Monday, September 13, 2010
Gethsemane Gardens, Christchurch
I wonder how this delightful place, situated on the hill above Sumner, came through the earthquake. It has been a work of faith by a, now elderly, couple for many years.
We start a new week in New Zealand.
For me there are many challenges as we go to stay at Mum's. My week looks like this.
Monday, pack for x number of days. Shopping, lunch with Mum, and set ourselves up there for 2 - 7 nights.
Tuesday and Wednesday, at Mum's
Thursday, pamper day at hairdresser and pedicure using my Christmas and Mother's Day gifts. Probably sleep at Mum's
Friday, River Day at Hikuai
Saturday and Sunday at Mum's.
I'm thinking of coming home on Wed. afternoon to do laundry and whatever. It's easier to do some things in our house and if it stops raining our lawns need mowing.
We've had so much rain. The moat at our entrance has started to dry out but our lawn is still squishy. Yesterday morning it looked like a lake.
Yesterday I thought about going to Church but the rain was so heavy it wasn't hard to stay home. I really don't like driving over the Kuaotuna hill when it's so wet. A couple of years ago I would have gone and enjoyed the adventure. I find there are some things I can't be bothered with and it disturbs me because they are all signs of age slowing me down. I don't want to be like that. I don't want my age to become an excuse. After all I have a 92 year old uncle who has just returned from a month in Australia and is planning to go to Crete next year. And of course there is my mother who is well into her 96th year.
Age is not an excuse to stop living well and adventurously.
In the midst of our own disaster we did not forget the terrible tragedy that struck ed America and touched the whole world 9 years ago.
Copied from The Press, Christchurch's daily newspaper.
"Fire fighters remember Sept 11
Leaving a backlog of calls, about 30 Canterbury firefighters marched to a 9/11 memorial service paying tribute to New York firefighters who lost their lives.
Since Saturday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake, firefighters have put their own needs second to look after their community, Fire Service Acting National Commander Paul McGill said.
Many suffered damage to their own homes but turned up to work each day to help others.
But today they took time out - for just half an hour - to remember the hundreds of New York firefighters killed when the twin towers of the World Trade Centre collapsed.
``This is the most fitting tribute to the 343 firefighters that lost their lives nine years ago today,'' Mr McGill said.
This morning's service was held at Firefighters Park where a sculpture of steel girders from the World Trade Centre - gifted from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg - stands as a memorial to the fallen firefighters.
Paul Fissick, representing the US Embassy, transported firefighters from the rubble to the stations in the aftermath of 9/11.
Today he told of the New York firefighters' concern for others, a trait being seen in Christchurch in the wake of the earthquake. It was a ``spirit of selflessness'' binding firefighters and our countries together, he said.
St Albans station officer Murray Jamieson said they had received calls from New York firefighters.
``They are thinking of us and saluting our guys for what they are doing.''
The New York firefighters gave their all on 9/11, and while the circumstances were completely different, he saw local firefighters doing their utmost too, he said. ``These are tough times, but they are doing it.''
The service was organised by the American club whose members attended, waving both the New Zealand and United States flags.
The there about 8000 Americans living in Christchurch."
"SHAKE SURVIVOR: Iain Graham, of DOC, introduces Rickter the kiwi to Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson. A cute one on the Rickter scale, Rickter, the kiwi chick, had a shaky incubation but shows no signs of shell-shock.
Bishop exhorts community to pull together
About 500 people gathered in the shadow of Christ Church Cathedral, (on Cathedral Square), for a special church service yesterday.
Aust counsellors flown to Chch
By CHARLIE GATES - The Press
Trauma counsellors who helped in the aftermath of Victoria's bushfires are being flown into Christchurch to help earthquake victims.
5000 homes uninhabitable or exposed
Five thousand Canterbury homes are uninhabitable or not weatherproof, the Earthquake Commission says.
Arsons exasperate firefighters
By GILES BROWN - The Press
Five people lost their homes after a suspected arson attack on their damaged building."
The city is getting back to normal as best it can. Most people are able to get on with their usual routines. There are many homes which have to be abandoned. I guess a number of those people will be in dire straits. Others can continue to live in their homes but will have long waits for repairs to be completed. Some businesses will be able to re-locate, others may be gone forever or take up to a year before they can re-open. I'm thinking of the SuperMarket in Kaiapoi which has to be rebuilt and all the staff have lost their jobs although a neibouring SuperMarket has offered to do it's best to employ them. Most schools are open as usual although 9, out of nearly 500, remain closed. Halswell Primary School is closed indefinitely and 600 children are being re-located, hoping to get back to school by Wednesday. Road re-construction will be a major undertaking. A huge land slide, caused by bad weather near Kaikoura has closed the main road and rail for a few more days. This has complicated getting building supplies into Christchurch with long detours over the mountains.
I think the worst part for the general population are the after-shocks which are still scary although the frequency and strength does seem to be decreasing. There have been more than 400 and they continue. 400 earthquakes in one week! We have also experienced significant shakes in other parts of the country although none have caused any damage. The Earthquake specialists, Geo-Scientists are having a wonderful time. There is a lot of talk about even more building code restrictions and earthquake proofing recommendations. There are also warnings about the Big one we are yet to experience but of course no-one can tell you when or where. Very unsettling for nervous people. It is a good time to make people more aware and how they can best look after themselves and family and the media are doing a good job. They thrive on DRAMA.
New Zealand, especially Christchurch is coping extremely well with this disaster. We are a nation of strong people with DIY and 'get on with it' attitudes. We are also well educated and comparatively wealthy. We are a First World Nation. It makes ahuge difference to our ability to recover from such a disaster. Of course it helps more than we realise that we are not also dealing with loss of life. Property and changed circumstances are difficult but can be more easily adjusted to.
HEALTH, FITNESS AND WEIGHT
I'm still struggling to lose weight consistently. I'm more or less maintaining and have been doing so for months. There is a distinct pattern. I'm able to manage things best the more days of the week we are at home. I'm not so tired, stressed this Monday as last week so I'm making a huge effort to eat well and get in my walks this week even though I'm not in my own routine. Spring is here and the temperature is definitely more comfortable. I feel like getting out and walking so that's something I want to focus on this week too. Keep away from high calorie, starchy foods and walk each day.