Friday, December 23, 2011

Here we go again.... my, my

So two days after I wrote "It does seem the aftershocks have gone away", we have another day of sizable shakes. 
Our only aftershock casualty today - a little crystal tree
fell over and lost all it's crystals. (a different story for those
on the other side of the city)
We'd not long been home from Tristan's preschool break up. I was sitting having a relax on the couch when the rumble and the shaking started. We waited to see what would happen. It kept building in strength and I got up, wondering what the best thing to do was - hold the pantry and cupboards shut or find the kids who were outside, so safe but possibly scared?
I ran down the hall as it was still shaking and finally located Lucy outside. She was really scared. She said she was worried our house would fall on her, like the broken houses on the other side of town. 
The aftershocks kept coming. We had one that even while it was shaking had extra little judders within it. I never knew there could be such a range of aftershocks until the past twelve months.
We filled pots with water just in case we lost it but it kept flowing.
I was supposed to be meeting up with friends for coffee. We didn't know how big the aftershock was but there was very little damage at our house so figured we would go anyway. I had decided to bike, I thought it would make finding a park easier but it turned out parking wasn't the problem. It was the traffic. Everyone was on the roads trying to get home. All the people I biked past were looking at cellphones or talking on them. 
The cafe was open and now mostly empty. We chose a table near the door and that was big enough for us to fit under should another one come. We did this half joking but then the aftershocks kept coming and another big one hit - 6.0. We didn't leave but finished our drinks and our conversation - once we were back sitting on our chairs.
When I got home I found the 6.0 had knocked over my precarious stack of board games in the cupboard, unfortunately I had been stacking all the Christmas presents on top the games too. Now they were all jammed between the wardrobe door and games. I carefully rescued them reattaching the gift cards - hopefully to right gifts.
I was supposed to be going out for tea. I began to wonder if it would still be on, now I knew the malls had shut and there was liquefaction and power issues over the other side of town.
We did go out for dinner but not everyone could come. The people in the damaged suburbs stayed away. On these days it really feels like a city split in half. Some keep suffering and the rest of us are okay.
As I drove home at 9pm - two days out from Christmas - past the mall carpark that was deserted because the mall had shut, past restaurants that should have been full but were shut. Hardly anyone was around. 
I felt so sorry for the business owners. It has been one hard year. But we keep going - some day, one day the shakes must stop. 

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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.