Skin cancer article

Lets Talk Skin Cancer

CAUTION – Before I get started here, I’ve got a few photos posted on this post that may not be appropriate for younger eyes….to be fair though, if you’re kids are reading what I’m writing, we’ve got bigger problems to deal with.



A few years back, I was chatting with an old friend of mine over a beer. I was a bit younger, much fitter and had less beer in the ol’ belly keg, so I had my shirt off enjoying the sun a little bit.

His son who was sitting with us, asked what the big scar on my chest was. I responded with the truth and honesty, the same way I try and live the rest of my life. I told him about my younger days and what I did wrong, in regards to sun protection, that caused the Stage 2 Melanoma the I had excised. Hearing the story, along with seeing the massive scar on my chest, gave him a bit of scare, however unintentional it was at the time.

Of course not meaning to scare the kid, I felt a little shitty after that, but then came around thinking, to be honest, that’s exactly what I needed at his age, then just maybe I might have been a little more careful.

Basically I grew up in the bush so to speak, in a little bush school that had 30 children from years 1-7. It was a tough little prick of a place and bush kids pack a punch. It was also during a time when “Sun Smart” was just coming into play, only really seeing it’s advertising on television. You know, “Slip, slop slap”. Well I got to see this maybe only a handful of times throughout my early days, so it never really had a chance to dig into my thick head and take a hold.

Fast forward a little bit to my teenage years, skipping school and spending hours every day, at the beach with no shirt, no hat and sunscreen was for pussies. After all, it only stung when it got in the eye and trying to pick up chicks with stinky red eye just never worked….or maybe it was the ugly mug, 50/50 call really.

Into late teens and early 20’s, starting out in the mud and hey, we’re working our asses off outside, suns out guns out right?

Only in my later years, after my first excision of a skin cancer, did I really take heed and get my pasty red headed ass out of the sun, or at least wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

So I guess what I’m getting at here is a bit of a message. A message to kids, young men and women, along with adults as well, get your shit together and protect yourself from the sun, even the smallest things, require a pound of flesh in penance.


Skin cancer article
Stage 2 Superficially Spreading Melanoma 0.4mm Depth

This was me at 30 years old. Finally heading down for a skin check that were few and far between. I was having a full check up, but this particular bit was like a pimple in a hair follicle. I picked it, bit of blood came out and I paid it no notice. A few weeks later, it was still slowly bleeding, so I got it checked.

The first excision this time was about half this big, requiring around 30 stitches to close up. After the pathology results came back, the doctor advised me there were still malignant cells too close to the excision line for safety, and that we would need to recut more out. Back we go and another 10mm either side was taken out, with cut from armpit to past my center clavicle.

This time we got it. Thank fuck because I honestly couldn’t have sat there wide awake having the doctor extract more of my body, as I could smell the BBQ pork from cauterizing my open veins that were spilling all over my chest.

Oh, you think they knock you out under a local for this shit? Ha. Wide awake baby. Not even a phone to stay occupied.

This second cut took over 120 small stitches and approximately 30 thick stitches to close properly, which of course was nearly impossible considering you could fit two, 50mm gauze pads in the open wound before pulling it together and stitching me up. I won’t show you those pics on here….


Skin cancer article
Melanoma Scar Tissue

The pic above is about 4 years later. Camilla and I were hiking taking silly photos and no, my present body is but a fat shadow of my previous self. But, this is the only pic to give a good idea of what that scar healed like…..look good hey ladies? Would be beautiful across a chest like yours? Cover your shit up or put sunscreen on….lol. (looking at my sister).

The bit that’s bringing all this to mind is the latest couple I’ve just had removed yesterday, and also having a couple of photos that give a good comparison to the size of the identified problem, and initially, how much the doctor has to take out.


The picture on the left was after the excision of the first one yesterday. These are only stage 1 beginnings, so basically nothing to talk about in the grand scale of Melanoma. But the circled part of the first picture is the second that is to be excised. You can see the purple section? That’s actually larger than what the problem spot was, caused to the original biopsy a few weeks before. The second photo is obviously both spots excised.

Now I guess here comes the point I want anyone willing to pay attention, to listen to.

Don’t be a dick head bush kid.

If you’re one of these Euro chicks who comes over here to Australia and bakes in the midday sun for hours on end, pull your head in, you won’t be beautiful when they start cutting you up.

If you’re a tradie, especially roofers and concreters are the worst, put your shirt on dick head, majority of the time your body isn’t as good as you think and you’ve got it off in front of other blokes.

In this article, take it as you will. I’m not trying to be this recovered cancer patient warning everyone else to change their lives, nor am I looking for caring messages to be sent. I’m fine and because I get checked every 6 months, it’s highly unlikely skin cancer will get me.

