Friday, 25 February 2011

Our neighbourhood now

We were back at the house today looking for Pot, and I took a few photos of our new neighbourhood:

Um, so, yeah.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The low down.

The earthquake we had on September 4th last year and the thousands of aftershocks were only practice. At the time, I thought it was frightening, horrible, I was so adrenalised. But it had nothing on Tuesday's quake. Nothing has been so terrifying.

I was in our living room, while Clem was asleep upstairs. When it hit the noise was deafening, there was no time to get under doorways, or seek cover, all I could do was throw myself down in a corner and wait. All I could hear was the sound of bricks and glass smashing, and the rock beneath us moving, and it was loud. Boo took one look at me, and leapt from the sliding door - sprinting off into the distance (a neighbour later reported her bolting past their house flat out immediately after the quake). I have no idea how long it lasted, but when it stopped, there was dirt and dust everywhere, I could hardly see. Glancing out the window, the whole CBD was sending up clouds of dust as buildings collapsed.


I raced upstairs to Clem - spotting all the bricks outside which had obviously fallen from the wall of his bedroom. I half expected to open his door and find that I could see daylight through the wall, but fortunately the gib-board was still intact. He was fine.

I whipped him downstairs, and grabbed my phone to text Matt. Fortunately we got through to each other - he was running the 5.5km home from town (his three other workmates also ran home - one all the way to Sumner, about 13km). His building stood up to the quake, but it is just beside the Pyne Gould building which collapsed, so he knew the potential extent of the damage long before the media did.

Then I waited. Aftershocks came thick and fast. I took some photos of the damage, and grabbed the video and took a few seconds out the back door:

I have never seen Matt look so terrified when he arrived home - he was wet from wading through the water the burst into the street outside his office, he was puffing from the sprint home. He knew people had died, whereas everyone on our street wasn't sure. The radio reports said it was a big quake, and there may be casualties, but even they didn't have any first hand information. Matt knew how bad it was going to be.

With our house potentially unstable, and no water or power, we grabbed some things and left. I wasn't sure if Pot (the cat) was inside or not, but left some food out for her.

We traveled to my parents' house - normally a 15 minute car ride, it took around an hour. Liquefaction was causing silt and mud to bubble over the roads, which were also cracked and warped. We saw men wearing suits, covered in dust walking home from work.

This side of town is a different world, the streets are fine, and there is no obvious damage. We have power and water. The aftershocks feel like gentle rolling motions, as this house is on an old riverbed which absorbs much of the movement (I have felt at least two, but I think it is three aftershocks since I started writing this). We can sleep, we have plenty of food and we are warm. Not to mention incredibly lucky. At this point no-one we can think of is missing, however we will undoubtedly know some of the 300+ victims in some capacity.

Boo was found several kilometres from home later that evening (cowering under some bushes in someone's garden). Pot hasn't been seen since, I am hoping she is holed up somewhere, and am going back to the house daily to check for her.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Just so you know...

We are all okay, all safe. But lots of people aren't. Our house is damaged but we are staying with my parents who have power and a solid house.

I'll write more when I have my head around it.

Friday, 18 February 2011

One great thing about having a baby... that you can buy awesome things for yourself and pass them off as baby gifts. Like this Citroen DS wooden puzzle I bought the baby for Christmas:

Made in Belgium by Rosie's Factory, I got it shipped all the way down here. I just couldn't resist, given our history with the DS, and particularly since one of the pieces is the same colour scheme as our old beloved.

Oh, I miss that car. Sigh.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mmmmm - gelatinous coconut

We went to Foo San again on Sunday. This time we had the gelatinous coconut:

Sooooo yummy. Inside these little jelly parcels was a little pocket of toasted sesame and coconut. We'll definitely be having them again next time were there.

On the way there I snapped this photo inside the University:

Monday, 14 February 2011

I tried to do something cheesy...

It was Valentine's Day today. Of course. I wasn't going to do anything to celebrate, then I saw this recipe and decided I'd give it a go... I'd never heard of a red velvet cake before, but it's a pretty well-known cake.

Several hours later (excuse the poor photos):

The cake itself was actually red, but not as lovely and bright red as I had hoped. It was pretty yum, but there's far too much for just us kids, so I will have to send it in to Matt's work tomorrow. Hmm. Hopefully the boys will really dig a red valentine's cake with a love heart on the top.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Christchurch's best kept secret?

Yesterday I took Clem to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens - bypassing the gaggles of mothers with pushchairs who flocked to the playground, we headed straight for the glasshouses. It was quiet and almost empty, but the displays of plants was phenomenal. These photos from the flowering room really don't do it justice.

There is also a huge two storied glasshouse full of tropical plants and another small detached fernery. So awesome. The kid and I both loved it.

Then we hung on the lawn with the ducks.

He was impressed. But not that impressed. He prefers cats.

Friday, 11 February 2011


The leaves on our maples are starting to turn, and the Northern hemisphere blogs are talking about warming temperatures and spring fashion collections... it's that time of year again. I'm sure we'll still get some lovely late summer days, but there's definitely a chill in the air in the mornings and I'm considering some new knitting.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

One hour a day..

I am trying to allow one hour every day for me to sit in the study and get some sewing or knitting done. Yesterday was my first morning, and boy did the time fly by. I felt like I got a lot done though (I'm making another dress from this book), and if I could do it every day then I would definitely start achieving things.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

A dog post..

It was a scorcher here today. The official temperature was 36 degrees, but unofficially it got up to 40 degrees on many thermometers. We took the dogs to the beach.

Then I spent the afternoon wallowing inside, with a cold face cloth on my neck. It's 9.30pm now and still just under 30 degrees outside. Not looking forward to tonight's sleep at all.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

So healthy it hurts..

Something I resolved to do this year was to eat a bit less animal protein - last year we got into the habit of having a large piece of steak or chicken or fish with dinner at least six times per week - not only was it pretty expensive, but somehow I just don't think it's that healthy either. So I am trying to cook more fish and vegetarian dishes this year.

I made a variation of this lemony chickpea and tofu salad a few weeks ago, using lots of cucumber, spinach and cabbage. Sounds so healthy it would be yuck, but was actually pretty good, especially with mung beans and crushed peanuts on top.

Also along the lines of being more healthy I have started 'proper' yoga again (for the past eighteen months I have been doing either pre-natal yoga, post-natal yoga, stuffed-knee yoga, or post-surgery-on-my-knee yoga). I had my first class on Thursday night - yikes, it was super challenging, but great to be back into it. Apparently we will be doing headstands later this

Friday, 4 February 2011

Then and now

Matt and his Dad - 1976:

Clem and his Dad - 2011: