As you may or may not be aware, I ruptured my achilles tendon playing tennis in early September. This has required not one but two individual surgeries due to having a fall on the same day I had my cast taken off… Agony!

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This has meant that I have had to visit hospital on two separate occasions to have the repair done. Fortunately, I have only really been in hospital a few times, and my visits have been spaced over 26 years and despite the small amount of respite it gives you (from the kids) I would rather take a small holiday to some place with a swim up bar 🙂

I wanted to write this blog to tell you about the experience I have had visiting the Epworth Hospital in Richmond. The Epworth is a private hospital and seems to have the market of private hospitals in Melbourne sewn up with 12 hospitals/centres in Melbourne alone. I think the reason it is so successful is the culture. From the time I have entered the hospital to the time I have left, the level of care has been outstanding. From the level 2 reception entering the hospital to the discharge room when I was ready to be picked up and every one in between really do make for a great experience, despite the unfortunate circumstances.

During my stays on the ward, I have been thoroughly looked after, the manager/s, nurses, orderlies, cleaners and volunteers and students who come around and say hello and have a chat. Even listening to the conversations in the corridors has always been positive and courteous.
I have always said, if you want a good society, you have to care for the sick and ensure people are healthy and looked after. Often I have heard about hospitals that try and get people in and out as quickly as possible to make as much money as possible. But at the Epworth, I have not felt any pressure to be leaving until I felt well enough to. The level of care that I have received has been fantastic and really helped me get through the initial stages of this awful injury being comfortable and with a confidence and a positive attitude.

Also a big thanks to Ben and Jared who came to visit yesterday helping the time to pass with some great conversation and a game of Scrabble!

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Thank you to everyone that makes the Epworth Hospital – Richmond, what it is today!

Here was my view this morning:

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I’m all about giving credit where credit is due. So today’s award goes to Mini Movers who have provided L & I with great service for the last couple of moves we have done.

Mini Movers are a small but expanding business who basically provide you with a couple of guys/girls (of course) and a truck and you get to run the show. They charge you an hourly rate and so if you are on a small budget for moving and also have some friends available to lend a hand, then this will reduce the time that it takes to move your house and thus the price.
6 months ago, L prepared our house for moving and packed and categorized every single box in the house and then also went to the extreme of coding each box so that when we moved back in we could unpack the box in the actual new location… and this was her at 3 months pregnant! Amazing! She then managed the move from our old house to 2 storage locations and did all this in one load! Mini movers gave her all the help she wanted and I gave her a massage for a good days work… ok and flowers and chocolates, and took her out to a really good restaurant!

So today we moved our things back from the storage locations and into our new home, and it was such a smooth process. The guys from Mini Movers showed up on time (actually beat me) and then wrapped and cared for everything they moved as if it was theirs. Well done Tony and Nathan for a great job.

The Mini movers 4 principles are these:

  • Be careful
  • Be quick
  • Exceed and
  • Enjoy

I like these principles and believe that I received the service they wish to provide. So if you’re looking for a good removals company give them a go!

Hi there, i guess you’re wondering about how our renovation is going, now that we are 8 weeks in. I have heard and seen many stories about renovations gone bad and would like to let you know that ours is not one of them.

The Builder that we have selected is going great, and doing a really good job. Now, I dont want to jinx it or anything, but I would like to re-iterate the importance of good documentation, ie a well defined scope of works and information about how the building is going to be put together. This is the key to getting a good job with the minimal of disruptions. Too many times you have people who haven’t quite made up their mind about what they want when the Builder has started, and want to make changes mid-way through the project, and then wonder why the building is taking so long to finish and why the original budget is exceeded.

Obviously, there are minor changes that require clarification during the construction, and in a renovation ie. renovating an existing house, especially and old one like ours, there are always unforeseen things that are not factored in prior to commencing works, I dont care how long you have been in the industry or how much experience you’ve had you can never foresee every minute detail, unless of course you have a crystal ball.
So, with things going really well, the renovation status is as follows:

  • Demolition complete – the chimney, the old internal walls, external walls, floor coverings, the old bathroom, laundry and toilet and a stack of other stuff…
  • Base Stage – the frame that the walls sit on, ie. stumps, bearers and joists
  • Frame Stage – the timber walls and timber roof, this does not include the internal walls within the existing house, but these have been done too.
  • Lock up – this is nearly complete and should be by the end of this week. This will mean that the extension part of the renovation will be able to be locked up, this means that the wall cladding will be done, the roof will be on and the doors and windows will be installed.

Just to keep things in perspective and to not get too excited, there is still a while to go, but we are very happy with the progress to date.

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This is the the western view after 6 weeks

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Just to let you know, the lemon tree protection authority (Lisa) had written into the specification for the house – protect the lemon tree at all cost!

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More photos and updates to follow! Enjoy.

I dont mind telling you, I am a HUGE fan of the Aussie bbq, and nothing is better on a Saturday or Sunday morning than taking the trip down to Bunnings to begin that weekend project, or, grab a cheap sausage in bread loaded with onions and sauce! I know I could be saying heaps about the amazing store that is Bunnings and I will in future blogs, but I thought this time I would express my sincere gratitude to the hard working volunteers who brave the wintery mornings to participate and provide a sausage sizzle to raise money for the Scouts, Girl Guides or various other charities.

