Friday, March 18, 2011

The Memorial Service

As I mentioned yesterday, today was a public holiday in Christchurch and a large memorial service was held in Hagley Park. I thought about it, and I didn't go. Suggested transport was bike, walk or bus. My strained Achilles tendon wasn't going to permit either of the first two, and it looked as if the buses would be terribly crowded, as would the event, with insufficient portable toilets for the large crowd. As it turned out, it seems to have been OK. Two of my daughters were there, the other had gone to Wellington for a friend's birthday. Probably because quite a few others stayed away for the same reasons - reports are that there were about 30,000 there or 1 in 10 residents. I did however watch some of the video this evening - the fourteen minute montage of the damage in the city, and a shorter piece showing the clean up afterwards.

There was a reason why the mayor Bob Parker and the TV crews were always shown at the same damaged corner in the September quake. Much of the city wasn't so badly damaged. This time it was different. None of us have been in the central city yet (apart from the rescue crews, the Prime Minister and Prince William), but the video shows street after street with extensive damage. It is rather chilling.

What I did do in the end was go to work. I didn't have to, however the disruption of painters at the office, followed by the quake, followed by two weeks' leave which I had arranged long since meant that I had almost a month's worth of work piled on my desk. I know from experience that this makes me stressed out. And the last thing the city needs at the moment is more stressed people. The sooner I catch up, the sooner I can relax.

Besides, work is about the only thing that it makes sense to do at the moment. In the evenings I find myself feeling a little lost. After cooking and cleaning, that is.

Two whole free days coming up and I have to figure out what to do with it when much of the city is closed. The garden needs a clean-up, and there are other possibilities - I'm thinking of doing a little exploring and trying to find out exactly what is still open - libraries, farmers' markets, and the like. I also need to find more ways to get around the city, as I have some appointments coming up for which the limited routes I have been using won't do.

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