The Gatwick Block Police Visit

Kerrie and Spence won the Kids Under Cover pod challenge, and even took the time to oversee the installation of their pod and meet the recipient in an honestly very touching segment. A blessed relief among the fun and frivolity.

It's still bathroom week with various stone, waterproof and general issues aplenty but Sara and Husband Nathan are officially on notice for spending more than they should for the bathroom with THE BATH... aka the baby aka the brass monstrosity. 

But the reason we're all tuning in to episode 12 is to:
a) See if Sara finally fulfills the promise to leave and
b) Find out why the jacks are visiting The Gatwick this time

In the video package of contestants, most assumed the local cops were there for Keith (oh lol), my suggestions in the previous blog post involved two serious possible contenders - Jess and Norm's stolen credit card, or the super dooper cheap Bromley that may have come off the back of a truck at that low low price. 

When the constabulary arrived, met by Foredan and Mr Keith, the tension was broken quite quickly with a good old fashioned well timed emission of bottom air (aka a fart)...

Everyone Loves A Fart Joke

Hijinks. But why are they here? Ah, Norm and Jess. Knew it.

In their post confrontation chat from their comfy chairs, Norm said: 

Norm and Jess Comfy Chairs

"I was shittin' bricks".... might save you some money on conventional materials, Norm!

He asks them to please say their visit is about the stolen credit card but they look stern-as (good acting!) and Jess is beyond relieve when they confirm it's about that "We haven't even broken the law and we look guilty!" I hear ya Jess, feel like that every time a divvy van is driving behind me". Must be that guilty Catholic conscience.

They recap the spending on booze and charcoal chicken that alerted them to perhaps their card being stolen; and the cops get an official statement from Norm and Jess.

Anyway that storyline is shelved for now. Sara and Husband Nathan win the challenge for the ensuite walk through from Domain. And Courtney and Hans are told by a potential Real Estate Agent that their floor plan sucks and blows, yet another potential setback.

In other setback news, Norm and Jess discover that a vital piece of cabinetry they ordered for their ensuite was the incorrect size and expended a lot of energy at the end of the day/episode to try and find a cabinet maker who could knock up the perfect replacement in record time (as the supplier couldn't get the swap from Sydney down in time) <side bar: how long does it take to drive Melbourne to Sydney? Eight and a bit hours... chuck someone in a hire car>

And in a preview of Sunday night's Bathroom Reveal looks like a few people haven't been using their tape measures properly, with ForeDan doing a lot of harrumphing about milimetres and there's a promise of THREE teams potentially not finishing in time as a result. Including front runners for a win Sara and Hayden

mm sadness

See you tomorrow night after the reveal!

The Block Gatwick Episode Ten and Eleven

Ensuite Tout Suite

After promise after hissy fit after threat after more hot air, I went out in protest last night after we didn't see a storm out of epic proportions from my favourite and yours Sare Stare Bear. Plus life just got in the way so here's a super quick recap of the Monday episode before we get into tonight's no doubt juicy edition!

All contestants walk through the guest bedrooms, and everyone is shocked that Hayden and Sara copped such a criticism from the judges, but can find minor quibbles. Jess noticed the lack of Wallpaper after poor Wallpaper Lady from episode six wasn't able to lock in a sale despite being Sara's counsellor for close to 87 hours one afternoon in a crisis of confidence. A couple of minutes are spent looking at B & C's winning room but it's pretty much back to Sara saying that they're getting slaughtered.

Some contestants move floor plans; Kerrie has another conniption; power and water is cut off from Courtney and Hans for Jess and Norm to fix their plumbing; Jess gets into trouble for spending so much on an art (a Bromley! you'know); 

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT THE EFFING EFFFFFFFFFFF TEN GRAND FOR A POSTAGE SIZED BROMLEY OF FLUTTERBYES?

Bromley

Anyhoo, Scotty discovered that Jess claimed the paintin' cost her $2000, but that contravenes the no more than 50% rule. She's got to take it back and swap it for something cheaper.... (or of less value).

I tuned in live to cop Sara mid debrief: "...For Neale to say *that* wall looks like something from the 1980s, so are your clothes." followed by "I don't want to hear everyone else's opinion, I don't care about you're opinion."

Well...where do we start? No, only joking. Bring on your fancy bath that will get you back in the judge's favour.

Oh and Keith found out that Carla's bribed the crane operators with a slab. It's a BIG NO NO - Keith emphasising that rules have been broken, contestants don't use the crane there is to be "No cheating at all"...


Tuesday night, episode eleven bring it on.

"It'll blow your mind off". Thanks Sara.

All couples are now living in their apartments, loving showers and proper beds except for Courtney and Hans whose water and power is off AND their main bathroom dismantled all for Jess and Norm to undertake their plumbing works.

Bathroom Gone

Yet to see a hissy fit from the dancing duo who usually get around in planes. And we probably won't. Elephant stamps for Courtney and Hans.

Keith has concerns with Norm and Jess and whether they have a handle on Penthouse living, and they're going to get some stone installed to 'dzjoojze' it up but we're told Jess is having trouble finding a Stonemason. Jess! Walk across the road to the Prince, guaranteed at some point in the afternoon you'll run into local fixture Cal The Stoner maybe he can help you out!? I need to consult on the next Block series at the Oslo.

Golden Girls Bianca and Carla are in all sorts of trouble. Foreman Keith has the shits big time, not only have they broken the rules with the attempted 'illegal' use of the crane but today they didn't have their paperwork signed off by Keith before the agreed time of 730am giving their site a brief tools down notification. 

He's really on his rags today and continues his warpath down to Courtney and Hans where Foredan jumps in they're incredulous about the state of their apartment, and cannot believe the unlivable state it's in despite it not being their fault. 

Keith Miffed

Dan gets it though "They're taking you for a ride, nothing's happened here for two days" but Keith is relentless "Man up, mate. Make them get down here and do it".

Hans goes forth and speaks to the main plumber upstairs and explains they're not allowed to live there and gets a 'my hands are tied' tell your story walking excuse back. He realises though that he needs to start standing up for their rights of being able to live there.

We finally get a glimpse of Sara who's back looking at her phone and awaiting another secret weapon. "The Baby". She's in her happy place. Oh the roller coaster. Now she's saying their WHOLE apartment is based on this, and they've splurged most of their budget on fitting out this bathroom. It's the ensuite for memory, yes? 

Keith Hard Chat

For a man whose footy team is on the cusp of back-to-back AFL Grand Finals (that *is* a tigers sticker on his helmet isn't it?) Keith is very very grumpy. He's preventing Norm from hooking into his pickle-less Maccas cheeseburger to remind him of his duty to get his plumbing finished in a timely manner to allow other Block contestants to finish their work too. Keith points out that it's now four days (!?) into the week and WTAF are you doing to Courtney and Hans. Norm and Jess reckon there wasn't a deadline and seem to be on Queensland time. 

Keeping his Fitbit busy today, Keith storms back down to Hans and yells at him about Norm not being in there, I don't like it when Keith's being the grumpy dad! THEN he chucks a bit of side eye unsuspecting Jess' way

Side Eye

A lot of sorrys and I don't knows later everything is smoothed over again and it'll be sorted mate. Yeah. It's the Block man.

Does everyone meet the height requirement? We're getting back on board the Sara rollercoaster for the big unveiling of T H E  B R A S S  B A T H her secret weapon! The Baby as she called it earlier - don't throw it out with the bathwater though hey!? Anyway, Sara and Hayden joke that if *this* isn't talked about and in a good way they will definitely leave The Block. (This time. True dinks. Pinky Swear. No doubt?)

First Glimpse of The Bath

Can only touch it with gloves, apparently. From this angle it looks like it could be just a kidney dish for a giant surgeon?

Keith's allowed to touch it but he hasn't got gloves on. Controversial. Will he love it as much as he loved the vertical garden? He mock vomits. That's enough for me!

Keith can't keep the rabble together so Scotty has to call a meeting at tools down. Uh oh.

The occupation certificate is invalid, Courtney and Hans aren't allowed to stay in their apartment so he rips everyone out of The Gatwick and makes everyone relocate to Bendigo. Lovely, who doesn't love a night away in Benders!? 

Challenge number two awaits and this time it's for a special cause Kids Under Cover brilliant! Now they can't complain about being away and sleep deprived and not working on their actual apartments.

Shelley's Breakfast

A new day dawns and Shelley brings everyone breakfast in bed! Each couple had the night to consider a design for their pods for the teenager profiles they've been given. 

Guess what. Sara still has a meltdown about furnishings with Hayden. And it's a clear brief that doesn't involve them... *rolls eyes* Then we see how Hans and Courtney roll in a shop together but they some how let their differences not annoy each other.  Much calmer. I don't mind a little terse conversation every now and then but a state of constant abrasiveness literally does my head in.

And another constant - but back at The Block - Keith is still cranky pants. He barks stuff on the phone to Bianca and then hangs up on her. What is up with old mate this week? Sure it's to do with waterproofing which is important but chill out bro.

One of my favourite things about challenges is when Scotty and Shelley help out, Scotty demonstrating his famous rolling technique to get a stupid doona into an even more stupid doona cover. Spoiler alert - it doesn't work

Doona Stuff

The only technique that works is the crawl half way in and then guide the corners to the edge and flick. Or similar. Maybe you have a better option?

Do teenagers like sporting memorabilia? There seems to be a lot of it coming in for most of the pods. 

"As you get older, things get more stressful".

Yes Jess. I concur.

And then the go back to The Block and probably everyone will concur. HA ooooh and will tomorrow night be the night the fuzz turn up to see "one of the couples"?

I've been hearing a lot of conjecture as to what it might be about:
Norm and Jess for their stolen credit card; 
Bianca and Carla for improper use of a crane;
Norm and Jess for a counterfeit or stolen Bromley or
Sara and Hayden for crimes against taste (lol, wink)

The Fuzz

Catch ya.

The Block Gatwick Guest Bedroom Reveal

You Say Guest I Say Spare

Confused and tetchy is how Scotty described some of the contestants in the second week, and points towards tonight's room reveal being a test about who's been listening. No points for guessing who that mightn't be... but that's 24 hours away so no doubt we'll be treated to some special meltdowns in the meantime.

Cool cucumbers B & C express slight concern that they won't be able to paint until later in the episode - what could possibly go wrong! Jess goes the blub early, she and Norm are belting through their work to get some precious time with their kids. 

But before that, she's off hugging strangers again (have you noticed how hug happy she is!?)

Hugs

Not often would you be hugging a dude with a duffle bag in the back streets of St Kilda unless you know them, luckily it's ex contestant Ronnie (so can only assume he's AOK). And he's got something shiny in his bag - oh it's Gnomey! And I figured something suss was going on even before The Block gave it the black and white treatment 

Gnome In A Bag

Reminder: the +1 point Gnome for this season was gifted to Kerrie and Spence in their safe of goodies, Bianca removed it from said safe and put it in Jess and Norm's fridge, Jess got her Perth BFF to take it back with her as a bit of fun for bringing over a mirror for their main bathroom. High shenanigans. And photos were sent back of it on holidays

Get Stuffed

Jess' conscience gets the better of her, and got the gnome back via Ronnie who comes over for a day's work. Or something. I'm not really following how they justify getting him involved. But good on you, good eggs all round.

The couple that mispronounces Grandeur , stays together:

How do ya say it? "Grandooer". Close enough.

How do ya say it? "Grandooer". Close enough.

They must have been watching social media or reading this blog for everyone's contempt on their attempt at grandeur. No, it was recorded in February.

Yikes, frivolity over I forgot about the dodgy ceiling issues with Courtney and Hans, they'd done what they could to rectify the issue Scotty noticed, but this doesn't fill me with confidence:

Foremen Meerkats

And those immortal, spine-chilling words from Dan "That doesn't meet code". Hans is hauled out of bed and faces two cameras and two Foremen. With no sugar coating he's whacked over the head straight away "That ceiling has got to come down". Keith does a lot of pffting and hand waving, and there's more questions than answers - Who's going to do it, will it get finished before reveal? All the while Courtney is probably chatting away in her car, blissfully unaware. What do these guys have to do to get a break!?

Aw Forebears Dan and Keith have offered to do the grunt work, they trot off and attempt to pep Hans up by saying "Don't give up". Hans plugs something in, to look like he's not giving up.

