I know I’m your classic city goer these days, but I’m a real country girl at heart. I grew up on a dairy farm in the near the beach, a solid hour’s drive from anywhere to anywhere, and there’s something about that kind of intense isolation I find myself really missing living in the city. Everything’s just so close and jammed together here, there’s no peace to be had. Even sitting in a park, you can hear the distant thunderous hum of the traffic, the chatter of other people located just a little too close for comfort. So to get that true solitude I so desperately crave, I make a point of going away every couple of months or so. Not necessarily back home, I’m a more adventurous spirit than that, but somewhere relatively isolated where I can just relax and be my truest self.
The last few months have been a completely crazy period in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt a more chaotic type of energy. I’ve worn myself thin by all this endless running around and excitement and I just really need some time to myself. I need to calm down and find my centre again, so I’ve booked two luxurious Lorne beach apartments for myself and my best friend Cassie for the long weekend. Cassie’s one of those friends who just understands me on a deeper level. When we’re together, I don’t have to try to have a conversation all the time, she understands my need for silence. I can be on my own with her.
Cassie also has a work thing on at a conference venue near Lorne the next week, so going down there with her is a perfect plan. I just can’t wait to escape from the city and centre myself again. Getting back to my roots, in this round-about kind of way, is just so important.
I’ve finally moved in and I desperately need to get a clean for my new house. Moving all the furniture and stuff from the moving van into the house has caused the carpets to get dirty. For some reason the couches also have a funny smell now, I think it was from the moving van. At some point the couches may have gotten wet as there is a distinct damp odour coming from them.
I had used the services of a cleaning company in the past when I was leaving my old place, and I really wanted to make sure that I got a decent cleaner. I can’t have visitors over until I get this mess cleaned up, first thing I need is carpet stain removal, Melbourne CBD isn’t far from my new place so it shouldn’t hard to find someone.
I was given the name of a place that sorts out carpet stains by a friend. It’s such a surprise too, since I hadn’t heard about them until recently. That was my mistake apparently, as there have been many reports about the truly wonderful work that they do. I didn’t know that we could still be surprised by anything that happens in this world.
It’s great when people stick together through thick and thin, letting nothing tear them apart. I don’t know what to say, I guess I’m just a people person. When these carpet stains are gone I plan on throwing a fantastic house warming party for all my Melbourne friends. The couches still smell a bit funky, I thought a few days outside would help but it hasn’t done the trick. I guess I really do need the best odour removal Melbourne has to offer. I can’t have my new friends sitting on a smelly couch. Perhaps I should spray the couches with air freshener and wait until after the party to have the cleaning done. It occurs to me that there is a chance that people could spill their drink on the couch anyway, might was well wait.
Local legend and author Christopher Alberton, writer of 2006’s “Past Present”, attributes the success of the book, as well as the inspiration, to a Victoria winery tour Alberton took by himself in the summer of 2004. “I really wanted to get outside my head, and not do anything. I ended up doing everything because of it.”
Alberton, known at the time for his series of short stories and essays, had yet to find mainstream success. “Having come off the failure of my previous efforts, I vowed to take time off and just unwind. That was how I came up with the winding narrative structure and lonely character in Past Present.” The wine tour, set amongst the Bellarine Peninsula, served as the primary catalyst for what would be Alberton’s most accessible and acclaimed novel. “It made my career, in every way. I’m also so proud of that book and everything it’s become.”
The peninsula also served as the setting for the novel, which “chronicles the lifetime of a lonesome recently divorced man, told over the course of a single day, in a snaking and folding fashion.” Alberton himself states that he was never lonely on his Bellarine Peninsula winery tour, “I always had my notebooks full of ideas, and having a bottle of red by my side was never a bad thing. I can’t remember how many bottles I bought over the course of that trip but I hesitate to say over fifty.”
The interview comes in time for national winery month, celebrating the production and distribution of Victorian wines throughout February. Alberton, a notoriously secretive artist, allowed a one-time interview to “get out everything that’s been building inside me for years.” He went on to say that “the wine itself might have been more of an inspiration for Past Present than I gave it credit for at the time. I can’t recommend solo winery tours highly enough for people wanting to get their creative spirits to shine.”
At the moment my makeup routine takes up about 40 minutes of my time each morning. Allowing an hour to get to work, Bendigo’s morning rush can be a nightmare, I have to wake up at 6 am in order to be on time. As I don’t do that well with early mornings I have been looking into ways to cut down my routine. A friend suggested I look into eyebrow tattooing in Bendigo, apparently she went to a great place to have hers done and now she doesn’t have to worry about her eyebrows at all. I had never really considered any kind of cosmetic tattooing but this seemed different, it would mean I wouldn’t have to spend 15 minutes every day painting on my eyebrows. I spoke to a cosmetic tattooist about the process and it seemed too good to be true. I could just have my natural eyebrows filled in with ink so they appear permanently fuller.
I couldn’t believe this has been right on my doorstep all this time! I booked in for an appointment and ended up looking into what else I could have done. Turns out I can also cut down time spent on my lips. At the moment I do a three stage process of lip liner, lipstick and gloss to achieve plump lips. Turns out as well as eyebrow tattoos, I can also get lip fillers. Bendigo had an excellent cosmetic beauty salon all this time and I didn’t know! I mean who knew that Bendigo had such modern facilities to accommodate my cosmetic needs, it is so nice to not have go all the way into the city. Between the time I would save on my lips and eyebrows I could get an extra 35 minutes in bed each morning. It may seem drastic but I figure in the long run it is a far more sustainable option than pushing myself to be up by 6 every day and no doubt my lips and eyebrows will look much better for it.
I have been looking into ways to create a mobile dog washing business since my great idea. Of course, it would have to be Scott’s business, seeing as I never made it to dentistry school. I have been looking at how to modify a vehicle to incorporate all the necessary gear for washing dogs. It turns out that the dog cleaning equipment is quite hefty, so if we get a ute we would have to look into ute under tray drawers to maximise storage space.
I have not yet informed Scott of my incredible idea for him to run a mobile dog grooming business. As far as I know, no such service exists yet. He could be a pioneer. This is part of the appeal, but also part of the difficulty. Because there are no mobile dog washers, there is no precedent for how one would operate or what type of equipment they would have. As a result, I think it would be most proactive for me to focus on the practical details before bringing my idea to Scott.
If a ute with a custom aluminium fit-out seems unconventional, it’s because there is no convention. I am thinking that some of the more hardy equipment could be strapped onto a roof rack, while the rest could be stored in a custom ute under body boxes. I have even thought of the perfect name for the mobile dog groomers, but I do not want to reveal it just yet. You have to be careful with what you put on the internet, and the name is so perfect that I am worried a conniving reader will steal it.
While researching vehicle modifications for the business, I found out that you can get removable service bodies for extra storage. When you have a mobile business, your vehicle needs to have not only all the tools of the trade, but also your office. A drawer system would allow storage for all the hallmarks of being a dog grooming professional. I can’t wait to see all the cute puppies!