This is just written knowledge that maybe someone might pay attention to.

The only bit about skin cancer (if you’re getting regular checks) that sucks, is as I said before, the pound of flesh to be paid in penance.

 

Checklist Article

Considerations Before Contracting Us

There’s an ongoing battle for us at Walker Concreting and Resurfacing, we have a hard earned reputation that’s taken years to develop and this gives our clients confidence in hiring our services, that their project is in the hands of a contractor who actually cares about the outcome, even if you have to wait for us to get there.

I was going to write up a list of different things to consider, but to be fair, I think our reputation preceedes us. I don’t need to toot my own horn and talk myself up, those who can, don’t need to talk about it. If you’re having your project priced by us, I’m sure you’ve already done your research and know that we’ll take care of it to the best of our ability.

I do however, just have one, major consideration you need to take into thought, before pulling the trigger in waiting for us.

Time frames….

We are a small business. There is literally myself, my wife and a full time off sider who to be fair, has more experience than me (been together longer than my wife and I too, good ol’ Ollie). This information is detailed, literally, on the front page of our website explaining what our business is and how it operates.

We are not a business with dozens of employees. We do not sub-contract our work out because our clients trust us solely to complete their work, not others. We also, cannot magically make more hours appear in every day / week to get more work done…I think our 70+hrs a week is pushing the boundaries as is…please don’t ask me for more 🙁

Our small business mindset is very deliberate. I hate modern economics. Big fish eats the small fish and controls the market share. It’s disgusting. We are small by choice and will remain that way, so our clients know exactly what they are getting.

There are also all types of things that cause delays. Rain. Other services not completed their part of the deal (plumbers for instance). Project took longer than expected. Many many things can cause delays, but I promise you it’s never us not putting in enough hours or effort.

Typically, we run off a schedule anywhere from 3-6 months, changing with the economy and other times of each year as is.

Now, just before you pull the trigger, imagine you’re pencilled in 4 months from now to get a start with your project and there’s 5 projects to be done before I get to yours. Now imagine 3 of those projects take an extra 2 days to complete, which is not abnormal and is always unforseen and can’t be planned for. We have then magically lost a full week before we get can get to you.

March comes around for example and we get 2 weeks of rain delays….the marbles keen rolling down hill to trip someone else up.

Now imagine I can’t work 70+hrs a week for months on end without at least taking a week off here and there. Even just one week off. You’re project could lose a month without even trying before we can get there.

There is of course the more “typical” outcome, where everything runs on time and everyone is happy, but I’m just trying to advise potential clients of a worst case scenario, that “sometimes” pops up.

The majority of our clients who do contract our services, are very aware of this fact and are quite happy waiting as long as it takes because, our hard earned reputation provides security in their decision to have us complete your work, in an industry that has a bad repuatation to begin with.

I have a favourite saying with Camilla when she tells me someone is complaining about the time frame for waiting, as happened today from a client we were simply trying to communicate with, attempting to be as professional as possible through our communication, about any potential delays. My response to her every time, is…

“I’m sorry, it sucks, but I can’t give them what I don’t have”.

We look forward to pricing and meeting with each potential client and take extreme pride in every project we complete. We really look forward to completing your work each and every time as well.

But please, don’t book our services knowing our wait times, then abuse me and accuse me of being unprofessional by simply giving you notice of our (unforseen) delays.

Burnt out article

I’m Busy!

15-20 years ago, a young man started out with the goal of getting as busy as possible. Chasing the dragon and making that mullah baby! Work booked in a month in advance, my chin held high, a sense of accomplishment.

After ups and downs, nearly in clasp of said dragon, I pondered my aching joints thinking, “man, only a month worth of bookings would be a nice break from this shit I’m knee deep in”.

I pushed to mid 30’s. More skilled and building a reputation. Three months bookings ahead. Although the joints didn’t ache any more yet, the brain struggled to keep up as I tumbled and stumbled along my path….still the dragon eludes me…bastard.

I’m now facing 40. My body is fucked and my head is mush. Six months. Not 1, 2 or even 4. We’ve been working on a 6 months schedule for such a long time now, I forget even what job we did last week, let alone a month ago. Where the fuck did that dragon go? I swear I saw him yesterday…..

It’s funny how you consider yourself “busy” in life. At any given time, a person or contractor can consider themselves busy. But there’s always another new, crazy level of “what the actual fuck is this” you tumble into, (if you’re trying hard enough), that just makes the last section of busy look like a sunshine and lollipops.

I love what I do. I really do. I’m a bush kid full of ADHD and had basically no chance at what “normal” people would consider a productive life through education. I grit my teeth, worked through my problems and figured it out for myself. Every penny and accomplishment earnt, through blisters, blood, sweat and tears.

