Hoarding is a skill.

There is no denying it, my dad is a hoarder. Some have even suggested that despite him not being my birth father, I have inherited the hoarding gene. But you see hoarding is like the dark side and for every dark side there is a light and that is innovation and recycling.

I can always remember Allen recycling, even though I was too young to even understand the concept then. We had a beach shack on Curtis Island, and Allen built a home made hot water system running off the fire at the back, which was replaced by a home made solar hot water system. But the one that sticks in my mind was the back shed.

Completely built over about ten years from timber and steel salvaged off the beach and from the local dump, it was almost complete. All it needed was a tin roof, but no one at The Island was feeling particularly wasteful so Allen bought some new tin in town. Considering it had taken ten years to build at this stage, while he'd waited for materials to be washed up or dumped, this caused many jokes to be told at family dinners at his expense.

This was back in the days before The Island had a barge and the tin was too big to safely put in the boat so it was strapped to the little dingy and towed over behind us. We went a dead low when there is less swell but once we got through the gut it got a bit choppy. We were almost there when disaster struck, a rogue wave hit the dingy, flipped it over and all the tin slid off and down to the bottom of the harbor.

It wasn't until about a month later when Allen found a bunch of used tin at the dump that we were able to make jokes about the shed not wanting anything new to be added to it.

Mum and Allen have been down here helping us with the baby and Allen couldn't help himself. He had picked up some clamshell kids baths off the side of the road on the way down where they had been dumped or blown off a trailer. Perfect for cow troughs. He'd also spied some old guttering that had been replaced where one end had rusted out. A days work and he had rigged it up so that the drain that runs under the driveway and down the hill is now diverted into a water trough for the cows. Genius. Anyone else would have driven past those baths as junk, or tossed out that gutter. Allen wouldn't and I hadn't thrown that gutter out cause I knew I'd find a use for it.

Now all I need is to find a second hand tank of some sort so I can store the water and rig up a float switch. Maybe I'll go for a drive.