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.

Glass For Two

‘How long are your parents out of town?’ James called up the stairs, anxiously looking around like they were going to come back at any moment.

‘Would you relax?’ Pete rolled his eyes, leisurely strolling down the stairs. ‘A week, at least.’

‘What do you mean “at least”?’ James asked, eyes wide. ‘You don’t know exactly?’

‘It was more of a “take me to Paris or I’ll divorce you” kinda trip than a neatly planned holiday,’ Pete shrugged. ‘But it’s not the first one, so there’s precedent for at least a week.’

He pulled a bottle of whiskey out from underneath his arm and James momentarily forgot how terrified he was of Pete’s father.

‘Woah, that’s…’

‘Yeah,’ Pete nodded, basking in his success. ‘Very expensive.’

‘Won’t he realise?’

Pete rolled his eyes again. He took a step back, onto the landing of the staircase. ‘You see those,’ he sighed.

‘The glass?’

‘Yeah, the glass. Last time my dad went on a business trip to Japan, mum had some place near Melbourne that specialises in glass balustrades come in and replace them. He never even noticed.’

‘Well, I mean, glass can be difficult to—’

‘They used to be wood, James.’

‘Okay, point taken.’

‘Relax!’ Pete laughed, clapping his friend on the back. ‘We’re supposed to be having a party!’

James grinned, despite himself, starting to loosen up. Pete shook the bottle celebratorily and marched towards the kitchen.

‘It’s amazing work by the way,’ James called out to him, not moving.

‘What’s that now?’ Pete asked, twisting back around.

‘The balustrade — you don’t see quality residential glazing work like that every day.’

‘James, what are you talking about?’

‘The glass! It’s so clear too…’

He stretched out a finger to touch it and Pete’s blood ran cold. The world slowed around him as he dropped the whiskey bottle, shattering on the ground as he flung himself down the hallway and tackled James into the tile.

‘What the hell?!’

‘If you get a smudge on that glass,’ Pete whispered, terrified, ‘my mum will hate me.

Office Space Upgrade

Working as an architect on the moon colony of Melbourne is a dream come true. Unlike on Earth, where the manufacturing industry is ruled by complex safety procedures and those pesky laws of physics, things on the moon are much more relaxed. It seems like every single day I’m called in to design a new dome to house robotic animals, or a public swimming pool that tunnels all the way to the centre of the planet.

Today I’m working on an update to our tallest gravity-defying skyscraper – an office building that has been in use for several decades and is quickly being worn out by the lack of atmosphere. Since we’re so close to the sun, I’m thinking of employing one of the Melbourne companies offering commercial window tinting services. An upgrade to the windows would prevent damaging UV rays from entering through the glass, which has been a real problem since we opened the lunar colony.

Earth sent their annual report over a few weeks ago and it didn’t look good. Apparently, we use too much electricity on the moon and it’s been affecting the tidal patterns of our mother planet. The governments of both worlds have been in talks, and there are rumours Earth is going to cut our power ration if we don’t improve soon. An expert installation from any one of the office glass tinting businesses in Melbourne would not only reduce heat naturally, but also lower cooling costs – something I know my clients would love.

I just hope I’m able to design and execute the upgrades in time! The staff inside the office spaces won’t be too happy. They’ll need to be relocated, which is a mammoth task on the moon. Worst of all, they’re used to living in relative comfort, and won’t enjoy being inconvenienced. Luckily, I know the glass installation specialists myself and I know they’re very efficient. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan!

Our New Balustrade

My wife and I recently started our house renovations. After planning and saving for more than two years, we’re excited to finally create the house we’ve always dreamed of. At the moment, our house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, which means it’s not the space that’s the issue, but the aesthetic. Every room is outdated: wallpaper from the previous century, brown tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, heating systems that haven’t been upgraded since heating was first invented. It’s just not our style.

Yesterday we installed a new glass balustrade on the second-floor landing next to the stairs. Our previous railing was made from light timber to match the stairs, but since we’re staining the stairs with a darker shade, we decided to install new glass panels to really amplify that modern look we’re going for.

Unfortunately, we forgot to secure the glass properly, and there was a large storm last night. Since we left our windows open to help the paint dry faster, a large hailstone was able to fly through the open window and hit the balustrade. The glass shattered, and my wife and I jumped awake and ran onto the landing. My heart was beating so fast – I thought it was a burglar! I’d even brought a baseball bat with me just in case. Luckily, finding a way to fix the balustrade was much easier than fixing the issue of a home intruder.

We called a few 24-hour glass repair companies. Melbourne has a lot of different options to choose from, but it’s crazy that some of them are even available 24 hours a day! Our situation wasn’t urgent, so we waited until the following morning for the glazier to arrive. He didn’t repair our glass, but instead suggested we use a different type of scratch-resistant glass moving forward, as it’s much sturdier than the flimsy panels we had previously. We followed his suggestion!

Richie Destroying Tinting

Transcript from an interview with Richie at Office Offices—conducted by Schlock Homes and assisted by Jon Whatson.

Richie: I swear, I didn’t do it. I’ve heard the rumours going around and they’re all false. I can prove it! 

Schlock: Settle down, my friend. We’re just here to ask you some questions. If you’re innocent, we’ll know within about five minutes. Just be calm and tell us what you know. You aren’t in any trouble—yet. Now, why did you tell Harry that Office Offices should get frosted glass?

Richie: He’s a liar! I didn’t say we should get frosted glass! I said that we should consider getting decorative glass. And why wouldn’t I? Decorative glass is the best! Sure, it might be hard to get a business offering commercial decorative glass installation. Melbourne isn’t exactly the easiest place to get such services at the moment. But I thought it was at least worth mentioning. I’m not crazy, though. As if we’d get decorative glass for our office. Window tinting is completely necessary. No matter how many times the window is smashed, we’re never going to replace it with decorative glass. That plan would be simply stupid.

Jon: I think he might have a point, Schlock. This guy might just be innocent.

Schlock: Shut up, Whatson. I have more questions for our friend here. Now, you said that you could prove you weren’t behind this attack on a window with some mighty fine window tinting. What do you have to say for yourself?

Richie: I really don’t understand how it’s even gotten this far, because my proof can’t be questioned. The truth is that I wasn’t even in the office on the day of the first glass-smashing incident. I was on annual leave. I even have photos of my holiday. They’re on social media and everything. If you were half the detectives you claim to be, you would have known that already. Now, do you have any further questions?

Schlock: No. You’re free to go.