I had to go and get some more hardware from the mainland today. As I wrote before, I’m not that great with lists. I can make them but I never seem to get everything on them.

I needed some bolts and cables for the copper log posts as I want to create some lines for climbing plants. I also think it would be a good idea to create some support between the posts since they are on an angle.

I had a bit of spare time to kill before heading back and I had ended up at a suburb called Cleveland. It’s only about a 10 minute drive from the ferry terminal. I was surprised how nice it was. Cleveland has a nice beachside holiday feel, which isn’t surprising for a bay side suburb. I was really surprised at how quiet it was. It was a Saturday and the place looked deserted. This is the Main Street.



I stopped for a coffee at a little cafe and the owner told me that during the week Cleveland is very busy as it’s a business centre for the Bay Area. However, on weekends it’s dead. This surprised me since it’s such a nice area.
I had a walk around the shops and then I saw it. The reason nobody comes to Cleveland. What an eyesore! I began to feel nauseous and quickly covered Cutty’s eyes to shield her from the horror. Really, Cleveland would be a buzzing bayside metropolis if only it didn’t have this.


I wonder if the bloke who owns Crocs is secretly a property developer. Maybe he sets up one of his shoe stores in a nice area and people start wearing them. Then the real estate values go down and he buys up all the land, closes the shop and makes a fortune.

I’m heading back to the island to get some more work done.



I spent the day landscaping today. It’s a slow process getting the garden done on the island since I literally only come here on weekends and I tend to get one good day of work done. The rest of the weekend is spent tidying, cleaning and mowing lawns. I also tend to leave the island each weekend with a big list if things to bring over the next weekend. I generally manage to get half of those items. I’m not good with lists.
So today I spent putting a trench in for more Lilly Pillys and making a vegetable garden area. I put four big copper logs in to make a defined area and to suspend cables between for climbing plants. I decided to put the posts in at an angle since straight up and down seemed a little ordinary. When I finished there was a brief sun shower and I took refuge in one of the shipping containers. The colours on this island are stunning. Check out how red that soil is. Its easy to grow plants here. You stick them in the ground and they grow.


The plan is to pave the area in between the posts and have raised garden beds. I’ll also do something fun with the posts like a big propeller to keep birds away from the veges.

This is a view from the verandah. I will be able to look down at the vege garden when I’m in the kitchen and pop down to get some produce. That’s the plan at this stage anyway. I really need some grass.


I also got a chance to set up my lathe. One of the shipping containers is now a useable workshop space. I need to install some good lighting in here next week and get the shelving sorted. It’s not a bad little workspace and the view is pretty decent.


My birthday present

Each year on my birthday I figure it’s a good excuse to buy myself something expensive that I wouldn’t normally spend money on. I’ve been wanting a lathe for a while now so I can do small metal machining jobs. I’ve been watching fleabay for a while with the hope that a little vintage model would come up, specifically a Myford super 7. These don’t come up very often and I didn’t want to buy a new Chinese lathe as they are rubbish compared to the old British and U.S. built lathes.

So by coincidence, so close to my birthday, a Myford ML10 came up for sale. It’s a bit smaller than the super 7 but will do everything I want to do. This little beauty was immaculate and had hardly been used and had some great extras including 3 and 4 jaw chucks, compound milling attachment and a bunch of genuine Myford cutting tools. So I am now the owner of my own little Myford lathe. I just need to build a stand for it. I’ll weld one up next weekend on the island and set it up ready for some work.


I’ve enrolled in a basic metal engineering and machining course in the coming weeks at night school so that I can make the most of my new lathe. More productive than watching TV.


It’s my 42nd birthday today. At the risk of sounding like an old man reminiscing about my younger years, how the past 20 years have gone by so quickly.
Life hasn’t exactly gone as planned. I’m not married and don’t have any children. I’m also not a billionaire with my own jet and a few sports cars in my garage (I really missed the mark on that one). That garage was of course attached to a big mansion. So my youthful fantasies didn’t eventuate, but I have to say that I’m extremely happy with my life. I live and feel like I’m 30 (unfortunately the same can’t be said for my appearance), I’m motivated to do the things I enjoy and I have some interests I’m passionate about. I can’t complain about that. Getting older (aka maturing) puts things into perspective. I appreciate time more and utilise every minute of the day. I refuse to have a television. I once did the math on television habits with the following disturbing result:

– the average person spends, at least, 3 hours per day watching TV.

