Sorority’s Bathroom Renovation

The living room of the sorority house erupted into noise. Words bounced off each other, colliding into a cacophony of syllables that held little meaning except to argue. It didn’t surprise me that the announcement that the bathroom renovations would cause a stir.

I leaned on one hip, waiting for my peers to slowly die down into silence. Watching the light glint of one of my manicured hands, I feigned an air of indifference whilst I eavesdropped on their conversations. A lot of the students seated to the left were concerned about the upfront costs. Our house was newly founded, a defiant act against the less-inclusionary magic houses on campus, and our funding was low.

It was hard to save any money when a majority of our budget was spent undoing hexes the other sororities put on us. The main concern I heard was: how much does a bathtub remodel cost? On the opposite side of the debate were a few concerned students from the water speciality courses. They feared that a remodel of the bathroom would delay their studies. There were whispered murmurs from the people at the back, who I could see glancing at me through my peripheral vision, wary about my apparent obsession with my nails. They were quieter, paranoid that I would listen. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem that anyone could understand my reasoning for the bath modifications. Sydney shifted beside me, her gaze pointed at the floor. Feeling responsible for her comfort, I sighed and let my hand drop. The group fell into silence as I slowly paced up and down in front of the crowd. “We created this sorority for one reason,” I said, meeting as many eyes in the room as possible. “What was it?”

“Extra participation credits!”

“Affordable share house rent!”

I squeezed my eyes shut. “No,” I said pointedly, snapping them open. “Because the other houses shut their doors on us and looked down on us when we tried to join them.”

Bathroom Social Meeting

The groaning in the pipes should’ve been the first warning sign. It certainly was for Roger Patten. He was a greying, 62-year-old man who prided himself on being on top of things. Not a single day in his life had he been thrown for a loop. ‘Roll with the punches,’ someone would say, but he would scoff at that.

No reason to roll with the punches if you can see them coming, he’d always pointed out. Every day he would reasonably predict what was coming next. Some might’ve said he was paranoid. That’s what his brother had said to him after his first consecutive two weeks of staying indoors by himself after moving to a new house.

“I enjoy my own company, what of it?” he’d bite back, gruffly sipping at the dark cloud of coffee swirling in his cup. He wedged the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he picked up his raisin toast, enjoying the familiar taste. 

His brother stayed silent for a couple of seconds, just enough for Roger to take another bite, before he changed the subject and said: “Any ideas for the bathroom renovations?” Beaumaris was a long way away from his brother’s sunny life in Sydney. After his move, the only topic his brother seemed to think they could connect was what Roger was getting up to with his new house.

He didn’t mind though; it kept any small talk well off the table. It also made him satisfied to talk about the recent repairs or building work he had done on the house. Having made a little corner of paradise for himself, or a hermit hole as his brother would say, gave meaning to his usual daily routine. 

The only thing that bothered Roger about the topic was that it reminded him that his plumbing had started making strange noises recently. It was irritating because it was unusual, and he didn’t like that one bit. Growing into the old age that he was, he knew he’d have to get help and book bathroom renovations with a local company. “Sandringham has plenty of reliable workers,” he answered his brother, taking another sip of his coffee. “Affordable too. Shouldn’t be too much trouble.”

His brother replied but Roger’s brain had picked up once again on that strange noise. Realising that his brother had begun talking about a frivolous topic he had no interest in, he put the phone down and peered into the bathroom. He could still hear his brother rambling on from the kitchen, but it was nothing compared to the groaning noise that thundered as he opened the door.

He traced the sound to the sink and squinted at it blankly. Same white basin that needed a refurnish. Black old taps that needed to be replaced for a more modern version. Everything that he had noted down in his future plans except for one thing. Roger leaned down to get a closer look. There, peeking out from the bottom of the tap, was an entirely unexpected thing. One big, round eye poked out from the tap, attached to a long, green arm. 

For once, Roger was speechless.

Winning a Kitchen

Hey dude, guess what? I won a competition last week! It was a legit one with raffle tickets and all, and out of thousands of entries, my ticket got drawn. I was in disbelief when I checked my emails and saw the congratulatory message from the company. So, what did I win? Well, hold on to your hat, because I won a free kitchen renovation for my house or any other house I choose. Of course, I’m going to pick my own kitchen, but they had an alternative offer for renters too, where you could save the prize for later.

The company that organised the competition is known for creating these incredible custom kitchens that you see on TV sometimes. These are not just your regular kitchens that look good in pictures; they are fully functional and fitted with all the latest technology and appliances you would expect from top experts. I mean, I’ve never even tasted coffee before, and now I’ll have a kitchen with one of the most expensive DIY coffee machines in the world. Sounds insane, right? Well, it kind of is, but here’s the best part: I’m going to share it all with you and our other friends.

