Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Day Five

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  • Russell Brown,

    That was brilliant. Also made me a bit teary-eyed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18963 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh darling. Our darling, darling girl. I was going to edit this and say all sorts of stuff. Can't be arsed because my first six words cover it. If anyone could stop the Earth's fuckery just by ferocious caring and love, I suspect it would be you.

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    We don't know when it's over. It's not that every time we relax there's another significant aftershock, it's that we're not relaxing. This is the thing that we weren't expecting, that we weren't mentally prepared for. Five days, and it hasn't stopped.

    You summarise so well what I'm hearing from my Chch peeps - that what's killing them is the relentlessness of the aftershocks going on, and on, and on. I have so much admiration for all of you, honestly. If it was me I would be a total nutcase - and here you are, writing coherent and funny blog posts. Kia kaha, Emma, you and everyone else in Christchurch - you're amazing. And I hope sincerely that the tectonic plates decide to sit up and listen to yousometime very soon.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What seems interesting is that I'm not aware of a rush of Chch people just packing up and leaving the city for a week - Dunedin, Nelson, Wellington etc. What would be left behind is just houses and possessions.

    Houses and possessions mean very much obviously, they're about a place in the world and people care about trying to look after and looking after others who share their Chch identity?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Thinking of you and yours, Emma, and the people in Christchurch who must be so very weary now.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    What seems interesting is that I'm not aware of a rush of Chch people just packing up and leaving the city for a week - Dunedin, Nelson, Wellington etc.

    We've had offers, and I just had a call from my mother offering again. But we'd not be able to relax, not knowing what was happening up here. And yes, psychologically a house is very much more than a 'thing'.

    I do know a few people who've taken off, to Hanmer or Kaikoura, etc.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    What seems interesting is that I'm not aware of a rush of Chch people just packing up and leaving the city for a week - Dunedin, Nelson, Wellington etc.

    Except for this lot, who aren't being given a choice.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Thank you for that emma - wish I could do something more.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Clayton,

    There's nothing quite so strange as being surrounded by the magical thinking of atheists, and there's been a lot of it among my family (apart from the ones who are Christians, whose humour is the blackest of all) since Saturday morning.

    My father described the fault as one "pissed off at 16 000 years worth of shingle piling up and deciding to turn over" and my own thought in the first moments of the earthquake was that I had been so worried about climate change in the weeks after my 11-week-old daughter was born that I forgot to worry about earthquakes.

    I also reflected that this continuous jaw-grinding, nerve-wearing stress is likely how people with anxiety disorders feel all the time. It feels as if the whole city and outlying districts is experiencing a mental health lockdown.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I also reflected that this continuous jaw-grinding, nerve-wearing stress is likely how people with anxiety disorders feel all the time.

    I just had a call from my daughter's MinEdu Advisor, who's a very lovely person. Halfway through someone nearby slammed a door and she freaked out.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and a little belatedly Emma, your column in the current Metro is fucking great.

    It lit up Twitter ... We shared our shock, our laughter, our shout-outs to John Campbell like he was a real person ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18963 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I'm one of those who feels very, very far away, and wishes there was something I could do to help.

    After the aftershock this morning, I texted my mum, and she didn't reply for 90 minutes. Most of which time I spent checking Stuff, to make sure there wasn't suddenly significant damage in the Leeston area.

    Turns out, she went to a friend's house, and didn't take her phone. She is now under very strict instructions to have her phone about her person at all times.

    This isn't the first time Emma's ever made me cry, and I expect it won't be the last, but God, I wish I could stamp my foot and make it all stop for you guys.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, and a little belatedly Emma, your column in the current Metro is fucking great.

    Thank you. (I've been working on learning to take compliments like a grown-up.) It'll also be part of an exhibition on Outrageous Fortune at the Auckland Museum this summer. I'm quite chuffed.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I read it in bed last night, Emma. (Your Metro column.) Honestly, it kind of felt like you were in the room with me. It was nice.

