Buying a House

I never actually thought I’d be in a position where I could buy a house. With the market always rising along with the cost of living increasing, I’d just assumed it was going to be impossible. I was prepared to rent for my entire life.

Last month, though, my partner and I finally found ourselves in a position where we could actually think about buying a house. We immediately got in contact with the best buyer’s advocate in the Malvern area, as we were feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of house hunting alone. It’s been a great experience working with an agent, as they’ve found a bunch of suitable houses for us, and we love pretty much all of them. Now we just have to decide what suburb we actually want to live in.

I’m really glad that we can finally afford to buy a house. Steve has been working hard for years, and finally got that big promotion he’s been going for. I work from home, selling crafts that I make. My business does really well, actually. I make more money than Steve does, per hour of work. Even still, I didn’t think we’d actually get here. I feel terrible saying it, but we’re really lucky that his great aunt died and gave all her money to us. I don’t think we ever could have afforded to buy a house without it.

Without the suggestion of Steve’s dad, I never would have thought to get a buyer’s advocate. Close to Brighton, there are so many incredible houses, but we wouldn’t have even known about them without an agent on our side. It’s really transformed the house search from something that would have stressed us out into one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done.

I just hope that I can find my dream home and snatch it up before anybody else does. Then I’ll be all set for the rest of my life! 

– Jane

Shattered Glass

I’ve gotten myself into some big trouble. I was riding my bike on the road with a couple of mates and we were being a bit reckless. It was fun before we did something bad. If I’m being honest I’m not sure that it was entirely our fault, but we were the ones who smashed into the massive sheet of glass and shattered it everywhere. So we’re the ones that are going to be in trouble.

In all seriousness though, why would anyone leave a massive sheet of glass out on the side of the road overnight? Surely that was an oversight? We fled the scene of the crime as soon as we rode into the glass. It smashed on impact and pieces of glass went all over the road, nature strip and footpath. It was really bad. A couple of us also got cut by the glass, but we kept riding as quickly as we could.

Now that the initial adrenaline has worn off, I’ve decided to go back to the scene of the crime in the morning and offer to pay for a glass replacement. Melbourne residents probably (rightfully) expect to not have their property destroyed in the middle of the night, even if they’ve questionably left their property at the front of their house. I wish that I had just been looking ahead when I was riding down that street. I was too busy looking behind me and laughing at my mates. The next thing I knew I had smashed into something hard where the road should have been.

It sucks that I’m going to have to be responsible for replacing the glass balustrade. I wish that my mates would want to pay for it as well. They keep saying that it’s not our fault because the people left it on the street. I do kind of agree, but my parents would be so mad at me if they heard what I did and then decided not to come clean about it.

What’s He Playing At

That’s the last straw! Darren is always doing this, and I’ve had enough. It’s time he started taking responsibility for getting into these situations, rather than relying on me to sort them out. It’s not what I want this friendship to be about.

 

What am I on about? Oh, let me fill you in. Here’s what happens on roughly a fortnightly basis: Darren gets in his car and goes off on some foolish escapade, which ultimately leads to him either needing to be towed or otherwise requiring roadside assistance. Then he calls me up to help him. It’s not always that dire, but just dire enough for me to be unable to refuse without seeming  heartless, and it’s always when I’m right in the swing of a workday. It never happens on weekends.

 

Why does he call me for help? Because I have a car mechanic connection that saves him money, and he claims it’s a quicker fix than calling for a mechanic himself. I didn’t mind the first few times it happened, as I felt I was helping out both Darren and the mechanic. But it’s got to the point where it totally disrupts my day, and the frequency of these calls is getting out of hand. I’m starting to think Darren’s just doing this to annoy me. It’s not like I can just wave a magic wand, and there’s the cut-price mobile mechanic, ready to do Darren’s bidding.

 

Today, Darren’s issue was having run over some nails while doing laps of a cul-de-sac in Bayside. It seems one of the street’s residents might have left them on the road on purpose, to discourage just such behaviour. What am I supposed to say? Sort it out yourself, mate? Well, I guess I could have done that – I’m sure it’s not that hard to arrange a tyre repair close to Moorabbin. But when a friend calls on you for help, it’s not always that simple.

 

Maybe I’m a bit of a sucker in this situation. Going forward, I’m going to ignore the phone when Darren rings me and just see what happens. No more mister nice guy.

Stopping Conveyancer Magic

I don’t know exactly what a conveyancer is, but I assume it’s some kind of dark sorcerer powered by demons. According to Murphy, the conveyancers are going to come to this house and ‘transform it’ into something else entirely. I don’t know how they’d manage that without sorcery. We’ll need to perform ancient rituals to banish them, and quickly, otherwise, it will be too late. Ironic, I know, that I want to remove the demon magic from this house when I died because people thought that I had demon magic in me. Put on a pyre I was. Not fun, but at least I know I’m free of demons now.

Murphy says that these people are masters of conveyancing near Carnegie, and I don’t know what that means, but presumably, they are quite powerful. They are going to magically give this house to someone else so that they can turn it into a hotel. You must need powerful magic to turn a house into a hotel all of a sudden. I don’t like this. Not one bit.

