Vegan RoyaleDon’t get me wrong, I heart food and I appreciate anyone with great cullinary skills – especially all the women in my family who cook!  It’s just that I have never really been motivated to commit to cooking well on a regular basis, preferring instead to buy cookbooks full of pretty pictures or watch tv shows making gorgeous food I’m unlikely to attempt.  It even got to the point where I had to self-impose a ban on any more books full of pretty pictures!  Cut to the recent series Master Chef and all that has changed.  I know my Mum will be pleased that I now regularly bust out the slow cooker on the weekends and make a meal or two to share for the week ahead.  Sometimes I even go so far as to make two courses.  Sometimes.  Now that Master Chef is off the air I feel kinda lost without my tutorials and idea sessions.  I’m not alone, we no longer race to the office in the morning to make comparisons of the previous night’s episode anymore either.  But I did learn an important lesson from the winner Julie.  Cooking can be a great way to show love, to heal, to nurture and to say thank you for the big things and the little things.  You may recall an earlier post where I mentioned Electric Legs has been sick, well one of my first instincts was to cook some food to make him feel a little better.  It seemed to do the trick for now, but he tells me I can’t have a 10 out of 10 for my first meal!  I just like that he thinks there will be a second one, ha ha!!

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Roadside treasureI’m all moved in to my new abode and am getting more and more settled as each day passes.  Let’s not talk about the level of cleaning I had to do to be able to pack my stuff away but focus on all the ways I’m hoping to give my new place I share a more homely feel.  My new flattie, Electric Legs, has been rather unwell lately.  So it’s not surprising that cooking, cleaning and decorating have taken a back seat in his life.  And yes, I appreciate that as a sports loving bloke these things were unlikely priorities anyway!  But already I feel that filling the fridge with homecooked meals, stocking the cupboards with a broad range of ingredients and giving the bathroom and kitchen a good dry clean has made us both feel less ‘Frat haus’ and a little more like home.  Well I know it does for me!  While I don’t want to completely take over the look and feel of our shared space there are a few obvious touches crying to be made.  I reckon if I could find a retro coffee table, an art deco mirror, a hallway rug and table for the entry then my work will largely be done.  I have some great friends who are op-shop and e-bay fiends and they’ve really inspired me to not buy brand new and save something pre-loved from landfill.  So I’m on the re-use and recycle bandwagon, albeit a little late!  I’ve checked out a few local op-shops and scoured e-bay today but the best part of the new direction I drive to work is that it’s the annual council hard rubbish collection this week.  There is loads of stuff on the roadside begging for a new home out my way.  I’m contemplating doing a few laps of certain blocks in search of what I want as all I’ve seen so far is broken chairs, busted tvs and dead looking mattresses.  Err, not quite what I’m after but I’m on the bandwagon for the long haul so will keep going!

AwwwwSo is rain, hour, move and pain.  All of which I have experienced over the weekend.  After what seems like forever I’ve FINALLY found somewhere to live.  I’ve managed to move half my stuff as I write and can’t wait to get to know my new neighbourhood on the city fringe.  There is a huge park around the corner for my dogs, a tram to work just up the road and a very inviting pub back on the other corner all calling my name!  Then there’s the bakery, cafes, boutiques and vet surgery all a brisk walk away.  What’s not to love?  This feels good, really good. I just can’t wait to get settled under my new roof and sleep away the pain of moving for hours.  Ahhh, bliss…

Beach Shacks BlairgowrieSearching for a home sucks.  I almost put blind faith in the Universe yesterday, but my gut told me not to.  I’ve spent countless hours trawling websites for share accommodation to try and find somewhere decent to live.   I’ve discarded ads that use words like ‘unreal’ to describe their abode, or describe themselves as ‘chillin’ kind of people and greet potential housemates via an all inclusive ‘hello people’.  Petty, I know, but it feels wrong in my gut.  But as the weeks have dragged by and I’m still empty handed I’ve progressively lowered my champagne tastes to align with my beer wages in an attempt to find something quickly.  This very fact nearly landed me in hot water yesterday.

One website brings flat’ees and flat’ers together in perfect harmony and regularly emails suggested matches to either party.  So it wasn’t unusual to receive an offer of a place on the city fringe via direct email last week.  A bit of too-ing and fro-ing later and I couldn’t believe my luck to be on the verge of securing such a tastefully furnished place in a great location going so cheap.  To cut a long story short, I was getting even more suspicious as quite a few additional and important questions I had were being skirted around.  So before I threw caution to the wind and took a gamble on blind faith I decided to google this charming young chap’s name, he did send me a scan of his passport in good faith after all.  Imagine my surprise when it came up on a long list of internationally renowned rental scammers.  And so Mr Jeffrey Pride Caulum, I flip you the bird and continue my search with new eyes wide open!

From now on I am always listening to my gut.  Oooh, now it’s rumbling, must dash.

Speed renting is destined to be the new black

Speed renting is destined to be the new black

Last night I went to a speed renting event held in a cosy bar in Brunswick.  The Comfortable Chair was oozing that groovy ecclectic vibe that the suburb is known for and set the scene for a great night.  Typical soggy Melbourne was not on its best behaviour which may have left some of the 40 pre-registered punters stranded.  I didn’t mind though as I met some very nice people looking for a flattie all the same.

While I didn’t find anyone who was seeking the same that I was offering events like this can only help to alleviate some of the housing pressure in this city’s marketplace. 

I’m now registered across six, count ’em six, websites to find a home.  I’m having trouble tracking who I’ve contacted from where!  I’m just basically going to make appoinments and go view the homes, so if I go missing it’s because I accidentally be-friended an axe-murderer!  Cross everything for me that that doesn’t happen and I find a home soon.