Local Heart, Global Soul

January 8, 2017

Back Then This Road Was Open, Today They Are Working On It…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch have left Kaikoura behind and are heading towards Blenheim and then Picton, so that we can catch the InterIsland Ferry.

These photographs were of course taken three years ago, but in recent months a series of exceptionally large earthquakes have shaken Kaikoura, most of them having their epicenter in this northeastern area of the South Island.

New Zealand is of course no stranger to earthquakes, but have experienced many more than average since the large quakes that have rocked Christchurch since 2010.

This area is lucky in that it is sparsely populated, a magnitude 7.8 followed by the many aftershocks above 5.0  in a densely populated area anywhere in the world would be certain to cost lives.

Livestock were lost to the quake due to landslides and to that fact that in a few places the ground quickly opened up and then closed again (a terrifying thought but a mercifully quick death). This area is still somewhat isolated because of landslips on State Highway One on the northern side of Kaikoura, the slips to the south having been fewer in size and number and having been cleared in recent weeks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The northern slips are predicted to take at least two months, so all traffic between Wellington and Christchurch is currently having to take the only other road north, the “inland route” , a journey that now takes at least seven hours.

Fortunately back in 2013 we didn’t need to take the Inland route and between three and four hours later were in Picton where the ferry awaited.

The crossing to Wellington was stormy and rough so we kept near the upper decks, I kept far, far away from food and we all got through the crossing intact.

There was a magician on board (for the Christmas school holidays) and he kept a lot of the kids distracted from the rolling of the ship with jokes, magic and balloon animals and shapes, Kiwi Daughter likes monkeys so was delighted that the man was able to fashion a monkey in a tree, Little Mr requested a bike, both kids were satisfied customers.

I’ve been in a far worse crossing in my youth and survived that (the chairs weren’t bolted to the floor in those days and with very roll the unoccupied chairs would start skidding towards the low side. When the opposite roll came they would repeat their movement in the opposite direction, as soon as I got in to Wellington that trip I found out that the ferry sailing in the opposite direction had been cancelled because it was deemed too rough to get through).

Luckily this storm was nothing on that one, but that said it was a very different experience to some of our other near-millpond  crossings. We peered out of the porthole at the InterIslander’s sister ferry going past us near the Wellington Heads… they heading into the worst of Cook Straight weather and us about to shelter from it. Wellington harbour was a welcome sight, even more so for Kiwi Daughter and I, as anyone who has ever suffered from sea sickness can attest to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch) (Salt flats)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

January 5, 2017

Kiwi Daughter Wood Prove Me Wrong…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in mid December 2013 Family Kiwidutch were in New Zealand on holiday.

We spent a few days in Christchurch before heading up to one of our favourite places: Hanmer Springs.

We had no sooner arrived and headed off to the hot pools  when the season’s firewood delivery truck arrived, and in error, the wood dumped partly in the small shed and partly on the lawn in front of it at the back of the property instead of in the garage.

Jason who runs the Hanmer Holiday Homes rentals apologised for the mix-up, the wood should have gone into the garage and just as we were discussing what to do next, Himself and Kiwi Daughter bounded in: they wanted to be the ones to shift it.

Apparently there is nothing like shifting two and a half cord of firewood to burn off the blues of sitting in a plane for a total of twenty-four hours, they thought the exercise would be great fun. I cautioned Kiwi Daughter against the idea that the first fifteen minutes would be great and then she would want to pack things in, but no… apparently she was even keener than Himself to take on the job. She assured me that she would see it though. I told Jason that everything had been worked out, so everyone was pleased.  After long flights I always have more problems with my asthma and my foot was sore, so I headed off to some pain killers, nebulization and a nap, leaving Little Mr comfortably reading comics because he wasn’t keen to join in with the work outside.

Meanwhile Himself and Kiwi Daughter set to work and by the time I woke up they had shifted half of the enormous pile of wood from out of the shed and in front of it and stacked it against the far wall of the double garage.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: Shed in distant back above top left of picnic table.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: Shed in distant back above top left of picnic table.

Even at the half way stage the outside pile of wood reached as high as Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder. She was powering along with no sign or intention of stopping.