Don't Give Up

But in his piece to camera, Hans is clearly giving up inside, while keeping it moderately together, he's already focusing on the judges coming in and being overly harsh if they have to slap it all together in eff all time and not understand how difficult it's actually been for them.

BUT DOES COURTNEY KNOW YET? Regardless, Dan and Keith make light work of tearing down the plaster ceiling. Oh Hans is beside himself. Hugs for Hans everyone!

No plasterer and no plaster, meh small detail. It's The Block! Where dreams and miracles happen! B & C are having "one of those days" too, not able to spray paint their room so have to roll it on.

Hans has to beg for help oh and low and behold Ronnie is on deck remember and remember - he's a plastererer. Unreal!

OH but not to be outdone, Jess and Norm are having "one of those days" squared and may not get to see their kidlets. Boo.

And St Kilda's Paul Kelly sings everyone back together *pass the tissues*

Scotty brings the 'Many Hans make light work' and we see that Norm and Ronnie's help has turned his spirits around and everyone take note of this point in time that they're saying the camaraderie is excellent in this year's Block. Anyone want to take bets on whether this lasts? They do seem pretty tight!

Oh wow, something else to note down in my little black book. Sara enters her Guesty room to see that some hard core sponging or whatever the technical term this decade is for the paint job to create a rendered feature wall "It looks a hundred million bucks" she gushes. Adding "And if Shaynna doesn't love it, then I'm quitting". WRITE THAT DOWN.

Rendered wall or bust

Rendered wall or bust

Jess has been shopping, and uttered the words Bromley. The popular rockstar artist with a massive shop in Chapel Street, Prahran, is a favourite of AFL footballers apparently. I also heard once that you can get knock off Bromley's in Bali. He's not really on my radar, to be honest, but Jess is happy so I am happy. It appears he's not on Norm's either:

Gumleaf

But not to be outdone, Norm blows Jess' mind having installed an Alexa in her absence and hooked her up to control the lights. Then they joke about Alexa being a better wife because she's compliant yadda yadda. Jess whips out her Bromley. And so does Norm, it seems:

Norm's Bromley

I actually LOL'd.

Also - a hundred points to Norm for muttering "Miss Jane" when Jess said he had the painting upside down. GREAT Mr Squiggle reference for you younguns. Aw pretty flutterbyes on the painting. 

A shade after 5 in the afternoon, Courtney arrives back at The Gatwick, an excellently timed absence from the building and all its woes. 16 hours til room reveal. And a lot of waiting time for plaster to dry. Must be pretty annoying knowing that everyone else is so much further ahead. Meh 2am on no sleep, perfect time to be doing painting...

Spence had 7 hours sleep...srlsy? But Courtney and Hans look like they've done a special super human effort in that time getting their painting done. Three hours to style. B & C look like they're in a worse position how did that happen? 

In this week's episode of who's lost their keys, it's Courtney's go and there's only ten minutes to go until Scotty comes in checking his watch looking fresh as a daisy. Ooh he whistles from Loch Street today to mix it up.

Scotty Whistle

A quick scan of the rooms most of the artworks are featuring dark blues, except The Bromley, but looks like it goes well with their bed head. Oh noes, Courtney's keys weren't found in time and they've got the most empty side table ever seen. Which judge will get all judgy about that?

Palais! *drink* Is it just this season and the casual nature of the contestants, but I thought it ended up being a bit dressier than this lot. To be honest, I'd be lucky to have wiped the plaster from my forehead let alone chuck on my tv flannie.

Gnome confession time first though. He's back on his little podium and all is well, no repercussions for Jess. 

Running through the judges again for people just tuning in: Ever Dapper Neale Whitaker; Interior Designer Extraordinaire Darren Palmer; and Interior Designer from Selling Houses Australia Shaynna Blaze.

Kerrie and Spence recap - oh that's right Spence got some help, finally. That explains how he got a 7 hour sleep the night before. 

WHY ARE YOUR BOOKS PAGES OUT KERRIE what sort of library is that? AAARRRRGH

But now to the judges... Darren loves the cabinet for the library. ShaynnaBlaze and Neale concur. But is the rest of the room too claustrophobic? Looks like it to me! WOAH that's the tiniest space ever at the end of the bed. Why didn't you get a QB? It's a guest room. Eejits. Neale isn't wowed overall though. How is the walk in robe!? Much bigger than the bedroom itself. Your guests will never leave. ShaynnaBlaze does a Tay Tay Shake it Off to warn all contestants to be a bit more relaxed and remember that you're in St Kilda (we don't do boring).

Courtney and Hans - oof this should be interesting, they were worried about well everything and stuffed for time.

I can't stop looking at that sad empty table.

Is that a brain in a jar? (I hope so)

Carpet, tick. Colours, tick. It's nuuuude not pink. That is a pretty great chair. Neale! They were intending to put books on there :( Was that the wardrobe that Courtney wanted to change back to white? Lucky! I do like those pendants, however, year maybe a bit hard to deal with for reading in bed. "The ceiling is woeful" if only you had seen it yesterday ShaynnaBlaze. Sheer drapery over shutters sounds horrendous on paper but I'll take their word for it to up the luxe.

Damn it's just coral

Damn it's just coral

Hayden and Sara - it's only up from here after last week's judging slap down. But will ShaynnaBlaze like her special wall or will Sara be leaving?

Hero ceiling and nice handles, is a good start. "Their execution is incredible" notes ShaynnaBlaze. Darren points out how the layout is the same as Kerrie and Spence's eveyone's wowed by the sense of space without the wall being brought forward. BUT, Scotty loves his buts and says the styling is not so good. Neale kicks things off "this is flat. It feels like a room in a boutique hotel ready to be renovated" OUCH. We miss out on him saying dull. He also says that they've thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Sara is taking well

Soulless room

Soulless room

EIGHTIES RAG-ROLLING thanks Neale, and here was me being kind earlier calling it sponging from the 90s. *snicker*. ShaynnaBlaze winds up, pointing out that the sheen of the bed head fights against Sara's special feature wall. More head shaking and eye rolling ensues. From Sara, not ShaynnaBlaze. 

The hits just keep on coming with the epitaph "It looks like a basic display home". Is my vodka kicking in or is this funnier than usual? Ooh that was Shaynna's quote. Get ready for that proposed walk-out! Then ShaynnaBlaze hangs it on her use of particular pendant lights over tables that are too small by comparison. In the post judging interview, hand on hip, Sara whines but "SHE's GOT THEM IN HER BATHROOM" of said pendants. As if that means that merely stealing ideas off ShaynnaBlazePinterest.Net is a guaranteed 10 points. It would be like me playing Jumping Jack Flash on guitar and saying I'm Keef Richards, without actually knowing how to play.

Oh sorry, she liked them on Instagram, my mistake for assuming Pinterest. Hayde laughs nervously. 

Laugh It Up Hayden

Oh dear and the smack-down continues - no feet on the bed. "It is so boring, they've sucked all the life out of what I saw in the challenge the other day", Neale cries. HA and they haven't even got to the weird recess, or nook, with the teeny artwork. Sara may actually combust on the floor of the Palais. Ooh a double beep from potty mouth Sara on the assessment from Darren that it makes no impact. Quick make it stop, let's look at the WIR. It's fine but they're not telling a story, ShaynnaBlaze might like to see a suit jacket, pants and some expensive shoes. I'm guessing Sara might tell her story walkin'...

Norm and Jess -  we hear again about Jess' sophisticated gut. They're happy with their room.

The two guy judges are frothing, ShaynnaBlaze can only MmmmHmmm at first. Darren is particularly excited. YES to blue and green, I do it all the time! They're losing points for their lights and annoying power point placement. They should see my joint, I don't even have a power point in my bathroom, but first world problems. I've personally become tired of built in robes, but theirs does look great and the judges concur. And now I can see the sheer drapes thingy they were talking about earlier with Courtney and Hans, it does provide shimmery greatness. I reckon that study nook should be changed for a dressing table. I had one built into my wardrobe in a place I lived at years ago and to have that (albeit small) mirror there was really handy. A note on functionality Jess and Norm shouldn't be too worried about the numbers later.

Quiet achievers B & C looked like they were racing against time in the end. But the sweep of the room, looks great on the surface. I like how they've kept that ceiling through from the bathroom.

OH that's right the HALLELUJIAH room, forgot about that from the promos! Well done! Get excited ladies! Or are you waiting for The But...

Carla Happy

Oh no, it's ok a mini celebratory smile - ShaynnaBlaze says the bedside tables are her new favourite ever. They all note excellent power pointage. Surely the $10k is in the bag for B&C!?

Black drapes! I love that they love black! I really want to move in. The judges love their story which is great. because now we know that's so important.

A few finishing issues are pointed out... but the judges seem to cut them a bit of slack because they're distracted by the shiny dressing room they can spy 'over there'. Much effusiveness from the judges "Next level design". Naww. Bianca laughs with Carla like "how the hell did we get away with that!?"

JUDGEMENT TIME

First 9 of the series goes to B & C from Darren. Hayden and Sara get a 7.5. Courtney and Hans get a 9 as well, they look surprised. 

ShaynnaBlaze votes are harsh by comparison - B & C get an 8.5. They are clearly winning. Kerrie and Spence and Sara and Hayden are about similar at the other end.

Scotty turns his little Gatwick chalkboard around for the final marks from Neale. Sara remains undeterred with her comments, that they will still have the best apartment in the block.

Moment of truth time: BIANCA AND CARLA by half a point. Oof.

Guest Room Points

Cellar dwellers twice in a row, Sara goes the triple beeped expletive now pleading 'Why do I have to be ridiculed on national tele when I could be spending time with my family'.

A little entree into next week's show promises more drama and more tears from Sara and another threat to leave... I just cannot deal with all that right now. Well done B&C, Courtney and Hans. Keep going everyone else, what a hoot. See you tomorrow night.

stop judging me

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Block Gatwick Episode Eight

There's No i In Team

Scotty Leatherman

Back at the beautiful Middle Park Mansion where the teams have to style a room each to potentially win some cold hard cash, Indecisive duo Kerrie and Spence have a small table issue. That's badly worded, they have a small issue, with a large table they can't fit through a doorway so Handyman Cam steps in with his tools to take the legs off and Shelley Craft gets in there too so they can get on with styling the room and finish on time.

OH I was wrong! Not for the first time, but turns out the roof that they're on for the judging isn't at the Sea Baths, but across the park and on the corner at the Yacht Club! Fancy.

Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron

Another of St Kilda's impressive buildings, this is the HQ for the St Kilda Marina and accepts membership and has learn to sail programs and quite recently has been holding Sunday afternoon gigs; check it out some time!

Back to the roof and no one is confident about their makeover skills, in such a time frame. In another episode of Jess reads stuff, she tells us that apparently people never forget a smell so her 'secret weapon' of flowers might get them over the line with the judges for their bedroom. Dapper Neale says they've created a "lovely room" and ShaynnaBlaze has the hots for their colours. 

B&C's dining room was a tad sparse at the end of last night's episode, Carla anticipated it saying she's "embarrassed" but their mate Darren's appraisal was positive about colour but did pick them up on "shoving things in empty corners" a bit like how I store my useless information. 

Hans and Courtney's living room was given the once over by Dapper Neale, gee those armchairs are nice, he gets off on the elegance and proportion. The glam or lux(e) factor could be upped. 

The study was left to Kerrie and Spence and after having a creative breakdown they brought home a desk that didn't quite fit without Scotty having to take the legs off temporarily. ShannyaBlayze with the powers of her immense crystal summons up the energy for a frank appraisal not seen so far this season.

Bling

A confusion of styles, a light fitting and a cane planter were beachy but not St Kilda beachy and to roll back to an earlier comment, she was glad on their behalf that it was a challenge room rather than one in their apartment where it really counts. Scotty brings the mood back up and leads a round of applause regardless.

Neale gets to deliver the news about Hayden and Sara's upstairs bedroom. We are reminded about the shenanigans from their day yesterday via a lovely montage. Dapper Neale's assessment leaves him speechless, ShaynnaBlaze could only utter a noise. It was divisive (HA).  But Darren got to deliver the line of the season so far:

Lemons

"Really, lemons have no place in a bedroom".

But the winners are: Norm and Jess. And her advice to everyone, "There's a little bit of poshness in all of ya".

Until...

