The Boating King

Did I make a huge mistake by moving to Iceland? I thought this would be the adventure of a lifetime, but in the six months I have been here, I have only been miserable. Honestly, I don’t even remember why I moved from Melbourne in the first place. Iceland is cold, windy, extremely remote and, worst of all, doesn’t have a boating community like Melbourne does. I used to be the king of Port Phillip Bay. Everyone would bow before me and admit how awesome I was at boating. When I got went to a marine welder for boat catch installation, everyone in Melbourne’s boating community knew about it. People there talk, you see, and when the Marine King got a new boat catch, it was the talk of the town.

That’s probably the thing I miss most about Melbourne. Boats and boat welding projects were my entire life. I loved the fame of being the best boater in Melbourne, the trendsetting, the fancy dinner parties with others who love boats and welding. I wasn’t a welder myself, of course, but I took great interest in the practice, as it could be used to directly enhance my boat. Only a fool would be interested in boats but not pay attention to marine welding. Businesses in the Melbourne area took great interest in my boating career as well, you know. I had so many sponsors. So many sponsors that you wouldn’t even believe it if I told you.

Maybe I should go back home, to that beautiful bay of Port Phillip. I can hear the winds there calling my name. Why did I even leave? Oh, that’s right. I’m a highly wanted pirate that ravaged the coastal towns of Melbourne. Geelong, Rosebud, Brighton. They were all victims of my savage raids. In the end, I had to retire with my treasures, with the police close to hunting me down. Perhaps I will be able to return in a decade or so, but not now.

– The Boating King


My fungus secret

I’m about to say something gross. Really gross. In fact, it’s kind of embarrassing. Gosh where do I begin? How do I say it? You know what, I’ll just come out with it. I’m struggling with toenail fungus. How humiliating is that! I haven’t told anyone, but at the same time I just needed to get it off my chest. That’s why this blog is so useful. I can just expel all my thoughts and free myself from dwelling on the same thought over and over again. Now that it’s out in the open, I’m curious if anyone else is battling with toenail fungus. How do you even get toenail fungus? That’s what I want to know! I’m a clean person and shower at least twice a day. Plus, I wear a new pair of socks each day. Some of my friends think that is extreme, but clearly I haven’t been extreme enough if I’m walking around with fungus on my feet. Even just writing about it I can feel the taste of bile creep its way back into my mouth. 

Last night I stayed up for four hours doing research on the internet so I could get to the bottom of this toenail mystery. I still can’t figure out the cause. The only thing that kind of makes sense is that people prone to psoriasis can get nail fungus. I struggle with psoriasis and eczema, and have for a long time, but never has it affected my toenails! I thought I’d also do some research on home remedies to clear up the fungus. The other night I went to sleep with lemon juice on my toes. It did absolutely nothing other than stink out my room and slightly stain my nails to a disgusting yellow.

I’m at a total loss with this and would love to hear some of your experiences. In the meantime, I have found an appointment with the best foot specialist in Cheltenham. During my quick phone consultation they assured me that they could help resolve my problem. I really hope so!


Tinting Record Book

Well, I can definitely say that this has been one of the more annoying days of my life. It all started this morning when our boss, Benny, was handing out appreciation doughnuts. Everyone on the team got a doughnut, along with a comment about what Benny appreciated from them. But when he got up to Ray and me, he put the doughnuts away. When we asked what was going on, Benny told us that he doesn’t appreciate anything about us! We do so much hard work, but apparently, it doesn’t get appreciated.

Sure, we might stuff up the occasional basic job. But every time we do a commercial glass tinting job, we get it right. I’d say that overall, we get one job done right for every one we stuff up, but our glass tinting is seriously top-notch stuff. That surely deserves some sort of recognition. But no, Benny says that if we’d ever done something worthy of appreciation, it would be in the Book of Company Records. Now, I didn’t even know that there was a Book of Company Records, talking about all of the successful tinting jobs performed by the company employees, but there should definitely be nice things in there about me and Ray.

So, Ray is thinking that we should “borrow” the book and write stuff in there so that Benny sees how much he should appreciate us. Sure, it might be a little dishonest, but isn’t it worse that he isn’t recognising the hard work of his employees? “If you are looking for the best office window tinting near Melbourne, you can always rely on Ray and Mitch to get the job done right every time”. That’s what it will say in the book once we have written in it. It’s true because we get window tinting right. It’s just all the other stuff we get wrong. I’d say that you can always rely on us to get the job done right about fifty per cent of the time, overall.

I mean, what else does he want from us? He can’t seriously expect us to actually do it right every time. This job is really hard. Give us a break, man.


Unexpected Wedding Proposal


Oh my goodness. The most embarrassing thing in the world just happened. My boyfriend of two years just proposed to me in front of all our friends and family and I said no! I mean, we’re only nineteen. Why would we want to get married?! He ruined such a perfect day and potentially our entire relationship just by asking me to do something that I wouldn’t do for at least another ten years. He has to be crazy, I can’t believe it.

