Booking the reception function room

Nothing brings people together quite like a weddings, even if they don’t WANT to come together! I’ve been planning weddings for sixteen years, and for a couple of those I had my own TV show on channel 46. You might remember Big Day With Dave? It became pretty famous at one point when one of our brides threw tantrum, threw the cake out the window and threw her fiancé into a pool. Then jumped in and tried to strangle him. The show was cancelled after we tried to arrange a marriage between a llama and a mentally ill woman, but I feel like I’ve learned a few lessons from then. And since then, I’ve just been planning weddings, nice and simple with a bit of Dave-style flair.

Of course, having been in the business for so long, I’m a master of the trade. Need a function room available in Melbourne at a moment’s notice? Oh, I’ll find it for you in half a moment. Want a cake shaped like a moose-hound, even though they’ve never been photographed in captivity? It’s just a google search away. Trust me, I’ve heard it all; in fact, I often like to challenge my new clients to surprise me. One couple wanted their function room decked out like an ice cave, and that was where they were having the ceremony. Once they got to the end and they were properly married, a giant model boulder was supposed to drop from the ceiling and they’d have to race to the exit without it crushing them. There was no actual danger, but seeing them dressed as explorers dashing down the aisle, being pursued by a massive fake rock…oh, it brought a tear to my eye. The place later complained about the actual oil-soaked torches, but I’m happy to pass the blame on that one. I can only make suggestions; if the soon-to-be happy couple have something in mind, then it’s practically out of my hands!

There you have it, folks. Challenges all accepted, because I want to make your big day even bigger than you could possible imagine! Though I would appreciate you respecting the safety measures. Knowing all of Melbourne’s corporate venue rooms isn’t all that useful when none of them want me back!

The Perfect, Scented Home

Everyone’s house smells like something, and I want mine to smell like brownies. I know that if you keep smelling the same thing over and over again, there’s a chance you’ll just get used to it…but if it was brownies, then I don’t think you would. I don’t spend a great deal of time in the house anyway, not quite enough to truly get used to the smell. And when I go away on business trips, then I’ll come home and the aroma will be as new.

I realise that’s a difficult criteria to give to a buyers advocate. Melbourne is a growing city of economic significance, the amount of high-end properties in my search area that smell like brownies, but I have faith in the industry.

See, I read recently that a home should be your sanctum, a place where stress can be abolished as you relax in peace and harmony. That’s the idea, anyway. When you have to deal with stressful situations in the home, you should strive to move them to a neutral room where you can cordon off the negativity. That way, the majority of your living space is a place of mental and spiritual rejuvenation. That’s the idea, anyway, and I think it’s been working quite well. But then I read ANOTHER piece that espoused the virtues of engaging the five senses. My grandmother always used to make brownies on special occasions, and we only ever visited her on special occasions, so…positive association.

Too much to ask? Too much to ask, yes. But I need my personal nirvana from the stresses of work. I know Melbourne’s property advocates are up to the challenge of bringing me…something. Maybe just a place with open spaces that can be filled with brownie-flavoured air fresheners. I don’t know if they exist, but I’m sure you can get them custom-made. Or maybe there’s a spray. I’ll ask the advocate. They know things about houses.


From professional Needle-phobe to accredited Needle-fan.

I’d been an osteopath for seven years when I started hearing more and more about trigger point needling, or dry needling as a really effective way to treat patients. I was treating people with chronic pain and sometimes I just knew that the possibility of helping my clients was quite limited. When I found a whole bunch of dry needling courses that I could fit into my schedule, I thought it was a great way to improve my existing practise. It was the best thing I’ve done for my career yet.

One of the best experiences as a practitioner of dry needling was through a colleague whose daughter had severe back pain. He was a physio in the practise we worked from; I treated his knee injury with expected success. He was so impressed that he also undertook the same study to become a dry needling practitioner in NZ, and when he treated his daughter with success, she decided to turn her studies to dry needling as well.

Strangely, one of the biggest barriers for me in studying dry needling was my aversion to needles, which, yes, I had been ashamed of as a professional, but something I am very pleased to say I have definitely overcome. When I apply dry needling to a client in significant pain, I can see the muscles responding, I can sense how much a patient will get this is the best outcome possible. I no longer consider needles something to be afraid of, but rather celebrated.

I am 100% confident that treating patients with dry needling therapy will only become more and more popular in the years to come. Seeing the immediate relief on a client sticks with you- the wearing nature of pain is a heavy cross to bear, and if I can remove that burden as a professional, then I’m happy.


Talking health with an old chum

Today I was on the tram and ran into an old pal from high school, Kasey. I haven’t seen her for yonks. We’d never been that close, but she seemed up for a chinwag, so I really went for it and told her all about my bung knee. She reciprocated by telling me about how she’d been struggling with chronic fatigue since her final year at uni, and had just recently come across a treatment that seemed to be alleviating it.

One of my cousins has chronic fatigue, so I was pretty interested to hear this. The treatment, Kasey told me, is a type of oxygen therapy. In the Melbourne area, it hasn’t been all that easy to access, so she’d had to shell out heaps of money on the whole thing. Even so, the results had been so good that she hadn’t been fazed.

