Loving and Hating the Play Centre

Joanne, I’m truly at a loss. I’m lower than a loss, you might say. So low it’s basically a gain, but lower than that so it becomes a loss again. So it’s a double negative loss. It’s not a good way to be.

I’ve been visiting our local indoor play centre for…oh, about the last six years, even since Cubert became old enough to get on a climbing frame. He loves the place, and I think all the socialisation is wonderful for his development. Then Clarabelle comes along, she gets to the age where I can let her loose in the play centre, and she hates the place.

To be fair, she’s never given it a chance. The one time I’ve taken her, she curled up under the table with a picture book and wouldn’t come out, stating that the adventures of Mr Duck and Penny Platypus were more important than climbing frames. The indoor play centre in Sydney near us does have a lot of climbing frames, and I thought that their immense size might be putting her off. So I took her to one elsewhere that had more of a focus on the very young children, with slides shapes like elephants and tiny, less intimidating ball pits. Cubert still had his frames, while I thought that Clara would find something she liked. Instead, she managed to smuggle a basic mathematics book in, and retreated to a quiet spot underneath the elephant slide so she could figure out 2+2. It turned out to be four. She really is a little genius.

But that’s my problem, because Cubert is an active soul. They’re chalk and cheese, active and meditative. They like none of the same things, so an outing to one place is a waste of time for the other. I know for a fact that Cubert would hate going to the museum, while Clara would find it fascinating. But our local Sydney kids party venue simple will NOT do for Clara’s upcoming party. So…what to do??

The answer lies within you, and can only be accessed in the light of the crescent moon. Seek knowledge, cut down on sugar and avoid complex carbohydrates.


Wisdom for an Office Relationship

I have need of your great wisdom, Joanne. You are revered as the internet sage, the one who gives us all wisdom and knowledge, the fortune teller who knows exactly which coupons to cut out of the magazines and which will no longer be worth it in a month or so. That’s what Janene said, anyway, and I trust Janene because she used to work for The Guardian Sun and it’s the most trustworthy tabloid around.

So naturally, I have the greatest conundrum of my life coming up and I need a bit of know-how from the future. Who would even walk into ANYTHING blind with you around?? Anyway, it’s to do with my work conference. We just had a keynote speaker from Sydney come and give a presentation on interpersonal relationships between people in the workplace. It was a fantastic presentation, but I walked away wishing we’d been allowed to spend more time on…romance. When is office romance okay, I wanted to ask during the Q and A time?

Of course, I didn’t. Simon was sitting right there in the front row, and he would know for sure after I asked the ultimate question. I’ve managed to hide my affections for this long, disguising my hanging around his desk as simply him being good at fixing my IT issues, and my lingering gazes as being a result of my lazy eye. Now I have to spend the rest of my career simulating a lazy eye, which is rather miserable.

Worst of all, I still don’t have an answer. The keynote speaker certainly cleared up any misgivings I had about office friends, and as inspirational business speakers go, I’d gladly give up the working hours to hear them speak again. But what to do about Simon?? Are workplace romances ever okay??


As yourself not what your country can do for you, but what incense you use in your morning trance sessions. Avoid the wily echidna on the road. Your lucky planet is Pluto.

Visualising a solution

Dear Joanne,

I’ve been trying recently to put my feelers out into the universe and visualise what I need but it just has not been working recently and I don’t understand why not. For about a week now, something has been seriously wrong with all the plumbing in my house. Not only does it make loud, ominous noises but it’s also beginning to block up. Not constantly, but every now and then.

When the noises began, I initially believed I had a spirit infestation. I tried all the usual remedies – I smoked the place out with sage, did a capturing ritual, I even tried do a mild exorcism – but all to no avail. It was only when the loo flooded that I realised the problem lay in the pipes. At that point, I wrote up ‘plumber Melbourne’ and put it on my visualisation board, but nothing has come of it.

I just don’t understand. Usually, whenever I put something up on my visualisation board and I see it clearly in my mind, the universe delivers it to me. So I just can’t understand why I haven’t had a plumber come my way. Is something wrong with me? Have I not believed hard enough? Have I done something that’s caused bad karma to undermine the things the universe is trying to send my way?

I’m completely at a loss as to what is going on, but if something doesn’t happen soon, I’m going to be put into an impossible position. At the rate things are going here, I’ll need to call emergency plumbing in Melbourne – but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

I do want your opinion, though. What do you think is blocking my cosmic pull? How can I fix it?

If you look up to the stars on a cloudless night, they will show you the answer. -Joanne.

The spirit and the father

podiatryHello Joanne. It’s fantastic to finally have the opportunity to speak to you – I’ve long been a fan of your work. For almost as long as I’ve followed your ripples in the celestial pool, I’ve believed in a world beyond our own, a world where more things are possible than we can possibly dream of. My faith in this world has caused many of my so-called friends to turn their backs on me, but it is no matter, for today I finally have the proof I have long been awaiting.

