My Holiday Home

There’s nothing I love more than going to my holiday house in summer. It’s almost 4:00 pm and I’m lying in the sun on a deck chair by the pool. This is the first year that I’ve been allowed to have friends over without our parents coming and it’s awesome. For the last four days, we’ve been partying at night and sunbaking during the day. This is the definition of living the dream.

I’m also absolutely loving the fact that my parents got one of the best construction companies on the Mornington Peninsula to come in and renovate our holiday house. I’m so glad that the house looks good. I mean, it’s always been one of the best houses on the Peninsula but it’s even better now. I seriously watched my friends’ jaws drop when they walked inside the house. I had seen the new renovations in pictures so I knew what to expect, but even I have to admit that I was impressed with what I saw.

The people that did the renovations on our holiday house certainly put the “luxury” in luxury custom home builders. If I could take pictures of the house and upload them to this blog post, I would. There’s no way my parents would let me though because they don’t want people outside our inner circle to know what our holiday house looks like. They said that it will make us more susceptible to robbers and break-ins, because people will know just how incredible our holiday home is. I obviously don’t want someone to break into our holiday house because I love it, which is why I won’t be posting any photos or videos alongside this blog post. If you’re curious about what our holiday house looks like, however, just imagine the best house you’ve ever seen and multiply it by one hundred. Then, place that house right on the beach in a spot where we have 360-degree views of the ocean.

Popular Traditional Artist

I’ve been planning to get a tattoo for a ridiculously long time, so I can’t believe it’s finally happening today. My partner is so excited for me; he’s taken some time off work later this afternoon to cheer me on. It’s super sweet of him, as I doubt I will be in a state that enables me to even acknowledge his presence. I have a really low pain tolerance, so I’m expecting to cry a lot as I get the tattoo. But it’ll all be worth it.

The studio I’m going to get my tattoo from is known as the best tattoo shop local to Brisbane. They’ve received hundreds of prestigious awards in hundreds of different categories over the past decade, and after working with them on my design for a few months, I can see why. The interior of the shop is minimalistic and modern, yet the warm light and plush furniture makes it feel cozy, which definitely helped me feel at ease when I first walked in. I was afraid the tattooists would be really condescending to someone like me, who was nervous and knew nothing about how tattoos actually work, but they couldn’t have been more inviting. My artist is one of the most friendly and professional men I have ever met. He gently guided me through the entire process so that we could work to create a design that I am happy to wear and show off to other people. 

My artist is someone you would call an American traditional tattooist. This was what he decided to specialise in when he started his apprenticeship as a teenager. However, it has been more than a decade since then, and he now knows everything about virtually every style and type of tattoo. He is also able to do glow-in-the-dark tattoos, which I thought was pretty cool. It’s taken months to find an opening with him since he is so popular and seems to be virtually always booked out.

The Ute’s Destination

They came to an old homestead deep in the hills beyond Robotopia. It was in a poor state, with the garden overgrown with weeds, the roof looking as if it was about to cave in under its own weight, along with the lovely sight of rotting wood in the form of window frames and doors.

“What is this place?” Rylee asked as she climbed out of the ute.

“Used to belong to my grandparents, before they passed away a few years ago. Nobody ever comes here anymore, but I thought it might be a nice place to catch up. I know it’s a bit… dishevelled, but at least it’s peaceful.”

They spent a few minutes searching for a patch of grass in the garden that hadn’t been corrupted. Once they found one, Cole returned to the ute and searched through his tapered under tray tool boxes. Rylee thought it was weird that he had two of them, but Cole had always loved his ute accessories. 

Her once fiance returned with a picnic basket and a rug. They set up together, Rylee hiding her surprise at the picnic as well as she could. When it was done, they sat beside each other like old times, enjoying the late afternoon and the delectable cheeses Cole had brought along.

After a while of comfortable silence, Rylee tried to bring the conversation back to something she’d mentioned before. “So, as I was saying about you starting a business for ute canopies around Melbourne…”

Cole held up a single finger, silencing her. “Please, love, allow me. I have something much more pressing.”

“What is it?” Rylee asked, cocking her head.

She could hardly believe her eyes as Cole shifted forward, resting on one knee. From his coat, he produced a brilliant sapphire ring.

“Rylee, will you marry me? For real this time.”

And not for the first time that day, Rylee was completely lost for words.

Viking Boat Meeting

Lorcan tugged at the hem of his dark grey furs and tried to look at ease. Think of it as a party, he told himself. He had managed to endure countless awkward social engagements at his friends’ huts. This was perhaps easier. There would be no uncomfortable conversations about when he would take up a wife; tonight, he only had to stay quiet and trail after Valdemar as men from other clans brandished their spears and called for war. 

