The Ruru's

T.I.M.E. Habits • Minimalists • Travel Enthusiasts

Category: Christmas

5/3/17 The Christmas Tree Is Up, Ho Ho Ho

Our days of living out of a back pack or suitcase have come to an end!

For the time being anyway.

During the week, we relocated back into our 80m2 abode after a month of putting the heads down at various locations.  There is something to be said about finding the contours of your own mattress or the smells of your pillow comfort.  The ability to walk naked when one wanders to the bathroom or to make a cup of tea under the cover of night is just a relaxed feeling.

Remembering to shut the curtains before turning the lights on is a habit to be re-mastered.  We will get there, ahem!

It too has been a month of backyard pace doing activity conducive to working our plan be get back to again adventuring this beautiful landscape we have.  And to eventually get lost in another’s.

Attending a travel expo does that to you.  Collecting magazines with images of hinterland and adventure does that to you.  You only need to affix one image of a destination you want to explore to your external fridge door to remind you to take daily action toward realizing it.  It does that to you.

But alas, there is a heap of work still to be done first.  In the now.

I have picked up where I left off with my previous employer doing family dispute resolution mediation co-ordination and Claire has picked up a role sorting freight for CourierPost in the evenings.

Claire has launched her Bookkeeping services to small to medium businesses.  I have launched my availability to be your Celebrant whether for matching people (marriages) or dispatching people (funerals).

Our mentor Jim Rohn says it well, “wages will make you a living, profits will make you fortune.”  We don’t need much fortune to travel how we do.  And our little piece of residence contributes to that, 80m2 of space means less dusting and minimal gardening.

Getting our belongings out of storage and unwrapping our possessions has been like Christmas.  Putting up our Christmas Tree (although artificial and who made up the rules to say you can only do it at the merry time of the year?) has been fun.  Placing the decorations reflective – the sandals from Vietnam; the figurines from East Africa; the turtle from Sri Lanka; the calendar from Egypt; the piece of rock from Mt Everest Base Camp.  Nothing artificial about these.  Just heartfelt reminders for us to stay focused on what has mattered most, collecting experiences.

An impromptu message via Linkedin yesterday from a couple visiting Christchurch whom Claire worked with in Dubai all those years ago, and becoming friends, was the best house warming surprise we could have ever imagined.  Having them over for a meal and converse about life that was, life that is and life that is to be, priceless.

These are the type of experiences we refer too.

And timely to communicate that we are back on deck and now settled.  Ready for those wanderers looking for a place to rest THEIR heads.  It may be tiny however, it will be homely.

Naturally, family and friends too!

Ho, ho, ho.

The Blue Feathered Angel

It’s been a long time since we were able to put up a Xmas tree due to living in the caravan.

DSC03533Opening up a box with some decorations resulted in a little juicing of the eyes! These are older than me as they were my Mum’s.

She’s been gone for some 26 years … however, I remember the Angel in it’s original form placed upon the tree when I was just a minor … some 45 years ago.

Speaking with my brother David Ruru about the decorations, he told me the diorama was one he gave to Mum when he was five years of age.

The beauty about treasures like these are that they remind us of those who aren’t here to share a day where the best present anyone could ever ask for, is to have them with us in their presence.

Accepting it’s not possible, just having the Angel back up in it’s rightful place some how makes it better. Gone, but not forgotten.

And next year bro, you will be able to place the scene on a shelf in your home.

I know it’s a little early, but, Merry Christmas Mum where ever you are.

Love Brent, BClaire, Cameron & LClaire

A Christmas Tree That Feeds All Year Round

Living a minimalist lifestyle in a caravan allows for creativity conducive to the space available.

Our Christmas tree is usually some tiny artificial thing that sits comfortably on a seat ledge barely 25cm tall, unable to have any of our decorations hung we’ve collected from the different places visited during our travels.  But it’s the thought that counts, and what it represents – a time of giving.

So for our 2014 tree, our impromptu creative juices turned to constructing an outdoor one.

161214 CT9With our young adult children Cameron and Claire, we ventured into the neighbouring plantation to collect different pine tree branch lengths, and some pine cones.  Laying the branches into a shape of a triangular tree, wire was moulded to affix them into position.


Another time was planned to complete the project, however, this was as far we got due to the bike fall and clavicle experience (refer blog post 050114 A Christmas Break Like No Other).

Christmas came and went.  Folk who arrived to camp had probably dismantled or discarded their trees already. Ours still stood skeletal, uncompleted.

291214 CT10 - Finishing the christmas tree, building the bird feeders291214 CT12291214 CT14It didn’t take much to motivate the camping kids that surrounded our caravan to be sitting at our picnic table smothering peanut butter onto the pine cones.  This was after a camping Dad drilled a hole for another camping Dad to thread the wire to hang them from the tree. And this was done after the kids rolled the cones in bird seed like ice cream being rolled in lolly chips.  It allowed for Mum’s to have some ‘mum time’ as we had fun being kids again ourselves.  Once hung, melted honey was drizzled over the seed, peanut butter and cones giving that glistening tinsel effect when the sun beamed.

291214 CT16 The whispers of joyful absorption were unanimous as the first birds landed to start pecking at the treat bestowed to them.  The numbers of birds and bird species have been plentiful since.  Other passer by campers and children stopped at the sight of the tree and birds dining on the hanging decorations.  Kids radiated expressions were just brilliant.



