We finally got access to our work building last week following the destructive earthquake on 22 February. I have to say it was weird going back into the place after leaving it in such a hurry in fear and panic on the day. To get back to the building we had to register at a check point, don hard hats and hi-vis vests and ensure we had suitable footwear. That done, we were rounded up into a tent and given a safety briefing before being loaded onto a bus and driven to a point near our building. All very military.
Once at the building, we were given another briefing (what to do if another aftershock hit and stuff like that) before being given just one hour to get what we needed, carry it up/down the stairs to waiting wheelie bins and we were off! Luckily, our office is on the second floor, those poor sods on the fifth floor were looking knackered very quickly. Most of my stuff was in a sodden stinky pile on the floor, ceiling tiles hanging loose and mould everywhere. I left most of it there, no point carting that sort of stuff away unless it was to the tip and there will be time enough for that later.
Thankfully Mother Nature was kind and we had narry a cough from the old bat, exactly one hour later a whistle went and we were ordered out and back to the bus etc.
So, we then got to cart everything to the temporary offices we are trying to work from this week and from now on. It is a far cry from the inner city carpeted premises near shops that we were used to but none of that really feels important yet. I suppose it will one day but for now it's all I can do to get my feet working as a team! On the home front, the house is looking better and despite losing all three of our fireplaces we now have a log burner installed for winter. We could have done without the 5.2 shake on Saturday morning, but the Propeller Heads reckon the Faults have all but done venting and we can look forward to quieter times....I guess we will just have to wait and see and make sure things are nailed down anyway!
My two kids have to bus across the city to another high school where they are sharing a campus. It's not ideal. They don't start lessons until 1pm and the last lesson is at 5.35pm, they then board a bus and bus home again not getting home til around 6.30pm. The lessons are shorter (45 mins each) with a 20 minute break at 4pm for a snack. Rather them than me! This will probably be their lot for the rest of the year at least, their own high school is 'munted'. Still, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger so on we go.
All over the city there are empty lots and piles of rubble, we struggle to recall what the buildings used to be. But Autumn has arrived with her rustic charm and I for one am thankful for many things.