Sunday, January 25, 2015

In Christchurch With Katrina

After the trip down it was nice to now be able to spend just on a week with Katrina but I hadn’t thought it would be filled so much with shifting her from one flat to another.

Fortunately one of the flatmates had left already, bagging up all his things but not taking them with him yet. So I had a bed that Katrina made up in his old room on my own, so that was pleasant.

I knew that the flat she and a few others were in had to have some EQC repairs on it and they had to vacate it by the end of the week.
It seems to be an on-going shift around the city. As one home is fixed another somewhere eles has to be vacated for its new repairs. Just down the road from the new flat Katrina was moving into, the repairs were in full force. CERA (pronounced Sarah) is still at work helping and sorting all the issues that still exist after the devastating earthquakes February 22nd 2011, and one in September 2010.

Katrina had a room in her new flat but even that was just for a short time as it too was being vacated. It was a place for her to live at until she found somewhere else more permanent, knowing with the new University year looming there would be places available.

Unfortunately it turned out that in the end it would just be her and another guy at the first flat to do the entire final clean up and organisation of getting rid of stuff. 
There were plenty of things to be done before the bond would be repaid and as Katrina wants that it seemed to be that she would have to work for it even if the others would get it too without putting anything towards it.

I spent a lot of my time cleaning a 'flat' oven, fridge, washing machine and a few windows, walls etc.

The young lady who was renting out her room at the new flat for Katrina (at a reduced rate because she had had to find someone to help pay it as she had already found and moved into her new place) had to fly out of town for a few days, so she let me use her car.

She asked if I would be able to drop her off at the airport and I said that I was the least I could do seeing as how she was lending me her car. I dropped her at the airport feeling happy God saw our plight and blessed us with a set of wheels.(Thank you Jo)

In fact I don’t know how we would have coped without them. We took stuff to the dump and boxes of other things left behind around to the garage of the new flat. We also had to find a Post office to have mail redirected and other errands. I was even able to pick Katrina up from work one late night and we were able to just get a lot more things done. Katrina was able to stride around places (well she calls it walking with me literally trotting along beside her on my shorter legs - so I call her gait "striding") but although the walking was good for me within time my dodgy knee was starting to play up.

I had spent the day before shifting day looking for boxes at one of the supermarkets (One of Katrina’s friends had suggested this – thanks Gini) and the guy in the flat helped me pick them up. I did wonder if we would get everything boxed up and sorted but somehow we did. Well Katrina did, in between working at Overland and telling me she could do it.
For the day Katrina had to move out I had phoned and asked my cousin if he knew of a car and trailer we could borrow as I couldn’t use Thelma’s especially after the accident or even ask if it was available. Clive got back to me and offered his truck and I said yes knowing we would get a lot more on.

Little did I know it was going to be a beautiful old 1940s Chevy flat deck truck.

It was a beautiful day and we started to load up all her belongings.

Finally some of the friends who said they would help turned up and also loaded boxes etc into their car. It took two truckloads (well one and half really) and the car and it was all done. We farewelled Clive and thanked him for the truck and all his help.

Katrina and some of the guys had a beer – as you do - Katrina's first and last so she tells me. I must admit she agreed with me "Why would you drink something you don't like the taste of just because everyone else does?" I mean really, Why?

I was happy with my water but joined in the fun and laughter.

So then there is all the unpacking to do again.

This time it seemed Katrina and I would have to share a bed but Jo also said I could use her mattress and shifted it in from the garage. So once again God blessed us. I am not sure where Jo was sleeping as she wasn't at the flat and wasn't using her bed but then that's not my business or for me to reason. If God wanted to supply me with a bed I was not to try and 'work it out'.

I encouraged Katrina not to unpack too much as she would have to be repacking it all again in less than a month.  I also suggested that the boxes she did unpack she flattened and slid under her bed.

The new flat has a pool and seemed to get uninvited visitors like any place with a pool does!

The water was quite green to start with so I wasn’t keen for a dip even though it was pretty hot.

In between all the shifting Katrina worked and I manage to have a bit of fun, not much resting and reading but I had hot chocolates and coffee with her at the mall.

I even dreamed of a new pair of shoes. Funnily enough Katrina said she had thought they were 'Mumsey's kind of shoe' when she first saw them in the shop.

The morning after we were in the new flat we were woken just before 7.00am with a rocking and noise and I knew even though I had not experienced Christchurch's previous shakes that once again it was being rocked by a size 6 earthquake. The thing about a quake is that you are completely at the mercy of it and your surroundings. You can not stop it or even control it - it controls you.

How long will it last?
Will it get bigger?
At what stage do I get under something safe?
Fortunately this one was actually centered a far way away from Christchurch itself even though it was quite strong.

So of course to recover from something like that one needs a little cake!

On the last night we managed a trip into the CBD.

It is still bare in places where the buildings have been pulled down and not as yet rebuilt, some places still with piles of rubble and a sense still that one isn't quite sure where you are. I did notice that the fences around the Cathedral had closed in further around it so things must be improving there too.

But there are places coming alive with a “new” Christchurch, one that is evolving into the city that has survived.

Here we looked around the tram station and restaurant area.

Once again I thought there is so much of Christchurch that I havn't discovered or expereinced.

Next time maybe...

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