Updates And Answers From Christchurch

If you read the post I wrote about the terrible earthquake in Christchurch, then you will know that I was hoping to hear some news about the welfare of the woman in the photograph below. I met Vanessa Hardy in Christchurch two months ago and was worried after seeing pictures of the devastation in an area near her shop, Tete-A-Tete.

With no way to get in touch, I checked the internet for news of her or her partner, Warren Chilton and I waited. Coming home this evening after going out for dinner, I was so relieved to see a kind reader had sent me a link to a newspaper article where Vanessa was talking about her experience during and after the quake.

I was also happy to have an email response this morning from Peter from Fortuna Books letting me know that he and his staff were safe as well.

It’s difficult to see my photographs of the city taken before this earthquake especially when the landscape looks so different now. I hope they continue to find survivors and thanks to all who have taken a moment to leave a comment here over the last two days. I hope New Zealanders can feel the love and concern flowing round the world and I appreciate all who have shared their thoughts.

Between The Earthquakes In Christchurch

John Winchurch In Christchurch, New Zealand

Waking this morning to the news of another earthquake in Christchurch, I searched the internet and was sad to see the loss of lives during this most recent quake. When John and I were in Christchurch two months ago there were still many signs of the previous earthquake in September. Our hotel was right around the corner from the cathedral that was hit so hard yesterday in the center of Christchurch. Pictures of the 110 year old ChristChurch cathedral are everywhere showing the collapsed spire and roof damage and I wanted to share with you what it looked like when we were there in December, only nine days before Christmas.

I loved the angels which I imagine were up for the Christmas season.

Also near our hotel was this older building which housed several shops where I enjoyed meeting the owners and making a few purchases. I hope the people I met survived the earthquake.

I searched for them online, but could not find an email link to one in particular. Vanessa Hardy has a wonderful shop in the green building above and I wish I could find a way to see if she and her shop, Tete-a-Tete made it safely through the quake. I had hoped to write about her earlier, but I have not had time to write about my New Zealand experience since we returned so it is only now that I am taking a minute to tell you about her. I bought one of my favorite new (to me) scarves in her shop and we shared our stories about how we met our lovely men. I stayed so long that I had a chance to meet her sweetie, Warren Chilton when he arrived just before closing time.

I also bought the book above in a bookstore on site, Fortuna Books. It feels like a strange coincidence that I happened to be reading that book last night when I went to sleep.

Judging by the time difference, I was reading about pioneer women in New Zealand when Christchurch was breaking up. I pulled it off the bookshelf late last night choosing it over the three or four books already on my bedside table. I had been reading a book of short stories by Tobis Wolf, but last night felt like reading this one instead.

Strange, but true … it feels kind of woo-woo to me now, but John would say it was just chance.

I sent an email off to the bookstore owner and hope to hear all is well in the building since I can’t find a way to check on Vanessa. If one of my New Zealand readers hears any news, I would appreciate knowing that Vanessa and those around her in the other shops in the Green building made it safely through the earthquake.

ChristChurch Cathedral - Christchurch, New Zealand