Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Technical difficulty 7.5, Artistic interpretation 3.0!

Today I am moving out of the Campervan and back into the Boarding House.  My room has been rebuilt since the earthquake - big thank you to the builders.  And,  I have to say, its not a moment too soon. Woke up today and forgot I was in the campervan. In typical morning daze I sat up, banged my head on the ceiling (only 40cm above me), and then rolled left out of bed...forgetting I was five feet off the ground. 

After some (quite spectacular, I have to say) aerial acrobatics whilst trying to find the ladder, - which included scrabbling at the bedsheets which were not tucked in so they came away from the bed in my hands, almost knocking the ladder sideways, and some yelling, - I managed to right myself and land (sort of) on the floor with only a single bruise to show for it. (Nobody could have been more surprised than me!)

Shall I try for the gymnastics team for the 2012 olympics? I think not.  

The space in question. It's not like I had a lot of room to manoeuvre, now is it?!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Omega plums

They are the best!  Enough said.

Ode to figs

Oh figs you juicy little things
You make my tastebuds loudly sing
Your squishy skin
So swollen brown
Your luscious flesh
I have to down
$2 each is just not right
For every delicious succulent bite
I'd eat you morning, noon and night
If I could.

Portaloo panic

Yesterday I had a moment of panic when I needed to heed the call of nature whilst at university.

To make matters worse, my body's call went straight from a casual 'when you're ready' to 'urgent - must go NOW!' Unfortunately our campus remains only partially functioning and I wasn't sure 1) whether any inside toilets were operational on campus yet, and 2) whether I could make it to them in time.

The alternative was to take advantage of one of the Portaloos dotted around the place - the ones strategically placed right beside the footpath so students walking past can hear every...outburst.

As my friend Natalie would say, "Oh come on!"
I'd even go so far as to add a Glee, "Hell to the No!" in there as well.

Fortunately, brow dotted with sweat, I made it to MacMillan Brown (no pun intended, that's the actual name of the library) and all was well - indoor, flushing toilets. Yay!  But it was a close one though, especially when I had to climb two flights of stairs to get to them.  Well have you ever tried climbing stairs with your butt cheeks clenched?!

IntentCity 6.3

Here's a look at life on Canterbury University campus post quakes. 

This is “IntentCity 6.3” our cafe on campus for coffee, chocolate, food and conversation. 

We have lectures in these big tents in the car park while we wait for our buildings to be assessed and made safe for our return. Not so much fun in 4 degrees at 9am in the morning, but as long as we don't get a hail storm or high winds we are doing okay.

You know you live in Christchurch when...

Since the 7.1 quake in Sept and the 6.3 quake in Feb here's a whole raft of 'You know you live in Christchurch when...' jokes doing the rounds out there. Here's a selection:

You know you live in Christchurch when...

  • Geonet / ChristchurchQuakeMap is your homepage
  • The rest of the country offers you a place to stay
  • Munted and buggered are official technical terms
  • You go 'pfffff' when Wellington has a 4.5 earthquake that's 40km deep
  • You see a nice park in another city and think it would make a good evacuation point
  • You sleep in one suburb, shower in another and collect water from yet another
  • When you drive on the right side of the road and no one thinks it's wrong
  • You are happy two Policemen came for a visit
  • When your bike becomes your best friend
  • You think it's fine for a soldier to be stationed at the end of your street
  • You see armoured vehicles driving down the road
  • It's normal to greet people with "do you need a shower?"
  • A bucket of sh*t is no longer that old car you drive
  • Every house is a crack house
  • Instead of rushing to the clothes line to get clothes in when it rains, you put dirty washing on the line in the hope that it will rain enough to clean them
  • Going to Wellington to escape earthquakes makes sense
  • Your doctor recommends having a few stiff drinks before bed to help you sleep
  • You know how to start and refuel a generator
  • You have tied the pantry, liquor cabinet and all the cupboard doors closed and it's not to keep kids out
  • You prefer to sit under the table instead of at it
  • You think electronics that have "shock proof" should say to which earthquake magnitude
  • You know and actually understand the terms and conditions of your House and Contents insurance policies
  • You can see irony in claims about houses made of "permanent materials"
  • Your en-suite has a vege garden, dog kennel and grass
  • Your teenagers are only too happy to sleep in the same room as their parents
  • You stop using the term "built like a brick sh*t house"
  • Dressing up to "head into town" means putting on a hi-viz vest, hard hat and boots
  • Discussing toilet habits with total strangers is an everyday norm
  • Wee boys don't get excited when they see (another) digger or a dozer - but all the adults in the street cheer wildly
  • Voluntarily staying in Timaru for five days seems like a good idea
  • You know what that extra gear lever on your 4X4 is for
  • Metservice includes a graph for dust
  • You have dust mask tan lines
  • You can use the term "liquefaction" in everyday casual conversation, even your 3-year old can
  • When a massive group of students appears in your street, you feel overwhelmed with gratitude  instead calling the Police. What's more, the students leave the street in better condition than when they arrived
  • The answer to where anything is .... it's on the floor
  • You smile at strangers and greet people like you're one big family

