WOW! What a truly eventful weekend!!
Friday night, went out with the girls. Did all the usual, round the pubs, girly chat, drinking games, dancing to the live music in some bars, then went for a Chinese meal.
I was busy chatting away to one of the girls I had never met before, we were getting on like a house on fire, but then I would hear "Come on, drink up slow coach". Looking round there was a bunch of faces all looking at me, all with empty glasses or bottles, and all waiting expectantly for me to shut up and drink up! So, almost every pub ended up with me downing my bottle in one, or there-a-bouts. Needless to say, it didn't take me long to get tipsy. Yes, tipsy. It took a little bit longer for me to get well and truly drunk! But I did.
The meal was great. Lots of lovely spicy food and a good old natter. Not sure what we talked about, I was too drunk to remember, but I got home about 1am, waffled to both my girls as I recall, who hadn't long been in themselves and went to bed.
I remember someone asking me if I needed to say hello to the inside of the toilet bowl before I went to bed!!! I wasn't THAT drunk I told them.
I certainly didn't have any problem falling asleep. It was staying asleep I had trouble with. I woke at 2:30 and went down to the kitchen for a pint of water. I remember being a little wobbly on my feet, but hey, it was dark, it had nothing to do with the copious amounts of alcohol I had consumed.
At 04:15 and again at 06:00 I once more visited the kitchen for glasses of water. Still feeling worse for wear, but at least I was sobering up, I thought.
At 06:45 I woke yet again. This time though, it was the cold sweat syndrome. You know the one, that cold sweat that happens directly before being sick!!!! Hell yeah. 5 minutes later I was knelt in front of the toilet bowl, I would have stood but I couldn't. I had a hair band in my pocket which I immediately tied my hair back with... (been there before!!) and I waited.
I waited some more. I felt like death warmed up. The cold sweat intensified. The sea-sickness too. I sat on the floor with my back against the wall, my knees up, my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands.
Boy did I feel sorry for myself.
Eventually, the deed was done. The multi coloured chinese was no more and I clearly remember thinking to myself, 'It's not all bad, at least it didn't have time to make me put weight on' lol.
I brushed my teeth and went back to bed feeling somewhat better.
The last time I woke up was about 8am. I came out of my bedroom, G had just gotten dressed and my youngest daughter came out of her room too. She took one look at me and said "What a mess Mum"
"thanks darling, I love you too" I laughed.
With that, she was about to go into the bathroom, and I pushed infront of her. The cold sweats were back and I had a feeling they weren't going to wait for a teenagers time span of 'quickly'.
This time, stood in front of the toilet, I had my hands rested on the shelf, and groaned a little. Then, with no more warning, up it came. The final contents of my stomach. Hell I felt rough.
Picture it. Standing bent in two over the toilet, feeling like nothing on earth and suddenly....
.... the bloody house began to shake.
I remember thinking "What the f**k" as I turned my head, still bent over the toilet towards the doorway. The rumbling and shaking continued for about 10 seconds, and as I looked up the towels were dancing and things were falling of shelves. I swear I saw the wall move too.
I came out of the bathroom to calls from downstairs from G and immediately said to him "Did the earth move for you too darling" but he didn't see the funny side!
He swore some expletives I won't repeat and went out into the street, thinking the chimney had collapsed or something huge had crashed into the house.
I peered out of the landing window, and one by one, the neighbours began to come out of their house. It was so surreal. Everyone was emerging into the street. All with the same question. "What in God's name was that"
The immediate thought, when everyone realised it wasn't just their own house, was a terrorist attack on the nuclear plant at Dungeness, but we quickly discounted that as we were all still alive.
Maybe it was a terrorist attack on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link! Maybe it was a huge gas explosion.. shit, it couldn't have been, not to have made the houses rock like that.
Earthquake someone said. How the heck could it be an earthquake, we are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not on the edge, not near a fault line.
The landlines were all dead.
The mobile network was almost no use at all because so many people were trying to use it simultaneously.
The electricity was dead.
No one could get any information.
There were sirens
Lots of sirens.
Then the whirring of a helicopter. A quick dash into the garden showed it was a police helicopter ambulance from a neighbouring county.
More sirens. The air was filled with them. Police. Ambulance. Fire Brigade.
G had gone to check on his Mum. She had a battery operated radio and this was the first concrete information we got.
An earthquake had hit. Measuring 4.3 with the epicentre just a couple of miles away.
Holy Shit. Excitement. Nerves. Confusion.
It was hard to know what to do. So we stayed put and waited for the electricity to be restored so that we could get news updates from the TV.
More whirring. Another helicopter.
Sky News! Damn, they didn't take long to get here.
The electricity was finally restored about 2 hours after the earthquake hit. Sky News was running with it as Breaking News, headline story.
The TV pictures were very surreal. They were of the road two away from mine mostly. Chimneys broken, destroyed. Some sitting precariously where they had once stood firm. Some were covering the sidewalk. The police were taping houses off and evacuating the occupants. The Fire Brigade were being deployed to remove the worst affected stacks first.
We were very lucky at home. A couple of minor cracks indoors, but the chimney stack looks pretty secure.
A very good friend of mine didn't fare so well though.
The vibrations and shaking were obviously too much for him.
He fell, breaking his leg and several other parts of his body.
He may never be the same again.
He's in bits!
But at least it was only an ornament!!!
This is what I what I walked into in the office this morning!!! Lucky it happened at the weekend!! Thats my desk under that lot!!!! lol