Archibald went to a party yesterday. Now, I’m quite used to parties involving violins, live dance troupes, French canapes and light conversation over seafood. Personally, I find it all a little bit tiresome; just once I’d like a group of school chums over for a good chat, and maybe some of this ‘fish and chips’ business that commoners talk about all the time. It sounds rather scrumptious, I must say.
Alas, Mother and Father seem obsessed with seafood. But anyway, this party of Archibald’s. It was indeed a school chum and it sounded like a real hoot. You maybe have heard of indoor play centres. Bayswater has one, so says Matilda from class 3C, and they sound a little bit frightening, if also rather fun. Now, Mother and Father would never let us go to one, as they are for the common folk, but Archibald’s friend had another idea. He had some engineering folks come and set up a play centre on the mansion grounds, so they had the place to themselves. The entire structure was temporary, or so I’m told, and they had marvellous fun with the custom-made delights and entertainment.
This makes a little bit more sense to me. The play centres of which I have heard before seem to cater more to a younger audience, perhaps even younger than myself at the age of seven. No doubt there would be fun to be had, but perhaps it would be in limited supply. By Archie’s telling, there were engineering puzzles, mathematical conundrums to be solved and a host of other intellectual pursuits that made the party much more fun than simply playing one one’s own whims. Or rather…I think so.
Perhaps once I would like to try a play centre. They are also birthday party venues, Bentleigh East and Bayswater being two such examples. Imagine such a thing! Oh, to be one of the common folk, if only for a day…
Daddy says that our anti-insect system in the mansion is ‘state-of-the-art’. I will have to ask my tutor, Copernicus, what that actually means, because I simply can’t make head or tail of it. He was on edge for a frightfully long time after Mummy discovered ants in the bread bin. The whole place was in an uproar, so much so that I had my friend Matilda over for a playdate and we had to go out on the grounds to one of our treehouses to escape the ruckus.
Men in funny suits running back and forth, Daddy barking orders…I later found out that he had summoned every pest control expert from Mornington and beyond to the house, and they were slightly surprised to find that they were all there at the same time. It was like a convention, I suppose. Matilda must have thought that our home had gone utterly mad. I rather think it had!
Now, the mansion has all kinds of ways out keeping the animals outside. There’s also a panic button in the kitchen that Mummy can press if she sees a termite or a cockroach, and it’ll summon a pest control agent. I rather think that Daddy dislikes insects and bugs somewhat, given his reaction. He sacked the entirety of the kitchen staff and brought in new ones, then gave them extensive training in spotting infestations. Golly, I’d hate to see how he’d react if he knew I was keeping a stray rat in my room and feeding him random bits of French brie I manage to steal from the afternoon tea platter. I think he likes it, but I just think about how Daddy would react if he saw my little friend. Then again, he never actually comes into my room, being far too busy with office matters. Mummy wouldn’t understand either, and I just know that Archie would tell on me, the little beast.
Those termite control people from Mornington are terrible efficient, however. Perhaps it’s time my rat friend found a new home. Then he could bite someone else for a change.
I was channel surfing today, which I usually do right after lunch when I’m a bit tired from playing croquet with the girls or taking a helicopter tour. We just bought the deluxe gold platinum ultra shiny premium plus package, so we have ALL the channels and sometimes surfing through them all can take an entire afternoon. I mean, really. It’s time-consuming!
Sometimes I get stuck on something I find interesting, most often the animal channel but today the health channel. I saw something and just KNEW that we had to get one for the mansion. Maybe two! Oxygen therapy in Melbourne is taking off, and I know because a fellow in a white coat said so, on the TV no less. They don’t let people on TV unless they’re trustworthy; that’s what Vera said! Anyway, this oxygen thing just involves sitting in a glass box thing and getting healthy. Now, I love the treadmill, don’t get me wrong. But I need to look into this oxygen therapy thing, because no matter what mode I select, I always end up SO out of breath. What if I could get more breath? More breath would be nice.
Ooh, and I just picked up yoga! I do wonder, what are the chances of being able to hop inside your hyperbaric chamber thingy and do some yoga moves? My personal yoga teacher is from Albajeria and he’s SO harsh. I’m ending up totally exhausted with all that stretching, and he just tuts and says I’m not trying hard enough. If I had an oxygen chamber…well, I’d never be out of breath!
I’ll have to look it up on the computer machine, or have Sebastian do it for me because that thing baffles me! There must be somewhere in Melbourne that does hyperbaric chambers who’ll make one of their tanks just a little bit bigger to accommodate my stretches. If not…well, I could always just spend my afternoon nap in there. Yoga is so hard…
Typical: you order your windows from an esteemed Estonian company, have them shipped over specially and then at the first sign of a storm, they all show themselves to be worthless. This was meant to be quality European double-glazing, and now the study window has blown in. My red-grade files were almost ruined by the rain.
