Old Car Haunts

I feel like I’ve now made enough of a mark in the business world that I can comfortably invite people around for late drinks. Previously I might have felt like I was imposing to have people around after dark, especially in the summer. However, it is now one of our family’s eccentricities. People will do a great deal for a business partner, after all, even attend an intimate gathering in the castle-mansion up on the hill that happens to be covered in gargoyles.

Again, this has all been accepted as part of our Romanian charm! So we sat there, Percival Clancey and I.  My glass was also full of a nice red, and we talked about all sorts of things. His work vehicle is at a garage for car servicing in Toorak, since his driver was complaining about something to do with the gearbox. This I found quite interesting, since I’d assumed such a prestigious family on such a huge estate would have their own mechanic, but Percival instead likes to visit his old haunts. He previously participated in Boss Swaparoo, a television programme in which a boss swaps place with their lower-level employees. This just so happened to be in a car mechanic’s garage in South Yarra, way back when he mainly just invisibly presided over Melbourne’s entire automotive industry. He learned quite a bit during that time, with the only unfortunate part being that once it came time to swap back, the lower-level employee tried to stage a hostile takeover to keep his job. Percival crushed him easily and left him a broken man, but what a terrible interesting experience.

He still brings his vehicles for car servicing around Toorak, because they proved themselves, and why not support your own business?

Fascinating conversation. I’d like to do something similar, but alas…car servicing happens in the daylight.

An Exquisite Bathroom

This small house is a far cry from my Castle, buried deep within the Forest on Mount Lookout. Well, I say small house…it WAS small, but as soon as I moved in I began to use my immense talents to transform the inside of the space to something more to my liking.

From the outside, it still appears as a normal home. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by a vast entrance hall, and that’s only the beginning. I’ve conjured a scullery, a basement, a banquet hall and I think I might even have a Shopping Nexus somewhere down in the sub-levels. But I’ve also left what was here originally; might come in handy if I have unexpected visitors.

That, and the Melbourne based kitchen designers have impressed me with their skills. My castle was grand, to be sure, but the kitchens were all simple affairs with holes and large buckets that had to be emptied by servants. Bathroom design in Melbourne transforms the space into a glorious room of gleaming surfaces, where everything not required is whisked away and any scent you wish is available through candles or little crystals that you put in bowls. I can enchant objects to smell nice, of course, but funnily enough I never really thought about doing it in the bathrooms. The smell was so overpowering, you simply had to be done with the place and leave before you turn blue from holding your breath.

These new bathrooms are wonderful. And this laundry! No longer will I have to send my washing down to the lake and pay the folk six copper pieces per garment to wash my robes. Might even consider looking for laundry designers with no magic involved, just to see how they live. Must remember to direct them through the right door, however. Wouldn’t want to give my renovation folks a fright, seeing a vast entrance hall with a bear skin rug and elemental familiars flying all over the place.


In a Little Rowboat

Well, if I’m going to make it to Perth, I’m going to need a boat. And not just any boat will do, either. It has to be a really big one, filled with stainless steel, the best kind of steel because it doesn’t get stains. Why go for a type of metal that has stains, when you can have one that’s stainless?

Gee, being an eccentric millionaire gives you a lot to think about. Like trips to Perth, where I must go, and where to get the large boat necessary to make the trip. I know there are firms in Melbourne that do marine stainless steel fabrication, so I guess I should just ask one of them. Do they have phones, down at the docks where they work? Do they even work at the docks, or am I thinking back to the Golden Age of Piracy when all ships had to be made basically ON the sea, because they didn’t have extremely large trucks to transport them all over the place? Although, now that I think about the very large boat that I would like to sail in, I don’t know if there’s a truck on this planet that could take it on a road, or even lift it. It would be a struggle for an aircraft carrier, and those things are actually just large boats. Think of how much stainless steel those things have in them, sounds nice. Maybe I should commission an yacht?

