When Wellington Wiggled

Wellington decided to wiggle a bit more than usual on the first few minutes of Monday morning (14th November 2016).

It started off as slight trembling – which is a normal occurrence here in the Capital, so I didn’t think much of it. However the tremors didn’t stop after a few seconds. Instead it grew stronger – strong enough to rouse the Grizzly Bear from his slumber. We waited a bit longer but the movement didn’t abate – the intensity just grew stronger. And then the house started to sway. Side to side – slowly at first, and then it started to shake. I thought of doing the “drop cover and hold” maneuver but – I was in bed. I mean, do I  go out into the lounge while the house was doing the Macarena, just to go under a table? I stayed put, I couldn’t – not just because of the shaking, but more so because the Grizzly Bear threw himself on top of me (my hero).  The shaking lasted quite a while but the movement stopped, eventually. (we found out later that there were 2 earthquakes one after the other, which was why the shaking took so long). 

We survived. The house – which I kinda expected to just slide down the hill – is still on its feet, and the chimney hasn’t tumbled down. Nothing was broken; utilities (power, water and gas) weren’t disrupted; the bank behind us held up. All’s well. Even the cats are okay.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for parts of Kaikoura (epicentre of the quake), parts of Christchurch and  most of Wellington CBD. Work was suspended later that day as engineers examined the buildings in Wellington Central, and emergency services cleared debris which consisted mostly of broken glass. Trains and buses were cancelled as well – they had to check on the train tracks and power lines weren’t damaged too much by the quake. Furthermore, there were several aftershocks that day – from 4.5 to 6M in intensity.

To make matters more interesting, the forecast for Monday evening was rain with gale force winds (up to 140 kph). This on top of a month’s worth of rain (about 88 mm) dumped on the Capital on Saturday.

It’s now Tuesday and I’m now back at work. Thankfully, the forecast of Gale Force Winds didn’t eventuate, but we are getting inundated by so much rain, and it appears it will be like this for the rest of the week.

Walking up Cuba Street from Manners Street, a lot of the department / clothing stores have remained shut – obviously waiting for the “go-signal” from city engineers. Meanwhile, their mannequins and other displays are strewn across the floor. I was tempted to take photos of the “damage” but realised, there are already too many photos of devastation (not just because of the quake) and unhappy occurrences in existence, I just didn’t feel right about adding any more to it. So I walked on, and decided that I will focus on finding beauty in the world around me.

Yes, the world needs to know that “bad things” happen, but I think a lot of people already share this around. There are photojournalists who go to war torn areas and send back photos of casualties of war, or those who document poverty and oppression. However, I think there aren’t enough photos depicting the simple beauty of life and of living. I’m not referring to photos that show amazing sunsets and fabulous scenery here – I’m talking about capturing the beauty in the mundane. And that’ll be my focus.

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My Travel Diary

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While tidying up my corner at home, I saw this little black notebook lying amongst the mess. It’s my travel notebook – my only one, I think. I used it extensively when I went to China way back in 2008. I opened it up and read what I had written – it was hilarious! Everything! Most of my entries were written in taglish (a mixture of Filipino and English) but I suppose my writing style reflected my way of thinking back then. Not filtered, and just as raw as it could ever be. Anyway I think, if ever I get to travel again, I’ll make sure I have a travel diary with me and … I will write down everything at the end of the day. It’s more fun that way. 🙂

The Rabbit … An Unexpected Journey

Last month, on the 25th of May, I called in sick due to the sniffles (which is still bugging me 2 1/2 weeks later). While I was snuggled up like a bug in bed, hoping for the sniffles to disappear, my mobile phone rang. It was a private number and I immediately knew that it was Westpac. You see, I just changed banks a few weeks back and the only “Private Number” calls I receive are from Westpac. I picked up the phone, silently wondering if I had forgotten to sign papers and needed to pop in a branch immediately to sort things out. I was relieved when it was not KW (the lady I usually deal with), but … someone else. Our conversation went something like this …

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Vroom vroom …

A&P, the couple whose wedding photos I took about a year ago, were in Windy Wellington for a flying visit this weekend (7-9 April). They arrived on Thursday night to a typical Wellington Welcome (the usual .. wobbly plane due to strong winds), did their thing on Friday, and then on Saturday … we went to the Southward Car Museum near Otaihanga. I’ve heard of this place, but I haven’t been so I was pretty excited about going.

We drove on SH1 for about an hour and turned off towards Otaihanga and then made a hard left to enter the museum compound and I was quite surprised at the size of the compound. The parking lot was quite huge and the building itself looked quite imposing. We parked the car, rocked up and paid the $17.00 admission fee (price per adult as at 2016, may change without prior notice) and proceeded to the main galleries to admire this world class collection of cars, not just from New Zealand but from all over the world.

Here are a few of the vehicles that caught my eye:

But it’s not all cars … there were planes, a couple of boats, a section that showed a lot of miniature toy cars, motorbikes, push bikes, and even a little room devoted to sewing machines and other household appliances.

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Sewing Machine and TV Room

It’s really worth the trip (and the admission fee) so if you’re in Wellington include the Southward Car Museum in the list of places you must visit.

 

Pink Star Walk

Yesterday, some parts of the Wellington Waterfront turned PINK as several men and women braved the gale-force winds to participate in Estée Lauder’s Pink Star Walk, an event that’s geared to raise funds for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. There are three Pink Star Walks in New Zealand, one in the major cities of the country (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) and the first of the three walks kicked off right here in Wellington. Participants are called Pink Star Walkers and they have the choice of completing either a 5 km or a 10 km walk. They are trialing a half-marathon walk in Christchurch and if that’s successful they may include that in the Auckland and Wellington routes next year.

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Christchurch and The Cardboard Cathedral

I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I last posted something here. It’s not that I haven’t been travelling (well, I haven’t been on any long-distance trips but I have been going in and around Wellington), it’s just that I’ve been crazy busy! So many things have happened in the last 3 months – but I won’t be going into those bits – it’s just been crazy. Happy crazy – but crazy just the same. 🙂

Anyway – sometime in October, the whole clan flew down to the South Island for a much needed holiday. It was originally meant to be a week-long get-away to celebrate my mum’s 65th birthday, and for all of us to be able to put our feet up and just enjoy the beauty that is distinctly The South Island.

Continue reading “Christchurch and The Cardboard Cathedral”

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