I looked into it a bit more when I got home. I found out that it’s called hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and involves the patient spending time in a chamber with a high internal air pressure. I’m not 100% sure how it works, but it’s something to do with being able to take more oxygen into the lungs.

Kasey was saying she’d been looking into investing in a portable unit for home use, which makes sense now that I can see what the chambers are like. Buying a portable hyperbaric chamber would save heaps of money and time in the long run, compared with having to go to a treatment facility every time she needs to have a session. I guess it’s not that dissimilar to people installing saunas in their homes for health support purposes.

It’s good to hear that Kasey has found a way of dealing with chronic fatigue that works for her. I wonder what kind of timeline the treatment happens on. In her case, it sounds like she expects it to be an ongoing kind of deal, or she probably wouldn’t be considering buying a chamber for herself. In any case, I’ll have to talk to my cousin about this.

Surprise! You’re a Homeowner!

I think my fiance is being given a house by his great uncle. Not as an inheritance – just as a gift. This is totally news to me – I hadn’t realised I had impending family members in-law who are doing so well on the finances front. I didn’t even know my fiance had a great uncle… I swear I’ve never heard of this guy before!

By the sounds of it, the great uncle in question has been buying up investment properties for years with the intention of distributing them to family members. My partner, being among the youngest of the known family members, is high on the list of prospective recipients. This is despite the fact that he has so little contact with said uncle that he’s never been mentioned over the course of the five years we’ve been together.

Anyway, as a result of this surprise adventure, life is currently all about property transfers. ‘Solicitors in Melbourne’ is something I’d never have foreseen myself searching for, but here we are. I need to know what the deal is, so all of the research is happening.

One of the things I’ve learned this past week is what a conveyancer is. I’d like to think of myself as someone who has a pretty wide-ranging vocabulary, yet here’s a word I’ve never known the definition of. Turns out (if, like me, you weren’t aware), a conveyancer is a legal professional who deals with the transfer of property, whether that’s through sale, purchase, inheritance or gifting. You learn something new every day!

That might be totally common knowledge; I’m not sure. I feel mildly embarrassed about my lack of awareness in the field of real estate. I mean, I’m going to be living in said house and married to its owner, so I suppose I’ll have some kind of legal stake in it. Perhaps I’m concerned that I’m going to feel like I’ve somehow cheated my way into home ownership. It’s like I’m having my avo on toast and eating it too.

For the time being, though, I’m going to focus on tracking down a conveyancer in Melbourne.

For Want of a Nail…

Unfortunate, when your day gets ruined by an errant delivery of fish. I know having more fish than usual is supposed to be a good thing, but our fridge-freezer is currently not working as it should, and thus we have too many fish.

Our fridge-freezer is not working as it should because we had an invasion of damp behind it, which leaked onto the cooling…rods, and caused them to stop working. And the damp? Well, that’s definitely an interesting tale. See, during the cold winter months we started to pile up the wood in the loft, for some reason that I currently cannot recall. And that, my friends, was only the beginning of the troubles. Fortunately there are termite control experts for Frankston residents, because we had them in to check it out after we noticed that…well, the roof was caving in. They removed the termites of course, although that took several weeks, during which we had to live in a caravan. Lovely place. Lost of play parks, if you have kids and you need somewhere to take them. Not during winter, though…everything tends to be damp, even in times when it hasn’t been raining.

Anyway, the termites took a while to clear out because it turns out that we basically took in a massive colony of them with the wood, and they were very happy to be surrounded by wood columns. The termite inspection people finished the job, and said that too much of the roof had been eaten away and we needed to get a roofing person in, which…okay, we might have procrastinated. The weather got cold, we brought in the firewood, needed the Frankston pest control people to deal with it, didn’t get the roof fixed, the rain came in and soaked the insides of the walls, we got damp, it damaged to fridge-freezer…and here we are, with far more fish than we had ordered. Fate is a cruel mistress.


Playful Pup On The Loose

I’ve been looking after my brother’s dog, Zappa, for a few months while my bro is overseas. He’s a very large and very energetic ball of love – essentially, playtime embodied (I’m talking about Zappa, not my brother). Yesterday, my neighbour told me that Zappa had been jumping the backyard fence, which seems like it should be tall enough to hold in a hound. Worse, I was informed that young Zap had been wandering around at the park making a nuisance of himself, if you know what I mean.

I had thought that this dog was desexed, but it appears that I have been misinformed. Today I’m going to look into options for pet desexing. Moorabbin vet clinics seems to offer that service, according to my online research. The situations seems to call for immediate action, since I’m fairly sure that nobody wants Zappa harassing their furbaby. And as beautiful as he is, I doubt that anyone is going to be putting their hand up to take on his offspring (heck, he’s still a puppy himself).

I’ve heard that here in Melbourne’s Bayside, it’s mandatory to desex all newly registered cats. I’m not sure if the same applies to dogs, but it probably should. While I do believe it’s important for dogs to have opportunities to roam freely (my bro lives in the country, so Zappa does get plenty of that), it’s just not that viable in the city, where cars are the dominant species.