Bunnings is a funny place, because unless you take a shopping list you can go there in one mind and walk out of the place with something completely different, and if you want to know the truth, I have gone there, looking for one thing, then walked away with nothing from the internal cash registers, but returned to the car licking my fingers of mustard and bbq sauce, having put away a delicious sausage in bread. It is criminal I know, but I have to confess that Ads and I, a few weeks ago even went back for seconds and even thirds of the hardware cuisine.

I know it probably will never get its own website like superparma, or may never make the best food guide in the Age, but I reckon the sausage sizzle out the front of Bunnings will always rate highly amongst the bbq lovers and the unsuspecting digestive juices of the Bunnings shoppers.

The Supper Club

Posted by: Owen in Post 30, Reviews 1,021 Comments »

In the blog that I discussed our very amazing dinner at Vue De Monde, I failed to mention that the whole purpose to the blog entry was meant to elude everyone to the fact that AFTER the dinner, we were bustled into a taxi and then taken to finish the night off at the Supper Club, but it would have made the entry too long and therefore here we are.

The Supper club if you havent already made its acquaintance is an fantastic little bar that is much like my favourite little bar in Yarraville called Aqua E Vino. As one review from Milica Fraser put it “It’s the perfect meeting place for a glass of red and luxurious conversation. (Not the type of place you want to rush in and out of). Cosy weathered chesterfield sofas, polished floorboards, jazzy music and staff that ooze class… virtually guarantee you won’t be leaving in a hurry.” I have to agree with her, however I used it for my favourite hobby of the moment, to have a cigar and try a different scotch. If you must know what type of cigar I had this time, it was the Partagas – Almarante, in some circles considered the ‘richest cigar in the world‘. Unfortunately my experience in the cigar world would not allow me to make such a broad statement. But I will keep you posted. From what I remember… the cigar was very strong and full of flavour and was a slow burner and like other good cigars didnt get too hot toward the stub allowing you to enjoy the smoke right to the end.

If you happen to go there, you must sit up the back (eastern side) of the room, which is near the big arch window which overlooks Spring street. The window is much like the one of the ones in playschool. We went there late at night, and with the lights directed onto Parliament house added to the whole experience and looks absolutely magnificent. As Milicia pointed out before, you can just sit and relax on the beautiful chesterfields and take in the ambience of the place.

So if you have a night free and are not offended by cigar smoke, mosey on down to the Supper Club and relax the night away, you wont be disappointed.

Wednesday night, The Wife and I went for an amazing dinner at Vue De Monde, for her belated 30th birthday, which is somewhere she has always wanted to go.

We arrived there at 8pm and were immediately seated, and for the next 4.5 hours were treated to the most fine selection of food that I have ever experienced! Shannon Bennett personally prepared and supervised (in full view of the restaurateurs) the most spectacular 10 course meal! Yes 10 courses! Along with the meal was also a selection of wines that was carefully prepared by the Sommelier (a person who has drank A LOT of wine), to match each course of the meal. Just when I thought that the wine could not get better or be a better match to the next course, it just kept getting better. Obviously having 10 courses of food and a matching glass of wine with each, had us well and truly in a joyous mood, not to mention a wallet that was a lot lighter than when I went in.

I just thought i’d let you know, the dining experience at Vue De Monde is an experience of one the best restaurants in the world and was last year (2006) voted for the second time Australian Gourmet Travellers – Restaurant of the year. Like anything worth doing, it comes at a cost, but the experience of Vue De Monde was well worth it!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Wife.

Heroes!

Posted by: Owen in Reviews 1 Comment »

Ok, I confess, Im hooked! the new series Heroes has got me, and I cant miss a minute! Much like the old series of spiderman, batman, superman etc. We finally have a series that creams all of the above.

8:30pm Wednesday nights on Channel 7 or Prime (if you happen to live in the regional areas), dont bother trying to call me or take me away from my spot on the couch, coz im am fixated for approximately 1 hour of enthrawling television.

Heroes for those of you who dont know is a show based on the superhuman powers that a select few people have. The superpowers include but are not limited to the following:

  • Healing power – the cheerleader can regenerate from any injury
  • Flight/speed – one of the guys can fly
  • Stop time/ time warp and space – the Japanese guy can stop time and transport to another time and place
  • Mind reading – another guy can read peoples minds
  • Invisibility – one guy is invisible – but i havent seen him yet…
  • Strength & Psycho-ness – One girl can break stuff and beat people up…
  • One guy can absorb someone else’s power
  • Ghost – one of the guys can walk through walls like a ghost and his son can manipulate electronic equipment

That’s about it, but I think there are new characters being introduced in the next couple of weeks so you must get and see this great show.

The funny thing is about television programmes these days is, they are getting so good, and like the Soprano’s series that we have just finished watching over the last year on DVD, television programmes/series are a great alternative to watching movies.