Christchurch Earthquake 2011 – Day 23.

Wednesday 16th March – Day 23.

Rumour has it that the cordon is going to be drawn in a little further as of tomorrow. A Red Cross worker came to the door to check if everything was in order here, and he produced a map that would indicate that the cordon is to be withdrawn back to Kilmore Street and Madras Street. Freedom! I must admit to a sense of lightness at the thought of impending liberty, but a countervailing caution imposes a caveat. We have known plans to change. What is true at midday is not necessarily true at mid-afternoon.

Being at something of a loose end after lunch, I decided to walk up to Speight’s Ale House in Bealey Avenue for a pint. I asked the soldiers on duty at the checkpoint on the bridge if they had heard of a change to the cordon, but they had heard nothing. So they said. There was no point in asking the policeman on duty there. Policemen are trained to say absolutely nothing of any use whatsoever to civilians unless under direct orders to do so. None of them would have given any information even if they had any, which they quite probably did not. If anything is becoming clearer in the organization of this disaster is that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and neither would tell the other if they did know.

Leaving them to their duties, I strolled on up to the Alehouse and enjoyed a couple of pints of Old Dark. There were perhaps a dozen or fifteen people there, no-one that I knew of course, but the point of going to a pub in not so much to drink beer as to be with people. It was very pleasant to spend an hour looking out over the trees of the avenue and the passing parade of traffic, and to be amongst people. I very much miss Bailies Bar and all that it afforded me. It was the centre of my social world, and the chances that it has gone forever are high. Such is the face of our changing reality.

 To be continued….

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