It happened in the most unlikely of places, or so I thought. Three nights past, I took Michael to a childrens orthotics centre in Melbourne. He’s had problems with his feet and walking since he was a baby, but as he’s gotten older, the symptoms have only become more acute. It was there, sitting with my son in the waiting room, that I felt it. A presence like nothing I have ever known. A cold feeling rushed over my body as a light, faint at first and then growing stronger by the moment, appeared in the corner of the waiting room. I did not need to see the face of the spirit to know his name. It was my father.

With the virtue of hindsight, the appearance of my father was not entirely random. For the majority of his life, dear old dad visited a Cheltenham podiatry not too far from the one I went to with my son. I knew his presence, and although I don’t think he was trying to communicate with us, I do think he appeared so as to show his solidarity with me. To be a part of our family one more time.

As strongly as I feel this way, I would really value another opinion on this matter. Do you think the spirit of my father is dangerous?

Only the spirit for revenge can aggravate a spirit. -Joanne

The Gift of Tree-Speak

tree removalIt’s no surprise that people don’t understand my line of work, Joanne. After all, most people don’t talk to trees. Or rather, none of them do it very well. I was born in the conservatory of my family mansion, out in the picturesque grounds. Although I have cast off the material world, I retain my connection to nature. That’s why I got a job with a firm doing tree removal in Oakleigh, for a time at least. I was the secretary, and though my job was mostly signing for postal items and taking calls from people asking for their trees to be cut down, I also tried to use my unique skills to help in the real job.

The tree removal guys would bring the trees back, and I would listen to them as they were dying. Sometimes it was justified, because it was simply time for that tree to go. Other times I would have to sadly inform the team that they had cut down a tree who did not think that it was time, and that they had made the Earth Mother sad indeed. They might tell me something in defense, like how the tree was in danger of crushing a dog’s kennel, or that it was dangerous slanted after a storm, but I knew the truth. Nothing was more important than this tree’s life.

I left the industry after a while due to intense sadness on my part. The sadness was great indeed, but I feel like I had made the world a better place in my own, quiet way. The team grew to respect my critiquing, deep down, I feel. Now I wonder…was it enough? Is there a tree removal place in Melbourne somewhere that requires my gift and empathy? Or are there other ways to help the Earth…?

All these squares make a circle. Take two and call the rainbow goddess in the morning, for that is the path to productivity, and the perfect praline glaze cake. – Joanne

Buying for birthdays

anchor winch repair MelbourneI simply haven’t got a clue what to get my husband for his birthday and I was hoping you would be able to help me out in that respect. Your clairvoyant powers are legendary, Joanne, and I was hoping if it would be at all possible for you to communicate with the angels and see what my husband, Pierre Chambreaux, would like for his birthday.

You see, although it may be a petty matter in the greater scheme of things, I simply can’t let his fiftieth birthday go by without putting in a decent amount of effort. I talked to a good friend of ours recently about it, and Bobby told me that Pierre’s been looking for an addition to his boat for quite some time. Perhaps, he suggested, I could upgrade his anchor winch. Melbourne has a number of very high quality marine stores that supply boat add-ons and the like, and I’ve even begun to make a few phone calls and see what they stock and would recommend. Although I realise that any sales person has a vested interest in up-selling me, the nice man I talked to did say that he would be happy to look at the outboard motor repairs in Melbourne if it was necessary.

The problem with all of this is that I simply don’t know. I’m his wife, for crying out loud, but I haven’t got even the faintest clue, really, what he’d want. But I do love him and I want to make sure he knows it on his special day. More than that, though, I don’t want to spend all that money on something he’s only going to use once. I want to get him a present that he can use over and over again. Please, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Angels speak in more ways than one. – Joanne.

Double Check that Roofing Services

emergency roof repairWhen I checked with the landlord, he confirmed that we definitely had roofing service in our new apartment. Silly me, taking him at his word. Still, most people wouldn’t check to see if they had a roof- they’d just go ahead and assume! How many friends have made the same mistake? It has to be dozens by now. Then they rock up on their very first day of living in a new place to find that the previous tenants have taken the roof, leaving them with nothing.

I was even extra prepared for this eventuality, so I contacted everyone I know in Melbourne who does roof restoration and got them to be on standby. I wasn’t about to get caught out, and sure enough. We got to our apartment to find that there was no roof. The landlord can apologise all he likes, but I still had to be the one to sort it out in the end. Weird thing was, it was a fifth floor apartment in a seven-floor building. The people above us didn’t seem too concerned about not having a floor and being able to look down upon our apartment literally any time they were in their apartment. We had a chat, and it turns out they’ve been there for decades. In the first few years they bolted everything to the wall and just bust out the emergency planking whenever someone moves and rudely takes the roof without telling anyone. Lovely couple- European accent, can’t exactly tell which one.

