Solar Log 005

“Max Remington, reporting one last time from Solaris. But this isn’t the usual log. No, today is different. Because today, I’m not alone. Rescue arrived yesterday, just as the sun was setting – or rather, moving out of sight, because it never really sets here on Solaris.”

“It’s been a journey, hasn’t it? One filled with despair, determination, innovation, and survival. A journey powered by the relentless rays of a foreign sun, and a journey that taught me more than any space expedition could.”

“I’ve learned about the limitless power of the sun, something we often take for granted back home. I’ve harnessed it, bent it to my will, survived off it. The experience has left me in awe of solar energy, and its potential back home in Australia. You’d be surprised how far small-scale technology certificates in Australia could go.”

“But for me, I’ll never take energy for granted again. The power that flowed from my makeshift solar panel was a lifeline, a ray of hope in the literal darkness. I think about the commercial installations back home, the silent rooftops gleaming in the sun. There’s a power there, a silent, untapped potential. Maybe we just need to get stranded on a sun-soaked planet to see it.”

“And let’s not forget the community that was with me, albeit remotely. So many people cheering for my return. As I built my solar power system, I think I could feel it. As I pondered how what I had learned might apply to getting a solar lease agreement, I felt them with me.

“Leaving Solaris behind is bittersweet. This relentless, unending desert of a planet has been my home, my challenge, and my teacher. I’ll carry these lessons with me, back to Earth, back to life. But there’s one thing I’ll certainly look forward to: a world where the sun sets, and the world gets to rest.”

“Signing off for the last time from Solaris, this is Max Remington, returning home.”

Dark Lord’s House

How does a Dark Lord of the Zith choose a home? I never thought I would settle down on Earth, but after being thrown down a giant shaft, faking my own death and racing away in a spaceship, I have to lie low somewhere for the next thirty or so years until eventually I am needed once again. In the meantime, I’ll just let my entire army take control of the galaxy, while I’m taking a holiday on Earth. I randomly chose my destination and have landed in the metropolitan area of Melbourne. At first, I wandered down the street (countless people fleeing in terror), until eventually I cornered somebody and asked where exactly I was, and how I would go about acquiring a home. “You’re in the Bayside suburb of Brighton. You should probably see a buyer’s agent about getting a house because nobody would ever sell to you. Please don’t hurt me, Mr Monster!”

A buyer’s agent? Brighton? Very well. So long as galactic credits were acceptable currency, I’d be able to buy whatever home I wanted. Indeed, I did find a buyer’s agent to help me with the purchase. Although I was greatly insulted by the idea that I would need a house with aid for the elderly, a few magic-assisted backflips ended that conversation promptly. Now, this particular buyer’s agency for Melbourne property thought they had the perfect place that I could buy. The problem is, it doesn’t really match my style. My vibe is more of a futuristic spaceship one, and I’m not really feeling it with these Brighton homes. Maybe I need to try looking in another suburb because these ones are just too white for me. If the walls were dark grey or black, I could definitely get behind that.

Of course, there’s also the matter of galactic credits not being acceptable on Earth, since it technically isn’t from my galaxy. I knew I should have made it a universal empire, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. Perhaps next time I become emperor, I’ll expand us out beyond the galaxy. I’m sure that won’t go wrong at all.

Home Buying Issues

So today we have the meeting with the buyers’ advocate! We’re all really excited. We agreed that we needed to come prepared and so we’ve all written down individual lists of what we want from a property, including the location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, outdoor space and more. Pretty much anything we could think of that we feel is important for buying a house we’ve put on the list. 

The three biggest things on my list are the location, the access to public transport and outdoor areas. I’m going to make sure that I’m the first person to hand their list to the buyers’ agent. In the Brighton East area, there seem to be quite a few houses up for sale. Mind you, they’re not overly affordable, but we all have full-time jobs and can get loans from the bank. I’ve done the math and if we pull all our loans together then we’ll be able to live just about anywhere… but I want to live in the southeast suburbs. 

It’ll be interesting to see everyone else’s list. What happens if they’re all completely different? I mean we’re best friends and we’ve all grown up near each other so surely our lists would be similar… right? I assume the buyers’ advocate will be able to help us find something that is a close enough match to everything we want. And then once we’ve found a place that suits all our needs we’ll be able to buy a house yeah? That’s got to be doable with the help of a buyers’ advocate. Near Elsternwick, there are apparently quite a few properties available as well, so I think we’ll get lucky and find something that works for all of us. I’ll keep you guys updated!

Okay, things have gone wrong. Two of us want to buy in the same area and the other two want to buy in completely different areas. It doesn’t take a buyers’ advocate to know that we’re in trouble.

Changing Houses

Since I have been doing so many interviews with house hunters from Forgotten Springs, a woman by the name of Bes got in contact with me, asking for some advice. I met with Bes at the local park, where we had a good discussion while sitting on a swing set.

