Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christchurch - continued prayers

Everyone knows there was a major earthquake in Christchurch in September.
There have been continual tremors since.
I arrived at my accommodation very near the centre of Christchurch last Saturday at 3pm  and left the city at 11.30am on Sunday.  I did not feel anything but a search discovers there was a 2.7 just after 4pm at a depth of 20km , a 2.8 at about 1am on Sunday depth 5km  and a 2.5 about 8am at less than km depth.

However on Monday there were 2 at 3, 1 at 3.5 and 1 at 4.1 plus many smaller and today there was a 5 at 6am plus many at 3 or smaller.   Altogether 54 tremors in the last 7 days.
Naturally people are worried that weakened structures will fall, lots have had their chimneys removed in case. And doctors report many illnesses due to stress.
I was a little disappointed that I felt nothing but prayers are needed for those who live there and put up with it every day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jensens cannot help themselves

In Sydney, the Cathedral and the Town Hall share a plaza in between the buildings known as Sydney Square.  I remember learning that the Diocese owns 80% with the City Council only 20%.  Most people would have no idea of this.  It is a pleasant place to sit in the centre of the city. It has also been a meeting place for rallies.
I attended the Same-sex marriage rally there last August.  Now the Diocese has decided to stop this practice.  If they had started with the Same-sex marriage rally one might have seen their point of view even if I did not agree with it.  But the idiots have started with The International Women's Day March which has begun there for 40 years. As the local paper points out: 'The Sydney diocese, under Archbishop Peter Jensen, prescribes that women must submit to the ''headship'' of men in the church and in their marriage. It also opposes ordination of women.'
What a way to win friends and influence people. Their aim is to increase church attendance by 10%. This is a way to decrease attendance by 50%.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nature's Force

I am taking a holiday in New Zealand for a change. Yesterday I drove over 500km from Dunedin to Kaikoura. I passed through Christchurch before lunchtime and was a little further north when I decided to stop. The name Kaiapoi had often intrigued me as there is a regular advertisement for antique furniture on TV telling me to buy from Blakely's of Kaiapoi. I forgot that the town was also mentioned as suffering badly from the earthquake. I parked just down from the now empty Department store seen in this photo.

Blakeley's seemed undamaged but I was after food not furniture. The Tavern was closed for repairs as were many other shops. MacDonald's was open but I had a Big Mac a week ago and try to limit my intake of them. So I returned to the Highway and found a cafe further along.

Then I hear the news of Toowoomba in Queensland. I spent two nights there in 2008. A pleasant city of over 90,000 people. Below is a video compiling many amateur takes of the scene there yesterday. Some of the language needs editing but even I might make some of the expletives in that situation.

Worst of all, the news says 8 dead and 70 missing.

This is on top of the many other towns and cities facing floods including Rockhampton and Maryborough which I visited on the same trip in 2008.

I am now in Picton, NZ  and will be leaving my car here  tomorrow and  sailing over Cook Strait to Wellington for two nights. The forecast is good.