Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend with my brother

I had an enjoyable weekend with my brother; mentally he's already on the plane to the UK. We went to Te Papa and saw the Andy Warhol exhibition - neither of us knew much about Warhol outside his pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell's soup tins, so it was enlightening for both of us. That was Saturday, my brother's birthday. In the evening we went out for a Thai meal on Cuba Street.

On Friday we just wandered around Wellington in the morning (he hadn't really seen the city before) and in the afternoon I took him to Lyall Bay - which was packed with surfers - and watched planes take off and land. That evening we went over to my cousin's place - she hadn't seen my brother this century.

Yesterday morning we went to the market (and had a really bad coffee that took ages to get). Later I took him to the south coast again and we had quite a long walk to Red Rocks, hoping to see some seals. They must have been feeding I guess - there wasn't a seal to be seen. Last night we went over to my cousin's again. She was pretty insistent that we come over - I'd have been happy to make a meal at home and chat with my brother.

Wellington could hardly have provided better birthday weather for my brother. I also thought the city would provide a quake-free stay for him too, but alas just after 1am we were both woken by a short, sharp shake measuring 5.4. Apparently I was running around like a headless chicken. The big shake of the 21st has made me ├╝ber-sensitive. Within the last hour I felt yet another small shake (Geonet tells me it was a 4.1 - in fact I didn't feel it but I heard it). The seismologists at GNS Science have copped some criticism for providing "meaningless" probabilities. I've seen comments like "why don't they just admit that they haven't got a clue?" I totally agree that they have no idea of the exact timing, location and size of future earthquakes. But they don't claim to. And many of their detractors don't really understand probability. "You said there was only an 11% chance of a five-point-something in the next 24 hours." Yes. "But it happened." Yes. We never said it wouldn't.

My brother left this morning and it's anyone's guess when we'll see each other again.

It hasn't been a good week for public transport in southern Europe. After the train crash in Spain killing 79 people, a bus has plunged off a viaduct in southern Italy leaving at least 38 people dead.

I saw a counsellor in my lunch hour today. More about that some other time. I think it's a positive step.

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