Two thirty one on a Friday afternoon and New Zealand was once again shaken by another major earthquake. Six point six which had been downsized from the six point nine reported immediately after the quake. Whether it's 6.6 or 6.9 it was another big shake and was just a tad nerve wracking.

Just a tad. Understatement of the year.

We were treated to another big one at 5.30. Only 6.0 this time. Only.

The aftershocks have continued unrelentingly since the big shake at 2.31 pm. For those of us at a 'safe' distance from the epicentre - safe in that we still experience the heart-stopping fear but miss most of the damage (although I still haven't checked my dining room to ascertain what was moving around so violently during the earthquake that had me cowering in the doorway praying for it to stop) - our thoughts and prayers are with those closer to the epicentre whose nerves must be wearing thin from all this seismic activity.

Perhaps, for those of us who are 'safe', once the rocking and rolling has stopped and we once again regain our land-legs (after feeling that we have been in a small boat tossed about on a stormy sea) the worst moment is when we realise that while we are safe, we know that it was a 'big one' (if not The Big One) and we wonder if our loved ones are closer to the epicentre and if so, if they have escaped unscathed.

It's no wonder phone lines and cellpone networks become blocked at such a time. The natural reaction is to check on our loved ones and to reassure those elsewhere that we are safe and sound. Perhaps there is a better way - I don't know. But it does beg the question: whatever did we do before all this technology.

But this post isn't just about another earthquake. It's also about another parcel that has turned up at our front door - place of origin unknown and addressed, yet again, to Son#5. Since he has confessed that the mouse was indeed his and that it had been a 'joke' all along when he pretend no prior knowledge of the mysterious parcel (I suspect his conscience was troubling him after he read my blog post), I doubt he'll be able to get away with trying that trick again.

And now, I have to decide where I'm going to do my grocery shopping. I never thought the day would come when I would make that decision based not on price or location or the layout of the store but on what I deemed to be the safest building in the event of another earthquake.


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