Sunday, March 20, 2011

Earthquakes and Heartbreaks

Sorry for my absence. I went to stay with my grandmother for a while after the earthquake and she doesn't have the internet.
The above picture is what I came home to on the 22nd of February. Almost the entire contents of the kitchen cupboards and the fridge were on the floor.
I was at uni at the time of the earthquake. It was my first day back after the holidays and I was in my first lecture of the day. I remember the darkness and the screams and struggling to get under the lecture bench. At the time I had no idea how bad it was but I knew I had to get home. Within 15 or so minutes of the quake the city was gridlocked. The usually 20 minute drive home took me three hours. I listened to the radio the whole way home. Once I heard that people had died in the CBD all I could think about was the people who I knew for sure were in town. My nephew, who goes to school right in the central city, and who I had seen that morning because he had stayed at our house the night before. His mum, who works just down the street from his school. My aunty and uncle who both work in the city.
Thankfully, as I found out a few hours later, they were all safe and unhurt. I was so lucky. My family and friends are okay and my house is still livable. I am so incredibly sorry to those who lost their loved ones, homes and businesses.
Last week, I watched transfixed with horror at the news coverage of the Japanese quake and tsunami. Although it is hard for us to imagine what the people over there are going through I think the people of Christchurch have a special sympathy for all those in Japan at the moment. I know I have at least one reader in Japan so I hope that Birdie, who lives in Okinawa, is safe and well. My thoughts are with all those in Japan.

If you've read my 'About Me' you might have noticed that I collect old religious icons. Although I am not religious at all, the antique mirrored Saint Therese of Lisieux I got for my 20th birthday was one of my favourite things (now you know just how odd I am). She was badly damaged in the earthquake. My Dad (who you can actually see reflected in the bottom of the mirror) thinks we can probably get it fixed but I'm not so sure.

When a major disaster happens it almost feels like everything normal stops but I take comfort in the fact that the garden has taken the shaking in its stride. The morning glory plant (above) is flowering gloriously.

Normal posting should resume shortly. I've been doing some sewing which I will post next week. Below is a sneak peek of the fabric I'm using.

Sorry for the delay in drawing the giveaway. The winner is Louise from The Princess Prudence Diaries. Congratulations Louise. I will email you shortly.


  1. Hey Sweet, so good to see you back. I have really struggled with watching any footage of what has actually happened here in CHC, on the odd occasions I have tried, I get really teary, and frankly fearful. So have bunkered down and sewn instead, it is my version of normal, and ensures I get out of bed each day instead of fearing the unknown, how lucky we are to have a craft to turn to which keeps us sane non? It is going to be some strange times ahead that's for sure.

  2. It's good to be back and I'm so glad you're okay. I find it pretty tough watching it too. Especially seeing places I used to go to a lot. I cried the other day seeing photos of an apartment ruined in the CBD where a friend in high school used to live and where I spent most of my time when I should have been at school. I think the unknown is the worst part but thank god for sewing and doing things that make us feel normal.

  3. I'm soooo glad you and your family are safe! I was wondering how you were doing!

  4. Hey, it's good to hear that you are safe and well. Both what's happened over there, and of course in Japan are just awful, I couldn't even imagine it.

    I can't believe I won the giveaway, I'm quite excited! :) Also, I love the frida Kahlo fabric, I've seen it before and been tempted to buy, so I can't wait to see what you make. x

  5. Hi, your post really touched me - as one of your southern neighbours I have family who have been affected by the quake, thankfully they are all okay too. I agree with your comment about finding the normal things to centre and focus yourself, like the garden and sewing. I went to a combined Japan Christchurch fundraising fair yesterday, one of the features was watching women be dressed in kimonos. It was like watching a gift be wrapped up in the most beautiful fabric. Take care.

  6. I'm really glad to hear you and your loved ones are ok and your house isn't too bad. This has been a crazy mad time and it's nice to get back into some sort of routine.

    Are you studying at UC too? My 'online lectures' are wonderful thus far!

  7. Georgia Rose- Thanks. I know what you mean. Doing normal things makes everything feel less crazy.

    Yes I'm at UC. That's good to hear. I prefer online lectures. It's so much easier. Are all your lectures online? All but one of mine are. One of them is in a tent on the law school carpark which is slightly odd.

  8. Yeah, all of mine are online at the moment! Although one has been diverted til term 2 and is only going to be 5 weeks long, which I don't understand at all. I'm really nervous about the prospect of going back to uni though, I'm praying lecture theatres/tents don't free up any time soon.

  9. Glad to hear you and yours are ok. The events in Christchurch and Japan are unimaginably horrible. I know what you mean about keeping some normality with routines and stuff and look forward to seeing what you have been making. And congrats Louise! x

  10. Hoping things are still ok babes! I know that all these other natural disasters are making peeps forget about NZ, but as my Husbie is from Auckland, we're still thinking of all you guys!

    We unfortunately didn't win the Christchurch raffle last night as Husbie's work! DAMN! We did all raise heaps of money though! xoxo

  11. Hi, Thank you. Your earthquake photos are worse than even the 7.1 that hit us last year; I think the buildings are simply designed to withstand more in Japan than anywhere else I've seen. It is heartbreaking to see places and things you know smashed by forces out of your control. I'm grappling right now with having left everything I own behind.
    We were, in Okinawa, too far to feel anything, and the tsunami we got was only about 1.5m high. I've been away for a while now, as we left about a week after the quake due to fears of radiation. I'm happy to be back online (in the states), and was so touched to see myself mentioned, as I start catching up on my favorite blogs. So... thank you again.

  12. Hi Birdie. I'm glad that you're okay. Japan's buildings are so well designed for earthquakes. Maybe when they rebuild Christchurch they will follow the Japanese model. I'm sorry you had to leave all your things behind. That must be so hard. I'm glad you're safe in the states at the moment though.

  13. I am glad to hear you are ok! I live in Japan and was there during the earthquake. We were far enough from the epicenter that we didn't have a lot of damage, but we were very frightened. My first thought was of Christchurch and wondering if this was something similar. It was truly horrifying to watch the tsunami footage live, I want to cry every time I think about it!
    We are in the US for now, waiting for the all clear so we can go back home.
    I know what you mean when you said that everything normal seems to stop when something like this happens. It has certainly changed my outlook on so many things. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself because we left everything behind (including my hubby)- perspective gives me a good slap in the face. To see how people are suffering- make me realize how lucky I am.

  14. Thanks Nancy. That must have been terrifying, espcially watching the tsunami footage. I had trouble watching it from half a world away so I can't imagine what it was like actually being in Japan and seeing it.
    I'm glad you and your kids are safe in the US but it must be hard being away from home and your husband.
    I know the feeling. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in how it has affected your own life but then you remember that so many people have lost everything they had and everyone they love.