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parrot_knight [userpic]


February 27th, 2008 (10:51 am)

I was pleased with myself last night for actually getting to bed before midnght. I dozed off to the radio, listening to the World Service as if it was after 1am, my more usual bedtime.

I woke up suddenly feeling deeply disturbed, and for a while thought I was on the edge of an unquantifiable nightmare. I felt as if I had been shaken, though the sense was more psychological than physical. I checked the time - it was 12:56am, so I'd not been asleep long. I'd left the window open, and the air was shrill with the anguished cries of the four-legged or winged (or quite possibly four-legged and winged) denizens of the Glyme valley. I wondered if someone had broken into the flat, but once the window was closed all was quiet. I had a glass of water and went back to bed, but not before turning the radio on again, and resorting this time to Radio Five Live. There, the presenter of Up All Night announced that the station was being deluged with text messages, e-mails and phone calls reporting an earthquake. All was explained, perhaps...


Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 11:00 am (UTC)

We didn't feel it, but my colleague MorrisMan, who lives about 10 miles east of us, did.

I remember feeling the big one 25 years ago, and talking to my mum about it the next morning.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)

I don't remember the earthquake of twenty-five years ago, though I see it's been brought up a little today.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)

The exciting things that happen when I'm not in Oxfordshire!

Sounds a bit frightening, though...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)

I have no recollection of the building shaking, or even the impression that a train was somehow passing. I did think that I was no longer alone in the room, and the cries of the animals outside suggested that something metaphysical was going on.

Posted by: Elaine of Astolat (ladyofastolat)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)

Four legged and winged? You have dragons in Oxfordshire?

Since I spent yesterday evening playing a board game in which "denizen" means "nasty thing that jumps out and tries to eat you," I'm a bit suspicious of these denizens of yours. They probably weren't crying in anguish, but in blood-lust.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Devil's Crown

At 1am this morning, I could have believed anything, including that a hellmouth had opened on the other side of the road and that the unearthly screeches were those of creatures emerging from the pit, ready to devour all they met.

Posted by: But what if I'm a mermaid? (deepbluemermaid)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)

I'm surprised that I didn't feel it, as I'd just fallen asleep after the end of the midnight news (by the way, how is it that you can get the World Service before 1am? Is it shortwave or longwave?). But then, I have considerably more experience with earthquakes than most people; I used to live right on top of a faultline!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)

Neither shortwave nor longwave, but DAB, where the BBC broadcast the World Service domestically. (I was given a DAB radio as a Christmas present, just before several of the national commercial stations on there shut down - but like almost everyone else with DAB, apparently, I mainly listen to BBC stuff there anyway.)

Posted by: Lyndsey (elleblue)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
blue bamboo

I too went to bed extra-early last night and woke up just before 1am from what I assumed was a nightmare -- I've never been more convinced there was someone in my room and I was completely freaked out :-P This from someone who grew up with earthquakes (we had drills at school and everything), but never expected to feel one that big in the UK..

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)

I didn't think that anyone else would have the same idea that someone had come into their room. Again, I don't remember feeling the tremor, only a sense of disturbance which I associate with emotional rather than physical upheaval.

Posted by: Lyndsey (elleblue)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
blue bamboo

I think it's a natural sort of conclusion to draw.. I'd expect most things indoors that are moving to be doing so because a human (or perhaps an animal) made them do it. So things moving in my room when I don't expect them to be naturally implies there's someone else behind the motion, which isn't a reassuring thought to have in a tired and vulnerable situation when there are very few reasons that someone would rationally be there!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Horace Walpole

I think the key difference is that I wasn't aware that anything had been moved, only that I felt disturbed in some way, chiefly emotional. Nothing actually fell, as far as I could tell, which was a success considering how precariously some items in my flat are balanced.

Posted by: Lyndsey (elleblue)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
blue bamboo

The only thing I was really aware of that was moving was my own leg -- I've made a filtered post over on my own journal, so you can read my side of things there! I guess there's less in the way of wildlife in the immediate vicinity of my flat, because I didn't get the added sound effects from them.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)

Being nocturnal, I was fully conscious for the tremors. At first I heard the picture frames hanging on the wall moving, then I felt I slight shaking through the floor for a few seconds.

Perhaps surprisingly, this is the second time I've felt an earthquake in London, the first one being in 2002, although on that occasion I was just dropping off to sleep when it happened, and was not entirely sure that I had not dreamt it all until the next day.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)

This is actually the first one which I remember experiencing - even if I thought it was my unconscious playing tricks on me first of all.

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)

I recommend being awake for these things! I just thought "hm, that must be an earthquake!" and carried on reading.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)

The moral of this story is clearly not to attempt early nights.

Posted by: ms_rebecca_riot (ms_rebecca_riot)
Posted at: February 28th, 2008 10:03 am (UTC)
ratty & mole

that icon- its like paddington bear in human-child form. & thus quite cool.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 28th, 2008 11:18 am (UTC)

Thank you - I obviously knew where it was at thirty-five years ago.

Posted by: ms_rebecca_riot (ms_rebecca_riot)
Posted at: February 28th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
radiohead bear

I always wake up deeply disturbed.

Posted by: richenda (richenda)
Posted at: February 28th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)

I slpt though it, but people in the village a mile away were woken by a noise that they thought at first was a plane flying over.

The one that really disturbed me was the 2003 one when I was in Buckinghamshire. That made my bed shake. There was also one in Llandudno in - um - 2005? The epicentre was somewhere near Conwy,but it didn't feel as severe as the 2003 one.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: February 29th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)

This is the first earthquake which I've noticed - if the Buckinghamshire one had any effect in Oxfordshire I was oblivious to it!

Posted by: richenda (richenda)
Posted at: February 29th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)

Um - the epicentre was further north - can't remember where - so perhaps it didn't reach Oxfordshire

Posted by: Polly (jane_somebody)
Posted at: March 1st, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)

I'm guessing when you say 2003 you mean the 2002 one centred on Dudley (also aroung one in the morning)? I certainly felt that one quite strongly in Aylesbury, bed/house shaking not dissimilarly to this one. I do know friends felt it in Oxford too, so I suppose PK was either away at the time or just in the wrong part of the sleep cycle.

Posted by: richenda (richenda)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)

This sounds possible. if it was in 2002, it must have been in the autumn of that year - at least, after August that year?

Posted by: Polly (jane_somebody)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)

I believe it was September, so I imagine that would fit.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 29th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)

My bed shook, too - I was still up reading.
I thought it as a heavy lorry first, then remembered that
a) there would have been noise, and
b) my bed is not close enough to the road.

No restless winged creatures obvious outside though...

And I'm content now, having kicked myself for the last decade or so for sleeping through one on the continent that *everybody* else seemed to have noticed :-)

KT (little miss late)