Boom! wobble wobble (crash)

That’s pretty much how the week has gone here post September 4 4:27am. Luckily not too much crash for us, others are not so lucky.

Like most people I woke suddenly and realising quickly that it was a major earthquake I raced for the nearest doorway. Nick had a slightly different reaction: realising that it was an earthquake he reached up and removed the items that sit on the windowsill above our heads so that they wouldn’t fall on us and knock us the fuck out. Then at my insistence he headed over to the doorway – but in the dark tripped over the baker’s stand that had fallen over. By the time he made it anywhere near a doorway it was all over… or so we thought. Now we know better. As I was standing in the doorway of the ensuite two things occurred to me – the first was that I was standing right next to an immense glass shower which, if it broke, could shower me with shards of glass rather than drops of water. The second came as the initial blast was subsiding and that was that the power was out, but I had candles and a lighter in the ensuite (for candle-lit soaky-baths).

The pantry after one bin of crap had been cleaned up

As I raced to find said candle and lighter in the dark Nick was heading off down the hallway where yet another bookcase was lurking on the floor to trip him up. We met in the laundry where he was hunting for torches. Torches there were, finding one with working batteries was a bit harder and required accessing the garage. Once we had a bit of light we could see the damage: our pantry had erupted onto the floor a morass of broken glass, pottery and china, all coated in what I eventually determined to be a sticky combination of barkers lemon and honey cordial, soy sauce and oil. MMMMmmm. Then coated with a mixture of black beans, rice (various types), rolled oats, muesli and to top it off two bags of breadcrumbs (see picture right).

Somewhere in there I squeaked off a Tweet via my cell (but I don’t think that it made it) and texted the family to check that they were OK. Most of them got back to me during the course of the morning.

Next we saw the wine cabinet which had tipped forward spilling the two stereo components and racks of CDs that live on top of it and the glasses and wine that lived in it, onto the floor. NONE of the wine was lost (nor was any of our booze), but all five of the gorgeous hand-blown Hoglund wine glasses were destroyed. The hard corners of the stereo have also made major dings in the wooden floor, but that’s happened all over.

Both speakers had also gone over, one of them taking with it a lovely dark blue pediment bowl filled with things that Mum and I had gathered on our last trip together. I’ve been able to keep the things but the bowl has had to go. Actually the bowl bit is OK – but the foot is broken. If I can work out a way to cleanly remove the rest of the foot from the bowl I might be able to keep it. Another sentimental loss is a bowl and jug that Nick’s Mum gave us a few years ago, two lovely pieces.

The credenza with broken glass

However in the plus column none of the ‘Edward the Potter’ jugs got broken apart from a small one that had already lost its handle once. Remarkably the large sideboard didn’t topple over – I suspect because it is aligned east-west – it got shunted about a foot to the east and the books fell off it but the jugs on top of it were captured by a lip around the top and only one champagne glass inside it was broken. Actually its possibly attributable to the weight of the damned thing because the lovely antique credenza also stayed put and its very very heavy. We lost one bottle of limoncello out of our credenza and a few glasses, that’s all.

There were a few other breakages and we thought that we were looking pretty good. Then we tried to go into the wardrobe. But the door wouldn’t open. It turned out that our super, expensive, friction supported wardrobe had collapsed in on itself, and the scotch chest had also tipped inward, so that the three sections were all sort of leaning on each other in the middle of the room, with all our clothes. So we left it for a while and went back to cleaning the kitchen. I think that I cleaned the kitchen three times and it was still sticky.

All the while we were hoping that a) the aftershocks would stop please (and they’re still coming five days later), and b) that the power would come on (two days). Because, while once day light arrived about an hour and a half after the initial shock we could see what we doing, without power we had a few issues:

  1. no power (HAH)
  2. no phone (and we get really poor cellphone coverage here – you have to stand still, in just the right place)
  3. no water (we need power to pump it from the tank to the house AND from the well to the tank), and no water flowing means
  4. no toilets
  5. no fire (because we have a wetback running the fire without water circulating in it is not a good idea), and worst of all

Yes we were reduced to trying to pick up the radio on my MP3 player because Nick couldn’t work out how to get it on his iPod. Then we remembered the car.