Yesterday around 5:30 pm I sat in my bathroom beside the bath. In the bath were the remains of the biggest pig in living history. Around a 120 kg of it. It was covered with water and vinegar and I was in the process of dissecting it for further processing.
It wasn’t my first ever pig but it was my first ever home kill pig and other then the one commercially raised pig, it was a humongous carcass to process.
That set the tone for my mood. I saw hams, chops, sausages in the future and as it was a Kunekune mix I also saw a huge amount of fat.
As an ex-city girl raised on pieces of meat wrapped in plastic, (although I do remember good butchers who did all the processing in the back of their own butcheries and I even visited the butcher which at that time was still in my family) it was a paradigm shift if there ever was one and as I was contemplating the shift and the wealth of food I was processing for future use, while I was sawing through a mountain of fat and skin, I didn’t catch on at first that what was shaking me was not the undulation of the blubbery mount before me but the floor on which I was seated. As the mental alienation of the moment began to translate into an actual physical experience and I stopped to find my bearing I found that my whole house was slowly shaking in all directions making me hold on to my chair. There where the odd sounds of protest from the building as it tried to hold together during the 20 seconds the earth moved and I realized I was in the middle of an Earthquake and from experience I knew that if I felt it and the house was shaking, it had to be a big bugger somewhere in New Zealand. We had after all been woken up by the first September earthquake in Christchurch and another one near lake Taupo.
When the shaking subsided I got up and called out to my husband who at that time was walking our new puppy. He had felt absolutely nothing!
I told him what had happened and after I washed my hands of the fat from my monstrous big pig, I opened my email program and GeoNet confirmed that indeed a big earthquake had taken place near Setton in the straight which separates the North Island from the South Island. It was a 6.9 Richter Earthquake and Wellington was hit the worst. A friend of ours whole lives in the region wrote on Facebook that her house had been going mad and that one of the walls looked crook after it was all over.
My experience was that of a friendly 3.5 and I can only guess how scary the 6.9 must have felt over in Wellington. The good news is that the Beehive (the building that houses the NZ Government) seems to have sustained some damage which for those who know me will come as no surprise, may seem as divine retribution for all the privatization, mining and spying laws this government attempts to perpetrate on its citizens!
I went back to my pig and can announce that it is processed and rests in the freezer where it will be dug up once the time has come to make another ham or a huge amount of chorizo or other pork delights such as they are.
For those of you who think why wasn’t her husband doing all this? First of all I am a very capable chooper and cutter but rest assures he helped with all the carrying and lugging but we have a deal in our team: He kills (with the help of some very experienced locals) and I cut it up. I know what I want and I have not had to do the DEED. Seems like a good deal to me.
For those of you affected in the Wellington area, my heart goes out to you and may this be the worst of it all.
Love and peace,