Filling the void with an Alfa

AllAlfa Romeo Service my life, I have strived to be a staunch naturalist. What I mean by that, is that I have never subscribed to the modern premise of capitalism. I have always tried to live off the land – use that which I can grow myself and or can pay for through trade with others. Perhaps living in the country helped further this agenda, but it’s impossible to know for sure. All I do know, was that I had reached a pinnacle of contentment – that I was complete and fulfilled within myself.

That changed when Karen left. I knew that I was quite a lot older than her, but I also believed, falsely, that we shared a real love. She ran off with a man I hadn’t seen since university who had unexpectedly walked into one of my classes about six months beforehand. Naturally, I was devastated, but in retrospect, I handled it poorly. I decided to fill the void with an Alfa Romeo. Little did I know that an Alfa Romeo would not service my soul.

It wasn’t just the Alfa. I moved to the city, abandoning my small farm in the country. I used the savings I had amassed from an early success in my youth to fund a spiral of consumer-driven madness. I lived in an apartment in the city, owned too many objects that had no value other than their price tag. Perhaps, in a distant part of my suppressed subconscious, I knew that I was receiving none of the spiritual nourishment I so desperately craved, but as was now my habit, I ignored it, and focused instead on my Alfa. The Romeo restoration project I had embarked on became an all-consuming obsession. It occupied hours of my time and hundreds of my dollars.

Now I have moved back to my home, my true home, in the bush. It’s a safe place, where I can pick up the pieces of my shattered psyche. However, I find myself at a loss as for how to accomplish such a feat. How does one return to their lost selves after such a cataclysmic and fundamental change to their life?

Take a chance on the wind and let it carry you away, to a better life and a better tomorrow.

Talking to a Computer?

call centreI feel like I’m in need of mystic advice. I don’t really like to take advice from anyone…not since the incident in which the SatNav told me to drive into a bus shelter and I chose to do so, destroying a prize pumpkin and causing a kitten to have a heart attack that ruined his career in the show ring. That was a dark time in my life, and you can understand why I might not want to revisit it so soon. Still, while I’m done taking orders from technology, the mystical ways are still open to me. At least they don’t give me mental images of disappointed kittens with broken hearts, watching from the sidelines while their peers win awards.

Really, I just love to answer calls. I used to work for a call answering service around Sydney, and I’m thinking of getting back into the game. That doesn’t change the fact that live call answering has advanced far beyond my understanding. I hear you can even get answering machines that pass a call onto an entirely different agency, so they deal with the overflow while you blissfully chat to whoever it is you’re chatting to. It’s a way of getting more business done, and everyone says I should use my skills as a verbal communicator to answer phones because SO many people just hate the thought of talking on the phone and I get where they’re coming from. I’m a great communicator. But I’d be surrounding myself with technology, and not only that, it’s technology that could potentially do my job.

Maybe I should go back to ruining the dreams of innocent kittens and sometimes hopeful pumpkin farmers. But call answering services are here to stay. I could work with them, or against them.

My crystal ball is clouded, possibly by dust. Please come back later. – Joanna

Planning my sister’s wedding

Organising an event is never straight forward so when I heard I was in charge of organising my sister’s wedding I was very apprehensive. Everything needed to be planned and organised right through from venues to marquees. I was unsure at first what dimension of marquee to choose, one which would not only fit in a back garden but also fit in with a relatively tight budget. As the wedding function was planned for September i knew Melbourne weather could not guarantee a dry sunny day so a marquee hire seemed to be my only choice. I ended up going with a local marquee hire Melbourne situated company who assured me the could offer all the party hire Melbourne requirements.

party hire in melbourne

I organised a meeting with many different marquee hire Melbourne company’s all of which assured me affordability but not necessarily quality. I wanted my sister’s wedding to be a once in a life time event. I spent the rest of my morning and evenings researching Melbourne marquees and what exactly would fit in with the theme i had in mind. My perception of wedding marquee hire in Melbourne was that it was relatively expensive however i soon managed to find an affordable marquee hire which could also guarantee the highest of quality wedding marquees.

The setup of the marquee took almost two days but when they had finished erecting the marquee’s it all looked truly amazing. The freshly cut lawns contrasted with the fresh white marquee, and the fairy lights seemed to glisten in rival with the starry night sky. I felt so proud of what I had organised or should I say what the marquee hire guys managed to set up, everything seemed to fall effortlessly into place. I would strongly encourage anybody contemplating on marquee hire in Melbourne to do so without hesitation. Marquees seem to offer a different dimensions to an event creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

From Psychology to Dog Walking

I have alwayDog walking Melbournes felt I have a connection with animals. Since I was a little girl, it’s been like we communicate. Their body language, their eyes – I’ve really always known what they were thinking and what they were about to do. We had a calming effect on each other. They were calmed by my presence and I by theirs. One of the effects of growing up on a farm, perhaps. All I know is that animals have always been an integral part of my life.

