G’day, Slobodou Papardellic here, semi-retired builder and property investor. Now a lot of people see an old man like me living the good life and they think I’ve done it easy. They see me driving the big new holden through the gate of the beautiful three-storey terracotta mansion, an array of perfect rose hedges and towering bird baths spread across the immaculate tiled front yard, and think,  “gee, we should all be so lucky as Slobba!”. They look to my success in business, as the proprietor of Papa’s Wholesale Construction and Smallgoods, and in family as the proud father of eight gorgeous, sturdy daughters who look just like their papa, and they say, “this is amazing, what is his secret?”

Well it wasn’t all paskha and limoncello, let me tell you; it took hard work and know-how! When my dear pappapou came to this country he had nothing but the hair on his back, and a strong pair of hands that carried the great knowledge of his people – the knowledge of mixing cement, mortar, and concrete, hitherto unknown outside of the Old World. He was a great, handy man, and he made me handy after his own example.

Now the young kids, they think they know everything, even while they are asking the google and the facebook to help with even the most minor of bathroom renovation, and this makes me sad. So now I must do what I can and post some handy wisdom in the hope that it finds them before they read any of the crap written by the scam artists out there.

LESSON 1: MONEY

This is one of the most important places to start. A lot of people don’t understand money, because they make it so complicated. Money is whatever notes, coins, precious metals and jewels you have on your person at any time. If you can’t touch it, then it’s not money. Oh sure, you give the man at the bank your suitcase of bills, and he gives you a little piece of paper receipt back to say it’s all there. Then you walk out the door, and next minute he’s off to the races with your life savings, keeping what he wins on his bets, sending you the bill for the losses! Now all of a sudden this cabbage-head gets to play the bigshot! He gets to be godfather for everyone’s granddaughter! He gets to sit up front at the church! He gets to take your money down to the daughters’ weddings and start passing it around like he’s everyone’s best friend and telling everybody about your business! Well Slobba may be old, but one thing he is not is some kind of fangul melitzana!

That’s why I never leave the house with less than $58,000 in cash on me – all $100 bills. $3,000 I keep in my wallet, for any day to day expenses. For slightly larger purchases, in my pocket I have $5,000 rolled tightly and secured by a rubber band – double twisted. Then in the sole of each shoe I have $25,000, which not only affords me the confidence of financial security, but also that of boasting an extra 10cm in height.

You listen to Slobba kids, and one day you’ll live to have everyone in the community attend the extravagant weddings of your daughters, and the weddings of your daughters’ daughters.

Giving advice from the old world inspires me to work on my driveway, be a good boy and help Slobodou buy some concrete…

$