Well it's been a little over 3 weeks since the earthquake and Christchurch is still getting the shakes. There have been over 700 aftershocks since the original quake - there were 108 on the first day! Just when we are starting to relax another aftershock hits... just to let us know that Mother Earth is still in charge. Many people are unable to return to their homes. It's very sad.
We have, however, been blessed with beautiful sunny days and warmer weather for the past few weeks while the rest of the country has had to contend with pouring rain, flooding, and snow.
I managed to get away for the weekend and flew up to Auckland on Friday night for a shake free weekend. Kathryn picked me up from the airport and very kindly took me up to Warkworth. We didn't get up there until after 11pm but Mum and Dad were still up so we had a cup of tea and a catch up before getting some much needed sleep. Kathryn and I shared a bed in the pink room and, because she is a bit of a wriggler, I woke up a few times thinking I was feeling another aftershock. Ha!
On Saturday morning my friend Kristine and I headed up to Whangarei to spend the night with Rachael (aka Muriel) and Swayze for bridesmaid duties. We got our measurements taken for the dresses, got the material (which is a beautiful gun metal grey satin), and made invitations so it was a very productive afternoon/evening. Oh, and drank quite a bit of wine. It was good to see the girls again and have big belly laughs. Rachael's 7 year old daughter Alexis helped as well, sticking the address labels on the envelopes and drawing pictures for Swayze to put on her fridge.
Before heading back to Warkworth on Sunday we went down to the waterfront in Whangarei for brunch which kept me full all day!
Mum and Dad had Sheena (Catkin's Aunty) staying so it was nice to meet her. She is a lovely lady. Sheena, Mum, and I went for a drive over to Matakana to see Uncle Bryan and Aunty Bev and have a nosy at the new house that Dad has built for them. It is VERY large and VERY nice. I gave it my seal of approval. The kitchen is MASSIVE with a little Butler's Kitchen to the side. Very impressive. It already has Uncle Bryan's chair in it and the tv so he can wander over and watch rugby when it's on. They aren't sure when they will fully move in but said there is no hurry.
Just inside the front door are two lead light doors opening to the formal lounge with pictures of roses in them. Uncle Bryan told me that these are in memory of Aunty Bev's Mum who passed away and loved roses. A very nice touch I thought.
And a big welcome to Rachael Easterbrook - my friend in Auckland and my 11th follower! The Roxy Review is becoming quite world famous now!
The best news I've had lately is that Averil and Eru are heading home in December. For good. I am so excited!! Not sure on a date yet as last time I heard from Averil they were looking at flights. I know Mum is VERY happy that all her babies and grandbabies are going to be in the same country again. Looking SO forward to seeing you guys again, Apes & Eds. Hopefully they will be able to join us in Warkworth for Christmas this year.
Our good friend Renee McInnes also came home recently after 3 years away in the UK and Canada. I am off to see her tonight for the first time since she arrived on Saturday so am looking forward to squidgy hugs and maybe a glass of wine. That's how we roll.
And I have completed phase 1 of Operation SOUL (sort out ur life) by filling out and sending in an application for Broadcasting School. If I get in it will be full time study for 2 1/2 years. That will be completely different but I'm excited about trying something new. Fingers crossed.....