Tag Archives: earthquakes




When the land you love shakes beneath your feet

DSCF5556 and even rocks that look so solid

suddenly can shift because of a greater force, you wonder what is certain about your life anymore.

But the waves will still form and break

and the tides come and go.
The sea air is still tangy and refreshing. The sun warm and the sky blue on days like this one.
A wave surge hits the sea wall and exhilarates you with delight as salt water splashes your face.
It is ironic that nature means earthquakes here in Aotearoa but it is nature that we return to for solace and restoration of spirit and hope.

So what about these earthquakes?

If you go here you will get graphs and statistics to show just how many earthquakes have been recorded in Wellington.

We are fortunate here because we are not feeling every one. The people in Seddon and the Marlborough areas in the South Island have been having a much rougher time. There has been widespread damage and the people are feeling most of the aftershocks because they are so shallow.

For a different format from the official Seismic scientists go here:

Here are some of our provisions and supplies in case we are hit by a damaging earthquake:

This is an emergency solar powered radio with a wind-up dynamo. It is also a torch and has an attachment to charge up cell phones.


Candles,matches, emergency radio, bottled water, hand sanitiser

Candles,matches, emergency radio, bottled water, hand sanitiser

Food supplies for humans and cats,

Food supplies for humans and cats,

Bottled water, long life milk, rubbish sacks, wipes, hand sanitiser.

Bottled water, long life milk, rubbish sacks, wipes, hand sanitiser.

Paper towels and rechargable torch and USB  for the car cigarette lighter to recharge cameras, laptops and phones

Paper towels and rechargable torch and USB for the car cigarette lighter to recharge cameras, laptops and phones

Gas-fired Barbeque at the ready if we need it to cook on.

Gas-fired Barbeque at the ready if we need it to cook on.

Cell phone and charger, headlight.

Cell phone and charger, headlight.

Bulk loo paper

Bulk loo paper

Small solar powered torch that I keep by my bed and my Rescue Remedy spray

Old fashioned analogue telepnone that plugs into a phone jack and which does not rely on electricity or batteries.

Old fashioned analogue telepnone that plugs into a phone jack and which does not rely on electricity or batteries.

There are still some gaps to fill in our supplies and we need to sharpen up some aspects of our plans
This blog post from Moata in Christchurch offers some very helpful tips borne of very real experience. I’m working on some of them.

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

Further to my post yesterday about our resident Thrush, came a comment from Jo in Scotland, that my post, our winter and recent earthquakes had put her in mind of this poem…..I agree with Jo so here it is for you all to enjoy.

As a side note Jo keeps two blogs on the boil one here “Jo’s Journal” and the other here “The Hazel Tree”, both are stunning and so well written and interesting.

And the Thrush has been in full voice again here from first light. He is “off for lunch” at the moment, thanks to the noise of a local lawn mowing chap.

The Darkling Thrush
By Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Earthquake update

Thank you for all your kind wishes and messages of support and concern.

We have only felt a few of the aftershocks here but they continue unabated in Cook Strait where the fault-line is shuddering. Others in Wellington City and at the top of the South Island, particularly in Seddon and Blenheim are feeling many, many more of them. I think of them often and wish that the earth would stabilise quietly so they can gain some peace of mind.

Today is back to normal routines for us all and it has required some deep inner strength to confidently leave the house and travel to work, study and appointments etc. We watched people in Christchurch do this and take encouragement from their resolve.

For now it is a calm, cloudy, winter’s morning with birdsong filling the air providing a lovely focus.

Earthquakes in Wellington

Just a quick post to let you know that we have been experiencing some severe earthquakes since Friday. We live 30kms north west of Wellington city and have not felt many of the aftershocks BUT we have felt the large shakes.

The most recent 6.8 magnitude tremor was a very large one and we are understandably feeling on edge.

We have not found any damage in our home so far but we are definitely on alert and have checked our emergency supplies.

Link here to GNS for all the data.

