Saturday, February 23, 2013

Anniversary #2

You may not believe this but this anniversary of the Feb 22, 2011 earthquake caught me by surprise.  I am obviously lucky enough not to have the anniversary of the death of a loved one on my mind, just the day the world changed forever.

Having joined my neighbour in putting flowers in many of the 100's of orange cones that grace our street, I kind of got in the mode.  Like most people in the city yesterday, I felt quiet and contemplative.  I wanted to be by myself to think about the moment, sit at my desk for the minute silence and shed a few tears watching the memorial on my computer.  It felt like a day of barely repressed emotion and quiet contemplation. 

Nic was part of a local event marking the loss of an important bridge that used to link communities that attended his school.  That school is diminished more than most with over 200 children moving away.  Jonty joined them as they performed songs and haka and sent flowers along the river.

One miracle happened late in the afternoon when we were contacted by the bank to say they had some money from EQC to deposit and where did we want it?  Thinking it was the $193 final contents claim payment I was pretty happy.  I did cry when he told me it was our 'over cap payment'.  Essentially this is the money EQC pay out to people whose homes are damaged beyond the 100K mark.    The shock was more about the fact that we didn't know we had been assessed and can only assume a very quick visit in June???2011 sorted that.  We had had a small foray into the world of EQC and were knocked back about June - July 2012 and were just getting ourselves organised to go in for another round and this happened.  It is a miracle.  Knowing the battles that others have endured, I am very grateful for this.

However, I understand the next bit, where you get your insurance company to cough up with the rest of the funds required to fix your damaged house can be pure hell and many before me have aged decades in the tussle between two giant purses.  EQC and insurance companies don't have a relationship, they require the 'customer' to be the punching bag in the middle.  Not sure how it is going to be but I am thrilled to know that my beloved house is being fixed not destroyed.  For all its wooden creakiness, misaligned bits and rotten boards, I love it and am prepared to be patient to get it fixed.  It is going to take many many years, this we know.

So, the anniversary truly was a big day for us and I know similar for everyone else in many different ways. It is the special bond that we share as a city and will define our city for my lifetime at least.   My heart does ache for those who have lost so much.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hanging with your people

We all belong to people.  We all have people who share our sense of humour, genes, values, gender or interests etc.  Being with people who are like us is warm and relatively easy.  Today I had a fantastic example of being with your people which made me very happy.  This may sound odd but I thought you might enjoy it.  I am an extrovert, extreme maybe.  That means I get all my energy from the world.  I love being with people, it doesn't mean I am super outgoing or particularly loud (although not all will agree).

Today three extroverts jumped in a car to go to a meeting. One (me) was changing out of her bike gear in the back seat as she was running late (head wind).  While doing this, she was also enjoying a very lively conversation and debate about how we were going to get to our destination.  No mean feat in this city.  At the same time we were having conversations about the price of beer and London prices in ChCh.  The two in the front are English so we launch into a whole lot of stuff.  We were also wittily  making up abuse to hurl at the woman in the green Suzuki and the old chap in the slow silver car. 

Eventually we ran a red light by mistake after waiting for a train as well as forgetting who was supposed to give way.  It was a very noisy, lively and hilarious ride.  We were all very happy talking at once, pointing in all directions, making smart comments and laughing a lot.  We didn't have to worry about being quiet, pausing to let others join in, worry about taking offense or making a mistake.  Just bloody good fun.  Thanks extroverts for showing yourselves and for being you.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


We have returned from our beloved Totaranui and so not disappointed.  As always a stunning holiday with all the ingredients we love....sunny days, boat stuff, swimming, friends and stunning scenery and nature.  Just so lovely.  I took a ton of photos that I think I will save for another day.  But I will share some photos I took that I hope are going to inspire me one day to create beautiful things.  Nature and its shapes, colours and textures.