Something old …. something new!

Months ago we decided  one weekend to rebuild a feature of the house that was carelessly thrown away by the builders.

It was a curved timber batten ‘skirt’ for the front of the house.  Curved or arched battens are a very typical feature that you would see on a house of similar age to our home here in Queensland.

PicMonkey Collage

We were in the process of pulling down the front fence and decided that because the timber was still in very good condition, we could build the skirt out of it.

PicMonkey Collage

So the first photo is the old picket fence, followed by Mr F (the little bumble bee is to cover up his undies that were showing)!. The third and fourth photos are before and after the arch was cut.

PicMonkey Collage

And lastly what it looks like now.  In the fourth photo Mr F is about to start on another smaller skirt for the side of the porch.



Progress on the garden shed – part one.

Many moons ago I add a post about my desire for a cute little shed for the garden.  We always knew that we weren’t going to have a garage to store the lawn mower and tools etc … storage is so important.  Especially for resale.

I even went shopping early last year for a door for it and a window.  Mr F was not excited about the idea at all!!!  and did not want to talk about it until……. a few weeks ago!!!!  Yay!!

He agreed that storage was an issue but couldn’t understand what was wrong with a ‘nice little tin shed’.  If we had lots of room down the sides of the house, I’d have agreed with him but we don’t and a tin shed would look ‘plain old ugly’!!

I dug my heels in and he finally gave in…. and so the shed began.

First things first.  The fence needed to be extended

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This is my mum Nanny B, always ready to lend a hand.

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It seems like such a long time ago since we built the fence for the washing line to be hung on but finally we have a fence that gives us a lot more privacy.



Bathroom update – 1

After I finished work yesterday I went on the hunt for a mirror to hang over the basin.  I was looking for something not too big, preferably with a bevelled edge.  I went to a few shops including Woolloongabba Antiques Centre and saw this mirror.  It’s not right for the bathroom but I really like it.

old pearly jenkins

I couldn’t find anything suitable and was on my home when I drove past an antique shop that I’ve never noticed before on Logan Road.  I did a quick u turn and parked down the side of the shop.  It’s an enormous shop.  It has a very wide range of stock.  From very fine antiques to quirky collectables and this was where I found the mirror for the bathroom.  The name of the shop is James & Bell Antiques and is  located at 199 Logan Road, Woolloongabba Brisbane.

old pearly jenkins

This was attached to the back of it.

old pearly jenkins

I had a wonderful chat with them and was shown the work room down the back of the shop.  I had to take a photo to share with you what it looks like in there.

old pearly jenkins

Later on Friday afternoon a man came to give us a quote to resurface the bathtub and tiles.  He was very helpful and in fact suggested trying a good tile cleaner and a very fine sandpaper to try to remove the rusty ring from the bath plug.  Then call him back if it doesn’t look any better.  We’re really keen to try this as it’s going to cost $660 (incl GST) to do the bathtub and $100 (incl GST) per sq m to resurface the tiles.

old pearly jenkins

I spent this afternoon scrubbing the tiles and Mr F got stuck in to scraping off the flaky bits from the ceiling ready to give it a new coat of plaster.

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I’ve unscrewed the mirror cabinet and it’s sitting out leaning against the front fence if anyone wants it!!!!!!!

Love Lockets at Mt Coot-tha.

I went to Mt Coot-tha for work this morning. It is one of Brisbane’s prime lookouts . While standing admiring the view I noticed a lock secured to the railings.  It was engraved with an inscription.  Then I noticed quite a few of them, all engraved!!
Does anyone know anything about this ‘Love Lock’ phenomenom???















When I got home from work this afternoon I had to find out more and found hundreds of photos on Google.

The following is courtesy of Wikipedia.

“Love padlocks (also known as love locks and, in Taiwan, wish locks) are a custom by which padlocks are affixed to a fence, gate, bridge or similar public fixture by sweethearts at an increasing number of locations around the world to symbolize their everlasting love”



I love this idea!!!

Mr F and I will have to go to Bunnings this weekend I think and buy  ourselves a lock!

Thirty years today!


How’s this for an odd post.  We found this date written in the concrete footing which is supporting a fence between us and the neighbours. Thirty years ago today!!!!!


Any thoughts …..???



Poor old Rose had to wear this collar yesterday  to stop her from licking the sore on her neck.  She wasn’t very impressed and gave me filthy looks all day.


A new space for the washing line.

I know it’s not the best idea  having a washing line  blocking the view of the pool from the house but we don’t have a lot of choice.   When the major alterations to the house start, the washing line hanging off the back stairs would be the first thing to go. There is absolutely NO room down either side of the house to put one.  So we’re trying to make it look as nice as possible.

Mr F and eldest son have spent a few days during the Christmas holidays extending the side fence to re-hang the existing washing line and also another platform out of Merbau to stand on.


A tree was  in the way.  So a few of its branches had to go.  Eventually the whole tree will come down as we are planning on putting a small garden shed in this space.






Mr F and eldest son were determined to finish the job despite the heat and were very creative  with some clamps and a drop sheet.  It definitely worked.


Here is the oldest son getting stuck in.



Here is the completed project.  I love it!!

So who is Old Pearly Jenkins??

Old Pearly JenkinsOnce the house was ours, I couldn’t wait to get started researching its history.  It was so exciting to receive the copy of the original Certificate of Title.  I raced off  to the Brisbane City Archives in Moorooka.  I wanted to find out when the house was built.   I was looking for any kind of record for permits. I spent many hours going through the records and found nothing!!  The title has lots of different names on it and I tried all of them.  All I wanted to know was who built the house and when.

