I realise today just how much of an amazing record my blip is. When I look back through the past few years it’s easy to see the ebbs and flows.

In years to come I want to remember this.

The sun was warm, but a slight cool breeze touched the skin keeping it cool.

We walked up the centre of the street to the road block. On both sides, double stacked are shipping containers. Freshly painted, with glass frontages and shops inside.

A few bumble bees are zipping around. The are looking after the fresh plots of sunflowers which have bloomed the sun.

There isn’t many people out, but as we stroll up the street they thin even further. We hit the barriers at the end where people are talking quietly and just looking. I snap a quick photo.

In a photo, it all looks ok.

As a background, slightly out of focus, the cracks and damage all fades away. Blurred like this it looks like a lovely peaceful street, not a disaster zone.

But, if you know what the truth is, even with the blur, the blue crane and rubble at the end of the road is enough to give the game away.

After a few minutes, we turn. Back through the vibrant mall of metal boxes. A stroll of 200 yards, and yet the scene is different again.

Buildings, once shops and cafes, locked up tight. Through the windows, there is scenes of life frozen in time.

Cafes, with plates and cutlery lining the tables, clearly left mid meal, chairs pushed out from the tables as people fled. It’s a bit odd though, some details aren’t right. Someone has clearly hurriedly cleared the half eaten food, so now just blank plates and empty cups fill the cafe. It’s like a busy restaurant scene where the people and food are yet to be painted, just the surroundings exist.

Across the road, we hit the river. Willow trees hanging low over the grassy banks, touching the slow flowing crystal clear waters.

This wonderful scene could be anywhere. And anywhere else it would be peaceful and serene, but here its beauty seems somehow out of place.

That’s wrong, this scene is in the right place, it’s the rest of the town which has turned on it’s head.

The is a flash of water, a diving duck appears on the river surface. An eye blink later, a tiny diving duckling appears beside it’s mum. A tiny black ball of pure distilled cuteness. And then they are gone again, back underwater, the eyes adjust to the crystal clear water to reveal ther duckling and mother darting along the bottom of the river on their hunt for food.

The spell is broken. We can’t walk any further. There is a new barricade, another building at risk of collapse, another emergency zone that had appeared just earlier that day.

This sleepy little city is now a place of vast extremes. Some buildings have gone, some still coming down, some are yet to begin.

Some of the nature is coming back, oblivious to what is happening around it.

It is not even 1 year on yet.

Time will heal a lot of the wounds and the scars.

In 5 years, I hope to look back on this post and remember how it was. I’m sure the progress will be clear and the future will be a lot brighter than we can see today.

In 10 years, this will probably all seem like some odd dream that once happened in times long gone by.