I was in Devonport library just after 2pm on Tuesday when I heard someone say "six point three". That's pretty big I thought, but even when I saw pictures of the half-destroyed cathedral I had no idea of the scale of the disaster. Then I got home and switched on the TV and could hardly believe my eyes. It can't be New Zealand. This doesn't happen here.
Shortly before 4pm the phone rang. Suddenly I had work again, at the same insurance brokers that gave me a job following the September quake. I was very grateful to be back at work, even if I seem unable to get work without a major natural disaster occurring. It was only when I turned up for work the next morning that I knew the company had suffered in the worst possible way from the quake. Their Christchurch offices were based on the top floor of the Pyne Gould Guinness Building; they lost three people.
I'm in an internet café and have to go.