“I’m not sure my tactics for house purchasing are working out too well. See, as a changeling, I can alter my appearance to look however I want. Recently, I’ve been going to house sales looking like really famous people, because I figure they’ll be willing to give me a better deal that way, just for the honour of having a sports star or famous actor living in their old home. But when they see me, they suddenly drive up the price to the point where I can’t afford it. At first, I thought maybe I was just getting unlucky and they didn’t like whoever I appeared as. But it’s been consistent enough that I think something else is going on.”

I explain to Bes how most real estate agents will drive up the price for famous people because they must have the money to pay for it. That’s why famous people go to a buyer’s advocacy in the Melbourne area—they can negotiate with the real estate agents on their behalf so that their identity remains anonymous.

“So, what you’re saying is that I should be appearing as boring, no-name people who won’t attract attention? I haven’t tried that. It sounds so crazy that it just might work. Alternatively, I could go to a buyer’s advocate around Hampton, where I want to live, and get them to do it for me.”

I tell Bes about how a lot of people throughout Forgotten Springs are using buyer’s agents to find their dream homes. Even Kagan the orc found a place exactly where he wanted. She seems pleased with the idea and is going to get in contact with one as soon as possible.

Bi-Weekly Foot Injury

I’ve got to be the clumsiest person in the world. Every second week I’m injured from either falling over or something falling into me. I don’t know why I manage to attract so much danger and bad luck, but it is what it is.

Yesterday, in perfect accordance with my bi-weekly injury tally, I fell over and injured my foot. Now, I’m no stranger to foot injuries. When you fall over as much as I do, you’re bound to injure your foot at least once every couple of months. As soon as I felt the sharp pain in my foot that I’ve felt so many times before, I knew that I would have to call my podiatrist. Cheltenham is a relatively big suburb, and so my podiatrist has a lot of clients that she attends to. I doubt she is able to remember them all by name, but she without a doubt remembers me. We’ve honestly become friends over the last ten years, due to the fact I have to visit her every couple of months or so.

I often wonder if she has any other patients like me. I assume she would see some patients just as regularly, but probably for more serious ongoing issues. Every time I visit her I’m visiting for a different reason, purely because I’ve hurt myself in the days before. 

I remember once I really threw a spanner in the works when I visited my podiatrist for an issue that wasn’t related to a foot injury. This was the most embarrassed I had been going into her practice, even more embarrassed than when I dropped a hammer on my foot and it was blue and swollen. I was embarrassed because I had toenail fungus.

I had accidentally let the fungus spread across all my toes when I was distracted by an injury to my collarbone. She was shocked that I had come into her practice for anything other than an injury, but I think she was also pleasantly surprised that I hadn’t hurt myself for once. I didn’t tell her about the issues I was facing with my collarbone…

Journey Inside

I’ve got this fantastic idea for an interior design concept. You’re going to love it. Just promise you won’t copy it, okay? I’m putting my trust in you, reader, to do the right thing and let me be the one to realise this visionary idea.

In essence, the idea is for a home interior that evokes being inside a human body. Cool, right? I’m thinking about this in a semi-realist kind of way. I’m imagining a blood red colour palette, low lighting, and perhaps even hidden speakers emitting churing, squelching sounds, strategically positioned at key points in the journey through the space. The whole point, after all, is for it to be a journey, if not a total revolution in what a living space can be.

The tricky part is going to be finding a team willing to take on this ambitious project. Admittedly, I haven’t thought through the logistics at this point, although designers are fairly adventurous around here. When it comes to kitchen and bathroom renovations for Melbourne homes, it’s not uncommon to see some pretty edgy design features. For example, my friend just got an infrared sauna installed in her bathroom, which takes up the entire second floor of her townhouse and also includes a cold plunge pool with indoor cave ‘landscaping’.

Yes, I’m aware that this sort of thing is restricted to certain circles – namely, those with a lot of money to toss around – but the fact is, that’s the playing field I have at my disposal. Do you think I’d be going for a conceptual interior if I wasn’t loaded? I’ve bought and renovated several high end homes now, which means (a) I have kitchen designers on speed dial, and (b) I’m hanging out to do something really out-there.


What I mean is, I’m in a position to take a so-called design ‘risk’. It won’t really be a risk, though, because I’m going to be living in this place, not trying to sell it. This is simply want I want from my own living space.


Tea Terrors

I’ve got some new scoop on Miranda and Jennifer, and their recent return to the village. Sherrilyn has confirmed our suspicions that they’re here to reboot the teashop, but apparently without a known source for their star ingredient. Apparently, all the podiatrists in the region have gotten wind of precisely what the sisters have been doing with the bags of toenail clippings they’ve been collecting from the clinics, and are now refusing to participate in the scheme.

That means Miranda and Jennifer must either find a new source for nail clippings, or else think of a new ‘secret’ ingredient. Honestly, I’m not convinced that toenails have any beneficial properties when consumed orally, even if they have been finely powdered and cured in a jar with a single moon-charged bay leaf. So I’m holding out hope that they’ll switch to elderflowers or something.

Unfortunately for everyone, their track record isn’t promising. Before they got onto toenails in tea, they were using old compression socks to flavour honey. This was common knowledge among the local wyrd folk and we all avoided the shop like the plague, but the townsfolk were completely oblivious and saw it as a delicacy, praising its ‘earthy’ and ‘curious’ flavour.

