Where does one start? 2011 was such a crap year for so many people in NZ, and indeed around the world. It was for me in some ways as well, but not for the same reasons as most of my fellow Cantabrians. However, it was also a really good year for me. Fair to say, this year had its ups and downs!
2011 started with a bang in Canterbury. And a shake, rattle and roll. In the form of a 6.3 earthquake on February 22nd which, sadly, took lives and destroyed much of my city, and people’s lives. I was one of the very lucky ones. None of my family or friends were hurt, or too badly affected. My workplace was operational, my home was safe and in good working order with no loss of water or power.
A few days later, our family was blessed with the birth of a healthy baby boy, to my sister, Kase James Bailey. I adore him in ways I never thought possible. Who could resist this face?
Kase James Bailey
In March, I moved out of my home, and into “Woodglen Retreat”, the fond name I have given my rental home in Woodend. Things were a struggle financially for a while until I sold my house in Hornby, and still are to be honest (thanks for nothing Westpac!), but the peace I have found here is worth any price.
Our earthquake was bad enough, but to put things in perspective, Japan was hit by a powerful 8.9 quake on March 11th, triggering a huge tsunami, and causing well over 15,000 deaths with many more injured or missing.
In June, Christchurch was hit again by earthquakes, a 5.6 and a 6.3 in quick succession. More damage, more soul-destroying liquefaction in eastern suburbs, but luckily no more lives lost.
On July 17th my brother Matt got married to Yuka in Japan, I watched the beautiful ceremony live on streaming internet. Ain’t technology grand?
July and August saw two heavy snow falls which effectively closed Christchurch down, or what was left of it. Just what our businesses needed in a quake ridden recession, but oh well, a couple of days off work ;)
September 1st gave me my first niece, Charlotte, born to my little brother Chris and his wife Kallie. September also brought the Rugby World Cup to our shores. The most nerve-wracking 6 weeks of my year, culminating in a courageous win by our team, the All Blacks. Many tears were shed. Most of them happy.
On Wednesday 5th October, the container ship Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga, causing an enormous oil spill, classed as New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster. The same day, the Chairman of the Board of Apple, Steve Jobs, died.
Which brings us to December and a short holiday in Auckland for the Foo Fighters concert, which rocked Western Springs, and caused a few earth shakes of a different kind :) Then two more additions to my family, nephew Taila born to Matt and Yuka in Japan, and Connor, born to Amber & Rob.
For me, 2011 brought all kinds of good into my life. The good definitely outweighed the bad. My New Year’s Resolution for 2012? To start seriously looking to change my career path – though there are still a lot of times that I love my job, I’m not sure my body is up to the physicality of it anymore, and I need a change.
To all my family and friends, I love you all – I wish you all a Happy New Year, and that 2012 brings you everything you wish for.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” - Albert Einstein