Just when you thought it was all over

In theory, I should be at the university writing my research proposal.  Up until an hour or so ago, that’s where I was.  Except then the ground started shaking (again), in a big and scary enough way that taking shelter under my desk seemed like a good idea (ok, and there may have been a tiny bit of whimpering – I was alone in the building, after all!).  I did consider getting back to work after the shaking stopped, but then I checked geonet and discovered that it had been a 5.7, which is big enough that they’d probably evacuate the campus until the buildings have been checked, plus the idea of spending the afternoon alone in a six-storey building was feeling a lot less attractive than it had been, and my adrenaline levels were so high that concentrating on work probably wasn’t all that viable anyway.  So I packed up my books and left the building (it may be a sign that we’re all way too practised with earthquakes in this city that I first emailed myself the documents I was working on, just in case I don’t have access to my office for a while…)

I discovered on the stairwell that I wasn’t quite as alone in the building as I’d thought – I met one of the postgrads from downstairs similarly self-evacuating.  We shared a few reassuring words and went on our way.  As I was passing the library, I could hear the announcements that the library was closing, so I was correct in my assessment that the campus would be evacuated (and in fact, I just checked the university’s website, and yep, a big notice on the front page that campus is closed).  There was no obvious damage to the campus though, so hopefully it’ll only be closed for the afternoon while they do the building checks, and all will be back to normal tomorrow – I’ve got too much work I need to do!

I thought about taking a bus home, just to have some company on the way, but decided to walk – a bit of exercise to drain off some of the adrenaline.  It’s mostly worked, in that I’m feeling a lot calmer, but I don’t know that I’ll be getting much more study done this afternoon, despite bringing a few books home with me.  This is when living alone doesn’t seem like such a fun idea… (especially if we get any aftershocks – according to geonet we’ve had quite a few 3 point somethings already this afternoon, but they were all while I was walking home, so I didn’t feel any of them).  And of course, with Christchurch’s recent history, there’s always the thought in the back of your mind of what if there’s another really big one?  The rational part of my brain remembers that the geologists did say anything up to a 6 would be a normal part of the aftershock sequence even this far out from the original quakes, but the less rational parts are having none of it.  Think I might put a DVD on and devote the afternoon to sewing and watching something mindless to take my mind off things.

So much news

And the DD site has been down for days, so I couldn’t post anything. And of course I wasn’t so sensible as to just write my entries up in Notepad and copy and paste them in, so I’m sure I’ll forget some of the really cool and important stuff I was going to tell you about. And I don’t really have time to write very much anyway, so this will just have to be a quick summary of the most memorable important stuff, in no particular order:

  1. I have a thesis topic! For a while there this was not the case, when it looked like my proto-topic was going to be completely unviable, but one of my lovely supervisors (in related news, I have supervisors!) came to the rescue and pointed out how my ailing proto-topic could in fact be resurrected into an actual topic. So all I have to do now is expand my topic into a proper proposal, and submit it for approval before the end of the month. And then the real hard work starts…
  2. I have a woodburner! Of course, I can’t actually use it yet, because the building inspector hasn’t been round to sign off on it (hopefully that should happen later this week), but at least it’s been installed. It’s not as pretty as my old one (I miss my nice purple tiles), but it will keep the house warm in winter, and that’s the important thing.
  3. I have tickets! Many many tickets, and bookings, and other important documents. Lytteltonwitch came round the other night, and (after being distracted by the lure of games at the Gwilks’) we spent several constructive hours planning our trip to Greece and Italy, and booking all the things. So we are now confirmed for 6 nights in Athens, 6 nights in Venice, and 7 nights in Rome, and various planes and trains to get between them. So my credit card is cowering in terror, but it’ll be worth it. Athens Convention, here we come!  (Hmm, better learn some Greek, I suppose (and some Italian, but I know enough Spanish that I can at least puzzle out some Italian words. Greek, on the other hand, is quite literally all Greek to me.))

Welcome back DD, and please don’t die again!