Friday, June 5, 2015

Twas A Miracle I Tell ye, A Bloody Miracle.



Until the Korean War gave Post war farm commodity prices a rev up, particularly wool, my earliest recollections of an old Edwardian villa with a 12 foot stud, match lined and lath plaster linings, worn steps that a mouse could stroll under, not a skerrik of insulation and the sole source of heating a wood fired range with a wetback that was cold until lit in the mornings.
Oh there was an open fire in the front parlour that was only lit when rare social occasions warranted.

Clothes were reknitted from worn adult discards, cut down suits and other recycled garments, underwear was unknown until teens except for woollen singlets and the one luxury, good sturdy leather laceup boots.

An outside loo, that flushed thanks to the  previous  squire who had committed suicide from WW1 mental issues. and a cavernous bathroom with no heating.

And cold, so bloody cold, day after day of frosts in the double figure ranges.

The only lights at night consisted of a couple of wick lamps with glass globes for safety that we were shown to our beds with and there we stayed until dawn, for the kitchen table an "Aladdin"  mantle lamp that glowed white  when adjusted correctly and for outdoors a wicked lantern, all burning kerosene. Candles were never seen, banned as a fire hazard.

All changed when the Korean War made the Old Man solvent and soon along came electric lights when I was ten years old from a 230 v generator then Mains electricity supplanted that limited supply (No fridge, freezer, electric stove or electric heaters) when I was at high school.

Now I guess we had sniffles, mumps, measles, chicken pox, and the diet was  meat from sheep unsold and spuds from the garden, autumn dug and stored to be sorted through a couple of times through the winter and one veg from silver beet, carrot, cabbage, turnips and red beet.
Endless milk puddings, junket, custard, tapioca, rice, with cream.

The miracle was we didn't have mouldy walls, the house was aired, boy was it aired, especially in a Norwester or a Southerly, and I do not recall a single case of hospitalisation for illness.
Old people died from heart attacks, consumption and galloping consumption

One school mate went to Banardo's Health camp but that I suspect was for his Mothers mental health issues, looking back.

With the resources currently  available as to how to combat the appalling scenes from TV Ones Pimping of yet another poor family having a child die, originally it was suggested from cold, damp mouldy living conditions was so sad in so many ways only to hear later that the poor wee bugger had a blood clot in the brain.
In the ongoing shallow attempts to portray ignorance, dumb behaviours and plain parental neglect as "Poverty",  it does get this old survivor rather exercised.

Twas a miracle I tells ya, a bloody miracle, but we had Grandad,  Mum and Dad, they wanted us, loved us and no succession of uncles, social workers or welfare.  In later years my Mum was quietly proud we were not even under the Plunket umbrella, she did it her way.

12 comments:

Paulus said...

In England when I was a child - a long time ago- it was not unusual in the winter to find ice on the inside of the windows in winter.
Scrape it off with a warm damp cloth and open the windows enough to get circulation going - until the next winter's night.
Like you we had everything we could get - sometimes collectively as it was better to have chicken pox, for example, so every child around got it.

The Veteran said...

Pimpimg the poor is a fairly good descriptive. Years of exposure to the welfare state including inter-generational dependence has robbed many people of the ability to think for themselves .... said it before and I will keep saying it .... Apirina Ngata was right when he said back in 1935 that State 'welfarism' will destroy my people. You can argue the toss around individual cases but not the principle and the answer is not more state intervention unless there is a clear pathway forward to breaking the cycle of dependence.

Howie said...

You go on and on and on about that Ngata quote at every possible opportunity, as though it was the word of God herself. It was nonsense when he trotted it out, and it still is. It's a nice wee token for you though, innit? Key grew up dependant on state housing, education and welfare though, and McCully tells him what to think, so maybe you're right.

Noel said...

The child was from a Island family,

gravedodger said...

So Howeee, what is your critique on Sir Apirana's very perceptive prediction. If you cannot see how Welfare creates more problems than solutions then you need to read more.
As a caring society there are very few who will not give help and assistance to those who stumble or confront serious adversity but when that assistance morphs into excuses, removes any remnant personal responsibility and urge to get up and take charge of circumstances within a person's control, that's when welfare becomes the problem.
Sir Apirana saw that as a potential downside and had the conjones to say so while socialists such as yourself only see electoral support from such victims and that is the tragedy. Other than ritual repeated rejections of the prescient words of a true Maori statesman, give us your considered analysis.
Then you are a disciple of the Harawira solutions and as such you might be able to shed light on where exactly the bag of cash the Kraut gave the Ngapui embarrassment
is currently as the electoral returns are a rather inadequate source of information.


Noel, we are all "Islanders", New Zealand is a nation of Pacific Islands.
Ignorance and neglect of children are not racially specific but then you are the expert, check your pressure.

Noel said...

Fudging old man.
Sir Apirana was talking about Maori.

Howie said...

"If you cannot see how Welfare creates more problems than solutions then you need to read more."

State assistance has helped untold people out of poverty and on to better things. Bennett and Key, for instance, are two individuals who have enjoyed it to a substantial extent. You're simply flat out wrong, as usual. Ngata was wrong too, but he didn't have 80 years of facts staring him in the face like you do.

The Veteran said...

Noel/Howie ... it matters not that Ngata was talking about Maori. If you can't see his point then more fool you adf if you think there is no such thing as a 'dependency trap' then I can't help you. Mind you, I understand completely why socialists prefer handouts of handups ... it enables them to control an important component of their voting demographic. Pimping on the poor is a pretty good descriptive for your way of looking at the problem.

Howie said...

"Pimping on the poor is a pretty good descriptive for your way of looking at the problem."

Only if wanting to slash welfare in order to give massive tax cuts to your rich chums is a pretty good descriptive for your way of looking at it. Anyway, you're still wrong. State assistance has helped millions of New Zealanders to a better life, including most of the current Cabinet. Fair enough that you hate seeing people succeed, but you can't deny it.

gravedodger said...

I wonder what part of the raising of benefits by $25 pw in the face of seriously challenging economic conditions created in no small part by the irresponsible management of the best decade of export income since the post WW2 boom, by the socialists.
A first raising of such assistance above inflation since 1972 and who did that mean spirited action, why non other than those "always looking after their rich mates" The Nasty National Party.
Not those ever caring "looklng after the poor" luverly socialists who spent gazillions on expanding the wealth absorbing public service while ignoring the so called poor in need.

The Veteran said...

Howie ... read what I say please. I am not against State assistance per sa. What I am against is a culture of State dependence ... but I guess the nuance is lost on you.

BTW ... you can trash Ngata all you will. The reality is that he will be remembered long after you have shuffled off stage left still waiting for the socialist nirvina that never comes.

Howie said...

"I am not against State assistance per sa. What I am against is a culture of State dependence"

That's a completely meaningless slogan. Outline exactly what policy prescriptions you would have to change this claimed culture. Does it include the extra $25 per week for the "welfare queens" your chums just agreed to chuck in the pot? Ngata would be appalled!