Back in the day, newspaper classifieds were known as the “rivers of gold”.
We noticed that find-a-tradie website ServiceSeeking.com.au has pinched the “rivers of gold” phrase to describe the most profitable areas for tradies in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and other areas of NSW.
The study pinpointed several areas where trades were in short supply, revealing the “rivers of gold” where tradies can expect to make big bucks.
“Newcastle is the place to be for painters, who face the least amount of competition statewide and 50 per cent less competition than the national average,” the website said.
In the Hunter Valley, carpenters were “severely undersupplied”.
“The lack of competition means that targeting this high-demand area will prove highly lucrative for chippies.”
Electricians had low competition in east Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens, the report said.
“There are rivers of gold for tradies all over NSW, they just need to know where to look. Targeting areas where there’s less competition is a great way for tradies to jump in and make serious money.”
A Topics colleague had a few minutes to kill in the CBD the other day and wandered into Frontline Hobbies to relive some of his childhood.
Looking at the trains, he saw an ad for model trains built in Newcastle, namely the diesel electric locomotives built at Broadmeadow. Complete with directional LED headlights and the capability to have tiny speakers fitted to provide locomotive sound, the various versions started at $335 each.
Model train lovers – like the trainspotters who follow real-life trains – are notoriously dedicated to their pursuit.
The Frontline staff said the Newcastle locomotives were a popular line.
Topics wonders if anyone will dare to make models of the light rail that’s on its way to Newcastle.
Train of Thought
Trainspotters are interesting types, aren’t they? Some people reckon there’s a trainspotter inside every man. We’re not so sure about that.
Remember that movie Trainspotting in the ‘90s? (A sequel was released earlier this year).
Irvine Welsh, author of the book that the movie was based on, says the title relates to people who think the hobby of trainspotting makes no sense.
Welsh says the link to the movie is that many people think heroin addiction (the film’s main theme) makes no sense, either.
Mum Zones and Man Caves
Men have their man caves, but what do women have?
Fantastic Furniture says it did a survey of more than 13,000 Australians and found that the majority of mums were “crying out for their own space in the home to unwind”.
Of course, the furniture company did the survey out of the goodness of its heart. It wasn’t trying to get more people to buy its stuff. It just feels for women.
“An overwhelming majority said they want their own ‘mummy zone’ to chill out in and have some much needed me-time,” Fantastic Furniture chief executive Debra Singh said.
The survey revealed that whilst most mums have nowhere to call their “zone”, 25 per cent of their partners have carved out their man cave.
“The man cave has become a commonly accepted concept and yet, as our survey shows, there is no female equivalent. It is accepted that men need time out to retreat from a hectic family life, yet there is nowhere for mum to go when she needs to chill out alone,” said Ms Singh.
But what would a “mum zone” look like?
We just can’t imagine. No problem. The survey has the answer. Apparently it would feature “gorgeous furniture and co-ordinated accessories” in women’s favourite colours and a “big comfy bed”. (What a surprise!).
“Clearly women are looking for a little bit more refinery than men in their mum zone, with comfort, relaxation and beautiful homewares replacing pool tables, dartboards and bar fridges,” said Ms Singh, with a laugh.
This reminds us of that famous Steve Jobs quote: “People don't know what they want until you show it to them”.