Auckland was struck by a deadly tornado this afternoon. At least one person was unlucky enough to lose his life; there are reports of a second fatality. Tornadoes are extremely rare in New Zealand but as one-in-fifty-year events now tend to occur every other week, maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. The Albany Mega Centre (a large shopping mall) lived up to its name – it was the “mega centre” of the twister. In future I’ll be even more inclined to avoid shopping malls than I already am. I’ve texted everyone I know back in the Big Smoke – they’re all thankfully OK.
In contrast it has been a glorious day in Wellington, as usual. Now I feel vindicated by my decision to leave Auckland and escape all their nasty weather.
The flat search has finally come to an end. What a relief. I’ve taken a two-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor of a tower block in Mt Victoria, overlooking the Basin Reserve. My flat should get the sun, so I can look forward to basking in Wellington’s endless summer. With sorting out accommodation and everything that happened in Auckland, it’s been an extremely busy day of texting on my forty-buck phone. On the way back from signing the application form I found a cheap eatery on Courtenay Place, not far from the Blanket Man, called Cozy Bar (or something like that) – I got a chicken and salad roll and a rocky road cake for four dollars.
The other big news item has been Osama bin Laden’s death. His name was on everyone’s lips in late 2001 but lately I’ve hardly heard him mentioned. I found the chants of “USA, USA” in Washington at the news of his death a little disturbing – that hardly seems a good way of increasing the nation’s worldwide popularity.
So I can cross finding a home off the list in big fat marker pen. I can almost – dare I say it – relax.
Update: I just spoke to my brother on the phone. One of his friends had been killed in a motorbike crash in the UK. He doesn’t know whether he’ll be back for the funeral. He’s now lost so many friends in so many accidents it’s almost unreal. I’m looking forward to seeing him on Friday.