Thursday, 21 May 2009
Did the earth move for you dear?!
Copper and I limped on ..................till the earthquake!!
By this time, son and I were happily esonced in our flat in Folkestone - it was tiny, but the seaviews made it all worthwhile - I had changed jobs, by now - I was working as a site secretary/document controller for a construction company and I adored it...............I admit, at first, I floundered.......but with the Office Manager, Julie, and the South East Area Manager, Barry, I just bloomed!!
I loved it - it was a daily challenge, thats for sure, but the variety in the role and having an office junior (16 yr old "my Dan") it was a pleasure to work there............for the first time in my life I actually looked forward to getting up in the morning and getting to work.........and I have some GREAT stories to tell you about working on a construction site, but they can wait for another time....too long to put here!!!!!
Copper and I were drifting ever further apart - one night, he stayed over and he got a parking ticket and he didnt stay after that!! Apart from that, things were great - then one chilly spring Saturday Morning, in April, I was rooting through my handbag (as one does!) and the earthquake hit!!!
I remember it all VERY clearly - one minute, son standing looking out the window, im rifling through my handbag, and then the earth "shimmered" I SWEAR to you, it MOVED and wobbled, and I half expected Dr Who to land in my lounge (I wish...!), but then, all of sudden, there was a HUGE bang, like a bomb had gone off and everything was shaking.
My immediate thought was my son, but he's younger and fitter than me and was already running for the door, shouting "we've got to get out of here!" I shouted at him to not take the lift and we were pelting it down the stairs!! "Its OK Stu, I panted (!) I think a crane has fallen onto the roof" (our flats were in a huge victorian block, which was curved and the end flats were still being renovated by builders, so this is not QUITE as random a statement as it first sounds!)
When we got outside, we were met by the other residents, and a stunned looking group of builders, all of whom had run over to the other side of the road and were mumbling "its nothing to do with us"!!! (although they didnt look TOO sure!) All the seagulls were whirling overhead, screaming and screeching, just in blind panic, and there were people everywhere........some said a gas main had exploded, some said the channel tunnel (entrance just 2 miles away from us) had been blown up, NO ONE even imagined what it really was!!
Well, I wasnt going back in that flat, not for no-one, so we headed into town - which was when we realised the severity of the occasion. It seemed that we werent the only ones to have this idea, and most of Folkestone was there............and it was WEIRD!! I mean, proper weird - none of the shops were open (power was down) and there was a lady outside Sainsburys with a battery operated radio listening to the news, with all these people in their nighties and pyjamas sitting there listening - just in shock, in dead silence.....like the blitz in the war.....and this was when we heard that it had all been caused by an earthquake..............and then the rumours started........
The scariest one was that we could expect aftershocks for up to two weeks after............but the one that really made me crack up laughing was the "old dear" who was telling everyone that they shouldnt go to the beach in case there was a Tsunami!! Now im a thick bitch, but even I know the English Channel is about as deep as a puddle and there was no chance of that happening!
So, unable to get much needed chocolate in Sainsburys, we headed back into the centre of town and joined another crowd of people just sitting in their nightwear watching all these news helipcopters flying overhead...................and no one spoke..........I promise you, it was the eyriest atmosphere I had ever know............hundreds of people, no noise, and all these helipcopters whirling overhead - it was like armageddon, or night of the living dead, or something............
Stu and I stayed out till 4 in the afternoon, we were unable to contact anyone as the phone networks had gone down and the novelty of watching news reporters interviewing people had worn off, so we went back to the flat - there were fireman outside, and they told us it was safe to go in.......although a lot of buildings in Folkestone had had chimneys and walls fall down, so we got off lightly. Well, we went home and I can tell you - everytime the wind blew for the next week, or there was a creak in the floorboards - I didnt sleep that night!!
I thought we had got off lightly, and compared to some, we had, but what I didnt realise was that the earthquake HAD caused problems - and it would lead to Stu and I having to leave...........................and Copper and I too break up for good..................