Christchurch Earthquake 2011 – Day 26.

Saturday 19th March 2011 – Day 26.

When Ruth returned from her morning jaunt to get the ‘Press’ from the dairy, she had to pass, perforce, through the checkpoint on the Barbadoes Street bridge. The soldiers on duty, recognizing her, passed her through but she was told by the WPC in command that she had to show her red sheet of paper. On querying this, she was told that ‘they’ had changed the rules and things were being tightened up, which meant that if I wanted to pass through the checkpoint I would have to have a red sheet of paper as well.

Later that morning as we drove out to do some shopping, we stopped on the bridge just to double check, and it was just as well. Apologetically, the WPC explained the edict had been countermanded half an hour later, as I rather expected it would be, and all that was needed was the usual photo identification and proof of residence. It seems that she had sent several people up to civil defence, and I suspect that they had experienced what we experienced a couple of weeks ago. When they got there, they were told that bona fide residents did not need red sheets of paper, and CD officials had passed the word down the line to rescind the order to insist on them. As if we have not enough stress without this bureaucratic hopping from foot to foot. I sometimes think that progress is being made in the City not so much because of the bureaucracy but in spite of it.

Greatly relieved, we continued on with our chores, first to Merivale to the optician to repair Ruth’s glasses and go to the Supermarket, then on to the shopping centre at the top of Marshlands Road where there is a Bunnings, a Henry’s, a GlobalPC, a Payless Plastics, even an Asian supermarket of sorts, as well as several other standard chain stores which, bland and totally lacking in flavour or local content, can supply the goods that we need. The place was packed. Whatever is happening in the City, suburban Christchurch is seething with activity and all the neighbourhood Blokes are doing their handymanly projects with vigour and determination.

Bentley has come out of hiding and is gradually taking command of the household. Not only does he accept homage, he is beginning to demand it, vocally. The master and servant relationship that is at the basis of all cat and human interaction is falling into place easily and naturally.

To be continued….

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  • Bernard Shapiro  On 20/03/2011 at 11:11

    Keep up the good work, sir. I have enjoyed your reflections – they will be a text book for certain some year.

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