Stories from the Red Zone

blog entries written by Ruth Gardner.  Ruth lives in the Avon Loop on the edge of the central city, and for 50 days after the 22 February 2011 earthquake her home was inside the Red Zone, behind the cordon fences.

Ruth has a long-running blog, Ruth's Reflections, in which she writes about her daily life.  Over the last three years she has recorded not only her experiences during the earthquakes, but also their ongoing impact on her life, the difficulties of living behind the Red Zone cordon, the gradual recovery of the city, and the wealth of creativity springing up in vacant spaces.

Ruth writes, "Our lifestyle has changed completely and my blog documents that change. Previously our paid work, shops, and many entertainment options were within easy walking distance. Now we need to take a car to find almost any of these things. One positive outcome from the quakes is that we have adopted a refugee cat, Bentley, who provides good company, and comfort when the earth shakes."

The 481 blog entries that Ruth has contributed to UC CEISMIC help build a valuable picture of the effects of the earthquakes on everyday life in Christchurch.  Over time we aim to archive earthquake-related blog entries from a range of Christchurch bloggers in two ways: first, by ensuring the National Digital Heritage Archive is aware of all significant Christchurch earthquake blogs; and secondly by using UC QuakeStudies to create collections of blog entries for more general blogs which nonetheless record important earthquake experiences, as Ruth's Reflections does.