– 3 hours per day x 7 days = 21 hours per week

– the average person spends, at least, 8 hours per day at work.

– 21 hours \ 8 hours = 2.625 working days.

That’s almost 3 full working days, per week, of sitting on a sofa watching TV.

Imagine getting an extra 3 days on a weekend to do all the stuff you don’t get a chance to do during the week.

I do love to watch movies though. So maybe I’ll get a TV one day just for movies.

And all over again…

Today is pretty much a repetition of Saturday. It was an early trip on the barge to the landscape suppliers for more pebbles. Another 4 cubic metres in bulka bags. Comparing the photos from Saturday I think they under filled the bags. Maybe they over filled them today?


I needed to get some big copper logs as well as I’m building an arbour for my vegetable garden. I’ll put the posts in each corner and run cable between them for climbing plants. Hopefully this will also create a nice natural screen. Fortunately the timber yard was only 5 mins down the road. The biggest I could get was 4.8 metres long and the yard only had 3 of them. I bought a 3.6m as the fourth. It’s going to be a funny looking arbour. I’ll try to get another 4.8m next time.

Old Red is looking pretty well loaded. I’ve also got about 500kg in the crew cab with pavers and bricks. All up I reckon there would be 7 tonne onboard.

The old girl is doing a great job and paying her way. I did notice the springs groaning a bit when going around corners (or maybe it was the tyres rubbing).


I got back to the barge a bit early and Cutty had a run in the park. She was having a great time. I think she wore herself out.


It was a big day today and I’m exhausted. I got the last barge back to the mainland tonight. It’s a quite little place at night on the island. Here is the view to the boat ramp as I’m waiting for the barge to arrive.


This little shelter is the original shed used for the island’s residents when waiting for a ferry. It was restored and is maintained by the island’s historic society.


The barge emerged from the dark and I was the only car onboard. The deckhand joked with me and said that this was my own personal charter.


Below is the view looking back at the island.
Until next weekend…


Landscaping Weekend

Another week has flown by. I had lots to catch up on this weekend so it was over to the island on Friday night.
I want to get a start on the landscaping asap because the dirt is driving me crazy. The dirt on the island is very rich in iron and is noticeable when it sticks to everything. Since the excavator was in to clear the block I haven’t had a chance to get grass down. I will put a boundary of pebbles around the house and then run the grass up to it. Today I took big red over on the barge to get some hardware and pebbles. This old truck really is amazing. I spoke to the landscaping supply yard on the phone and told them I wanted 4 cubic metres of river pebbles. They asked how I was going to carry it since it weighs 6 tonne. I showed up with Red and they lifted the bulka bags onto the tray. Old Red didn’t even strain under the load. I could probably get another 2 cube bags on without a problem.

Here is Red loaded up with 6 tonne (4 cubic metres of rocks in bulka bags).


Back on the island I had to work out a way of getting these 1.5 tonne bags of gravel off old Red. Simple. I just hooked up the jeep and pulled them off with a snatch strap. The old jeep is turning out to be a great little tractor to pull stuff around on the block.


Island/work free weekend

I was feeling burnt out from work this week and decided to just have a weekend off and relax. I would have loved to go over to the island but I knew if I did I would end up working on the shack or doing some landscaping. So instead I went for a drive up to a bayside beach. I’ve been to Scarborough once before but it was a while ago and on the boat. This time I drove out and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a fair way out of Brisbane but it feels like a holiday destination. Once again Moreton Bay has surprised me. I’ve visited a lot of the bay while sailing but I didn’t realise how nice Scarborough was. The problem with the bay is that there are so many great spots that it’s easy to just get hooked on one and keep going back. I could spend the next 10 years sailing around the bay.
I found a little cafe on the esplanade and took in the scenery.



After a coffee I took Cutty down to the beach. Today is a perfect day and I could see all the way across to Moreton Island. This is paradise. Wish I was out on the boat today.