August 24, 2014

Parties, mates, attitude and all that stuff

Having a great weekend - my friend Libby came over from Nelson to stay for the engagement party last night of Steph and Danny. its only been 10 years since they met, but congratulations to you both and we look forward to the wedding in the next decade or two :) It was lovely to catch up with lots of people last night - and capped off a perfect evening with the All Blacks winning the Bledisloe Cup 51-20.


Alex and Kirsty have been down in Queenstown skiing so the house was quiet...
Poppy has been on a diet - she has a new bowl to keep her occupied for seconds longer than it usually takes her to clean her bowl.

She then manages to make pleading eyes at my lovely boarder Katrina when she eats her dinner...




We all got a Winter Survival Kit given to us at work so before I left on Friday I amused myself decorating the "stand" of my computer screens with all the little stickers.. the cardboard boxes always felt a bit dull. I also have a set of pithy paper clips with appropriate responses - I think you will find I could actually cope with most questions I get asked or situations that crop up by just holding up a clip. Although you know I won't.



Unpleasant run this afternoon in with an arrogant man letting his two kids destroy the new rock edges around Horseshoe lake... aggressive and scary situation but really makes me angry to see people undo the work after it is finally done - we have enough rebuilding to do without destroying it straight away. It was particularly annoying after driving out to New Brighton yesterday and seeing so many of the houses now gone - huge gaps and emptiness everywhere.  The river seems barren and if it is ever to be a lovely network of paths and cycleways, it will need a lot of landscaping - and we really don't need people damaging it all!

I went out to New Brighton to get some water prisms - mine looks lovely in the sun. Bring on the rainbows.


Message me if you want one and I'll send you the details of where you can buy them....

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August 16, 2014

Birthday fun and the earth moves again....

Another beautiful day in Christchurch - sunny and warm. Nice way to end a grey and cold week.
Jaz and I car pooled from my place and drove across the city with Phoebe and Molly to the birthday party for Holly, her cousin Jo's little girl.

Holly is now 6... just two months older than Phoebe. It was good to see the cousins all get together and enjoy the sun... and a spectacular layered cake with so many vibrant colours....like a rainbow cake.... Love Holly's face when she saw inside it!



nom nom .....


Phoebe

Phoebe and Leyton

Nail Art fun...

Thanks Jo and Nick for a lovely day and Happy Birthday Holly.

Sounds like there was a good earthquake in town today centred quite near our house but we were well out to the South west of town and missed it.
According to Canterbury Quake Live Latest earthquake is #14259 being magnitude 3.70 (III) at 13.00 km at 2:51pm, about 5 hr 14 mins ago.
*660 meters north-west of Aranui, Canterbury, New Zealand
Fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty nine earthquakes.

MagLastShakes
704 Sep 2010 4:35am1
623 Dec 2011 3:18pm3
525 May 2012 2:44pm57
413 Apr 2014 8:36am479
316 Aug 2014 2:51pm3822
214 Aug 2014 1:44pm9730

Its nearly the four year anniversary of the first Sept 4 2010 quake.
What a lot has changed for us all - physically, personally, emotionally.
We try to continue to adapt and change and absorb the new normality but everyone is tired. Tempers are frayed. Fuses are short. Everything seems a little harder. We have to be patient and look for the little things that give joy, humour, beauty.

Robin Williams' sad death has sobered the world.  The demon's he battled and failing health have caught up with him and we mourn the loss of his talent and ability to make us laugh.  Somehow knowing that a large chunk of the local population here in Christchurch are apparently on anti depressants it felt particularly scary that so many people are walking a similar tight rope. I see it everywhere.
From the "Is Canterbury All Right?" research page at http://allright.org.nz/is-canterbury-all-right

The Disillusionment Phase
This is the phase where reality sets in. People start to realise how long recovery is going to take and the red tape involved. The length and severity of this phase will depend on the extent of loss and the resources available but it can last several years. 
Several things can happen during this phase. 
- People can feel overwhelmed. 
- There is unrelenting stress and fatigue. 
- Anger increases along with depression, isolation and loneliness. 
- There’s frustration, grief, hostility and exhaustion. 
- Financial pressures and relationship issues can emerge. 
Most people will negotiate this phase without the need for long-term psychological help but anxiety and stress can continue for a long period of time. This might result in people feeling tired and exhausted, being more irritable or having trouble concentrating. Some Cantabrians have nicknamed this “quake brain”. 

All Right? was launched in February 2013 to help support people through this disillusionment phase.
Reconstruction Phase
Good news! This phase sees people gradually returning to their regular routines and life ‘as normal’.



I suspect we will all be stuck in a lot of the Disillusionment Phase for some time to come !


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August 10, 2014

Weekend reflections and relaxations


Weekend's.. how I love weekend's.
And the sun is shining, again.
A chance to relax, reflect and appreciate. Have a lie in...

Go to the beach....


Last Sunday Jaz and Mark came over for lunch with the girls and Mark and Alex fixed a few things round the sleepout... while the girls used all the technology and Jaz and I had a chat.


then my parents and Kirsty arrived for the afternoon and dinner. A whole day with lovely people. Bliss.

It was also the weekend when we finally got to try the new chocolate - and can recommend it !


 We met at Strawberry Fare restaurant for book club this week.... great conversation and a dessert menu to appreciate - and we did....

Friday meant a quick business trip to Wellington - delayed by de-icing the wings as the southerly storm approached, memorable for the random sideways movement of the plane going up that made holding the arm rests necessary, and the lurching, falling sideways, floating and drifting sensation on the windy turbulent way home that made many people reach for their paper bags. Sigh.


