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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spring Storms.

I spent most of Thursday and Friday on the phone trying to secure a motor home rental. Finally succeeded on Friday. EQC phoned Friday afternoon to say the dates have been changed but no one knew what to. I wasn't impressed. Then I received another call just before 5p.m. to say it would now be the 8th October. We shall wait and see.

Yesterday started really good, weather sunny but warm, a bit of a breeze. By 3 p.m. I could see a southerly storm moving in very quick. Did we get a battering! Hail, sleet, rain, winds, thunder and lightning. The sky was black. It lasted about 4 hours. Absolutely wild. The thunder was so loud it felt like the house was shaking.

I went outside this morning to survey the damage to the garden, all my cheerful daffodils and tulips are flattened and my peonies look like they have been through a mangle.

On close inspection of the veggie garden I found this little beauty peeping through:

The asparagus will soon be ready to pick ~ it grows quickly once it bursts through the ground. This is early for us, I'm sure we didn't see it until October last year but I did see the first of it in the shops 2 weeks ago at $18 per kg. I've planted peas, radish, salad onions and cos lettuce so far and have lots more to put in once the weather gets more reliable. The potato beds are ready to go- waiting for the early Liseta potatoes to go in, I'm waiting on them sprouting a little more before planting and I won't be storing the frost cloth away just yet.

The cherry trees are just starting to bloom

I made 36 Macarons at the weekend and the 3 in the photograph are the only perfect ones I got out of the whole batch. I've made them before and they were fine so I'm not sure what went wrong this time. They were still edible but had cracked on top.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2 years on.....

It's 2 years since we had the first earthquake, I don't talk about it really ~ I may have mentioned it once or twice but I know there are families who are in a much worse situation than we could ever be. I always look for the positive in any negativity, but I'm all out of positives - at the point where I could pull out my fingernails through frustration with 'the system'.

Our house had an EQC assessment in November 2010, 3 months before we purchased it.

July 2011 - Had the log burner/chimney replaced as the chimney had fallen down in the September  quake. Informed that our second heat source (a range in the kitchen with wet back and chimney) would get replaced at the end of that year. It didn't/hasn't.

October 2011 ~  had a further assessment.
We received a copy of this just before christmas and again it was wrong, no mention of the range/chimney/damage to master bedroom ceiling.

No further communication from anyone EQC related until May 2012 when we had a 'scope' assessment. Told repairs would start within 3 months. They didn't/haven't.

The thing that annoys me most of all is how they presume:

  1. You have a spare empty house that you can move into while the repairs are carried out.
  2. You have an invisible storage facility of cavernous proportions on your property capable of storing the contents of your home while repairs are carried out.
  3. You can drop everything to accommodate them wanting to visit at 5 minutes notice.
Observations I have made:
  1. Trying to get any information out of the 'system' is like pulling teeth. No-one knows anything.
  2. Our second heat source seems to have been forgotten about ~ yet EQC regularly advertise in the newspapers telling everyone how many heat sources they have replaced to date. Save the advertising costs and invest the money in point 5.
  3. Conflicting information ~ for example, some people can only choose wallpaper at $45 per roll while others have no set price limit.
  4. If 1 wall in a room is damaged they will only paint that one wall once repaired, so you will have mis-matched decoration, which beggars belief when there are people who had a small crack in their foundation slab yet got their house demolished and completely rebuilt. Now they are splitting hairs over a bit of paint?
  5. EQC needs to use some of the cash that we have paid into this fund to pay for eye tests. Our assessor was adamant he couldn't see ceiling/wall cracks that are clearly visible to everyone else. 
  6. They believe seismic waves don't travel through interior stud walls and affect the room beyond. See point 7.
  7. Most of the assessors don't have any qualification to assess anything.
  8. They need reminding that some exterior damage looks old ~ it's 2 years since the damage occurred. Of course there will be moss and dirt in exterior cracks after being exposed to 2 winters, gail force winds, snow and -11 deg temperatures.
  9. The paint called 'half black white' is actually grey.

We were told yesterday that our repairs are now booked to start on 1st October ~ I spent most of the afternoon trying to sort out a storage container and somewhere for us to live. We decided the best option for us is to rent a motorhome and live onsite. It would be ok for a week, maybe 2 ~ but we may be in it for 4 weeks or more. I will have my knitting to keep me sane. It's going to be a tough time in many ways but we have been through worse. I will be looking forward to getting nicely settled back in our home before Christmas. It will be such a relief to get it over and done with, we will be pleased to finally move on from what has happened during the last 2 years.