Mr Mum!

27.11.08 The past week I have been trying to do my best impersonation of my dear wife – and struggling! Allison turned the big “four-o” earlier this year and to mark the occasion she and her best friend have taken a week off at the Golden Door health spa. Whilst she has been enjoying the rest and quietude, I have been trying to manage the house and transport my three girls to all of their activities – and I am knackered! It’s a bit of a cliché that most men have no idea how hard it is to run a household, and I thought that I was pretty in tune with the day-to-day routine, but I can honestly say that this week has given me a real insight into the challenges of managing a family. Waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, making lunches, getting to school, collecting from school, bath, cook dinner, eat dinner, homework, teeth, bed! And that doesn’t include any extracurricular activities like ballet, swimming and music! And, I haven’t done any vacuuming, dusting, cleaning or a single load of washing! In amongst all of this “domestic duty”, I’ve also been trying to squeeze in some work and assistance with running this business – look out for the two new properties coming to the market this week and the successful sales from last weekend too! Despite these challenges (and the associated exhaustion!), I have enjoyed some wonderful times with my children both individually and collectively. Whether it be a few minutes playing in the park, a snatched moment whilst getting them ready for bed, or just the simple pleasure of talking about life whilst driving to and from school, kindy and a host of other activities! The startling revelation personally, has been the realisation that I am NOT superman after all! Yes, I think that I have managed (alright, “coped” is probably more accurate!) rather well this week (and I have only put the TV on once for “assistance”!), but it would be remiss of me not to mention the terrific support of my sister and friends who have been able to look after Ella (aged 2) during the day so that I can still work during school hours. So, what’s the upshot of this week? Well, I certainly have a renewed respect for all of the hard work that goes into being a “homemaker”, and the pleasure of being able to spend some more quality time with my three beautiful girls. I’ll certainly be more understanding in the future when I come home from work and find that dinner isn’t on the table with my foot spa pre-warmed! Until next week…. Gerard Baden-Clay

Dress to Impress

20.11.08 SO YOU HAVE DECIDED TO SELL…………’s all stations go in preparing your home for sale. But were do we start? What should we do? If we spend money now to enhance our home will we get it back? First impressions always count; potential buyers always have several homes to choose from in the price range they are shopping in, so be sure that when they first pull up at the curb they can’t wait to see more. Have a check list, front and back gardens and then room by room. A new load of pine bark in natural colours will bring back life to the gardens, placing pots in odd numbers such as 3’s or 5’s always gives a sense of balance to an external space, especially for photographic colours. Bamboo screening is a cost effective way of hiding unsightly areas such as hiding garden sheds or to wrap around water tanks and turn them into a decorative curved wall. Inside the home always start by assessing the clutter, store away unnecessary items that crowd a space especially toys in children’s rooms. Provide an easy path for people to walk through when they are inspecting your home. Ensure the furniture layout does not obstruct people when they are walking around especially if you are holding open homes where you can often have 5 or 6 family groups inspecting at the same time. Quite often just re-arranging a lounge suite and open up a room and immediately give more space. Everything in your home should have a place and a purpose. We all live in chaos that is life, but when selling we need to create a little magic as buyers want to buy the dream. Just imagine walking around the project homes at a display centre, builders spend unbelievable amounts of money in decorating the homes so they can capture the hearts of the buyers. Are there areas that need a touch of paint or a splash of colour as a focal point? The idea is to make the areas seem larger and give it a feel of openness. It is important to present each room with a clear, clean sense of purpose. Create a lifestyle that captures the emotions of the buyers. Until Next Week ... Jocelyn Frost

Point of view

13.13.08 If you have been reading through the papers and online news sites at the moment you could be forgiven for thinking that the idiom “every cloud has a silver lining” should really read “every silver lining has a cloud” – isn’t it amazing just how fast the optimist camp converted to pessimism? But it is all really a simple matter of perspective, isn’t it? Glass half empty half full kind of stuff. For example take a look at the press around a recent consumer confidence survey that suggested that confidence in our markets has dropped by 20 per cent. Sounds pretty gloomy, but is it? If you look at the numbers from another perspective you would discover that almost 74 per cent of us, or those surveyed, think that we are alright and that whilst things are a little tougher it is going to be OK. It has always been amusing to me how some statistics are bandied about in order to suit the article or point of view being offered. A recent mainstream newspaper was sprouting data from Australia wide research with the catch line below. “Brisbane house prices suffered the biggest fall in the country in the three months to September, dropping 5.2 per cent.” I was surprised at the figures so I dug deeper but I had issues finding the supporting data. In fact, the data service provider that most professional use (RP Data) showed the median price change from the 2nd quarter 2008 to 3rd quarter 2008 had only slipped by 0.38%. When observing the same data across the past 12 months, September 2007 through to September 2008, one would see an 11% improvement in the Brisbane wide median house price. During my studies a professor offered me an insight into how important it is to get the data right and how it is almost more important to correctly interpret results. I was told an anecdote about a scientist who planted 30 trees and watered each tree a different amount as a way of simulating rainfall. At the end of the study some of the trees had grown tall and some hadn’t. Strangely, the scientist reached the conclusion that tree growth causes rain fall, or rather, that as a tree grows taller it rains more. That’s right, most of us would have reached the conclusion that as it rains more trees grow taller so tree growth is the result of rain fall not vice versa! Until Next Week ... Phill Broom

Kenmore Bypass Planning Study enters final stage

06.11.08 As I write this, I have just returned from the latest Kenmore Bypass Community Reference Group meeting on which I sit as a representative of the local business community and a passionate local resident. Many of you would by now have received “Newsletter 2” from Main Roads regarding the Kenmore Bypass Planning Study, which outlines some suggested options for the road should the State Government decide they wish to build one. If you haven’t got a copy, please email me and I will send you one by return email. Within this document are outlined some suggested options from the Main Roads Planning Team, and an open invitation for community feedback and consultation. Locally, there will Public Displays with staff on hand to answer any queries at Kenmore Village on Thursday 6th November (4pm-7pm) and Saturday 8th November (10am-1pm) and Indooroopilly Shopping Centre on Thursday 13th and 20th November (4pm-7pm) and Saturday 15th and 22nd November (10am-1pm). There will also be a permanent unstaffed display at Indooroopilly Public Library from Thursday 6th November until Friday 12th December (9am-4:30pm daily). If you can’t make it to one of the displays, please feel free to contact me directly and I will try to answer any queries you may have. As I reported to you a month or so ago, the planning team have conducted a wide variety of studies covering areas such as flora and fauna, air quality, noise, soil and geology, visual impact, water quality, cultural heritage, hydrology and hydraulics and social assessments and land use planning. It’s a very comprehensive process designed to try and develop the best possible solution for the area. But remember that this is just a planning study, and that at this stage there is no commitment and no funds to build this road. I would strongly encourage all residents to try and attend one of the public displays and make commentary on what could be the most important piece of infrastructure in this area in coming years. Until next week….. Gerard Baden-Clay