I’ll tell you what I also can’t believe, the fact that my family and friends came along to witness it! Didn’t they think it was crazy for us to get married so young?! Why were they supportive of this instead of telling him it’s something that I’d never do?! I’m seriously dumbfounded. 

I’m so upset that he’s ruined everything. I was so happy when I saw the beautiful arch of roses and all the roses in our house. He lives with my family and me because his parents moved to the countryside. I thought it was the most romantic thing in the world, even more romantic than last year when he got me berry plants as a gift for Valentine’s Day and our one year anniversary. 

And what he did after it just makes me feel sick. I said no as soon as he began his spiel about wanting children and to start our lives together. I love him but I want to go to Europe for a couple of years and do God knows what with God knows who. I don’t want to be tied down to a boyfriend or a family by the time I’m twenty. I can’t even buy seeds online without messing it up, imagine running a family.

I don’t know what is going to happen to our relationship now. I was perfectly happy the way it was, but I don’t think it could ever be the same now that I know how intensely he feels about me.

air conditionging

Cooling Repairs Again

What does it mean to be alive? That was something we were taught from the very first day we could understand our lessons at the temple. It’s one lesson that has stayed with me fully, even through all of my changing situations. Even going from the temple to the techno-world of Melbourne, I have held onto this principle. And what is it? Alive is a relationship between two things. Maybe you love your teddy bear, or your shiny new oven, or your perfect garden. It does not matter…if that relationship exists, then that thing is alive and you must be too.

It’s a strange lesson, but the greatest one I was ever told. It is ‘conference season’ in Melbourne, air conditioning repairs are all the rage. Our company went up to learn about efficient air conditioner systems to save money. We saw some beginners struggling to fix the air con in the next room and I’m afraid I got distracted. I have always loved fixing things. The neighbours once had to evacuate their apartment because their air con was leaking a strange gas and they could no longer breathe properly. I was able to hold my breath and fix the problem, simply by inspecting the air con and finding the source of the problem through instinct. I suppose it was also a very simple oven, because I see some of them and they look like they could blast off into space, such is their design! Those, I would be more hesitant to fix.

That’s why I admired the people in this room, who were slaving away learning to fix air con. And then, once the air con is fixed, they were put to work online! There was a lady near the door who was struggling and getting a bit wet. I might have…given her some help. All she needed was the prompt to truly listen to the air conditioner . Their relationship was new, but still existent. After that, she had a much better time. I can see why the contact info for an air conditioner servicing company is a worthy one to keep. Anyone who understands the relationship between man and machine is essential.


Renovation Overkill

Ashleigh wants to renovate the house so that Millicent and Emily can have their own bedroom. Apparently, they’re growing up and need their own space that’s just for them. For those just tuning in, Millicent and Emily are Ashleigh’s cocker spaniels, which she insists on treating as though they were human children – and rather spoilt ones at that.

To be clear, the dogs (or ‘the girls’, as Ashleigh refers to them) clearly aren’t fussed about having their own space. If anything, I suspect they’re just going to come and sleep on Ashleigh’s bed anyway, like they’ve done for the past three years. I tried explaining this to Ashleigh, but she was having none of it, and accused me of not being sufficiently focused on the girls’ developmental needs.

Look, at the end of the day, it’s Ashleigh’s house so she gets to make the call. I’m just her room mate, although in my defense I do halve her monthly mortgage payments. That’s why I feel I should have a say in this – in a way, I’d be partly funding the renovations, as well as having to deal with the inconvenience of adding a whole new room to the 1-bedroom house.

That will mean having to rearrange all the other rooms, which in turn will require a more compact kitchen and bathroom, and getting rid of the laundry. Naturally, Ashleigh has been in talks with every kitchen design company Melbourne has to offer, looking for one willing to work with the extremely small space that will be left over once the new bedroom is installed.

Don’t even get me started on how the bathroom designers responded when they saw Ashleigh’s self-composed plans for the new layout. To put it bluntly, the toilet is inside the shower, which is seemingly the only possible way to get both conveniences into the single square metre she’s allocated for the new bathroom.

It just seems like a whole lot of trouble to go to for an outcome that Millicent and Emily probably aren’t going to give two hoots about.


New Business

Yesterday I went to see my best friend Stacey. Stacey and I have been friends for a good few years, we met in Melbourne when we were both working for a large accounting firm and about the same time we decided to quit and pursue our own small business. I went into interior design and Stacey went into textiles so we have ended up working together quite a lot. Most recently, we have been assisting with a kitchen renovations company in Melbourne that have been making a promotional video. We are both involved in the design aspect of the set they are shooting on. It is great to be able to work together and compliment each other’s strengths.  I don’t normally do a lot of kitchen design but this particular project has been quite exciting as I’ve been able to work with kitchen experts to learn more about the intricacies of bathroom layouts.

