I am up late tonight, admittedly. I have to work from home tomorrow to accommodate a delivery of some IKEA goodies to try and sort out the storage problem in my flat, so I was feeling Friday night-ish and chatting on the videophone (Sing along: Meet George Jetson…) to someone back in the US. All of the sudden I had the odd sensation that everything was wiggling and not insignificantly. I had the fortune (and engineering sensibility) to guess that it was a minor earthquake long before I could find any confirmation of this fact online. In the end, it was confirmed (BBC, USGS) that we had an earthquake here in the middle UK. Magnitude is small, but boy did I feel it. I’m not sure I will ever forget that sensation, like being in an amusement park and being moved around against your will.
I’m feeling like the coolness gap with my amazing world-traveling baby sister has taken another hit. Although in my flat nothing broke or fell, but we all just moved around quite a bit, which was odd, as though the ground was shaking and we were just shaking too. I was actually quite surprised, given that I live in a brick building and on the third floor (which is the fourth floor in US nomenclature, you take three flights of stairs up to get there), and I recall thinking at the time “how odd that we all seem to just be moving pretty substantial distances but quite smoothly and nothing seems to be actually breaking or cracking or moving off shelves” It’s remarkable how sensible and yet non-sensical one can be at such moments. Had I been really prepared, I might have headed towards the interior of my flat instead of sitting along an exterior wall….with a set of bookcases loaded with books immediately to my left. Had this been a serious earthquake I’d guess many of the books might have moved and perhaps my internet connection might have failed! I calmly reported to my colleague on the Jetson-phone that I thought we might have just had an earthquake and he did the “yes, dear, perhaps that lovely wine has gone to your head” response.
Note I walked into my favorite wine store the other day and they had California chardonnay (Collage? ever heard of it), first time I have seen a CA wine in the shops since my arrival n the UK 18 months ago. I bought two bottles and encouraged the shop-keeper to continue to stock it, funny the things you miss! In the US I almost always bought new world wine–never California and always Aus or NZ–with the grand exception of Fess Parker. I miss Fess Parker.
Regardless, I am glad to report on the general health of my many precious items in the UK flat (some of which that have caused some attention by the locals as being quite eccentric) including my Delft, teacup collection and my Wedgewood. Come to think of it, the Brits should love this stuff, I don’t know what their problem is!