No, that’s stupid. Fishing from the side of one of those would be almost impossible; you’d have to reel your catch up several stories, making the whole thing unnecessarily challenging. Imagine how strong the fishing rod holders would have to be to reel up the sharks and dolphins my rich party guests would be constantly catching. Not acceptable.

I’ll go with a regular stainless steel cruise ship, with torpedoes and a salad bar. SUCH a great salad bar. We shall arrive in Perth, feasting upon salad.


Play Centres, With a Bit of Tech

There will always be children. Some people think that we’re going to transcend the need for childhood and just grow full people who can have all the necessary memories planted in them but nah, those people are silly. There’s just so much that you can’t learn from a computer, so much that experience in the real world encompasses. You might be able to teach an android to act like an adult human with a bit of programming, but humans are a lot more savvy than all that. You’ll ALWAYS be able to tell who grew up normally and who was just handed some pre-set memories.

Which is great for me, because it means planning kids birthday parties is never going out of fashion. So long as there are kids, there will be kids birthday party venues. Bayswater has at least three good ones that I can think of. Places that are filled with fun and laughter and all of that good stuff. Balloon animals, and party pies, and pinning the tail on the donkey if we still have donkeys. Though even if donkeys go extinct, we’ll still *remember* them. It’d be like pinning the tail on the mammoth. Of course, we have to think about how party venues of the future will change. Even now, a lot of indoor play centres are installing some major upgrades and getting all technical. Actual rides inside the play centre, interactive displays…well, it’s not surprising. Kids these days are more tech savvy than ever. Makes sense that a play centre will occupy them through the same methods.

Although…might just be the regressive in me, but I’d like some of the old ways of indoor play centres. Bayswater specifically has a nice one that I think should stick around. Exercise will always be important. Socialising, also important. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned clambering around in a tunnel or over a climbing frame, playing with all the other kids. Deck the whole thing out with LEDs and sound effects, by all means, but keep the physical activity.


I Leave it All to the Cat, I Guess

succession planningIf there’s one thing I hate more than children, it’s nothing, because I hate children.

Not on an individual level, mind you. Individual children are unique, with some more bearable than others. However, the general concept and the ideas attached to that concept? I do not care for them, not even slightly. I actually had to sit through an entire conversation with my friends the other day where they were talking about when they’d have kids, and what would happen to them if they died (themselves, not the kids).

I blame Marv for that macabre conversation topic, because they’re always his fault. That’s why he’s Macabre Marv. Anyway, Jenn said that daddy had already hooked her up with a firm in Melbourne, succession planning strategies and the likes. She never has to worry about legal matters ever again. I bet she had a will made up for her when she was five, because her parents are loaded beyond loaded and they have lawyers for every tiny little thing. Of course, Jenn has to let us know it all the time.

Obviously Sarah and Kevin were all gushing about how they’d do their best to stay safe so their little future children would have a loving mum and dad  who’d raise them right and love them dearly and other stuff that makes me feel seriously ill. So I guess love makes you invincible then. No custom for any of the attorneys or lawyers in Melbourne while these two are alive…which will be forever because they’re in LOVE.

That just left Anita, who’s obviously prepared for this because she’s prepared for absolutely anything, up to and including an outbreak of deadly measles and the news that the President of the country is slowly turning into a zombie. So she’s already looked up all the good executors of will and their services in Melbourne, ranked them in order of efficiency, will creation ability, proximity to all the sixteen possible places where she could be buying a home, and whether her future partner would agree to making a will with them.

And here’s me, all just…nah. No kids. No wills. No lawyers. Everyone just take my stuff, if you really want it.


Planning for the End of the Rain

garden crushed rockThings have been rather dull around here as of late. I’m running out of socialite friends to invite around for high-quality tea and gossip, and it just gets rather tacky if you have them over too many times. I’d go horse riding, but the weather has been unforgivably inclement. I can’t even indulge in my favourite pastime of giving directions to our various gardeners to improve the grounds for my own amusement, because that would involve standing outside in the rain, and they haven’t yet invented an umbrella that both keeps you warm, repels 100% of all wind and holds a glass of chardonnay.

