A Pull Towards my Old Life

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a pull towards my old life

Last Thursday night, as I dished out dinner for the kids and Jacob, I announced my last minute decision to attend the Southside PIPE Plumbing Expo, coordinated by the Master Plumbers Association of QLD. (MPAQ)

Jacob, being the amazing man he is, ushered me out the door for some kid free time, while Esther cried that I wouldn’t be able to sing her to sleep. I told her I’d sing to her after I was home from the expo.

The expo is a chance for plumbers to check out new products and services in the plumbing industry. I’d never attended one before, yet I’d been personally invited and had declined the invitation because the timing wasn’t great for me. And then I looked at the invitation again and saw I could still make the event if I left straight after dinner – which would get me out of the bath and bedtime routine.

Part of me wanted to see what was new in plumbing. Sometimes I feel like I’m out of touch because I’m home with the girls, which is a bit ridiculous, as not a lot has changed in the last couple of years, and usually I’m on the forefront in knowing the changes because I read a lot and see a lot of it reported in the media or broadcasted via MPAQ on their social media channels.

The other part of me wanted some sort of adult conversation about the work I did before I became a mum. And this desire took me by surprise.
I’ve been reminiscing the days of heading out to work.

I’ve been dreaming of what it would be like to branch out a plumbing service through The Plumbette. I’ve wondered whether I could go back on the tools again – or hire a plumber or two to help me.

And yet the timing isn’t quite right for me to branch out. Having two kids in full time child care is expensive and I worry that if I busy myself with another business, I won’t have time to spend with my family. And really that’s more important to me than working on a dream I can’t possibly handle right now at this stage of my life.

So I’ve been thinking about how I could make it work in a couple of year’s time when all the girls are in school.

I’ll keep you posted on what I decide.

Anyway, I headed to the Expo, which was quiet, but suited me fine as I could make my way around the different displays and talk with the guys about their businesses.

ej australia

The first stop was to check out the grated drains at ej Australia. Business has been great for these guys as many architects and consultants have been specifying their grates for commercial use –  as well as residential –  especially in apartments at West End. I remember when I’d have to get quotes on the long stainless grated drains for commercial showers in the city. Floor wastes that have a piece of tile installed in the lid are very popular for floor wastes now. As is this floor waste.

Ej floor waste

My next stop was at the Caroma and Dorf display. Caroma are running their Face of Caroma Competition again for plumbers to enter. The first 200 entries will get their own bobble head which is pretty cool. There’s also $5000 worth of Caroma products up for grabs plus promotion of your business. Later this week I have a great Dorf tapware story to share on Home Improvement Thursday.

caroma dorf industrie

I admired the Dorf Industrie mixer, an industrial style mixer which looked really awesome on display. Not sure I’d have it in my bathroom though.

Kennards Hire had a fair bit of equipment on display. The newest service they offer plumbers is the availability of drain cleaning machines and cameras that plumbers can hire for a day. It means a plumber can do the work themselves rather than on forward the work to a plumber who owns their own equipment.

kennards hire

Halgan was the last display I got to check out. Halgan make septic tanks, trade waste products, rain water tanks and storm water drains. They also produce kidsafe grates which are safer around children – with no sharp metal edges that can be tripped over. Ironically, while I was trying to wrangle Maggie from the school fence after dropping Esther to school, I noticed the school has them installed for their storm water.

halgan

halgan kidsafe grates

The expo gave me an hour of being immersed in plumbing talk and reminiscing of my plumbing days with dad.

The PIPE Expos are a great event for plumbers to see what’s new in the industry. Sometimes, on a design and construct job, it’s up to the plumber to act as the hydraulic consultant to specify what products they’d install on the job. The expo gives great exposure to brands a plumber wouldn’t necessarily know about unless they’d been specified by a consultant to use them.

mpaq

It was a shame the expo coincided with another plumbing event, but I think the quieter atmosphere meant the plumbers who could attend were able to get more time to talk to the suppliers at the expo.

As for the pull towards the work I did before I had Phoebe, I’ve got a bit of time to work out exactly what I’d like to pursue.

I ‘m just not sure if it’s nostalgia that’s prompting me to go back down that path. I will just have to ponder a little longer.

Have you ever had strong desires to take up something you decided to stop so you could focus on your family? Ever made a last minute decision to go to an event?

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.