Tuesday, June 14, 2011

13 June

Hard to remember back to the morning.
It was hard getting away. Couldn't find stuff- searched for Oscar's notebook, for example, which it turned out had gone home with another kid. Pen said at one stage I 'wasn't coping' and I gave her a short rant.
We got off. Biddy home sick. Julia, I think, in the front seat. No heater in the car. The worst thing about this is the way the windows mist and drip and befog. Nice day, though. A hint of frost, thin rime on the grass.
Running about 10 minutes late by Avonhead School. Pen called to say the truck wouldn't start. Bugger.
Started to work- getting purchase orders, a few calls; looked over the mudfish script. Walked over the UC to a meeting with Jen Hay and Matthew. Jogged- running late.
Went to the wrong 104. Then again- then found it. The 'seismic archive' could be an interesting project. (Rumble, then the little 'crunch' of another after shock as I write).
we'd almost finished talking when the building began to shake. We looked at each other, I guess looking for someone to take the lead in responding. The shaking lasted for a while. There was a nasty sound of concrete pillars grinding. Nobody really moved, and then, as far as I recall, Jen Hay more or less continued what she'd been saying.
We were finished, really- we trooped outside. Buildings were evacuating, fairly casually, in the sun. Matt rode off to check out the kids. I headed back to College, to ring and see what the schools were doing. Poppy texted on someone elses' phone to say she was ok. I replied, and asked if school was shutting. She said she'd find out.
Back in the office, I rang Pen. We dithered about what to do. A 5.5 on geonet.
Poppy was ok and school re-opened. I thought the others would be too, but calls to both schools did not get through. Pen said she had the truck going, and would need to leave to pick up Oscar soon anyway. So I started work again, in a fitful way.
A security guard came past some time after 2 and told me I have to get out. I grumbled a bit. Poppy was not due to finish til 6- a drama practice- so I wasn't sure what I'd do with myself. Gathered up bag, laptop and camera bag, and headed to the car. Then realised I didn't have the battery charger (I'd brought it in to charge the work van battery- we needed it at home for the truck) and my cellphone.
Went back in, and got my cellphone. Must've been locking the door when the next big quake hit. The building groaned; the ground swayed. I came out the door at great pace.
John the security guard was there, half-laughing. "I thought that building was clear!" he said. Pen called. She'd been stuck in traffic, near the Victoria St clock tower. I told her I'd get Julia, and head for Poppy.
Avonhead school was busy, but it almost seemed a familiar bustle. Had to sign to pick Julia up. We drove past the University, heading for Rangi, listening to national radio. Traffic really clogged on Straven Rd, though people let us in. We inched down and onto Fendalton, then Holmwood Rd. Parked and walked to get Pop. Julia was chirpy and chatty. Peered about at the great mass of students on the field- Poppy saw us first. Hugs from teachers, talked to Isabel, and back to the car. Julia is not at all frightened of earthquakes, but terrified of crossing the road.
Very slow down Wairekei; turned onto Greers, then Waimari- and decided to head via backstreets for Hornby.
This worked out ok- especially as we went past Avonhead where Julia got her glasses, Poppy used the loo, and we stocked up on lollies at the dairy. Poppy and Julia listening to Harry Potter on P's macbook, we drove around town, then back over the hill. The radio full of more stories of terror, damage, and that sense of 'oh, puh-leese- not AGAIN!'
Home, all together. Drove around and fed the horses, hooked the truck up to the charger, started the generator, checked email, facebook, mercproductions; made dinner... Poppy reading Alana to the twins. Fire blazing. Oscar likes to listen as well.
No school tomorrow, but I am going in to shoot something. P and I watched an episode of Treme. Love way great music twines into everything. I find it inspiring. Jumped up and started reading about Louis Armstrong, growing up poor in Orleans, befriended by the jewish family (he wore a Star of David the rest of his life) his politics, oddities, musical genius- the playful, mournful-happy jumpiness of his cornet playing- and that voice.

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