Too wet...

 This is an old photo - same flax, but sure to be different spider!
Spider in Phormium

Quite cold rain is teeming down on my country house and garden. Meanwhile the TV bad-news of the earthquake in the city rumbles on. Well, today I'd like to cut down the large bronze-red Phormium by the house decking. I've already picked a couple of suitable kitchen steak knives. But it's really too wet.

Friday 25th February

So sorry, but I'm finding it difficult to write with any cheerfulness and positivity. My cats have picked up on the mood - they've been incredibly attentive and smoochy, especially Percy. Mind you, they also seem to know when I have stocks of fresh pet meat in the fridge (as I have at the moment). We used to call this 'cupboard love' - guess it's better called 'fridge love'. I really need to do something small and personal to balance all the big thoughts about the earthquake. How will the city be rebuilt safely? Earthquakes as shallow as 5km could be too harsh to plan for...

The Big Phormium :
In this little thumbnail photograph the flax was much smaller - and prettier!

Well, it's later, lunchtime, and I've got the big Phormium down, helped by Rusty the dog. I've been chased inside by bucketing rain. It's good to be doing something, though. Dogs are lucky. There's so much they don't ever know about, and they just shake rainwater off and keep on nosing around. I tend to give up when water starts running down my neck and from my fringe to my nose.

The house is now much lighter - that Phormium was certainly oversized! And I uncovered a lot of alarmingly leggy spiders - hope they can get themselves shelter from the rain. But not by scuttling into the house, please.

Sunday 27th February

Another new day, and it's time for the fortunate ones (like me) to move back to normal life. Yesterday my friends and I played a Quantz trio, after a silly speech to mark the 'start of the start of the new beginning'. Inauspicious - Non-Gardening Partner, tuning his violin, caused Tiger the tortoiseshell cat to bolt dramatically for the door. But no sooner was she out that she wanted 'in' again. Ha! The circle of cat life! So we played our tootling music to Tiger the senior cat, Rusty the dog, and two nice human visitors (they'd come out from town for showers).

Kaya the Cat :
Kaya had only been in her new house about three weeks.

Son has posted photographs of the ex-Moosey cat Kaya, at this moment displaced somewhere in New Brighton. We hope she will find some kind person to reassure and feed her. Perspectives - there are hundreds of lost cats and dogs, five new ones have actually gone up since I started typing this paragraph. And lots of kind offers of foster homes, too.

No Power but Not Powerless...

Son of Moosey has been returning to his house, and plans to divide himself half-and-half between there and here. Decisions, some demolition, builders, cleaning up, no power but not powerless - and hopefully Kaya the blackest of cats will come back soon.

 This is my early morning view from the cottage - when it's sunny.
New Day by the Pond

To begin this new day I've taken this photograph of the sun rising behind the pond. It's a small, silly symbol. I'm going to have a proper morning in my garden. I will work hard. And when I finish I will write a list of accomplishments, which will be many.

 There are lots and lots of red dahlias flowering now.
Red Dahlias

Later, Lunchtime...

I can report a solid, if uninspiring, three hours of garden work. I've been clearing up around the house. I've found a rule that applies when gardening life goes on. When in doubt, trim by hand an oversized conifer that you should have been trimming twice a year for a decade. Feel guilty if you must, feel sad, or just thoughtful, but keep on trimming.

Worrying about Small Things

It's a mental survival mechanism now to start worrying about small things, as the continuing big stuff becomes overwhelming. After last September's earthquake I became extremely fixated/worried about the orphan lambs I was caring for - personalising and emotionalising that task.

Now I'm getting really sad for all the lost cats and dogs in the city. For example, fourteen cats and five dogs have been listed missing in the last hour. Owners have been evacuated and aren't allowed back near their homes to search or put food out. I'm wondering if I could foster any displaced dogs - it would be difficult to guarantee a cat's safety, unless it were to be caged.

'When in doubt, trim a conifer.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

Oh well, when in doubt keep on trimming that blasted conifer, I guess! Grrr... I must try and look after my garden shrubs more, understand how they grow and when they flower, and become a proactive pruneswoman (pruningwoman? pruner?). Regarding my life in (and out of) the garden, I have a lot more to learn than I ever smugly thought I knew. Hmm...

 Wow - such perfection.
Dahlia Flower

And Later Still...

A friend has been here shooting a mini-movie in the garden. A tiny slice of normality, a friend pursuing his hobby and just being busy - it's supposed to be set in winter, so I hope he's avoided the red dahlias flowering exuberantly in every garden border. Rusty the dog has been terribly excited by all the action - I hope my dog hasn't barged into any of it.

Rusty is off on a dog-and-person cycle ride and I've come inside to reflect on all the valuable things I've done today. Meanwhile twenty seven more cats in the city are listed as missing, but again there's a balance - many kind foster homes are being offered, and some cats have already been picked up and are being cared for at the SPCA.

I hope we can find you, Kaya, dear Kaya, blackest of cats...

Early The Next Morning - Kaya Has Been Found!

Late last night, son and partner walking around the dark streets calling and whistling, Kaya popped out down someone's driveway to greet them. So she's OK, safe, and back at her home. Nice.