We were all downstairs having lunch when it happened. It was five minutes until my first team meeting and then the entire building shook more strongly than anything I have ever felt and there was screaming and crashing and the lights went out and the lady next to me gripped my arm like a vice. And I sat there through it all, as calm as anything. When it stopped, we all exited the building (fumbling in the dark, but thank goodness we weren't upstairs) and when people asked me if I was okay, I said I was fine. I was surrounded by counsellors and social workers and I think I was the calmest one there and I don't know why. I went very focused. Get phone. Call Leah and Alison. Get home.
And then I looked to my left at the city center I was a five minute walk from. And I couldn't see it. The dust from collapsed buildings had obscured it completely. And I only kept from panicking that Ness and Jen were in there (they are okay, btw) because I was focused. Get phone. Call Ali and Leah. Get home. Got a text from Alison saying she was okay. Good.
My supervisor gave me a ride (bless her forever) and I finally called Leah. Talked her through an aftershock (to which my supervisor said 'GOOD!') as the car I was in shook like a mofo and people on the streets outside screamed and screamed. We drove past unspeakable damage and horror and I got home and my house is still standing. It's a mess, but still standing. And my vision blurred and I couldn't breathe and I sort of had a mini-panic attack. But I'm okay now. We have a broken pipe, but really? Lucky. So lucky. My kitty is sticking right by my side, but that's okay by me. Having a purring kitty curled up against your chest makes it a little better.
Have heard from all my friends. They're all safe. And my Tim Minchin CD came. The earth is still shaking all the time all the time and no dinner with Amanda Palmer (thankfully she hadn't flown in yet, but Jason Webley is in town and with Hera). But my girls are with me.