Posted by: daviemacdonald | January 10, 2012

The Clutter and a Happy box underground

The end of 2011

Was a year of enormous personal strain but I got through it and not without some great emotional and financial support from a significant friend.

It would be remiss not to acknowledge that this person who gave me a place of refuge when I became shelterless and homeless. In reality 2011 was a year where a number of people from my past rallied to help me and boy did I need it

I am eternally grateful to them as without that support I have no idea what may have been the outcome.

The year began with a low point as the memory of a recently failed defacto marriage was still very much a legacy. Only today on reflection I was thinking how anybody who knew me before I entered that relationship  in 2005 till its end in August 2010 would  find it hard to swallow that I allowed myself to remain in what  was an increasingly a most psychologically abusive manipulative relationship.

Those who might be interested on bullying is a link to an earlier post of mine

I guess that’s what happens when it creeps upon you slowly and silently. More so when coupled with what had been a 4 decade long  dream of arriving “home” one day after years of searching. It was easy to deny ignore the signs of  reality though the Monkey on my shoulder kept whispering in my ear …..

that all was not what it seemed to be.

Matters have now finally arrived at Court and we will see what the final outcome will be when judged by an “independent arbitrator”

I  found  my self bombarded with intellectual spin when confronted with a FAKE Masters degree wielding  “hoity toity namby pamby” upper class narcissistic snob with no respect or dignity simply because your education so they they think doesn’t match theirs Beware you may find you are probably confronting a Psychopath

2011 the year I launched my blog and got to micro blogging with twitter.

My 2nd Christmas in Sydney

Living near to the Harbour as I now do it is often easier to either catch the bus or get a Ferry across water to town. One of my lads in the UK David Jefferies like this picture but we have to change the sign spelling:)

Jefferies Street Wharf

Another view of the Wharf


An alternative is catching the bus and in Sydney each of the depots  decorate a bus for Christmas.

Here are some pictures of the one I caught going home day before Christmas Eve. It was really cool and a real laugh to be on board. The Driver was excellent.

A Christmas Bus

Greetings from the Depot drivers


inside looking forward

My workshop (In 2012) is vastly different today However this is as it was back then

Over the past 18 months this is where I have been working when I tinker either cutting wood; attempting to be a real handyman a bit of engineering or model making.

This space is a dream come true and is something I had never really considered before my move to Canberra in 2007.  In Canberra I had a space and I enjoyed it very much but it doesn’t compare to what I have now, though I miss the Canberra garden but I was  told recently all the carbon insertion work I did is a legacy that is working well on my original vegetable garden .

Talking about the Garden the solicitors from the other side refuse to co-operate in letting me know how my Rabbits and chickens are doing…C*@ts

Let me take you on a Work shop tour which is all under the house. A year ago this was just a blank unlit dank and damp underground cellar with no lighting

The first view is as you enter from the backyard

The entrance

To the right is the front work table where my friend does her hobby craft work dressmaking curtain making etc. Yes that is a refrigerator you can see and no it isn’t full of beer but wine milk and ice-cream 🙂

Another view looking out to the entrance. To the right is where I keep spare light globes power leads and boards

Another view of work table

Garden Tools Saw Benches

This is a view of my garden tools grinding wheel, bench saws and mobile work bench.

Shelving to right is where I keep Car cleaning and detailing products and in the far corner you can see the entrance to MY Den 🙂

View from W Shop entrance

Car Cleaning Detailing products Paint etc

Car detailing products Glues Polishing etc

This is my workbench which is converted IKEA Computer desk It is a lot deeper than appears in this shot.

On these shelves are models that are work in progress. It is also where I keep household paints oil for the deck, tapes and brushes

Models Work in Progress

The Lion’s Den

This is a special room that was originally similar to  this, though this is much better organised than the first storage room (now the Den) which was very damp with just a very porous floor.

2nd Storage room

It had just an earthen floor, was damp and had a slope of 5%, was dark musty and full of house building debris like old kitchen cabinets. So it had to be cleaned out and the earth dug out to create a usable height to be able to lay a concrete slab

Another view

Another view Storage room

After the slab was laid  I had to clean out all the spiders, washed and rendered the walls and then installed lights. Quite clever really 🙂

I had a rug that was surplus to requirements so I have put this on the floor along with a linoleum road system from when Robbie my boy WAS a boy and is still my boy:). If you look carefully you can still see where we created a race track on it over 20 years ago

The Road

A view of the lino and wine

I also had 2 old book cases that I measured up for new MDF backing that I got cut at Bunning’s. I also purchased some doors from IKEA and attached those. Next thing was that the units were to high so I had to modify the frames and cut them down in size. Job well done I think 🙂

In the picture you can see a copy of a David Hockney I created. I used crayons and pastels to produce what can only be described as a forgery…but it looks great. It languished in the dark in Canberra in an old Garage along with all my artwork. Pleasingly I am now able to blow of the dust and start hanging them for appreciation.