Julius is telling me that I’m overreacting, but I think I’m underreacting. I think everyone here is underreacting. These conveyancers can’t just come here and use their foul magic on this house. I’ve lived here for six hundred years, and I refuse to have this place besmirched by witchcraft. So I’ll keep talking about how terrible this is and make Julius type the words into the glowing box, which he assures me is not magic. I think he’s lying, though.

As if conveyancers from Carnegie wasn’t bad enough, apparently they also practice conveyancing close to Highett. I don’t know who Highett is, but it’s clear that these sorcerers are powerful beyond imagination. How are we possibly supposed to stop them? Maybe we should contact some other magical conveyancers and get them to fight the other ones. Can we start a conveyancing war of some sorts? Have sorcerers fight against one another, distracting them from their mission here? It’s a crazy plan, but it’s so crazy that it just might work.

– May

Conveyancing Book Idea

I thought I had an awesome idea for a book the other day, but unfortunately, it was not to be. I feel like this happens to me all the time. I come up with this great idea, something so awesome that it would probably win an award for being the best novel of all time, but then I discover that somebody else has already written it. It’s so frustrating! Why can’t I just come up with something original?

You wouldn’t think that somebody has already written a book about the dangerous life of working in property conveyancing, but they totally have. It was basically going to be a spy mystery combined with an action thriller, slice of life and graphic horror. I’m not even sure if that last one is a real genre, but I was going to do it anyway.

Naturally, when I told my friend, who works in publishing, about it and she said that somebody had already written that book, I didn’t believe her. But then I read this book and it’s exactly what I was planning. It didn’t win any awards or anything (I could have done it better), but that essentially means I can’t write it now. Everybody would just say I had copied, and you don’t win prestigious awards for copying. Curse you, whoever wrote Conveyancing Around Brighton is Dangerous as Heck!

And yes, I’m aware that people say there are only seven different types of stories. There’s robot vs man, man vs cat, cat vs robot, wizard vs other wizard, stories of princes and princesses, and shampoo commercials. Obviously, mine was going to be robot vs man, with a metaphorical robot. For example, the Space Battles movies are wizard vs other wizard stories. The Harold Scarface movies are also wizard vs other wizard stories, and therefore they are basically the same story.

It’s frustrating that my idea was taken, but I suppose it’s back to the drawing board.

Saltwood Chronicles

I think I’m finally going to write my second novel. It will be called the Saltwood Chronicles Book Two, following the life of a grizzled New Orleans detective who moves to Australia to get away from it all. After his break-up with Jess Day-Knight, Julian Saltwood is running from his past faster than his health insurance company could find a way to void the claim he made when he broke his arm two years ago. But just because he’s running from his past, that doesn’t mean he’s going to embrace his future. On the contrary, he’s avoiding that too, which is why he’s moving to Australia!

But the evil Schmidt gives chase, intending to get revenge for his diabolical plan being ruined by the genius that is Julian Saltwood. For a while, Julian is unaware that his arch-enemy has followed him to Australia, and he takes solace in portable hyperbaric chambers around Melbourne. Although Julian was sceptical about the effectiveness of hyperbaric medicine, he quickly finds it to be of great comfort. Julian tests different hyperbaric chambers all across Melbourne, becoming a hyperbaric connoisseur. Hyperbaric chambers help Julian forget his past and stop worrying about the future. It’s just a shame that the future is coming right for him, whether he likes it or not.

Julian Saltwood is in the middle of a hyperbaric medicine session when Schmidt attacks, his henchmen overwhelming the hyperbaric clinic. Julian escapes, but once again Schmidt has taken away everything he loves. Well, now Julian is back in the game, intending to get his revenge again. And this time, it’s personal.

Little does Julian know, to defeat the horrible, evil and wicked Schmidt, he will have to go all the way back to New Orleans and repair his relationship with Jess Day-Knight. Because he’s going to need her help if he’s going to defeat this villain once and for all. It turns out that nothing can keep these two apart.

My New Book

I’ve always wanted to write a book, and I think now is the time to do it. With everyone stuck indoors due to the giant blizzard that’s come over Melbourne this winter, there’s never been a better time to get creative. I knew having this website name would come in handy someday.

Now, what is my book going to be about? My first idea was a story about a man who works for a commercial fitouts business. Melbourne is the setting. The man gets caught up in a secret society of designers who are planning to take over the world. I like it, but you know what they say: your first idea is never your best. So I suppose I’ll treat this blog post as some sort of brainstorming exercise.

What if I wrote a novel about a man who can conjure diamonds out of thin air? I could call it “The Diamond Conjurer”. Obviously everybody would covet this power of his, and maybe he’d even get captured and be forced to make diamonds for the mob. But because there are so many diamonds, they ultimately lose their value and the protagonist ends up with a kind of useless power. Actually, maybe a book about a Melbourne office design secret society would be more interesting.