It had been just under a week since they’d reached Melbourne, almost a month since Lorcan had first been inducted into the viking government, and he still felt out of place. His fancy new shirt was wrapped so snugly around his chest that it was suffocating, and his furs — well, they swamped his slight figure, making him look even younger than he was. The idea of him one day growing to be a clan leader was laughable.  

Across the table, a burly man lifted his spear, and the scattered groups turned towards him, falling silent. “We commissioned a quality boat catch installation,” the man said. His voice was low and gruff, like he swallowed his straw instead of spitting it into the dirt. “While you have all spent the last few years of peace dallying with your livestock, my clan has been equipping our fleet for battle.”

“And the results?” Valdemar asked. 

The burly man smirked. “Launch time has been decreased to two minutes.”

A wave of approval rippled through the crowd. Even Lorcan himself, who had never seen a ship in the flesh, drew a sharp breath. 

After years of relentless ocean battles, there had been a call for repairs and better marine fabrication. Melbourne clans had taken up the challenge with gusto, constructing ship sheds along the lining of the bay and braving the icy spray even in the depths of winter. However, despite their best efforts, the Melbourne vikings had been fighting a losing battle. Until now. Faster launch times wouldn’t just mean smoother trips for sailors; they could completely change the tide of the war.

Protect Us Please

We’ve lived out of home for three months now and seriously, it’s great. It’s exactly how we all imagined it and we are like our own little family. We are now closer than ever and I get to see my family enough so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on being with them or anything. That was the main thing I was worried about. I love my family so much and I used to get really sad at the thought of not seeing them every day. Sometimes I’m still sad that I can’t easily just give my mum and dad a hug or know for a fact that they’ll be there to protect me if anything goes wrong.

On that point, I’ve actually pitched the idea to the girls of us getting a CCTV camera. I’m often here alone because two girls work the night shift and the other girl is often at her boyfriend’s, so I get a bit scared sometimes. I’ve looked into it and residential CCTV installation for Melbourne homes isn’t actually that hard to do and is relatively inexpensive. Especially when you consider the fact that it could save us money on damages if an intruder tries to visit and will let us keep an eye on who is around. It’s just the little things like this that you have to consider when you live in a house full of girls. It’s not really the safest thing to do in Melbourne because of this, that and the other. 

To sweeten the deal, I’ve heard that the company that does CCTV installation will also help us enhance our wifi signal at home. That would be good because our internet has been running slower than usual for the last couple of weeks. We don’t want to be hindered by slow internet speeds and we also don’t want to have to deal with any intruders. It will be good to know who is near our property before it’s too late.

I’m Freezing

God, I am so cold. I wish my housemates would let me turn the heater on but they’re really concerned about the price of our bills this month. We split the bills four ways and seriously, it’s like a maximum of $200 each per month. My housemates spend more than that on dinner and drinks on a Saturday night. Surely turning the heater on isn’t that crazy of an idea.

But alas, when you live with people you can’t always do what you want. As much as it sucks to not be able to turn on the ducted heater when I want to, at least I know that it works. A technician offering ducted heater servicing in Canberra, which is where we live, came to our house the other month to service our heater. Apparently, that’s something that our landlord has to pay for and so my housemates and I happily invited him in to do the job. Not that we’re allowed to use it, but it is good to know that it works.

I hope my housemates go out so that I can put the heater on soon. They’re party animals and it’s a Friday afternoon, so I assume they’ll be heading out in the next couple of hours. As soon as my last housemate leaves I’m putting the heater on. What they don’t know can’t hurt them and if I choose to stay home when they choose to go out then surely I get free reign to use the house however I choose. 

I am so glad that I’m a renter so that I don’t have to pay for my own heating services. In Canberra and surrounding areas, it’s always cold and I’d have to pay to get my heater serviced every year to try and stay warm. It’s nice that renting has at least that one perk. Other than that though, renting is pretty much dead money. If only I could afford to buy a house.

No More Stairs

There’s only one word I can use to describe Melbourne’s recent weather: random. If we’re meant to be starting summer soon, why is every second day filled with rain? Why are we experiencing freak wind storms? I have no answers. It’s interesting to behold, nonetheless – except when it affects you. And it definitely affected me last night. I got distracted and stupidly left my window open. Overnight, the wind must have been so strong that it was able to pick up a slim tree branch and hurl it through my window, where it hit my stairs. This wouldn’t be an issue for most people, but my stair balustrade is made of glass, you see. As soon as that little branch hit my balustrade, the poor thing shattered. I was woken instantly and rushed from my bed to see what had happened. At first, I thought I was being robbed, but when drops of rain hit my face it became clear. It was all my fault! Please remind me not to watch television before bed ever again. I become much too distracted. 

