There was an ad on the bus this morning- a new one, and I’d know because my bus ride is an hour long and I tend to notice every inch of the pace- and it was talking about kids watching TV. All red letters and ‘DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING??’
I don’t have children, so I know that they’re watching a whole lot of nothing, because they don’t exist. But still, it makes me wonder what these kids could possibly be doing. When I was in school, the worst behaviour problems were those kids who sold ice-cream behind the bike sheds. I never found out where they got it from. Oh, and there was that indoor play centre in Croydon that later got knocked down. Yep, me and Gregory Langwood used to go right up to the top of the climbing frame and eat those little packets of sugar that come with an edible dipping spoon. There was a kid who sold them in the ball pit.
I used to think we were so rebellious, doing that. Like, look at us up here, no parents to tell us that sugar will rot our teeth and spoil our dinner! It was the absolute height of rebellion. Too bad one day one of the centre workers climbed up there and found us sitting there in a pile of wrappers, giggling about nothing. He told the parents and…well, that was the last time they took me there. Whenever Gregory Langwood came to our house after that, all of our activities had to be approved by the parental governors. Look, I’ve never agreed with this, personally…Gregory was the one leading ME astray. I was an innocent victim, caught up in his wiles. I don’t see why I had to be barred from the play centre.
When I do have children, probably in 2026, I’ll be finding some kids birthday party venue in Bayswater (the place in which I live) and they’ll be there ALL the time. Doing what they want. Like real kids.
So apparently my grandfather thinks he’s taking part in a mind control experiment conducted by the government. Obviously, he isn’t. That would be completely crazy, and the truth of the matter is that he is crazy. Well, not crazy. Just old, suspicious, a conspiracy theorist from birth, and a man touched by the early stages of dementia.
The story goes that his doctor recommended he do some oxygen therapy in Melbourne, so my dad did some research and found out about this wonderful new form of technology. The problem is that although hyperbaric therapy is completely legit and actually really good for older people looking to get greater mobility, like Gramps, it looks pretty space age. Personally, I think it’s cool, but apparently the whole time Gramps was in there he was talking about the “aliens” and the “government mind control system”. Dad said that, the second time he went in there, Gramps was wearing a tinfoil hat underneath his cap.
I realise that this is all objectively funny and I have to admit I’ve had quite a good laugh about it, but still. It’s kind of sad. I’m sure when he was back in his heyday, he would have questioned the legitimacy of any technology this high-tech (Nans has a story about him throwing his brand new mobile phone off a pier) but still. This is something recommended by his doctor. A brand new technology in Melbourne. Hyperbaric oxygen therapies may not be a traditional form of relief, but oh my goodness, if it helps, why even question it? Take the cure and run with it, I say. We always laugh about Gramps being crazy, but if he’s really going to put his health at risk for the sake of protecting his deteriorating mind, maybe we should take it a little more seriously.
I’ve been thinking about organ donation. I mean, like, I already donated one of my kidneys so that a starving child in Ethiopia could have something to eat in the freezing winter months. A poster was advertising it and I just thought…why not? If I was starving, I’d give my right kidney for someone in the cushy Western world to give their right kidney so that I could eat it and not be hungry any more. That might be a ‘me’ thing, however…I do tend to get both hungry and angry.
But then I was watching a video of a sloth on Me-Straw when an ad popped up. Almost skipped it, but then I thought…no! Some poor Melbourne corporate video production person has poured hours and HOURS of work into this lovely advertisement. They’ve sat there at their videography computer and worked into the midnight hours to bring me this wonderful thirty-second clip. The very least I can do is honour their efforts. And wouldn’t you know it, the ad was about organ donation! It was SO well put together, convincing in the right ways, emotional with the right touch and deeply moving. Some people live without organs, their lives a mess because they can’t run as fast or they’re in medically induced comas. And here I am, with SO many organs! Basically all the organs a normal person has, besides one.
I know I shouldn’t get sucked in, but sometimes a video really makes a case. I forgot whatever I was watching and rushed to the website to see if they needed any kidneys. I mean, at least I know for sure that’s a part of me that people want. I guess without any kidneys left I’ll just have to be careful what I eat, but I’m willing to give them up for someone in need.
Look at me, all passionate! See, this is the power of some quality videography. Melbourne folks in need of organs…I’m on the case!
We’re finally making some semblance of progress on the house! Honestly, at this point it feels like nothing short of a miracle – a small part of my thought I was actually going to live my whole life and never see the place undergo a single change. It’s not that we’re lazy, per se, more that taking on this massive task was probably way out of the realm of our capabilities. To say we bit off more than we could chew would be an understatement. I’m not really sure what started it all. Maybe it was watching all this ‘flip’ shows where they buy a house and make it look brand shining new, maybe it was the fact that both our parents had renovated their homes. Really, who knows? It doesn’t matter anyway. We made the decision, started, realised we were way out of our depths, and then proceeded to stagnate completely, not changing a thing in five years.
This week though, out of the blue, Lockie surprised me by getting in one of the best rendering companies in Melbourne. This random man just walked down our hallway at 1 pm on a Thursday afternoon and knocked on my study door. Thankfully, I was presentable, but when we told me who he was, my mind almost imploded. Just a second later, Lockie bolted in, apologised for being late, and took the renderer on a quick tour through the house. It turns out that, in addition to just booking an appointment, Lockie had done all types of research about the different types of cement render Melbourne renderer’s use in different types of homes and things like that.
Needless to say I was incredibly impressed. It’s amazing how, after talking about it all for so long and living in such a dump, we’re finally beginning to see our vision blossom before our eyes. I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for us.
There really needs to be a turnaround of this ‘making a will = death right around the corner’ mentality. I coach a lot of people through genuinely traumatic experiences, only to find others who just lose it when they have to make a will. It’s as if they think doing so is like sending out a gilded invitation to the Grim reaper to come around for tea and cake. No, it’s being prepared.
For the sake of every place in Melbourne that does legal wills, I feel like I have to put a stop to this, at least in some small way. In my professional opinion, it comes down to two things: fear of the inevitable, and the stress associated with trying to cater to an entire family with the first thing hanging over you. For one thing, statistics show that most people only draft their will when they buy their first home, obviously with the mentality that they now have something to pass on. Some wait until they have children, but what we’re seeing here is a pattern not of people waiting until their sixties, but making wills fairly young. Although with the housing market the way it…ah, that’s neither here nor there. Point is, they need to be able to keep this in mind: that this isn’t a document that’ll be coming into play any time soon, hopefully. Drafting your will isn’t a case of getting it done so you can walk out the door and die at any time; instead, it’s insurance for the next generation, many years down the line. You can actually rest secure after completing your will, because you’re on the OPPOSITE side of stress. People have passed on without leaving instructions, and it’s become chaos as everyone descends on the leftovers. A will is peace of mind.
That’s what I want people to take away from our sessions, anyway. Hopefully the Melbourne’s last will and testament scene can be less of a source of stress for people in future. As for the second problem with family…hmm. That’s best for people to work out by themselves.