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Innovative FNQ retiree gives backyard clothesline a new lease on life

first_imgSuzanne Haslam has converted her clothesline into a shade house for her orchids. PICTURE: STEWART McLEANCOULD this be the Far North’s most innovative Hills hoist?A savvy Westcourt retiree has transformed a backyard clothesline into a special “shade house” for her cherished orchids. The idea came to Suzanne Haslam, a former nurse and local taxi driver, during one inspired afternoon at her Mann St home early this year. “I was in the yard with a beer in my hand and thought, ‘there are no kids around, I’m by myself, and this is just wasted space’,” Mrs Haslam said.Using her trusty 35-year-old sewing machine, she set about shaping the shade cloth material to compliment the clothesline structure.More hard work was found in removing the weeds and paving the area at the foot of her Hills hoist, a task which she took on alone. After two months of toil, Mrs Haslam put the final touches on the new shade house last week. It is now stocked with about two dozen orchids, which she said had responded well to their new environment.With some of the clothesline protruding from the green material, the Hills hoist can still be used for its original purpose. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days ago“It was a really big job, and I went through four sewing needles – but the old machine did well,” she said. “I walk outside of a morning to let the dogs out and think ‘wow, this has really made a difference’.“The orchids seem to like the extra humidity.”Manufactured since 1945, the Hills hoist is widely viewed as one of Australia’s most iconic inventions. Mrs Haslam, a widow, said she was proud of her backyard creation. “I put some photos on Facebook and people seemed to like it,” she said.“It’s just what an old lady does with her spare time.“My husband Keith was a real handyman, so I think he would have been impressed.” Mrs Haslam said she would be happy to pass on pointers to anyone keen on undertaking a similar project.last_img read more