February 21, 2016

Reflections on Christchurch

It has been over five years since we started having earthquakes... and the milestone for the September 2010 quake passed uneventfully.  It might have been bigger at 7.1 and it might have been the start of it all, but Tuesday, February 22nd 2011 at 12.51pm was the one that finished us,  or started us. I guess it depends on your point of view.  Whatever view you take, whenever talk turns to where we were, that is the one we remember.  The fear and the damage and the journeys home, and of course the 185 people who weren't so lucky.


There is a new video to commemorate the quakes : Children of the Christchurch Earthquake....

It would be nice to say the land had settled - but a decent quake last week and all the aftershocks reminds us it is probably never going to end.

Screenshot today: http://www.canterburyquakelive.co.nz/

Senior Lecturer in Active Tectonics and Geomorphology, University of Melbourne Mark Quigley lived her for eight years and wrote this excellent article after the Valentine's Day quake last week...The earthquakes keep on coming for Christchurch

Another great article: another shake in Christchurch, five years on - and how they are cutting the Mental Health Funding here! 

Six things Cantabrians should do in the wake of the Valentine's Day quake

1. Reach out to people: Talk to your family, friends and neighbours.
2. Don't stop doing normal things like walking in the park, working in the garden and grocery shopping.
3. Focus on the immediate good things in your life, but at the same time respectfully acknowledge the bad and don't deny the past.
4. Remember we have gone through this before and survived physically as well as emotionally.
5. Keep your activity patterns healthy and watch your diet - don't take this as an opportunity to "binge on chocolate or hit the hard stuff."
6. If you are not coping, go and see your GP.

Five years I guess the city is a confusing mix of progress, cleared land and new buildings, but also surrounded by places that have not been touched and houses that are still damaged and broken.

Facebook aerial pictures of Christchurch by Press.co.nz Feb 2016

Christchurch earthquake: Eerie images of city's red-zone, five years on

I have posted pictures regularly of the changes to the area near my house...taken by Becker Fraser Photos. Here are their Picasa albums of Christchurch 

Ours is just one area of the Residential Red Zone but this is repeated in many areas on the eastern side of the city. Thousands of people have been displaced.....and new subdivisions are everywhere around the city to create the homes that were required.   

Horseshoe Lake - 2012 - I live at the bottom of the picture - dog park top right
Horseshoe Lake 2016 - I live top left area - and walk the dogs in the foreground area regularly
 This one shows the central city -  the rebuild is well underway!

I guess people wonder why we stay. For me the reality is that there is no where else I want to be. My family, friends, work, home are all here.  My daily life is busy and I'm out most nights  exploring new places, meeting people and supporting the events going on.  I haven't posted on here much all summer - but we have had a lovely Xmas, visits from my brother, my nephew, Dad's 90th birthday,  family get togethers. dinners, quiz nights, movies, outdoor theatre at Hamlet and Wizard of Oz, Sparks in the Park, Cirque De Soleil, tubing at the Ashley Gorge, barbecues, get togethers.   And yes, the earth shook regularly at a lot of them!  

Tomorrow I will think about the start of our collective journey through the quakes at 12.51pm, and just carry on living with it all :) 

Kia Kaha Christchurch

December 24, 2015

Three years on and Merry Xmas :)

Xmas Lights at Shands Rd...

Three year ago I put this post on facebook...

I have had the privilege of three women being "mothers" to me in my lifetime. Yesterday I celebrated the birthday here at home of the one I have grown up with and think of as my mother. And even as we celebrated, the phone rang, and I finally spoke to my birth mother for the first time ever. Then last night, the one who I have often referred to in the past as "my other mother", who offered wise advice during some rebellious teenage years, passed away. All a bit surreal.... but makes me appreciate the importance of family and friends, Wishing you all a happy Xmas xx

Facebook brought it back as a memory today... interesting to read it again and think how things have changed in the last three years ...

Yesterday we celebrated my lovely mother's birthday again which is always a special day in the lead up to Xmas.  We thought of Elizabeth...

Yes, I talk to my first mother in England regularly which is lovely. I know so much more about where I come from now and have many photos of my ancestors! Plus I know I have sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews!  And no, I haven't met any of them. Life is complicated and things aren't always straightforward.  But its ok..... and although I cant post any pictures of them publicly, I can see them and I am glad I searched and filled the hole in my past.

Meanwhile my brother Alistair has been over from Vancouver  for a holiday and we have been able to catch up... distance makes it hard but we do our best! We celebrated Dad's birthday while he was here... he will be 90 next month so had to make the most of us all being here together.

Today I am looking forward to a lovely long Xmas weekend filled with family and friends here in Christchurch and thinking of everyone overseas that I can't be with.

Wishing you all a Merry Xmas xx

Here are a few pics from our recent ( early)  birthday celebrations for Dad. We will do it all again in January!
The bearded bloke is my nephew Blair and his lovely girlfriend Katie also joined us...

November 28, 2015

Farewells and Celebrations

What a perfect month it has been.  I love living by the river and enjoying the birds... there are babies everywhere. 

The white wisteria is out and the garden is filled with colour...

Its been a month for Birthdays...

I got to spend mine enjoying a long weekend and a Friday off work celebrating with the family. 

and then my friends took me out for a fabulous dinner. Westerley and Susan on the left, Beth with me. It was so good we went back again last week....

and last weekend, Jaz returned from a drink out with Mark on Saturday to find the girls had decorated the house and there were flowers, presents and friends waiting.  There is no way Jaz was turning 40 without some sort of celebration! The girls and Mark did a wonderful job and she was dumbstruck... 

 And as it is also their 15th wedding anniversary this week, Mark arranged for an eternity ring ... it's beautiful.

and many thanks to Graham for sending these wonderful flowers. He has been a great friend and supporter for the last few years to both Jaz and I.  

GB writes a number of blogs - and although he is not able to return to NZ at the moment, we still enjoy his posts from Scotland. Thankful Thursdays particularly! 

It was a perfect, fun, sunny evening...  xxxx

There were some farewells in some of the celebrations.  We had award dinners and a lunch for the last three classes with us this term.  So proud of what they have achieved but polytech seems very empty with them gone. My full time class - a lovely bunch :)  Im happy some are returning next year to do their diploma.

and they gave us beautiful flowers.. which I am still enjoying every day!

The part time class did dinner at Lone Star... my first visit since it reopened after the quakes.   Looking forward to them returning for year 2 next year....

and our Animal Management class opted for a picnic lunch at The Groynes, with all our dogs. It was a hot sunny day and we were glad of some shade and access to the river.   

Note the Rainbow Tail! 
Poppy was in heaven....

Its Xmas in the Park tonight - so  we are off to battle the crowds.

Tomorrow my brother is arriving from Vancouver, so its going to be a very hectic fortnight but it will be great to see him.



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