One year on

We were interviewed by a journalist from The Herald this week and there’s a photo of us in the paper today:

He was here for an hour talking to us and it’s funny seeing which bits he chose to put into the article. He described me as “permanently jittery”, ha, ha. I wouldn’t describe myself that way but how has the earthquake experience affected me one year on?

I think about natural disasters much more than I used to. They were never more than a rare thought when visions of other people’s disasters flashed on the news. It was always something that happened to someone else. Now that it has happened to me, that excuse no longer holds. It does not affect me physiologically in that I don’t experience heightened anxiety or heart rate. I just think about it and make attempts to avoid it happening, like moving cities, or I plan our exit strategy. I run through scenarios in my mind about what I would do if an eruption were imminent. I would load the push-chair with both kids and as much food and water as I could carry as well Ben’s big back-pack. Then I ‘d head west, on foot, with the lot including both dogs.

I don’t think about earthquakes so much now that we are in Auckland and I will enter buildings, even old ones that look suspiciously earthquake-prone. I do make a point of asking the tenant or whoever I can what the status is of their building in terms of earthquake-proofing. No-one ever knows and they look at me oddly but the only way people in Auckland are going to get earthquake-safe buildings is if they pressure the owners of the buildings so I wish everyone made a habit of doing this.

When a big truck drives past our house, I still pause in anticipation of an earthquake, but mostly my heart rate remains the same because I know it’s probably not an earthquake.

I don’t like being too far away from the children. Sometimes I go into Auckland city while Daniel is at school and I feel that he’s all alone on the North Shore and if something were to happen I’d never make it back.

All these feelings are there but I’m not anxious or terrified as I was in Christchurch. I sleep well every night and am loving my life at the moment. Daniel is doing so well at school and I’m enjoying having just Elizabeth to entertain during the day. I have some fabulous friends here and never feel lonely. I’ve got an amazing, clever husband who loves spending time with his family. I love my life. I just wish it were somewhere else.

One Reply to “One year on”

  1. "Earthquake-prone" is a misleading term. If someone is accident-prone, it means they have many accidents. So "earthquake-prone" should mean "has many earthquakes". But a so-called earthquake-prone building doesn't suffer from more earthquakes than other buildings: it is just more likely to fall down. A better term would be "earthquake-susceptible".P.S. I always enjoy reading your blog.

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