Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thankful Thursday

I have just read Jaz's Thankful Thursday post about the mining tragedy on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.  I would really suggest that if you want to understand what is typically this country then you would appreciate a lot reading that post.

The tragedy is not, of course, something for which I or anyone is thankful.

New Zealand is roughly the same physical size as Britain.  In terms of population, though, it's small with about 4.2m compared with the 62m in Britain ie less than 7% of Britain's.  That's one of its great attractions for me.  It's not that I don't love people.  I do: in small numbers.  I've lived on an Island in Scotland for over half of my life and have enjoyed the 'smallness' where it is unlikely that I would ever go into the local town of Stornoway (population of 'greater Stornoway' about 9,000) without meeting people I know.  So when there is news in NZ it tends all to be 'local' in that it tends to be shared from the southern tip of Stewart Island to the northernmost part of the North Island at Cape Reinga.
So the earthquake in Christchurch on 4 September this year was felt psychologically, if not necessarily physically, by people in the whole of the Country.  Now that there has been a mining disaster at the Pike River Mine near Greymouth (population 10,000) on the remote West coast of South Island it is being felt throughout the Country.

Like Jaz I am thankful that I live in a country that cares.


  1. Thank you GB.

    I lived in Edinburgh for a year. I thought Britain/Scotland was beautiful and the people delightful. But on returning to NZ, despite being a small place, I felt I could take a big breath and stretch.

    What a year NZ is having! But as they say............I'm pretty sure it will make us all stronger, or at least reflective (a quality I think very important and many don't often employ).

    Thanks for your kind words on my birthday post. I wish you good health also, for many adventure and fun filled years ahead :-)

  2. Funny, I never think of Britain as having quite so many millions of inhabitants. I know it but it's not my impression. I guess on our travels back in the 70s we must have kept mainly to the more scarcely populated areas! Sweden (~450.000 km2) now has 9,4 m I learn as I check the facts. 1,2 m of them in Stockholm. I grew up in a small village but all my adult life I've lived in towns with about 80-100.000 inhabitants and never really wished to live in a smaller place. Nor in a bigger city, for that matter!

  3. Yes, this is a sad time in Kiwiland. It's times like this that we realize how lucky we are to live in a land where communites are whanau.

    Kia kaha.