A nice peaceful break

Well, where do I start? Possibly with adrenalin and terror? Blinding panic perhaps? Or maybe the seemingly inescapable bitter grind of finding oneself in the same depressing scenario. Again. "Groundhog day" if you will.

I am of course talking about the terrifying situation of being back at work after nearly two weeks off. Surely, I did drag my heels out the front door yesterday as enthusiastically as a woman going to the gallows (or a film starring Kevin James).

But yes, I suppose that everything in the opening paragraph of this post could easily apply to the continued "wobbliness" that we happy Christchurch folk have experienced over the Christmas and New Year break as well.

When last I blogged, I was in a reflective mood and summarised my year: a 12 month period liberally punctuated with earthquakes and their after effects. In fact, I had been reading my 22 February post and noticing the shift from light-hearted comments to "Are you okay, Moata?" concern, little knowing that my post for that day would be similarly commented upon. Life is evil twisted funny like that sometimes.

But anyway, that last working day of the year was a doozy. After suffering a very minor earthquake-related injury when I threw myself under my desk, I and my colleagues did what I've now come to think of as "post-quake bugging out".

This pretty much involves grabbing your stuff and getting gone as soon as possible. Sort of like the fall of Saigon but without the helicopters on the roof. We then clog all major arterial roads out of town in a frantic dash to make sure that the hot water cylinder hasn't detached itself or in this case, that the Christmas tree hasn't fallen on and broken all the presents.

Fortunately I have the benefit of a) being on a bike and b) heading INTO town so the traffic isn't really a problem for me and I make it home only a few minutes before the Silver Fox does in the car.

The house is a bit of a mess but not too bad considering. I've lost some more glassware and there's an unhealthy smell of booze emanating from the shelf where we keep the liquor (which it turns out later is a lovely mix of brandy and Jack Daniels, and wet wool if you can imagine that).

And the trifle bowl that I'd bought specifically for Christmas Day has died a virgin. But the Silver Fox does a quick reccy and discovers that I do, in fact have a single wine glass left. I make the observation that with him not drinking (still concussed) that really, we only need one. Hurrah! The SF proudly sits the lone goblet on the shelf before we move through to the kitchen.

It's a mess but not as much has evacuated the fridge as in June, possibly because it's so full of Christmas nosh that it's all squeezed in pretty tight. Mind you, this really isn't what you want your kitchen to look like the day before Christmas Eve.

What can I say? I just generally prefer to make my Christmas trifle in a kitchen not cluttered with jars of peanut butter and soy sauce-coated strawberries. 

And then the poo REALLY hit the rotary cooling device.  

Straight away it was clear that this quake was bigger than the one I'd felt at work. I yelped cowered on the floor next to the couch as the Silver Fox bravely held the fridge door closed. The Christmas tree fell over. The world shuddered and spasmed.

When it was over I walked out the front door and sat on the porch allowing myself about 2 minutes of tearful "it's not fair" indulgence before walking up the street to see if the neighbours were okay, still clad in bike shorts and fluoro vest.

Later the SF and I, after discovering that the power was out, sat in the car listening to the radio when the neighbours from the other side wandered over, with glasses of wine. My last standing glass had been taken out and I eyed theirs with envy.

The power wasn't out for long and eventually we went back inside to watch the quake coverage on TV. It's quite an odd thing to watch broadcaster Mike McRoberts, standing knee deep in a river of muddy water that used to be a residential street, talking to camera as you both have the same aftershock, him live on television, me live in my bedroom sheltering in the doorframe.

So, it wasn't really the nice peaceful break any of us had hoped for. Not with the cleaning up the mess and interrupted sleep and the reinstatement of duct tape holding the fridge door closed and just the general exasperated p*ssed off-ness of having to go through all this nonsense again.

In fact, on waking on Christmas Eve, I penned a rather foul-mouthed alternate version of the already quite colourfully worded Fairytale of New York, and put it on Facebook.

But then again, so what? This is just what living in Christchurch is like now. And I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to mine a little amusement from the whole thing, so how about a little game? In the photo above the following four items can be found. See if you can find them all.

They are:

1 - A penis

2 - A Lord of the Rings lunchbox

3 - My favourite new flavour of yoghurt (namely, carrot cake)

4 - A three-legged cat

See if you can spot all four. If you're having trouble, you'll find the answers here.

So, how was your break? I hope it was a bit more relaxed than mine. If your kitchen suddenly exploded everywhere and you took a picture do you think you'd have any items with interesting backstories appearing in it?