I’m getting quite grouchy. The next time someone tells me about the new normal, I’m going to smack them one. I want the old normal back. I got a letter from our power company yesterday and apparently their heart goes out to me. The next time someone’s heart goes out to me, I’m going to smack them one too. Those words were good a month ago but now they make my fists clench. I heard on National Radio this morning that Christchurch needs to be prepared for a “tsunami of grief”. I’ve written that quote down and I’m going to use it in my defence when the next person tells me kia kaha and I chase them down the street so I can tackle them to the ground and smack them one. Strong is the very last thing I feel. In fact, the responsibilty of caring for someone else’s kids every day is doing my head in. I know the fastest route out of every corner of the school. If someone slams my classroom door, I’m halfway under the desk before I can draw breath. I can’t stop thinking about all those little Japanese schoolchildren in their classrooms by the sea. But then I’m in a supermarket in a town far away, trying to buy things that I can’t find in Christchurch anymore and I see a man, a weather-beaten farmer in a worn leather hat, and he’s wearing a tee shirt that says Aroha Christchurch, and I stand there with irrational tears running down my face and I don’t want to smack him at all.