Maybe that sofa could be a little bit more to the left. The windowsill is so bare, how have I never noticed?? I need some flowers, even if they’re not real. The next person who owns this place can do what they like, including putting the sofa back to where it was, but it’s crucial that they get a good impression of the place. Selling a home is usually stressful, which is why we got the home styling people in in the first place, but this is something else. That’s what we get for buying a home supposedly haunted by a vengeful spirit.
Oh, it’s ALL just stories. I swear, the people around here in Keymore have the most vivid imaginations and they gossip like it’s 1790 and social media hasn’t yet graced this part of the world. It’s this sort of silly superstition that makes me want to move away and find somewhere a bit more in keeping with the modern world. We can have all the property styling Melbourne has to offer, the place can be made to look like an absolute dream and a family haven for years to come…but that doesn’t stop the neighbours stopping potential buyers in the street (every time! Are they watching from the windows on some kind of rota?) and casually mentioning that seventeen people were killed in this building eight years ago as part of some silly ritual or something. Petty details! What matters is the here and now: the positioning of the furniture, the ample garden space for pets and kids, the ensuite in both the master and guest bedrooms, the new curtains that let in just the right amount of light, the cozy study that can be converted into a bedroom in a flash and the masses of storage space under the stairs.
People don’t need to know that this place was known as ‘The Charnel House of Keymore’. How silly. They don’t need to know that the taps sometimes turn themselves on, or I don’t know…the whispers in the night that promise revenge upon the world for injustice. Oh, and the little raining blood thing that happens in Tamara’s bedroom. Amongst…other things.
Our house staging has been fabulous, though, so we’ll be out of here soon! I really hope…
People say Canberra isn’t fun. And they’re right, mostly.
When you’re a kid you don’t really notice, because kids make their own entertainment, they don’t go out as such and, like…friends and stuff. Then you get to be a teenager like me, and you can’t wait to go to university in Brisbane and just go completely wild because this place is SO BORING. I think just the act of living is putting me into a coma.
There’s just…nothing for teens to do here. There are only so many times you can go to the cinema, and it’s not like the restaurant/night life is happening. Everyone is in bed by 9pm with a cup and tea and the evening newspaper. It was better when I was a few years younger, I remember. One good thing about Canberra: kids birthday party venues, but don’t ask me why. I used to have birthdays in some seriously cool places, for real. Just imagine climbing frames and fake pirate ships and slides, all the stuff that kids really love. Even if it was once a year, I used to look forward to that stuff. And now I’m old and life is boring. I think there might be a nightclub somewhere, but I’m too young for that. Too old for an indoor play centre. Although I don’t know if they have an age limit, so maybe I could go to relive the glory years.
Yeah, they probably DO have a limit. Wouldn’t want a teenager crawling around inside a colourful pipe and making everyone uncomfortable; fair enough. Still, I have to do SOMETHING or I’m going stir crazy. Maybe I could round up the crew from school and make a trip to Melbourne or something. They must be as bored as I am, and we’re not great friends but there’s no better time to get to know each other a bit better. We could reminisce about the time when Canberra’s fine indoor play centres fulfilled all of our hopes and dreams…and then we grew up. Shared grievances, or whatever.
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.
Today has been …. intense. Like wow, I thought going back to school would be hard, but I had no idea it would be quite this difficult. I mean, I guess you just kind of fall out of the habit of things, you get stuck in your own little nice, cosy rut and just get good at doing what you’re doing. Throwing myself out of my comfort zone like this seemed like a good idea at the time, but after today, I’m really not to sure about the whole thing.
Today was the first day of my dry needling course. It took ages to find one that looked half decent, and even longer to find the best of the dry needling courses in NZ, but I thought that if I was going to do this, I wouldn’t go in half hearted about it. If you want to commit, then you have to commit completely, to tell yourself that you’re going to stick it through to the end. Otherwise you give yourself an out, an easy way to say ‘oh well, better luck next time’ and retreat back into the safety of your rut. I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I made my mind up that I was going to be the best of the best.
Today did not go as I was hoping. In my mind, as I walked in my casually friendly manner would take over and I’d make instant pals while loving the course material. The reality of the situation is that life is never that easy. I was so nervous I was almost paralysed, and let me tell you, dry needling courses are no picnic. The content is difficult and confusing. It’s a real skill. I know I need to look at it as a challenge, but sometimes that’s difficult.
Today, I was not deterred. I made up my mind, I am going to do this. I need to work harder, better, smarter. Today was not the end but the beginning.
Locals are under constant, mysterious threat from the net-fiend of Keymore, and I’m just the amateur private-eye to solve the case! I now have one case under my belt, an adventure I like to refer to as ‘The Keymore Cat Burglar’. Mrs Price was so worried that her dog was extra hungry all the time and she didn’t know why. I staked out her garden for two days and found that Mog, the next door cat, had been sneaking in and stealing from Zano’s bowl, and Zano was too scared to do anything about it. Problem solved! Now Zano gets fed inside.
I’ve moved onto what people are calling a crime wave involving sports netting. Now, the Keymore Senior Tennis Association takes their sport very seriously, even if they have to cut their games in half because they’re all very old. But some scallywag has been sneaking in every week or so and making off with all recently purchased tennis nets! What a fiend! The elderly folks just want to play some good games of tennis, smash the opposition into oblivion and maybe cool off afterwards with some nice cucumber sandwiches and a spot of tea while they talk about their grandchildren and the economy. But tennis isn’t much if you don’t have tennis netting. Or at least, I assume it’s so; I don’t know much about tennis. Is that the one where you roll balls along the ground? Into nets, I’m guessing?
All I know is that the Tennis Association is a mainstay in Keymore and they don’t deserve this treatment. I will find this net-thief, and I will bring him to justice even though I’m not the police or any sort of law-enforcement! That didn’t stop me from solving the Cat Burglar case, did it? And how hard can it be to follow the guy with an armful of brand new sports netting, dragging it along behind him as he cackles into the night? Sounds like a snap to me.
Oh my gosh I am like unreasonably nervous for this. I feel like I might have a heart attack or like I’m about to blackout or something, which is just totally ridiculous. I mean, obviously I’m ridiculously excited, I mean, who wouldn’t be right? But I just hate it how my nerves kick in even when it’s something as positive as this.
As I write this, I’m killing time before I go and meet with my buyers agent in Melbourne for the first time. Surprise, I’m moving to Melbourne! I know, my friends and family are going to be devastated, but you’re going to get over it guys. And, you can come visit me down here anytime you want! It’s all so crazy exciting, right? I can’t believe it’s actually happening, either. It’s been in the pipeline for so long, just ticking away behind the scenes, and now it’s actually finally going to happen. It’s like I’m stepping into a dream, I can honestly can’t believe it’s all going to come together. I’ve been dreaming of this for so long it feel strange to be finally becoming a reality.
Obviously, I don’t know like anything about the Melbourne property market, and I didn’t want to just fly in blind – that would be totally nuts. So yeah, I got in touch with one of the best property advocates in Melbourne to see what they could do for me. It might sound a little strange to some people, but actually, they’ve been completely amazing. Like, the whole thing has just been so easy and stress-free (well, not quite, but I know I’m like 90% less stressed out than I would be if I’d done this whole thing on my own).
At this very moment, the plane’s about to touch down and I’m about to meet with my buyers advocate and look at all the amazing houses she’s found for me. Wish me luck!