Hyperbarics saved my house robber

portable hyperbaric chamberI have a great big fish tank at home. It’s quite an impressive display. It’s actually super deep with a glass top you can see down into. It’s about 50 feet deep and contains my collection of rare and expensive tropical fish. There’s my candy basslet Pinkman. A bit of an exhibitionist, she likes to swim laps around the centre of the tank. Then there’s my masked angelfish, Mr Swimmy, he likes to hide behind some rocks at the bottom. I think he’s scared of my Platinum Arowana, King, who really is the boss of the tank. Anyway, my beautiful expensive collection of pet fish were recently almost stolen by a house robber. But that’s not the worst thing that happened. If it wasn’t for my portable hyperbaric chambers, I’d be facing serious charges right now.

What happened was, he came in while I was asleep, probably thinking that the house was empty. But when I got out of bed, I caught him with his hands in the fishtank reaching for my $400,000 Platinum Arowana. I told him to freeze, and rushed towards him to save my precious fish, but in the process I knocked him into the tank. Mr Swimmy and Pinky were swirling frantically around while their home was being invaded by a huge balaclaved head. King stood by, which a barely perceptible smirk on his face.

I have never in my time seen a man sink like he did. I had to grab my snorkel gear just to fetch him out of there. I knew I might get sued for this, even though I was defending my own property. I had to think fast, Melbourne hyperbaric oxygen therapies have been known to save lives, so I put him in mine. When the man came to, he couldn’t remember a thing, and praised me for saving his life. I promptly called the police. Nobody touches my fish.

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Pet cemetery pt 2

blocked drains MelbourneSo where was I? That’s right, my poor recently deceased cat was stuck half way down the drain and the pipe exploded. Water was gushing everywhere. I had no choice but to bolt the door behind me by wedging a kitchen chair between it and the floor. I could see the door rattling as the water pressure increased and I knew it wouldn’t hold. I had no choice but to run out on the street where I’d be safe from the eruption of plaster, timber and tiles. Then I promptly called the plumbers. Melbourne plumbers can be there in the nick of time, but alas, I feared they wouldn’t be speedy enough to save the day….

The plumbers arrived. I was hesitant to reveal what the problem was, but I had to confess because I knew they’d find out in the end. I was embarrassed about having had such a dumb idea. But the plumber informed me that many people have made this mistake. He said that Melbourne’s pipe and drain system is practically a pet cemetery — and not just for goldfish. People have flushed guinea pigs, chickens and even chihuahuas down there. This made me feel slightly less stupid, even though I was responsible for blocked drains in Melbourne. The plumbers were brave. They went in their fearlessly bracing against the spurting toilet water through the house. Meanwhile, I cowered around the corner for a drink at my local while they did their thing. I don’t know how they did it, but they removed the blockage and patched up that drain in no time at all.

The whole affair taught me a valuable lesson. Not just that cats block drains when you try to flush them down the toilet. But also that a cat’s spirit belongs somewhere other than the sea… but maybe not the earth either. Perhaps on a fence or high perch, or within a box. Cats seem to like boxes.

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Plumbers and pet cemeteries

Most people have flushed a goldfish or two down the toilet. It’s no big deal. While most pets get buried in backyards under the apple tree, the humble goldfish is relegated to the watery realm from whence it came, and subjected to the filter-roller of Melbourne’s drainage system. It wouldn’t seem right to put a fish under ground. I mean, its spirit would be a disease, only able to reach its final state of peace and rest once its physical form has returned to the sea. Fortunately, every plumber in Melbourne knows this. That’s why it’s de rigueur to flush fish and not other animals. But I’m the kind of person who likes to challenge social norms and rituals…

When poor Kitty died, 5 year old me wondered what would happen if I flusher her down the toilet. This was before I’d considered the nature of life-after-death for pets and the restlessness of the animal spirit, as described above. We didn’t have room in the backyard at the time, it was mostly paved, and the small plot of earth was taken up by a wilting strawberry plant that I was trying to resuscitate. So I thought I could save space and that Ghost Kitty would have plenty of fish to eat when she crosses the threshold. I was so young and foolish, little did I expect the whole fiasco to end in calling an emergency plumber near Melbourne.  

