Tomorrow we commemorate three years since the big earthquake that changed Christchurch and our lives.
I took a walk around my neighbourhood. These are photos I took on the way. I started with a house on its own, abandoned, next to Avonside Girls High School. Then empty sections, which have been sown in grass and now look like park land. Then some of the houses around the Avon River, in River Road. I edged through the barriers and photographed inside an abandoned house, a rather grand old place that looked OK on the outside but was very damaged inside. Then an old weatherboard house that had been divided into flats, where I went around the back and found my way into one of the kitchens. I am unsure whether the mess I photographed was left by people who just abandoned their flat in a hurry, or by squatters. I am moved by the thought of people fleeing, leaving behind their possessions. There are a few places like that in our neighbourhood. Piles of possessions on abandoned lawns, people still living in caravans and sheds. The next photos are of the grounds of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity Avonside, which I photographed in picturesque ruins some months after the earthquake destroyed it. Now there is lawn, and the cemetery remains, and some of the church rests on the lawn. And finally a sign that indicates something about life on the East side of Christchurch. Our roads are still very damaged and driving remains an adventure. When we find a smooth patch of road we make jokes about it.