So, where’s the best Bayside pet surgery? Moorabbin must have one, surely. I want Zappa to have the operation in a way that’s as low-stress as possible, and performed by a highly experienced veterinarian. Pain relief and cuddles as required following the desexing procedure are a must.

Of course, I’ll have Zappa assessed by the vet first to check that a previously incomplete desexing is, in fact, the problem to be addressed. When I spoke to my brother about it earlier today, he said he was told Zappa had already been desexed when he adopted him from a friend of a friend. Going by what my neighbour had to say, though, it seems likely that the supposed previous desexing procedure either failed (for whatever reason) or was not carried out in the first place.

Let The Kids Party

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t signed up to be the coordinator of my daughter’s Under 7s dance team. I mean, she’s only six – how competitive can a team really be at that age? That’s what I’d thought when I put my hand up for the job. As it happens, they can be quite competitive, and require quite a lot of coordination to keep it up. And they are expected to keep it up by the other parents. So here we are.

It’s nearly the end of the year, so the ‘fun’ part is upon me: organising a Christmas party for ten tiny Broadway sensations in the making and their parents. I’m not sure what anyone else has in mind, but as far as I’m concerned, kids should be allowed to be kids as much as possible. Given the level of commitment and discipline ours have shown this year, I think we ought to encourage them to play freely together in a secure but unstructured setting.

So, internet: what’s the best kids party venue in Melbourne? I’m thinking one that’s purpose-built so they can run around in it and climb and jump on things until the cows come home. Importantly, I’d picturing them not be getting in anyone’s way while doing this. Why not just have the party at a local playground, you say? Well, because the kids’ party was completely rained out both last year and the year before.

Kailey Jones’s mum has been campaigning for me to put together something that can go ahead rain, hail or shine. Just between you and me, I believe this is mainly because she want everyone to witness Kailey being presented the trophy for most eisteddfod wins over the year. But I can’t deny it would be nice if the party could go ahead regardless of weather.

Surely there’s a venue for kids’ parties that encourages monkeying about with play equipment, similar to what you’d find in a playground, but which is also special and novel. My main concern lies in encouraging these kids to be mates as well as teammates.

Honeymoon in Aus: Great Ocean Road Plus East

Ever since we got engaged all Jamie talks about is our honeymoon. Before we had even set a date for the wedding he had decided we were going on a skiing trip through the Alps. He is big on his adventure trips. A week later it changed to a hiking expedition through the Canadian Rockies. While I have been choosing flowers and crafting the guest list, he has been busy planning everything from a two month Mongolian trek to an Australian surf tour. The honeymoon is three months away and we are yet to actually book anything. I have been leaving hints that my preference is the Aussie surf trip, it’s probably the only activity that we are truly equal at . I have sent him links to some lovely Lorne luxury hotels. The idea is we would spend two weeks surfing our way around the great ocean road, and then fly up to Queensland and surf our way down the East coast.

I am pretty sure he has settled on this, although when I went to try and book flights he wouldn’t let me because he was in talks with a 4×4 silk road adventure operator. I took the plunge. I booked Aussie flights and told him we are done. As a surprise I am going to buy us new surfboards and top of the range wet suits. I know he’s had his eye on the new rip curl line. I’ve booked excellent accommodation in Lorne, super luxurious, right by the ocean and not too expensive either. We are going to stay in a mixture of super luxury and slightly more budget, roughing-it style places. I am also going to book us a few days in a camper-van along the great ocean road. Essentially it has panned out that I am not only planning the wedding in its entirety but now, because Jamie is basically 14 years-old, I am also planning the honeymoon in Lorne. He has found it exceptionally hard to get on board the planning train.

Ute to the alter

Of all the things I imagined going wrong with my wedding, this wasn’t one of them. I had backup plans for almost everything. I had a plan for rain, a plan for delayed transport, a plan for surprise guest allergies. I was the woman with the plans! The day was pretty perfect; everything was running smoothly, the ceremony had been the right balance of emotional and modern and the reception was boozy enough but not ridiculous. The party was ridiculous, as it was intended to be. I really thought we had pulled it off at that point. As the guests started to peter out I turned to Andy and said, we’re married, and our wedding wasn’t a disaster’.

He gave me the look he gives me when he knows he has to confess to having done something wrong. So, it turns out we were being whisked away to our honeymoon in his work truck, complete with aluminium trays! Melbourne doesn’t have enough car hire companies apparently. I left him one job. He forgot to arrange us a car to take us home and so parked right outside our wedding was his big metal truck. The toolbox on the back clanking around as we set off for Rome was not the ideal soundtrack to complement my wedding high. I never really imagined stuffing my big white dress into a ute filled with screwdrivers and bolts, but there you go, we can’t all get what we want. The funniest thing is, Andy was actually a little insulted that I wasn’t more impressed with his newly installed aluminium ute canopy, from the best company in Melbourne apparently. He said it was his pride and joy and he was sad that I didn’t join in with his glory. I told him on any other day I would happy to drive around in his enlarged toolbox but not on my wedding day in the most expensive dress I will ever wear in my life!