Old Pearly Jenkins

Old Pearly Jenkins

Meanwhile we moved in and got started on the back garden.  During this time we meet our neighbour over the back fence and to the right,  She’s been living in her house for a VERY long time.  Her parents brought the house new.  Our neighbour is in her 80’s!!  So after chatting over the fence, it occurred to me that she might just be the person to ask about our house.

I asked “Did you know the people who built the house?’

“Yes” she said “It was Old Pearly Jenkins”.  Jackpot!!  ” oh and her husband Charlie”.

She is a wealth of information about the suburb we live in too.  It’s so brilliant to listen to her talk.  Where ever I’ve lived, I’ve always had an interest in the local history.

What I found interesting about this place is that the 16 perches was first brought by Mary Jane Skinner in 1888 but wasn’t built on until approximately 1937.  So by my calculations this little block of land sat vacant in between two houses for 49 years!!

At some point during that 49 years, The family  next door brought it and used the block as a garden. It turns out it was Pearly’s sister who lived next door. …..

To be continued….



I’ll start from the beginning!!

Before I do start this blog. I have to quickly say that I am a complete novice. I’ve never done anything like this before. So please excuse the odd sized photos, photos that are placed haphazardly. It’s all new to me and I will be learning as I go.   Some of the photos may not look the best either, I’ve used the camera on my phone.  So here goes nothing….

Late  2011 we brought a new house to renovate.  It’s a little house, a very little house and  we are a family of five (three sons), two cats and two possums (they were here  when we moved in).

We moved from a bland yet spacious brick and tile, four bedroom, two bathroom, media room, swimming pool etc… in an equally bland suburb. To a much smaller two bedroom + sunroom, character house. But this house is oozing with personality.  It’s in an older suburb closer to Brisbane city that’s bursting at the seams with vibrant, interesting people and beautiful older homes. We love the house and the location but the house is just a little too small for us lot.

So… the renovations began!  We started with clearing the back garden. The house has been a rental for many years.  The previous tenants had kind of  let things go.  Please don’t be fooled by the photograph above.  It was sent to us by our lovely real estate agent.  I think it has to have been taken at least five years ago.  As there is now an enormous tree by the back steps.

This is what we were up against on a stinking hot day in January.  It was quite a satisfying job. The neighbours on one side didn’t seem too impressed though, the overgrown jungle had given them privacy and she told me so.  I felt bad for a few moments, then took the opportunity to explain to her in  the nicest way possible that we’d brought the house to live in. It was going to need some work,  but hey ” No more tenants ” !!

Old Pearly JenkinsOld Pearly Jenkins

She   just  snorted and walked away.  But you’ll be pleased to know that since this first meeting we’ve got to know her quite well.  It took a while for her to warm to us (remember the three boys) .  so anyhoo we’re  keeping  our neighbours well-informed of whats going on and I think she’s secretly pleased that the ‘old girl’ is getting a makeover at last.

It might not  look like much when you look at the photo above  but it was a great start.

A month or two later the lovely neighbours on the other side gave us some fence panels that had been removed from their place and they had no need for them.  A couple of bottles of wine, a dozen beer and the new/recycled fence was  passed over the fence .

We cleared the mess down the back, demolishing the bits and pieces that had for many years been some sort of property divider. Then replaced it  with the new/recycled back fence.  A few trees from the house behind us  needed a few limbs cut off and one particularly ugly one that had been planted too close to the old fence line had to go. We were given the thumbs up from the owner, we just needed to find the right person for the job .

We decided to try using to find a suitable person for the job. We placed a job description and waited for the quotes to come in.  We decided to go with a man called Grady Simon.  His passion and knowledge was incredible and he was extremely well priced.  I would recommend his services to anyone needing something done in the garden anywhere in Brisbane (North and South side), Ipswich etc.


The next job to do was to build  a low retaining wall to level out the garden.  We wanted to put a small swimming pool at the far right hand corner.  The cooler winter evenings set in and it was harder to motivate Mr F to do anything outside.  But with a little encouragement and acting as his labourer, we completed the wall in time for the hole to be dug for the swimming pool .

The new recycled back fence and the markings for the new pool.

The  company that we chose to construct our swimming pool was Thomas Pools. They’re based in Capalaba but have been putting in pools all over Brisbane for many years.  They did my parent’s swimming pool in two of their houses.  My dad, who does everything ‘by the book’ was very impressed with them and so by late August, Brian from Thomas Pools  ( ) came over and measured up and sent the diggers in.

I think I’ll just fast forward this week. We had a few hiccups with Brisbane City Council, we had to get a permit to have a fence over two metres on the boundary. As usual the paperwork disappeared and then ended up on the wrong person’s desk. It was a massive delay but FINALLY last week we got the certification and started to fill the pool.

Woo hoo its been so hot these past few weeks and looking at an empty concrete hole was pretty rough.

We did use the time however to have Indo, from Pro Fence ( build a hardwood deck around two sides and install the pool fence. In our previous house we decided to have glass panels installed instead of the standard powder coated type. We found it to be a bit of a pain to keep clean. So this time we have gone with the  standard powder coated type. Pretty boring, I know  but its one less job to do on a weekend.

It’s nearly done. We just have to clean and seal the pavers, clean up the decking (tradies just don’t seem to care about making a mess), lay some turf and we are set for Summer. Bring it on!!!!

So this is what the pool looks like currently.