Cyclone Jess

You have a couple of beers with your "Penty" mates, lean on a wardrobe that isn't fixed yet and scrape dents into the newly plastered wall. Clumsiness is next to Godliness surely, luckily Norm is handy with a scraper and can patch it all up before the next stubby is empty. Ha and then he knocks his over. 

In other night time frivolity, thorough Spence who doesn't like to get help was, thankfully, not let down by the workers he had in, they did everything to his specifications... Sara is still moaning that Husband Hayden is telling her how to do her job (in other circles it's known as collaboration) and she's mixing something white in a black container that may or may not be giving her a solvent high as she jokingly gives him the finger, when he's in the other room.

Another day dawns, Norm sings some Nollsy; Sara says Husband Hayden is very set in his ways adding "But &*% you can't argue with stupid can ya". Courtney's got regrets over her wardrobe being grey and now and I get confirmation that it's LUXE definitely not LUX for the look every man and his goat wants in the hope to achieve judging nirvana; a Dance Off ensues about something involving dusty rose.

Some more work being done is shown as a reminder that it's a competition involving people doing stuff and then the sad kid montage crops up again with Jess, desperate to spend some time with hers.

Domain lady is back , with Shelley wearing awesome denim flares, and they do a check up on everyone's guest bedroom visions in the hope to get some more cold hard sponsor cash. Luxe is uttered the requisite amount of times 

Budget

Scotty notices Jess' scrawled budget on the ground on floor ply, guess there aren't many envelopes floating around to do rough calcs on the back of, so makes sense to me! There's an ulterior motive to the question, it's been noted that Norm and Jess haven't been lodging their invoices to keep tabs on their budget. Naughty. The Scotty has a go at the state of their room. He's worse than my mum was when I was a feral teenager! Ha then even he acknowledges playing that role.

Unreal! Courtney Talking In Cars is back! This time it's a freestyle Carpool Karaoke, with a ditty about heading to handles plus. Putting her dusty rose work from earlier to shame. When does the record drop?

Sara and Hayden are going for a coiffured ceiling, as seen previously from Spence's hand in the first week, and they'll have "high decorative skirts" ooh la la. Uh and that's right a 'textured feature wall' that isn't wallpaper from Sara's phone counsellor a couple of eps back, I presume.

LOL and Scotty drops the news that they had the most expensive bathroom, at $62k, bloody expensive mistake! Who knew mulberry tiles and some ferns in a pot were that exy. Back to the future Domain Lady points out that they have a great nook, and eludes to the fact they might want to consider a study. Sara inwardly sniffs and does an almost imperceptible shake of the head in a 'don't tell me what to do' shiny white shirt woman face off.

Shelley bravely attempts to isolate the problem with team H&S identifying that the couple's ideas aren't really gelling as a cohesive entity. Hang on, Hayden said the garden wall was his idea? I thought it was Sara's Secret Weapon, I'm confus-ed. And she's quick to throw Husband Hayden under the bus for the lemons too. Ok, fair call. And pretty much Sara gets the green light from Shelley to style however she wants. Sare Bare Stare gets her way again!


A slight break in transmission for a massive shout out to all the actual workers on the Block, there was a fine bit of vision of multiple guys working their guts out in their chosen craft who don't get enough credit. Cheers!


We return to Alice from Domain who hears the safe word Luxe from Kerrie as she runs through the plans she has with Spence for their guest room and Shelley gives the sometimes under confident couple a boost by noting how lovely they are. Awwwww.

In yet another tale from The Book of Sara, we learn that on this particular occasion she misplaces the Tiguan keys. Helpful Husband Hayden lets us know that often she can't find her phone which I find mind blowing because she's on it in almost every scene, but in a life threatening move he points out on camera that she wandered around for two hours in a desperate search for aforementioned keys. Again, I could not live my life like this - I am *forever* 'tickets, money, passport' slapping myself down for all my necessities. Maybe the product of being an only child/solo householder for a large chunk of my adult life.

Keith comes to the rescue with a spare key so Sara can go through it in case they left it locked in the car that appears to be well lived in with a pile of stuff in the foot well, and throughout the space and in a miracle of miracles Sara says something I can agree with, as a recent owner of a Tiguan (bought second hand from a work mate) the boot space is amazing! I live with a musician and he can cart all his crap around quite comfortably in it.

Courtney on some sort of coffee rush, spits out her 30 second spiel about the vision for their guestroom, and while Scotty, Domain Lady and Shelley were zoned out listening Scotty noticed a dip in the ceiling near the windows. It's a Friday. Major works will need to be undertaken. Don't tell me they're going to be put through another set back!!?? (Yes they are if I remember the promos from the other day correctly).

Just before Alice from Domain awards her weekly prize, it's noted that she would have splashed her cash on B&C if they'd remembered to mention their lush wooden ceiling; and like it was meant to be, Alice awards the netballers the $5k. In a couch session Sara warns that Alice needs to 'throw us a bone' and then allege that prize awarding is rigged for the penthouses. Why worry about everyone else? Stay in your lane.

Jess is forced to sit down with the bank manager, Sarah, about unpaid bills. Gotta pay the trades. Norm strolls over like he's about to visit an oncologist for some bad news, but he missed the discussion where Jess was told their figures are good and the rates of pay are reasonable. But once it's all in the computing machine according to the sound effect and this face 

Bank Face

I'm guessing there is in fact a problem. Ah, it's to do with the credit card purchases. Charcoal Chicken HAHAHAHAHAHA "LIQUOR - $94". That Lilydale Charcoal Chicken joint on Fitzroy Street does a bloody good hot roll though, I would be there every day if I was them.

As the shame kicks in Jess says "Oh my God I'm gonna vomit" I was wondering what that red bucket was for!

Vomit Bucket

Obviously the credit card is for Block purchases not per diem purchases. Then the promises start that they hadn't been using the card for that, Jess insists "We're not derros, we're not going to buy charcoal chicken with The Block's money!"

Now there's suggestions the card had been flogged. And they're down about $600. Norm commiserated with a six pack of Carlton and some sponsor dinner as Jess rolled through the online account seeing where else their card had been used - a fishing tackle shop, Kathmandu and a place called Podium. Jess asks if it's a strip joint, but apparently googles it to be told it's a bar on Swanston Street. Hmmm. I've been told that some strip joints come up as something else on bank statements so not to alert 'the other half' or work if purchases come into question...

As the day draws to a close, Carla outs herself as the plant whisperer and Bianca checks in in an RUOK way. Delirium and over work will do that for you! We also get the preview that we feared, Hans gets the bad news about the ceiling needing to come down and he holds every fibre of his being as tight at possible to not burst into tears on national telly. Another shit sandwich for them.

Will everyone finish their guest bedrooms? What makes the judges sing hallelujiah? We'll have to tune in Sunday night!

The Block Gatwick Episode Seven

Roof Dwellers v Blockheads

Scotty the pied piper

Scotty the pied piper

Where is Scotty taking them later in the episode? The massage joint or the laundromat? Both get a workout from this little black duck.

Oh that's right tonight is about learning how to style a room for maximum sales impact, B & C say they are lacking 'stuff'. 

Oooh tune! The hits keep on rollin on Block FM with Rapper's Delight which led me to find this video of the extended mix with fab footage of dance TV shows in the 70s. Fly! When I thought of doing this blog I never thought it would be part music history as well. Bonus!

Hans talks positively about his wet patches and that he could air them naturally, unfortunately they're pretty much 48 hours behind. But whatevs, as Courtney stifles a yawn. Spence is getting busy, and looks like he's enjoying himself again and is in his happy place hanging with other tradies. And we find out that now Sara has moved on from her Wallpaper Lady Husband Hayden has had to provide her the emotional support that she needs, also - how messy has their room become in such a short time? Hashtag no judgement.

Clean Ya Room

I'm not good at forward planning, so I'd be terrible at being on The Block so I was screaming in silent horror to see that they have to already put in orders for kitchen stuff, while they work on a guest bedroom. 

Spence has a D&M with floorDan about floor weight and stuff because of their potentially hefty fridges. Originally I thought he meant physical weight but now I think it's the emotional weight - they 'spent' FORTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS on Three (3) THREE fridges.

...

...

Nuff said Dan. Although I'd love to hear Jess' take on three fridges that cost the same as an annual wage. And for one apartment! My $200 reconditioned jobby from *that* fridge joint on Chapel Street has seen me well. Oh and with some careful planning their weighty items will probably work with their floor weight baring load. If that's even a term. B & C have their Real Estate meeting and win over their preferred choice over Sara and Hayden.

After the break, the crew follow Sara wandering around Chapel Street up near the Jam Factory and then go into a shoppe with her where she and the sales assistant trade ideas or something and there's also a bit of Sara and Hayden couch time where Sara is trying to explain her process and as per the mum rule "If you've got nothing nice to say", I'll just leave this up here and thanks to Scott Cam for saying it much more evenly than I could 

Sara Explanation

You know when there's people that remind you of other people you know, and you can't help but bring that prejudice to the new person. I think I have that with Sara and I really need to work on it. Or maybe it's not just me.

Well and just like that I find out it's not just me, or you, perhaps. B&C have a phone chat with the auctioneer that Hayden and Sara were also courting who said he had some issues with their decision making and would prefer to sell for B&C. It's a real estate agent, so while B&C probably take the moral victory can we believe someone in Real Estate? Surely it's about the potential commission...or am I just too cynical. Bianca debriefs after the call: "Hayden and Sara just give everyone a headache it seems". Sara is unperturbed reacting to the news in another couch session "they can have our leftovers". Said with the sincerity of a real estate agent.

<Hi to all the real estate agents reading this! I work in Mainstream Media when I'm not doing this blog so we all have our cross to bear and our detractors!>

Boho ohno! Kerrie almost has a stroke in a homewares store that has everything in every grade of beige, I'm not entirely convinced a midnight blue minky blanket is fulfilling the brief... Meanwhile Jess has been reading again or something, and calls an engineer in to discuss the possibility of a patio pool. Doug is going off to do some preliminary homework. My mind goes immediately to my idea from summer 13/14 for a BYOBUPP (Bring Your Own Blow Up Pool Party) there's great inflatables now, Melbourne's weather can be um eclectic don't commit to a permanent fixture!

Anyway I can't stand it, I know you planned it... Beastie Boys' Sabotage kicks in as Scotty tells everyone to get out and they go on a little walk, across Fitzroy Street to Jackson Street (as per the photo of the beginning of tonight's blog) and the hang a left to continue towards Grey Street and they stop at the For Sale Wattle House (which is UHMAZING and protected check this out for some background, it's one of the oldest houses in the State).

The purpose of the exercise it to show them all how to style a house for maximum sales appeal, and Sara and Hayden like it's Grandya. Colours, textures, cushions all the stuff got them all excited and in a plot twist, Shelley (who we haven't seen enough of quite frankly) asked them if they'd like to meet the genius style team who threw it all together in about five and a half minutes... ERMARGERD it's the Block Judges. I think, they've gone to an adbreak again (but pretty sure I saw them in the promos).

Jess is delightful - again - reacting as if she was a 14 year old about to meet Katy Perry, or a Royalist with her Maj. 

Carla

Everyone mingles, Bianca and Carla get some time with Darren and he talks about how people fall into the trap of getting rugs for the end of the bed, nah cause you need to put your foot on something soft. Get a bigger rug. So simple. Carla agrees.

Jess and Dapper Neale have a tête-à-tête and he tells her that although she might not understand why but she has a good eye. And said sophisticated about a dozen times, and with every utterance of the the word sophisticated the sound of Jess's 'Oh yes' replies got fancier and fancier. Hans poked fun at Courtney for talking with ShaynnaBlaze about zhoozhing, Sara and Hayden were hanging in too.

Hooray, it's gonna be a CHALLENGE!

The next morning they rock up to a Massive Victorian to do some styling. 

Shelly Sunshine

And could Shelley be any cuter in that sun/jumpsuit!? (Rhetorical question thanks)

They're given a bunch of guidelines to consider for their styling project, each team gets a room and six hours. A quick shot of the outside leads me to believe the house is on Canterbury Road probably nearer Middle Park than St Kilda. Nice!

Lucky for B & C they have to share a space and it's with Hans and Courtney who seem quite amenable. But someone has to choose the dining room and someone the lounge within that space. Luckily they agree on colour palette in record time. 

Scotty is excited to see Hayden and Sara off on their shopping trip, reminding Husband Hayden he calls himself The Secret Weapon. I think Scotty's just excited to see what fights ensue. Or maybe that's just me.

