Wellington Earthquakes

We had a biggish earthquake in my town a couple of days ago. No surprises really, as my town happens to be Wellington, in New Zealand. For those that don’t know, New Zealand is basically made from earthquakes, and it’s still evolving – quite a lot to do with being right on top of two of earth’s tectonic plates that just happen to be moving around a bit, the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate. (I do wish those two could get along better).

The quake was 6.5, located nearby in the Cook Strait, at a depth of 13km. I grew up here, and as a result have been in more earthquakes than I can count, however I have to say that this was the biggest I’ve experienced, and it was pretty scary. Anything up to a 5, and I’m able to be fairly blasé about it, however I have now discovered that a 6.5 is a bridge too far. I was scared, alarmed and generally unsettled. The unsettled part of course not being helped by the multitude of aftershocks that occur after a largeish quake.

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Wellington Rugby Sevens

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...the edifice in the background is one of the Parliament Buildings

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…the edifice in the background is one of the Parliament Buildings

It’s Sevens weekend in Wellington. If you don’t know what Sevens is, it’s actually Rugby Sevens, a version of rugby union with 7 players and short games. That’s enough about the sports, now for why it matters in Wellington. For reasons no-one can remember, the Wellington Rugby Sevens fans started dressing up to go to the matches, and I don’t mean dressing up in the Ascot sort of way, more like a pantomime sort of way.

Men in tights, with tatts

Men in tights, with tatts

DSC_8230People travel, and dress up, in packs to go to the games, and it is now such a strong tradition that if you don’t wear a costume, you’ll stand out like…like…someone wearing a costume. Only you’re not. Moving on to the pack mentality, the dressing up is often done in groups, which results in 17 gingerbread men, 15 Care Bears, 12 monks, 6 french maids, 9 surgeons etc. I’m sure there have been 8 maids a-milking, 7 swans a-swimming as well.

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Atheist republican goes to church to meet Queen

Publicity image from coronation

I’ve just been to St Paul’s Cathedral for a Coronation Concert for the Jubilee Year. Before my atheist republican friends rush around for an intervention, I should state that I went there for the music. That’s right, I love the sound of a good choir, regardless of what they’re singing about. This was not just a good choir, but the lovely and accomplished Choir of Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, performing their Coronation Concert for the Jubilee Year.

It was strange to be walking in to a cathedral, and I confess I did glance around to be sure no-one saw me. Some people sneak into bars, or casinos; I sneaked into a church.

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Waiting for a Weather Bomb

I had never come across the expression “Weather Bomb” until I arrived back in New Zealand. I have now learned how appropriate it is…my first Weather Bomb involved a Polar Blast, among other things – gosh, that was fun. The definition of a Weather Bomb is generally when the skies open, wind blasts as if racing across an Antarctic plain (which is probably where it came from), surf pounds and rain goes sideways, sometimes with a spot of hail – in short, all hell breaks loose.

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Magnified Modernity

You know you’re getting on in years when…you have to buy a magnifying glass. Yep, that’s right, today I purchased my first ever magnifying glass. Not for scientific research, I’m sorry to say,  but in order to read teeny tiny print. Lately I’ve found myself muttering things like “why do they have to make the letters/numbers so damn small?” when looking at print on various objects. For example, my beautiful, sexy, perfectly designed new iPod Touch. It has, apparently, writing on the back of it at the bottom, which is barely visible, much less readable. I can only assume that they don’t want me to know whatever it is – it’s so unreadably petite that it may as well be in Swahili. The iPod also came with free engraving, so I had “Suzanne’s sweet, sweet music” engraved on the back of it. Lovely – I can barely read it, but thank you anyway. But that’s not what prompted the magnifying glass purchase – it was having to read the serial and model number on a malfunctioning headset that drove me to it.

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Someone is now following your Blog/Patchwork Quilt

‘Someone is now following your Blog”. These six little words appeared on my email not so long ago, and I can’t tell you the joyous, childlike thrill it gave me! Being somewhat new to the world of personal expression being out there for the entire planet (and possibly any alien life passing by) to read, I was absurdly pleased to know someone actually wanted to stay in touch with my irregularly posted blogs.

There’s an air of mystery in the use of the word “Someone” in the email sent to me…who could it be? A gift package I can never actually open, because I don’t think the Blog site allows me to know who the followers actually are. Most likely they are  friends I have sent links to, but they could be a complete stranger who happened across my blogs, it could be a cyber-stalker..who knows. Welcome, whoever you are, and feel free to comment.

And now for the segue into Patchwork Rug…if we think of the knitted squares as blogs, do you see a theme emerging? All those knitted squares, all different, but when stitched together making a cohesive whole. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

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Skype Dependency Syndrome or Block the Bastard

Hi Group…my name is Suzanne and I have a Skype dependency. I can’t stop checking to see if the little red message indicator has popped up, and I check the status of my contacts way too often. If I decide “No more” and turn Skype off, it’s only a matter of time before the pendulum swings the other way and I then decide that I really should be available, Just in Case. In extreme phases, I can do this several times in a day. I know, dear Skype Dependency Group, that I have a problem.

The thing is, it isn’t really my fault. (I know, I know; I’m supposed to take responsibility – maybe at the next meeting). It all started when an acquaintance declared that he could only communicate by messaging – texts, emails and skype (and only text, no video). In a misguided effort to be understanding and kind, I went along with this. “How novel”, I thought, “How very modern”. As it turned out, How Very Wrong.

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