It’s unacceptable. I’ve half a mind to simply buy out the company and install sub-par coffee machines on every floor that dispense the wrong drinks. However, the paperwork would be absolutely frightful. Currently I’m devoting my efforts to finding a place in Melbourne that does timber window replacements. Buy local, that’s what my Father always told me. Support the local economy until the way when you become rich enough to take it over. It’s essentially sowing the seeds for your own success! It’s worked for me thus far, but right now I have to have the mansion windows replaced. Quality Australian workmanship, this time!
Perhaps it’s time for a change. I have a large viewing window in my study the looks out upon the mansion grounds, gilded with timber beams and specially crafted to allow the greatest viewing space. However, I’m rethinking the design. I host business partners in my study on occasion, and one must keep up with the times. Aluminium is currently a big-name product in the window industry, so perhaps it could be incorporated. Cecelia will have a fit if I replace the window in the library, but for my private study this may suffice. Yes, perhaps…if aluminium windows in Melbourne are the trend, I must keep up with the Joneses. Dirty, money-grubbing Joneses. Always trying to impress with their fancy villa on the hill. Well, Whitehall shall stand tall with its aluminium windows, the pride of the community! And it may help me to seal a business deal or two. Another thing father taught me: dress to impress, and that includes your office space.
-Percival Clancy III
The father playbook for all things financial? Let someone else do it. No, really, it’s what I’ve been taught. Of course, you must oversee everything yourself and have a thorough of understanding of financial matters. Imagine not having something like that! The thought makes me titter. But no, the dreary, hand-on business is best left to people with the expertise. My tutor taught me all the sum I needed to know when I was six, and thus the nitty-gritty common parlance can be delegated while I sip my custom-produced bergamot tea and educate myself as to the latest affairs.
It’s really the learning that has me slightly bamboozled at the moment, however. Yesterday, Father called me into his study to discuss matters of great business importance. He let me look at his directory, in which he keeps all the Melbourne property conveyancing experts who inhabit his payroll, since the matter at hand was to do with one of our investments. Property conveyancers, as I have long known, are the backbone of Father’s housing empire. Without them he’d be left sifting through mounds of paperwork every day, not leaving his office until 10pm and Mother would be ever so cross. She dislikes it when Father is not present at the very end of our obscenely-long dining table for our evening discussion of the day’s events.
In any case, conveyancing is a practice in which I have become well-acquainted, and thus I had heard many of the names before. To be surprise, however, many of the names were unfamiliar. Father’s business connections stretch much deeper than I had anticipated, hence why he dedicates an entire bookshelf to property conveyancing alone. I must confess, I was astounded at the intense level of organisation I would be inheriting. Father assured me that this would all be part of my education, however. By the time I’m ready to inherit the estate, I’ll have glanced over every vendors statement in Melbourne and shaken the hands of the people who’d signed them. What spiffing fun!
-Archibald Clarence II
Golly, technology certainly moves apace! I try to stay out of the study- that’s Percy’s private space, and all those filing systems just confuse me- but when I’m passing I can hear him talk about all kinds of things. Then there’s the dinner table conversation, most of which I just smile and nod at because Percy and Archie just talk business while Madeira and I talk about the latest fashion when they get properly engrossed.
The flavour of the day was video production, which I suppose I understand. Percy’s client needs some sort of wedding video, and Melbourne businesses are clamouring for a bit of the action. It’s some celebrity wedding, and you’d think I’d know because I follow ALL the latest celebrity trends. Perhaps it’s that nice couple from Single Guy; they certainly caused enough of a stir when the main guy refused to give a petunia to the fan-favourite and ran off with one of the girls who’d been eliminated in the first week. Caused quite the stir! If the opportunity came up to film the wedding, there might even be a bidding war.
I know Percy does a lot of property management, bless him, but he just keeps coming up with new pursuits. Ah, it doesn’t matter much to me. We’ve quite stable, and it gives me time to work on my tan, and other personal projects. Come to think of it, I think we have our old wedding video stashed away somewhere, perhaps in the records room. We certainly made it a lavish ceremony! Several politicians in attendance, no doubt hoping to brown-nose their way into some kind of lucrative deal, but I tried to ignore them as I was flown in on a custom helicopter shaped like a swan, parachuting to the solid-platinum altar. Oh, we had such fun!
Maybe I should dig out the old spot of wedding videography. Melbourne just got a new show, Extreme Weddings. I could be on television! Again!
I get it. Old houses are aesthetically beautiful, and the history behind them of all the families that came before yours can give it a warm glow, but for goodness sakes, no one tells you just how much harder owning an old house can be! The floors are likely to be falling apart, you’re going to battle against the creaking doors and squeaking floorboards, there’s always a fine layer of dust over everything, and the electrical work is a nightmare. Far and away, though, the worst problems are with the pipes.
