– Halswell Junction Rd, Halswell

We, at Halswell Junction did not lose power or water. It was reassuring to see lights on in the neighbourhood when we got up that early Saturday morning. We turned on the radio straight away – it was still going hours later when we woke up. That was when I opened the front door to a moonscape, a grey mess sweeping down and into the garage which had a layer of silt.

4 September was Open Day at the new CCC (Christchurch City Council) building. I was picked up at 10am. We made our way over cracks and bumps in Halswell. Everything looked normal along Hilmorton and Lincoln Road until we wanted petrol at Shell Barrington but there was a jam of cars wanting to be filled. The scene into the city looked normal, except for the odd pile of red bricks fallen from older buildings. The brand new CCC building would withstand an earthquake. “Park under the Art Gallery,” I suggested. Hello, the door is closed, a man in a bright vest at the entrance. “Drive around to the Hereford Street entrance”, I suggest. Hello, white notices are taped onto the windows telling us the building is closed because of the earthquake. “Come to the Art Gallery”, I urged, “there are some wonderful sculptures I’d like you to see”, our way was barred once again. It was to be the penultimate day of their exhibition. I hope the sculptures are alright; some of them are kinetic and I did not hear anything of their fate.

So we made our way back to Halswell, joining the queue for petrol en route, seeing the piles of silt starting to appear at the kerb.

Time to start work on the sand volcanoes at my place.

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