How will Kerrie and Spence go, sometimes they are a little indecisive but team players from the conjoined room (B,C,CandH) pop in and visit The Oldies* to see if they're all on the same page, remembering the edict to think of the house as a whole.

A reminder: Sara and The Secret Weapon have left the building.

Buckling up Norm says "Where the bloody hell's Abbotsford"? Well, my Queensland friend that means that you'll have to do the infamous 'crossing of the river' up the notorious Punt Road. Two things that are the bane of a Melbournian's existence. In reality it's only a pain in the arse if you try to do the trek in peak hour or when there's a game on at the G, if neither of these things is happening you should be fine, matey.

B & C rock up to some store that looks like it could be in Armadale (a 20 minute drive from The Block) and Courtney and Hans are around the corner on Chapel Street. According to The Block clock it's 9.07 and neither shop is open. Didn't anyone Google it? I live my life by Google searches telling me the opening hours of places.

House of Mirrors

Norm gets his "funky pizzaz" on and takes a look in the house of mirrors, I can't tell if Jess' "yep, let's get it" was a conversation shutdown "let's get it" or a that's actually a great idea Norm "let's get it". Possibly the former? Oh god they're actually getting it.

Solo operators Hayden and Sara are shown to be in the far flung wilds of The Block Shop (which you'll remember is diagonally opposite The Gatwick). This is either a genius move or pretty lazy. Regardless IT'S ON, Husband Hayden dares to have an opinion, she tells him to 'shoosh', soooo Sare Stare Bear is back with a vengeance:

Daggers

I may have spoken too soon, Sara begins with "It's not fine now" as things heat up in the vehicle, with lost bits of paper and Hayden even losing his patience apparently it's should have all been kept together (the paperwork not their moods I presume). Flip that coin, Courtney and Hans are seemingly enjoying being out together looking at 'stuff'. 

B & C end up at another shop and I just think to myself 'do they have to buy this stuff or is it on loan', it's all for the purposes of selling a house... do they get to keep it and use it in their own joint.

And as feared, Kerrie has trouble making a decision in a shop that has some really great cushions, IMO, BEHIND YOU, KERRIE, BEHIND YOU!

Is it supposed to be Frida Kahlo

Is it supposed to be Frida Kahlo

Is it a creative breakdown or an indecision conniption?

Ah it is Middle Park, thanks Scotty, we make a great team. Jess tries out spinny chairs and lets the production team in on a secret that white roses will be their special touch.

A couple montage of Sara and Husband Hayden has Sara claiming that they're worse when they're at home, fighting all the time. I couldn't live like that. But whatever pops yer cherry.

The teams are back and everyone starts chucking their bits and pieces into their respective rooms. 

Space

B&C look like they're about to have a quick game of Netty as they realise they have not got enough stuff to fill their space. Deary me. And apparently the shops aren't open... Hopefully the minimalist look is in this season...

Just when you think surely I'll start warming to Sara she storms downstairs in search of flowers (because she forgot to buy any) asking Jess and Norm if they had any spare

No Flowers For You

No. Sorry babe... No flowers for you. As Scotty says "the audacity"!

And then Husband Hayden starts laughing about how many they had in their room. And in a Classic Sara Move she manipulates Norm into helping her shift something heavy to their room, Husband Hayden in the post challenge interview says he'd already done everything else, having enough of staring for the time being, she rolls with an epic eye roll

Eye Roll

Which is so epic it's more of a face roll.

The final ten minute frenzy is on for everyone except Kerrie and Spence, who are still trying to make decisions and fit their furniture in. Again, I couldn't live like this.

Judging will be done tomorrow, on top of the Sea Baths apparently (which is currently a public space but for the last decade there's been plans to turn it into a commercial space, at this point anyone can go up and enjoy the view which is especially purdy at sunset)

Sea Baths

Thanks again for reading! What a wild ride again.

The Block Gatwick Episode Six

It's Week Two in St Kilda

Looking at this recap slash preview, I feel it in my waters that there's going to be some epic meltdowns!

BLOCK FM!? Sign me up to do mornings if I can play "golden oldies" like The Bangles' version of Manic Monday I heart Susanna Hoffs. 

Shortlived enjoyment of another fine musical interlude, one of the production crew decides to plant a rubber spider on Norm's shoulder, the only good thing about this is we got to see his fetching red jocks 

Red Jocks

Spider pranks are THE WORST. My idiot boyfriend has got me numerous times, and he's lucky I haven't inadvertently knocked his teeth out in my overreaction to finding one in my general area, cause he's usually off cowering somewhere.

Both of the 'losing' teams find reasons for their low scores that didn't involve looking inwardly. Then it goes onto the haves and have nots - those that have to do a lot of demolition (the inner apartments) and those that don't (penthouses). Spence might have conceded they need some help but he can't find anyone.

For those that haven't been playing along until now, and for the benefit of the other contestants each bathroom is given the once over the biggest take out from this interlude is that perhaps Sara and Hayden had a better bathroom than the judges thought. Spence has a go at the bath wine left there since inspections (so it's definitely been able to breathe).

Bath Wine

Allegations of cheating pop up! More of that after the break please!

Back from the ad break Scotty, with the help of Foreman Keith talks about how the Gatwick as a whole is getting a facelift and that "this place will be unrecognisable in 12 weeks time". It truly does look delightful with the scaffolding and everything gone. It kinda glows. Go past and have a squizz, check out the hood!

It's been a bit busy the last few episodes but woop there it is! B's wonky helmet lives on:

Wonky Helmet

B and C run through their plans for the guest bedroom, meanwhile Jess and Norm have a robust discussion around bed placement in theirs Norm asking where the telly would go Jess pointing out "High end people don't watch telly, they read"... ok. Well she wasn't wrong about the bathroom maple so let's see. They're getting a wee tetchy with each other <cue sad music for kid memories montage>

It's a return to Indecisive Courtney, confusing mostly herself about whether she wants a grey or a white concrete wardrobe, then there was something about sheets, and I forget what happens.

Hayden and Sara concerned about the feedback from the judges about using heritage features, get their real estate agents in to have a chat about where they should focus their energies. She hears what she wants to hear that buyers will expect to see some deco stylings. Fair call.

Nylon carpet!? Sara checked in with Hayden about the option, he wants wool but she's convinced the texture is better. Also the colour is an issue. Getting agitated, Sara all but screams her lungs at Husband Hayden taking the call "offline" getting out of the car to finish, presumably, berating him. BOOOOO that's why there's cameras in the car!

Stop Doing My Job For Me

It would be incredibly frustrating if you're left to do a task and the other person involved constantly tries to get their choice across. But we may never know if she keeps taking the phone away from the cameras!

We come back from the break with a reminder of what Sara was like on top of the world with win after grand statement of brilliance after drinking of her own bath water, then a version I'm not familar with of Mad World rolls in and we see Sara come back to the car mid teary phone call. I'm think aw gee she's on the phone to her mum or a producer, Husband Hayden is copping it and she's seeking some intense counsel. But. TURNS OUT it was a freaking wallpaper sales person. WHAAAAAAT!? And in the best edit in the world ever the line from the song kicks in "I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad" as wallpaper lady says you're doing the best you can. I need a friggen whiskey. Now wallpaper lady is telling Sara to breathe deeply, even calls her 'bebe'. PUHLEASE

Kerrie and Spence use the catch up from their safe loot to meet with the judges and some Domain data scientist (!?) and colour me pink they're doing it in the famous George Ballroom!

George Ballroom

Recently dusted off and given some love the ballroom is a fancy function space for weddings and such finery but it also used to be one of the best of many legendary music venues in the area. In the 70s and 80s it had a few different names including the Crystal Ballroom and Seaview Ballroom it was where bands like Boys Next Door, Models, Hunters and Collectors played regularly and it was the venue of choice for International acts too like The Cure, XTC, The Ramones. Keep an eye out for St Kilda identity Fred Negro's music walking tours to fill in all the gorey details as he walks from pub to pub sharing stories.

Ballroom Flyer

ShaynnaBlaze says buyers into St Kilda are looking for 'gritty'. That's debatable judging by some online complaints from newer residents about the joint! But I digress. Again.

Study Nook gets the tijuana in place of a library; Kerrie realised after that she should have recorded the meeting on her tape deck (yes she said tape deck).  The overall theme, mainly from Dapper Neale was that the Deco detail inside is a bit pfft. Keep that for the exterior. Contemporary is King.

Sara continues to drive around and around in circles (literally) she was at Luna Park before now heading back around Albert Park Lake, still chewing the Wallpaper Lady's ear off. Pity no one's telling her about the Contemporary is King edict.

Jess talks about over-thinkers and we find out that they are going to put a green velvet bed head in their guest bedroom. I had a banging pair of green velvet pants once and my friend JJ has the most divine green velvet divan (it's actually a sofa but I had to do the alliteration) what I'm saying is I love green velvet. The graphic however for Jess and Norm's has me breaking out in a cold sweat:

Velvet Bedhead

It's more the shade of Lime Coola Cordial that your mum made you water down if you fixed it yourself. Bleargh. Hopefully this colour is just an indication.

Scotty claims that Sara is still on the phone after an hour with her Wallpaper Lady BFF and takes her into the carpet shop via the technology of FaceTime.

Surely this will be frowned upon in a massive way! Collusion and Consultation!

Ooh busted! Lurking over behind the samples, Jess is overhearing everything

BFF Facey

Jess, forgetting the rules momentarily (Scotty ran through them too) thought ooh that's a good idea getting some help over the phone. But no, wrist slaps all round, it's a no no:

Rules

I'm about to do my Block. Did you just hear that!? In a couch interview with Sara and Hayden a producer, who sounds very similar to the producer at the carpet shop, who asked at the time "who was that" goes in for a double down and says : "Were you on the phone to your wallpaper lady at Carpet Court I thought you were on the phone to your wallpaper lady at Carpet Court, on Face Time". No shit, this is Courtney's exact words "Uhhh, maybe it was Hayden" and her hand immediately touches her face.

T H E R E

A R E

CAMERAS

O N YOU

AT ALL T I ME S

I have a raging headache. How about you?

Anyhoo back to other people's dramas - Courtney and Hans are hamstrung by Jess and Norm's pipes. Rollercoaster Spence has a spring in his step after that Ballroom meeting but his contact book is coming up with donuts. Foredan rolls in with the good news courtesy of one of the sponsors. Jess fess' up to becoming "that person" demanding the right colour and making a fourth change for the day to her book nook.

But she finally makes a good decision, taking Norm, Courtney and Hans over the road to The Prince. While they walk in there in this shot, doesn't look like they're eating in there. Unless it up at Circa? Dunno. Or perhaps the dumplings joint up at the Bandroom. Enjoy your whoite woines though guys!

Prince of Wales

Another new day at The Block and Hayden runs through their plans for their guest room and it's going to include 'unique st kilda wall art' but not Wallpaper. That poor Wallpaper Lady, after all that emotional support! Contact me we'll have a drink together and a debrief.

Kerrie and Spence run through their plans and we then see that Courtney and Hans have made a rookie error, laying screed in their room but they can't access the room while it sets. Ruh Roh. B & C are kinda stuck too with a plasterer no-show.

Jess has a D&M with B & C in the girls' bathroom, telling them about Sara's FaceTime, no one seems overly concerned by it. Reckon they will if they see her memory lapse...

Scotty checks in with Spence, glad to see he's got some trades in to help him, Spence talks more about how he genuinely thought about leaving. But he's back to having a good day again. He then does the rounds and tries some reverse psychology on the other teams about not being able to win the challenge due to Kerrie and Spence's three hour session with the judges. No one bought his BS. Actually he didn't try it on Hayden and Sara. Wise move. 

Until tomorrow, and thanks for the Tweet B!

The Block Gatwick Main Bathroom Reveal

"It's just an ugly choice" - Neale Whitaker.  POW! That's SUCH a great hook to keep me watching through to the judging tonight on the first proper room reveal at the Gatwick! Who will it be? My logical brain says don't get sucked into the editing of Jess reacting but could it be the bath snafu that was so enticing in the promos playing all week for tonight's episode? Or is it Sara's Special Garden accoutrement? The splashy down light thingy that maybe Courtney was talking about? Only time will tell. Let's go!

Oh that's right, there's going to be a mirror jetting in from Perth for Norm and Jess, to go with the maple tree secret weapon - hands up if you've ever seen a tree sat next to a dunny which Jess assures to us all "rich people love 'em. I read it." I mustn't know any rich people.

