Monday, August 22, 2011

Concrete and glass lifestyle crumbles

BEN Johnson's mind was far from the inner-city concrete and glass during the three and a half years he spent as an office worker in the Brisbane CBD.
He was thinking maybe of his childhood in a farming district near Wagga Wagga, NSW, where he had grown up in a big family with seven brothers and sisters.
Until he had headed north to experience Queensland life, Ben had always worked in outdoor jobs such as tree lopping, agricultural machinery maintenance and some general farm work.
He now admits he felt totally out of place among the business suits in the big city and realised he had to get back into work that would get him out in the fresh air and sunshine, and give him more control over his life.

IMPETUS for change came when he met Michelle Brush on June 12, 2006. The couple married on the same date in 2009 and have settled in Birkdale.
The husband is now the owner of a business with a rather catchy name, Hard Yards Landscaping Services and Property Maintenance, and he says he's enjoying life a lot more.
The business harks back to the many happy days when Ben joined his eldest brother Troy, working on farms near their Forest Hill home.
Ben also recalls how the brothers hunted rabbits and caught yabbies and fish.
Troy was the first to move to Queensland about 13 years ago as an air force engineer at Amberley; Ben followed him about six years later.

THE pair now share the "Hard Yards" tag, with separate businesses, Troy operating in the Ipswich district and Ben mainly in the Redland City suburbs.
A regular advertiser in the Classifieds, Ben has been busy during the fine weather this week handling a rush on quotes as householders have set their winter maintenance schedules.
Nothing – well, almost nothing – is as exhilarating as the whiff of dirt as the spade turns on a sunny winter morning but even the keenest home gardeners find some jobs too big or nasty, and seek help from someone like Ben, toughened by a life on the land and able to do the "hard yards".
His business specialises in fencing, lawn mowing, building retaining walls, trimming trees and other any other chores that need a strong back and an experienced hand.

TROY has added a Dingo to his machinery inventory but Ben still does his own digging.
As he digs his mind is now far from the city and focusing on the months ahead and a very important coming event. In September, Ben and Michelle will celebrate the birth of their first child.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in
The Redland Times.

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