Wednesday, September 28, 2011


One of the things that I thought ghastly would be losing my memories, if I got something like alzheimer's when I was older.
I think of memories as a core benefit of life. Reliving funny events or even just tiny events that made up, my life. I love them and enjoy them in my head.
In Christchurch we have seen endless photographs and YouTube videos of the ever changing inner city landscape. I am a city person, I am not a mall person. Every day I was in the central city. Karl works there, we went there in the weekends to eat or shop or walk about.
I have been upset at the destruction of so many heritage buildings and concerned about what would rise in its place.  But I did keep telling myself they were just buildings. I started taking notice of buildings that would be repaired and thinking, it will be okay we will still have some old ones remaining.
But it was only last week as I drove past a part of the cordon again, that I realised quite what had happened.
This part of the cordon used to be a row of shops, half in collapse. Wood and bricks everywhere. Little bits of signage or a partial glimpse of a small section of still intact interior - a reminder of what used to be here. Now it is all gone. It is an empty piece of concrete stretching an entire two blocks.
I saw a clip on YouTube of a street I had been down many times but now one side is blank. Nothing remains. The other side is so familiar and though I try to dredge up what used to be opposite I can't.
I hadn't realised I had stored my memories in those facades. Now nothing is left, not a sign, not a piece of metal filigree, not a lump of stone or brick.
The memories are going too. There is nothing left to tease the thread to pull them back.
They are only stories from the past but people I have met starred in them and I had thought they were always safe inside my head.

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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.