The Den another view

I also installed an old book-case beside the TV which is from my friend Paulette who lives in the Units where I lived in Ocean Street Bondi. I used to often have dinner with her and her husband. We caught up just before Christmas for dinner and we reminisced about my time there and my ex and her youngest who  had dinner with us too.

Briefly about Paulette she is a survivor of the Holocaust a French Jew and was sent to Auschwitz from Paris. However it was while in Auschwitz that she met her Husband

In this view you can see my workshop desk.

another view of the Den

I have finally got round to unpacking all the wine and that is what you can see to the top left in this picture

 so to “My Happy Box”

football and other sport

Some time ago I set out on a journey inspired by the ABC program  Collectors. That journey was one where I wanted to recover the toys, books, comics and memorabilia that had given me so much happiness as a boy. So I discovered eBay 🙂

I had carried with me for far too many years resentment that my few toys from childhood I had were given away even before my teens arrived away.

I decided to make a start in 2006 to search and recover those things I had fond memories of ….for what I  call “My Happy Box”.

The journey  began on the afternoon of the funeral of my Mother when I started to search in the National Children’s Home Harpenden for my House Mother.

Though I was too late to find my house Mother of over 4 years Sister Eva Brooker alive my project has been very successful and one that has enabled me to lift a long felt resentment I had for my real Mother. I

I decided to choose a special few of the items that would be most dear to me that I would only be able to grab in say an emergency

This is a close up of 25 items on the “Happy Box” display shelf Why 25? Well 20 wasn’t enough and it started out as 10

It contains my Bear previously written about in my blog.

My favorite Annuals books and some very special toys.

The first toy car I remember having (That’s the Yellow Land Rover)

My first book  ” The Story of Nicolas Thomas” “The Little Wooden Horse” and Emil and the Detectives (not in this picture yet )

From right to left:


It has an Express Dairy Milk float just in front of the bear. A Post office Telephones van I remember getting on my 8th birthday, an old pre 2nd world war army jeep, a Tanker like my Dad bought me.

Then there is what I believe was the first toy car (the Yellow jeep) I ever had…this was a great find

There are 2 motorcycles I bought with pocket-money when I went on holiday to Devon with the Cub Scouts…I cant explain the thought and memories I had when I found these

Then there is the green Racing Car which for those who need to know such things is an HWM. I used to play with this on the beach at Sandwich Bay Kent..near Dover. It  is also a Dinky Toy In front of that is an old Dinky Riley. All the cars are in charming play worn condition.

My first “proper” book I read was Jennings and Derby shire and this has traveled with me for ever  I was given it as has the little Wooden Horse which I used to read to my son Robbie

The Tiger Annual was given to me Christmas 1959 and I recalled all the pictures and stories when I opened it.  Obviously I was already interested in Racing Motorcycles as I  remembered the cover and the story inside to the letter of the story..amazing feeling.

The Roy of the Rovers Annual bought to satisfy my emerging interest in the great game at the same time

You can also see 3 of the aircraft I used to play with….Its treat to sit on one of the settees in my Den stare at my happy box and fondly go back in time:)

My 25 Happy Box Items


The next  shelf contains models of Motorcycles form a classic era of Racing and includes the programs of all the meetings I attended first with my Dad then with the lads from the Roundabout Youth Club Elephant and Castle and then from Riverside Youth Club Deptford…

Deptford is where  I am still known affectionately as “The Club”…That makes me feel good

Fuzzy Shot of Motor Cycle Books and Models

Motor Cycle Programs


My Records back in sight

Music has always been dear to me and as I expressed at the beginning of this blog when I found myself in Canberra I was in a cultural black hole. The household I spent 42 months in was musically as desert and my records were consigned to depths of  the Garden shed. Today they are back and accessible so more sun is again entering my world and  life is good.

That’s Tom one of my cats snoozing This room in 2020 looks very diferent


I do have a vast collection of CDs and Music DVDs more than seen here As  there was little interest in Canberra they were all stored away but today my sound systems are again alive to the air bursting and thumping from my Wharfdales.

I made the rack from some IKEA shelving and custom CD racks. There is a heap of Classical Music in there.

CD DVDs Collection

CD DVDs another view

Additional Storage

The original plan had been that “My Den” was just to be a dry manageable storage area but it started to take on other possibilities to “display then sit in and then be a place to escape to. So it became my Den.

With that I need to create another storage area adjacent to the Den and this is a series of pictures that show what I did from boxing day for 6 days.

