Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reopenings and Reunions

The landscape is constantly changing here in Shakeytown, with the visual and economic aftershocks of February's quake. Just last week for example, I was buying my lunch at one of the area's landmark food joints - Sydenham Bakery.
They had only recently re-opened and, with access to the front of the building denied, they were trading from a temporary counter at the back of the bakery.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To be or not to be... a refugee

I have been calling myself an earthquake refugee for months now. To me, it succinctly explains my current predicament - through no fault of my own I cannot live where I want to... my own home. Even though I currently live a mere 400 metres from the home that I own, I am still a refugee within my own city, forced to flee my home due to earthquake damage initially sustained in September.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Claim? What claim?!

Just when we thought we were making progress on our September insurance claim after several weeks of inactivity, EQC made a surprise re-appearance in our lives. We received a letter to our broken home address which started, "We confirm receipt of the claim you recently lodged with EQC. We have asked a loss adjuster to call and inspect the damage to your property and report back to the Commission..."

Um... WTF? What claim??

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Love thy neighbour

It's fair to say that since February's earthquake, most Christchurch residents know their neighbours a lot better than they did before. There's a feeling of camaraderie in the air - we're now looking out for each other by doing things like checking on empty houses and having genuine, caring conversations with people that live nearby. Real communities are being established and strengthened, and people are reaching out to each other for information and support.

This morning our tribe joined with my mum and some of her neighbours for a BBQ brunch. When the kids were younger the focus of the day was firmly on the hiding and finding of easter eggs... but my two think that such childish activities are long behind them now. Which is kind of a shame really, 'cos I used to get quite a bit of pleasure from hiding the tiny chocolate eggs in strange places around my mother's garden. Still, it was nice to sit, eat & chat with family and neighbours... even if they're not my neighbours, they're my mum's neighbours and therefore part of the extended whanau. And it's kinda my neighbourhood too as I spent my teenage years in a house just up the street.

There are so many self-generated community activities happening these days. Our current neighbourhood, or our street at least, is going to have a communal garage sale next month which will be followed by a shared BBQ. I think I can find a few things for a garage sale - anyone want a piano?! Packing and shifting an entire household twice in 6 months has shown me just how much I can live without, and especially now the kids are older, there is plenty of stuff we don't need to hang onto. I predict a few heavy sighs as I sort through all the detritus we currently have in storage but it just has to go. We've even got an old Merc sitting underneath a bunch of boxes that we need to get off the section before the wreckers destroy the concrete driveway along with the house.

But even in these caring, sharing times there will be one or two people who go that little bit far... who go beyond the bounds of neighbourliness and start to become downright annoying.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The sound of chit chat

I spent significant periods of time on Saturday with two very different groups, for very different reasons and I can tell you they made very different sounds.

From mid-afternoon until around 6pm, I was working at the CBS Arena for The Wiggles concert. As always, it was a great show by the energetic Aussie performers - they were brilliant entertainers when our kids were little and they can still rock the junior crowd (& their parents) with energy that puts the rest of us to shame. And it was a great show for another reason too - after February's shake, the Wiggles donated all remaining tickets for the 3 Chch shows to local residents. Over 6000 were given away, with people waiting hours in the queue for their tickets.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Musical interlude

I've got a few quake-related music links building up so it's probably a good time to bring 'em out :)

My friends The Eastern have been keeping themselves busy making their way round the suburbs of Christchurch, playing at fairs, in vacant lots and in people's homes. Wherever they're wanted, they'll turn up and play, providing they've got a space in their schedule! Last Friday night they were playing at my friend Gazza's place... you can watch the news item from Metro News here... and then Sunday night they ended up double-booked (not a new occurance for this busy band). We headed down to the Gap to hear The Eastern that night only to be serenaded by Adam playing solo (which is also cool!) while the rest of the band continued their gig at Pomeroy's.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Benjamin Blue, QC

I've already started & binned two different posts... neither of them were particularly coming together and I know exactly why not. My world view is currently clouded by cotton wool and a build up of fluid in my cranial region.

Yep, I've got a cold. Hit me last night and has dominated my thoughts and demeanour all day long. Thank goodness for coldrex and chocolate! So instead of those other topics (which I'll get back to another day), it's time for another four-letter C word... CUTE!

Time for a kitteh interlude :)
^^The magical powahs of kitteh were powerful enough to drag home eldest child for dinner and a little one-on-one shoulder time

Sunday, April 10, 2011


If there's an upside to this whole quake sequence, it's that we're constantly learning about new things. Few of us in Shakeytown knew much about liquifaction before September, now our city provides a prime example of this phenomenon and many of us have experienced it first hand. Check out this video of a wheelbarrow experiment - liquification in action! That our land behaved in this manner did not come as a surprise to some... as far back as 1996 there was even a documentary that mentioned the dangers of liquifaction in Chch...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Random acts of normality

At long last the boil water notice for Christchurch has been lifted, which means simple things like brushing teeth and getting a glass of water just got a whole lot easier. There was another important step towards some kind of normality yesterday too - our local supermarket is almost back in action. Having been on the other side of the city for the last six months, we had been looking forward to returning to our local shops as well as our home suburb... only to find that our closest (& cheapest) supermarket was out for the count, temporarily closed along with about half of C-city's shopping malls and supermarkets.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sign of the times

At the risk of sounding slightly train-spotterish, I must 'fess up to a new fascination, an obsession almost, that has taken hold since the February quake. It's nothing to do with panic or escape plans, instead it's all about public expression.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sound and vision

With the red zone cordon being reduced in size some people have now been allowed back into buildings to retrieve personal and business items, which has lead to a couple of interesting recordings of February's quake being discovered.
First is a sound recording of an interview being conducted by an RNZ reporter at the time the quake struck.
Second is security camera footage of a central city street (via TVNZ).

There have been many other interesting videos and images that have been released over the last six weeks... here's just a few.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Now you see it, now you don't

There's a new game of hide & seek going on in Shakeytown these days... it's when you try and find where your local businesses are now trading from. It can be a hit & miss process that relies on phone calls, news items and advertisements to pin down new locations for old suppliers of goods and services. Take hubby's mechanic for example, he used to be just down the road...
Not any more! He's now operating out of a warehouse a few k's and a couple of suburbs over from his former location... but like many C-city residents we want to support our local firms and keep on giving them our business where possible. Last week hubby and I travelled in convoy over to the mechanic's new premises so the Beamer could get the attention it needed. I was grateful to be on my own during the 10minute journey because there was one stretch of road that made me go "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh" and "Awwwwwwww" many times in just a short distance.