They are really trying to push the boundary with things like free standing tubs in bedrooms and totally open plan toilets. It seems there is a move towards a more progressive, free kitchen for many young homes. Stacey was telling me she worked with a family once who were renovating their entire house and she was helping them choose rugs and other materials, they wanted her to select textiles for the floor that was open plan and connected with the main living room. No walls or anything. The couple were very spiritually free and didn’t want any part of the house to be cut out from another. The kitchen designers that we are working with have their own fair share of hilarious renovation stories. They once installed a gold plated sink for a very high profile client!


Bloom For Youth

I have been asked to deliver a speech at my graduation ceremony. It came as a bit of a surprise because I am constantly described as an average student. Two years ago my entire year group took a standardised test and I was spot on the median grade. Studying horticultural botany isn’t particularly competitive, there are only three of us on the same specific course. I specialised in determining the growth rate of roses. I think this is the reason I have been asked to give the speech, my project is the most interesting from the course. The other projects looked at brindabella roses and optimal rose colour palettes.

I didn’t want to make my speech completely about flowers, I wanted to inspire and for once be considered above average. I think I’d be happy even being considered below average at this point, anything to break free from mundane mediocracy. Of course I would have to speak about my project but I wanted to add a little zest so I’ve decided to actually showcase so of my favourite iceberg roses. Of course I will be showing off some king fabiola’s as well as some freshly bloomed hybrid tea roses, because who doesn’t love a fresh bloom. As we all go forth beyond school I want to remind everyone to keep learning, although our lessons may be over and tests no longer graded we still have more knowledge to seek. Much like flowers will continue to bloom and die with the seasons we will have times of rain and times of shine. It is not how much shine we have that measures success but how we will deal with the waves of rain that hit us. Between some inspirational language and some breathtakingly gorgeous flowers I am sure I will make a few parents cry.


Seeds of Genius

This spring, I’m experimenting with new ways of germinating tomato seeds. I’ve had my thinking cap on all winter, brainstorming ways to ensure a bounty of fruit despite my garden being less than ideal for the purpose. After much tinkering with the concept, I believe I’ve landed on a solution that may just be crazy enough to work.

I don’t want to give everything away – if this idea proves effective, I could have monetisable product on my hands. Suffice it to say that it involves a complex array of mirrors and layers of plastic sheeting rigged up in a very specific order, and encircling the pièce de résistance: a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Therein lies the genius.

I bet you’ve got some questions. For example, what makes me think a medical device designed for specialised use by humans is going to help my tomato plants? And how on god’s green earth do I plan to get around the obvious difficulty of setting up a hyperbaric chamber in my garden?

I’ll answer the second question first, as the answer is very simple. I’ve learnt that there are such things as portable hyperbaric chambers, and they are available for the public to purchase. I’m not sure exactly what ‘portable’ means in this context, but I gather it should be possible to set up the chamber outside, even if it means connecting it to the house using some kind of extension lead hack.

Now, to the first question regarding what makes me think this will work. Well, plants need oxygen, just like humans do. I figure that, seeing as I can’t engineer more sunlight into my garden (aside from what can be achieved with mirrors, which is relatively minimal), maybe I can make up for it by delivering extra oxygen.

I realise that this is going out on a limb somewhat, but sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box.


Trip to Adelaide

I’m finally back from my trip to Adelaide. I’ve always been told that it’s an old, backwards town that barely deserves to be called a city, but to their credit, they had like two skyscrapers there. I assumed that people walked from place to place, or rode on horses. I was expecting a town still stuck in the 1800s. Instead, it seems they’re only stuck in the late 1900s. Not anywhere near as bad as I expected. 

When my grandmother bought me a plane ticket to go visit the city where my family had come from, I was quite taken aback. I didn’t even realise Adelaide had an airport. I didn’t even think its people would know what an aeroplane was. Turns out I’ve been very misled.

When I first landed at Adelaide Airport, I was further surprised to find that many of the people had smartphones. Hang on, I was thinking, where are all the old western-style saloons and the standoffs out on the street? Apparently they don’t do that anymore. As I collected my luggage, I saw a booth where you could rent out a car. That shook me to my core. They had cars in Adelaide? Surely you couldn’t buy a car here or even get auto repair. Around Adelaide, things are supposed to be like the old days. I asked one of the locals and he told me about how he drives everywhere. I was amazed. It really wasn’t what I expected.

With this realisation done, I decided to rent out a car, rather than take the train everywhere. Of course, I was surprised that Adelaide had trains, since those were around in the 1800s, but I was surprised at the quality of them. Their trains are just like the ones in Melbourne! Incredible. As I drove through the city, I did indeed see a car mechanic, and a bowling alley, and a theatre. All marvels of the 20th century! It seemed the city wasn’t anywhere near as backwards as I thought.

That was until I got onto Main South Road. Despite being a main road that led to the outer suburbs, the speed limit was only 60 kilometres per hour. What is this barbarism? How could they possibly justify such a speed? So despite my shattered expectations, it turns out Adelaide is a bit backwards.