who’ll nod approvingly. Maybe that’s why Mary doesn’t wear shoes too often – being barefoot makes it easier to sneak in a bit of fancy toe work before people have a chance to figure out what you’re doing.
Anyway, I haven’t really developed my toe skills, which is partly why I was so looking forward to doing a masterclass with Mary and seeing her in action. I’ve heard her double bassist does some crazy things with elbow plucking, too, and I was very keen to see what that’s all about. Still, there’s nothing I can do about it, and I’ll just have to look forward to Folk’n Feet 2022.
As an architect I have experienced my fair share of people’s eccentric demands. I have dealt with swimming pools on roofs, upside down trees, walls that disappear and home cinema requirements that would knock your socks off. When I was reading through the plans my most recent client had put together for his Bayside Melbourne home, I was a little stunned. I had never seen someone wanting me to design them a space specifically to house a portable hyperbaric chamber. For confidentiality reasons I cannot tell you the name of my client, but I can tell you he is a professional athlete and he has lots of money to spend. As well a personally tailored oxygen therapy centre, he also plans to build a glass bottom swimming pool that sits above a gym suits so you can admire those swimming above you when working out. As if swimming, running and oxygen therapy isn’t enough, he also wants to have a tennis court on the roof and a half size basketball court around the back. Apparently portable hyperbaric chambers are becoming increasingly popular with athletes in order to increase fitness and activity levels.
My client told me he had been receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Melbourne for a couple of years and accounts a lot of his recent sporting success to his oxygen treatments. The portable hyperbaric chamber doesn’t take up too much room so will fit easily into his rather large mansion, he just wants to make sure there is a suitably peaceful space in which he can receive his oxygen therapy so I am designing a room with a large skylight to allow maximum penetration of natural light. I thought it might nicely somewhere around the swimming pool. At some point I will have to remind my client that we are designing him a home and not a fitness parlour, he has not included bedrooms or a kitchen in any of his initial designs. I suppose that is my job!
There’s something so symbolic about doors. Like, they’re a divider between two different spaces, and yet they’re also an opening that connects the spaces and allows you to pass between them. How can something be both a divider and a connector at the same time? I guess those things aren’t exactly contradictory or mutually exclusive, so I suppose it’s not that remarkable, but still. It’s way symbolic.
What are they symbolic of, you ask? Well, I don’t know. Take your pick: life phases, stages in a journey, the passage of time. Back in the day, folks used to hang all kinds of talismans and charms on their doorways, because they were thought of as portals from the outside world to the inside (or something to that effect). Nowadays, by contrast, people couldn’t care less – they just want something that will prevent their house from getting robbed.
Maybe there’s not that much difference between hanging a carefully crafted wreath of birch leaves for protection, and getting an aluminium door replacement. Melbourne, after all, doesn’t have that many birch trees to pilfer from, and aluminium doors are just that bit more effective at creating a barrier in practical terms. In other words, perhaps the symbolic nature of doors has not been lost to the mists of time.
I mean, it’s not like you can really separate the structure of a door from its metaphoric meanings. The only way that could really happen is if we stopped having doors altogether, and god knows why we’d do that. Can you imagine? I wonder if there’d be a spike in sash window installation. Melbourne seems to love those sash windows, although they don’t seem like the most practical means of passing through a wall. But that’s the problem we’d be faced with if doors were abolished.
That’s probably not going to happen, though, is it? We’re going to keep using doors, just as we’ve done since ancient times, to cross the threshold between realms – or, at least, rooms.
You’re approaching home at the end of a long winter’s day, it’s been dark for like two hours already, and you feel like you’re about get whisked away by a blizzard… and then you see the glow of your house, lit from within by a loved one who’s making you a bowl of gnocchi as big as your head. Either that, or you’ve lovingly provided yourself with a sensor light system and are soon to be making yourself a bowl of gnocchi as big as your head. You know that feeling? Yeah, you do.
