The Rurus - Adventure Before Dementia

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Month: April 2014

EVICTED HOMELESS SOAPBOX

How have we allowed society to become so imbalanced whereby some continue to be saved, at the expense of those being screwed?

Spencer Park made it into the press media over the weekend.

That’s because it’s currently home to a family living in tents whom were evicted from their rental property due to non-payment of rent.

It’s fantastic that the family are now on the ‘Housing New Zealand’ radar to sort out a more permanent residence for them.  I would hasten to guess that Work & Income New Zealand (WINZ and another Government Department) would also be involved somewhere.

That means the tax payer are contributing to assisting this family to get sorted and perhaps beyond.  Well done people.

Evicted Homeless Soapbox1 - Neighbours MobileHowever, full credit to the young couple who moved onto a site beside us three months or so ago.  They are deserved of extra appreciation for sacrificing their ambitions of home ownership for the sake of the tent family.

This young couple were evicted from their rental abode too.

No, they were not behind in rent arrears.  Yes they kept the property in a manner conducive to being at the ready for a spot landlord inspection.  Yes they both work and pay their taxes.  In-fact, they had nearly saved the 10% deposit for their first home.

They were evicted because of EQC repairs to the property.  Understandable.  Once the repairs were to be completed, the landlord was increasing the rent.  It’s market norm.

Evicted Homeless Soapbox2However, around the same time notice was served to vacate, the Reserve Bank changed the rules for first home borrowers to now require a minimum of 20% deposit.  Economic policy supposedly for the better of everyone.

This young couple could no longer afford to pay the extra rent and save the extra deposit amount at the same time.  Furthermore, any form of Government assistance is not available because they fall just above the thresh hold of being classed as middle-class ‘rich’ citizens.

Now they live beside us in a mobile home with open minds to save some more to get that first home.  Family planning too has been put on hold.  Where is the ‘richness’ in their situation I ask?

Oh that’s right, another two to three years of sacrifice to save their hard earned income, so that the Government can take a cut of the interest earned on the deposit savings.  That’s where the richness goes!

Evicted Homeless Soapbox3No one deserves to live in a tent as a last resort before becoming homeless to live on the street.  No one deserves to live in a mobile home as a last resort to save for their first home.  Those in jail or refugees accepted into our country so as to be seen favourably on the global stage get better living conditions!

What about the previous tent family’s landlord now disadvantaged through inconvenience to return his property back to a standard fit for renting.  Or being out of pocket for rent arrears?

Personal responsibility and making individual choices are two freedoms we have by living in New Zealand.

Or do we?

Hurry up Housing New Zealand and make good on the media promise of you finding a home to save the tent family.

Out of sight, out of mind so that getting screwed can carry on here at Spencer Park.

WHERE MOTHER NATURE TAKES ON GOD, AND WON

Easter time at Spencer Beach Holiday Park is not your average bunny or egg atmosphere.

EC9 - Fences and tents under constructionThe camp is fully out sourced to an external party to conduct the coming together of religious denominations to celebrate the biblical aspect of Easter.  They come from all over the South Island to take part.

Permanent caravan stalwarts are moved from parts of the acreage to either vacate the camp or squeeze in beside other permanents in designated areas.  Police checks are enforced upon us to ensure we tick off precautionary law abiding citizenship – otherwise you have to vacate.  Our designated area is fenced off so as mobility around our home is restricted to being able to come and go freely, although if you aren’t able to produce the ‘yellow’ wrist band at the camp barrier arms then entry is forbidden.  The only other zone of allowable access to are the urinals, toilets and showers commonly shared.

Otherwise, it’s total lock down!

EC25Leading up to Easter, traffic in and out was continuous as what was once bare land soon becomes tent city – similar to housing the homeless after a natural disaster or refugees fleeing their home land to neighbouring countries because of internal turmoil.  Marque tents are constructed for eating, socializing and praying – the largest tent can hold up to 3000+ people.  A Ferris Wheel ride, Merry-Go-Round ride and other fun park attractions were stationed to entertain as part of the festivities.  Orange coated ‘Team CARE’ soldiers parade the compound as security as much as in readiness to marshal the attendees when they start arriving.

For four days, Spencer Park’s population was to swell by 4500 – mostly teenagers both young and older.

Confinement for us was embraced.  Why?

Because for a small snippet in time, we fit into a system that has the atmosphere of one big happy family where smiles, laughter and conversation is uplifting and contributing.  It’s a happy place to be observing kids living life with purpose – living our lifestyle free from the realms of malls, television and fast food takeaways.

Everyone is equal.