    ETA: Wait, um, not like that. I apparently have a case of terminal suggestiveness today.)

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I read it in bed last night, Emma. (Your Metro column.) Honestly, it kind of felt like you were in the room with me. It was nice.

    ETA: Wait, um, not like that. I apparently have a case of terminal suggestiveness today.)

    This would be the room you suggested I "sleep on the couch" in?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Heh. No, I am staying with a friend. You can "sleep on the couch" tomorrow night.

    Seriously, Oh My God, escape the aftershocks, come to the Great Blend, and sleep on the couch. It'll be just the kind of therapy Paula Bennett thinks you can have.

    (Except, not really, but, you know...)

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl,

    Ye gods. I can only imagine how fucking awful it must be for you guys - the constant adrenalised anxiety, not to mention dealing with the general day-to-day stuff that seems so insignificant in the face of everything else. I can definitely understand why people don't want to leave, though - I don't think the emtionally draining wait would be any better elsewhere, plus you'd have the added burden of worrying about things in absentia. It would be nice if we were able to teleport folks to somewhere without aftershocks just to recharge their batteries though :-(

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I know a few people who have bailed, including one of my flatmates who'd got to the "screaming at every aftershock" stage. Personally, the idea of leaving town hadn't really occurred to me and seems like too much work. My house is fine and I don't feel particularly unsafe, but I'm very very tired and mentally scattered. I'm basically reading and watching DVDs, browsing the internet, and talking on the phone: not doing anything that requires more than token amounts of concentration.

    I am amazed and impressed by our CityCare workers and engineers and CD and S&R and the army and police and all the volunteers who have been working so amazingly hard to keep services and infrastructure working. Kia ora and bouquets to you all.

    One website that has been great for rolling information updates is this one, I don't even know who's running it, but it's fantastic.

    And great post, Emma.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3466 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    This just in

    @flyairnz gave 1000 domestic flights to Chch Mayor so those most affected can take break.Contact Ch City Council to apply

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Seriously, Oh My God, escape the aftershocks, come to the Great Blend, and sleep on the couch. It'll be just the kind of therapy Paula Bennett thinks you can have.

    I'm with Megan. Only I know that you won't let your beloveds out of your sight, so I know that ain't happening.

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

  • Jackie Clark,

    Also, being a very scary person, maybe I could come down there and make it all stop?

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

  • Lara,

    Also, being a very scary person, maybe I could come down there and make it all stop?

    Please!

    Am so sick of the aftershocks (particularly the big ones-yikes). It would help if I could sleep more I think, but my ability to rationalize has gone out for a stiff drink. I've been out helping with the uni student crew and that's been great for giving all this free-floating adrenaline something to do.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2009 • 75 posts Report Reply

  • irkstyle,

    thank you for writing this. arohanui to all there.

    Lilith - apparently it's "Mr Tulip"

    Since Oct 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Well thanks, Mr Tulip. :-) And irkstyle.

    One of the best things about the updates he's posting is that they sort out the truth from the rumours. Rumours and misunderstandings are propagating like crazy. I just had a worried call from my Mum who'd been told by a neighbour that there'd been a huge earthquake in Wellington. And apparently there's been a rumour that Chch is running out of petrol. None of this is true.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3466 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    So good to hear it from you straight, as it were. I hope it was as helpful to write this (and read the comments) as it is for us to read (and read the comments) - thank you for taking the time to post.

    A burning need to do something to help is teamed with a total mental incapacity to work out what that would be.

    Standing in line the morning of Sept 12 to donate blood (at 8 months pregnant I had several pints to spare; practically a whole armful), I was told that the best thing I could do was go home and look after myself and my impending family.

    It didn't compute. I wanted to HELP. But it was the right thing to do; sure, in an ideal world I might have had something to offer, but at that very moment, nobody was better at looking after me and mine than, well, me.

    And in your case, you've been looking after you, yours, and other people. If that's not helping I don't know what is.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

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