Anyway, now I have to contend with the issue of the broken glass. I absolutely adored the look of my stair balustrade before this happened. The glass beautifully reflected the light coming in from the window, and because the glass was obviously transparent, it didn’t clash with the rest of my interior decorations. I’d like to recreate my previous stairs, if that will be at all possible. I’m hoping to contact one of the best glass repair companies Melbourne has and ask if they’re able to fashion some sort of balustrade that looks identical to my previous one. It might be difficult and expensive, but I’m willing to do it. The original was custom-made by an Italian glazier, and I haven’t been able to contact him since that weird global event happened. In the meantime, I’ve swept the pieces of broken glass and set up a barrier to ensure nobody steps on it before it’s been fixed.

The Punch Test

I have sustained an injury. That’s a nice way to put it. That makes it sound more pleasant than it probably is. Simply put, I got punched. My kid got into an argument with another kid while the parents were around, and when I stepped in to break it up the other dad got defensive and he punched me. No biggie, really. It just means that now I have a black eye, and my eyelid is swollen shut so tightly that I can’t actually see out of it. I wanted to make sure that my vision is okay, so I visited a Brighton eye doctor to get checked out. She literally gasped when she saw me, which made my stomach drop. Apparently, my injury looks a lot worse than I had initially thought. Guess my son’s friend’s dad packs a powerful right hook.

We did a couple of preliminary examinations, and the optometrist said everything was fine, but that I should rest for about a week. She also offered me a few different remedies to soothe the swelling. The cheapest was just plain ice, which I appreciated because it’s simple to make in big batches. The most expensive product she offered me was a purpose-built eye cream that I could get a prescription for and pick up from the pharmacy. This special cream had a promotion attached to it – if you purchased the cream you could book your next eye test, for Bentleigh customers only. Luckily, I lived in Bentleigh so this wasn’t an issue. I travelled to the pharmacy to pick up the cream and then went home to start freezing some water for ice. It’s going to be a few weeks before my eye returns to normal. I’m a bit embarrassed to go out in public looking like this, but my son just thinks it makes me look cooler. Small victories, I guess?

Caring Friend

I love my friend so much. I am going through the worst period of my life right now and my friend has been there for me the entire way. From the moment my dad went to the hospital to the moment I told her the date of his funeral, she has been there checking up on me and doing her best to make sure that I’m okay. It means the world to me, truly. 

You should have seen the beautiful unicorn wall art she had installed in my room. I was out at the time organising and packing up my dad’s apartment and when I came home and my bedroom was covered in beautiful unicorns. She wanted to make me feel happy and give me a distraction even just for a second and it worked. For a moment I completely forgot what it was like to be in immense pain because my dad died. It was only an extremely brief moment but that reprieve was incredible even if just for a second.

I want to do something to repay my friend. I don’t have much energy at the moment to do anything, but when I do I want to show her how grateful I am for everything she has done for me. I’m going to need her support for a very long time and I want her to know that I appreciate everything she has done for me. Maybe I’ll talk to the same person who did my unicorn wallpaper. In the Melbourne area, there are plenty of wallpaper designers around, but this person did such a good job that I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. 

Even though I’m in the very early stages of mourning and I can’t really comprehend what is happening or how the rest of my life will be now, I do still appreciate the people around me. Without my friend, I wouldn’t even be able to write this message today.

Building A Table

Today is probably going to be the longest day of my life. It’s just a waiting game. I feel sick waiting for my friend to let me know the news. Her life turned upside down within the space of forty-five minutes. I spoke to her at 3:45 pm yesterday and everything was normal, and by 4:30 pm she was at the hospital begging the hospital staff to let her in to see her dad. He suffered a major medical episode and is currently fighting for his life. I feel absolutely helpless and I know that nothing I can say or do is going to make this any better. The only thing that is going to make it better is for her dad to be okay. 

Whilst I wait, I think I’m going to try and keep myself busy. Often when I’m feeling anxious I try to keep my hands busy by building something. I think I have some leftover timber supplies from the Cheltenham hardware store that I can use. I might build a little coffee table or something. If it’s good enough, I’ll give it to my friend as a ‘thinking of you’ gift. If it isn’t good enough, I’ll dismantle it and use it to make something else the next time I’m feeling anxious. It’s so messed up because if I’m feeling this way, I can’t even imagine how my friend is feeling. It must be horrific. The whole situation makes me feel sick. 

I’m spiralling a bit. I need to refocus my thoughts. I’ll go get all my materials out and build something. Actually, now that I look at what I’ve got, I probably don’t have enough timber to make a good coffee table. I think I’ll make a trip to the hardware store. Cheltenham has plenty of hardware stores around but the one I’ll go to is my favourite. It just always has everything that I need. I’ll update you after my trip.