Did the earth move for you last night? Well, it did for me, and not in a good way either. Husband away on business, me alone in a great big bed, trying to get off to sleep with everything and nothing racing through my mind, finally I doze off and then suddenly BANG the whole place is shuddering and rattling - in blogging language, WTF was that? Doesn't Mother Nature know this is Britain, we don't do the whole earthquake thing, surely? Or if we do, I thought we were only signed up for minor tremors, not a Richter Scale five point whatever if was. Bloody hell. Something to do with global warming maybe? I dunno, but I found the whole thing a bit scarey.
So then of course, further sleep was out of the question. Anyway, I needed to stay awake just in case there was another, stronger, quake on the way. And what about after-shocks (see, I know the jargon already)? Would the chimney fall in through the roof and kill me? Had anyone else noticed it, or was it just me? Aren't you supposed to stand in a doorway to protect yourself from falling masonry? Which doorway? How do you choose? How do Californians cope? Should I get dressed and put my makeup on just in case firemen have to dig me out of the rubble of my house? Do I have time to wash my hair? Many and varied questions such as these spent the rest of the night chasing each other around my over-stimulated imagination, taking turns to keep me awake until daybreak.
In the meantime, in an effort to bore myself to sleep, I tried to imagine what I'd do if a bloody great chasm had in fact opened up in the back garden. I spent a good while fretting about how terrifying it would be, and how annoyed my husband would be that I hadn't been able to prevent a massive act of nature from buggering up his precious lawn, but with a sudden paradigm shift* in my thought process, another more positive idea crossed my mind. Hold on a minute, I thought, a damn great hole in the ground could be quite useful, actually. My own personal land-fill site without having to drive to the tip. What a bonus. I could get rid of all my household rubbish down a chasm that big. For instance there's an old fridge, all of my ironing, a derelict Wendy House (sorry kids), husband's hedge trimmers, a spare lawn mower, a defunct slow-cooker, fourteen old computer keyboards (don't ask), and a very strange contraption which I understand is for putting rivets into jeans or taking stones out of horses hooves or something like that. Always the opportunist, I could view this as a great chance for a bit of a de-cluttering, if ever there was one. I might even be able to get rid of a couple of old bikes and a total waste of money sandwich toaster, used once and shoved in the back of the cupboard, never to see the light of day ever again. Fantastic.
The moral of this slightly sleep deprived and rambling story is that there's usually an upside to most things, if only you take the time to think about what that upside might be. My husband says it's my talent for lateral thinking, which he tells me can be a bit irritating at times. In fact, what he actually says is "always remember, nobody likes a smart-arse." I suppose he's right. For instance, when a Fire Officer recently asked me what I'd do if a blaze broke out in my waste-paper bin, and I replied "throw my filing in it" I thought it was a good idea, but he obviously was not at all amused. I have to re-attend the lecture and this time take it more seriously. Such is life.
Anyway, it's light now, I've checked the grounds for seismic shenanigans and so far, nothing. Looks like we'll have to put all that stuff in a skip after all. Damn.
Which brings me to the question, what would you throw down a gaping chasm in the earth's crust if you had the opportunity? And don't say Paul Daniels, that would be cruel.
*Sorry, Mother Of All This Lot, just couldn't resist.
Can I still keep my award?
(see previous post comments).