Well that must have been a busy 18 months or so to result in no blog updates whatsoever!
Yeah, actually it has been. Too much time working, that's for sure!
So what have been the big news items over that time.....
13,000 aftershocks! We're kinda getting used to them now. Still demolishing the city centre - apparently around 100 more buildings to knock down and then they can start proper on the rebuild.
Lots of people still frustrated by Insurance and EQC - still living in broken homes - though others have been fortunate and have either been bought out (by the Govt) and moved on (ie. bought new) or have had repairs done.
We have moved since the last blog. In fact we have moved 3 times - and that was in the space of 6 months - which was quite exhausting. We're currently in what we affectionately call 'the greenhouse' - due to the extent of glass in the walls. Great in Summer - not so good in Winter due to it being single glazed. Yes, it was Summer when we chose it! Winter has been a bit of a challenge but we are heading towards warmer weather again so things are not so bad. It's a little on the small side however methinks that move number 4 may be on the cards again soon!
Chris moved out of house No 1 to set up with his girl, Kylie, who he had met whilst working at Burger King. One of his first decisions upon leaving home was to acquire the puppy he had always wanted and so Tiny the Bull Mastiff became his new pal. He decided on a change of career during 2012 - firstly with a stint in Telephone Sales which was quickly followed by a job as a Farm Hand on a Canterbury dairy farm. After a year in that job he and Kylie headed down to Central Otago and onto another dairy farm - which lasted around 2 months before he returned to Chch in search of other employment.
Sarah has been busy working hard at NCEA's - achieving some great results at Stage 1 and looking to repeat the feat at Stage 2 if all goes to plan. She also acquired a part time job in Riccarton Mall - she's a 'Wendy's Girl' - serving ice creams, shakes and smoothies to the throngs of shoppers. She started driving earlier in the year but that came to a halt recently when - after no fault of her own - the car was shunted by a red-light-jumper - and it's been sat in the panel-beaters for the best part of 3 months (that's another story altogether!). Maybe we'll get the L-plates back on again this weekend?
Talking of weekend, Maria's back from the UK on Sunday. She's been back to celebrate the wedding of James and Jodie Kennerley.
Maria has a new job, by the way. She no longer works for Safe and Sound - but instead is Business Health Nurse Manager at Moorhouse Medical Centre. Business is booming and she is enjoying the challenge of having responsibility for the performance of the dept.
Maria, Sarah and I visited Melbourne, Noosa and Brisbane for a week last April - catching up with Eibhlin Fletcher and the Guyomar's in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively.
And whilst Maria has been in the UK, Sarah and I have enjoyed a short break with Steve Frodsham and his daughters down in Queenstown.
I've been busy working all over the country - mainly teaching Lean Thinking. I currently have clients in Tauranga, Hastings, Christchurch and Dunedin - so I spend quite a bit of time sitting in airport waiting rooms - which can be a bit tedious. However, I enjoy the work so that makes up for the hanging around and nights away from home.
I've also been doing a regular radio slot with Plains FM, which has been fun. I've met some really interesting people as a result of doing the show and hopefully intend to do more. I've also just finished my first season as a football coach with one of the teams from the local Boy's High School - which again has been very satisfying and great fun (at least when we won!).
A combination of football commitments and busy work schedule has impacted my own sporting activities - I've not been getting out on the bike as much as I would have liked - but hopefully that will change now that Saturday mornings are footy-free! Trouble is that the extra 5kg will be a bugger to pull up and over the Port Hills for the first few weeks!
And hopefully Maria will be bringing me back some new Asics running shoes so no longer will I have an excuse for not getting out for a run around the park or along the Harry Ell track!