I spotted some timber off cuts at Bunning’s but first I had to dig out

Line the floor with plastic just as I had seen Andrew a builder and a mate lay the concrete .

I then had to buy ready mixed bags of concrete and use a dustbin to mix it in. The last time I had done anything like this was when I was about 8 or 9ish and I mixed bags of Marley mix and laid it for our cellar in our house Hither Green, Lewisham London. My Dad used to bring a bag home each night and I would mix it and lay it

I built a ladder frame to attach the wood too and the rest was easy. I poured concrete around the base using a plastic dustpan as a sort of “Hod”

These are some shots Wooden floor laying

work in Progress

Cat Inspection

Finished and Polished

I also had to make a Wall Partition to seal it from the rest of the underneath Here you can see Rosa inspecting the work

In front above is the Den. To right of the picture above you can see the entrance to the other storage room I have just created. The cost of materials was just about 120-130 bucks.

Another storage room

This is another storage room that I have leveled the floor and covered with tarpaulin

2nd Storage room

Outside Yard tidy

My Christmas work was not done so a few shelves and a hanging bike rack installed

This gives you a better sense of the space in our Small back Yard In the foreground you can see the mixing dustbin 🙂

All of the above though most was packed and hidden away was what was once described and blogged by another as Clutter. If you have life have an intellect, read, listen to music, make things, do mechanics, have stuff have tools…you are going to have clutter otherwise I reckon you are going to be pretty fucking boring…wouldn’t you agree :)…unless you are deep down “Green” with envy

The back Yard and new bike racks

dogs and cats

Another project was making some basket homes for Ringtail Possums They are only little chaps so I am experimenting with these while they recover from lost habitat nearby

Possum stay on Rear deck

Here you can see some possum boxes installed for Brush Tail Possums. In Canberra I installed one in the back Garden of the House in Griffith (now sadly demolished) attached to the huge Amber Tree.

Another time a funny story I got stuck up this tree when trying to rescue the “big Grey cat Misty” and the youngest had to call the Fire brigade had to get the cat and me from the tree. How that happened is for another time.

This is a box I have installed in the back garden in Sydney

Possum Box


We have lots of it and here are some pictures of a Possum in Woolloomooloo one Sunday Morning when I am on my way for morning breakfast

Injured Possum

I have a friend who just before Christmas was looking after this baby flying fox. They require full on work but you can leave them for a while hanging upside down. You will hear much about Rabies etc Let me say this unless you pick one up you aint going to get bitten Like sharks respect the environment and you will be okay. In any event life is a risk

Baby Flying Fox

These are some pics of a rescued brush tail possum

Baby Brush Tail Possum Growing

Baby Brush Tail Possum Growing some more

Christmas Dinner Barbecue

For Christmas dinner we had a roasted barbecued Beef fillet I prepared it over night creating a marinade with Ginger, Garlic, soy, Honey, Chilli and Guinness. Look it was like this I saw a can of Guinness in the fridge and thought what the hell experiment….and it worked

I also did Turkey Breasts with a Mango and Passion Fruit Glaze

One of the other things I have rediscovered since leaving Canberra is very regular cooking. I have always described myself as a great experimental Cook but this was not received by a family of fussy children who’s Father I understood was something of a cooking guru …So my meager efforts not being in the same culinary league where not so well accepted. It was just another chip here a chip there at myself esteem. Any how I am full on cooking stir-fry’s Curry Grilling and it’s good to do. The environment I’m now in is encouraging, peaceful free of temper tantrums and adult petulance. “Hallelujah”


This was the Yule tide Chocolate Mousse log bought from a little Patisserie in Military Road

Christmas Log

Robbie my boy in Holland who has been in Holland for the last 4 years sent me these pictures of some Christmas scenes in Amsterdam


Amsterdam at night

New Years day dinner

Through a little app called “whats App” recommended by Robbie two dear old friends with whom I used to share a back yard in Darlinghurst found Me Krono and Anita were fantastic neighbours always inviting me to Tea Dinner whatever they were having When they were not doing that would bring me up to my New York type unit biscuits cakes etc. I was very spoiled 🙂

One day they went out and got a kitten called Alli

A few days later I was smitten and this is a picture of Roger and Alli together Often Roger would go down stirs to eat Allis food while All would pass Roger on the stairs and come up and eat Rogers food Both cats were bonkers

Alli and Roger Kittens

My friend and I went for New Year dinner I forgot to keep the camera clicking …too much chat

But this is the Salad

We had Snapper for main but all that was left by the time I remembered about a photograph were Fish heads


Here is the sweet which was a favourite of Broz Tito from the Northern Region of Croatia Hrvatsko Zagorje. It was made from Pancakes rolled with sour cream and sugar. It was FANTASTIC 🙂

Titos Sweet

To go with the sweet we had a Botrytis Shiraz from the Hunter Valley called Suckling Pig from a Winery called Piggy Peake

So back to some serious stuff and twitter

An ABC researcher Jess Hill was religiously pandering to Qatar financed bloggers to report their opinions on the state of the Civil War. That would have been fine but for the fact she refused to provide the other points of view . It wasn’t about “truth in repeating” as such; which is important but one about balance so one can make take informed position on the Libya War.