I started to take photographs of the work from that point.

Later Kiwi Daughter reluctantly stopped work for dinner, then pushed on, telling us that she aimed to finish everything in one day but it finally got too dark to work or take photographs.

When the light faded we prized her away from the last of it, it was too much to finish safely and yet little enough that it was frustrating.

Kiwi Daughter surprised us by being up bright and early the next day, out at the shed, the steady thud of lumps of wood as they landed in the wheelbarrow being my early morning wake up call.

A little over an hour later Kiwi Daughter and Himself had not only cleared up the wood from the lawn but also cleaned and swept the shed and garage. It was a very impressive feat that earned her a hot meat pie from the local shop, followed by a an extra large helping of gumdrop ice-cream in a cone.
I found out later that day from Himself that Kiwi Daughter’s motivation hadn’t come completely out of the blue. She was twelve-going-on-thirteen years old at this time, and in a strange stroppy pre-teen stage.Therefore like most kids she had been testing parental boundaries, which included months of neglecting household chores.

I had told her several times prior to our trip that she was a lazy kid(which she was at the time) but on this occasion she had said to Himself: “I am going to prove to Mama that I am not lazy!”). This “proof” turned out to be temporary mind you.. it didn’t extend to most holiday chores later, her excuse being “but Mama, I’m on holiday!” I have to say that I was seriously impressed with the work she accomplished, it may have been a one-off but it proved that she has the determination to stick to her guns and finish some seriously hard work, even if the going got tough after a while. I was proud of her… She wanted to prove me wrong, and she did!

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: The shed that was in far background of previous photo.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: The shed that was in far background of previous photo.

The remaining half of the woodpile was up to Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The distance between the shed and the house (garage on the other side of the house per second photograph)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Half of the wood stacked inside the garage whilst I slept…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First thing the next morning this was all that was left…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A shout out to the friendly neighbour who loaned us the wheelbarrow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr’s contribution: play with his “plane”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 26, 2016

A Sight I Wish I Could Wish For Communities All Over The World…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Recycling has always been a big thing in The Netherlands.

For decades in every neighbourhood has sported large bins, usually in threes, one for paper, one for clear glass and one for coloured glass.

Many plastic bottles have a fee on them that can be reclaimed by delivering the empty bottle back at your local supermarket. There was always a “green bin” collection too,  for food scraps.

Then in recent years the recycling effort was ramped up several notches, with the addition of plastic recycling points: this time, plastic like cling film, grocery plastic packaging wrappings and the like.

Large household items like whitewares: fridges, washing machines etc have a special tax included in the new purchase price that covers the cost of dealing with disposal at the end of it, and there is a system where large items of household furniture can be taken away from off the street by your door  by the city council after you have made an appointment for a removal date.

Tradition states for this last one that the goods must be put onto the street the evening before, usually more than one item is put out at once and then one of two things happen (sometimes both) first: others who have not made an appointment add their large metal or wood furniture to the pile or second, other people spy something that they can make use of and take it away. I have to say that sometimes people throw away things in surprisingly good state so it’s a brilliant system and it’s always a topic of conversation if someone scores something especially good this way.

I’ve grown to love this system, and recycling in general so the next step in the “green” revolution was exciting too, even if it took a little bit of getting used to at first.  It used to be that our rubbish bags for things that can not currently be recycled were collected once per week from our door step. The last year or two has seen the springing up in every street or two, rows of two or three underground containers topped with smaller tops where the bags are inserted. Now you walk to one of these whenever your rubbish bag is full and drop it off into the container.

In the first weeks it felt strange not to be piling bags on the street on the set day, but the advantages quickly became apparent: now there was no chance for the seagulls to indulge their habit of tearing open the bags and scattering rubbish far and wide. In summer months bags didn’t sit starting to smell ripe on balconies waiting for rubbish day, and if you were due to go on holiday on a Tuesday and your collection day was always a Friday then there was not longer the hassle of asking neighbours to deal with it.

