I was in London in late August/ early September when the Christchurch earthquake happened. It was strange being dependent on Sky and the internet for information about my friends and BM's parents. Thankfully, while it was a large earthquake, there was little human injury. People where without power, water and sewage services for a while. Things aren't back to normal yet as there's been a series of aftershocks; the most notable one on Boxing day (or St Stephen's Day as its called in Ireland). In some cases the aftershock caused more damage than the original due to the location of the epicentre. It'll take quite a while for the tectonic activity to settle down so fingers crossed there isn't another major aftershock (especially as they can be larger than the original one).
When I was in London I was able to catch up with a friend of mine who had just moved there from Wellington to do a masters course. I went to Egypt in later September and wanted to dress appropriately while I was there and thankfully my friend who's Muslim was able to offer appropriate fashion advice for the conservative country. In the end I only wore the scarf above as a head scarf once on my trip - but it got me into one of the world's oldest Mosques.
The exchange rate to sterling was working in my favour for once and I bought a few sparkles for me, tea for BM (love that packaging!), and some map spoons for my tea supplies in work!