Empty as a pocket

I think I ought to change my name to MT Vessel – but then I might have to make more noise. Honestly, I am exhausted and empty at the moment, the stress of ‘guvmint he’ping’ me is telling. It’s a long story, but our local petty bureaucrats are solving Australia’s housing and rental crisis (horrendous and growing) by doing their best to see we join the homeless. Needless to say, I am doing my best to oppose the ‘solution’ they seek to finally impose.

I think we’re making some headway, but it’s a crunch time (deadlines they’ve imposed creeping up on me – all on things I cannot merely do by myself, all delays the housing issues in Australia, and the Coof upset of our society have generated.) It would have been hard before – this I believe, was supposed to be impossible. But then, I am not seeing it from a bureaucrat’s point of view. They will tell you it very easy. And cheap. And a great he’p. Keeps you safe all sorts of things, some of which have a better than 100 000 000 to 1 chance of happening, even.

It’s been huge efforts, wonderful friends, favors, nagging, begging… we’ve finally reached the point where the only outstanding documentation… is theirs. There are rules about how long they have, and what they’re supposed to do etc. – but they routinely disregard these — and if you complain – well, it seems Lavrentiy Beria had a hand in writing the regulations, and they can find something to make you regret that.) I’ve done what I can, but I am expecting the next petty trivia to be sprung on me, as they realize I may possibly survive their process (which I think is intended to punish for daring to question the value of this). The last time I got close to escaping one of their provisions, they suddenly discovered I needed a storm water drain, designed by a hydraulic engineer. My little roof is about 0.0007 of its catchment. There are no other roofs in that catchment… Just us and some wetlands and the sea. It would take enough rain to raise the ocean 100 foot to make stormwater affect us. So, as I turned in the paperwork for this magnificent effort at guvmint he’ping me stay safe me from this terrible danger late on Friday, when all good petty bureaucrats are out of office, I spent today expecting the next he’p. If not with this, with something else. I took what extra countermeasures I can, but this really is a David and Goliath scale battle. It costs them nothing. Win or lose, they have homes and jobs. If I lose… we’re living in a camper, and I have lost years of investment… Anyway. We fight on. I’m under-slept and stressed (oh yeah. And on Ambo call. The same petty bureaucrats are making sure the citizenry get me at my best, so they can he’p them too).

Which is really not what I need as a writer. It’s been a hard few years getting here, not helped my productivity. Honestly, my mind keeps turning back to it, not — as normal, the problems in my plot line, or character. Still, it is necessary to keep going. I usually manage to de-stress diving for spiny lobster – somewhat risky and requiring my full focus, taking my mind off other problems for a while. But my dive-partner had an ear barotrauma event, and while it looks like he’s on the road to mostly recovered, it means that is not an option. I’ve escaped into hard physical work -but that tends to mean my mind is still free. I’ve escaped in much loved books – but while this did inspire my Heyer fanfic, and it does help, on days like today it’s not enough. I find myself staring at the screen – thinking about… not the story.

So: when the well is dry, and the desert is all around, how do you escape and get writing again? I am going fishing tomorrow. I hope that’ll work. Or at least feed us.

Nil carborundum illigitimi. Nil desperandum.

13 thoughts on “Empty as a pocket

  1. Pray that you get justice. It would probably be wicked to pray that the bureautyrants get the justice they deserve.

    “May the Lord bless and keep the Tsar–far away from us!” might be appropriate.

  2. When stressed, I cope by writing, closing myself away from the real world.

    When extremely stressed, that all falls apart.

    I hope that those bureau rats receive the karma they’ve accrued, but only after they finally acknowledge that you do indeed have a beautiful, well built, home and that all tees are crossed and eyes are dotted, now go away and stop bothering them, they have other people to torture for being competent and capable.

    In the mean time, even if you can’t write, imagine. Visualize. I recommend an evil empire, and the few brave, good people trapped there . . . well, it worked for me. Still writing it.

  3. What you need to do is write a story where you can work out all your resentments on these bureaucrats. Kind of like “The Plague” a novella that appeared in Analog SF back in the mid to late 1960s. (I think Keith Laumer was the author.)

    Figure out a humorous way to off each twit involving some bureaucratic trap they use backfiring.

  4. Dave, I went through some of the fun you describe with the county here in Hooterville. I dared try to put up a shed. Good luck to me, the requirements are as you describe. Ridiculous, and no structure built before 1980 complies. That you can’t throw a rock without hitting a structure built before 1980 seems not to matter.

    But then I discovered that if the shed is on skids instead of rooted to the ground, I can do whatever the hell I want. Big, small, wide, narrow, tall, short, they have nothing to say about it. Insulated, plumbed, electrics, they have no regulatory power. Because it is “temporary”. It is “mobile” and therefore not a “permanent structure”.

    You can have little dodges like a quick disconnect for water and a big fat twist-lock plug for electrical so they can’t mess with you. It could move if one was sufficiently determined, and that is all it takes.

    So I have a big shed on skids, otherwise known as a garage. It was ‘cheap,’ (as in less than I could have built it for myself) it was delivered whole and dropped on a pile of stone I put down myself, and it is bigger than my old apartment in Toronto. I’m not living in it, but if I dropped it on a plot by a lake somewhere it would make a nice cottage.

    I don’t know what your regulations are on Tiny Island, but if the Townies keep trying you on that might be worth looking into. Sea containers for example are comparatively cheap and easy to move. Small houses can be uprooted and stacked on skids. Could get you the breathing space you need.

  5. Of all the rats known to plague mankind, bureau-c-rats seem to be the most determined and least beneficial to the rest of the ecosystem.

    1. “If our primate ancestors had known that bureaucrats were going to crawl out of the gene pool, they’d have written evolution off as a bad idea and stayed in the trees.”

      – Captain John Sheridan

  6. Seems to bra thing that’s going around.

    I’m not in a spot anywhere near where it sounds like you’re at, but work’s been very high pressure lately, to the point I pretty much just plug into games at the end of the work day, at least until the rest of the family gets home.

    Following a painted line at least seems like progress, even if it’s just watching the spectacle do its thing.

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