We quickly got use to this system and love the ease and convenience. Older people can take a small walk and dispose of rubbish every day if they wish, if you have a large family event you can deal with almost all aspects of the recycling  in one go. The “green bin” for household scraps is still collected on a set day each week, but seeing these little green boxes popping up not only in my city but also nation wide, is a sight that I wish I could wish for communities all over the world.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 19, 2016

We Need Electric Cars To Come In An Assortment Of Larger Sizes…

Electric cars are catching on fast in The Netherlands. In the past year whilst on our way to medical appointments, or to family or friends, I have seen more and more of them, sitting at their distinctive charging stations on the street. I can count quite a few in close vicinity to our home, more in the larger area and many around the city.  Himself and I would jump at the chance of an electric vehicle, if only they made them in a seven seater edition. We not only fill our car to the brim with kids on a regular basis, but also carry around a wheelchair for me to use whenever we have to negotiate distances larger then I can manage on crutches. The wheelchair takes up a ridiculous amount of space, especially if we need to pack in groceries or luggage and a few kids as well.  We need the combination of boot space and seats that our current car gives us. Himself and I both hope that electic cars come out in an assortment of larger sizes as quickly as possible, it would be amazing to have one of our own.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 29, 2016

Choosing Function Over Form…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The foot saga continues (in a good way at least) in that my custom boot is now ready.

Of course it’s a prototype and a “work-in-progress”, and we hope to improve future additions as I discover what works and what doesn’t, but it’s a start and a big step away from my old lumpy grey plastic boot.

This one, ok, whilst only slightly less lumpy, is at least a little more camouflaged in basic black.

This is only the second shoe the company have ever made where the entire front section lifts off so that the foot can go in at ninety degrees, so the only way to know if it helps in reality is to wear it.

Even though it’s custom made for my foot, I will have to get to know how tight to pull the straps and to see if enough space has been left for my foot to swell when I’ve been standing, or sitting with my foot down for longer.

I will have to get used to the pressure of the construction on my skin rather than the airbags that are in the bigger boot. I will have to get comfortable with wearing it for longer periods of time. They suggested starting with just five minutes, practicing balancing and generally getting used to it without overdoing it.

We already see some gaps between the  two sections that are going too need adjusting in a future boot, in the meantime I’m looking forward to leading the way in this experimental shoe design. I care less about the look, by now there have been too many hours of tears and pain to start quibbling about if something is enough of a fashion statement, “functional” will do be perfectly well and I’m happy to help make it more and more functional and fashionable later into the future. That said I have also reached the stage where if I had to choose between something that looked fabulous and something that didn’t, but did the job better, I’d go for function over form every day of the week. At least we are trying something new, looking at alternative ideas and making the best of a nasty situation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 23, 2016

There Is No Age Limit On Fun, … Or Wagers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we leave the “Playtoday” Lego shop in Gouda I am keen to take a look at some of the detailed models in the shop.

Parked inside large perspex display cabinet these display pieces are safe from prying little fingers but make photography tricky, so a few of my shots have lighting issues.

Little Mr. and I probably spent rather too long excitedly pointing out to one another some of the especially well done details that we saw to one another but there is no age limit to having fun is there?

In general, each of us liked different things but share a love of a “good build” and humorous details.

We agreed that the use of tiny, clear round bricks to represent the breaking of waves around a wind sailor or a jetty was a masterful move,  he loved the balloon “hovering” over the island, I loved the jewel detail in the pirate island treasure chest and we both grinned when we saw a crab on the roof of a beach-front property.

I loved building things a a kid and was disappointed that Kiwi Daughter never looked twice at Lego, so my son’s delight is also my own, I am often to be found being the Chief Lego “sorter outer-er”, combing through heaps to find a piece that he needs to make his next project complete.

It gives us a chance to chat about stuff too, and what he doesn’t know is that I am secretly trying to learn some of the construction tricks of the trade.

Why? the answer is simple. I looked at a few of the entries in the competition display cabinet and said ” I could do that!” which was met with horrified, wide eyed disapproving stares from Little Mr. “Not cool“… he declared later in the car, “that was sooo embarrassing“.

