I am still dithering about whether to take part in NaPoWriMo. I am inclined to do so, but I will be starting late and have to play catch up. This weekend, instead of writing, I am participating in Joanna's poetry editing masterclass which was postponed (with a change of venue) from just after the earthquake.
The workshop is in two sessions and the first was excellent - I have never looked at a single poem quite so intensely before as we did today.
Afterwards, I wanted to walk in Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens, which have been open to the public again for a couple of weeks at least. I wasn't sure about parking though. The usual carpark at the entrance to the gardens is currently closed. It is being used as a vehicle recovery area for vehicles retrieved from behind the cordons. The car parks on the other side of the gardens have big yellow signs up saying "Hospital Parking" as some of the hospital parking is inaccessible due to proximity to unsafe buildings. However I did find a park and walked through to the gardens and out the other side, where I looked at the Arts Centre, which reportedly has $100 million dollars worth of damage and will take four years to fix. Along the street a bit further, a small crowd was watching the demolition of St Elmo Courts through the security fencing.
I walked down a block or two and took more photos of the city through the fencing, then back to the car.
Then I figured since I wasn't too far from the Westfield Mall, I would go to Farmers Department Store and buy some socks and sheets. There is a hole worn in the sheet on my bed, just about where my foot keeps catching it. The mall was busier than Christmas, and I was about to give up and go home when I spotted a park beside the road a couple of blocks away. So I walked back, and was successful in the sock search, but it turned out that only the downstairs was open - which has pretty much nothing but women's fashion, with a small corner each for men and children. Upstairs where all the linen, homewares, furniture etc are found, has been closed since the earthquake. The city, Eastgate and the Palms stores - which are all nearer to me - are closed completely. That leaves two branches fully open, one on the far west and one on the north of the city.
I wasn't about to travel that far, so I gave up. Then I remembered Briscoes, so I checked in there on the way back to the car. They had 40% and 50% off all their sheets, so I walked past shelves and shelves of sheet sets - one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, two pillowcases all packed together - but couldn't find separate sheets except a very few in really horrible colours.
I seem to have been here before. The lack of sheets packaged separately is probably why my sheets are so thin in the first place. The fitted sheets don't actually fit our bed. Besides, I like to wash the bottom sheet and put the top sheet to the bottom, rather than change both at once, especially now when we are trying hard to minimise anything - like laundry - that produces waste water.
Reports are that it will take six months working 20 hours a day to fix our sewage system. Longer if it is a very wet winter.
But hey! I have new blue socks with cows on them. That's got to be worth a smile.