Monday, 28 February 2011

Gift Of Love Appeal

This is my first post without pretty pictures, or any pictures at all actually.  It's all pretty doom and gloom in our little country since the huge earthquake in Christchurch.  Many of you won't realise just how much impact it has had on all of us.  It's not just something that will get cleaned up and we all move on.  We've gone from 24 hour coverage on TV, just waiting for a miracle to appear, to wondering what this will mean for the city and the country, as we work out just how much it has and will cost us.

There are people who have lost so much.  At least one man has lost his wife, house and business.  What does he have left?  Well his life I guess, but that's probably not enough for him at the moment.  There are a good many people seeking help for depression over this tragedy.  Just reading the newspaper articles is enough to bring on depression.  There are many people who have fled to other parts of the country or the world for either a break or for good.  Some are undecided and feeling so lost.

Some houses had boulders through them, some fell down cliffs, some lost walls and/or their roof, whole streets have been destroyed by the land being so cut up.  Most houses had everything in them thrown onto the floors.  I've never seen so many destroyed cars.

Bulldozer and digger drivers are having to do a job that they are not trained for.  They are having to dig in sites that have trapped people in them.  They are uncovering dead people every day.  So far 70 people have been rescued, but they were all in the first 24 hours.  There have been no miracles since that time.  We are on Day 6 now.   Only six people have been identified so far, that leaves about 200 families just waiting.  It's taking forever.  The first funeral will be held today, for a five month old baby. 

Our country is very good in a crisis.  Thousands of kind people have given over houses or rooms free to help people who need a safe place to stay for a while.  Donations have helped get food and water to all the affected people.  Students have made us proud once again, helping out by the hundred clearing up front yards, removing ruined carpet, digging out cars, making up lunch bags and the list goes on.  There are so many people donating equipment, necessary goods, blankets, you name it.  It's wonderful to see.

Liquefaction is a word our whole country knows about.  Do you know what that means?  I bet you could ask any five year old here and they could tell you.  It's when the ground shakes so violently that the water rises to the surface resembling a flood.  Some areas were under a metre or so of water.  This also leaves behind thick black sandy mud that needs to be dug off the land and taken away.  The streets are lined with piles of the stuff now.

It's hard to know what we can do to help the people of Christchurch.  There is the Red Cross Appeal, but other than that it's difficult to know what else we can do.  Thousands of people have been leaving the city every day since the quake.  They are scattered wide.  Those that remain are living in a city that's just not operating.  Schools are closed this week, the CBD is a complete no-go zone.  Hundreds of houses are going to have to be bulldozed.  Those that have houses too broken to be lived in will have to wait months or even years to move back into.  There aren't enough tradesmen to sort out this problem in a short space of time.

The economy was already in a very bad way.  Businesses that we thought would always be around have been closing their doors in the past two years.  I don't know what our country will be like by the end of this year.  Apparently we can afford to fix this city, but then all the money in the kitty will be gone.  What if something else happens?  Our side of the world hasn't had much luck lately has it?

Tomorrow at 12.51pm there will be two minutes silence. It will be a week since the tragedy occurred.

It's a very tense time for all of us, but for those that were in Christchurch especially.  They are just in survival mode at the moment.  All attention is still on the CBD and the recovery effort.  The residents have been through all of this before and know what is ahead.  Lots of heartache, hard work and frazzled nerves.

I'm wondering what would be the best thing for me to do.  Perhaps I could organise a collection of specially made presents for some of those people left struggling?  Something so they know we are thinking of them in this terrible time.  Perhaps a cushion to hug, a teddy/doll for a child, a pair of knitted slippers for the cold months ahead?  It gets very cold in the winter months down there.  Last year they had snow on the ground.  There is a limited mail service at the moment, but that will improve as the streets get cleaned up. 

I could talk for hours on this subject but I will stop here.  But first I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the wonderful countries that have sent much needed help to Chch.  Many search and rescue crews are here helping out using their own resourses.  It is very much appreciated and it has made an enormous difference to finding people alive.  The dead and the missing are from 20 different countries, so it's a world wide tragedy. 

Please can you help out in some small way?  Cat is continuing her quilt and crochet blanket collection.  You can send whole quilts or just patches or granny squares to her.   Maybe you could donate to the Red Cross Appeal?  Maybe you would like to send a 'Gift of Love' for me to send to those in need?  Just let me know. 

Thank you so much for your support through your comments and kind offers.  Here's hoping for a brighter week!

Please add my 'Gift of Love' badge to your blog if you like to help spread the word.  It's at the top right.  Thanks!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Another Tragedy for Christchurch

It looks like a bomb has gone off.  It has been likened to 9/11.  It's absolute devastation for everyone, but especially those that experienced the huge earthquake in Christchurch yesterday afternoon. 

While the seismic number was lower than the previous big quake last September,  this quake was only 5kms underground so was way more violent than before.  Whole buildings have been destroyed, people have been killed, cars and buses have been crushed under bricks.

Rescue workers are still pulling out survivors from completely demolished buildings.  People have spoken to trapped people, unable to locate them and rescue them.   

It was lunchtime for many.  It came out of nowhere and there was no time to get to safety for many. 

The parks have been made into makeshift hospitals.  People trapped in the city overnight experienced cold, wet weather, some without shelter.  There wasn't enough blankets for the two thousand people in the inner city.  Last night while we were enjoying a hot dinner, they were still without food and water. 

There is updated information and photos here.  All of these photos came from The NZ Herald site.   