The problem is that he doesn’t think I am anywhere near being able to enter any competition. Oh yeah?  In fact he believes so strongly that I can’t that he has wagered me Euro 10,– of his pocket money that I win. Yes,  of course he stands to gain the same from me if I can’t.  Entries are once per year, at the beginning of the 2017 summer school holidays. I have to start thinking about a topic and a build that will blow everyone out of the water. Hmmm… Thinking cap would be great… if I had thoughts. I have time. Watch this space.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 22, 2016

There’s Profit In Inspiration And Building Dreams…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Playtoday” Lego shop in Gouda is probably one of the places closest to heaven as far as Little Mr is concerned.

They are open one Sunday in the month, which is how we found ourselves there exactly as the doors were opened, and with Little Mr chomping at the bit to give the place a full check over.

The “pick-and-mix” brick wall drew him first, but it wasn’t long before he discovered the room out the back where Lego was laid out on tables for people to build with.

There are also display cabinets containing competition entry models, which prompted much debate between the two of us about which we thought was the best.

I love the models but the Lego figure wall decorations are one of my favourite things there too.

All around us was Lego, Lego and more Lego, and once again I have to give credit to a company that not only makes money from the wishes of kids but also inspires so much creativity and zeal from the product they sell.

I took these photographs in the first fifteen minutes we were inside, after that parents started to arrive, pulled in by their offspring. It just goes to prove that the is a profit to be made in inspiration and in building dreams.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

November 21, 2016

Building On A Summer Time Wish…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My son is a die hard Lego fanatic.

Not only is it an obsession, he has built up an encyclopedic knowledge  about which bricks belong to which sets,  which parts are often used together,  tips and tricks for all sorts of building and the best prices for pieces and sets.

It’s true that his “wish list” is so long that we’d need to be billionaires to accommodate it and that his dreams for Lego sets outweigh his pocket money, so he has also become a keen budgeter and bargain hunter.

This summer each of our children were promised a weekend activity that they choose themselves. Little Mr spent a long time thinking about it before deciding to ask for a visit to a Lego shop in Gouda.

What he really wanted was t visit somewhere that had a Lego “wall” where individual bricks could be purchased, Gouda met the criteria and he was keen to go.

Himself’s work schedule didn’t allow for a weekday visit but Little Mr found out that one shop was open every third Sunday in the month,  which is how we ended up at the “Playtoday” shop on a little street near the centre of Gouda.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

November 16, 2016

Overload…

Following yesterday’s post, …more photographs.

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

Supermarket in Seddon…

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

On Ward beach the coastal rock shelf, lifted by the force of the quake“.

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© AFP. On the Clarence River a landslide creates a natural dam…

© AFP

© AFP

© New Zealand Defence Force

© New Zealand Defense Force

The evacuation of tourists and people in need continues in Kaikoura

© Reuters

© Reuters

 

November 15, 2016

It’s Worry About Friends And Family That Really Gives Me The Shakes…

© @danielbullen / Twitter

© @danielbullen / Twitter

It has been a turbulent week on many levels.

More background on this will come in a future post, but on Sunday Family Kiwidutch were having lunch with extended family when the sort of phone call everyone dreads left me breaking out in a cold sweat.

The friend on the other end of the line sounded very worried, the message: ” There’s been a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand, you need to turn on the News…”

I started shaking,  anyone even remotely au fait of how the Richter scale works knows that this is not “just another quake“, this is a terrifying, Godzilla sized earthquake.

My heart was racing as I excused myself from the group, pulled out my phone and started dialing New Zealand family and friends.

Himself did the same from his phone: luckily everyone is safe and well and any possible damage that may come to light,  although heart breaking and soul wrenching after all these years of painstaking rebuilding, is in the end… …only stuff.

I got to News sites as quickly as possible, the epicenter seems to be slightly south of Hanmer Springs, our preferred mountain bolt hole whenever we visit New Zealand.

First and foremost Kiwi’s (the nickname for New Zealanders) will see that everyone throughout the affected communities are ok, from the very young to the very old. That water, food, electricity and other essentials are in order, then to get the roads, bridges etc back open … and then the rest of the clean up begins.

Only after that will we assess damage reports (if any), some time in the coming days… that’s what reams of insurance papers are for, right?

Kaikoura on the north of the east coast on the South Island is the largest community closest to the epicenter. Currently cut off by road from the outside world, the problem is not just the millions of tons of debris have to be cleared from the road but that in many cases entire hillside slopes above the mess have to be stabilized before it can be declared truly safe. A popular whale watching spot, with 2000 locals, there are also an estimated 1200 tourists are trapped in the town, but if past experiences are anything to go by, these tourists will not be left in the lurch as locals rise to the occasion and take excellent care of their guests.

Needless to say that is exactly what has been happening. I’ve been looking at various news sites and there is a Rescue mission on the way for Kaikoura and the link tells me that:  “After feeding 700 people the clean up begins at Takahanga marae, local business owner Dexarelli helps out.”

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

The piece then went on to say that: “Adelphi Bar and Restaurant chef Jason Timms said the crayfish would normally be destined for restaurants such as his, but they are all closed, many with extensive damage.”

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

Four NH90 helicopters will begin the evacuation of  the first 200 people from Kaikoura today, and their efforts will continue because damage to the town’s reservoir mean that drinking water will soon be in short supply. On the lighter side, although Kaikoura tourists get the earthquake “experience” and a helicopter ride for free, if the crayfish dinners continue, some of them may be reluctant to leave!

© SNPA / David Alexander

© SNPA / David Alexander

My father told me on the phone that this big earthquake had a long rolling movement. Rather than the sharp jolts of previous big quakes this was like the house was floating and rolling on waves on the sea, but some of the rolls were really big.

The weird noises that the ground and house made were creepy, but the thing that scared my step-mother and him most by far was the seriously long duration of the quake.

Earthquakes that carry on for more than a minute wear down the resilience of manmade structures so it’s a testament the strength of the New Zealand building codes that there are NOT buildings pancaked all over the country.

It’s also unusual that this was felt from Dunedin to Auckland, as a comparison, NZ is roughly the length of France, so that’s a big area for one quake to reach.

Strangely too, early reports suggest that this is NOT our biggestTrans Alpine fault” system that went, but a series of faults closer to the extreme edge of the east coast. That would be the same as a quake that size hitting California and it running along the actual coastline but not the San Andreas fault… if this is true then who knows what it all means… is the “big one” still yet to come???

Regular readers know that I constantly take photographs when we are out and about in the car. Our trips along State Highway One when we are in new Zealand are no exception. I didn’t manage to request permission to post these photographs, but I have given full credit and some links back to the pages from whence they came. I hope that this is permissible.

I hope that between the links back to my photographs and theirs we can give “before” and “after” views of what has to be one of the most scenic main trunk highways any country can boast of.

It’s just such a shame that it is now in the news for all the wrong reasons. It looks like New Zealand almost dodged the bullet when it comes to loss of life. My prayers and thoughts go out to those who lost loved ones. For the rest of us, the time, effort and cost of getting this very important road operational again will have to be borne, but meanwhile it’s the worry about family and friends that really gives me the shakes.

A few of Kiwi’s previous blog posts: Traffic Jam Kiwi-Style: Roads, Tunnels, The Coast …and Nature’s Nudists!

Whooo Whooo …catching a train, and dolphin (with a car and a helicopter!)

(Note: The dark area in the bottom right of the photo below is not the high tide mark, it is the sea floor that has been pushed up by the quake)

© The Associated Press

© The Associated Press

From:   NZ News: 7.5 magnitude earthquake in pictures

“A railway line is damaged by an earthquake, near Tirohanga stream south of Blenheim.”

© Anthony Phelps / Reuters

© Anthony Phelps / Reuters

Pic: Sgt Sam Shepherd/Courtesy of Royal NZDF

Pic: Sgt Sam Shepherd/Courtesy of Royal NZDF

Various other photographs…

© @alexperro / Twitter

© @alexperro / Twitter

© @alexperro / Twitter

© @alexperro / Twitter

 © Garden City Helicopters


© Garden City Helicopters

Written in the dust on the car: “driver out & safe“.

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

Marlborough District Council

Marlborough District Council

© ANTHONY PHELPS / Reuters

© ANTHONY PHELPS / Reuters

© @dickbricknell / Twitter

© @dickbricknell / Twitter

© Stuart Smith / Facebook

© Stuart Smith / Facebook

 

 

 

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