Anyway, I had my roof restoration experts on the case pretty quickly. It makes me disappointed in the system, however. If a landlord says your electricity will be on, or you’re going to have a roof, or that it comes with a cleaner, they’d better provide. It’s THEIR job to call their own Melbourne emergency roof repair professional. You agree, right?

My crystal ball is clouded with the fog of severe gastro. Please call again later. – Joanne

Stains on our souls

carpet stain removalI am deep believer that in the old ways. Some may call what I do witchcraft, but that is simply their ignorance shining through over their common sense. I’m a practicing Wiccan, that is my religion and who I am at the very centre of my being and that is all there is to it. Passed down through the generations, I understand that herbs, correctly used, can save lives. Burning sage can ward away evil spirits and cleanse the air – these are the types of things my grandmother taught me as a child, but so many of those things have become lost to me over time. So I must seek out them out now, on my own, as an adult.

The problem with this, of course, is my ignorance. I mess up frequently and, sometimes, disastrously. I’m making fewer mistakes now than I was when I first started, but still, there are times when I’m forced to wonder if I’ve even learnt anything at all. Times when I make mistakes like the one I am currently grappling with. This is the real reason for my presence on this site of yours, Joanne, I was wondering whether you had any good contacts for discrete stain removal in Melbourne. It’s not that I’ve killed anyone, no, nothing like that! I don’t need to clean up blood or anything, it’s just a very potent mixture of some particularly distasteful ingredients needed for some charms I’ve been working on. The fool that I am, I spilt the bowl I was working with and got the contents all over my carpet. I’ve tried just about every method I can think of to get the damned stuff out but it won’t lift an inch. So I’m need of some truly expert carpet cleaners in Melbourne who wouldn’t ask too many questions but would be competent enough to do the job. If you could send any names my way that would be much appreciated.

The stains of our mistakes cannot be removed, but blight our conscious forevermore. – Joanne

A Beautiful Bit of Advice

beauty therapy

This is hardly a problem, but I guess I could always use some advice. I just finished school, and it feels good. All my life I’ve wanted to get out of that rat-race where we learn nothing but useless skills. So many ideas and many visits to the careers person later, and I think I have in mind two really great career options. Firstly, both of my parents are businesspeople, and while they haven’t pressured me into it, I think I’ve inherited a bit of that skill. In fact, I’m almost entirely sure I could start my own business and have it do pretty well. So many people think the same thing, so it’s not like I’m running away the idea that I’ll be making millions in a year…but it’s possible, and viable.

And the other is something different. I’ve researched a diploma of beauty therapy in Brisbane, and I think I could also get into something like that. Now, the money isn’t as good, and it’s not like I can jump into owning my own beautician company because it’s really something where you work your way up. But it’s something I’m passionate about, AND I know I have a definite flair for the whole business. One of the most worthwhile parts of school has been taking part in the plays and getting some experience in doing whatever makeup they needed me to do. It was tough sometimes, and I sometimes had to come back late from all kinds of performances and after parties to study, so that I could have a future after I left school. But I did it, I loved it, it was basically a makeup course in itself and now I have a choice to make. Big bucks, or something I enjoy all the time? Business is fun, but it comes with more hardships as you try to make ends meet. An actual beauty therapy course could be a lot more fun. So what to do?

Circle seven times around your local museum, have a margarita and bow before a cactus. The full moon will bring true love! – Joanne

Sensing a catastrophe

sightseeing in MelbourneI simply can’t do this anymore. It’s too heart breaking … I … I have to act. All my life I’ve had this “gift” that feels so much more like a curse. I could see things … well, not see so much as feel things, before they happened. I don’t ‘see the future’, exactly, I just sometimes get really strong sensations, a knowledge that comes from nowhere but that I know is true. It’s difficult to explain. It just comes from nowhere, and all of a sudden I know with perfect certainty that this will happen, as if it has already happened and someone has just told me. Then, whatever it was comes to pass and the feeling is once again confirmed. Most of the time, the events are insignificant, but today … no. I need to act today, otherwise terrible, and through me preventable, things will come to pass. People will be hurt and it will be my fault.

I know that the best sightseeing company in Melbourne is going to experience something big. The only thing is, there are several, really important pieces of information missing from that knowledge that would allow me to alert either the city of Melbourne itself or an agency that could help this disaster be avoided. The first is that I’m not sure exactly what kind of disaster will occur. I know that there will be a fire and that people will be trapped, but I have no idea what will cause the fire, and thus no idea how to notify anyone.  This brings me to the second problem. I’m not sure exactly where in Melbourne this will occur. I’ve spent the past few days looking at Melbourne based tour groups and I can’t for the life of me figure out who to contact. So I’ve decided it’s time to enlist the help of another psychic. Can you help me, Joanne?

Two trees sway in the wind. One falls, but to a man who hears the noise, they are the same. -Joanne.