I flushed the toilet one time. Kitty’s head went down but her tail floated to the top of the bowl. I flushed again and nothing else would budge further down those pipes. I flushed a third time and heard a tremendous gurgle come from the pipes. Kitty was down, but not all the way. The pipe bust and water started spraying out of the wall and the floor. I ran and flung the door shut behind me, bracing myself for deluge that was about to unfurl…What a day.

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Buyers advocate for a haunted house

buyers agents around MelbourneAs a purveyor of all glorious dark things, I think it’s about time I got myself just the right house in which to put them. I’ve got a whole collection of macabre artwork that deserves a grand gothic interior to hang against, and I’ve got a series of gory sculptures that would look great in a dungeon-like setting. If I lived in Scotland I could rent a castle, but Melbourne is sadly lacking in castles. 

Now anyone who’s serious about property knows that the only way you can get something this specific when you’ve got niche tastes and eclectic interests, is by hiring buyers advocates in Melbourne. Buyers advocates have special insider knowledge. I don’t know how they get it really, but when a house goes for sale rather secretly, or only to the knowledge of a select few elites, the buyers agent is in the know.

A friend of mine recommended a few property advocates around Melbourne. He’d had a good experience when he was looking for an ex-gangster house. He wanted something that an infamous gangster had lived in because he was well aware of all the brilliant add-ons it would have – racking fold out benches, hidden safes and vaults. The buyers agent he went with helped him find the perfect house which once belonged to a member of the Carlton Crew. This gives me hope that my somewhat unusual requests may be met.  

In my case, I’m going to need someone who knows more about the history of Melbourne. For instance, few old homes were built during the gothic revival period, and even fewer after this era bear the signature of this architectural style. Then there are places that have a haunted history, and the buyers advocate is going to have to be well informed on this history. There are houses built on erstwhile private cemeteries, where many of the bodies still remain forgotten undergrounds. Either that or a pink cottage by the sea. 

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Boating in Victoria

custom snapper racksI’ve always wanted to go to Victoria but now that we’ve booked our flight down, I’m not sure what we’re going to do. We’ve got two weeks down there and I’m trying to think of ways we can spend out time. I’m thinking that the climate and nature is really different down there so we may as well make the most of it. I’m going to hook up with a friend down there who has a boat. He said that I can borrow it if I pay for some marine fabrications. He wants some snapper racks and rod holders, which is no problem, I’m happy to get them installed.

If I get the marine fabrications for the boat then we can take it out fishing. It’ll be fully pimped out and ready to take out for a river cruise. I love going out on boats, particularly on rivers as opposed to on the ocean. I don’t know why but I like the setting better when I’m on a river. The ocean is so vast, wild and erratic. Rivers can get restless during rainy weather, but for the most part they’re rather tranquil. Plus I prefer the fresh water fish for eating. The rod holder will certainly come in handy for that, especially if we encounter any larger fish.

We’re going to have to go down to Melbourne. I’m not huge on cities but I guess it’s a must-see. I’d definitely like to visit some of the alley ways and dine in some of the Italian or Chinese restaurants. We don’t get much culinary variation in this small town where I’m from. I’d like to also try Thai food which I’ve never had before and maybe Malaysian. I guess we’ll go to all the tourist traps like Federation Square, the Rialto Towers and the famous streets like Chapel Street and Brunswick Street.

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Cleaning before my parents arrive

mattress cleaningMy parents have always accused me of being lazy and dirty and ever since I’ve lived alone, I’ve been liberated from their judgement. It was always, “Melissa clean your room!” and “Melissa, tidy up your mess!” Ever since I moved out, I’ve felt so free. I can leave my clothes on the floor and dishes in the sink, with no one to tell me what to and what not to do. Sadly, the time has come where I might have to consider getting upholstery cleaning. Melbourne gets so dusty in the Summer because everything is so dry.

