Image of Kangaroo Island from wikipedia.
THE young couple who bought the butcher’s block that Misha Zivkovic made from Moreton Bay fig loaded a big chunk of his heart into their car and drove away.
The block was a labour of love for Misha, who is a retired plumber and sheetmetal worker and had not previously made "anything out of wood".
More than a decade ago, a friend gave Misha a rounded slab that he says was about "3 feet long, 2 feet wide and 6 inches thick". In centimetres, the measurements are about 90 by 60 by 15.
"It was a beautiful piece of wood," he says. "Suddenly, it came to my mind what I could make. I take about six months to perfect it. I make it with my heart of love."
WHEN Misha, near his 73rd birthday, talks of love, he needs also to refer to his birthplace – "I am from Serbia but I deeply love my home of Yugoslavia" – and how he came to Australia "for a visit" almost 50 years ago.
More on love: He and his US-born wife of 30 years, Kay, met on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. They have lived at Redland Bay for 25 years.
Twenty years ago, Misha slipped from a Byron Bay roof and fell almost 20 metres on to concrete.
Doctors said he would be "about 85 per cent disabled". He was determined to prove them wrong.
A physiotherapist told Misha he could rehabilitate if he could "take unbearable pain" from therapy and he went ahead with it.
"The doctor who see me after three years could not believe it (Misha's recovery)," he says.
HE has made two more butcher’s blocks. One is in their kitchen; he gave the other to a friend. The first stayed in the garage for about 10 years. An irregular shape, it had a steel frame with a tray, handles that doubled as towel racks and wheels. "It was very unusual – nobody love it like me," he says. "It come time to get rid of things that build up in garage. We put ad in paper. A young couple come and fall in love with it straight away." Misha told the buyers he hoped the piece would give them as much joy as it had given him. He designed the block for dismantling into three pieces and it fitted into their hatchback. Kay says the couple needed the handy unit for a tiny kitchen after they bought a house and were unable to "make ends meet", so they built a flat for themselves under their high-set house to get rent on the top. "What a sensible young couple," she says.
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