Work was closed to students again for the week after the 5.7 and 6.3 double earthquakes last Monday. Staff were back up there on Thurs and Friday to clean up again but the office was not as bad as after February - although another request has gone off to get the filing cabinets secured to the wall! Classes return on Monday, but I am meant to be heading up to Hamilton for the Veterinary Conference. It was originally planned to be held here in Christchurch, but like many other things, this won't be possible for a couple of years at the earliest, assuming people feel safe to return then. Sadly the busy Convention Centre and Town Hall are both badly damaged and 150 people have been made redundant as a result. My partner amongst them. He has been getting some work until now, and has some other part time work, but like most people here, we are not planning any major expenses, holidays or purchases.
My journey on Monday will be at the whim of the airlines. Luckily I am booked with Air New Zealand who seem more inclined than the others to alter flight plans and to fly below the ash cloud from the Chilean Volcano, so we might actually take off. The irony of not being able to leave the earthquake zone because of a volcano erupting is not lost on us... and I can't say I am looking forward to flying in volcanic ash either! Hmm fly in the ash, or return to work on fourth floor .... It also took me an hour to search through the computer for the flight booking confirmation. For a while I thought the email request had gone astray in the February earthquake and I was going to be staying home because no one had actually booked me a flight!
I decided to start packing at lunchtime today as we have a busy day of visitors and birthday parties here tomorrow. Making a mental checklist in the morning, I realised a lot of my winter clothes were still in storage in a suitcase, so packing immediately became an exercise in exploring all these "new" clothes and tidying the wardrobe as well. The bed disappeared in a mound of riotous, black winter clothes while I sorted out a range of suitable attire for meetings and traveling and gala dinners. As most women know this also means checking it all fits.... is clean, coordinated and accessorised. Scott looked bewildered as he tried to keep track of the options; which heels, boots, scarf, skirt, trousers, jacket? ...... all so different from his packing which would involve one outfit for a week if he had his own way. Finally, it was all contained into one case, and although I have not met the goal of one small carry on piece of luggage so recommended, I have at least whittled it all down to a manageable amount. By late afternoon we were headed off to get the food for tomorrows party at the shops.
So far so good. Finally relaxing late this evening I decided to check out the hotel online... what is the room like; and does it have a hairdryer! A quick look at the confirmation booking letter to see what it was called and I realised I am only booked in for three nights, not four and of course the reception area is now closed and the booking online form shows there are only two-bedroom suites left for the final night. Have left them a message, and sent them an email and imagine they might manage one of these rooms, at a cost... and if not, I will be casting around for an alternative hotel. I might need one anyway if the ash cloud returns as sleeping at Hamilton airport while waiting for a plane home doesn't appeal much either.
As we cope with continued quakes, (7350 and counting) many of them quite sudden and unpleasant, but mainly the mid to high 4's, the thing I notice the most is that it takes us all a bit longer to do things and ift is really hard to stay focused. We get there, eventually. Just got to allow for this current quake brain and accept that mistakes happen, and things won't happen overnight, but they will happen.