It Pays to Be Prepared

executor of willWhen one reaches a certain level of affluence, one must keep up to date with certain affairs. I find my monthly draft of a will a tiresome chore, though a necessary one. My assets grow steadily, and thus I must be ready if I make an untimely exit from this mortal coil, and keep my will up to date.

Why just yesterday we added a fourth Jeep to the off-road garage. We used #3 last time we went on safari in the Serengeti, and I wasn’t entirely happy with the gear transition. What would happen if I passed from this life and only three jeeps were mentioned in the will? My local Melbourne executor of will might tear out his hair due to my grievous oversight, and you know how family can be. One small error and they descend like a Biblical plague. Not that I doubt Cecelia’s ability to deal with them like a true Clancey, but I’d rather not have to put her through all the bother. Besides, it would be negligent of me to not update my will periodically. It’s expected.

I do wonder what we’re going to do with Jeep #3. I’ve considered keeping it until Archibald is old enough to learn to drive, at which point it will prove to be an adequate challenge compared to Jeeps with adequate gearsticks. However, can I justify it gathering dust for the years to come? Despite our vast grounds, several houses and near-infinite potential to purchase more land, I was taught to be extremely discerning with my possessions. It’s why I sought out the best estate planning Melbourne had to offer, so I could be assured that my last will as testament is as clear as possible. Wouldn’t want to fringe family vultures descending upon any loopholes. Cecelia would crush them like gnats, but I do so dislike seeing that side of her.

-Percival Clancey IV

Healthy Beauty Image

anti wrinkle injections MelbourneThere is a stigma attached to cosmetic treatments and it is largely untrue and unfair. I have struggled with my body image for a long time. I am not what you would call a classic beauty, and it causes me fairly regular discomfort and anxiety. I have been to numerous doctors in Melbourne about unhappy feelings and they all have one conclusion. My best bet would be to finally do something about it and get anti wrinkle injections. Melbourne is no stranger to cosmetic treatments so I have my pick of places.

I’ve had a few consultations and chosen the beauty clinic I want to go with. They are professional, experienced and extremely knowledgeable. I’ve seen lots of pictures of their work and even met up with some of the previous patients, they really do excellent work!

I have never had any kind of beauty treatment like this before so I am pretty nervous. Lots of people keep telling me I am crazy to voluntarily get something potentially painful done but I simply tell them if they experienced the feelings I have, they would also search for a solution.

I know two girls I went to college with who have had regular dermal fillers in Melbourne so I contacted them to find out more about how it impacted their lives.

They both commented how it opened up so many new options for them that they never thought would be possible. They also said they can’t put into words how great life is, and they have both found it a major confidence booster. I just cannot imagine a day where I don’t go to bed avoiding the mirrors in my house. I long to feel beautiful and confident. In general my family and friends have been extremely supportive of my decision and are looking forward to not having to listen to me complain all day long about how I look.

How did I not know about sewer replacement?

sewer replacement MelbourneIt turns out that the blocked drain that ruined my bath was actually symptomatic of a far larger problem. We need to get an entire sewer replacement, Melbourne is actually an older city than I thought and it turns out that our pipes are practically ancient. The plumber had thought that he was coming to do a quick fix of our blocked pipes, but decided to do a full camera plumbing inspection when he could not identify the problem. As it turns out, our entire drainage system is slowly crumbling. This seemed odd to me since our house does not look particularly old, but apparently when it was built, they retained the drainage system of the previous property.

Does it make me a bad parent that I did not realise the state of our clogged pipes until they reached breaking point? I do all the home maintenance. I used to do a lot more myself, but lately I have been realising the virtues of outsourcing to others who know what they are doing. Perhaps if I had not lost my hands-on approach, I would have noticed the blocked plumbing earlier.

Let’s focus on the positives. I need to forgive myself, but remember and do better next time. I am so glad that I did not listen to Pat’s idea to try to unblock the drain myself. Surely he does not expect me to be able to identify and fix our collapsed sewerage system. No, we definitely need to engage the services of some expert drainage contractors in Melbourne. Sewerage systems are not something that I am willing to fix. I have been saying affirmations in order to encourage the work to be completed quickly. Usually, affirmations take awhile to work, but this time they were effective immediately. I have noticed that when I stand outside and chant, the plumbers seem to work a lot faster. I did ask if they wanted to partake in my affirmations, but they all politely declined the offer.

Not the Boat Gathering I Expected

outboard motor serviceRevelry is not usually my…‘scene’, as it were. If I host a party, it’s usually to do with business partners or simply celebrating an achievement (of business), and thus attending a party for the sake of it being a party is unfamiliar to me. There comes a time, however, when one must simply let one’s hair down, so to speak. Or so I thought. My Father and the owner of the Extreme Expeditions company were good friends in their youth, odd since their business choices didn’t really overlap. I will admit, I spent some time in my childhood on board the Taylor-Thomas yacht, just as they sometimes came aboard mine, and thus when I heard my friend was having a get-together, I thought I’d pay a visit.