Let’s see… what if I wrote about life on Mars in the distant future, which then gets interrupted by an alien invasion. In the end, the plot twist could be that the aliens are actually humans from Earth! Alternatively, my book could be about robots in the distant future who have taken over the world and exterminated all the humans. They used poisonous gasses, and they poisoned our… water supply. Yeah, I like that one. Robots in the distant future of 2025. Alright, now that I’ve got the concept down, it’s time to go write chapter one. Thanks for being such a good brainstorming partner, reader of my blog!

– Jared

Real Movie Hair

I’m looking at a bottle of something called ‘Hollywood Hair’, and I’m deeply skeptical. Yes, I did go online and buy this, with my own funds, and of my own volition. I was not coerced, and it seemed like a good idea to me at the time. I guess I just got caught up in the moment, and the advertising, including the wacky video that went with the spray that demonstrated people doing all kinds of stunts, running through the rain, performing backflips…all that. They were having a great time, and thanks to this hairspray, their hair always stayed exactly the same. It would freeze in place like it was carved from rock, just like in Hollywood.

Still…I remain skeptical. I don’t believe in magic, and when I was at my favourite hair salon near South Melbourne last week, I was asking a lot of questions about what you put in your hair. The general impression I’ve gotten from hair professionals is that yeah, powerful sprays like that do exist, but they’re not widely used because they’re not good for your follicles overall. They’re okay for occasional use if you wash your hair well afterwards, but not for every day. Everything in moderation, some things in extreme moderation. I’d trust a local Melbourne hairdresser over some shady hair site claiming to have placed actual magic inside a bottle, and yet I did go and buy the thing. See, I have plenty of trouble making my hair stay still, not get blown this way and that by the wind…like, I can make a hair appointment at a salon, walk out of the door and five minutes later…my stubborn follicles have ruined my life, like they’re going for a record.

Hmm. Maybe I should keep the spray as backup for special events where I have to go out for a long time? Outdoors, probably. Or I could take it to one of Melbourne’s hair salons and ask for a review. And if they immediately whip out the holy water and force me out, then I’ll know to not put this stuff in my hair.

-Aria

What Cats Deserve

Of all the challenges that came with starting the world’s first brunch restaurant for cats, I wouldn’t have thought that discrimination was at the top of the pile. There are currently NO brunch restaurants for cats, anywhere. None. Zilch. Not a single one. So just the very fact that I’m opening this brunch restaurant, for cats, is in itself a bold step forward, progress in this modern era. But now I’m getting blasted on social media even before we’ve opened because we’re not going allow dogs. Um…get your own brunch restaurant, dog lovers. This is a feline zone.

Everything else is going smoothly, I think. I’ve been looking into upgrading to commercial kitchen equipment, like…a commercial deep fryer, for example. We’re still working out the menu, but I’m thinking sardine grits might be lovely, along with some tuna wedges, tartar sauce and dry gravy nuggets on the side. We want to make sure we keep the emphasis on brunch, although research suggests that cats don’t really mind so much what they get and when. Still, we want the food to be good quality, hence the commercial equipment and not the silly little oven and stove out there at the moment.

What we’re hoping is that this is a place for cats to come in, unwind, catch up with friends and generally spend a relaxing morning, with some great food that they chose themselves; all totally unprecedented in the food world. We will be the first, so obviously we’re going for professionalism. High-quality cat beds, tables at just the right height for a fancy feline feast, beautifully-designed menus and a set of commercial steamers and ovens to craft a menu to utter perfection. I’m particularly excited about the kibble toast slathered in chicken pate, overlaid with a kipper. We need a signature dish, after all.

-Raylene

 

Clashing Automotive Inspection Styles!

auto mechanicOH. MY. TYRE REPAIRS.

As in, ‘oh my, tire repairs! We need them!’

We actually do, because I just gave them a few kicks when I took the kids to school this morning and they seemed really floppy. I should’ve called today, but I just couldn’t concentrate. The impending news of Week of Our Lives perhaps being cancelled and perhaps being renewed has me on edge, as with many people all around the city, and there they are just still soldiering on and making episodes, knowing that each one may be their last.

Speaking or tire repairs, there’s been quite the automotive tizzy after Jacque came to Realsville and started his own auto-repairs shop, except he does things in an exotic French way and everyone is enamoured. Ian learned everything he knows from a place in Ringwood that does RACV inspections, and it was their specialty. In fact, we got a flashback to when he was a child, and learning the ways of auto inspections. It involved waking up at 5am every day, pushing a tractor tire up a mountain, studying for six hours to learn every single piece of every single car off by heart and then four hours of intense mechanical practice.

Come to think of it, I should book our tire servicing in Ringwood. If they even work half as hard in real life, then they should be perfect to fix our automotive woes.

Anyway, Ian is offended that everyone is running away from his business to go and get car servicing from Jacque, who by all accounts is snobbish and superior, and his car servicing isn’t really that good, and he probably didn’t even learn from a decent auto mechanic close to Ringwood but instead some place in France. But people just love things that are new and exotic.

Come to think of it, this is surprisingly thoughtful for an episode of Week of Our Lives, which is usually a lot more fast-paced and dynamic. Hmm…

-Leticia

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