Spence is grumpy because he's admitting that doing their own tiling was "an absolute disaster" (all you tilers out there are nodding) on the floor tiles specifically "I was up til 3 in the morning making them all perfect and now they're all <beeped out expletive>" so because a graphic was put over his mouth I couldn't lip read but I'm guessing it wasn't FINE.

Oh that's right, it's Saturday so not a complete disaster. Yet. New contestant NORM JESS gives the struggling couple a potential lifeline, telling them about some super dooper super glue:

Arthur, Martha, Norm or Jess?

Arthur, Martha, Norm or Jess?

In a continued reversal of fortune Courtney and Jess couldn't be happier with their imported demigod builder Dave, and the Foreblokes are getting all Dennis Cometti in their praise of the terrazzo "it's millimeter perfect". Which dismays me slightly because I was hoping for a return of Coffee in Cars with Courtney.

Checking in with B&C at the back of The Block in the Penthouse, Scotty tells us they have "failed the perv test" in that potentially people in other apartments will be able to see right into their bathroom to whoever is showering. Will they offer modesty patches at auction or devise some sort of pixelation device on the windows? Ah ok 'frosted decals' is the solution! They're worried about whether the judges will like it or not. Guess there's no choice though.

GREAT song interlude - Bohemian Like You, Dandy Warhols I never get sick of hearing it.

"Modern Lux Deco" is the theme Sara and Hayden are working towards for their apartment in the original section of The Gatwick, glimpses of them looking through the space suggest there are ceiling roses and some wood paneling to incorporate into their 'modern' vision. Not getting much of a vibe of their bathroom but ForeDan is impressed with their progress.

Mirror bringer Amy hits the Block with Jess, and she's getting the grand tour of the bathroom where Jess proudly displays her Transparent Marble That Lights Up:

Transparent Marble

So. I vowed to myself I wouldn't ever be nasty on this blog, or unduly negative. I will wait until I see this 'feature' in the context of the whole bathroom. So you won't hear me call this fugly. Oops that just slipped out. Pardon me.

Back to B&C, they're being innovative and installing 'vanity speakers' (oh do I know a few of them! *boom tish*). A simple setup, all you need is a bluetooth thingy from your phone to operate it and voila music comes out (pairing in this way is always seamless...never any issues...except in my car 'device not found' rubbish! It says so on the menu but why not on the display on the console). B has a go and allegedly Screaming Jets plays. No disrespect to the Jets but I am not sure that their song Better was her first choice. Happy to be proved incorrect! Regardless GREAT idea, music in the bathroom is essential.

Dodgy and Wet is the decree from the Foreblokes about the tiling disaster in Kerrie and Spence land, with a question of aesthetics too that makes anyone with unofficial OCD twitch:

Dodgy Tiling

Keith grabs Spence for a hard chat which boils down to - you need to get a tiler in. This is not going to go down well. After an ad break a dejected Spence talks about being on an emotional roller coaster (shoulda gotta tiler) and Kerrie keeps an even tone asking what he wants to do despite clearly internally going bezerk. How do I know this? Exhibit number one: 

Hair Twirling

Hair Twirling

This is about the third time I've seen Kerrie fiddle with her hair in a classic stress move! (I do it often. When. You're. Pretending. Every. Thing. Is. Fine. Yet. You. Are. Twirl. Ling. Like a mother!). When they struggle, you struggle. The struggle is real. It's good that Sara is thinking Spence is doing too much, maybe you could help him out....direct your energy that way instead of fights over cash haha.

Norm is rallying everyone to help Kerrie and Spence out with a tiler, gawd I'm going to cry too. <Group hug>

Courtney mentions their bathroom is going to have a zen vibe too. General theme coming through this season.

Back to the bathroom of the best couple on the block ever just ask them we see the installation of their secret weapon - so a vertical garden's just pots on a wall frame? Ok

Up in B&C's penthouse, a tradie has to ask Bianca to help install a blind in the skylight cause he can't reach 

Bianca Reach

As a short arse, it's really frustrating when you can't do something especially if you're already artificially elevated, we do give thanks to our lanky friends sincerely. But Foredan is thinking that they're all having too much shenanigans and the power tools deadline is looming. Chop chop!

<Wish the tool up the road from me adhered to the 5pm Saturday deadline but enough about me>

Oooh yisss now we get to see bath-gate! Jess Jess Jess Jess Jess! Was the price of said bath not an indication that it was fibreglass not stone if you weren't prepared to touch it in the shop? Deary me.

Jess Needs A Bath

"Don't crack it mate. Bloody Hell. People are dying and you're cracking it about me talkin' about a bath", Jess to husband Norm, while lying down in her fibreglass cocoon, taking it lying down but not taking lying down she's back on her favourite app Gumtree to find a replacement late on a Saturday afternoon. No problem. Bingo Bango Norm should never have doubted his wife.

Ugh of course Sara and Hayden finished ahead of schedule

Baby Planter

How my face actually looked in response to this news.

The program goes back to Kerrie and Spence, it's actually too depressing for me to comment on. It's about dinner time and everyone's beavering away, Jess probably out getting her bath from who knows where and then the cameras find Sara and Hayden out and about

Tolarno Cocktails

Divine, they've ducked next door to Tolarno for what looks like an espresso Martini sitting under one of the famous Mirka Mora murals. Tolarno opened in the 1950s and has had various incarnations over the years but it's back being a boutique Hotel upstairs, gallery space out the back, and bar and restaurant in the front. A very important part of St Kilda, and Melbourne's history somewhere my parents used to go when they first moved to St Kilda in the 70s and somewhere I used to go when I first moved to St Kilda in the 90s, friends working there at that time creating a long lasting community and I am loving its new resurgence too.

About 20 meters back down to the Block Jess and a couple of blokes in trakkie dacks help the delivery driver with her Stone Bath Mark II.

Another Bath

Oh no. You're kidding... surely not...

So all the reaction is, is: perfect, great colour...it will mean whether they win or lose. My spidey senses tell me Jess has been duped again.

Lots of late night painting and fixing of stuff. Then fast forward to morning and the telltale shots of Scotty strolling through checking his watch means it's almost crunch time. But are they ready? Like really ready? Red red ready red rooster ready?

Palais theatre *drink* Aw they've made the Reveal Room look like the interior of The Palais, with a Luna Park back drop. Purdy.

Reveal Room

Scotty gives the winners and losers chat but pumps em up about how hard they've all been working. Claps all round. Whatever show us the money!

Another introduction for: dapper Neale, interiors Darren and interiors Shaynna Blaze (always have to go with both names for the judging queen)

Oh that's right, Gnomey! Scotty explains it holds a bonus point and that Kerrie and Spence can use that if need be to bump up their score. But WE all know that that's not possible because we're clever and have been watching the whole show... the gnome somehow ended up in bed with Jess. So who knows where it is now!? *que horror sound effects*

Recap time for Kerrie and Spence's week (it wasn't great). The sweeping footage of their finished bathroom defies the tears and trauma of how they put it together. Just. Shaynna starts of strong, liking the entrance adding "knock out execution" and doesn't feel hurried. Is she in the right room? Ticks for storage. Yeah yeah. OOh floor flaws are finally noticed. Neale saying it's a polite bathroom, whatever that means...guess it doesn't scream "get off fatty" if you step onto the scales and look into the mirror.

"Needs more personality to work in with the St Kilda setting"...

"Needs more personality to work in with the St Kilda setting"...

Courtney and Hans' recap ends with what is essentially relief. They're happy. The judges froth over the terrazzo (which turns out to be fake terrazzo which is a positive appaz). I have terrazzo in my bathroom and while it's FREEEZING in winter it does look hot and why I wanted to move into this rental property. Inexpensive and functional but not 'cheap'. And they take time to note the perimeter lighting that Courtney was so proud of. But I have to go back how good are these towels!

Deco Towels

The takedown: painting not finished and some beads of LED showing.  But then Shaynna waves her cat o nine tales wrist adornment some more saying how much she loves the face planter, and the hanging plant to add much needed respite from a big white box.

To the team who reckon they've got it sewn up, Hayden and Sara. I'm really trying with all my might to be positive but I'm actually not that nice. I'm getting excited as the music turns dark and dramatic with the judges about to enter the bathroom and I swear to god I hear one of them sigh/grunt at sight of the vertical garden.... *does a mini happy dance* I'm not sure about mulberry towels. What's the bet though that they're dragging it out and showing lots of stern faces to draw me into a fail when in fact... 

WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I'm not liking anything I'm seeing in here" says Dapper Neale.  

NO! Not a freaking ad break.... Now I'm going to have to pace to the kitchen to make another cup of tea, wringing my hands wondering if they'll do that old switcharoo chestnut "I'm not liking anything I'm seeing in here... I'm LOVING IT". F&*K

*breathing into a paper bag* we're back from the adbreak 

Sara looks like she's stepped in dog poo which is seeping in between her toes.

Neale continues on and it's not good. And now I feel slightly mean. The bathroom isn't big enough for all the stuff they've crammed in. 

Of that garden "It's just so over the top, it's just an ugly choice".

Now Sara looks like that dog poo has seeped from her toes up her legs. Oh dear. That would hurt. Burn in fact.

I bet you Foreman Keith is sitting at home watching this with a froffie laughing his head off.

Not even ShaynnaBlaze can find positivity "It's very weak styling" and if Neale hasn't already had enough to say he chucks in a "It's very dated" final knock out punch. Darren? Anything to add? No. ShaynnaBlazeTM corrects and says the taps are great. End on a high. Oh Darren finds his feet and mouth and says he likes how the tiles go from floor and continue up the wall. There's a bit of a lightbulb moment where Darren asks about paying homage to the deco influence...why not buy proper deco lights? I'm not sure about those carriage things. There's about a hundred shops in Armadale they could go to for original. 

Back to my comfort zone:

Just Say No To Vertical Gardens

Just Say No To Vertical Gardens

Norm and Jess! We'll finally find out if their replacement bath is also a waste of time, effort and money. Jess is happy "we've outdone ourselves, didn't think we could create something so flash!" 

Darren has some sort of mouthgasm and looks like he's seen heaven. "How could you not choose this apartment!?" Luxury of extreme height means the japanese maple is given a hundred ticks by the judges. Well done Jess, you've read the right books. ShaynnaBlazedotcom is enjoying the backlit 'marble' I'm sorry for questioning it the other day. 

Scotty brings the bad news and after some footage of the judges doing some knuckle tapping - the stupid bath is stupid. It's not stone. Again. Seriously how. I can't even bring myself to trotting out a proverb about shy and twice! 

And I'm glad I didn't bother because Scotty continues with the good news that the judges actually think it's some kind of genius move! Praising them for their practicality! But points off for below average storage and a crap towel rail position. Norms reaction to Jess is "Yeah, where were you on that numnuts"? LOL

We then get a peak into their bedroom at home and Jess' floordrobe is pretty good, I strongly identify 

Jess Floodrobe

B&C "netted themselves a penthouse", their week wasn't great but it was looking better on the last day. Oh so I thought they found heaven in the other penthouse but no, it's this one - officially. Finally someone notices the wooden slatted ceiling! Always look up kids! Neale says 'I am offended' oh they knew the frosting was going to be controversial. Ah of course the vanity cabinet speaker! How quickly I forgot. Who stores their towels in the bathroom cabinets? Isn't that what hall cupboards are for?

Score time:

Darren's giving 8s out freely. Even for Hayden and Sara! But Kerrie and Spence just miss out with a 7.5...

ShaynnaBlaze what Norm and Jess got less than B & C? They were equal, surely. Oh no but now Hayden and Sara's score... I was going to grab Sara's face but check out Courtney's reaction! Sums it up well

Courtney 6

A 6.5 is way harsh but Sara seems to take it as well as can be expected

Are you effing serious

Are you effing serious

So Courtney and Hans get an 8 and a half too, so up with B&C.

Scotty tallys it all up with Neale's numbers... who's it going to be? Norm and Jess or Courtney and Hans?

Oh half a point in it!? Let me guess... it's Norm and Jess behind...where's that gnome? 

Nup I was wrong, in a look that screams "You're shitting me!" it's All Hans!

Bathroom Win

And Courtney. Brilliant!

The first room reveal winds up and everyone's driving back to The Block. This looks like fun!

