February 22 2015 marked the fourth anniversary of “the big one”.
A month later, my parents moved back home. That’s right — the dusty skeleton of a house featured in my earlier Christchurch posts has finally been fixed.
Each time I return I’m disappointed by the (lack of) progress. The road works and rubble, the broken and empty houses, the desolate city centre; all still there.
I’m impatient, but my parents are positive.
It’s true; the cafes are busy and new places are opening every month. Ballantynes remains a destination, a sartorial saving grace. The gardens are always blooming.
That this broken city can host events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup and Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival is a testament to its forebears who in 1855 decreed 165 hectares of the central city remain forever green: Hagley Park. I’ve always said: It’s Christchurch’s greatest asset.
And then I read that the Mona Vale Homestead, 1899 heritage building and wedding reception venue of my dreams, is set to reopen in mid 2016.
When I asked mum how the move was going, she said it felt like they’d never been away.
“Unpacking is easy,” she said. “Even the pantry layout hasn’t changed.”
Great — I’ll know where to find the stash of chocolate, then.