Hearts hit home

I was so touched by this post by Ruth in Christchurch that I am reposting it here on my blog ( with Ruth’s agreement). Evie Harris deserves a huge pat on the back for convening such a caring and creative project.

Please click on the link to see the photos and just how many hearts were stitched by people from all over the world. In a world where we hear so much bad news this exhibition warms the heart and reminds us of the goodness of people and how something as ordinary as stitching fabric can display such emotion and care. Please encourage others to look at this amazing exhibition via Ruth’s blog.

8 January 2012 by realruth

Hearts for Christchurch, an exhibition at the Canterbury Museum, moved me to tears. There are more than 4,000 stitched hearts which have been sent from all over the world to show that people care about us. The project was convened by Evie Harris in Napier, and people were asked to send two heart shapes, sewn together, stuffed or not, embellished, embroidered, quilted, plain or fancy, felt or fabric. The hearts were sorted by colour, and will hang in the Museum Visitors’ Lounge until 22 February.

Hearts for Christchurch, More hearts for Christchurch and more…….

Some sent quilts:
This one reads: “Our hearts wrapped in tears for you on butterflies wings of hope”

What an absolutely beautiful idea this was!

“So many people sent a heart.
I’m deeply touched by this stitched art.”

Posted in Central Christchurch, Earthquake | 4 Comments »


Living waters, quilting and ceramics

We have been in the midst of a huge winter storm system since Friday. The wind has shaken the house at times, the thunder has shaken the house at times and the heavy rain and hail have pelted against the windows and roof. There have also been periods of calm and dry within all this extra high energy.

This is all set against the news in the past few days of more earthquakes in Japan, the Pacific, Christchurch and a sizeable tremor located in Taupo but felt here in various degrees of severity. The Kermadec Islands jolt set off Tsunami watches here and with three family members living or working close to the coast my antennae were well up for an hour or two until the “watch” was lifted. A tornado hit an area 35 kms north of where I live and that has put an increased alert in my mind too. There seems much to be aware of right now.

Set against all this weather and the forces of nature it was with delight that I noticed patches of blue sky during the morning and so I set off to watch a DVD being shown outside our main public library.

This DVD featured 2 or 3 episodes in the Living Waters, Tiakina Nga Taonga – Protect the Treasure series. The makers plan to make a new episode each month for a year celebrating the unique ecology, diversity and beauty of the Porirua Harbour and the piece that I see on an almost daily basis, the Pauatahanui Inlet.

I felt transported into a much calmer space as I sat and enjoyed the small creatures, the fish, the birdlife, and the plants that inhabit both the Inlet and its fresh water sources. The humans featured on the episodes ranged in age from young school age children to elderly, all of whom were learning about this wonderful environment and contributing to the maintenance and knowledge of a very unique eco-system.

I see on the website that there are episodes online that I have yet to view so if the forecast “systems” in this storm arrive I can look forward to watching those at home.

I then went to the nearby gallery and enjoyed the exhibition mounted by the Coastal Quilters and artists from the local Gear Homestead group. The range of colour, pattern and individual creations was stunning. It was a visual feast.

Refreshed from this outing I am pleased to report a lull in the weather currently which I am really enjoying.

The Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day and many people have been celebrating this winter solstice, acknowledging the importance of the dark but anticipating the return of the light.

It continues to be a very testing year here in New Zealand, especially for the residents of Christchurch and surrounding areas.

While nature has been showing her hand dramatically in many ways, nature has also been kind to us here in “windy” Wellington. We have had an exceptionally long period of calm weather with temperatures being unseasonably warm and none of us have any complaints about those two features.

We have had a good many days of cloud this week and the daylight is very low. However from my living room window there is a flowering cherry tree which still has an abundance of leaves which have all turned into their autumn finery after some clear, chilly nights last week.

Set against the low light it is a beacon of colour and vibrancy to relish and to remind us that sun, light and heat will return in time.

My photos do not necessarily do it justice as it seems to glow to the naked eye.