Friday, 15 April 2011

We have some action...sort of.

That's right, it's been nearly two months since the big quake, and the weeds are growing through the rubble.

We are considering ourselves very lucky, because despite earlier predictions, the EQC guys came up today, clipboards in hand, to carry out the full assessment of our house.

There was lots of measuring and pointing with laser beams. Basically they just made a big list of broken things, and the repairs that were required to fix them. It took over two hours. Two hours!! It was boring. Something of an anti-climax. They weren't interested in the cliff at all - there are special "Land Assessors" for that.

The big issue that we discussed is the downstairs flooring - it has slumped in the corners of the house, and in order to fix it, all the tiles, grout, underfloor heating and concrete would have to be removed (read - uninhabitable house, tonnes of dust, dirt, work), and relaid. New tiles. After the hours of agonising, I have to admit, I've formed quite an attachment to those dirty old quarry tiles. The thought of new ones, even if identical, just upsets me. We have heard rumours of some process which involves pumping a filler under the slumped corners, thereby preserving the flooring, but the assessors didn't know what we were on about, and so it's not looking promising.

We are desperate to get back into our house. I spent more time there today than I have since the quake, and it was just so sad to lock it up and leave again. It is starting to smell. It's getting musty, and it's dark because of the boarded up broken doors. There is still a layer of dust over everything, and even though I had lot of time today, I just couldn't bring myself to clean up - it seems so futile when more sanding and painting and general mess-making is going to be done.

Anyway, we should consider ourselves lucky to have ticked this assessment off the list - there are thousands of houses needing urgent assessment, most are probably more damaged than ours. I just keep have to keep repeating it - lucky lucky lucky.

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