People don’t realise how much time you save by not cleaning. You spend hours of your life putting clothes on racks and drying dishes to stack them into neat columns. Probably you spend days doing these things. Cut all of this out and you can spend more time doing what you love, like bike riding, painting or playing poker. Unfortunately, now that my parents are coming to town to visit me, I’m going to have to sacrifice some of this splendid personal time. They’re going to visit me at my apartment, to judge and scold me on my lifestyle no doubt, so I’m going to throw their expectations by getting a last minute clean. I’ll take the rubbish out, put the dishes away, and fold my clothes up nicely. I’m going to do everything from carpet cleaning to mattress cleaning, Melbourne is my playground. Nothing slips past my parent’s fastidious eye. I know that they’ll be peaking beneath the rug to find any crumbs which might have been brushed under there, and behind the curtains for any stray balls of dust. They’re going to get the shock of their lives when they see what I’ve done to the apartment. Little will they realise that I’ve been the same all along, and that the cleanliness is just a charade.

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Painting our timber decking

house painters MelbourneWe’ve been renovating our home for the past year and getting really excited because we’re starting to see the beautiful results and also because it’s almost finally over. The last remaining things to do are mostly aesthetic as opposed to structural. We need to call in the painters. Melbourne city painters know a surprising amount about renovating and can even do minor repairs. I guess painting also helps to protect the walls, plaster and timber.

We actually needed the timber decking out the back painted more than anything. The decking was structurally sound but without a new paint job it would be vulnerable to the elements, to rot and chipping. The painters came in and knew exactly what to look for and how to refurbish them. The looked at the type of wood and told us that acrylic paint was the best option. Because what happens is that rain and water run off from the roof gutter as well as rotting leaves on the deck can actually damage the wood, or at least stain it. But apparently the paint job itself protects from this type of damage and actually effectively repairs any damage already done to the wood. I think they use certain chemical treatments on the wood to reverse the damage. After it was done, we were stoked with the results.

I never thought a house painter in Melbourne could do so much structural repairs for the house. We got the interior painted a lovely off-white colour, which has had a real brightening and opening effect on our cosy little house. The exterior is also white with a grey roof, which ?I think is perfect for a weatherboard. It looks really classic, which is perfect for a house that was built in the sixties.

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Orthotics for sports injuries

orthotics MelbourneAnyone who plays sports knows that it’s as rewarding as it is painful. Sporting injuries are bread and butter to us, muscle strain, shin splints and cramps are quotidian occurrences for the sports addict. I myself am the unfortunate recipient of such casualties, and am an ardent customer of sports doctors and podiatry. In Melbourne, the orthopedics surgeons can do a pretty good job of piecing you back together. They’re used to gym junkies and sports fanatics pulling themselves apart, treating their mere mortal physical forms like rag dolls. To watch them you’d almost think they feel no pain, they way they recklessly hurt themselves into such dangerous and daring maneuvers. But no, they do feel pain. I feel pain…

In my heel and sole of my right foot specifically. The orthotics specialist probably thinks I’m crazy. I’m in there so often, you know, I’m a regular. I got a recommendation to see her after my friend had her ingrown toenail treated. It was disgusting and apparently incredibly painful because Michele was squealing like a pig to the slaughter. I drove her to the place where they do orthotics, outer Melbourne suburbs tend to have a good amount of services when it comes to these things. I obviously didn’t want to be there while the surgery or whatever was taking place so I just left there and went to get a burger or something. After it was done though Michelle raved about how good they were. How an incredibly painful procedure turned out to be a not-so-bad one.  I didn’t except the podiatrist to be that great I thought Michelle was just relieved not to be butchered and full of endorphins after the surgery. But it turns out they are great. The more you know.

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