Down here in Christchurch, New Zealand (aka QuakeZone), 2011 has been unforgettable – and not in a good way.
Admittedly, that first big quake – the one that set off all the others – was in 2010. But this year we’ve had literally thousands of aftershocks (some, incredibly, more violent than the original earthquake). We’ve shovelled silt and patched up our homes and grieved for lives lost and kept going because, really, what else could we do?
Last weekend I had two glorious days of uninterrupted writing with Carla, my writing buddy (waves madly). We hid out in a holiday home near Queenstown, and did nothing but write. Oh, and drink the odd creativity-enhancing beverage.
Just as well, because it’s been absolute bedlam ever since; pre-Christmas madness with a capital M. And I’m left wondering, as I do every year, why we allow ourselves to get caught up in it all. The desperate stampede for just one more gift, the frenzied supermarket bun-fights, the manic Christmas Eve wrapping routine . . . And, as we do every year, Beloved and I swear we’ll be finished in time to enjoy a quiet Christmas Eve wine. (Yeah, right.) If only our kids knew the half of what goes into the magic of Christmas . . .