I’m also so damn thankful these days that our clients, and people in general, can look past my personality disorder, look beyond the small things that make me hard to deal with on a social basis, but then take notice in the hard work I put into my trade and business, see what I am working my ass off trying to acheive, so my client, who has taken the time to show faith in my abilities, has something truly wonderful and inspiring installed in thier home.

It’s a funny game though in my line of work. You seem to be struggling early on, not keeping up with the rest of your peers throughout life as we’re learning our skillset. Then we start to make progress, start to see something moving forward as we get better. Then by the time we really get bloody good at what we do, we’re burning out by all the hard work it took for us to get here. A viscious cycle. But one well travelled all the same.

Myself, and now my wife since she came on board, have been running into brick walls for a long time now. Working our fingers to the bone until we physically and mentally can’t push any harder, then taking a week or so off to reset again, before jumping back in the deep end. But, those little resets are not working anymore.

We’re only back a week or so after a reset and I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m not enjoying what I do. All I can see if tough bloody jobs in front of us…that dragon so far from reach at the peak of the new hill that seems steeper every month.

You see I’m the guy contracting the $50k project, 6-8 employees onsite, concrete pumps, supplying all materials, thousands of dollars on the line if anything goes wrong, and be calm as a fucking cucumber, having a laugh with the lads and getting shit done. She’ll be right mate.

But recently, I’ve been snapping over absolutely minor, stupid details of everyday work. Things like a skip bin hasn’t been arranged. Dumb frigging things. It’s time to step back.

I guess maybe, have we reached the absolute pinacle of what “busy” can be? Maybe we can’t push “busy” any further? 6 months bookings with 70-80 hours a week trying to stay on schedule for months and months and months on end, without end. I never knew busy until it finally slapped me on the ass as I fell back down that hill, exhausted, watching the dragon fly even further out of reach.

Either way, we’re stepping “busy” back and taking back control of our (my) life. I am quite aware in a modern society, I will be working (to some degree), until I’m frail and old. If I don’t slow down a bit now, I will not make those old, frail bones to begin with.

I think the hardest thing with having a 6 month schedule ahead, is that even if you only have minor delays here and there, it’s nearly impossible to stick to a date given to a client. Imagine trying to take some personal time off in there as well? Taking even a week every 6 months just to reset and keep the quality of work to our typical standards? Impossible. Almost as stupid as trying to catch a fairytale dragon.

Clients from here forth, will be given simple a month in which we expect to start their project. At least that way, WHEN we’re late, it’s still (hopefully) at least in the same month that we advised them of (lol).

To maintain a small business. Maintain work standards. To not become an Ogre and want to rip peoples heads off on a daily basis….exceptions need to be made. Money is the only thing driving us to push the extra hours. I will still make the money, just over a longer period of time and who knows, maybe I’ll rediscover the reason I love my decorative industry as much as I did a few years ago. Maybe I’ll finally find those hours to put down a few new artistic designs I’m always thinking of……

Maybe.

Maybe is better than never, at any cost.

Covid Article

A Familiar Face

Hey everyone (anyone really who actually reads this rubbish). As always, it’s been a while since I have a chance to jump on and give an update. Ever since Covid hit, our already murderish schedule seemed to double, if not triple over night and my god I haven’t had a second to scratch myself in around 6 months….but….first world problems of course and we’re among the lucky who still have a regular income, so definitately no complaints and very thankful.

I guess the biggest reason why I’m on here this afternoon, apart from the several Crowns that seemingly didn’t touch the sides, is I feel the website / social media side of the business has been a little neglected. Certainly not through lack of projects, but it seems every project we’re on is long, difficult and tiring, so although the quantity isn’t there, the quality is….even if it is disguised by not having pretty swirls and blended tones throughout it’s textures. Plus, I’m freaking old and tired from busting my ass each day in a business I refuse to grow in man power, because we are about providing a more personalised, professional and experienced service to our clients.

After the original 4 months of Covid’s bullshit tentacles grasping onto our lives and restricting our breathing, we finally got a chance to take a week off….but seriously, after 4 months of 70hr+ weeks, a week doesn’t exactly work. It’s rushed, still tumble weeding down to the OK Coral for the daily stress shoot out, before heading back into the ferris wheel to appear to fit into the worlds reality of work work work at the expense of all else. Also, open the damn borders you wankers, I didn’t ask you to run up a $100B credit card bill in my name, pfft.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a hard worker. I’ve always been prepared to go the extra mile to achieve things that a lot of people just aren’t prepared to put in the extra effort for. Whether it’s seeing and experiencing places in the world only brought with my calous riddled hands, or experiencing satisfaction in the work place by accomplishing goals within projects that honestly and humbly, not a great deal of other contractors will achieve through lack of expereince only gained through hard work, over decades.

