The Pavers Moving Project

I received a call from Stephen earlier in the week. It was a request for my help on Saturday. Perhaps I was having a moody day, I couldn't make up Steph's exact words but he sounded excited. Thought he told me something about moving tables from Pat's house to his. Well that didn't sound like a job for super Nix, I would probably pop up around 6am at Cloverdale where Pat is living his last days at his final rental place, slip whatever tables up the ute, drive down to Aubin Groove, where Steph's future new house will be and drive home in time to have breakfast with Albany.

That was what I thought.

On the eve of the project, we had another phone conversation. "Tables? What tables, I said pavers!" cried Steph. 

Damn. Pavers. That meant the excess material left over to build Patrick's new house at Caversham. The target location was not Cloverdale as I initally thought. Though Caversham and Cloverdale were suburbs that both start with the letter 'C' and have 3 syllabus, they were worlds apart, at least where distance was concerned.

"Alright, how many pavers then?"

"Many and I think we need 2 trips."

Gosh. I boarded the pirate ship.

I reached Caversham at 745am, after driving a short part of the beautiful Swan Valley. Joni and Stephen were already there. Joni told us each paver weighed 5kg and we did a quick calculations. Our worst fear was confirmed. We didn't have a volume issue, both our vehicles could probably fit up the whole lot of pavers if we wanted to. Our constraint was weight. We found ourselves already overloaded with about 1/3 of our capacity filled. That meant we would be required to make 3 trips in total.

3 trips weren't funny if you considered Caversham and Aubin Groove almost at the north and south tip of the Perth Metropolitian region. I made a mental estimation a single return trip would take about 1.5 hours alone, excluding time required to load and unload the goods. So I knew I would not be able to sit down for a meal with Albany until dinner time. Once the mental preparation was set, I focused on the mammoth task ahead of the three of us.

These pavers look deceptively easy to move

The future love nest of Steph n Joni

Ute helped out today
Moving these pavers was a back breaking job, even for a brick layer and a steel cutter. There were simply too many of them. In case you are wondering, I would have agree to help Stephen even if I knew what I would be up against right from the start. These folks helped me as almost-strangers during my early needy times, how could I not lend my hand as a friend when they needed it?

This couple had came a long way. Stephen always recited his story we were all familiar with. To be fair, his story was worth bringing up. Just a year before, he was so doubtful he could even become an Australian PR at all. He spent a few years completing his bricklaying course and managed to crawl his way to stay on by finding an employer who was willing to apply for a working visa (457) for him. Over the years, tried as he could, he could not find a way to get himself eligible for an Australian PR. As advised by Patrick and a few of us, as well as doing their due diligence, they decided to go for the jugular and send in their application. Before long they received the goods that their application were approved. From there, their worries and problems seemed to melt away and everything seemed to be falling into place. They managed to get a home loan to bid renting goodbye. In a few months' time their new dream home would be completed. In less than a year, the couple will be eligible for the Australian Citizenship. Stephen sometimes told me if someone 'uneducated' as him was find his way here and set up camp, there is no valid excuse for Singaporeans. "If they want it hard enough, they will find a way," Steph reckons. I'll leave you to think over what he said.

Steph told me about his regrets in life. According to him, he should have made the move earlier when he was much younger, he should have learnt financial planning in his youth. etc. The standards we Singaporeans set for ourselves are arguable but there isn't a doubt despite how he feels he could have done better in life, he has achieved much of a meaningful side of life. His remarkable story would not be completed without his wife. Joni was a Singaporean woman who gave up everything at home to follow a man who couldn't promise her anything and walked through years of uncertainties with him. You will not find many Singaporean women who are willing to lift hundreds of stones under the hot sun with their husbands. Such a woman is a rarity in Singapore these days. Although this couple would not understand the special meaning of the "You'll Never Walk Alone" that I knew, they had already live that motto without knowing.

They seemed to have evil designs on me for their next project, "Paving the exterior of their new house." Until the next time. Though I enjoyed the "5BX" conducted by CSM Steph yesterday, I will rest every of my aching muscles, including backside muscles, before the next one. Meanwhile, enjoy our project statistics.


  1. "If they want it hard enough, they will find a way."

    And never a truer sentence was spoken. Jia you Steph and Joni!

  2. "How to go about if i want to start working there? If you don't mind to share as I am thinking to go over. Looking for alternatives. Are you local?"

    Contrast this to the above message I got from a random chick asking for help to move.

    My answer: Why not start by typing something into Google first eh? The only easy way I know is to spread them m'dm!

  3. Mate, you kena conned, man.

    I know you owe him big time but honestly Stephen should have realised that this is not a quick job and even if you have misheard and tot this is a straight forward, he should have said something like "heavy work" and "long distance" just to check that you actually got the message.

    If not I cannot blame anyone for pulling out since you may have mistakenly underestimate the time involved and book yourself something for that afternoon.

    Some more, if you can drive a truck you may as well hire one for the day and although it may turn out to be a bit more expensive, but:

    1. you only make one trip and cheap for diesel truck max $120 one day rental, then car petrol money for the 546 km may work out to be around $70 - 80
    2. you spend much much less time on travelling

    But ah then wat r friends for? (to use and abuse ;)

    Now you can always remind them of dat favour you did for that siong weekend