I wasn’t fooled for a second. Had Dirk asked, I could have recommended any number of Melbourne outboard motor services, even supplied one of my own. Whatever silly expedition he was on seemed to have done some damage to the family vessel, and so the power was out. Worse, it was not the cocktail affair that I was expecting, which leads me to wonder what I was expecting. I was clearly overdressed, especially compared to some of the scandalous young women with their dresses lingering up to inch above the knee. There were no champagne waiters, the music was obscenely modern and the whole place was lit by candles, as if it were taking place in the jungle.

The outboard motor issue became apparent when I realised we’d been in the harbour for two hours, though at that point I’d been lingering near the stern, alone with the most dignified drink I could find (a lemon and lime bitters, from a bottle). The boat was scuppered, though fortunately I was able to leave early while the revelry increased. I considered calling Dirk in the morning and recommending the finest outboard motor repairs Melbourne had to offer…though if I remember, he’s the type to sleep until noon anyway. We are clearly very different as businessmen. Also, as people.

-Percival Clancey III

The old heater needs some attention

ducted heater repair CanberraIn the last few years my grandmother had started to become very frail. She still lives by herself and takes great pride in this fact, considering she is in her mid nineties. She is a very independent and strong woman who loves having company over for tea. She is constantly inviting friends around for lunch and tries her hardest to get all the family together at least once a month. I admire the way her family values remain strong over the years. My family isn’t always interested in being together and often finds my grandmother’s plans to be inconvenient. I think they are incredibly rude and make as much effort as I can to spend time with my grandmother.

While I was at her house the other day, she asked me to turn on the heater for her as she felt a chill in the air. I went to switch the heating on, but it started making some concerning noises and smelled funny. I immediately switched the heater off and told my grandmother what had happened. I got her a hot water bottle to put behind her back, keeping her warm while I worked on a solution to our central heating problem.

I phoned a ducted heater repairs company in Canberra and told the man on the phone what had happened.  When I switched on my grandmother’s heater it simply didn’t work the way it should. Thankfully the guy on the phone told me I did the right thing. He told me not to touch the heater again and that he would send one of the technicians to have a look at the gas heating. I was thrilled that there would be heat in my grandmother’s home soon. The thought of her braving the cold is heartbreaking. I thought it may have taken a few days, but that afternoon they arrived and got to work on the gas heating. Canberra is much colder than you would expect from being so close to Sydney.  I hate the thought of my grandmother sitting in her little apartment alone feeling cold. She is at the age where she is meant to be incredibly comfortable all the time.

Dominating the Housing Market

Melbourne buyers advocatesWill there ever be a time when the property market isn’t booming? You know, I think not. My business predictions for the coming year are higher than ever, because it seems as if people will always want a roof over their head. Sometimes several, as the case may be.

However, with profits comes a greater amount of uncertainty when knowing where to buy. I was agonizing over where to purchase our third summer home recently, because as a family we’ve been to our Brisbane home far too many times and the villa in France became a problem as Madeira developed travel sickness. No, we needed something local, which forced me to do the unthinkable. I hired a property advocate. Melbourne’s finest, obviously, because I would settle for no less. However, the stresses of the job necessitated me to outsource the finding our own holiday home. I certainly wasn’t about to let Cecelia choose, because while she’s a pretty little thing, she doesn’t quite have the property know-how to make large decisions for the family. No doubt leaving this business to Cecelia would result in a strangely-shaped property with sun-facing windows and fewer than six bathroom, my personal minimum.

I was not disappointed with the advocacy service, however, and in the end I still held the final say. We managed to procure a decent waterfront property with adequate facilities and enough surrounding land that noisy neighbours would not be a problem. To say nothing of the paparazzi constantly wanting the story of my immense success…dear me, just the thought gives me a headache.

Perhaps the next time I am looking into a property around Melbourne, buyers advocates would be an option, should my workload be too immense. And with the property market increasing as it has, what with the common rabble multiplying…it most certainly will be.

My husband secretly takes advice on air conditioning

air conditioner repair BrisbaneSometimes I wonder about the logic in Pat’s brain. He is lucky he is only a dentist and not a housewife. He would not be able to handle such a tough job with so many tasks. He cannot even sort out his business without help. You see, I asked him if he thought about getting air conditioning in Brisbane, for his new dentistry practice. We have the building, but the move is still a long way off. Still, it helps to think of the small touches.

I was thinking about how to make the clients more comfortable. I was in a stuffy waiting room with Bella and Arya. The girls were going feral, as there were no toys in the waiting room and they are far too young to be reading women’s magazines. They cannot even read yet, let alone reading the salacious articles in such a magazine. I was using one such magazine to fan myself. The waiting room certainly did not have air conditioning. It did not even have a pedestal fan. They clearly do not care less about comfort, and I doubt I will be returning to that doctor as a result.

