– Ferry Road, Woolston, Canterbury, New Zealand

I wrote this 4 days later.

12.51pm February 22nd 2011, I was driving along Ferry Road when all of a sudden something seemed wrong, I looked around and realised that all the cars parked around me were bucking and diving so I stopped, then I checked behind me to make sure I wasn’t about to be run into and then looked forward again in time to see one of the buildings that was damaged in the Sept 4 earthquake come crashing down, that was only about 150m ahead of me. Once the shaking had stopped, while trying to hold back tears I quickly drove to Playcentre to make sure one of the Mums that I was looking for wasn’t there, she wasn’t, I turned around informed the neighbours what the dust cloud was from then drove back home. The smooth road I had driven along before was all buckled and bent, I pulled up the drive, jumped out raced in to the house to grab Lauren’s buggy so that I could have her safe while I went to find some company only to discover that my house was completely trashed, things had been ejected from every cupboard and all the shelves, I dug out the buggy from under a mountain of pantry items where it had rolled and then noticed our huge window in the lounge had shattered so I closed the door to stop the cat from getting out, went outside, grabbed the kids and went back down the road to where there were people where I told them that I was there for some adult company and they were very pleased to oblige, once they open again I’ll be popping in to say thanks that’s for sure!

There were cracks in the road, liquefaction in the park across the river and general bedlam. Mark had been in town as he was on jury duty, he was on the 4th floor of the court building, they managed to get out and he walked home, from what I can work out it took about an hour which on a normal day is a very quick trip, given the state of town was an amazing feat. Once he was home we boarded up the window and made the house live able. We have coped reasonably well even after we lost our land line for a day and a half due to the batteries on the exchange dying which they eventually replaced with a generator. This afternoon after arranging for fresh ice bottles for the chilly bin and a generator we got home to discover that we had power. Tonight friends invited us out for a proper dinner where we shouldn’t have to worry about aftershocks and could have a proper shower and we’ve ended up staying the night, it’s nice not to worry about the shaking for a few hours but will be good to get home and properly clean the house now we can take the covering off the floor and clean up the glass properly.

We are all safe and well, we’ve been coping much better than September and Mark even went to work on Friday with my blessing and I stayed at home with the kids on my own which I wouldn’t have even thought about in September. Mark’s new employer has been brilliant, they are putting the power back on but have stressed that family comes first and not to come in until you are happy that your family and house will be ok without you, he gets in and is given a lunch bag, starts at 7.30am and is home by 5pm pretty much, on the first day they sent him home with bottled water and loaves of bread.

Sorry for the messy post but that’s about how my brain is working at the moment!

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