We couldn’t tell them. It would have led to yet another shunning, and the last time that happened there were pitchforks involved. It can get pretty messy. So we just let it be and hoped it would go away, which it eventually did when all the podiatrists around Cheltenham stopped supplying the sisters with used compression socks.

At the time, I thought that was because the podiatrists had figured out what the socks were being used for. I assumed they were keeping mum about it so as not to be seen as complicit in the deed. But then they moved right onto supplying toenails clippings, so I guess there must have been some other reason they stopped with the socks.

We can only hope that Miranda and Jennifer have discovered what you can do with flowers and herbs since we last saw them.

Lack of Office Tinting

After coming back into the office after a six month stint working from home, I expected things to look different. Not too different obviously, because I know that my bosses are pretty stingy, but they had so much time to make the improvements our office so desperately needs. I mean if no one’s in the office for six months, it shouldn’t be that hard to bite the bullet and just get some office tinting. Within Melbourne, we constantly have people peeping into our office while we work. It’s just uncomfortable for everyone inside the office and it could’ve been easily rectified when everyone was working from home.

I’d love it if we got the windows in our office tinted. Our company is on the ground level of a massive skyscraper in the city, so there is a lot of foot traffic in the front of our building. If the windows were tinted like they should be, we’d probably have people walk past the windows and check their teeth or do something funny. Seeing stuff like that periodically throughout the day would give me a laugh and really lift my spirits, in addition to making me feel like my coworkers and I finally have some privacy. There’s honestly nothing creepier than being hard at work and then looking up at the window only to see someone staring straight back at you. 

I’m honestly really disappointed in my workplace. I don’t understand why they think that maintaining a decent level of comfort for their employees is something that they can avoid. We would feel at least 90% more comfortable if we just had frosted window glass to protect our privacy from the outside world. They know that every employee feels the same way I do and yet they chose to be lazy and cheap and not do anything about it. I think I’m going to start searching for a new job.

Bigger, Better Renovations

I was the type of person that just didn’t really care about things. I know that’s not the most attractive trait, but once again, I don’t really care. People called me aloof and out of touch, but again, I don’t care. The truth is, when you are born with plenty of money and won’t have to worry about it for your entire life, it’s easy to become complacent and not put effort into things. Obviously I’m only speaking from my own experience, but I’d say that played a big part in my complacency. I’ve gotten better about being less complacent, but generally, I still am.

So when I bought my first house eight years ago, I obviously wasn’t as excited as the average person. I appreciated how nice the house was and obviously knew it was about ten times more expensive than the average Melbourne home, but other than that I wasn’t really phased. I’ll never forget the look on the builders’ faces when they did the bathroom remodel, when they saw how incredible it was. I know they were wondering why I would need to renovate any part of it. But at that point I figured that I may as well, so why not? When you have plenty of money, bigger is better.

I did the same with the laundry. I knew for a fact that the laundry designer would have never designed a laundry as extravagant as the one in my home, and that the idea that I wanted to go bigger and better than the best laundry they would have ever seen was wild to them. They didn’t have to tell me any of this, I could tell by their faces. But this was all a part of the fun… one-upping people is one of the only things I actually care about. So yeah, that kick started me single-handedly establishing that designer as the greatest laundry renovation specialist Melbourne has ever seen.

The resulting bathrooms and laundry really were something else. They were featured in all different home design magazines and also won some awards. I’ll admit, I did feel a sense of pride after that.

I’m No Peasant!

I can’t believe that Percival didn’t order our butler, Jonathan Hammond, to get my car fixed. I absolutely refuse to drive to the Soap Lover’s Festival without it fully and completely operational. What does Percival Clancy III expect me to do, drive there in a 2019 Porchy like a mere commoner? Would he really want his wife to appear so mundane, so behind the times? No, I need my brand new 2020 Mercy Aides in tip top shape. I absolutely will not be going anywhere until my car has been serviced.

Even if the growling noises beneath the pristine, polished floorboards get louder and the floors crack, I won’t be leaving this house looking like a peasant. Hammond will have to find a car service centre near Hobart and then drive back to Melbourne. I won’t have that vehicle being touched by anyone other than the very best mechanic Australia has to offer.

What shall I do until he returns? I’m all ready to leave for the festival, so I can’t do anything too extreme, like walking around. Whatever I do will have to be stationary. Oh, I know! I started reading this week. It’s actually a really interesting activity where you look at a page with words on it and your brain magically turns those words into pictures. It’s quite remarkable! I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner. Yes, I’ll read while Hammond searches for a mobile auto electrician service. Hobart is quite far away, so the service will have to be done a little closer. I’ll make sure the mechanic is well compensated in the proper peasant money.

Now, I’ve started with what people call the ‘classics’, so I think today I shall continue reading Jim Austin. Bride and Betelgeuse is such an exciting story so far! It’s about some fair women who are transported to a far-away star system, where they must compete in a competition to marry the most in-demand groom of the universe! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

– Cecilia Clancy