Monday, 21 March 2011

Furry friends

Hi, my name is Zorro. I'm the eldest. I like to stalk flies, sleep, and sit on laps. 
I'm Flash. I have a thing about shoes. I like them a lot, especially to sleep with. Mmmm...shoes. 
And I'm Lil' Fluff. I look a bit odd right now as I was hit by a car a couple of weeks ago. My jaw got dislocated and broken and now my tongue sticks out but I'm going to be just fine. My fur around my neck got trimmed in the operation to fix me up and I know I look silly. 

On ya bike!

With the roads munted from the earthquake, traffic is a little crazy these days even though the council is doing its best to get buses back on line. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Voila! My new cycle. She's even comfortable, sort of.  I had to have the basket. Had a one hour ride today and whilst I was huffing and puffing she did brilliantly. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Tour de France fit, 1 being as mobile as a rock, I think I'm about a 1.5 right now. But watch this space! In addition to being my new preferred mode of transport, my bicycle is also a WFD - weapon of fat destruction. 

Update:  As at 29/3/11 I have now cycled (grudgingly) 30kms!

Peachy keen

My sister is an ace jam maker but I'd never tried it until this past weekend. A neighbour with a peach tree kindly gave us all the peaches on our side of the fence and they were at last ripe for picking. With the help of my niece we picked enough to bottle a few and make the rest into yummy peach jam.  It was fun, even though we both managed to nick our finger in the process - same finger, same hand, go figure.  I'm on the search for more jars now.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Room in our hearts for Japan and Christchurch

This article from the Dominion Post today says it all.  We ache for Japan. Here in Christchurch we have some idea what they're going through but the scale of the Japanese disaster is mind boggling. Kia Kaha Japan.

If life is a tapestry

... then sometimes, when the unthinkable happens, we will be left hanging by a thread. Everyone I have ever known has contributed a thread to my own personal tapestry. Some are silken, some are rough, some bright, some dull, some intricate, some simple, some gregarious, some snipped too soon. But all are treasured. If there's one thing I've learned since Sept 4/Feb 22, it's the importance of these threads, particularly the one you grasp at when it all goes wrong. That person, those people, are your anchors. They are there to reel you in when you are in danger of slipping away. They lend you their strength to mend the holes. They are extraordinary, wonderful and wise, and very very welcome. In this moment, I thank all my friends and family who have been so generous with their love, prayers and thoughts during these past shaky months. My tapestry is richly detailed and brightly coloured because of you. I am so grateful.

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times

This may seem like an odd post to start my blog off with but we are living in extraordinary times. My beautiful, garden city was recently hit by a succession of earthquakes.  They began on 4 Sept 2010 with a sizable 7.1 jolt but we suffered no loss of life. This map shows you the shaking we experienced. Then, on 22 Feb 2011, some 4000+ aftershocks since the Sept quake, a 6.3 magnitude quake hit us - killing over 180 people, destroying parts of our city, changing everything forever.

Yesterday we held a national day of mourning. Many tears flowed. Many hearts broke wide open again. We needed this to start the process of recovery. During the service, our amazing Mayor spoke of the importance of giving meaning to the lives and livelihoods lost. That's why I've finally created this blog. To share with you how life goes on during our journey to a new and better Christchurch, to a better me, so that we may honour the lives of those who walk with us no longer.  Kia Kaha (Be strong).