Snowdrops in my garden and the Christchurch earthquake

The days are getting noticeably longer again. It seems to change very quickly from light to dark as winter sets in and then from dark to light again as winter draws to a close. Last November, the days grew shorter surprisingly quickly. You could see the difference from one day to the next. Now, in February, the sun is setting later and later and it seems to change very quickly. Today the sun will set at 5:26pm whereas just before Christmas last year, it was more like 3:30pm. That’s remarkable.

Signs of the end of winter are present in our garden too where we have a carpet of snowdrops blossoming. They’re beautiful.


It hasn’t been very cold here and I haven’t seen ice or snow since our weekend in Aviemore. The days have been quite sunny too. Aberdeen is a very sunny part of the UK. I wasn’t expecting this at all and although I’m not a sun person, the British sun is fine since it doesn’t burn my skin.

It’s the fourth anniversary of the February 22nd Christchurch earthquake tomorrow. As testimony to how far I’ve moved on from this, I completely forgot about it and was only reminded of it when reading the New Zealand news site,, late last night. If the earthquake had never happened, I may not have moved to Scotland, I probably wouldn’t have started blogging, and may never have started working for Automattic in a job I enjoy immensely. It’s strange how something so awful could be the reason for some wonderful changes in my life. But I guess there might have been other wonderful things happen had the earthquake not occurred. I’ll just never know.

There’s a good article in Stuff, The Trapped: Where are they now?, which I found moving. For the rest of the world the earthquake was an event in the past and has long been forgotten. But this article makes clear that for the people still in Christchurch and for those more severely affected, the disaster is ongoing.

21 responses to “Snowdrops in my garden and the Christchurch earthquake”

  1. I know you said my snow pictures were nice, but I would trade that view very quickly to have some of those snow drops in my yard instead of snow drifts above my head.

    I’m going to have to read through some older posts about earthquakes I think.

    1. We haven’t had any snow here for a little while now and even then, it’s never very much. So we get very excited by it and it’s still a novelty. I can see how it might get tiresome after a while though and I saw some photos of the snow you’ve had and it really is a lot!

    1. We moved here because we wanted to move here. But five years ago we were all happily living in Christchurch. Then the earthquakes happened and we moved to Auckland. Auckland never felt like home and neither of us liked it as a city very much so we started looking for somewhere else. I missed the South Island of New Zealand and this is one of the reasons I was drawn to Scotland: the scenery is similar but without the earthquakes. I’ll never move back to the South Island of New Zealand for this reason. Then a job came up in Aberdeen for Ben, he applied, got the job, and we moved.

      1. Interesting journey. Only very, very tiny earthquakes as well!

  2. I love your snowdrops! 🙂 Thanks so much for posting. I do miss seeing them peeking thro the snow in Yorkshire, so then I knew Spring was on the way!
    And I understand totally about the sun! My daughter, having grown up in SA and used to wearing factor 50 suncream, could not believe she could walk all over Spain one summer – and never burn!
    It must have been awful living through an earthquake, but it is strange how life’s twists and turns lead us to somehow end up in the right place.

    1. The snowdrops blossoming remind me of Christchurch as they used to come out at the end of winter along with daffodils and it was so pretty.

      I always had to wear heavy duty sunscreen in Auckland and Brisbane where I grew up. I don’t think I’ll need it in Scotland at all 🙂

      1. haha No I don’t think you’ll need sunscreen at all In Scotland! 🙂

  3. Beautiful snow drops Rachel. It’s sunny here today too, and yes, spring is definitley on its way 🙂 I’m so glad you started blogging, but not for your reasons for starting. Amazing to think it’s four years since the Christchurch earthquake. Another blogger friend recently visited and was quite saddened by the still very visible (and sad) effects of the earthquake on both the place and the people. I would have done just what you did and move. I’m glad you did. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    1. Did your other blogger friend, who visited Christchurch, post photos to her blog? If yes, I’d love to see them.

      1. I’ll get back to you on that Rachel, just catching up now. It’s my friend Geoff, I’ll ask him for the link 🙂

  4. Aww! I love your snow drops! Enjoy them 🙂

    It’s really interesting how events can change our lives and how something fantastic can come out of something really horrible. Thank you for sharing this and I hope you found the life you wanted in Aberdeen 🙂

    Have a great weekend!
    – Ilka

    1. Thanks, Simplyilka. I have found a wonderful life for myself here in Aberdeen and things are pretty good 🙂

  5. Pretty snowdrops. I shall take what solace I can in my orchids.

    1. Orchids are gorgeous! Is it cold where you are?

  6. They are gorgeous. I have mainly cymbidiums outside, which can tolerate down to freezing. When I first lived here (Oakland) in ~1975 there would be freezes with some frequency, but now I can’t even recall the last time it got below ~ 4C. Unfortunately, cymbidiums, while easy to grow to specimen size, don’t flower well indoors since they need the cool nights.

    I see that Scotland has 28 wild orchid species, some of which might even grow in your yard.

  7. Glad that you happy where you are and it all worked out well for your family.

    Those snowdrops are beautiful 🙂

    (Just submitted the assignment this morning. Fingers remain crossed 🙂 )

    1. This is great news! WooHoo!

  8. Ironic how a winter-sounding flower heralds the beginning of spring! Here we are happy for some blue sky days and autumn harvests. The movie about the Christchurch Earthquakes is on tonight- and your post reminded me why it is being shown!

    1. I’d like to see that film. Was it any good?

  9. It’s definitely a good sign when you forget all about the anniversary. I’m glad you’ve made so much of your life following the quake. Reading your posts definitely adds to mine!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: