Friday, June 17, 2011

And the Number for Today Is...

That was the size of the aftershock which served as the city's alarm clock at 6.30 this morning. I did get back to sleep after that one. I got up a couple of hours later, happy that it was Friday and I had a free day to run around and work through my long list of errands, and wonder again how I ever found time to work five days a week.

Fridays will be even better once I don't have a long list of errands to do.

I came home and was relaxing when we had another couple of 4.4s - actually the second I think was 4.5. It bounced the coffee out of my coffee cup and into my lap. Just as well that it was a cold day as I had enough layers on to insulate me from the effects.

My brother and his wife arrived to do their laundry and have showers as there is still no water on in their suburb. They live very near the epicentre of Monday's two big shakes, and their area took a hammering. Fortunately their own house is still liveable.

The day ended better than it started, as I headed off to a poetry reading - the Global launch of the Phantom Billstickers' sixth series of poetry posters. It was held in a venue I've never been to before - the Addington Coffee Co-op. Addington is a former working class suburb just on the western fringe of the city. It's been seeing a lot of action recently as businesses relocate to new office parks there, along with retail and hospitality businesses displaced from the central city. There were a few traffic problems on the way - it was rush hour - but it was worth it. The selection of poets reading was generous - large numbers brought in from out of town, as well as local poets, to read one poem each - and the free catering was equally generous. I've been going to the Canterbury Poets Collective annual series of readings for quite a few years, and thought I knew all the local poets, but many tonight were unfamiliar to me. It was a pleasure to be going to any event at a time when so much has been cancelled, and rescheduled, and cancelled again. (Though a few of the invited poets didn't make it due to flights being disrupted by ash from the Chilean volcano - others read their poems for them).

Almost as exciting as going to a poetry event was seeing a table full of glasses next to a tap with a sign that read "We have a UV water purification system - our water is safe to drink".

The Phantom Billstickers main business is putting up posters on hoardings for pay - concert posters, and so on - but the poetry posters are, as far as I can tell, something that they do just for the love of poetry. The poems we heard tonight will soon be gracing lampposts, walls and hoardings all over - not just in New Zealand, but in the United States too - Boston, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were some of the places mentioned. They were also giving away free smaller sized versions of the posters, and I brought several home with me.


Jan said...

Gosh, this makes amazing reading. Do you feel you're learning to live with it all?

Crafty Green Poet said...

sounds like a great poetry event, must have been a really good way to take your mind off the tremors for a while...