Not Happy Jan

Might be an indication of what's to come in week two of The Block Gatwick. Guest Bedroom Week. Huzzah!

 

 

The Block Gatwick Episode Four

What will tonight bring? How are you feeling about it all Scotty?

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Yay, let's go. Good times.

Woah did they give the Luna Park face eyebrows to look like Sara?

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Jess is still in bed to open the show properly (*drink*).

Courtney's assessed it well that some people have progressed and others haven't, she has about as much grasp as I do on technical terms. Gives me comfort.

Waterproofing is probably quite crucial for the bathroom stuff, having just been ten days without a shower due to leak issues in my apartment block. And while I know it's caulking but I love to think of it as a good corkin' WINK WINK EH SCOTTY.

Courtney runs through her understanding of a process about how things should go, doing a great job but it's broken down for her in 'lady terms' with a mansplain using makeup as a reference point. Anyways... that aside everyone's going nuts for screed. You screed, I screed, we all screed for something that looks like a damp concrete surface. Tools down, good job.

Here we go, Hayden has to explain Sara's secret garden secret weapon to the King of the Block Keith. Summation of his response: "I don't like it". Yes! Mate! This is what I was saying yesterday! Keith's been dealing with them for years and has never seen them survive. Hayden tries again with Keith to bring him around, probably anticipating a barney with the missus, but it's a definitive "they die, mate" end of conversation, no.

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Don't mess with Keith, he's 100% correct, they pulled all the (dead) plants out of this Block 'Sky High' property just a couple of months ago.

Foreman Keith's day turns around having a bit of a love in talking up how good Norm is, as a contestant. But it's doomsday for B & C, their worker's copping a 'hurry up' Gus from Mr Squiggle would be proud of.

Oh here we go, Keith has to give Sara the lowdown on vertical gardens being totally pox. This will go well. Her voice is saying "Yeah OK" (couldn't be more dismissive if she tried) but her mind is saying "Go pot yerself". Meanwhile B&C score the primo Landscaper for their terrace but that's more of a flag for down the track. 

Circular argument time mark II involving Sara. 

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"Bathroom" has been scratched off her helmet, by tomorrow will it just say 'pines' or 'ess' perhaps, 'app' maybe. Whittled down to "i" by Sunday... Whatever, bickering ensues.

Ruh roh the love affair with Norm is over for Keith. He busted Normie for being too efficient. Keith has to phone a friend (Scotty) to decide if there's a penalty. But as everyone's a nice guy, it's allowed just this once, Norm offering to 'sit down for an hour' when the toilet challenge rolls around.

Cashed up Sara takes Keith and her gardening contact Jamie for a stroll up Fitzroy Street, going past Tolarno and up to the corner at Canterbury Road to check out the indoor garden at St. Hotel which houses an excellent example of thriving vertiginous vegetation. Solutions driven Keith offers a way to install Sara's dream in her bathroom to give it the best chance of survival. Happiness.

Progress report time:

Ambitious DIYers Spence and Kerrie will tile their own bathroom and because it's Spence, their tiles have to be cut 'just so' to fit in with his grand vision. Luckily they're "old" and not into anything else but getting stuff done.

Courtney and Hans are sofaking behind they have to beg Keith to hang out with them until later that night to check off on the work they hope to get done. B&C progress as requested.

Woah look out - it's The Block Shop opening. I crashed the event in February and tried to avoid the cameras, but much to my horror:

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It was a little awkward being there, I didn't know who anyone was, apart from Scotty and a couple of others, but the champers was nice and gee they've got some lovely things in there. You can go check it out, it's diagonally opposite the Gatwick. I'll post my sneaky gallery from the night on my Insta (@rosewal76).

BUT I also took this photo on the way over to the opening, as I walked up Loch Street, I heard this couple talking and thought it might become important once the show went to air 

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Now I can see it's Courtney and Hans, in a very dramatic stage whisper, according to the notes I wrote on my phone at the time, she rather sternly said "show me the photos from Beacon lighting because we're going into that event and we're not going to be able to talk about lights!" It really struck me that 'far out, they (contestants) really take it very seriously and clearly think about it all the friggin time'. And now seeing all the other stuff they've being dealing with, I'm glad to learn it wasn't a hissy fit but probably genuine stress.

Back to the show - great news finally for Courtney and Hans Keith says "one of the best waterproofing jobs I've seen" so the tilers can get on with it.

The high spirits continue after the party, everyone seemingly very happy after some social interaction. And wowee how many champers did Jess have to do that undies dance!? Good on ya darl, have a good sleep.

Shelley's on site! As Scotty explains to Alice from the Domain magazine that it's a very eclectic area and that they're hoping to "change the face of Fitzroy Street" Alice chips in "adding to the charm, beauty and history of it."  Yup, already it's looking like a shiny beacon.

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A few moments later it's a competition to see how many times the word Terrazzo can be uttered in one scene. For those playing at home it was seven times in forty seconds.

It's slab time - moving and installing a quarter of a tonne of stone for B&C's penthouse. That's one bloody big lift. Luckily! They seem happy, so if they're happy I'm happy. Looking forward to seeing it in its proper context.

What is it with the figure $700? That's the estimated courier cost for some mirrors from WA. I'll drive over the Nullabour and back for rental, petrol, food and accommodation costs. Plus a couple of beers at either end! Jess and Norm using their pilot contacts (Hans) might get a cheap ticket for them to send someone over. Am guessing the mirrors won't fit into the overhead lockers though.

Oh another counting game! This is much better than mine, Scotty. I'll be adding Sara says "I know" to my drinking game as the season progresses.

There's more running through of bathroom ideas to see who might win some cashola, and a tradie dance sequence before Domain Alice gives Norm and Jess the prize for their bathroom vision, you can buy a dictionary so Norm can read up on Zen (the vibe Jess wanted for the first room).

Back to the Block Shop for girls night, a designer runs through concepts and we learn that grey has every colour in it. Good to know if you're wondering whether to let your 'cemetery blonde' grow out loud and proud: it will go with everything!

Ermagerd I need the next three nights off to process what's happened this week already in preparation for a half a point win for the major bathroom reveal on Sunday! And was there a promo before about a bath that wasn't quite what was expected? How do you mistake stone and plastic? Guess we'll find out. See you then. Oh and I didn't even address The Gnome In The Fridge!?

The Block Gatwick Episode Three

Using Iggy’s Lust For Life as the opening scene music, with a narration around the theme from Trainspotting Choose blah blah blah, I sincerely hope there’s no baby crawling along the ceiling in some horrifying fevered ‘dream’ sequence a la the Ewan McGregor movie from 1996.

Oh that's right, they're all, effectively, living together for the time being so have to have that awkward morning breath chat in the hallway first thing. And there's always at least one contestant who's a bit of a sleepy head. This season it's Jess. Now. There is not enough money in the world to entice me to be on a show that films me in my bed when I've just woken up

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I've grabbed the most flattering shot of Jess possible in this scenario just so I can draw your attention to something - bed against the window sill. Is that compliant? Or does it only count for kids who clearly might try to escape into the wilds of St Kilda and seriously who wouldn't when Luna Park and the beach is literally only a 1.1km walk from that bedroom to the big teeth.

Keith and Dan have reminded us of their expectations of today, which essentially boils down to DO SOMETHING.

Bulkheading is my new favourite word or are they trying to suggest that Hayden's just a big bulkhead. As Spence runs through what his deadlines are and identifies it requires cooperation from other contestants I can only think - what could possibly go wrong!

Is it just me or does it appear that Bianca and Carla are the only ones that actually get in there to do stuff?

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Courtney and Hans are getting it together cause they've finally found a builder...from Sydney...there weren't any local ones available? Typical. And Courtney/Bec Judd decides to make adjustments to their dream bathroom allow for the time shortage. Dan doesn't sound convinced but too bad. Don't you think she looks a bit like Bec Judd?

Jess is out of bed finally and oh what a disaster but typical of Gumtree the piece de resistance of her 2.5m Japanese Maple being sold out from under her. Jess has more manners than me. I'd be losing my proverbial if my tree had been taken from me! How about a maiden hair fern, aren't they bathroomy? Not helping?

Yep, Reece Bathrooms 3D modeling, amazing.

Back to tree-gate. Did Jess just mention Chris from Hello Hello!? (gee whiz, remember this?). She's not wielding that tape measure with much confidence, kinda important to get the difference between centimetres and milimetres right! Secretly I hope she doesn't and we see a dwarf like plant a la the Stonehenge disaster from Spinal Tap!

In a game of Apartment Jenga plumbing issues are being sorted out and Foreman Dan is on the warpath, he's about to confront Hayden and Sara... he clearly hasn't encountered her death stare yet. Might be about time for that, hold onto your hat Dan... 

No staring but she gets a bit miffed when she's kinda made to ring her husband but doesn't seem to really care that he doesn't answer, possibly not getting the drift that she NEEDS TO GET ONTO HIM LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO. Could she not walk downstairs to where he is? ARE YOUR LEGS PAINTED ON LOVE? I don't understand the urgency myself but the Scott Cam voiceover led me to believe it was important.

Ah, the ole 'time is money' chat comes now from Spence whose pipe works are being delayed because of Hayden (and therefore Sara)'s antics he's claiming he's paying for labour that isn't labouring. Oops. And now we're getting reminded of the gesture Kerrie and Spence made to Hayden and Sara when they realised they were moneybags to take their cashola for the money back guarantee part of the kids room challenge. Confused? Kinda. Now the blokes (Hayden and Spence) are talking cash and I'm not sure where to look. And my abacus is busted. I think Spence rescinded the offer. Sara's going to go spare! FANTASTIC

Hayden, Hayden, Hayden what have you done?

Hayden, Hayden, Hayden what have you done?

Yep, as predicted Stare Bear Sare is ropeable with husband Hayden making a decision without her, and the irony of the slogan on her helmet is not lost

In a move that may have to be scrutinised by the Banking Royal Commission, Sara is trying to offset the $700 fine attempting to con Bianca Chatfield. Thankfully the Australian champ is cautious and strides off, two stairs at a time, to check with her buddy Carla. Bianca and Carla's tradies are barely able to say &*!# before Sara storms in to reiterate how untenable their situation is (I'm still unable to tell what the actual situation is). 

Explanations ensue, with a flimsy grasp of the truth, Hayden tries to join in (pipe down mate, I think you're in enough hot water), there's a lot of false eyelash waggling and phone waving but the biggest giveaway that Sara may not actually believe her own B.S is a massive gulp mid sentence when she tries to claim that her chippies were *gulp* standing around. PANTS ON FIRE. Carla and Bianca can barely conceal their contempt and start to unpick the web of lies.

The girls remain staunch and reasonable about not paying the ridiculous $700 "We don't think that's right" getting the retort "Well we do" while Hayden tries to rub his face off with anxiety, Bianca provides some little things called facts then there's some talking over the top of each other which ultimately forces Sara to whine "I'm not arguing with you" (yes you are) and B says well "we're not agreeing with you". So ner ner ni ner ner. STOP TALKING

The cavalry arrives, Dan asks about the ruckus, we barely notice Keith is there, Sara winds up and claims she was yelled at by Dan. We all have this reaction 

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It always astounds me that people on these types of shows who are followed around by cameras 24/7 seem to forget that the function of the cameras is to record everything. We saw no yelling in your face, Sara.

Haha, what was I saying!? That's for the replay Scotty et al.

LOL "OK fine it wasn't yelling!" she practically yells. Ooh that's a big call, about being made to feel intimidated, but I wasn't there and only Sara knows how she feels so. Ok. Acknowledged.

Comedy gold and the Logie for best use of a Flashback goes to Dan and The Block for harking back to when he was a mere contestant. Brilliant.

Conflict resolution 101 Spence comes in says don't worry about it, Bianca thinks forward to next time and they all hug and go out for fish n chips together. using that 700 bucks. No they don't but geeze I'm hungry.

Luckily for Jess and Norm they're blissfully unaware of all that rubbish... and Courtney and Hans cope another blow with their tiler pulling the pin. Then we get a sad diary recap. Again no Melbourne trades people available so importing tilers from Sydney!?

Oh I do love a Japanese Maple Jess, good call, but still not sure that they're an indoor plant. Just an aside, as we listen to Darryl Braithwaite's Horses, is there another Australian song that is more popular in its resurgence than when it was first released? 

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Sara and Dan make up sequence. Kinda sorta. I feel like this won't be forgotten.