When I moved to the city, I decided to abandon my dreams of working with animals and made overtures into working in people instead. For a while I felt that I had found my calling. I qualified as and have since worked as a psychologist, helping people work through their problems, but in recent times I have felt that I’ve lost myself in the troubles of others. I really need to go back to my roots and reconnect with myself.

As a part of that, I would like to fulfil my dream of working with animals, but I am not sure how to go about this. I have thought that, perhaps, I could work with a dog walking service in Melbourne. I know that many people struggle looking after their dogs, and maybe I could become involved in that. It would, if nothing else, give me a chance to gather my thoughts while I do something I’d undeniably enjoy. After all, how bad could being a dog walker in Melbourne be? It’s such a beautiful city, and it would give me an excuse to get out and just enjoy the sunshine while getting some exercise.

Despite all this, though, I’m really struggling with the idea of giving up on my career – even if I just take a hiatus. I worked quite hard to get to where I am now, and, naturally, I have misgivings about abandoning it all for my passion. What would you recommend?

There is no balm more soothing to the soul than filling it with love. Carry that love within yourself and you will accomplish your dreams. – Joanna

My Poor Memory for Names

cluelessI struggle at work, constantly. See, my short-term memory isn’t all that it used to be. I think that emu racing accident really did something to my mind, which would also explain the dizzy spells and desire to eat spinach for every meal. Spinach, really? I suppose it IS full of iron, so maybe that’s my body telling me that I need to eat more healthy meals. Wholemeal bread is just…

Well, anyway. I’m bad with names. As in, awfully, terribly, soul-crushingly bad with names. I’ve been campaigning for corporate name badges, but it doesn’t really seem to be working all that well so far. It’s like everyone in the office just remembers each other’s names! Which is probably what happens. None of them have had tragic emu-related accidents like I have, so that must be it. Whereas I’m here, struggling to remember the name of the guy sitting next to me right now, and I’ve known him for three years! It’s Jeremy, or Jimmy, or…Pierre? Samuel…you see my problem.

The only people in this building who have name tags are the receptionists, and they’re too small for me to recognise from a distance. Basically, I’m reduced to going right up to them (and by that time I’ve already said hello) and trying to read their name tag while engaging them in small talk. I’m terrible at small talk at the best of times, but trying to do so while scanning their name tags is just distracting. Come to think of it, I may also be struggling with multitasking a little bit more than I used to. Sometimes I just have to stop walking, because I’ve stopped breathing. Sometimes doing those two at the same time is really hard, y’know?

So, uh…oh yes, name tags! Surely some local Australia name badges will suit my needs. I just need a good way to introduce them without revealing my mental instability.

The stars predict that regular Lindy-Hop lessons will open your eyes! Beware of those who believe Jason Bourne is superior to James Bond. Your lucky number is C3-P0. – Joanne

Everyone Needs to Jump Online

milk barGoing digital: it’s how you get ahead in today’s world. And ignoring the digital is how you get behind. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling everyone. I was in the local milk bar today, and I got talking to the owner…asked if he had a website for his business. After all, even lemonade stands have their websites nowadays, right? But no, milk bar man has no such thing. Oh man, what a business mistake! How will people find him? By walking by? Ha, everyone drives nowadays anyway.

Naturally, I pointed him to one of the many places in Melbourne that design custom websites. In fact, I even wrote down the link and handed it to him. See, that’s how much I care about local businesses. I really am here to help. Here to help, that’s me. I expect his marvellously designed website will be up and running any day now. And my crusade hasn’t stopped there: I’m taking my business advice to every shop I visit. These places are just going to vanish if they don’t get online and start raking in the digital bucks. How much more profitable will the milk bar guy’s milk bar be if they start taking online orders, maybe even doing deliveries? They could hold a graphic design competition, get their local customers to design a new look for the shop. THAT would bring in the business, and the bucks. A good bit of graphic design from someone who knows what they’re doing.

Sometimes I don’t think people truly appreciate my Samaritan ways. If you really don’t want to know about all my business connections, those places in Melbourne, graphic design being their specialty. That is simply out of this world, I can’t force you. But the digital revolution is here, friends. Get online or vanish! Right?

Memory is the stardust of the human mind. Guard your money, because people might want to steal it. The aura colour of the day is purple with a vague beige tint. – Joanna

Wall Colours for Instant Cooling

featureThe colour of your home can really have an impact on the climate. I’m firmly of the opinion that you should match the decor to the place…in other words, climate decoration! In fact, I’ve made my living as a climate decoration specialist. Whenever people are struggling to know what colour to make their walls, I arrive on the scene to give them a full break down. Obviously, if you’re building a summer home on the beach and the walls are dark red…oh, the thought makes me shudder!

