Just before 9 oclock last night there was a rather severe earthquake in my beloved home town of Gisborne, New Zealand. The shops in the town were particularly hard hit, with stock tumbling from shelves. Heather my sister in law who has a shoe shop in the town told me that it appeared that the walls seemed to push out and a lot of ceilings collapsed in the shops, the building her shop is located in, is not that old, so escaped relatively unscathed, and as you know you can throw a shoe and it doesnt break. The town area has been locked down until the damage has been assessed and it is deemed safe again. A lot of the shops will be closed for quite a long time as damage is excessive. Gisborne is a lovely historical city on the East Coast of the North Island, (first city of the sun) it has some wonderful old buildings, unfortunately these have been damaged. Over the years Gisborne has lost a lot of its historical buildings to earthquakes, it is really sad to see it losing its character and charm as these beautiful peices of architecture are replaced with modern buildings lacking in soul changing the whole landscape. I have experienced many earthquakes in Gisborne and they are really scarey, such an unknown force of nature. Most of the big ones occur at night, you wake up with a jolt and hold your breath waiting to see how severe it is going to be. Every year while I attended school we would have earthquake drill, but when you awake to one, it is hard to remember what you should do when you are in a state of panic. Heather was cleaning up her home, where jams, chutney, sauces etc had crashed to the floor, breaking and spreading a sticky mess over everything. My nephew was on his computor when the television attached to the wall crashed down, luckily it didnt hit him.
The image on the top of our website www.artisticjourney.com.au is an early photo of the main street in Gisborne, if you can see one of the buildings is Howchow's dining rooms, this was my great grandfathers.
I have really fond memories of christmas eve in Gisborne, where they closed the streets to traffic at 6.oo pm and all the young ones run amok on the road with water pistols etc running into the toilets in the movie theatres to refill, all harmless fun. Before coming to Australia John always had work christmas parties (any excuse for a booze up) so I would take the kids into town, we would have tea at a restuarant then the kids would have fun on the closed street while I finished last minute shopping. This was such a tradition that the kids never forget, it was such a safe place for them, nothing bad ever happened then. I believe that is not quite the case anymore. My thoughts are with you all in Gisborne, as it is always at this time of the year.