Monday, 28 February 2011

Christchurch earthquake of 22nd February 2011

As news broke of the earthquake in Christchurch on 22nd February 2011 my heart sunk. The last earthquake in September had shaken the Cantabrians and they had all lost so much. The realisation that this was so much worse as lives were lost as well as historic buildings and livelihoods made me feel nauseous. The news unfolded throughout the afternoon and we were glued to the TV in horror as large clumps of plaster and brick tumbled from Christchurch's beautiful, proud buildings, scattering dust, eliciting screams and clutched hugs as strangers weathered the aftershocks which thundered through the city. The mayor Bob Parker was interviewed live in front of Christchurch's broadcasting building where many of his colleagues and friends were trapped inside. He spoke with dignity and poise, answering impossible questions while his life was thrown into the same chaos and turmoil as his fellow people.

Foodbank drop offs have been set up all over the country, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to the Red Cross and Salvation Army to assist Christchurch and we have joined many thousands to offer our home to house those who have lost everything.

New Zealand is a small country. The death toll has risen to over 100 with double that many people still missing. The earthquake has decimated buildings, lives and has irreversably altered the future of the city, the south island and the country. I have faith that human spirit will push through these grim months ahead and I know New Zealanders will do all they can to support those affected by the earthquake.

God bless all those affected.

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My list

Now and then I enjoy pondering on the way my crap arm has got me off the hook from doing jobs I dislike (read more here). A couple of days ago a friend asked me what my arm prevented me from doing. I dug around in the cavernous and echoing depths of my grey matter and found my 'list'. Here it is:

1. I am only able to skydive in tandem as both arms are needed to guide the parachute down to an allocated landing spot.

2. I can merely stand in awe as kiwi boys scoff at poncy bottle openers and pluck the lid off a bottle of beer using whatever comes to hand; a lighter, the previous bottle of beer, a coin and so on.

I am ecstatic to report that this list has been halved. Being cheered on enthusiastically by my great friend, I have learnt how to lever off the lid of a bottle of beer using a bizarre system involving my right knee, the heel of my right hand and my healthy left hand. If you would like me to demonstrate my newfound ability I advise you to place your order for your second beer just as you open your first. You should also be unfazed by blood blisters.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Change of 'tude

When I was pregnant I vowed never to dress my twins in the same outfits. I hadn't counted on the primeval instinct to make them look like little peas in a pod. For a while I indulged this rather twee desire and had the girls toddling round in different versions of the same dress or matching shorts and t-shirt. Just recently I have reverted back to my original dress theory.

Babies don't have the most complex of personalities. Their main characteristics are labelled as good/bad sleeper, good/tricky eater and cryer/non cryer. Now my twins are well over two years old they can do more human things such as choose the direction in which they walk, converse, make other children laugh (or cry) and generally position themselves in the world as singular entities as opposed to two babies whose mother guided them through routines where a step outside of syncronicity brought about bulging eyes and an increased sauvignon blanc consumption.

The first 2 years were merely a test of survival. Whether I dressed them the same or not was irrelevant. I feel inordinately proud that we have made it through still married and with a smidgen of breath in our lungs. Now that the dust is settling into the daily sandstorm of life with small children I want to dress them differently. Partly out of respect for twin1 and twin2 that they are separate people and partly out of respect for the lad who has endured and will continue to endure much shoving aside by friendly strangers who crane their necks inside the pushchair and coo over the visual spectacle of little clones.

I don't want my three to go through life as two groups - the twins then lad. I want them to be three people as well as understanding the natural grouping that twins have. Life is so much more fun with them all chatting, playing and being real people.
photo of twin2 taken by Maree Wilkinson


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