It was more about the effect of the 7.1: it hit Christchurch city, and we sure felt it, but it was centred out at Greendale and fortunately given the magnitude and shallow depth the damage to people and buildings was much more limited.
Many of us regarded that shake as a fortunate escape, for Christchurch when we saw how many of the unreinforced old brick buildings were badly damaged. (It seems incredible now that demolishing the old insurance firm building in Manchester Street caused much protest.)
It was clear we had dodged a bullet. Of course five months later that all changed.
When February 22 hit Christchurch had had a rehearsal, and it saved many of us. We had emergency kits, we had the local well piped to the street, we knew the drill, and the emergency services and CDEM and government had much more concrete plans how to respond.
It was even down to the level of my partner and I having a clear emergency plan and having scoped potentially dangerous buildings on his routes around town during his working day: not spending much time in the cafe across the road from his work may well have saved his life when that building crumbled at lunchtime.
It wasn’t a disaster, but it’s an inadvertent rehearsal for one. an opporunity to learn like hell, for everyone.
And it will be pretty much a disaster for those who have lost roofs and other calamities.
Comforted to see we’re not the few who were perturbed.
As an aside, were any of the local MPs visible throughout this? One thing I find odd is that often the parties with list MPs are near invisible. That needs to change.
Woodburner with cooktop, gives heat, cooking and even some light. And I see one of the Ultra-Low Emission Burners (ULEBs) has two USB charging ports.
Living in an actively earthquaking area, gas makes me nervous, but we’ve caved and bought a double-burner camping stove for cooking outside (lighting the woodburner to cook with or heat water on hot summer days was not the best). Adequate drinkable water seems the key with simply-prepped or ready-made food and coffee and the means to assemble. Make sure the food is things you like, not just baked beans, because it’s no fun eating things you dislike when you’re stressed, scared and need a lot of energy.
‘So then we went to the cafe and had a coffee’ wasn’t my disaster experience – more ‘so then we were trapped at home by the broken bridges and roads’. For others there was no home because it was gone. . It’s impossible to plan for every scenario, and for a long time I went spare trying to foresee all doomy possibilities.
However coffee! Friend gave me one of these … https://m.catchoftheday.co.nz/product/wacaco-minipresso-gr-portable-espresso-machine-464352/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlbCYgqK92gIVUyQrCh3U0grIEAQYASABEgIRpvD_BwE&offer_id=10095961
NME for me was late 70s Christchurch, and The Face and iD were early 80s Wellington. By the time I got to London in 1985 I was bored with them – all too blokey in-group and not enough good music. Or maybe I was getting too old.
Slightly related, three weeks ago I happened to be helping son track down an arcane textbook at the Unversity of Canterbury Bookshop before term started, and I headed upstairs to the Law and Commerce section. Halfway up the stairs I looked down at the stair tread and 40 years disappeared.
By the time I got to the top I was expecting to see Tony Peake grinning at me over a few heads and his record bins.
Just so happens that Finn started at UC 40 years to the week from the start of my unillustrious but life-changing student years there. Another circle closes.
So good. Another circle closes and connections made.
As a geo-geek touch, here’s rockstar geologist Dr Mark Quigley’s map of the faults – our house is about 750 metres from the two Opawa- StMartins February 22 faults that packed near 2G of force. Dr Quigley’s media work, along with that of a visiting US geologist, through the early years helped me understand what was happening and the road ahead for repairs, rebuilds, and recovery for the city and for us.
Election: it was the most electionish election ever. Every day of 2017 so far has been about the election - the campaign started when John Key tossed a wild cat among the fat and lazy keruru of the National Party, so there was no let-up, even over the usually slow holiday season. From there it went from cray to stratospheric cray.
Most of us who have been involved in politics sat on many days with our mouths open and wondered how we would have responded to the bombshells.
1. Coalition. The election was about choosing the future or the past. Winston went with the future.
In some ways, this is the most MMP government NZ has had in the 21 years of MMP. Many of us dreamed of having a parliamentary system where parties who didn't agree on many things could find commonality in order for the best outcome for New Zealand. This has finally happened.
3. Inequality: the defining election issue in all its expressions in society.
4. Fees-free: a personal fave given I have two sons in the middle of enrolling for their first tertiary study next year. It will change their and their friends’ lives. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.