This side of the world has had too many tragedies of late.  This latest one has come at a high cost to human life for a city already fragile.  It's shocking to see so many beautiful old buildings beyond repair.  Christchurch will never be the same.  They are going to need so much help this time around.  Donations are needed and gifts of love will need to be arranged and sent to those who have once again lost everything.

We are thinking of you, people of Christchurch. xxx

Monday, 14 February 2011

He Loves Me...

 He loves me not :(

He loves me!

He really loves me!!

And I really love my girls.  I made them love heart pikelets for afternoon tea today.  What a lovely surprise for them this Valentines Day.

Someone clearly loves chocolate too!!  Goodness me.

Happy Valentines Day to you all!  I hope you all have a very LOVE-ly day today where ever you are.  Fourteen years ago hubby and I got engaged!  How cool is that?  He was in NZ and I was in England.   I still think he's fabulous.  He's improved with age too I think.  We compliment each other perfectly which is nice.  We keep saying the same things too which comes with spending many years together I guess. 

Loving you Mr P!!  xxxxxxx

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Flower Power!

We are having such a wonderful summery day today.  Well actually the weather might be that way but in reality I've been busy vacuuming the whole house and helping make trays of cookies.  Funny how I always end up finishing the baking! 

Anyway I thought I'd just pop in and show you my new creation.  Look, it's crochet too!!!  Thank you Maria for your inspiring stripy blanket to get me back into hooking for a while.  Have you met Maria before?  She makes such wonderful things.  Pop on over and visit her if you like, she'll love to have you over for a while.
Pattern from Lucy, Attic 24 of course.  Never thought I could do something this cool!  Loving the summery colours.  It was so easy to make but it's probably a little baggy on the jar.  When I was filling the jar with water, No.2 asked me why I didn't take the cover off first so it didn't get wet.  It's just far too sensible really!  And yes it did get wet.  Who cares in this heat. 

Gosh it's so very hot, about 28 degrees C here now and we're sweating away eating iceblocks and anything cold we can get our hands on.  Hey do you want a sneaky peek at our new bathroom?  I ADORE it!  It's so tranquil and beautiful, as is our bedroom.  I could live in our bathroom it's so pretty.  Loving the little tiles below the mirror.  We still need the fan, lights and towel rail to be installed and then it's all done.  Then there'll be whole room photos.

I made these cushion covers last year and finally added one more colour last night.  I do love them and must get them finished for the winter.  They will add much needed colour to our lounge in the cooler months.

Well that's it for today.  I hope your weekend is going nicely too.  Thanks for stopping by!  Oh, note the bigger photos?  Much prettier.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Sarah has received her winning wall hanging I made.  Go on over to her blog if you like and see the beautiful post she wrote about it.  It sure makes it all worth while!  I think I may have to make a few more.  Perhaps a different design maybe?

I've been thinking about opening a store online.  The thing is, I'm not good at making many of one thing.  I get bored.  Still there is a market for one-offs too I guess.   I'm not sure if I have enough in my imagination for many things.  It's so hard to make ideas up.  I'll have to give it some thought and perhaps use a notebook for my ideas. 

Now I want to share with you something that's bothering me.  Daughter No.1 just started at Intermediate school this past week which means she now catches the bus to and from school.  She is 11 and in Year 7.  I heard that a friend of hers just got a mobile phone for emergencies.  She takes it to school with her.  Phones are handed in to the teacher every morning and given back at 3pm.  Apparently over half the class has a phone at school and many aren't collected up either.  What do children of this age need a phone for?  Is it the kids that want them or are the parents being way too protective over them? 

The mother of this friend was struggling with the time the bus was taking to get them to the bus stop in the afternoons (40mins), and was in quite a state most days.  How much can happen to them from supervision at school while their names are checked off as they get on the buses, to getting to a bus stop 5mins away??  I'm really against mobiles for kids as you can probably tell.  They seem to attract too many problems that kids can't deal with. 

What do you think?  Am we mean for not wanting our daughter have one for several more years?  She hasn't actually asked for one but I'm guessing that day will come sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Happy 4th Birthday No.4!

Oh boy, two parties in two weekends!  Not good.  I'm so very over parties for now.  Luckily there are no more until May for us.  I just didn't have the energy for poor little Soph's party prep.  The day before the big day I was standing in the kitchen contemplating making a jewellery box cake for her.  The temperature was in the high 20's and the humidity was about 100%.  Not good for me or for the icing as it turned out.

The icing was collapsing down the sides of the cake as I worked.  It stuck to the bench top when I rolled it out.  It grew as I picked it up.  The girls were eating what they thought were scraps.  No.2 thought I should be videoed.  Move over Julia Child!  I just had to laugh, it was all so terrible and ridiculous.  I think professionals have airconditioning.  I think I did a bad job of the cake but in the heat I really didn't care.

Our baby girl didn't care one bit.  She didn't notice the flaws in the icing.  She just blew all of her candles out and happily cut into her cake.  She didn't eat her piece of cake, just the decorations!  Cheeky little lady.

I'm not into baking as you may well know.  This is as good as it gets I'm afraid.  Bought marshmallows in cute cupcake wrappers!  Well it's all about presentation for me.  I'll leave the fancy cooking for others.

So tomorrow my first real 'back to normal' week begins.  The girls all started back at school during the week and hubby goes back to work tomorrow after six weeks at home.  It sure is going to be quiet around here for a while.  I'm looking forward to getting into the veggie garden.  I'm hoping for a tidier house.  I'm thinking No.4 and I are going to have a lovely day together tomorrow.  And I sure hope you all do too!