The last, “several” projects, have been nothing but nightmares. I have spent more time on grinders in the last 2 months than I think in the last 20 freaking years. Every single damn project has been ground back, layered, ground back again, so on and so on, trying to achieve the top quality we aspire to for our clients who wait months and months for us to attend their projects.

Such a humbling experience having people willing to wait so long for our services as well. We try to our upmost physically and mentally for you, exert all of our experience as well for each and every project to live up to every expectation by our lovely clients. Cheers to you all. You’re so appreciated.

But something that I need in my life, is the artistic, creation side of my decorative industry that gives me the biggest “ego boost” of all. It’s also something that we haven’t been doing a lot of lately…..

The projects we’re on and have been on, are all very, very complicated jobs. Going from the beginning of what we have to work with, and taking them to completion, is a level of workmanship that very few others in this industry can achieve, I guess that’s why most of our work these days is work that others just simply won’t take on. While our clients are getting quotes of “rip out and redo”, we’re offering a high quality, secondary option that works. Only offered from understanding of the products and what we are working with to every, minor detail, making it all work.

I guess I get a kick out of getting feedback from our spectacular projects, where multiple tones are blended to create realistic stone formations, or pure artistic creation is taking place through one of our one of kind designs. I guess maybe the feedback isn’t there for the projects we’ve been on lately. Although it is great feedback we’re getting, it’s more the little details that most people can’t see that goes into these jobs….kind of like quiet acheivment, name on the wall at Langely sort of setup. Sounds stupid, but credit from peers I suppose rather than WOW factor on Instagram.

At the end of the day, money plays the major roll in the direction of modern life. Long for the days where creation and artistic freedom was rewarded on a similiar frame of mind as the bottom dollar we all need to strive for. Money does, and always will hinder true creation in our modern world.

Completely not comparing myself on this level, not even in the same galaxy, but imagine Michelangelo scuplting David. Money has been offered and plays some part of course, enough part to not have simple, every day problems overcome what you are trying to artistically acheive. Only a financial gain for time spent.

But overall, a beautiful mind that is simply lingering at back of room, a third eye for the artist, allowing their hands to apply absolutes to the project that is beyond typical comprehension. The afternoon light through stained windows gives credence to the last few strokes committed upon that very day. Money is not the drive. Money is enough to allow more freedom to not stress about what the artist is trying to acheive. The goal is beauty. Beauty in it’s perfections…..and imperfections.

I love the money we’re making at the moment on these large, technical projects…..but I think I need to start redirecting the business again. Bringing money and creation back at least level pegging. I have so many new designs to put down that just keep getting put on the back burner.

One day I suppose. When the money doesn’t quite have the hold on life quality.

A few pics below, of the more “simple” design projects we’ve been on, but are heavily technical in our attempt at perfection in what we do.

I hope you’re all doing well out there. I read a sign as I drove through Mackay a few months ago.

“Tough times will never out live tough people”.

If you’re doing well, get at it and keep pushing hard. If you’re struggling, have a chat to someone and keep trying your best. My ears are open for any of my friends needing it. There is always someone who gives a shit. It’s OK to not be OK.

Ethics Business Supplier

The Tipping Point

White Lie / Harsh Truth

As a young buck stepping out into the business world in the trades, I took strides through learnt lessons of text in how a business should aspire to greater heights. Expand. More employee’s. Tender contracts. Government contracts. Chase the dragon. Bottom line! bottom line! bottom line!

After several years stepping down said path, I came to realise I was just like all the other conglomerate assholes with no actual ethics within an astronomical unit of reality, solely existing to drive profits and not caring who we stand on in the process.

I still remember going to the local hardware in Nerang with my father. Asking the man who owned / operated the establishment what his thoughts were on the particular project at hand, to recieve knowledge not only greater than ours on the subject, but from someone who actually cared about the result…as opposed to modern day hardware employee’s who wouldn’t know their asshole from elbow (for the most part). Best just remaining quiet to prevent losing brain cells through in depth discussion with the resident slugs who make up the cogs of the ever expanding wheel of profiteering.

From those early lessons, then subsequently from my lessons learnt travelling the wrong path early on, I soon directed the business into a more personal establishment, where the crew might be small, but the experience high and someone you can trust when in conversation, every word from my mouth is honest and with your best intentions in mind for the outcome of your project.

I also tend to make this simple frame of thought expand thoughout my entire business. The material suppliers and manufacturers I choose to work with not only offer high quality products, but also value their customers and their business, along with their return business through a quality relationship.

My conrete supplier? 11 years I’ve been with them. The last time I spoke with their rep, I simply said “I’m not one of these guys who goes around several companies and plays one against the other, we’ve been working together for a long time, I think the prices have gotten a bit high, can you see what you can do for me?”. The next day my rep dropped the prices 15% all across the board, much more than I was expecting, but only received through an above standard relationship over the last decade.

