– St Martins, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Life changes.
We were in the UK when the first quake struck. When we returned we were able to live in our house, sharing our room with a number of ceiling joists covered with a tarpaulin wasn’t perfect but we figured better than it could have been.

We embarked on a journey with the Insurance world that many will be familiar with. EQC. For how many people do those initials create a sense of queasy unease and a sense of physical and mental stress? Their role was certainly very challenging but this was only matched by their own incompetence, which is largely what has made it so very hard for so many people.

So when February 22 arrived we ended up with a property which our Insurance company deemed uneconomic to repair. Nowhere in around the two storey 100 year-old house seemed safe and like many we desperately searched for another property to rent whilst trying to work out how to get our treasured belongings from the house before it was red-stickered.

We found friends, neighbours and complete strangers helping us for hours to move and pack, we went and helped friends clean up liquefaction and fix broken water pipes. Humanity rose up and the sense of community was overwhelming and striking.

And then of course there was the rest of our City. Whilst we worked, packed and searched for our new life we watched and listened and news from beyond our small little corner filtered into our lives. Tragedy and sadness for so many in Christchurch. For the families of those who were lost, unimaginable times ahead…

Life changes.

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