That’s what winter is all about: being in the thick of the dark, cold night, and yet feeling your heart warmed by a welcoming light in the distance. Oh, and gnocchi. It’s a lot to do with gnocchi. Sure, there’s the less appealing aspects of the season, like having to shell out for ducted heating repairs. Melbourne weather doesn’t let you off easily on that score, invariably choosing to switch on plummeting temperatures the moment you’re foolish enough to think the worst of the cold is over. It’s a constant process of keeping everything trucking along.
There’s something about that vibe, though, that’s sort of comforting. Your life starts circling around mollycoddling yourself, and low priority commitments fall to the side. Who needs to be worrying about worldly affairs when you can be adding minestrone recipes to your digital pinboard, or knitting yourself an ottoman cover?
Everything becomes geared, in one way or another, towards heating. Melbourne people might like to think of themselves as sophisticated sorts, but really they’re just as prone to this primal orientation as our none-too-distant ancestors were. We’re mammals, at the end of the day, and we look to our den to keep us alive over the cold season. Whether or not we the type for building fires, a warmly lit house is a close enough approximation, signally safety, food and shelter from afar.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip to Launceston all month, yet somehow I’m fine with this little roadblock. I put this down to my new headphones, which make listening to music an experience of unadulterated delight. Basically, I have something to occupy me while I wait for a towing company to take me to a mechanic.
To back up, I was barely out of Hobart when my van started making ungodly scraping noises before grinding to a halt. Luckily for me, it did so right beside a cute historic church fronted by a sunny patch of grass, which I’m now peacefully kicking back on while pumping a bit of early death metal.
I’m not concerned about getting it sorted – I’m sure I’ll be able to find somewhere good for car repairs. Brighton is not exactly out in the middle of nowhere; there are mechanics up here for sure. This whole thing is simply an invitation to kick back and enjoy some fresh country air.
If anything’s worrying me, it’s the fact that my car stereo seems to be on the blink, and I’m not sure I trust some random Brighton auto electrician to look after my baby. I know that probably sounds pretty stupid, but we’re talking the cream of in-car sound systems here. It needs the special touch of someone who deeply cares for properly balanced mids and life-transforming sub bass.
That said, I might just have to take the risk if I hope to carry on with my journey. Sadly, wearing headphones while driving is a no-go, so having functional car speakers in of the essence. I’m probably being a bit overly precious about it, anyway. It’s not like they’re going be deconstructing every little bit of it and smashing it with hammers… are they? I’m not really sure how these things work.
In the meantime, I’m going to take my mind off that mental image with some hardcore drum and bass.
I’ve realised that most of the people I know are workaholics. Granted, they don’t necessarily see it that way, although I’m sure at least some of them would own up to it. It’s not even considered a dirty word, really. Lots of people are happy to wear it, and some even take it as a badge of honour.
To me, though, it doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of work you produce or the value of your service to the world. It just means you habitually distract yourself from your inner life through work. I’m usually inclined to think it’s none of my business – each to their own and all – but lately I’ve been feeling waves of annoyance when my close friends display this type of behaviour. Why? Because it means they’re letting their lives spiral out of their control, which can’t be healthy in the long term.
I also don’t want to deal with the fallout of their distracted lives, which is something that often ends up on me, despite my best efforts. I feel like my friends see me as their stand-in (and unpaid) life-fixer simply because I’m one of the few people they know who isn’t going around in a constant state of stress. It’s high time for them to start looking for actual stress management consultants. Melbourne is cosmopolitan enough; there are 100% people out there who offer this service professionally.
Of course, it would help if more employers offered corporate stress management training. Then people wound’t have to eat into their precious personal time in order to remain a valued corporate asset. Ultimately, though, people need to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. Our culture encourages pushing personal resources to the max in the name of productivity and growth, but most biological organisms need periods of rest to balance out this strenuous activity. It’s a cycle, people.