5. Renovation Poetry with John Conran

In 2020, BlueScope repeated its successful competition for a VIP tour of The Block, giving one lucky employee the opportunity to visit the property displayed on the Australian television show. The winner was John Conran from Port Kembla, who stunned the judges with a poetic entry. In this episode, we speak with John about his competition victory and career with BlueScope.

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John's Winning Poem

The love of paint and plaster
Of wood with shady grains,
Of ordered tools and workshops
Is running in our veins.
Strong love of crisp-white finish,
Grey trim and soft downlights
I know, but should I dare it,
Renos are otherwise.
I love a stripped out kitchen,
Devoid of asbestos sheet,
Of holes in walls and gaps in floors,
Where rodents come to eat.
I love her little secrets,
Under the cupboard floors,
Old papers from the sixties
Keep out the draughts I'm sure!
The bright bare ring-barked cables,
Behind thick plaster wall,
The borer-drilled floorboards,
A broom will swish it all.
Stuck tangle of the brushes
Left long in turpentine.
Rainforest deck verandah,
With oil it will be fine.
Pain of my brain, my reno!
The budget never slows,
The mess piles up around us,
Off to the tip it goes.
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can curse again,
Re-roofing of the sun room,
Delayed now due to rain.
Core of my bones, my reno!
Planned before contract signed,
We oust the ghost of renos past
For bathroom and kitchen all designed.
Engage the hungry tradies, who eagerly quote the job.
Progress it is upon us, if ever they arrive.
So the jobs all take longer, than scheduled back yonder,
But the final result will be what we strive.
'Tis true the ranks of amateurs,
Will try their hand at plane,
To even out the timbers,
That run around the drain.
But if by chance a choice is made,
I might just turn to song,
On hearing my selection,
To The Block to do inspection,
And to chat with those contestants,
So I’ll find out what over the years I have been doing wrong.