Saturday, April 2, 2011
There was a report in the newspapers yesterday that an earthquake had occurred yesterday in Blackpool. Blackpool was my birthplace and of course the finishing point of my big walk from the Pyrenees last year.
The reports said that the quake was only 2.2 but it toppled traffic lights and cracked a bridge. Despite the date (April 1st) this was a genuine earthquake, which are not as uncommon in Britain as one may think. We were in England for 5 days at the beginning of this year - during that time there was an tremor of 3.7 in Yorkshire - a few days earlier there had been a similar sized one in the Lake District. Apparently there have been 5 in the country during this past week. In 2008 a quake of 5.8, centred in Lincolnshire, was felt over much of the country.
But earthquakes are not so common in UK that they will change the language, as they have done in New Zealand. Christchurch has had so many quakes and aftershocks in the past 6 months that residents can generally tell you the value of each one as it happens.
The word "munted", meaning, to be polite, damaged, existed already. But now it is common daily parlance in NZ, along with its newly-minted (or was that newly-munted) derivatives "mega-munt" and "mini-munt". All three words being used to grade damage to buildings. Mega-munt is really bad news.
We are now far from Christchurch, having transferred, via Auckland, Vancouver, Chicago and Nashville, to the home of Lorenzo and Jane in Evansville, Indiana. This took us two Wednesday (because of crossing the International Date Line), an overnight stop in Vancouver, and a Thursday.