Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Looking on the bright side...

I have to admit, as a Canterbury resident... the last month hasn't been easy. And it's actually not that easy for me to admit that, since I live twenty kilometres from the CBD and we were not directly affected by the quake. Not really. Sure, we lost our office (see below) and close relatives have been affected, some far more affected than you should expect to be in your life, and people I love dearly have had damaged houses or lost their homes. But nobody we know, thankfully, was injured or killed. and that's the main thing. 

Kenton Chambers, once home of my first and only office in my career (2nd floor above the door). Sadly we won't be returning, not even to get our stuff. My favourite hut slippers my Dad bought me for my trip to Antarctica (it was cold in that office!) will have to remain there too. But in the end, it's just stuff. thank goodness.
Except, after a month or so, if you're one of those people who have lost your house, or lost stuff, or had to drastically alter how you go about your daily business, as a human, that can be quite hard to cope with. 

Someone asked me what it was like in the middle of all the quake madness last month. I said that I swung between feeling extremely lucky that we weren't directly affected, to feeling extremely guilty that we weren't directly affected, to feeling terrified that we would be next.  The terror is slipping away now. Just like last time (September 4th 2011), after a while, you just have to get on with living, and the fear of the next 'big one', gets put in amongst all those other things you have to remember, like hanging out the towels, getting a new rego for the car, and freezing the last of the apples we picked. 

While we are (like most Cantabrians) affected by this quake in a variety of ways, which are not worth going into, my greatest trial is that I get to work from home... which, given my chosen lifestyle, isn't that stressful at all.  But my heart is still breaking for people who've had their lives disrupted, altered, or turned upside down.  And then, that in itself can be quite stressful. Worrying about others you know and love, worrying about people you vaguely are aware of, and worrying about people you've never even met. Then of course (because I'm completely neurotic), I worry that I personally have nothing to worry about, and shouldn't be worrying at all. All in all, it's exhausting. 

So today, I took the time to get away from the kitchen table (current 'office'), and make the most of the fine autumnal (because I'm not sure if it's technically Autumn yet!) day, and went for a great little sojourn. 
The green racer
This beauty of a bike once rusted quietly next to our back doorstep, but thanks to the loving and dedicated bloke, got a makeover just in time for my birthday last year. Now let me start by saying (I know he won't mind), I hate cycling. I hate roadbikes, I hate mountain bikes, I hate stressing out everytime I try to pass a bike on the road... (but I do like swearing like a sailor when I have to pass a palleton of about twenty of the buggers!).  In fact, my hatred of all things cycling traversed into my total inability to ride a bike properly, which reached crisis point when my then-producer of Meet the Locals simply banned me from doing any more bike-riding on camera, because she said I 'looked like a gumby'.  I'll leave you with this episode to judge for yourselves.  

Anyway, I digress. Despite my hatred of bikes, and the fact that I turned into someone from the "Ministry of Silly Rides" whenever I got on one, I do love my birthday bike.  It has no gears, but it rides really smoothly, and I can sit on it with good posture while I'm pedalling along. And, since we live in a semi-rural area, I can ride past the few houses at the end of our road, and then cycle past paddocks, hedges, horses, sheep, and eventually to the big shelter-belt where we gather our pine cones. It was a relatively warm day, and even though my dog is a total idiot when it comes to road-sense, I took the chance that it was quiet, and he gambolled along next to me, for the first time in his life, sticking to common-sense rules, like staying off the road.  We pedalled and padded along the road taking in all the sights and smells... the warm, musty smell of long grass and the end of summer made me think about my childhood. All in all it was a lovely trip down a country and memory lane. It also only took about half an hour. On the home run, I was smug, because Nemo had finally run out of puff, and was trotting lightly behind me with his great pink tongue lolling out the side of his mouth. I had the wind behind me, and coasted home. Life is beautiful. 

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