Monday, 13 June 2011

Keep calm and Sew on

Yesterday was another bad day for Christchurch with a huge aftershock, 5.7Mw, hitting at 1.01pm and then a massive 6.3Mw at 2.20pm.  The streets quickly clogged with people rushing home to reunite with family and friends and to check on the damage. So emotionally tiring and stressful. And one fatality is one too many.

I was on a bus back from the university when the first one hit. Out the window I noticed a Muffler & Break garage across the road with a car up on the hoist jumping around. In that fleeting second while your brain tries to make sense of what you're seeing, I wondered what kind of test they could be doing that required the car to mimic a roller coaster. But then I saw two grey-overalled mechanics almost fall over each other trying to get  outside onto the forecourt and I twigged that all wasn't well. The bus was shaking by now, rather like being in a bouncy castle, and quickly pulled over. But nobody panicked or screamed, and when the movement eventually eased we all turned to each other and checked we were ok. Most were philosophical and the debates started about how big this latest shake was and where it was centred.

It was comforting to find out once at home that we'd suffered only minor damage - just a few new cracks appearing in the kitchen floor tiles and things falling over, but not breaking.  The cats were all well, still in situ, if a little wild eyed and they settled down quickly after stroking on some feliway spray - the equivalent of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy for cats.

The 6.3Mw shake at 2.20pm was a surprise and quite scary. It was a real struggle to stay upright and get to the doorway, like trying to walk around on an aircraft during turbulence. Cupboards and drawers were opening and closing and, on top of the roar of the quake itself, the jangle of shuddering building materials, windows, doors, cutlery, crockery, glassware and falling possessions made unpleasant music.

We had 60 quakes in the last 24 hours so the shaking has been pretty constant. To distract myself, I started the machine quilting of Aunty's quilt - deadline just 3 days now!  This great image did the rounds of my quilt group and its so true!

Today will no doubt bring more shakes but I've vowed to be too busy sewing to notice.

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