EC32 - Camp site awash11However, on Thursday night as the hoards started to arrive, the inclement weather during the day had turned the access roads to Spencerville; to Spencer Beach Holiday Park; and to camp sites awash with rising flooding waters – knee deep in lots of places!

People not driving to the conditions ploughed into the water at speed causing a tidal splash to oncoming cars without fellow road user regards.

And the rain tumbling down did not abate as daylight became darkness.

Cars pulled up to drop off teenagers with their worldly ‘three-day’ belongings.  Anything without protection were at the mercy of wet and dampness.  Puffer jackets worn was the trend – rain wear worn was sparse – only the Orange-coated marshals were weathered up to the conditions – that’s because they were conditioned from being on site during the day getting hammered.  Some of the arrivals had already converted to bare feet if no gumboots were part of their packing list.  Anything else was bound to become sodden within the first few steps of leaving the warmth of the car.

EC22 - Camp site awash6Traffic flow was one way, our road frontage was used to exit the camp.  Impatient parents happy to drop and go left the road to drive on the green grassed field.  It wasn’t long before it turned the field into mud slop whereby convoy followers slid, spun or became stuck needing push or tow.

Some kids thought splashing in puddles was fun and it certainly looked it.  What they didn’t understand was that being wet in such a damp environment with the temperature yet to drop another 5 degrees invites the cold to sleep over.  Did they even know about hypothermia or were they putting their faith in the big-fellow up top to see them through the coming days.  Group leaders looked concerned but I wondered if they were just miserable themselves because of the rain.

The rain kept falling.

EC13 - Camp site awash3And then confusion started to appear with new arrivals.  Registering at the camp kitchen/television room had groups pointed in the direction to where their abodes were.  Re-turning back sometime later because tent sites were under water now had some err of panic presenting itself.  What is plan-b regarding where to get dry, warm and sleep for the night.  Grins were now grimaces.

It was the start of the end for the Easter Camp.

Parents were returning to pick up again.  Buses dropping off the out of town attendees were boarded to head to churches made available as temporary accommodation around the city.  Wave after wave the camp started to empty.

Full compliments to the organisers to effecting a continuity plan so as it didn’t turn into some state of emergency.

EC17We ventured out to socialize with friends for the evening, returning home at some un-godly early hour of the following morning.  By then, the camp was silent.  Only the Orange-coats silhouetted between shadows doing security watch.  I would say that for some of them, it was a long night.

The rain was now joined by a wind from the south.

 

By the time we rose to peak out our caravan window, the Easter Camp had been cancelled.

Although the place we call home was a mess, it will recover.

EC9 - Easter campers leavingFor the event organisers and the 4500 believers who made the pilgrimage, there were feelings of empathy.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature took on God, and won!

Perhaps a positive, Easter eggs taste the same … no matter the weather.

Nor who is in charge.

ABSENCE OF A SEASON – SORRY FOR LEAFING IT SO LONG!

Autumn 2014 ColoursWow, nearly 90 days have passed since the last entry on therurus blog!  That’s a whole season if you think about it.  And as fingers tap the keyboard, that is actually in-fact what has happened – a change of seasons at the caravan campsite.

The reverse of spring colour is now the colour of autumn – reds, ambers, yellows, browns and purples.

As trees continue to shed their summer coats, the leaf rake has never been so popular.  And given we back onto a row of Poplar trees, some of them had some rather fully laden furs!

Poplar Trees Behind CaravanBut raking isn’t a chore not enjoyed.  Starting in one spot and zig-zagging the ground our home rests upon, it doesn’t take long for green to reappear housing piles of leaves to look like an acne landscape.

A bonus is the thoughts that one unconsciously reflects about scraping the earth’s surface in the peace and solitude of owning the rake.  A cool breeze blows slightly, but the mounds hold together providing enough time to be bundled up and placed into compost bags.

Bugger, no one around to throw them at!

Autumn Leaves 2014Daylight saving has kicked in – what used to be 6.00am is now 5.00am.  Some sleep the extra hour of trying not to adjust to the new time zone.  I welcome the extra hour of darkness because that is when wildlife out here are at their best – bird songs and calls remind us of how fortunate we are to be away from the pollution of suburbia.

However, some sunrises boast the colour of cloud crimson.

It reminds me of that old saying, “Red sky at night, shepherds delight; red sky in the morning, shepherds warning.”

Piles of Leaves Ready For CompostAnother season is nigh – that would be the winter one.

And it started early this year, with a vengeance!

Time to store the summer costumes and get out our winter furs.

More importantly, I’ll try not to ‘leaf’ not blogging for so long!