Sense of humour shines through
Last updated 12:51 03/03/2011
As rescue workers continue to comb through the cordoned off remains of Christchurch's CBD, life in the suburbs is still far from normal.
Navigating your way through the labyrinth of closed streets, ruptured roads and mountains of silt in the city's eastern suburbs gives an indication of the massive clean up process ahead of Christchurch.
Areas such as Linwood, Avonside and St Albans are lifeless with the odd resident bracing the dust in a facemask and gumboots.
Quirky handmade signs are scattered around some of the heavily hit areas, nailed to recycling bins or lamp-posts to display crucial information.
Some ask for respect: "Road blocked. No rubberneckers". Others request drivers adjust their speed: "Slow down your car shakes our house." And some offer helpful advice: "Water. Boil it."
Portaloos man the corners of the streets of the beachside suburb of Sumner, which is still without sewerage and water.
Some have been decorated by members of the public.
Tinsel and christmas decorations are sticky-taped to one, while a portrait of Marilyn Monroe hangs on another.
Chairs and magazines have been placed beside some portaloos to comfort neighbours who may have to wait their turn.
The focus of last week's violent earthquake is still centred on the rescue operation in the central city and it will take weeks before emergency services workers can reach some of Christchurch's damaged suburbs.
Until then, residents are free to pimp their portaloos and paint their signs.