Update from Christchurch

Have just managed to talk to my daughter - a great relief!  Meredith is camping out in the garden in a tent because it simply isn't safe to be in the house.  Two friends whose own house was completely demolished are there as well.  There's intermittent power, but no water or sewage.  Thanks to the dress rehearsal in September (though no one knew it was back then) she had emergency supplies in the garden shed and so they are managing to survive.  A lucky escape though - she had just driven through the centre to drop someone off in the square.  Half an hour later .......  
So, fortunately she was giving the kids lunch in the dining room when she felt the first rumble, instinctively knew this wasn't just another aftershock, grabbed the kids and dragged them straight out of the french doors into the garden.  We had all found out in September that if you don't get out in the first seconds you're unable to move at all.  I have terrible memories of being unable to even roll out of bed, while Meredith was on the floor trying to reach the children's bedroom.
This time her husband was on a business trip to Auckland - a very long way away.  No flights or trains, so he has had to hire a car and drive.  24 hours after the quake he still hadn't arrived, but was hoping to make it within a few more hours.
Meredith told me about things that had happened to her friends - too awful to repeat here.  There is obviously considerable loss of life in the suburbs, not just in the city centre.  Every family is affected in some way by loss of life, injury or property damage.  There isn't a single person in the city whose life will be the same.   My heart goes out to all of them - one feels very helpless -   if only thoughts were actions.....


  1. I am very glad you have been in touch with your daughter-possession can be replaced-somehow through my love of Katherine Mansfield I feel connected to New Zealand and your great book helped me to understand how important New Zealand was to Katherine-we here in Manila are also in an earthquake zone-keep us advised

  2. It is truly dreadful news - but I am glad to hear your daughter and family are safe Kathleen.

  3. Dear Kathleen - what a relief to know that your daughter and her family are safe. It has been a terrifying time - and so hard for you at a distance, waiting to hear your loved ones are alright. Take care over there. Sending you love, Claire

  4. Thank goodness Meredith and her family are all safe. You must be so relieved to talk to her yourself.
    If thoughts were actions I guess you'd have Meredith & co on a plane out of NZ.
    Such a massive disaster in a country as small as NZ means everyone is touched somehow.

  5. Glad to hear they are safe, sorry they are living in a tent - I hope they can get somewhere more comfortable soon. We are all finding out that it is no fun living without power, running water and sewage. We have just got our power back on a few hours ago and I am catching up on all the news, we have been very limited to surviving in our own small patch for the last couple of days.

  6. Thanks for all your supportive comments. I can't even begin to imagine what the people of Christchurch are going through now. Just after the event there's a kind of numbness and euphoria at actually being alive. Then the reality of it bites. I hope you are managing ok Catherine - it's really hard without the mod cons we've come to rely on.


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