Earthquakes rock*

Usually I feel very guilty if I’m up past 12 on a school night. But yesterday around 1am as I collapsed exhausted after a prolonged struggle with the cushions and over-trussed bedclothes in a Bexley hotel I was rewarded.

I thought it might be a loose floorboard being jumped on by the guest in the next-door room. Or possibly a freight-train, but there was no railway nearby. A small cushion fell off the tower I’d made. My bed was being slowly and repeatedly rocked from below but there was nobody under it – of that I was certain. Then it stopped and I felt curious for about 30 seconds before dropping off.

The next morning somebody from the group I was with told me there had been a quake in Lincolnshire. I told them I’d felt a strange rocking sensation at 1am but they looked unconvinced – until we looked on the Web and then they were well jealous.

At 5.2 it felt almost as strong as the Kobe earthquake (7.2) simulation in the Earth Galleries at the Natural History Museum, and much the same sensation – a powerful side-to-side shift.

This is one of the things I love about this country – it’s an unbelievably a gentle place to live geographically speaking, but you still get your dramas.

*Unless you’re David Bates or Eleanor Ramsay.


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