The Southern Hemisphere has been doing it tough the past couple of months – flooding and bushfires throughout various parts of Australia and the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Christchurch and I still have friends and family there – all of whom are safe THANK GOD. I grew up in Dunedin so Christchurch was always our Big Smoke (it’s about 300 km away, or 8 looong hours on the midnight Railway bus). Fion and I would save up our [meagre] pay for a shopping spree in Christchurch every three months or so, and I still have some of the things we bought back in … 1986? 1987? (doesn’t matter, the point is that we loved shopping in Christchurch).
David and I went to Christchurch in 2006 to watch the Bledisloe Cup (of course! David and I only travel for rugby and xmas!). We had an fantastic time – we’d shouted my dad a ticket to the game as well so spent the long weekend with family and rugby and great food, and the shopping was still awesome. We stayed at a hotel across from the Avon and just a few blocks from the Cathedral.
I took a photo of the gorgeous dolphin fountain at the Botanical Gardens:
I don’t know if this fountain is still standing.
The hotel we stayed at evacuated all guests and staff safely, but will not be considered safe to open for at least three more months.
The pub we went to before the game is closed until further notice.
The stadium where we saw the game won’t be re-opened for at least six months.
The Irish pub where we staged our recovery breakfast has been partially demolished.
The Cathedral is in ruins.
I know that Christchurch will be rebuilt – because Cantabrians are a staunch and bloody-minded bunch, god love ‘em – but right now I’m feeling for the people of Christchurch and hoping and praying that things will get better.
We’ve donated to the Red Cross because in the words of one Cantabrian “we don’t need stuff, we need dosh!”
Kia kaha, Christchurch.