My steel, resurfacing, epoxy and machine suppliers, are all leaning closer to 10 years working with me than anything else, hell, Ollie my longest employee has been with me for 14 years. I value long term relationships that I can trust. Which leads to me the point of this post.

Today, the line was crossed and I flipped. I don’t get angry often, so when I do, you should listen closely and take heed.

Now I’ve been in the game a really long time. I snicker when the concrete supplier, who is an hour late, tells me the “plant broke down”. If only I had a dollar every time huh?…

I have a laugh on the blue bird skies day when a machine operator says he got a puncture, knowning damn well he’s a fishmerman and always takes a day off on days like today. It’s cool. A common understanding. All little white lies with a little tongue in cheek. They know, we know, whatever.

But when you’ve expanded your business and your 20 yo is trying to tell me how to run my business, I get a little agitated. When that 20 yo, after a week waiting on a repair to my grinders, says that there’s no news yet and we need to wait a bit longer, I’m patient, I sit. When I  touch base again Friday, only to be told I’m being pushy and the repairer is waiting on parts to fix a $20 tag and test lead on the grinder which should have only taken 2 days….I smell and rat and get a little fucking frustrated.

When I finally get in contact directly with the 3rd party repairer you sent it off too, finding out the grinder had been repaired for the last 3 days and you simply haven’t bothered contacting them to find out, wasting my time and not appreciating the exxy profit I was prepared to pay you for the service, knowing I haven’t got a second to scratch myself at the moment with how busy we are to fix it myself? You’re lucky I didn’t come down there and ram the grinder up your ass. This isn’t a white lie, it is blatant disrepect for my money and my business, take your medicine boy.

All an old school bush kid like myself requires, is honesty. Tell me you’re busy and haven’t had a chance to follow it up. No problems. But treat me like an idiot and piss down my back telling me it’s raining, I’m taking my money elsewhere. Just between you and me, it’s not a small amount I spend on floor grinding.

I’ll explain that to your boss when he realises why I haven’t been in for a few months.

I suppose at the end of the day, I don’t expect your business to stay small, you travel your own path. But, I do require industry level respect. I’ve earnt that much through being a quality customer.

Fine Tuning

Back From Holidays and Doing Some Fine Tuning

Gears Starting to Grind Again

So here we are, back into the hamster wheel again and beginning to tumble towards our business goals. It was a long 4 months of Covid19 madness for us consisting of 70+ hour weeks for pretty much the entire 4 months, then 2 weeks of bliss as soon as they opened up travel again as we went north for boating, fishing and swimming relief.

The first week or so back has seen a few tantrums (by me of course), not wanting to let go of the holidays, but alas, my head and toes are all pointed in the same direction again.

Having a second to breathe over holidays and our first week back, where the pressure of our schedule hasn’t been too crazy, has allowed me to see what is maybe a fault in the marketing of our designs and what we can offer our clients. If you look through our work on social media and website, we have a hell of a lot of pieces that are very customised throughout, but we have made the mistake of giving each artistic piece a design name. Now although this is really cool to name some of the creations I’ve delved into, I think there is room to separate the sections into categories.

So what I’ve done firstly, is just adjust our Custom Concrete Designs page to show the following area categories.

Natural Stone Designs

This design process if leaned towards what the name suggests, a more natural stone appearance. It consists of several blending tones applied through several layers and can be completed in several different colour and tone combinations. This allows us to bring this particular design process into any home or work place and allow it to flow with it’s surroundings.

Custom Concrete Resurfacing Stockholm Slate
Custom Concrete Resurfacing Sandstone Desert Dreams

Artistic Flow Designs

This is the design category where I work in depth with our clients to create something more directed towards artstic creation as opposed to a natural appearance. There is no end to colour combinations and flowing, either give me a little direction, work right alongside me or let me go with true autonomy to put a one of a kind piece of art onto your home or workplace setting.

Custom Decorative Concrete Installation Ormeau
Custom Concrete Sandstone Finish Ormeau

What's Next?

From here, we have an absolute nightmare schedule in front of us for at least another 6 weeks to get on top of things, then we can hopefully breath a little bit and maybe even work on some new designs. We’re booked pretty solid up until Christmas at present, but as always, we’re still quoting any potential clients who are firstly not bothered with the waiting period, or who are looking for that something different and unique to stand out from the crowd.

Keep up to date with what we’re up to on our Instagram, we post nearly everything up there.

Hope everyone out there is doing good with all the madness in the world at the moment. Victoria might be back in the shit again, but the night is darkest before the dawn, hang in there guys.

See you next time I find some mental energy to put some words on paper.

Sydney Kiddo

Our Cobblestone Pathway

Well paved, but trip hazards everywhere!

3 weeks with no days off. Or is it 4? 5? Who the hell knows. I do know however it’s at least over 3 months where 70+ hour weeks have just become so normal that the numb feeling above the shoulders blends into the same mundane mood the body portrays on a daily basis….limping and whinging as we stumble down the road ahead whilst telling ourselves we should be thankful for being so busy, there are plenty who aren’t.

Which of course, we are, but that isn’t to say my old body isn’t getting tired, along with the few braincells that still output some semblance of stability starting to spark failures.

Thanks to government incentives, effectively throwing money back into the general persons pockets (one could say lowering taxes *cough*), whilst cutting a little of the red tape and letting business go as hard as they can to try and limit what was seen as a devastating pandemic, turning it into a “possible” economic recovery…..from the GFC in 2008!

Yes, I said that correctly….2008. Maybe my mind is a little too analytical at the expense of common sense, but if you wish to have a further conversation on this topic, a concreter’s blog isn’t the place to do so.

Let’s just say, I’m noticing changes that “could” help re-adjust the inflation and wage disparity caused by the 2008 GFC, and bring things more in line with how the every day person lives their lives.

But I digress…

Since rebuilding after 2008 myself, I had a focus in mind for what I wanted to acheive with the business and we’re slowly making progress towards that. I have an end goal in mind, of staying small and providing quality, customised hardscape services to residential clientelle throughout South East Queensland.

My end game? Nothing but high end, decorative concrete, epoxy and overlay installations, booked steadily for 4-6 months at a time.

Whether we get there or not is one tale to tell, which we will only read about through constant and consistent hard work and dedication to our trade, projects and clients. We shall not fail this section through lack of trying hard enough.

But, in the mean time, we also need to tread carefully on the cobblestone road, because although it is paved, it is easy to stumble and slip in the joints when we’re too tired to take notice of the little things, the minor details that will cause a trip and take us backwards from our future.

After over 3 months without a break, we are now looking to take a small, 10-14 day “reset” away from work. We have clients and projects booked in until January now and we completely appreciate your bookings and your trust to have us complete your work, but, without a reset when we are exahusted, we will find ourselves (at times), tripping over the smaller details and not fully appreciating the workmanship that has gone into building the road in the first place.

We understand that some of our near future clients have been waiting patiently for us to start their projects. We also completely thank you for understanding that we need a break. If you can have just a little more patience, we promise to deliver to you a great piece of workmanship that is not only worth the wait, but that you can trust will remain that way for years to come.

We have about another week of work left before heading off (weather permitting). We will inform all of you as we make the decision and we thoroughly look forward to starting your project as soon as the brain (and body), have received a reset.

Cheers guys and chat soon.

My Daughter

A Price Paid

Oh! No! Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody! - Cat Stevens

I’m sitting here on yet another “Saturday” night without you (actually Friday but I like that song), my daughter. I’m meant to be able to spend time with you on weekends at least these days. Even if just for a few days each week, at least it’s something for one of the few people in this world I actually give a fuck about. But it’s been so long since I’ve seen you, three months, feels like a lifetime……

But I understand. Covid has you worried and your mother moved so far away it’s hard…..I’ll be patient. I have no choice.

I do miss you though, with all my heart. Even just to be in the same house as each other, warmed my heart and calmed me. Not much else in this world has let me be at ease, but having you close by, has always made me feel full, complete.

Unbalanced

After I found out my girlfriend was pregnant, I was completely shocked to say the least. I mean, I know very well what unprotected sex leads to, I’m not a complete fool…..but when it happens at the dumbshit age of 23, it comes as quite an eye opener. I’m fresh back from Warranbool playing in the Hamptons League in Western Victoria following my 3rd knee injury, met the girl of my dreams (at the time) and one thing leads to another…..

I guess this kicked me into gear a little bit. I come from a family that swings to the right and is business orientated to the small to medium degree, so I guess I just followed my path laid out before me by my role models as I assumed everything should happen.

“Mother holds the child, Father holds the family”.

Fuck me! How much is that proverb completely out of fashion and almost sounds like rythmic swearing in the modern age?

Either way, this is the only path that I saw before me. I would put everything into my new business while my partner held our child.

But given the modern age, equality between sexes, political correctness and all that new age jibberish that a bush kid struggles to understand…….that old age adage just does not ring true anymore.

I spent four years at this stage, working like a dog. 70+hrs a week. Running a crew as all good dads should. Pushing. Striving. Defiant. Only to run into a dead end and be bitch slapped by the GFC. Fuck you bankers, you very well knew what you were doing. Shame on you.

Unpaid invoices. Insolvency. No money left after paying my men. Payment plans to no evail. Broke…..

