March 21, 2011

New challenges

Thanks everyone.... had an interesting day trying to reorientate three classes in the dusty living space of a nearly finished relocatable house with no furniture. Such fun! At least it was sunny today and we often sat on the grass outside with the classes. The steady hammering of the construction class next door, the trains rumbling behind the house (felt like an aftershock), the steady traffic and sirens passing us on the adjacent road....  The distant golf club might have been a better option but at least we have bus access to this one for the students. My friend was worrying about access to a kettle for her night classes... as we stood at the "bar" in the kitchen, I decided we had our priorities wrong and coffee could easily be replaced with something stronger!

Knackered now.. must sleep for my exciting, early journey up the four flights of stairs tomorrow. So looking forward to re-entering the carnage with suitcases and backpacks.... apparently there are pickled embryos and tapeworms on the classroom floor which is a pain as I wanted the worms for teaching parasites. We also need the bandaging materials so it will all have to be crossed, slippery or not. I know my office is carpeted with text books and file boxes and paperwork, iced with smashed plastic light covers... maybe even glass if the fluorescent tubes shattered; I didn't look up again after sheltering from the deluge under the desk, so gardening gloves are in the bag. Might try and take pictures!

I hear that one of the lifts is cut open like a sardine can...  a lot of people were trapped for many hours in three of them, in the dark, through all the aftershocks. Makes the stairs seem quite attractive really, but when we consider how the stairs in the Forsyth Barr building pancaked down leaving everyone stranded we don't have enormous confidence in those either.  Our technician went up there today doing a grab session for her office and she said she found a restorative gin helpful afterwards... she was still a bit shaky. However, the engineers assure us the building is fine and once the clean up has been performed, and the lifts repaired, we will be back into our offices.  Most of the anxiety is mental and that is a personal journey we all have to work through. The whole city will have the same anxieties.

St Elmo's Court 
I ventured into the fringes of the cordon today, trying to find a way across the city to head North. It was like one of those mazes. Get quite a long way and then there was a cordon; nice army men waving me back. Up and down.. driving very slowly as I took in the scenery, jaw dropping, aghast.  Pictures are not as much of a preparation for seeing it as I thought they would be. A caricature of reality. It just feels so wrong, so savage.  I saw the Arts Centre, St Elmo's Court being demolished,  Cranmer Square, the trees lost in Hagley Park...I finally circled right round the park to get north. I would probably have cried but was just too tired and drained to bother.  It doesn't help.
It could be worse.


  1. I think I'd prefer being outside on the grass than inside. I know life goes on, but how the hell are you ever going to feel safe again? xxx

  2. I found your statement at the end very moving but even in all that seriousness I'm sorry Fi but I couldn't help laughing at your words "as I wanted the worms for teaching parasites". The idea of worms teaching parasites made my mind boggle!

  3. awww Fi :((((( HUGE HUGS.... poor sossage... tears welling in my eyes just reading this and feel for you because i can visualise all that you describe... xx


  4. What an awful feeling to be so helpless in the face of what nature deals us from time to time. You certainly make me more aware of what we could face when our 9.0 hits off the coast (hopefully not any time soon).


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