A nice peaceful break

Last updated 11:04 05/01/2012

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.

I swear it didn't look like this beforehand

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?

Post a comment
Mike L   #1   11:19 am Jan 05 2012

Found the cat and the lunchbox, The yoghurt was a toughie so I cheated. It is a bit disturbing that you have a penis in your kitchen...

Also, it may be a trick of the photography but your kitchen appears very small, I bet its fun in there when one is cooking and the other is attempting to raid the fridge...

MissBBL   #2   11:23 am Jan 05 2012

Glad to hear you're ok, I was thinking of you when it all happened!

What did you get for Xmas?

ScrabbleChick   #3   11:38 am Jan 05 2012

Oh Lordy, what a mess. You only took two minutes out for a tear break? That deserves a full hour at least. With wailing and gnashing of teeth.

If my kitchen exploded the mixture of snail pellets, the previous owners' dodgy tequila (that they left behind accidentally on purpose), broken glass and neverending Christmas ham would render the place unfit for human habitation, ever.

Happy (calm) New Year!

peter   #4   11:59 am Jan 05 2012

My heart goes out to you, we just don't appreciate our good fortune up here in Auckland.

All my Wife's family are in Christchurch and they are well over this situation.

Sara   #5   12:02 pm Jan 05 2012

Yep, got them all I think (cat is photo on the fridge?). Trying not to dwell on the penis...

Missy   #6   12:03 pm Jan 05 2012

We moved from the redzone to the green on the 16/12/2011. So glad we did as I didn't have to clean up much just a broken vase, a couple of glass balls from the Christmas Tree and we kept power and water.

I keep all glasses in there boxes after we use them we wash them and wrap them in bubble wrap and put them back in the box. So far I have managed to keep six wine glasses and four beer glasses through three big quakes and a house move.

Aaron   #7   12:07 pm Jan 05 2012

Happy New Year, Moata.

Had just finished reading, and posting to your year in review entry when said rumble hit. Was nearly rushing to hide under the table in our meeting room, much to the mortification of our other fire/evacuation warden (and the amusement of fellow staff when she remarked on the encounter)

Got home within an hour, which is remarkable for chch roads at the best of times, only to feel like i was surfing in my own driveway when the 6.0 hit.

Just moved into a new place, so thankfully not a lot of perishables, or breakables were yet stored on shelves. Luckily our kitchen didn't quite resemble yours, nor did our garage where I had envisaged the myriad of boxes and packages still to unpack, sprawled over the floor. Surprisingly everything was in order. (Northwest seems to be the place to be, yet again - just moved to bishopdale region)

Holiday break was more true to its name - arm in a cast for 3 weeks due to fracturing the knuckles on my left hand shifting house (Furniture + Door frame + Hand/Knuckles in between the two = OMFG-OUCHIE!)

So the holidays were rather quiet this year, only had stats off, and made an effort to try and work 1 handed in between)

So glad you and the SF are safe and well in 2012. Looking forward to your annual insights.

All the best xx

Chickadee   #8   12:18 pm Jan 05 2012

I'm glad to hear you are okay! The worst thing to hit my break was some slight flooding on top of an already flood damaged Nelson, but the rain stopped just in time.

Whilst I sympathise with Christchurch, I cannot help but think when are people going to learn? It looks like the earthquakes are here to stay so why are things not being secured properly?

I saw on the news a supermarket had lost good from the shelves. Why are there no wires across the shelves preventing most items falling off? It is basic knowledge that all shelving and loose objects should be secured. Ever thought of placing glassware in drawers with kiddy locks on them? Or blu-tacking loose objects down? Or securing your fridge door with ties?

Just a thought. I hope things do settle down there eventually!

JeM   #9   12:30 pm Jan 05 2012

Oh mate!! I just shake my head at it all and raise angry fists to the sky in your honour. I continue to be amazed at the resilience of Cantabs. I think when you get new wine glasses, you need to blue tac the bottoms to the cupboard.

Nakeshia   #10   12:32 pm Jan 05 2012

I think it's time for a tupperware revolution! Sales of plastic plates, cups and utensils must be skyrocketing in Christchurch. May the rest of 2012 bring a settled Earth for you and other Christchurchians.

My own holiday was fairly relaxed, a few drops of rain on New Years and a bumpy flight home, the worst thing was arriving back in Wellington and discovering the weather won't breach 20 degrees for the next few days!

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