But worse than all that? I lost you. My young, new family was broken. Your mother and I, we’re adults and we’ll manage. But your little face shadowing my every step in that amazing little fairy costume…..just brought me to tears.

Finding Balance

After all the smoke cleared and the bankruptcy took place. Your mother and I split with an arrangement for a 50/50 split on what we would provide you. Not just money, but time, effort and everything else involved….we BOTH, wanted the best for you in a bad situation.

I said at this stage I would never put working 70+hrs  a week ahead of spending time with my daughter again. My one and only daughter. My light in this dark sub-conscience state of mind where nothing else shines so brightly. I spend the next 3 years of my mandatory bankruptcy dedicating myself to giving myself to my daughter, as much as I could, while learning again, how to be a father.

Not long after this, your mother wanted to move away. She had found someone else and sought an opportunity away from the horrific Gold Coast that had tainted so much of our family in the past. But I refused. I refused to let you go. I refused to let you move away from a dad who was trying his hardest to be a “good” dad. I’d tell myself mothers don’t pull thier child away from thier father if the father wants to be there, trying to be good and do the right thing.

With my definance, that I’ve always had, I held on tight to you for a few years. Your mother moved away. I sacrificed business to make sure my dauthter did not get second place again. But alas. Puberty comes, you miss your mother and need more support from a closer aspect than your red neck, bush kid father can provide…..so I made the decision to let you go. To move with your mother down south and for me, to be become the weekend component in your life.

Roller Coaster

I return to the first section of this blog. “Oh no another Saturday night!”

After this stupid fucking Covid19, media shit storm hit…..you my daugher, the direct descendant of complete hatred of the modern, conglomerate system, has decided it’s better to listen to the media blackmail, sit tight and do exactly as this government tells you to do, only to not see your father for over three months now.

I sit here on one side of the fence, working my butt off making hay while the sun shines, back into that 70+hrs a week for lack of a better choice. Yet I find myself completely confused again internally with what balance I’ve been trying to find for the past 13-14 years, between family and work.

I hope through all this, it’s the little things that you’re able to appreciate if you get a chance to read dad’s fumblings. The little contextual components to writing, where you can see through the bullshit and take note of the simplest things, like I did my best to put family before work in every pretext of my life, as at the time, I understood throughout several generational changes in our life time.

Although I love my work and I’m so proud of how far this ugly bush kid has come in life….

It’s still you sweetheart. Until my dieing breath. You are my breath.

I love you.

Humble Pie Exapnding Thank you

To Avoid the Inevitable – A Failure

First World Problems

Just to start this post off, for those who don’t know me, a little back ground.

I’m just a kid from the bush, jam full of ADHD to the point where education was as likely as Elvis entering a body building competition.

I’ve read a grand total of 4 books in my entire life.

1: The White Spider – Heinricch Harrer
2: Gates of Fire – Steven Pressfield
3: We Were Soldiers Once, and Young – Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway
4: Chicken Hawk – Robert Mason

Don’t ask me why these books drew my attention long enough to finish them. Maybe the sense of adventure through a world where society said it shouldn’t…..couldn’t happen. Absolute defiance just because the social norms said…….”you can’t”, fuck you!.

A single page can literally take me 20 minutes to read by the time I lose focus and have to restart it. But writing…for some reason, albeit with grammatical and spelling errors comfounded, have always come naturally and I enjoy telling a few tales for those interested enough to lend an ear.

I hate conformity. Whether it’s to do with my social limitations or my learning difficulties, I just hate it. Try and put me in a box, I’ll rip that damn thing apart and come out banging my chest like fucking the rock ape I am.

At one time though, I did follow that road. With youth, naivety and lack of a better role model, I started out my business following the corporate mentality to business SUCCESS!!!!! Pffft. What a fucking joke…..Take your corporate carrot and stick it up your ass.

2008. GFC. Nearly 100K in debt through builders and debt contracts following the yellow brick road….bankruptcy hit. What a drag. 3 years it took me to stabalise somewhat from that garbage. Just a young guy from the sticks trying to make it big in the city…..only to be slapped back to earth by the smarties working the system more effectively. Lesson learned. Never again.

After stablising, rebuilding, slowly. I have brought the business through a more secure growing phase, over several years.

I threw away the builders, developers and middle men and made myself that direct person that the residential industry can contact for all their concrete, decorative concrete, resurfacing and epoxy services, backed up now by a solid history of experience, through blood sweat and tears…..literally.

Servicing the Gold Coast only firstly. Booked 4 weeks sporadic. Then 4 weeks doubled up. Then 8 weeks sporadic. 8 weeks doubled up. 3 months sporodic before I started to branch out farther into the southern and eastern Brisbane regions. The same time frame before facing what we do now.

