dodging the holes where the steel has been put through the side of the stairs (yet to be fixed) thinking of the hours of labour that went into fixing the brick work. The mortar around every brick in the building was ground out to a depth of 50mm and then remortared. This work was done by student labour over the Christmas holidays. I was particularly thinking of 2 Egyptian “lads”, Amr and Ali. They were the most enthusiastic labourers I have ever seen, The job was mindlessly boring, dusty and dirty. They told me that they throughly enjoyed the job. On the 22nd of february Amr was on top of the scaffold -3 stories up, when the big one struck – 6.3 the scaffold/building moved backwards and forwards by 1 metre, and he and the brick layer watched in horror as the building next door collapsed. As the scaffold went back towards the building they leapt over the parapet onto the roof, and watched in horror as buildings across the city came down.
Amr came off the top of the building looking like a ghost! He is now in Auckland with his brother at the University of Auckland. They wisely got out of the city immediately.
Well the neighbours have concreted in their post, (actually our builder organised it for them, go figure that!) I believe today we start deconstruction the other column. Yes!