Really superficial damage.
Broken Pots - No Problem!

Saturday 4th September. OK. At about 4:30am (in the dark) we had a big earthquake (7.1 on the Richter scale) with epicentre about 5km away from Mooseys. What to say? We are all fine, the aftershocks are scary, and the cats have all disappeared. Our house has no structural damage. What a house! My goodness...

Life goes on for Rusty the dog, oddly unnerved by the whole thing. He's on a cycle ride to get the morning paper (the news, however, will not be up-to-date). I'm about to start cleaning up broken things and check on the sheep. Our lambs are due any day.

Later, Pondering, on the Verandah of Pond Cottage...

It is not pleasant gardening accompanied by aftershocks. Being inside the house is scarier, though! And really we have no problems - apart from no electricity and a cracked hot water cylinder. Hurray for Histeria the tabby, bravest Moosey cat, who has appeared from out of hiding. And my pheasant is being quite ridiculous, honking loudly whenever there's an aftershock. Bird - get up off the rumbling ground, perch in a tree, and shush!

 Well constructed, no damage...
Yippee for Pond Cottage

The water in the pond surged right over the lawn, and I've cleaned up the debris. A slight oops - one of the garden gnomes is missing, presumed swept into the pond - my original bachelor gnome called 'Bach'. Two ceramic hens from Henworld are smashed, and the Wattle Woods seats (heavy wooden sleepers sitting on piles of bricks) have come to pieces. Lots of patio pots are smashed up, too.

I don't mean to sound frivolous and trivialise the losses that others have suffered. I'm not happy, and the earth shuddering and rumbling isn't at all nice. But that ridiculous honking pheasant makes me giggle. Now if only he could predict...

 My random grey cat.
Lilli-Puss is OK

Cat Report

My grey cat Lilli-Puss has checked in, as has Kaya the black. And little Minimus has squeaked at me from the greenery, though she refuses to come out. Histeria, the heroine of the day, is just bouncing around full of joy, following me and rubbing in my ankles. Don't worry - I'm here!

I'd like to sight my two ginger gardening cats, though. These boys can be quite shy - they are two 'SNAC's (sensitive new age cats), and have obviously gone to ground. Ground! Enough - all power to you, but please stop shuddering and shaking. I am grateful to be one of your humble (well, rather more humble than yesterday) custodians.

Sunday 5th September

Last night, defiantly, I played Schumann on the piano while the earth rumbled. Then we dragged a mattress down and slept by the grand piano while the house shook and rattled. Now I'm off to look for the ginger cats and plant my clumps of Elegia. I don't totally feel like doing much, though.


We are still powerless (ha! earthquakes do remind us how powerless we are). I've shifted two barrowloads of rubbish and done some fiddly weeding by the Stables. The white nerines are planted. Now the light is fading and I'm wishing that our power be reconnected. I miss my e-mail (a terribly modern 'miss') and the TV news (which I hardly ever watch). And I'm sad and worried for my city.

 A deeper pink Prunus.
More Spring Blossom

Monday 6th September

We have power! And all the Moosey cats are finally accounted for. Percy was the last. He came in last night, had a small feed, and then - bad timing - another aftershock, and a flash of ginger fur hurtled down the hall to the cat door and back outside.

I had a dreadful night's sleep, thanks to young Minimus. She thumped off the bed and out the window at every slight creak the house gave, then leapt back on the bed when all was calm. For such a tiny cat Minimus packs a pretty weighty punch (in the dark at 4:30 am, 48 hours after the 'you-know-what'). So I gathered up my bedclothes and descended to the TV couch to drink tea and sulk.

I continue to be more than a bit peeved with Mother Nature. She's blowing a noisy gale and I've been clearing paths and trimming flaxes in the Wattle Woods, imagining the headlines: 'Intrepid gardener survives 7.1 earthquake only to be 'sconned' by falling Wattle tree... So I've retreated inside to write up my journal.

 You can't see the wind!
View from the Wattle Woods

But it's just another windy spring day. I've been checking for lambs (none born as yet) and I notice I need to rebuild parts of the stone retaining wall. The sun is shining, and the big baby pink Camellia's flowers are fast finishing. Blast! I turn my back on you for a couple of seconds and your flowers go brown...

 A bit wet in overnight rain.
Spring Daffodils

Moosey Birthday Week Shifted

I'm shifting my birthday week. I will not have swarms of aftershocks blunting my celebrations. I am simply not in the mood, and I am not opening any of my presents.

Tuesday 7th September

More aftershocks and a huge rose donation - a Garden Club friend has dug out forty five roses (with help from her Non-Gardening Partner) for me. I am making a donation to one of the charities here in lieu of payment.

I have them spread out on the lawn - 12 large yellows, 11 small yellows, 10 large whites (most will be Icebergs), 9 small whites, and 3 Sally Holmes. Unreal. I'm off outside to prune and pot them.

 Day One...
The Lambs Are Rescued

Lamb News

Some lamb news - two lambs, possibly twins, were found this morning, mother sheep obviously not in attendance, so I've intervened and set up a lamb creche undercover in the Stables.

The girl lamb is really tiny and weak - she can't really stand up. The boy is stronger and sturdier - he looks a bit scrawny, but he'll come right with a few feeds. It's early days with the lamb milk formula, and I will do my best. But I'm really nervous...

No Birthday This Week

What do I want for my birthday? I want the weak little girl lamb to fight for her life, and I want to feel safe in my own bed again. I want the aftershocks to stop so people in my city can get their strength back. I want my garden to stop rumbling and rocking.

Not that I'm having my birthday this week. I'm not quite in the mood. Sorry about that!