Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Behaviours picked up from a year of aftershocks

Building being rebuilt in Lyttelton
Almost 12 months since February 22nd, 18 months since Sept 4th and I hate having the kitchen cupboards open, especially the one with all the plates and glasses in. It is a tall cupboard and the one we put strong magnets on, after the June quakes, to help keep it shut. The shelves have never fallen in our cupboards and nothing has broken. But I hate having them open, in case a quake hits. It will seem careless, if we lose stuff now, having gone through this far and lost so few breakable items. Doing the dishes is always a little stressful with them open to put everything away.
The only time stuff fell out of the pantry was when it was open during quite a big aftershock, I think in October or November 2010. If I sit down to dinner and realise the cupboards or pantry are open, I pop up to shut them - because you never know. It seems stupid, paranoid and ridiculous. But it is, I think, about gaining control over the uncontrollable and I don't feel so silly now because I found out other people have their rituals too. Recently someone admitted that every time they empty the kettle, they refill it and boil it. They know it is unnecessary but they like having a kettle full of water.... just in case.
I always have the ipod under the pillow and listen to podcasts to go to sleep. The first night I did that was Feb 22 - when I listened pretty much all night since sleep was hard to come by. Now I feel a bit exposed without it. I need it to go to sleep, it means I am thinking about other things - comedy from the UK or funny life stories from people in the USA.
There was a 4.0 aftershock quake the other night at around 10pm Lucy woke up really crying, not knowing why she was so upset. It took quite awhile to calm her down. I thought we would all be emotionally fine by now. We thought our kids were coping well but I am not sure anymore what is going on in their heads, but we keeping living and laughing.
We were sitting on the couches a few days ago when there was a long rumble.  We've had aftershocks with no shake and I thought it was one of those and then it started to shake. It did scare me because I thought if the rumble was that long what will the shake be like? But then it stopped, after it shook the TV. Lucy said yesterday, "You know those aftershocks that go like this," and made a particular noise to try to describe the shaking - even a six year old is distinguishing differences between them.
Anyway, life for the most part is so normal for us compared to other people living in this same city.

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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.