Thursday August 7th - my brother's birthday - Happy Birthday Al :)

Winter makes a vicious comeback

Winter has made a vicious comeback, with gale-force winds and snow hitting the south of the country today and more of the same expected.
Strong winds with gusts in excess of 100 km/h were recorded across many parts of the lower South Island throughout the day.
MetService meteorologist John Law has warned that strong winds were set to continue and severe weather warnings remained in place for inland parts of Canterbury ahead of a front moving across the country.


Pleased to say it was all over by Saturday morning here and although a bit cool, we are having our second day of sunshine...

The day I went to Wely, Aug 8th, actually Al's realtime birthday as he lives in Vancouver and they are a day behind us... and was also Mark's 40th Birthday so we managed to celebrate that properly on Saturday... starting with a lovely family dinner  at Styx and Stones and then home for cake(s). "Uncle Mark" was very popular with the kids when the cakes appeared....later served with ice cream.



Caitlin made this lovely collage for her Dad
 The girls are growing up so fast.....



The Christchurch rebuild moves on slowly....
some interesting things about it this week were a word collage put together by Rebuild Christchurch on their facebook page asking people to say one word about Christchurch at this stage.
Please note that while everyone struggles with the practicalities of the demolition, the waiting, the insurance hassles, road works, traffic delays and the mess, it is still HOME.


 and there are still positive things to reflect on....as these words from the last 30 days of posting to their site show

I found it very hard the other day to drive to work down Manchester St past the final remains of Shooters. That night Rebuild Christchurch posted this picture of it . So many memories of the great nights at the clubs and bars on that corner - Shooters, Boogie Nights, Sullivans, Loaded Hog and Grumpy Mole - all gone.

Extra panful to know why they have gone -
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/eat-and-drink/cafe-chat/9010423/Nightclubs-to-be-demolished-for-park
Christchurch clubs Shooters and Boogie Nights will be demolished to make way for the eastern frame.
Owner Richard Bethune said despite Shooters being an "easy fix", the clubs would be acquired by the Government as part of the central-city blueprint scheme.
Boogie Nights is made up of three interconnected buildings, one of which would have needed to come down. If he was allowed to repair his clubs, both could have reopened.
"It's so frustrating. Instead of just fixing these perfectly good buildings, they're tearing them down for a park."

Meanwhile there are many major proposals being surveyed for the entire Eastern part of the city.

Locals - get on Eco Space.
https://www.facebook.com/evospacenz
http://evospace.co.nz/

Have your say about which proposals you want, or don't want.





I don't mind the rowing lake or the kayaking white water area at all, but really not sure about taking away our golf course for the site for the two schools :(


and finally - a wee thought to my friends Libby and Davy who lost their beautiful dog this week.
Running free from pain - but sorely missed.
RIP Rowan



"Vale -Fairbank Handmade Blue - 19.11.1999 -- 7.8. 2014"



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August 2, 2014

Spring-like weather


We have temporary and early spring weather - and warnings of 150Km winds tonight to look forward to, but three days of 20C weather has been appreciated by everyone. Short sleeves, windows and doors open, houses aired and washing done. Odd jobs completed - new gutters on - and Poppy got bathed...

and then she went to the beach... yes I know - wrong order...


We have apple blossom - I think it is anyway. Pretty sight in the neighbours house along the driveway along with the daffodils starting to appear.



and the swan babies were out on the water yesterday when I walked Poppy and Jess along the river


Only one month to go to the real spring - a wee taster of warmth to remind us it is on the way and help us cope with the cold weather still ahead in August.


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July 26, 2014

Stop Factory Farming Protest 2014 - marching through Christchurch City Centre

We had a brilliant day - sunny and an impressive turnout of people marching to get their message across, all over New Zealand.

The SAFE page has more details....
http://www.safe.org.nz/stop-factory-farming/latest-news/pigs/



Some of my students and my daughter in law Jess far left, with Poppy 
Realistically the need to farm meat is not going to go away, but a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act means that some of the systems need improving fast and the Ministry of Primary Industries is not doing enough to control the methods in use. Inadequate space for battery hens and the use of sow crates on a permanent basis  being two that need changing and quickly.

As well as marching for such a good cause, it was also interesting to walk slowly round the city centre, juggling camera, large sign blowing in the wind and Poppy greeting every dog walking with us!
It was a totally disorientating experience.  Many times my daughter in law Jess and I had to stop and work out where we were - the main landmarks have gone and we struggled to reconcile the old and the new. Empty spaces and new constructions are everywhere - and it is a while since I took the time to look. Usually I drive through.

We started in Latimer Square near the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral.  That is now on the original site of St Johns Church where Jess and James got married in 2006....

Pig Onesies were everywhere....

Poppy and Jess approaching the Town Hall in Victoria Square

Time for a spot of slogan chanting...... 

I should have got a balloon for Poppy... and check out those leggings on the little girl!!
We gathered in Cathedral Square for a bit more slogan and noise... which gave me some time to study the Cathedral more closely...





Nice new layout in the Square...


Jess nearing the old Strip in Oxford Terrace - Best way to carry our signs in the gusty winds....

Repairs to Bridge of Rememberance

A stroll through the container mall while market day was on

Looking to the hills and across towards the polytech - demolition and rebuild on the go
Poppy enjoyed it!

It made a nice end to the first week of term.  Relieved that is over too - was a bit hectic with two new classes starting.

In other news - Liam decided to do the Ice Challenge for Cancer fundraising. On a freezing night he managed all three buckets of ice water. I filmed it for him and got a hot shower going!
Well done Liam....

I'll leave you with Jess - in one of her many "beds".



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