I suggested to Pat that he takes care of clients in his new practice by having powerful air conditioning and heating, toys for small children, a decent magazine selection and comfortable chairs. He responded that it was already taken care of. The building has an air conditioner installed, he said. Seeing as the building has been disused for many years, I doubt that the air conditioner is in its best shape. As one of those gossip magazines would say, it is in the worst shape of its life. I told him he would need to get it serviced, and he said that it was fine. Later I saw in his search history that he had looked up getting an air conditioner serviced in Brisbane, so at least he is acting in my advice. I am trying to see the best in him, but he can be so blockheaded.

Semi frameless pool fence for my semi professional swimmer

semi frameless pool fenceBella has just begun swimming lessons and the poor mite is not the most proficient swimmer just yet. I am so proud of her for learning at her own pace, but she will never be part of the Olympic swim team at this rate. More practice would be just the ticket. I was thinking we need a pool, but not until after Arya’s second birthday party as we will need plenty of backyard space for the petting zoo. So I do not want to plan too much just yet, but it is always important to think about safety. I do like glass pool fences, Melbourne pools often have them and they look so chic. While I do not want to stand in the way of Bella’s dreams of becoming a champion swimmer, I am also very safety-conscious and would not want Arya to toddle into the water. Arya tends to be more cautious than her boisterous older sister, but you can never be too careful.

Pat is not quite sold on the idea of getting a pool. He does not see why she cannot practise at the local pool. I have told him that it is too dangerous for me to coach Bella in the water while ensuring Arya is safe. If he wants to save money by going to the local swim centre, he can look after Arya during that time. He has said that he will do that, but I know that when it comes down to it, he will claim to be too tired to take charge of Arya. I am going to quietly operate under the assumption that we will be getting a pool, though not just yet. Which is fine by me, as there is a lot to think about, such as what shape it should be and what colour tiles we should get.

I’d like to get the best semi frameless pool fencing in Melbourne. I also would want to keep our backyard looking presentable. The girls have at least ten years of birthday parties ahead of them, and it would ruin their social lives if we had an unsightly pool fence.

The Sports of Kings

gold driving netsThey say Polo is the sport of kings. That’s what my history tutor said, anyway, though I have reason to doubt this for many reasons. Reason one: not EVERY king has to have liked the same sport. Maybe there was a very important one back in the day who really liked polo, and people watched him having a splendid time of it and decided ‘you know what, everyone? This has to be the sport of the king, because look how he enjoys it so’. And then that king retired and the next person became king and there was all this pressure on him to like the same thing, because by that time their entire kingdom’s economy was based around polo and for him to put his foot down and say that he was a big fan of hockey would’ve upset everything. People would’ve had to switch to making hockey nets, all the signs around the kingdom entrance would’ve had to have been changed from ‘TRY POLO: THE SPORT OF KINGS!’ to something like ‘HOCKEY: THE SPORT OF THE CURRENT KING!’ and that just doesn’t have the same advertising ring to it.

I’m terribly glad that modern melbourne doesn’t have any sort of sporting elitism, at least none of which I’m aware. All sorts of sports netting is readily encouraged, unless your sports doesn’t involve nets. Though many of them do, I’ve found…I suppose so many of them involve equipment that can go flying off and cause terrible injury, so netting is what allows the spectators to spectate while remaining unharmed.

Archie went through a phase where he wanted to play polo like Daddy does on the weekends, but I think his natural wants won over and now he is terribly inclined towards golf. That’s why we had the driving range installed down near the lake. I watched the golf driving nets go up and thought that was very sensible, otherwise all the balls would end up underwater.

I am still deciding which sport shall be mine. Mother says I must pick one with an air of grace and ladyhood, so perhaps…clay pigeon shooting?

-Madeira

Some Very Necessary Scaffolding

aluminium platformNo, darling, you’re going to have to put up with the men around the house a little bit longer.

That’s what I keep telling Cecelia, the silly woman. If she doesn’t like the entire right side of the manor being covered in aluminium platforms, she can move to the left side. Pity me; my favourite of the four studies is on that side, and it’s where I keep most of my filing, so I really don’t have a choice.

Every now and then we need to get some professionals in to make sure the stone menagerie is properly affixed. It’s a VERY specialised service, not something I would entrust to just anyone, so I have to have these people flown in from Turkey. They’re the only ones I trust to do the job properly; Ahmed and Sons, proud fixers of stone structures since the 1400s.

You see, we have a veritable zoo’s worth of stone animals lining the top of the manor, and due to weather being so very fickle in these parts, I have to make extra sure that all of them are firmly fixed in place. We don’t want a repeat of the gargoyle incident, do we? More importantly, there’s a very specific place for every single one of those animals. It would be patently, utterly ridiculous to have one of the horses fall off, thus spoiling the entire effect of the Charge of the Light Brigade monument. And our Noah’s Ark recreation would be the laughing stock of the neighbourhood if a single giraffe was left standing while the other had its head knocked off by wild winds.

Of course, our only point of consternation are all the planks and trestles and folding platform ladders, that have to be put in place. Transporting stonemason equipment to a high rooftop is no gentle matter, I suppose, and it’s not every year I have this done. Hopefully the job is done a bit quicker than usual, and mobile scaffolding carted away. I should like to look upon Whitehall in all its splendour again.

-Percival Clancey III