Apologies for the lack of a blog update on Sunday – Blogger decided to play around, and would load up the page title, and nothing else *rolls eyes*
The rather overshadowing news of this week was the 8.8 earthquake in Chile which triggered a Pacific wide tsunami warning. It meant we got to see and hear first hand the Civil Defence system which we had been taught about at the seminar not two weeks ago. That same seminar meant that, although we were woken up with the CD warning on the radio news, we automatically knew that, although we are in a low lying area, we weren't in any danger. So it was a case of leaving the radio on and listening for news updates, which happened about once every quarter of an hour or so. I did think I faintly heard the warning sirens in the distance, but it might have been my imagination! Fortunately, as events showed, whilst we did have a tsunami, only the Chatham Islands had anything over a meter high.
It was very interesting to listen to events unfolding over the next couple of hours - I have a short cut link (mainly because I'm interested in the local earthquakes) to GeoNet (link) which also has tidal gauges to monitor tidal waves. You can see the events unfolding here:
Usually the lines are pretty flat (as they have been adjusted to take into account the tides)...
The radio was also quite amusing - at one point they had a reporter up on the hills overlooking Wellington harbour, and he'd obviously been told that they had set aside a three minute segment for him, and he was determined to fill it, even though he had nothing to say!
It is very comforting to know that, even though this turned into quite a non-event here (in Wellington the waves reached 30cm), if it had been bad, the emergency planning was there.
Now, it is just really a hope that the devastation from the earthquake in Chile can be contained and that the death toll does not rise.
In other news, I've had my first full week of "flying solo". All things considered, it hasn't gone too badly. I don't think I've made too many mistakes (only one obvious one, and that was due to me not finding out enough about a contract and relying on other people's opinions - fortunately I was able to clear it up within a very short space of time without too much fuss and bother! Lesson learned for next time...), and I've managed to impress the boss with the fact that I know how to use Excel and Project (he did get very excited when I showed him a couple of pivots that I'd used to get some data out of our unwieldy database, and a series of formula to flag time periods when contracts were expiring) My workload hasn't got too heavy yet, either, which is good, and means that I can work on some longer term projects which will make my life easier in the moths to come.
Orchestra was fun this week - I sat in for the first oboe, and didn't manage to fluff the solos too badly (apart from one piece, which I hadn't realised we were going to be playing, and where every note was an accidental and awkward fingering!)
I also had the trials for the hockey teams - not quite the trek all the way out to Trentham, this one was at the hockey club where we had the sign up session, and only a couple of stops up the line. It was a good session - great to get back into the pads again (and these are *posh* pads - not quite top of the range, but getting there! I've never had 100% body coverage before...), and I did manage to make a couple of good saves. And let in a couple of doozies as well... I wasn't good enough to get into the firsts, but then I wasn't expecting to - their current first goalie is amazing! Kerry (the guy who hired me) was watching the trials, and very kindly gave me a lift back - given that my other option was to walk (I wasn't going to wait for an hour and a half for the next train which was going to be a bus anyway), I was very grateful. And he then invited me out for drinks the next evening - he was going to be watching the NZ/Oz 20:20 cricket, and was meeting his mates at the pub beforehand. It transpired that one of the people he met up with was a contractor who had been doing my role a few months ago, and the other was also a procurement consultant. It is nice to know that, even if I don't decide to stay here for the very long term, there are consultancy roles available when I have built up enough experience (as Kerry said - the government will always need to buy things!)
The weekend was spent pottering - we had hoped to get out on the Sunday to a regional park where they were having an open day, but when we looked at the distance on the map, and the fact that the start point for the guided walks was 2km uphill from the road (which was already well over an hour's walk away), we decided to give it a miss! There are some gorgeous purple flowers growing on the tree which sits just into our neighbour's garden.
And the plants in my greenhouse are really getting going, particularly my broccoli
and my pepper.
We've also had a bit of an insect explosion - as well as the cicadas deafening us in the trees outside, these moth like insects were all over our lilies
and this little fellow was buzzing around the greenhouse
Looking at the length of his sting, I decided that the prudent course of action would be to leave the door wide open until he stopped head butting against the glass and flew out!