Still, there’s something to be said for laying plans, for when the weather improves. I could even combine it with a bit of retail therapy, if Percy consents to me ordering a few tonnes of crushed rock from Narre Warren. This might be irrational, but I feel like the best garden and landscaping supplies come from that particular area of Melbourne. I’m sure there’s no basis for it, but that’s often how shopping works: you gain affinity for places, and won’t hear of purchasing from anywhere else.

Now, the question becomes ‘what part of the grounds needs improvement, or a simple alteration?’

The driveway has become so very gauche. We had it layered with concrete last year due to the Taylor-Mentzkins having it done around the same time, and both James Taylor-Mentzkin and Percy were going for a large concreting contract. We got it, obviously, but now that the year has expired, it’s time for a change. I wonder if I can find the highest quality garden pebbles Berwick has ever seen? The surrounding areas will be a chatter with gossip of my newest home addition. A pebble driveway might look quite lovely in the Autumn. I’ll draft some budget plans…and most ignore them because I believe that I deserve the finer things in life. Anything to improve the image of Whitehall Chapel.

-Cecelia Clancey

Glass, Earth’s Greatest Export

frosted windowsIf there’s one thing the Earth is never going to run out of, it’s sand. There’s SO much sand in the world, and we’re actually not using much of it. So while the world might run out of water, causing us to have to make a trip to Mars every morning to fill up with Mars water to brush our teeth, I think glass is going to be the next big ‘thing’, as outlined in my keynote speech at the Futurist Club last night. I think it went well.

I mean…glass is something that I think most people like. It’s inoffensive, and commercial window tinting has improved the lives of many an office worker. Frosted window glass gives both privacy and a sense of style, and let’s not forget decorative window glass. Oh, no… in the future, no one will forget decorative window glass. As Earth’s resources dwindle and we have to pay a premium to bring in resources from the space colonies, people will realise that there’s all that sand just lying there, not really doing anything. Whole deserts of the stuff: just premium Earth sand. And so, Earth will become the glass exporter, restoring its reputation in the galactic community, as it becomes the main exporter of tinted glass, frosted glass, decorative glass…and who knows what’ll be possible with the glass techniques of the future? It’s possible that we can create starships made almost entirely of sturdy, space-age glass, making our travels through the cosmos both elegant and convenient for travelers.

Of course, Earth will be the main recipient. The office window tinting near Melbourne CBD will be legendary, in both the world and the galaxy. In fact, it’ll be mandatory as a matter of preserving culture. Yep…we’ll have a wonderful, great glass empire to enjoy. Give it about 600 years or so, and people will finally realise that glass is the way, because despite all the desert, they haven’t already.


Family Drama, with Dramatic Families

Sydney dry needling courseOH. MY. TRIGGER POINTS.

And speaking of which, oh…my trigger points sure could use a good triggering. I did something to my back while I was vacuuming this week, and now I keep having to disappoint Michael when he wants me to pick him up. It’s funny how little children just don’t understand injuries, but you know what’s even funnier?

It’s Vicky on Week of Our Lives, who is now living in her car because her ultra-fundamentalist family tossed her out on the street after she said that she’d like to do a dry needling course. Sydney is proving to be much more challenging for Vicky than she originally thought. Obviously, this was a great affront to their faith, because not only would Vicky be leaving the house before she was married, she would also be engaging in medical practices that haven’t been approved by the family head.

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Vicky is set on becoming the greatest dry needling expert in the world. Turns out that when she was a little girl she watched her beloved brother die from an unfortunate incident while he was playing football. “If only someone here knew the fundamentals of dry needling, oh, woe upon this day!” cried the coach as he threw his hands to the heavens. Since that day, Vicky has vowed to learn all about dry needling and the like.