All I did was to challenge her bias and by writing “you are just being a propagandists for the Rebels and the Crimes of NATO. With that she threatened by accusing me of being abusive that she would block me. On contesting this I was blocked. So the distortion of the ABC news continued.

There are other examples I could cite where the “erudite” will make a statement and when challenged as comprehensively as 140 characters allow …….will choose to ignore. Am I that ignorant or stupid


Grogs Gammet is a classic example especially his piece on the Labor Party Reshuffle

Which after using my 140 twitter characters I wrote a fuller reply to

“New blood, new targets… hello 2012”

To understand the context you need to read the article

My Response:

Typical Greg Jericho Paragraph after paragraph of intellectual waffle with no real Political analysis or where “to from here”.

Seems Greg it is indeed you who “knows only the words but don’t know the music” It is notable you write almost nothing on the elevation of  Women in cabinet

social and community comment

Another  person that came to my notice is Damon Muller a Criminologist from ANU : In an article from the ABC Drum Mr Muller implies  arson is the major cause of Bush Fires. This is rubbish as we know full well from the fires of 2020. He blocked me from Twitter

Listen to this from ABC Drum

You will find it is thin, lacking research or any  substance and contains not a single piece of data…not even a snapshot or point of reference.

stupidIt is equivocal and is only supported by “feelings” .Muller  admits freely that so few Bush Fire arsonists are caught there is no real data and yet is happy to promote himself as erudite on the subject.

This vagueness of expression also makes it difficult to empirically verify the reality of arson occurring in the bush.

Why do we jump to assume “tabloid like” that when there is a bushfire it’s been deliberately lit? Fire has been natural feature of the Australian landscape for thousands of years and certainly before white settlement.

I found many years ago back in London as my Mother popped eucalyptus seeds into the oven that many Australian plants can’t germinate without fire and heat; they have evolved this way over millions of years. Consequently, fire has been a feature of Australian environment long before white settlement and I expect before the first humans arrived on the long journey from Africa.

Causes naturally must be many; strikes of lightening and tinder; the especially as it dries rots generates heat it spontaneously ignites. These are just a few examples of how fire can occur without human intervention.

Other causes I suspect are non arsonist like a cigarette butt. How I hate seeing in the city drivers flashing ash…I am sure without thinking they can do this when in bush land areas. I actually pulled up a driver to remonstrate with him last February on the Wakehurst Parkway for doing this

More causes can be sparks from power lines clashing or falling, embers from a campfire or back burning that gets out of control, the odd discarded glass bottle.

It’s a mistake to assume that because a fire is deliberately lit that means it was maliciously lit..think about it.

Over millions of years Australian fauna has and does need fire naturally to reproduce but it doesn’t need human beings to deliberately light the fires or be accused of doing so. Why then look for scapegoats…

Why because it’s intellectual mumbo jumbo to line the pocket of an intellectual snob. Get the focus right, but then without the raison d’être of “crime as the cause” the Criminologist wouldn’t get his Tax payer funded grant.

The bottom line is when dealing with fire and ‘arson’ then it should be obvious that it ought not be just a matter of punishing people for lighting fires of who are very few.

A land and environmental  holistic management plan is what is required and it’s time to extinguish the exaggerated myths about the scale of arson just to put a few grant dollars in the pocket of armchair theorists.

Bush Fire Engine


If you read my post on the London Riot you will see another ANU academic Rick Brown who got it all wrong. Again with the thinnest of knowledge about the causes of that upsurge of civil disobedience. Another criminologist from the ANU who obviously hadn’t done any research or preparation on the issue just “faffing” around with vague answers throughout the entire segment was interviewed on by the ABC.

Why give these onlookers like Brown or Muller oxygen who obviously haven’t done [empirical] research on social issues but just speculate

Chaps you might both care to read

Any way as Madness would say Fuck ya  Bollocks to it all 🙂

So 2012 progressed and many of the challenges were covered in the last post


A few outstanding issues remain from some of my drivers to create my blog and since Justice has been just one of my Mantras regarding the NATO strikes at pro Gaddafi civilians in Libya and the Occupy Wall Street movement

So that’s Twitter and this blog out-of-the-way for 2012


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