I have worked my absolute ass off not to expand the business in personel. To keep things “family friendly” so to speak. The contractor pricing your work, is the contractor completing your work. No sub-contracting, just straight up old fashioned service with a focus on quality and service. Now the problem presents of keeping the same philosophy, whilst being forced into a corner, having to punch our way out….

But there is a simple lesson I’ve learned. With the right mentality of the harder you work, the more you succeed, it is inevitable that we reach the point that my wife and I reached today….

The point where we put our hands up, surrender….and expand.

It’s just too much. 70+ hours a week, week after week after month……We’re tired and need someone to back us up. My lovely wife Camilla jumped on board about a year ago now to back me up and man, hasn’t she done a wonderful job…albeit to only make us busier and force us quicker into this position, devil’s advocate…..but a good devil to boot. I met her while she was working elsewhere with a very similar line…..it worked in a young, innocent enthusiasm at the time.

“A good woman will make you, a bad will break you”. how true can an old adage ring true”. Love you Sugar Tits.

As of today, the 15th of May 2020, we are facing down a work schedule on average 2 medium sized projects per week, until the start to mid of October 2020. Roughly 5 months booked ahead with double bookings each week.

I won’t lie, I’m comforbital with my masculinity…but I cried a little today. Cried because I haven’t a day off for fucking months and I’m exhausted. I cried because I’m so godamn proud an uneducated bush kid can actually get along in this world by sheer determination and hard work. So humble and proud of ourselves. Cheers to whomever is seeing us stand up to the “norm” and provide something a little different, at the risk of being different. Quality above quantity. End of story.

Facing the inevitable, we are now looking to “lightly” expand. A long term collegue and friend of mine is looking for other avenues in life. We have been working together for over a decade in the industry and friends for much longer.

At least this method of expanding, is still keeping the moral values of our business in tune. At least this way, we still stay that family friendly, old fashioned service without sending out sub-contractors to fuck things up and create more problems, than solutions.

Down to earth, professional, one on one service for your concrete and flooring needs throughout South East Queensland.

We will now be collapsing our 5 month schedule into a more compact schedule so as to keep clients from having to wait so long for our services and subsequently happier overall….

The next step? We’ll cross that bridge as we get to it.

For now, thank you to all our past, present and awaiting customers. I am so damn proud every time I hear you call up and accept our quotation proposal, leave a nice review or just generally work on your project while sharing a coffee and conversation.

I have met the best people of my life through work and business. I’m so grateful to you all.

Thank you all for my reasonable level of success to date, I wish you all the very best for your future goals you’re working so hard to acheive. Don’t let the goverment, society norms or other dictate how you lead your life.

Be free. Pave your own path. It’s worth effort.

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The Ability to Say NO! – Politely

It's a Subtle Art

Many moons ago, when I was a little younger, had much more enthusiasm and a shit load less security in my income, I found myself saying YES to pretty much anything I had to, to win the next project and move forward in my business endeavours.

Literally, if I was pricing to install your patio and you asked me hang your washing to win the contract, I washed those dirty ass long johns and hung them out again smelling like sunflowers.

But these days, things are much different and people should not get offended by it.

I did a bit of learning through a good friend of mine in the industry, cheers big Roddy, who really only taught me one thing….the ability to say NO and how to do it with ease.

Firstly. Get a bank roll. Set yourself up financially. You don’t need to be rich, I am faaaaar from it. But having enough bank roll to not “need” to complete the work being asked of me, allows me to say NO easily and move onto the next project.

Secondly, raise your standards of professionalism. Give yourself true credit for you abilities, and charge accordingly. I am here to install your decorative concrete to the best of my 20+ year ability, wash your own f*cking underwear.

I must admit, it did take a while to get there. Many years of sweat and tears, but I earned my bones thoroughly.

If you call up and ask me to do a slap job over your shitty looking concrete, cheaply, so you can sell your house and pass the problem onto the next person, you will politely get a NO as I walk away from you.

If I advise you why I won’t install a Stain to your concrete, because I don’t consider it a long lasting application for me to be taking your money for, but still ask me to do it anyways because you are selling the house, please don’t get offended by my abrupt NO.

If you’re someone who gets offended by being said NO to, then please just don’t ring us at all. We don’t want your work.

There are many things we say YES to. I’m a positive person and love a challenge. We love hearing from and working with clients who are genuinely serious about high quality, long lasting hardscape finishes, whether it is for themselves, or to pass onto the next person buying their home.

But when I say NO, there’s a good reason for it and you should take heed…..even though the next guy you get might do your cheap nasty job to get you out of trouble to sell your home…..Kharma’s a mean bitch and she slaps 10 fold. Don’t be a c*nt. You’re better than that…..