Some lucky people have not lost power, water, sewerage, but most of us have struggled with varying lengths of time without these essentials. Normal life as we know it ceased completely. Christchurch is looking at a very long period of recovery, say 10 years! Wellwishers from outside the city have been kindly but sometimes annoying in their insistence on getting their good wishes through to us when we are literally struggling to survive. I know that sounds churlish, but it is true.
One pastor from the North Island told his congregation that he felt personally responsible for the earthquake as he had prayed for a "cleansing" of New Zealand!! How ridiculous, pompous and arrogant is that? A "look at me, I am so pious and influential with God". Send him down here to pull the dead from the ruins of our Cathedral and let him be humbled.The speed and ease of modern communication is both a blessing and an irritant. People have simply failed to understand how serious the situation here is and expect us to be up and running after a couple of days. Hence my replies of thanks have been rather short and blunt!