Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just finished reading #42 and #43

Unlike many of my friends I have managed to read since the earthquake.  It was as shaky start (excuse the pun) as it is very hard to concentrate after a major natural disaster but eventually I managed to pick up a book.  Having two good'ns has made my journey back into the world of words very easy. 
The Hut Builders - Laurence Fearnley

It is no secret that I love this woman's work.  She writes with perfection I think.  I am not a scholar so don't know if she is that great but her words, sense of place, characters and stories are enthralling.  I loved this book.  I suspect the title could really be anything really so don't be put off by the reference to the mountains.  It is set in the beautiful McKenzie country region and follows the life of Boden from the late 40's to the present day.  He is a very appealing character, self effacing, quiet and likable.  He does go up a mountain - ahh, I think I have just worked out the significance of that....  This is a book that requires commitment so stick with it, it is really worth it.  Beautiful writing and I own it.

The good daughters  Joyce Maynard

I read this one in one day and a bit.  I don't think it was the best book I have ever read but it was written in a style that made you want to turn the next page.  It was also one of those stories told by two characters taking a chapter each.  Those kind of books are often spellbinding.  Anyway this is how it goes...two girls are born on the same day to very different families in a small rural town.  their lives are entwined in many different ways and lots of good and bad things happen.  What I enjoyed was the subtlety and sophistication of the writing.  It could have been very bland and 'he said, she said' but it was delightful. Time passes and many things happen. This is such an enjoyable and interesting read.  No more information is forthcoming as I just can't bring myself to ruin a good story by telling you what happens.  For me the slow unraveling of a story is the delight of reading and the sign of a well developed story. 

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Everyone has been saying it and I am not being particularly original in talking about it either.  We have been overwhelmed by the kindness of our friends, family as well as random strangers.  In the first week when we had no power or water and a broken road, floods and liquefaction we rocked up to our friends with defrosting food, towels and shampoo as well as a load of washing.  We were treated with physical warmth and the luxury of a shower and being looked after for a few hours.  Going home to a dark house was weird but became familiar and there were plenty of positives.  Here are some of the people I managed to photograph over the first week and a bit.  If you helped us and are not in the post, doesn't mean we don't love you and your help wasn't hugely appreciated.
Day three.  An amazing family from Lincoln who just rocked up and started digging with us and our neighbours.  This is us having a flash barbie at lunchtime as our food was starting to defrost.  Two people in this photo are Rose and Robin.  Robin works as a teacher at Lincoln primary school.  They left before I could say thank you.  Lovely kind people!!
 Bob cat guy and his lovely team of kind and willing workers.  We didn't need much bob catting but he helped our neighbours and we managed to clear Margaret's place while she was at work.  Recovering from a broken neck, Margaret had limited abilities.  It was very rewarding to dig for her and to see her face when she got home.

 The Mounsey family who fed us and let us charge our phones on day two after a big digging day.  It was the human warmth we loved the most
 Vaughan the truck driver who offered to let us drive in his truck to the landfill to see where our silt was going.  Random and lovely.  Thanks Vaughan!!

 The Healing-Dalzell's.  Great night, fantastic tuna flan and Nic just loved hanging with the boys.  Having a  sleep over was fantastic for Nic and a nice break for us.  Thank you
 The Morely-Halls in Amberly Beach.  A bbq on the deck, a shower and you can see the washing on the line in the background.  It was so refreshing to be out of shaky town for a day.  Soooo kind.
 Random digger and roading guys who let Nic play and work with them for days on end.  So sweet
..and the people who set up a sausage sizzle from ENZED and Divine Cakes....we were all a bit shell shocked and dazed that day...my parents who hosted Livvies birthday day party three days after the quake.  They looked exhausted when we left....lovely Rangiora guy who stopped his ute and offered us  bag of loo paper...Ohoka woman in the black 4WD  who had muffins, coffee and water....the random guy who turned up on a digging day with a bag of McDonald's cheeseburgers...wow....AND the lovely woman who ran into her house as I walked for hours to get Nic from school on quake day and got me a pair of her husbands shoes to replace the very high shoes I was wearing......and so it goes on and on.  And on top of all that there were the emails, texts and phonecalls from our loved ones all around the country and the world.  Thanks for thinking of us.

Now that we are up and running I have been able to help too and it feels soooo good.  I had a fantastic day doing Welfare Response yesterday, helping lonely and struggling people with a listening ear, information and some confidence.  Loved it.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Well, one of the big things that has impacted on us is the silt ...absolutely bucket loads of it.  Now it has turned into dust, clouds and hills worth of dust, layers and layers over the house, the garden, the cars and in our lungs.  Here are some pictures I have taken of silt.
Day one Tuesday afternoon..this is our driveway and back patio

 It doesn't look THAT bad until you have to dig it up and see it piled on the road. 

Looking west day 2
 Early morning looking east day 2
looking down our drive day two
 Nic and Jonty doing the hard yards...check out the traffic
 Silt to the left of the driveway.  that big flat nothing much looking slick was 40cm deep
 Georgie loves it.  Yesterday the wind blew a lot of this away but still there is plenty.