Oh my goodness the plumbing. Melbourne has a lot of fantastic plumbers, and so every time we run into a problem, our incredible plumber is always there to help us out, but my gosh, there comes a time when you have to wonder if you wouldn’t be better off just ripping out all the pipes and starting over again from scratch. Things can only get so bad! Having the odd blocked drain in Melbourne is nothing to worry about, but when you have to call your plumber for something different every month, you know there’s a serious problem. You can’t just brush something like that under the rug.
Really, sometimes I wonder if we’ve even done the right thing here. We have two small kids, maybe it would be better if we relocated to a modern house. It’s such an enormous drain running into problems like this left, right, and center. Maybe it would easier, cheaper, and better. Obviously, that would be a huge stress and pressure to put on my family, but sometimes I have to seriously wonder if it would be worth it. At this point, I’m just starting to get really tired of the pure amount of work that goes into maintaining a house like this one.
When we first bought this house it was extremely run down. None of the plumbing worked and a few of the walls had gaping holes in them. It was definitely a fixer-upper, and fix up we did! We decided to do most of the work ourselves to cut down costs. It was fairly extreme DIY but Rob is very handy with a drill and I know my way around the grouting. The process was fairly stressful, we had our fair share of arguments and a couple of cuts and scrapes too, from the building work not from each other. So now, two years later we are preparing to sell the place. This time we are letting the professionals guide us, Rob has hired a property staging company based in Melbourne to come in and make our house look ‘buyable’.
It really is a shame we have to sell the place, if we had been a little more careful with our budget during the renovations we have may been able to afford to stay here. It seemed at the time it was best to go the extra mile and make everything perfect but perhaps if it had been just less than perfect we’d be able to enjoy it. The good thing is we should be making an unbelievable profit on the place, especially if the property stylist can maximise the selling value by the percentage he thinks he can! Although I like our spin on the decor, apparently it doesn’t appeal to the mass market. The stylists are bringing in lots of warm tones and curved surfaces. We do live in a pretty vanilla neighbourhood and our out-there style has never gone do so well. When I cut the hedges out front into celestial shapes most of the neighbours complained that it didn’t fit in the with the ‘street-look’. They liked it even less when I then trimmed the hedges into various human anatomies. Let’s just say I had a lot of parents complaining about their kids asking a lot of questions.
I just met the nicest man on the planet.
This morning, on the way to work, everything happened completely as per usual. I didn’t spend any more or less time contemplating whether I should get out of bed, standing in the shower thinking about calling in sick, trudging the path from my house to the station. I carelessly chose a seat on the train, the man sitting opposite me was not put off by my ‘leave me alone’ stare.
Instead, he offered me a banana.
Usually, I would have been annoyed by this remark. I consider the morning ‘my time’ and generally hate it when people try and break through my personal space, but as it so happened, my shower ruminations had taken longer than normal, and so I had been forced to skip breakfast in order to make the 8:02 train. So I took the man up on his offer of a banana, thus entering myself into conversation I had no desire to partake in.
Unlike previous conversations with train-faring whack jobs, however, the man had a kind of friendliness that leached conversation out of me. It was almost impossible to resist. We got talking, and in the course of that conversation, I found out all about the best conveyancer in Melbourne. The reason why he was on the train that morning was to meet his son for breakfast to talk about buying a home. He lives in Queensland most of the year, and misses the close connection with his children, and so his son’s girlfriend had arranged for them to have a surprise meet up on that dreary Wednesday morning. When I raised the question of whether it would be a pleasant surprise or not, the nicest man on the planet just smiled at me with a twinge of sadness in his eyes.
As my stop approached, I wished the nicest man on the planet good luck with finding the conveyancing company in Bentleigh, stepped off the train, and disposed of my banana peel. The conversation had been brief, yet something about the look in his eyes as we parted ways stuck with me. It was odd to see such a nice man wearing such a look.
As a life coach I have seen it all. From career breakdowns to marriage failures. I have been there in the best of times and the worst of times. I am here today to dispense some wisdom about studying in later life. I get many clients who tell me how stuck they feel and how frightened they are of retraining in a new area by going back to school. My latest trauma came in the form of a woman wanting to get as far away from the corporate life as possible and follow a childhood dream of becoming a makeup artist.
I guided her through signing up to complete a diploma of makeup, Melbourne has some fantastic learning institutions that are renown within the industry. This should allow her the flexibility to continue to working on the days she isn’t studying. It is not always about taking a massive leap but often about slowly pacing yourself towards a goal. My latest client had always wanted to work in the beauty industry. She had even taken makeup shorts courses in Melbourne while at university but was sucked in by the promise of money working in international finance.
Now years into her career she finally feels ready to set that final goal of working as a beauty therapist. The diploma of beauty based in Melbourne is her first big step, handing in her notice to her current job is her second and then her final stop is landing that dream job!
Digestible chunks is the term given to this goal setting strategy within the life coach industry. It can be scary to turn your life around after years of the same monotonous routine but it always pays off when you are doing what you truly love. Whether it be beauty and makeup studies or archaeological digging, there is a pathway of digestible chunks waiting for you to grasp it!