Safe Harbour

 

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Well, a few weeks ago now, I “dropped anchor” in Quorn, my favourite town in the Flinders Ranges.  It’s been my good fortune to have the opportunity to rent my friends house, as they are now working and living in another state for the foreseeable future.

We’ve all settled in, well, as much as we settle anyway…..and it’s giving me time to catch my breath, and sort out things that have been long overdue in bringing into order.  The van has been getting a facelift internally, and slowly I’m getting her ready for a trip south of the border…. down Victoria way.  I’m hoping that in the meantime, fuel prices will drop, as at present they are ridiculously high.  Once again, consumers are being held to ransom by the movers and shakers.  Bring on the revolution!

A friend recently offered me his converted bus to use as a home, as he no longer has a use for it, and understands my situation.  It’s a very kind offer, and I have a few months before I need to make a decision on it…. however…. where to put it is the issue.

Even if I owned a block of land in town – or any town – council regulations forbid the living in a bus or caravan on a property, even if connected to sewerage services.  Cannot live in a shed either.  Only a house is acceptable.  I don’t want to live in a house.  I don’t need a house.  Just a base point.  Just somewhere to live simply.  As do thousands of others in this country.

And you can be sure that there’s many more not being counted……

I’m old enough to remember when people after WW11, having little money and there being still rationing and few resources, lived in sheds on their block of land, and over the years slowly built their house.  Somehow they managed to raise their families without all the mod cons, and they did it without having a noose around their necks forever by the banks.  Why can’t we do this again, or at least another version of it?

Tiny houses I hear you ask? Ha!  Not if councils find out!

John Lennon says it best….

I‘m sick and tired of hearing things from
Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
Money for dope, money for rope

No short-haired, yellow-bellied,
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
Money for dope, money for rope

I’m sick to death of seeing things from
Tight-lipped condescending mama’s little chauvinists
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of watching scenes from
Schizophrenic egocentric paranoiac primadonnas
All I want is the truth just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied,
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
It’s money for dope, money for rope

I’m sick to death of hearing things from
Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

I’ll let Thoreau (1817-1862) have the final say, via Fred’s Tiny Houses.

“If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man — and I think that it is… it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.  An average house in this neighbourhood costs perhaps eight hundred dollars, and to lay up this sum will take from ten to fifteen years of the labourer’s life, even if he is not encumbered with a family… so that he must have spent more than half his life commonly before his wigwam will be earned … Would the savage have been wise to exchange his wigwam for a palace on these terms?” 

 

9 thoughts on “Safe Harbour

  1. Tiny houses I hear you ask? Ha! Not if councils find out!

    Before I built a cabin in woods, I thought I better check with the county and township to learn what regulations I might have to steer around. So I called my wife’s cousin who was on the township board, who also happened to be our neighbor.

    “So how far into the woods are you building it?” he asked.

    “A couple of hundred feet.”

    “Setbacks are the only regulation you have to worry about… other than that, knock yourself out.”

    “No building codes?”

    “We try to keep things simple.”

  2. Every time I drive to San Antonio or the hill country, I pass a tiny home manufacturer. Thinking about it made me curious, and I found this article about some of the issues. The situation here seems as complex as it is there, with trade-offs everywhere, and a good bit of variation among townships, cities, rural areas, and so on.

    I could be happy in a smaller apartment — no question about that. The only thing that keeps me from downsizing now is that the view from my place is absolutely wonderful. I’d hate to give that up — even though I know some day I’ll have to.

  3. Hi, Being a hobbit, I like living in a house – a small house, not cramped, big enough for myself and my pets – and a small garden. I’ve never had to navigate council regulations about what makes acceptable shelter but the Shire of Mount Alexander must be flexible in some ways as our mayor lives in a tiny house.
    I think, in the future, there will be increasing interest in ways people can secure themselves affordable, secure housing which is different to taking out a huge mortgage to live in a McMansion.

    1. Margaret, he’s setting a great example, and I hope it gives heart to others to follow suit.
      While I do believe that over time public pressure will bring about change, sadly it probably won’t be in my time frame.
      I know that most councils are prepared to turn a blind eye to many situations – UNTIL a ratepayer complains, and then they have to be seen to be doing something. That level of uncertainty is not what I want to deal with at this time in my life – I had enough of that when I was younger.

      1. Ah, I’ve been caught out on making an assumption! Thanks for setting me right Margaret. Still, her actions make it easier for others to follow.

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