Faces of a Cottage

Ordinary, just ordinary she was …

                                                                … except to me

With each earthquake she slipped further from my grasp until nearly a decade later there is nothing left of her except these images. But now, on the cusp of a new build, I can see this cottage has taught me patience, resilience and not to take anything in life for granted. 

The following photos focus on the front retaining wall. There are in fact two other major retaining walls that needed to be rebuilt before we could even consider rebuilding the dwelling.


cottage front retaining wall post feb

February 22, 2011 –  a 6.3M earthquake unsettled the volcanic rocks of the front retaining wall – there were enough cracks inside the cottage to deem it unsafe for habitation.

cottage front from road post rain

Heavy rains and a 6.3 M quake on 13 June 2011, led to further collapse of front retaining wall and loss of the railing.

cottage nat and al before-2

A temporary solution by the council to hold up the land – concrete filled bags.


A 6M quake on 23 December 2011 destabilised the top layer of concrete bags – some of which rolled down our steep narrow street – eek.  (The above image was taken after the clean up).


Unstable front deck was removed from cottage – leaving her looking naked and sad.


Council rebuild of front retaining wall.


Remnants of the cottage demolition still on site. Site ready for the next stage of this complicated rebuild – the renewal of a 2m retaining wall which was behind the cottage.




5 thoughts on “Faces of a Cottage

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  1. Wow what a drama! But with a happy ending hopefully. You are quite right about the “…patience, resilience and not to take anything in life for granted.”: there is always a healthy lesson in these things.


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