Monday, May 30, 2011

Sometimes it's hard

to stay brave when the news is full of predictions for Christchurch and future quakes.

From today's newspaper: "A 23 per cent chance of a magnitude-6.0 to 7.0 quake in the next year, dropping to a 10 per cent risk the following year.

More than 90 per cent chance of a magnitude-5.0 to 6.0 shake in the next 12 months, falling to more than a 70 per cent chance in the following year."

There are after shocks every day - with every one you wonder if it will be the next big one. The fear never goes away. As much as life has returned to normal, there are constant reminders everywhere of what could happen again. The neighbourhood looks much the same when I blogged 6 weeks after the quake - the buildings might have better fencing to keep people out but the broken glass still lies on the footpath, the church still has a gaping hole in its side. We might venture out more now, but then we see other parts of the city where there is damage. Whole blocks of shops missing, empty lots where buildings once were (and we try and remember what was there before), roads closed or damaged. The cordon has been reduced and now we can catch heartbreaking glimpses of the destruction inside the red zone. The city centre looks like a ghost town.

The iconic Christ Church Cathedral in ruins.

On the flipside every day it feels like progress is being made to fix things - buildings come down and lots are cleared. Potholes on the roads are fixed. Last weekend much to our extreme joy we were told we could flush our toilet again. For the past 2 months we have been using either portaloos on the street or a chemical toilet that we had to take to a tank down the road to empty every few days. The ability to flush is something I have always taken for granted - no longer. I thank the drainage and plumbing folks who have worked tirelessly to clean the city's sewers every time I go now!!

Toilet ala earthquake.

Part of me will always consider Christchurch my home - two of my children were born here, it is where I went to University, had my first job, meet my husband. It's heartbreaking to see it so damaged and to wonder if there is more destruction to come. But we have decided not to stay here. As hard as it will be to leave a city trying to get back on its feet, and to leave my wonderful support network of friends and family, I think it would be harder to stay. I want my children to be normal kids - sleeping in their own rooms, being in a room by themselves, not worrying about where everyone is all the time. I am simply "over it."

So...we're moving. DH has a new job,an excellent promotion. We're going back to northland in July - back to the winterless north. I am looking forward to the warmer climate and meeting up with old friends from when we lived there about 4 years ago. We're going rural so it is definitely going to be quite a change but I am looking forward to the change of pace and getting some normal back into our lives.

The scenery in Northland is so stunning - rugged and wild and so many beaches.

So some exciting (and kinda scarey) times ahead! Wish us luck - a move of 12o0km with 3 kids and 2 cats in tow!!!


  1. Travel well, my dear! Look forward to the update once you're settled up there.

  2. {sigh} life is never going to be the same is it?? My heart is heavy reading this, but I understand you are doing the best for your family. I do hope that you and your family have a great adventure up north, but we will miss you. What will we do without the knitting guru????

  3. yes i think i would do as you are doing. To live with that fear must be horrific and the people who stay, well they deserve all the support and understanding we can give them. Some people won't be able to leave, I imagine.

    Thank goodness you can flush again! What a mercy!

  4. Wow, there really are exciting times ahead! I hope the move goes well and that all runs smoothly with settling into a new life.