Monday, April 11, 2011

Mostly an Earthquake Update

I'd been thinking that I needed something to look forward to - something to do other than going to work and doing house and garden chores at the weekend. So last weekend (8-9 days ago) I had a great time at Joanna's poetry editing masterclass, walking in Hagley Park, and then shopping (although the shopping was a bit frustrating).

The trouble with that is that all the things that have to be done don't go away. And many of them take longer because nothing is in its usual place. The result was that I started the week feeling rather overwhelmed. So this weekend just gone, I went back to pottering round doing chores and errands. (Oh, and the NaPoWriMo plan has gone by the board - much as I am missing the fun, the last thing I need right now is an obligation to write a poem a day. They would probably all be really bad earthquake poems, anyway).

On Saturday I thought I was doing quite well. I actually managed to find some flat sheets packaged separately, not in packs with the fitted ones, so my foot will no longer keep poking through the hole in my sheet. I bought a birthday gift for a family member, and in the process of doing those two errands found a couple of shopping centres which actually had some parking available. In fact the South City centre, which was originally inside the cordon, actually had a nearly empty carpark. Probably because you have to figure out which roads you can take to get to it, and because half the shops there are still closed. But it would be a useful place to go if what you want is in one of the shops that are open.

At the second shopping centre, where I found the sheets and the book, I also walked straight past a bakery and let myself be tempted by a very tasty cinnamon loaf. I went to a garden centre and bought cascading pansies for some hanging basket colour over the winter. I plan to collect rain water for the baskets, we have a total ban on garden watering because of many damaged water pipes. And then I stopped beside the road on the way home to dash into a dairy (local convenience store) for cheap milk, and did something I have never done before - I locked the keys in the car with the engine running! My car beeps at me if I open the door with the keys still in the lock. But it turns out, only if you have turned the engine off. My phone call home was followed by a very long wait beside the car for a rescuer to come with a spare key.

However - the good news is that the boil water notice has been lifted. Since we have been using very little hot water though, I thought there might be some contaminated water still in the hot water tank. So I decided on a very long soak in a hot bath which was both relaxing after the car frustration, and served to flush out the tank. I also put a load on warm wash in the washing machine - I have been doing cold water washes and washing in a basin of water for the last month and a half. I also washed my hair - and forgot to put the conditioner in. So now it is sticking out at rather odd angles. I combed a bit of conditioner through this morning and I am avoiding mirrors until it settles down.

Then - I bucketed the water from the bath out to the garden, because I didn't want to let that much water down the fragile waste water system. I was getting a bit tired of carrying it out the front or back door, so I decided to chuck the last lot out the window of the spa. The spa pool is in a conservatory entered from the bathroom, we haven't used it for a few years as it needs repairs that we haven't got round to.

I opened the door - well, I started to open the door, it opened about an inch before it stuck. It wouldn't open any further, and it wouldn't close again either, it appears that opening it released some pressure and allowed the sides of the door frame to move in. It must have warped in the quake. Well, at least we now know to add it to the list of damage for the insurance inspectors when they come.

So, all in all it was a mixed weekend. Much of the rest of which was spent dozing off in various places. I think I have caught up on some much needed sleep, though.

Back to work today, where things are much more normal than our house - only a few small cracks in the wall linings, and actual flushing toilets. There, my boss and I commiserated over the fact that TV 3 has chosen to show really bad movies on Sunday nights instead of our favourite programmes - The Good Wife, for both of us, and House, for me.

And when I got home, while fetching in a load of nice warm fresh laundry from the line, and planting daffodils, I noticed that our roof didn't have a hole in the edge any more. Our emergency repairs - to make the house weathertight - had been started about two to three weeks ago, and seemingly abandoned. Especially when the workmen came back a week or so later and took away the ladder they had left behind. So it's really good to see it done, even though it is just a small item on the list of all the things that need fixing.

And not so earthquake related - the Tuesday Poets have written a collaborative poem to celebrate the first anniversary of Tuesday Poem - check it out.


Chibi Janine said...

I can not begin to imagine what it must be like there. Glad the repairs are beginning to get done hope an I hope some semblance of normality returns to all your lives soon.

Kay Cooke said...

Your plain speaking is endlessly fascinating Catherine. I love to read about the details of your life - the door sticking, your sticking-out hair, TV3's abysmal choice to whip away the popular shows ... Life after the earthquake written in a voice without an ounce of self-pity or sensationalism ... just telling it how it is. Thanks Catherine.