Twelve days on and we’re struggling to re-boot normality here in Christchurch, NZ.
It’s not that we can’t function: we can, and very well. Our infrastructures have withstood this crisis amazingly. Our civil defence emergency response teams have been excellent. Our community has come together to help each other through – I’m proud to live here. And, miraculously, no lives were lost.
But it doesn’t feel normal. The shops are open. School’s back in. People, if their job still exists, are back to work. But there’s a nervous edge to it. I avoid large shopping malls. I constantly check where my kids are. I startle at every low rumble. I quiz my son daily on what he should do in an earthquake.
We’ve had 611 quakes in twelve days. There’s nothing normal about that.
On Saturday 4th September 2010, at 4.36am, my partner and I woke to the biggest earthquake we’ve ever experienced. The pre-quake rumble was terrifying. Freight-train-through-your-lounge volume. Then the quake hit. Apparently it lasted forty seconds. To both of us it felt much, much longer. How to get to the kids in time? How to calm their terror, keep them safe? How to stay on our feet until we reached them?
Magnitude: 7.1 on the Richter scale. Depth: 10km (that’s shallow!). Epicentre: 40km west of Christchurch. Effect on our beautiful city: devastation.
I once heard that if you don’t wash your hair it becomes self-cleaning in about four-to-six weeks. It sounded pretty good to me. Maybe I should try it some time.
The perfect opportunity arose when my partner and I embarked on a year’s travel. Nobody would know me while my hair was at the manky stage. Perfect! We flew in to Malaysia and the experiment began. No more shampoo. Water only.
It wasn’t easy. Hell, no. I’m a daily hair-washer. I went through Itchy-Scalp Syndrome and Read More…
On the odd occasion – you know, like 90% of the time – when things seem as if they’re going from bad to worse, or from worse to desperate, it’s good to know I’ve got friends who’ll help get me through.
Take this week, for example. It wasn’t enough that my Beloved was working out of town. Little Miss 13-month-old (aka The Destroyer) decided this was a good week to come down with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.
No, our ancestry does not include any cloven-hooved beasts. (Though I do have a devilish Read More…
So off we went. Our first tropical holiday in years. Our first ever as a family of four.
We coped with the 5am start. We mostly coped with the first six hours of our seven-and-a-half hour journey, thanks to drugs (for the baby, not us), an in-flight bassinette, and individual in-flight screens which Master Six loved.
Then the baby woke.
If you’re a parent, imagine your child at their very worst. Then imagine holding them in your Read More…