We had a pleasant day. It began drizzly and grey but we did the washing anyway and the day gradually cleared, the sun came out, a breeze came up and the washing dried, all 8 loads. There are still a few loads to do tomorrow. Some are small, separating colours and fluffy towels and so on. We brought back into the house bits and pieces as we realised we needed them here rather than in the bus.
In between times I kept up with Blogs, leaving a Christmas message as often as I could remember. I’m sorry if I missed yours out. I do hope you too have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. After lunch I finished sorting and labelling the gifts and did a few other fiddly Christmassy things. It was mid afternoon before we went into town for a few forgotten things, (cream for the pavlova), filled the car and the can for the lawnmower with petrol. We stopped to visit Mum and leave all the gifts under her Christmas tree. I think there is a gathering tomorrow evening so the two great grandchildren, visiting from Bali, can share gift giving from under Mum’s tree before going to the Christmas House which is 3 doors down.
We arrived home in time to catch the TV news and were stunned to see Christchurch had a series of earthquakes this afternoon. Two were destructive. We’ve been in touch with family and they are somewhat shaken. Things were beginning to settle down and now it’s like going back to the beginning again as far as insurance and inspections go. All this in the middle of a shopping day. All the buildings will have to be checked and approved to open for tomorrow, Christmas Eve. Shattering for some people. There is liquifaction in the streets again, more cliffs have crumbled and at least one broken sewer. Roads which were bumpy but repaired now have big cracks. One wonders how much more these people can take.
Again the south west area of the city is able to continue as though nothing has happened.
I was checking the earthquake site earlier and there have been more than 9300 quakes in 15 months. Several have done serious damage including the February one when more than 60 people were killed.
I haven’t said much about our 6 weeks in Christchurch during the spring. It was not a comfortable city to be in. Not because of earthquakes, there was only one significant quake), but the liquifaction dust got us down. It’s everywhere like fine talcum powder. We often drove down streets that felt abandoned, some were. Everywhere were unkempt gardens, wobbly fences, boarded up portions, uncut lawns, stacks of bricks, orange cones. It just felt sad and all wrong, because it is.
There have been arguments over Christchurch Cathedral. It was the central point of the city with a steeple that could be seen from many places. Today a little more crumbled. The churches are resilient. Some have Marques on site and business as usual. Christchurch Cathedral is planning a Christmas service under the sky in the park.
All that aside we are ready for Christmas. Tomorrow is mainly quiet. I’ll make a pavlova and sometime in the late afternoon we’ll go over to Mum’s to have Christmas Eve around mum’s tree.
I meant to take a photo of a pohutakawa today. They are flowering unevenly but some of the trees are spectacular.