A couple in Sydney yesterday had this problem. Now, you know Sydney, air conditioning and heating all in one big package. It’s not the hottest place in Australia, but neither is it Melbourne, or Hobart. Now THOSE are some places in need of warm colours. Dark purples, reds, burnt oranges…no, not in Sydney. Cooling the entire home is a mistake, since it won’t serve the inhabitants when the colder months roll around. Imagine switching off the air conditioning, turning on your heating and then it having no effect because you’ve chosen to make the dining room walls a light blue. You’d take one look and start shivering. No, no and so much no. Sydney is a tricky one in that regard, since you need the mid-level colours. Sometimes, people have rooms they don’t really use in the winter and summer. So in the room kitted out with air conditioning services, you’d do up the walls with the summer colours- light blues, yellows- and then have a contrast with the winter rooms. It’s tricky, and then you have the problem of inter-room clashes. Still, for an expert, you can make it work. Fortunately, I am one of those. Sydney air conditioning services have nothing on me and my ability to cool and heat with nothing but colour!

The rising wolf moon stirs the sixth chakra gate, causing your spirit to crave caffeine. Do not give in. Your lucky spirit animal is the noble and mighty plankton. – Joanna

Frameless pool fencing makes my house cool

frameless pool fencing MelbourneI can’t wait to tell all of my friends about our pool, and I can’t wait to see what it will do to my social life. I’m sure that it will increase my social standing, no doubt. I’m sure that I’ll be having a lot more parties now that the pool about to be finished. It’s taken many months but now it’s finally ready for water to go in. The only thing we need now is to get some sort of pool fencing, Melbourne is pretty strict when it comes to safety.

My parents are working out if they can afford glass pool fencing, I thought that it was better than nothing. It’s not like they are super expensive either, they are really good value for money. It’s just that my father has just moved jobs and isn’t feeling stable yet so he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. Turns out being a struggling architect does not pay well at all. I have to do part time jobs, three of them, just to help my family make ends meet. That’s why this pool fence is really important to me. I am willing to invest in the best frameless glass pool fencing Melbourne has to offer because I believe that they will increase the value of the house in the long term. I also would like to believe that they will be able to put us on a better social standing, as I have already said. It’s not like I have zero friends, I have a few, just not very many. I want to have more friends some day. The stylish glass pool fencing can help me do that by making my house cooler to visit. I’ll get more parties and therefore meet more people and therefore increase my chances of meeting the love of my life and future father to my children. I am all for this investment in the future planning of my life.

I see companions in your future, the planets are sending their positive energy your way.

Eloping and Boating

elopingI feel like the universe is telling me to elope. Weddings are stressful, in-laws even more so, and the universe has never really been wrong before. Just this morning, I had to ask if shredded wheat was a superior choice to porridge with golden syrup. Sure enough, as soon as I picked up the shredded wheat box, I found that it was empty. Porridge it was. Thanks, universe!

And I’ve always wanted to elope on a boat. Today some mail came through the door, and it was advertising a course on how to maintain boats in Melbourne, marine trailer repairs, how to scrape barnacles off your hull…and I’m thinking it was a sign. Perhaps the metaphor goes even deeper than showing me that I should be eloping on a boat. For example, the marine trailer repair could be hinting that I should repair my relationship with the in-laws before we elope. If we do that without making amends, we may never get another chance. And then there was something about anchor winches…so I should be trying to draw in this opportunity to take my husband in blissful matrimony, like a winch drawing in an anchor. It’s all just so simple!

What else? Well, there was the section on how to become a boat mechanic. A mechanic fixes things, and a boat is a thing that you use to travel across water. The message here has to be that we’ll soon be navigating the unruly seas of married life, and we need to take a mechanic’s attitude towards fixing problems as they come up. Our new life won’t be easy in Melbourne, a boat mechanic principles are what we need. Thanks, universe!

The cosmos has granted you wisdom. Don’t forget to pick up the cat food and balance your third and seventh chakras. Your lucky number is DATA NOT FOUND.

Novated lease has me questioning the bigger picture

Dear Joanna,

novated car leaseI currently find myself facing a great dilemma. The novated lease my Perth based company and I have agreed to is about to allow me to obtain another car. This, as you may already have guessed, is a wonderful thing. Thus the dilemma lies not in the acquisition of a new car, but rather in what type of car we are to acquire. You see, my husband and I have been trying, without success, to bring children into our lives. We had hoped to achieve this through natural means, yet it appears that this was not to be. We have decided not to consult anyone about this just yet, but continue trying. Although we have not talked about it at any great length, there is a possibility that we might try to conceive through science.

That is where this decision becomes more complex. At the moment, I own a two door little car, which I absolutely love to bits. The problem is, this is not a particularly baby-friendly car, and yet I don’t want to upgrade to a soccer-mum truck if there’s no real need. Thus the novated car lease renewal presents a real problem for me. In a way, it’s sort of the manifestation of a much larger and more pressing uncertainty that looms threateningly overhead. It’s not really a conversation I want to have with my husband before he’s ready, and yet that seems to be the way things are headed at the moment. I feel that I’m going to be forced to face the problem all because of a car! Please, Joanna, what do you feel I should do? Must I confront the situation with my husband, or can the car lease be resolved on its own?

Be confident in yourself as a woman and a human. Embrace every aspect of the change you see before yourself.-Joanne