Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Three months after

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  • Jackie Clark,

    I hope that everyone is safe. I just wanted to say that I am thinking very much of you.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Me too

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 330 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Thanks Jackie, thanks webweaver. It’s hard to know how bad it is, certainly not on a par with February, maybe more like September. We’ve got some liquefaction in our street, and a patch neatly under our nice new water main on the front lawn, severing it. And I suspect our sewers are buggered again.

    Today’s shakes were scary at the time, but tonight I just feel depressed about everything. I know we’re not actually back to square one, but it feels like it.

    At least we’ve got power. And internet!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Lilith __,

    So hard for you all. There really is very little people can say, is there?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I get a general sense everyone is not sure what to say. That's certainly the case for me. Searching for words that could make a difference, but knowing that there probably aren't any.

    Wishing everyone well, and hoping that the worst is over.

    ETA: Snap Jackie.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Lilith __,

    Today’s shakes were scary at the time, but tonight I just feel depressed about everything. I know we’re not actually back to square one, but it feels like it.

    At least we’ve got power. And internet!

    Yeah, same for us. Karl was saying it feels like we're back to Square Two. Kids are off school again, we're back on stored water and rationing. It's hard. It's really fuckiing hard.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4378 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Big hugs. Really fucking big hugs. For all of you, Emma.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Watching earthquake scientist guy Mark Quigley on Campbell Live, the look of defeat in his face as he was interviewed outside his house in Avonside, I felt sad. The poor bastard so wanted to say it would get better now, and he just couldn't say that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to recordari,

    Searching for words that could make a difference, but knowing that there probably aren’t any.

    Wishing everyone well, and hoping that the worst is over.

    Good wishes are a big help. So kia ora for that. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Yup, as others have said the good wishes do make a difference. "I'm thinking of you" and "how are you doing?" are fairly universally apprropriate things to say.

    I was with my kids at their new school in Halswell for both aftershocks. The prefabs have all been placed on some kind of rolling foundations which meant that the quakes felt really, really different and the building kept moving for ages but not a single thing fell down. Not a pencil or a computer monitor or (thank all that's holy) the electric frypan that Ferdi's class were cooking noodles in.

    We took my friend's kid back to where she's staying on River Road. The street was in bad condition already but is now close to unpassable and the undercarriage of the car scraped alarmingly on a few bumps.

    Our place is fine apart from a bit of liquifaction on the driveway and some plaster chunks having fallen out of the larger cracks. A couple of dinner plates broke but the wine glasses are fine and the stereo survived a third fall (cheapie Philips micro-system bought as a stop gap but proving its worth). Power was off for all of 10 mins and we have phone, internet and running water though we're boiling the water and using the chemical loo in a precautionary fashion. Which is a long way of saying that we are disrupted and dispirited but basically fine.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    I'll second that Lilith. And Emma Hart's post; I'm just so fucking tired, and I'm a lucky one this time so I really should not feel put upon. Only had four hours without power, water seems to be running. But it feels like the family are running on empty this time around. Maybe we should bolt. Earthquakes and winter are not a good mix!

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2634 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O good CHCH people! I'm not a huggy person (Jackie's sooo good, who needs more?!) we've now checked on all family in the city & burbs, some with power out, and all filled with trepidation. 31 $#@!*!! 'quakes in one day! O dear goodness. I know all we people elsewhere can only offer good thoughts & kia kaha & aku mihi aroha & that's not sufficient- but.

    Small true story: I drove over on the 22nd Feb so I could participate in my mother's 84th birthday (which was the next day.) I've been dog-sitting for her since Friday while she travelled north to be with one of her friends whose husband was dying. Which he did, this morning. My mother travelled back to Oamaru, traversing areas that are now kaput, leaving NNB at 10ish - and not feeling a single jolt! Shit o dear! The 6.0 set the lights swaying HERE in Oamaru - not long before she arrived.

    Be warm, stay well, cuddle each other or your pet, all you CHCH lot- truly feel for you- arohanui n/nKeri

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    It's really fuckiing hard.

    It's almost like the city is battling with a potentially life threatening illness, with slow progress of therapy and sudden disastrous reversals, as well as the underlying and constant malaise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Islander,

    As above, it's hard to know what to say other than be strong and lots of love
    Although when I checked my two sisters I did say "get the f*** out of there, come and live with me"
    They being a little more realistic than me declined, they going to tough it out

    Islander, I see you are this side of the hill, how about a mid island meeting of the PA readers, I am always so envious of the other PA gatherings, we could arrange one for those of us close to the 45 parallel

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s almost like the city is battling with a potentially life threatening illness, with slow progress of therapy and sudden disastrous reversals, as well as the underlying and constant malaise.

    Similar metaphors occurred to me when I was down recently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's almost like the city is battling with a potentially life threatening illness, with slow progress of therapy and sudden disastrous reversals, as well as the underlying and constant malaise.

    When are the aftershocks going to stop? I'm wondering if there are emerging parallels with the constant flooding of the Mississippi River.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I'm thinking of people in Christchurch too. The on-going shaking must be very hard to bear. And hearing the news of Avonside this morning... I'm hoping the Haywood / Hay family are safe.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    And hearing the news of Avonside this morning… I’m hoping the Haywood / Hay family are safe.

    All good. They have electricity (not water) and the new damage to the house isn't as bad as David initially feared.

    Jen has a few bruises -- she was cycling when the 6.0 happened and was thrown off her bike. She then had to wade through knee-deep silt to get back to their house in Avonside. Last seen this morning offering to connect other people with a source of springwater.

    Blair Parkes, who did the music for the last Great Blend, is also safe and well with his family in New Brighton.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s almost like the city is battling with a potentially life threatening illness, with slow progress of therapy and sudden disastrous reversals, as well as the underlying and constant malaise.

    I was thinking last night that Chch is like an alcoholic spouse who keeps promising to go straight. I don't want to give up on it, but I'm losing faith.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Jen has a few bruises – she was cycling when the 6.0 happened and was thrown off her bike. She then had to wade through knee-deep silt to get back to their house in Avonside. Last seen this morning offering to connect other people with a source of springwater.

    Heroic!!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A colleague from abroad said that it was amazing how few casualties there were, that NZ had hardly suffered at all. I had to disabuse him of the notion, by pointing out that the virtual destruction of our second largest city was a massive blow to the nation, and we weren't likely to get over it any time soon. I experienced immediately something the Chch people have probably also suffered - the subject is never brought up again. People don't want to hear about hardship, particularly when they can't help. I think this happens to terminally ill people too, the withdrawal of contact. People no longer seek their company, or if they do, the subject of the illness must not come up because it turns a happy social occasion into a downer. Which is awful, of course, one of the worst parts about it, the social disconnection it causes. A line from Philadelpia comes to mind "The social death that precedes the physical death".

    My sister was offered to do a show down there, and was telling me that it was embittering, because it's not like Christchurch people have time for shows. I had to tell her that if there was anywhere more desperately in need of some cultured entertainment, it was Christchurch, that the disappearance of intellectual life when faced with hardship had to be strenuously resisted. I hope it goes ahead, that modern dance can be seen, even if you have to do it in tent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Heroic!!

    Without wanting to get into that "you're all so brave!" territory -- because I can understand how that could get really old really quickly -- hell yes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The poor bastard so wanted to say it would get better now, and he just couldn’t say that.

    That's true - but on a gut level, you're got to respect a scientist being a scientist who's going to tell the truth rather than a comforting lie.

    As above, it’s hard to know what to say other than be strong and lots of love
    Although when I checked my two sisters I did say “get the f*** out of there, come and live with me”

    Totally get that, Raymond. But I can also understand the rellie who's sent out a "I'm OK, and it's nice you're concerned but you've got to respect how deeply unhelpful it is being told to pack up and walk away" e-mail to everyone. I get her too -- because it's as (unintentionally) cruel as the rather angry-making press about people "running away". Folks are going to do what they need to do -- and make the best of the bad options they've got.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    My sister was offered to do a show down there, and was telling me that it was embittering, because it’s not like Christchurch people have time for shows. I had to tell her that if there was anywhere more desperately in need of some cultured entertainment, it was Christchurch, that the disappearance of intellectual life when faced with hardship had to be strenuously resisted

    Just quietly, I've been working with Emma, David and Blair on Christchurch-related ideas for an Auckland Great Blend in August. But we were all acting and talking as if the bad stuff was done with, when clearly now it isn't. That's a hard thought to have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • JLM, in reply to Lilith __,

    I was thinking last night that Chch is like an alcoholic spouse who keeps promising to go straight. I don’t want to give up on it, but I’m losing faith.

    I wish I could "like" this. I suppose there is the consolation of knowing that long term, it's as likely as any other town in nz to be straight and sober.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

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