Posted by Ian
I guess you had to be there. The earth tremors that shook much of the UK just before 1am last night didn’t really trouble north London. Not my part, anyway. I woke up when I heard something fall onto the floor of the flat above. Then I went back to sleep.
Folk in other areas of the country have different stories to tell, as can be seen on the MSN News message boards. It’s interesting the way an unexpected natural phenomenon affects the British psyche. It’s the same whenever there’s a tornado, or a blizzard. Accounts are always a little breathless, a little hysterical, yet at the same time exhilarating. What a carry-on! In Britain! Who’d have thought it?!
Some people were clearly, and genuinely, frightened by the tremors. A lot more, though, were bemused, or even amused, at what was going on. You can detect, in some of the testimony, a sense that earthquakes are very un-British things. All that noise and fuss and confusion. So unnecessary. So inconvenient. Especially at such an undignified hour.
My mum and dad, living in the East Midlands, heard a few cupboard doors rattling, then turned over and went back to sleep. They didn’t run into the street shrieking. People at the epicentre had a justified reason to panic. The rest of us, I feel, need to just calm down a little. Maybe pick up a book to read. The one that just fell off that shelf.