291214 CT17As the camp ground we reside at has now had the campers depart to open up the space of emptiness more, we will have the pleasure of experiencing a Christmas tree that feeds nature, all year round.



291214 CT18 Living a minimalist lifestyle in a caravan can come with abundance and thus, fulfillment.  Nothing artificial about that.

A Christmas Holiday Break Like No Other

The moment the mountain bike soared up leaving the ramp, I knew I was in trouble.

201214 CB4 - Clavicle break xrayInstinct unfortunately froze to let gravity do its thing … and gravity didn’t disappoint.  Having gone over the front of the bike’s handle bars, my helmet and shoulder took the full impact of body hitting the dirt track hard.  And the ground was unforgiving.

It was my last interface with a Project K student I mentor for 2014 and we chose to do an activity he is passionate about – BMX riding.  I was riding my mountain bike with clip in shoes and it only took a momentary lapse of concentration to change the Christmas festive season holiday break like no other.


211214 CB6 - Pending the operation1The arrival of the paramedics assured me that the lump in the shoulder was a bone split into two.  The ambulance personnel referred to the word “broken” in a number of sentences; and the hospital x-rays confirmed that I had indeed severely snapped my clavicle.  I was admitted to hospital pending an operation to insert a plate to re-align.



241214 CB10 - Clavicle repair xrayFour days later, on the eve of Christmas, the reconstruction surgery eventuated.





251214 CB15I got to encounter the coming and going of Santa, as I did BClaire and Cameron whom joined me briefly on the ward to consume their ham and cheese croissants, as I scoffed traditional turkey and cranberry sauce hospital cuisine style.


Ticking all the boxes on Boxing Day, I was discharged to start the process of time and heal.

251214 CB11 - Christmas Day 2014What a fascinating experience.  New friendships made over the bond of broken limbs.  Being pampered by a realm of brilliant caregivers at the push of a button.  The pink pills to make all the blues of pain go away.  My place of employment value my contribution to offer peace of mind recovery support.  And the number of face book friends who ticked ‘like’ when someone is hurting had me smiling.

Finishing off my Christmas shopping; working through as part of the skeleton team; taking our recently purchased second bedroom on wheels for a tiki-tour around the South Island on the stat days; playing ‘zombie’ tag with the child campers invading our slice of paradise over the holiday period; ramp up the fitness training so as to complete the Motatapu mountain bike ride followed by the St Clair half marathon – evaporated as soon as I went soaring up and over.

251214 CB16 - Christmas Day 2014It was certainly a Christmas holiday break like no other.

Camp Chit Chat at the Camp Urinal, No Dicking Around

Christmas day is always a day that for some reason lets the disciplines evaporate and allow for binge consumption of food and beverage to be entertained.  This one was no exception.  Hydration too was paramount under the blazing yellow ball up in the sky as the mercury started to rise and being given a carton of Stella Artois stubbies as a gift didn’t help matters neither!

What happened to handkerchiefs and ‘Blue Stratus’ after shave lotion as presents from your local pharmacy like yesteryear?

Cameron and LClaire arrived for brunch mid-morning to kick start the festivities and the juice of choice to wash down the ham and cheese filled croissant was a beer.  Everyone was conscious that not pacing oneself would result in some kind of drunk and disorderly behaviour quicker than planned, however, the temptation to say, “oh bugger it, it’s Christmas Day and I’ve earnt it” led into a second ale, then another.

DSC09009BClaire’s clan arrived for the main course of the day, bar-b-q chicken and potato salad; coleslaw and shaved ham on a bone.  Dessert was just as easy with strawberries and ice cream.  Beers took a back seat position as bubbles were corked, poured and glasses raised to salute peace on earth and goodwill to mankind.  By now the weather had done a complete one eighty with grey clouds shedding tears of joy.  The sides of the gazebo were affixed to protect from the elements and one by one, the party of revellers dispersed leaving four of us to continue on … or drink more if you didn’t get the gist of it.  I would also imagine that the same story would have played out across the lands not too dissimilar to ours.

Beer turned to red wine and red wine turned to Jamaican Rum interrupted by a cup of tea before positioning the body into the sleep position.  With two extra’s in the caravan staying over, it didn’t take long for the air to become stale and the feeling of uneasiness from a gut full of liquids to remind me of how weak I was not to keep the discipline of drinking in moderation versus binge.

At some ungodly hour, BClaire successfully navigated her way over to the toilet ablutions to be sick, why she just didn’t stick her head out of the awning door to chuck and let the bird life feast on it in the morning, who knows!  I too contemplated such when I went looking for her but didn’t and that was the mistake I made.  Like a barrel being tossed around in an ocean storm, my barrel was getting swirled around from the tossing and turning at trying to get comfortable so as not to puke.

Before I knew it, birds started singing and I had wondered if at all I had been to sleep.  I wasn’t hung over as such, more the soak pit sloth feeling, life around the camp on this new day would be a long one I was thinking.  Venturing wearily over to the ablutions again and standing at the urinals just minding my own business, doing my business – this three year old stepped up onto the step and went about his, business.

Catching him looking up at me, I returned the smile to hear him say, “I spewed last night.”

Shit, how much alcohol did he drink?

Camp chit chat at the camp urinals … no dicking around!

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