Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tell me why I don't like Mondays

We were up early to watch the Canadian Grand Prix. It was a very exciting race. Heavy rain meant it went a lot longer than usual so we were on the verge of being late but we decided to watch it to the end and what a finish! On the last lap Button passed reigning champion, Vettel for the win. We actually cheered and then raced for the door.
Last week I got a little sick of all the moaning in this city. Things are really hard for some people but it felt like everyday there were stories of someone being wronged. Were these really issues or one off strange situations? How many tradesmen were really ripping off EQC? How many people were going to be cold this winter? Had the big copper dome really been stolen? Hadn't it been in a picture on a truck of debri early on? I was finding it frustrating reading these half written stories. It spurred me to do my own helping to fix things I had been moaning about. On the Monday morning while working through my big list of jobs, I got an email back from a Community Board Chairman about collapsed building rubble that was still lying in the cycle lane on Lincoln Road.
I sent an email to councillors who had been taking up car parks all day at the local library because they were using a meeting room regularly with the council building still not in use. They replied within minutes thanking me and agreeing they could easily park somewhere else and free up the parks for preschool parents and the elderly.
I went to pick up Tristan from preschool at lunchtime, having got all the other morning jobs out of the way and feeling quite pleased with my responses from council people. I thought to save petrol and time, we could do the grocery shopping at Barrington Mall. It wasn't our usual supermarket but I only had a few things on the list and we needed to go to a couple of the other shops to get some things too. It would all work out well and I could tick a lot of the jobs off the list in my head.
The day was going so well.
Tristan asked to sit in the trolley which he hasn't done in ages but it certainly made the shopping quicker. We had only one more item to tick off our list.
The ground was moving and the wine bottles at the end of the aisle were crashing onto the floor. I stood, my arms over Tristan to protect him from stock falling. I realized we were next to some free standing shelves. Worried they might fall, I pushed the trolley forward past them. I swore and cried as everything kept shaking and I stared at the lady with her trolley facing me. I was not dealing with this!
Finally it stopped. A meadow fresh person, who had been filling the fridge, came over and put her arm around us.
"You okay?"
Then a supermarket staff member was there telling us calmly to leave our trollies and we needed to go outside. Outside everyone was on their phones. So was I. We decided I had better go get Lucy so off we went, feeling another shake just as I was getting into the car.
The roads were not too busy but then I met a line of traffic coming out of the city. I got to school and Lucy was fine.
"Why are you here?" she asked.
I tried to keep it casual about the aftershock. We knew now it was a 5.5. She wanted to stay and they were going to make noodles. I thought perhaps I could get my shopping after all. I decided to go back to the mall hoping to get my other shop visits out of the way at the same time. We Christchurch people know. that if you have a big one, that is it for the rest of the day, any future ones are much smaller than the big one. I pulled back into the mall car park, cursing the aftershock for messing up my plans and causing me to use up even more petrol. I found a staff member with our trolley. We got the last few things and made it to the checkout. Everything was loaded on the conveyor. The guy in front was on his phone and the cards he bought wouldn't scan. I tried to not be too impatient. I tried to look at the positive, there were no extra things this time. I had put a few non list items in last time but they had already been put back and I couldn't be bothered going back for them.
This time I was laughing. No way, it couldn't be happening again. I grabbed Tristan and ran through the checkout to crouch by the wall, away from any stock. With Tristan under me I watched lights in the roof swinging violently. I realized we were under a plasma screen and worried it might fall off, I shuffled along out of it's way - the building lurching under us. Finally the shaking stopped. That one was worse. A staff member calmly told us we needed to leave the building. I couldn't believe it had happened twice. We went to the car to go to Lucy. This time I wasn't going to leave her. But everyone was trying to leave and I was trapped. We sat in the car and it kept rocking.
"Are you doing that Tristan?"
"No Mummy, it is the ground!"
We watched the ground leaking out of the ashphalt.
I was shaking with shock and adrenaline. Watching the Grand Prix seemed so long ago now and no longer relevant. My list of jobs was knackered. Now all I wanted was to get Lucy.


Sweetp said...

I am so glad my kids came home from school/kindy after the 5. We were all together this time. Sigh. Its exhausting isnt it. Super big hugs my dear xxx

Fiona S said...

Yeah, it is exhausting isn't it. I really didn't expect that bigger one that's for sure!

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.