This company is reputed to have the best kitchen design ideas Melbourne has ever seen, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep it all to myself. So, not only am I going to invite you to my place to use my appliances as a guest, but I’m also going to give them away to you. I know you might think I’m crazy, but I truly value our friendship, man. If you keep stocking my pantry with those amazing beef jerky bites, you deserve some of the spoils too. I’m stoked about this kitchen renovation, and I can’t wait to see the final result. I’ve always dreamt of having a sleek, modern kitchen with all the bells and whistles, and now it’s actually happening. I’ve been browsing through some kitchen design inspirations online, and I’m blown away by the possibilities. I’m already picturing myself hosting epic dinner parties and cooking up a storm in my new kitchen. It’s going to be a game-changer, and I can’t wait to share it. Get ready for some next-level culinary adventures in my new and improved kitchen!

Embarrassing Door Replacement

I accidentally broke the sliding glass doors in my back room yesterday… by dancing and falling over.

This is such an embarrassing story. I’ve always been clumsy but I’ve never broken multiple doors before. This is a whole new level of clumsiness that I feel like no human should have. It’s getting to the point where I could actually be a danger to myself and others. You should have seen how much glass was on the floor when I smashed through the door…

This morning I had to call someone to come and do a sliding doors installation to replace the one that I had broken. I told them it was pretty urgent because the door was broken and it was letting in a lot of cold air. I told the person that I had covered the gaping hole in the door with newspaper and that it wasn’t going to last much longer. I was very glad when the person on the other end of the phone didn’t ask me how it had broken. This was definitely a don’t ask, don’t tell situation. 

I wonder if he’s ever installed new sliding doors in anyone else’s house because they broke them by falling into them like I did. Maybe it’s more likely that people break things like windows rather than doors. Maybe someone was dancing too hard to a song just like I was and then found themselves in a situation where they needed a timber window replacement. Melbourne infrastructure isn’t all that good, so I’m sure that I can’t be the only one to have ever done this… well I hope.

I’m not going to tell anyone how my sliding doors broke. I haven’t even told anyone that anything’s wrong with them yet. Hopefully I can get the installation done quickly before anyone notices. God, being an adult is tough. I hope I get better at being an adult soon.

True Home Awareness

I’m starting to think I should write a book or something. Like, I’ve unlocked a new way of thinking, and I can be one of those people who goes on Six Twee Minutes and tells everyone how to think. And then I’d be that guy who goes into bookshops and offers to sign my own book, so they can put those ‘signed by the author’ stickers on the front. Yeah, the type of person nobody likes.

Or, possibly, I could just write a book and try to make the world a better place with my ‘Home Awareness’ strategy. See, I think we confine the rooms in our homes to such linear, restrictive boxes, and there’s simply no need. My home just had a major bathroom and kitchen renovation, something I’ve been planning for a very long time. I consulted with quality designers, they followed the brief, and the rooms look great. And I find myself just wanting to go in there and sit for a while, to admire the room. Not to have a shower or cook some rice, just…to sit, and admire the room I’ve wanted to create for such a long time. Then I found myself going to other rooms, like the laundry, and the spare bedroom, just sitting for a while and drinking in the isolated atmosphere. These places simply ‘exist’ in our homes, and we don’t give them the thought they deserve.

Remodels, designs and renovations are an opportunity to bring out the best in your home, but after the renovations are done, you have to devote time to true appreciation. Sit on your redesigned bathroom floor and drink in the ambiance.

Think of your kitchen, BEFORE you contracted a bathroom designer to transform it, and then compare the result while gazing around. It’s a tranquil state, and it makes you appreciate what you truly have. And all these, from rooms that we previously thought were pure utility.

Heck, you can even do the same thing in the coat cupboard. I’m devoting a whole chapter to that one.



Timber Doors Are in Vogue…Now

Apparently, our door is just not good enough. And if it’s now the door, then it’s the windows, and if it’s not the windows, it’s the bathroom, and then the kitchen, the garden, and so on and so forth until the universe implodes. And even then, Ian will find some way to improve upon the blank void around us.

Oh, the joys of home ownership. It’s everything I ever wanted, except for the fact that we never have any money left at the end of the month. To be honest, it’s probably my fault. I said, back in the mists of time, that we needed timber door replacement. It was the one thing I asked, because our previous door was awful on the eyes and doors are the one thing people see upon entering the home. Well…they’re the first thing. And then, open the floodgates to a bunch of really super necessary things, until we finally move past the necessary and into the realm of indulgences. Yes, Ian, getting the shower re-tiled is an indulgence. the previous tiles were just perfectly okay, unlike the door which was horrible and needed a new frame. A TIMBER window frame, no less. Now I seem to have unleashed a DIY beast within Ian that certainly wasn’t there when I married him. Would’ve been good to know beforehand, just saying…

So this is our reality now. Find something in the home that doesn’t need changing, change it, rinse and repeat until we die. And then our children get the finished product, so good for them. Last ones standing. And THEY can worry about aluminium door replacement, because it’ll probably be back in vogue by then. Yep, that’s just the world of the future: aluminium everywhere, purple shower tiles, and a garden full of azaleas. Basically, everything will be put back the way it was, because that’s how trends go, Ian.