The phone rings. It is my sister, to tell me not to worry.
Worry? Why should i worry? I WAS in the middle of a most bizarre dream (the dream analysts readinhg this will have a field day) in which i was moving furniture. I had just shifted all my bedding – and now i wouldn’t be able to move the rest of the bedroom furniture.
What an odd time to call.
But it is one of THOSE calls. Serious stuff. Our brother moved out to New Zealand – ChristChurch, no less – many years back. He is naturalised, so i guess he has committed to stay. Has a house he shares with his partner.
He was even – carrying on the family tradition for slightly queer politics – one of NZ’s first two gay parliamentary candidates, standing for Labour in the General Election of 1996 or thereabouts. Ah: the magic of the internet. I’d guessed, but hadn’t quite KNOWN before then: but if it said it on the net, it had to be true.
Anyway, they’ve survived the last couple of quakes: but this one is rather nastier. Oh. They’ve survived this too. That was the point of the early morning call.
But, as my sister rather inadvertently put it: “he’s a little shaken”. Well, he would be, wouldn’t he?
Sorry. That really isn’t to make light of what’s just happened. Merely to observe that even in the midst of such situations, the humour bubbles upward.
On the minus side, he has but three bottles of water to his name, and therefore finding something to drink over the next few hours/days is, i imagine, going to be his first and central pre-occupation. He also has noted cracks in his house, which sounds serious. I hope not, but time will tell.
Showing my ignorance: but i had never thought of NZ as being prone to quakes. Obviously i was wrong on that count.
Going forward, I hope he is OK. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like waking to such an event – or, as in this case, to be going about one’s daily grind and having the ground literally cut from under your feet. I think the most worrisome thing is that once the thing happens, you are always looking for the next one.
Very sad. For some, i guess, this would be the start of lifelong neurosis. Others will just get over it. We’ll see.
Anyone know whether this means they are likely to have MORE quakes? Or that with one of this magnitude, they have had the worst? Or is it utterly unpredictable?