Continuing the Trainspotting thing from earlier, the editors chuck in Born Slippy, was the Soundtrack found under the editing suite couch? Meanwhile Bianca's on the iPad googling Real Estate Agents, stopping on McGrath which is in Carlisle Street, which I'm sure used to be called something else. Where I paid rent once upon a time. Wasn't Morleys then was it? Whatever, back to the show.

Spence running through the real issues of being delayed by other's plumbers, saying they may not be able to finish that room challenge. Be good if all the contestants could hear that *cough cough Sara cough*

Ok wow this is getting really upsetting to watch, Kerrie and Spence, I said from the outset, will be the quiet achievers and with Spence's background they should do quite well. Why is it the people who aren't being all 'showbiz' have to cop a shit sandwich. Don't give up guys! 

Hans is hanging out in Fitzroy Street waiting for his Sydney tilers to rock up and don't tell me, or please tell me that they are about to get off this Skybus that has just flashed up on screen.

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Currently Melbourne doesn't have a train service to and from Tullamarine airport but the trusty Skybus is pretty good, even recently extending their service to Fitzroy Street and beyond from just a city shuttle. We'll never know, but I reckon they jumped off the bus for sure!

Anyway, as my catholic school education taught me - What the Lord Giveth, the Lord Taketh Away - and while Hans has tilers, he has no tiles. The tile truck is busted. Jump in the Tiguan and get it yerself! 

Yes Courtney! That's the way. Oh woah hang on. I'm a talker to my selferer but that is next level! Phone rings she's talking to old mate from Beaumont Tiles, and says that she's heading in the wrong direction. So rewind: she was heading to Chelsea Heights but may now be diverted so let's Pause.

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She's clearly on Ink going past my Aldi, are we about to play the "why the hell are they going in that direction" game? Immediately I'm saying being headed in this direction on this road is poor map planning, she should have turned right onto Nepean Highway. Don't get in a car with me, I'm terribly pedantic. Ha, now off to Keysborough  "in the general direction"... luckily for her she is actually on the right road for that. Kinda sorta.

WHITE LIES "After driving for 35 minutes". I know Grey Street can be a pain to get onto some times but that is pfft Wash your mouth out Scotty Cam. Wouldn't even take that long to walk! I knew these continuity issues would become one of my favourite things about the show.

They mentioned five ways (a notorious intersection). The best thing about getting to the infamous Five Ways is that she's right in he epicenter for the equally as infamous Daniel's Donuts that is by all accounts well worth the drive and is open 24 hours, which is handy so you don't have to queue if you go at the right time. But I digress.

Back at The Block Jess has to fire up about slack plasterers. Go get em! Don't let them waste your time. Cut your losses. 

I'm trying to process the monumental cock-up at Bianca and Carla's apartment that is clearly going to be tonight's cliffhanger. Gonna need more than Selley's No More Gaps or gaffer to fix this up!

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An engineer from Bluescope has to come out? Let me guess, it's 5.30pm on a Friday afternoon...

Sara and Hayden have stopped fighting for five minutes to talk about their secret weapon of a secret garden. I'm yet to be convinced about the efficacy of a vertical garden but maybe the bathroom steam will help...

Is Carla from South Australia? "LAAAHnce". Lovely diction. The rain in spain stays mainly in the plain.

Cupcake bribes, a plumbing supplies shop staying open after closing, Hayden and Sara not fighting but kissing what a nauseating end to the show.

That's just incense not smudge sticks Courtney! 

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Get a tin of this like I bought in Mexico! 

I look forward to more Sara logic, amusing car continuity and mishaps tomorrow night

x

 

The Block Gatwick Episode Two

Before we get into tonight's episode (What's in the Safe and Who's Getting What Apartment) thanks for the interaction from Blog One! Especially:

Thanks to the keen eye of Mark who identified exactly what I couldn't, thinking they were possibly driving in Balaclava, turns out it was good old Chaps!

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And my favourite of the night, from Twitter, because I love spotting a spelling error more than life itself:

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Night Two here we go!

How to recap the recap… Ha! Oh that’s right Hayden and Sara are locked in. And only ten minutes to go! *Duh Duh Duuuuuuh*

Think I'm going to have a great Redbubble tshirt line by the end of the season, as Sara threatens "SCREW THAT AND LEAVE ME ALONE". I think it's a statement that can work away from the show and on several levels.

Things going wrong, people being snippy oooh and it’s only day one. These people are going to crack it earlier than most seasons.

Ha, how fresh and sprightly does Scotty look walking up the stairs and into position.

Tools down

Tools down

Everyone covered in paint and disdain, Courtney and Hans give themselves a fair appraisal, Bianca and Carla too, “We nailed that” ok Sara, just so you know: being humble isn’t a weakness or a flaw. I wish I had as much self confidence! No I don't.

Oh that's right, Spence decided to pull out big guns early, that ceiling is amazing and in fact the whole room. Oh god I’m not crying - you’re crying! SO MUCH DUST Kerrie and Spence.

Sheesh another room and more blubs! Good support though Jess. “You were amazing” Norm, not thinking “Yeah, I know” lulz. Clearly these guys are firming as everyone's favourites.

YAY the judges! HA how’s the rent-a-crowd (plus dog) for their entrance. 

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Dapper Neale Whitaker?  Sure but what about Shaynna Blaze's skirt and Heidi hair?! Oh and Hi Darren.

Spending $7820 ambitious Kerrie and Spence have a rather large horsey pic, in their "simple and elegant for a 12-14 year old girl" room. Who must like horses... Horses, horses, horses, horses, Coming in in all directions, Do you know how to pony like bony maroney. Sorry I digress, apologies to Patti Smith.

"It's like coming into fairyland" a strong start from the judges, the ceiling is paying off. Colour pallette in keeping with the building. And even the chennile (I refuse to learn how to spell it) is getting props wow ok.

Scotty warns no one wants to hear the but. Shaynna’s bored with nothing on the wall at the end of the bed. Not a kids’ room. Fair call.

Ah St Kilda Festival! Always in February it's the day the streets are packed with thousands of people from all over town, and dudes dressed like nuns apparently, and when most locals going into lock-down. You will get the best people watching spot from the Gatty and constant access to dunnies always important to have that contingency at any festival wherever it is.

A Gatwick view of Fitzroy Street early on St Kilda Festival Sunday

A Gatwick view of Fitzroy Street early on St Kilda Festival Sunday

Reveals continue with Hayden and Sara. Oh that’s right they waited til the next morning to clear their stuff out, controversial. Woah and spent $10,776. What’s modern lux? Ok judges are happy with the kid element, fun and lovely feel. Especially the "niche" (wtf is a niche isn't it a book nook?). Bed spot clever. Space for toys and play. Skirting issue and a bit near the desk is noted as a fault, but that’s being quite harsh surely given the time frame etc.

B&C sinking $7278 into theirs. Oh yes dark ceiling this will be interesting… I always wanted a black ceiling with those glow stars when I was a kid. Oh that’s right the busted lamp, at least the judges are acknowledging that. A play room too. Clever. Ooh I have those types of walls in my place! La-di-da. Hahaha, Darren notices a climb out of the window issue with their junk box. Oops!  But Shaynna c'mon do you have to have every surface covered, can’t they put their own stuff up in the spaces on the wall like I did with my posters from Smash Hits?

Norm and Jess very frugal with a $5464 spend. It's a Princess room… My bed when I was a kid had draws under it – brilliant - I kept my Duracell bunny in one of them. OH panic room… damn editors last night I thought it was going to be the locked door room. Bed under the window dangerous and illegal. Surprised that as parents Norm and Jess didn’t pick that up…

Courtney and Hans second most expensive room with $8411. They devised a vibe of travel adventure, for a braniac kid. "Detective or medium…" yeah Hans, not sure how those two compare but at least it's non gender specific. That cloud ceiling is really great! Oh dear the bubbling and the shelving is being picked on by the judges especially the 'crude' floating shelves. Geeze another bench seat compliance issue.

So the only people that can win is Hayden and Sara, effectively, with all the non compliance. Damn, potentially they really did nail it.

Uch ad break.

As expected, they were compliant. *yay*

The all important Apartment selection time arrives

Hayden and Sara are taking apartment 3… hang on more bickering...they haven’t discussed it!? Sheesh. So that’s at the back towards Middle Park and faces east (aka - not the water). 

As an apartment dweller, not hearing people walking above is a major, major factor. How is it that a coin can sound like a bowling ball when dropped above your head onto floorboards.

Kerrie and Spence next, makes sense. Oooh they’re going with the safe apartment! Underneath H & S.

B & C look relieved. YES Penthouse number five! Great choice - back of the block, it will have water and city views surely.

Norm and Jess they were gunning for fifth place and got fourth so that's a great achievement. Penthouse living for the Queenslanders, unreal, how infectious is their enthusiasm! So that one faces Fitzroy Street, which will get nice morning light and provide amazing people watching.

Apartment two ooh the biggest apartment for Courtney and Hans, interesting so it's a last but not least arrangement.

Took this pic in April wondering what the numbers meant... I figured but now confirmed

Took this pic in April wondering what the numbers meant... I figured but now confirmed

WHAAAAAT PLOT TWIST Hayden and Sara get to steal their kid's room reno money back by taking it from other contestants? That’s just mean and nasty, Scotty. And announces that the main bathroom is the first challenge. Gee whiz. Guess it's the most important room in a house

Finally everyone goes through their new spaces, I love the enthusiasm Jess and Norm have, it’s too cute. At the risk of repeating myself 100% firming as everyone's favourites, surely.

*Fanfare* Here we go, safe reveal time…

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ka ching ka ching ka ching Spence you are correct saying your $150,000 + worth of goodies is a "game changer", well done!

Gosh and they're decisive - suggesting to the current leaders Hayden and Sara the money be taken from them. That’s extraordinary. No piss off Sara why do you need to know. Just accept their very generous offer. Oh sorry Spence, you're a stand up bloke, as you were.

Now it’s show time Keith and Dan are in the house!

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Jess sucking up to them early, good ploy.

Fa crying out loud, Bianca – FIX YA HELMET 

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Ooh grumpy peeps in Apartment 2. Courtney crying… what about… oh nooo their Builder has quit. Ah well that’s construction for you. Good advice Dan… just go shopping

A 2.5m Japanese Maple inside a bathroom. Really Jess? Are they known to be indoor plants?

Yes! I love these issues where one apartment impinges on other’s bulkheads and whatnots

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I think Hans just lost his lunch, so not only do they not have a builder but Norm and Jess could be affecting anything they'd already thought of. Good luck with that one...

Hayden and Sara are on the Tiles.

Elsewhere the netty team go off to source a 450kg feature wall!? Don’t hold back B&C, guess it *is* the penthouse with the city and bay views, so painted MDF ain't gonna cut it. LOL now you think about the practicalities of how to get it in. This has got crane written all over it, luckily you’re on the roof and you don’t have any rooms yet…

Fitting at least four product placements into a two minute space, the bathroom supplies are now being perused for Courtney, Hans, (or is that Hayden and Sara I really need them to wear their hardhats at all times for the first couple of eps while I work out who's who) and Kerrie and Spence:

Errm, Kerrie and Spence are just flaunting their extra wealth! Ewwwwwww the squirty toilet, no just no I cannot. Can't. That would take a lot to get used to

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Ooh the wood vanity, so warm. Good eye Kerrie, I never really think of wood for bathrooms. Except a sauna.

Meanwhile I sense a big issue brewing, Sara's not having much luck with her husband I couldn’t live with that indecision. 

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Get it together Hayden. Tipping you've seen that look a few times

And just like that, you've dithered for too long H and you didn't get your vanity, but it will look great in Kerrie and Spence's apartment who nabbed the last one before you could. Sucked in.

Ha, here's that Sara stare again, tipping we'll see a few of these over the coming weeks!

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Woah she's told her husband Hayden to get out of the shop and go be constructive back at the Gatty. And things get on a roll for stare bear Sare. Jess is going it alone too to pick out some tile stuff to help with an idea of grandeur. 

More visual overlays - City view from West Beach, tick; People cavorting on the bike paths in Elwood, tick; The docks? tick (I guess); more cavorting, tick; a boardwalk I'm not familiar with but guess it's Port Melbourne, tick!

Storyline progression time, great news guys Courtney and Hans might have a builder! But god I hate when people try to have phone calls like this (I know they probably have to do it for tv production purposes but if I see anyone doing this in real life I feel like tipping sand on them)

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Time for the end of day one summation - oh no don't piss of the foremen kids, but Keith stop with your high standards of Day One dropping sheets or piling up beams or whatever it was you said, but Dan backed you up so who am I to judge.

Hang on so watching the promo for what might be happening tomorrow there's too much to process - someone's waving incense sticks around, there's another couple in life jackets, people are being told they might have to get out and Sara's demanding money from Bianca and Carla. AND a Face Off with Dan. Surely that cannot all be tomorrow night!? 

Same bat time, same bat channel I guess... see you then.

The Block Gatwick Episode One

Ok, too excited I might cry, my first recap of the greatest season of The Block ever...

Aw look, St Kilda! You so pretty! Good move filming in the height of Summer when the hood really 'POPS'

"It’s an Uber cool bayside suburb…" duh Scotty. We know that. But welcome. We’re very happy to have you. Grab a beer with him if you see him around, he's a good egg.

"My mum always said to me that if you're going to buy real estate, buy the worst house on the best street. So I found the best street - Fitzroy Street - and then I found the worst house. Well, hotel actually..."  Aw the poor Gatty… Read my first post for links to a great video about what the hotel meant to people.

The Gatty Construction Begins

The Gatty Construction Begins

Yep ok, explainer about the construction, all the preparation work, blah blah bring us the contestants!

Scotty says it’s a monster… incredible views. (Yes they are I can concur!) Apartments 4 and 5 king of the castle... Hang on! Apartment 1 contains a safe… oooh what could be in there!?


Here we go nitty gritty time:

Queenslanders Norm and Jess “Geeze it’s nice here” I love her already, Creedence playing in the background… Norm's a builder (that’s handy) aw Jess is in radio too! Snap. Two kids and want more… gee whiz

Ha, they’re worried they’ve turned up on the wrong day, I always feel like that heading to parties or an event.

Oops, they’ve parked in the bike lane… hmmm City of Port Phillip will probably give you a $97 fine for that. --- FYI that dual bike lane is confusing for locals as much as visitors so I am not surprised. But expect to be yelled at if anyone is riding through and always look both ways.

Sara and Hayden

OOOOH yes a fighting couple already! And about directions too! They’re destined for failure if they can’t even be in a car together. I can’t work out where she pulled that U-ey… tram lines make sense in that area but I can’t make out the awning signs.

Um I wonder if this is the couple I saw bickering in the street during filming (MORE ON THAT LATER).

He's a construction manager, again – handy. 13 year age gap meh, nothing. Mine’s 15. Oh dear “you’re being cow” that’s not very husbandly language!

This definitely HAS to be the couple I saw bickering in the street during filming. (BUT more on that later)

Yessss Sara’s a potty mouth! We’re going to get along fine.

That’s extraordinary, I don’t remember seeing a highlights package of meltdowns as a prelude to a season!

Oh OK there’s traffic management having blocked the bike lanes off for contestants to use – stand aside CoPP from my previous concerns.

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Rolling up Hayden says "Queenslanders for sure" How do you tell what a Queenslander looks like!?

ERMAGERD WE’RE GONNA BE FRIENDS! *so not going to be friends

Moving onto the next lot... “The oldest couple” (checks Block bios - they’re 48 and 46!) 

And so old they’ve got nothing interesting to say apparently ;) Welcome Kerrie and Spence. I get the feeling they'll just get on with it and be the quiet achievers.

Oh here we go! Team Netters - Bianca and Carla! Bianca’s been desperate to do the show for ages, so glad it’s happening.

More driving, I love seeing Melbourne on the telly… Is that Balaclava? They’re driving by too quickly.

Another hostie. What are the odds!? Courtney and Hans… unable to make an assessment at this point about my 'vibe' for their success in the show.

 


Finally we get to see inside...

Oh god I hope they keep the features of the entrance, I love that little welcome booth. Oh and stained glass! I think I was born in the wrong era.

Dead rat!? Surely that’s a plant by the production crew! There’s no rodent issues in the ‘hood! If there is, they need a Block cat, like my cat Punter…

Yeah, enough of how it looked when you walked in, got to love a preview montage - bring on the meltdowns. I'm feeling that we'll some this season that will rival those of Dee Jolly.

Oh so The Block shop is Scotty’s office!? (I snuck into the opening of the shop, so I guess we'll get to see that in the coming episodes)

Oooh they just flashed up the front of The Palais, I might have to start up a St Kilda Bingo card for future episodes when they show icons or landmarks!

No doubt the rooms they’re showing have been dressed up and displayed for shock purposes but yep people lived there… and it wasn't great but it was home to many. Let's not get too judgy.

I'm "Fricken freaking out…" - put that on a tshirt.

Oh yes, the safe… what could the timer mean tell us please Scotty! Two red covered easels will that explain what the apartments are?

90,000 applicants? That’s insane! Oooh the Penthouse level. Yes thanks. Can they rent it to me for low low prices?

<side note, I got a sneak peak a month or so ago and they’re, as you'd expect, amazing>

What’s the challenge Scotty? A kid’s room. Ah. I’d put in a ball pit and a flying fox from the top of a bunk to the kitchen! Why did he just say it's going to be the most important room you do... is that coming back later or is it just because that means you get first pick of the apartments... $220,000 for a kid’s room!? Oh no for the whole thing. I’m terrible at budgets, I’m guessing that’s going to be hard.

I’m exhausted already. Oh I love that view of town.

Towards Melbourne town - the green patch with the lights is Albert Park Lake and surrounds

Towards Melbourne town - the green patch with the lights is Albert Park Lake and surrounds

Hang on did he explain the safe? Or is that the 48 hours for the challenge and they get the money back if they win? I zoned out. Figures aren’t my thing.

Pokey dusty rooms to clear out, and sodden carpets. (Noice. Again surely that's a bit of poetic/production licence) Ooh cute little sink area.

Replace the ceiling? Get some gaffa love!

Hayden and Sara doing their own thing. Interesting. This could potentially be a genius move, but I suspect nah it won’t. “Think smart and not stupid”, can’t say I’ve heard that before.

Sleep deprivation always makes me put my best foot forward, and they haven’t even really begun! This is going to be a monumental disaster.

Teamwork, always important early on.  I’d be taking notes on who’s naughty and nice. I have an elephant like memory and no qualms about getting petty at crunch time if any other contestants didn't 'play ball'. 

Jess wants a sunken day bed for a kid? That kid will be climbing up the ‘transcendental’ curtain before you can say Namaste bitches.

Fix ya hardhat Biancs!

I like those graphics. Is a tepee cultural appropriation? Or is it just a tiny tent…

Oh so they get the burly dudes to help them move their crap! Maybe they are the smart not stupid people they were purporting to be.

Did Kerrie and Spence make that house in that magazine!? Oh surely they win! Might go alright if they have naps, seeing they’re “old”… (no I'm not going to let this go as I'm nearer their ages than the others')

A coiffured ceiling? Does it have flicky hair? Whatever it’s actually called – sounds a tad ambitious to me. For a challenge room that potentially means nothing if it's not a part of the actual apartment you get in the end.

Look at his sweaty regret face!? Good luck Spence! I’m nervous for you. And Kerrie.

 

I love these drone shots, the Catani lawns look like velvet!

I love these drone shots, the Catani lawns look like velvet!

Why would you order panels that big for such a tiny room? (Did I mention I’m bad at maths and therefore geometry so I may have no idea). Hopefully I work out who is who better by tomorrow night.

Looking for a carpark for an hour at a Shopping Centre, clearly it’s Chaddy on a Sunday. Also an fyi re St Kilda parking always look down near Loch Street towards Middle Park where she is, you can often find a sneaky longer non metered park if you’re in the area.  But don’t tell anyone. Please. That’s my secret spot.

Hang on, did that lady at the van say she’s from The Block Shop? It’s across the road, why did she drive!? Maybe it was before they moved in... it’s hard to tell what’s real at this point of filming. It opened in February.

AGAIN BIANCA – what’s with ya helmet!?

I love it when the contestants quibble about how much they have to do when they’re standing their talking rubbish while actual tradies go hammer and tong around them.

Courtney’s going to be quite demanding of my patience, isn’t she.

Yes Scotty, smoke and mirrors! C’mon Courtney, you can do it.

Ruh Roh. You can’t take someone’s door. Controversy number 1, we are off! What was that little mutter?

Goody! 25 hours to go on the kids bedroom challenge and it looks like people have done sweet FA!

Ooh poor communicators, we’ve all worked with them or lived with them. Use your words darl!

I love wallpaper but effed if I’m confident enough in doing that!

Ha safety inductions! This could totally bring people undone. No ticket no show. Or something. Flight attendants should fully appreciate this!

Oh ouch, Emma! Setting the boundaries early! Stay staunch.

Cherry bomb! TUNE! I'm really going to enjoy the music overlays. 

Oh what a pain when you forget your wallet, just recently I had to add Google Pay onto my phone for that very reason. And Kerrie has to go back!? Oh no, disaster!

Richmond Mitre 10 to Fitzroy Street… this could be interesting. A 20 minute drive back at best!

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Oh Kerrie, we’ve all done that. Not the little wee but the losing of the card. Ok, yes the little wee too.

Ah a classic pencil case! Didn’t know you could still buy those. I never had one cause I couldn’t fit my whole name in the slots! She won’t be back for another hour! Not good.

More driving. Excellent. Jess, no I don’t think you can turn right at Jackson. That’s a nightmare. You’re where? How did you get onto City Road now!? LOL Now you’re in the tunnel. Oh babe. You are in all sorts. Even if there’s dodgy editing, and I don't think there is, that’s hilarious!

Hang on what did it say on the safe clock? Has anyone got time to do all the stuff that needs to happen?

No one likes flat-packing. You’re kidding yourself Carla.

Ok now for the covfeve ceiling. Can’t wait to see how this turns out (if).

Oh 16 hours, that’s not so bad. But it’s 455pm what time is tools down for noise reasons?

Right 5pm. Sheesh. And he did the ceiling hoo ha! Champion.

I need to go to Tolarno for a wine just watching them. I feel grimey!

Right, I just lapsed into a coma thinking about paint fumes, no sleep and being stuck inside a room that small for pretty much 24 hours. I’d go feral and would make so many mistakes! Isn’t painting ideally supposed to be accurate?

Stressy so stressy, you’re tired, you’re emotional and you have to decide which apartment could be the best one to choose. And there’s that stupid safe again in Apartment 1. Someone choose Apartment 1 first please to get it over and done with! I NEED TO KNOW.

Geez was that Courtney!? I don't want to get into scatalogical territory but I've never understood the so-called nervous poo.

Back to the drama - I’m no psychic but anyone could see that adjusting that tongue was going to end in disaster! Why did you need to shut the door anyway? Bloody boys, always needing to touch things.

Oh she is going to have a full panic attack! NO not a hook to next episode!? Poo.

Shaynna is psychic! Sensing the panic!

Good choice ending on Highway To Hell…did you know AC/DC lived around the corner in Dalgety Street briefly? 

WOO indeed! SO good to have The Block back.

See you tomorrow night.

Welcome to Fitzroy Street

Hi, I'm Rosewal, I'm a stickybeak and a St Kilda local. 

I work in the media, love watching telly and Fitzroy Street, St Kilda has been a thread through my whole life, when I heard The Block was moving into the 'hood I saw it as a massive positive.

Like most of my friends there's mixed emotions about The Gatwick - a fixture of Fitzroy Street forever - it provided a refuge for countless people for decades but unfortunately escalating needs and issues saw the dear old Gatty issued with a forced use-by date as conditions deteriorated and a level of unease along the strip permeated.

The sisters who had been running it with their family since the 1970s decided to sell it to television station Channel 9 for the juggernaut The Block, dividing a community: commercial interests versus social housing and mental health needs. But that was the deal and that's what we have so I've decided to celebrate the change and see what they've done with the place and what it could potentially bring to Fitzroy Street which has been going through what you might call a lean period. We all have them and it's shared by most strip shopping centres across Melbourne.

I've been sneaking around watching the progress and have visited the apartments as they've been worked on and in this blog I'll recap episodes of The Block, bring you a bit of the area's history and I'll chat with long term locals and give you an insight into what it's like to live in the neighbourhood - where to go, what to do what to see.

And with the Fitzroy Street Traders Association we invite you to come check it all out.