Of course, complicating matters is her secret half-twin-sister who is also one of a set of triplets, who has been whispering in her parents’ ears for years about how all slightly alternative medicine is bad, and also how Vicky has been prophesied to bring doom upon the family name upon the day she leaves the home. It’s a is a very specific prophecy but there you go.

Vicky is undeterred, however, even with her evil half-sister inserting a cardboard tube into her window one night and speaking into it, pretending to be the Spirit of Not Doing a Trigger Point Dry Needling Course, who promised great bounty if Vicky would give up her dream. But Vicky never gives up! She’s a great character.


The Worst/Best Kitchen Designs Ever!

kitchen installationI’ve finally found my calling. It’s in a video game where the objective is to fail, so I’m not exactly solving the world food crisis or putting astronauts on the surface of Venus, but let’s take one thing at a time. Before today the biggest win I ever had was when I flawlessly reverse parallel-parked in the perfect parking spot right outside uni, and a bunch of people saw me and a few of them applauded. No but seriously, I just slotted in like a foot into a sock. Smooth as silk.

But now, I might be able to add kitchen installation to my list of accomplishments! No, not in real life, because we’ve already established that. My brother and my sister-in-law are having their kitchen renovated right now, and I’m just glad they live in Latvia so they can’t ask me to help. Looks like total chaos, and I have no DIY skills. Melbourne has enough people in the world of the real who’ll renovate your kitchen, whereas on the leaderboards of Over-Botch, I currently have the top spot in that area. Which is to say, I’m the number one player in Australia when it comes to totally stacking at kitchen renovations and installations. Such is the point of the game, in case anyone somehow wasn’t aware of this mammoth of a game.

I think my skill is a combination of generally being awful at any sort of design, and also the fact that the kitchen I grew up in must’ve been designed by someone with a similar level of talent. When you opened the dishwasher, it blocked the plate cupboard from opening. There was one small (and inexplicably deep) sink in the opposite corner to the work surfaces, which were themselves a soft wood that burned if you so much as put a warm mug on top of them.

No wonder Mum and Dad sought to find some real, professional kitchen design people when they moved. Whereas thanks to my memories and utter lack of talent, I am now…the worst. And thus the best. Win #2!


We All Need an Office Dog


If there’s one thing that would improve the efficiency of every single office across Melbourne, it’s dogs. Preferably puppies, but I’d be okay with starting at dogs and sort of…working our way up. Or down. Were I placed in charge of this revolution, I would in fact accept cats if there were issues of allergies. But everyone would have to get some sort of animal.

You know, some offices have dogs already. It’s not that weird for me t want to bring my one-month-old puppy into work, and for the record, no…I CAN do my usual amount of work when he is present, despite what my boss says.

Just think about the benefits, that’s all I ask. Picture, if you will, a conveyancing place. In Malvern…why not? They’re doing their daily tasks, conveyancing away, all normal office business, but it’s a Thursday afternoon and Gina hasn’t emptied the coffee filter and Brad doesn’t seem to think the rules regarding tuna in the breakroom really apply to him, Brad. Tensions are a little bit high, because there’s so much conveyancing work to be done. There’s just so much conveyancing, and they don’t know if they’re going to make it in between letting Brad know that his fish habits just aren’t on.

Okay, not picture the same scenario, but a two-month-old miniature poodle named Sausage is there the whole week. He releases stress, everyone adores him, and there’s a casual vibe in the office that cannot be matched anywhere else. Also, I guess if they need to sniff out any conveyancing, then Sausage can do it. Dogs are great at sniffing out stuff!

So yeah. All the conveyancing professionals in Mentone and beyond can thank me for that tip-off. And then they can get dogs, everyone will get dogs, dogs will be part of the office culture forever and I can finally stop paying for dog sitting because seriously.