Tuesday, 28 April 2009

the earth moves

I happened to phone my manager at 11.20BST today.

'Did you feel that? Just now?' he asked.

I didn't know what he was talking about.

'The building shook. My desk was rattling.'

I hadn't felt a thing.

But I work on the ground floor. He works on the top floor. And it turned out that nearly everyone on the top floor (and a couple of people elsewhere in the building) felt it. Their desks shook, computers rattled. And two, at least, have been through earthquakes before. They knew it was the same thing.

Down in my office, nothing had happened.

According to the BBC, the earthquake was in Ulverston. And felt as far away as 'Barrow, Kendal, Windermere, and as far south as Blackpool and Lytham St Annes'.

Ulverston to Lytham St Anne is 74 miles, according to multimap (by road admittedly - not that far as the crow flies). To Newcastle (again by road, not direct) is 127 miles.

WHY IS NOONE MENTIONING THAT IT WAS FELT IN NEWCASTLE TOO? I've commented on the BBC - still no mention. At least two of my work colleagues (signposted by me... I'm sad) have filled in the questionnaire on the British Geological Survey's website. And still it's not mentioned anywhere.

Was it really just my building???? Did noone else in Newcastle feel it?

I'm just glad there was at least one other person in my office to have been really quite miffed to miss it.

(and we're not talking about football. just in case you were wondering whether you should mention it. i've always hated rugby but maybe i could learn to love it?)

Friday, 10 April 2009


Walking down my road just before, I heard a foghorn from a ship somewhere on the Tyne.

I love that I can hear such evocative sounds from where I live.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Today I went past a bus stop that I pass regularly. But something about the light, something about a girl standing there, something made me remember.

A morning, sometime in late winter or early spring 1997. Standing at that bus stop with D, after spending the night at his. Not that anything happened. We sat up nearly all night, talking with his friends and watching videos (ah, the olden days, before DVDs). During the course of the night, one of his friends told him that there were Cure t shirts being sold off for £1 in what was then Virgin, a deal that was still pretty impressive even in the 1990s. D was due to sign up for a college course the next morning, so decided to drop in at Virgin on the way.

At this point we were pretty much nocturnal. D, one of his friends (A, I think?) and I woke up after not enough sleep and made our way to the bus stop. The one I passed today.

The sun had not long since risen and the light was thin and white, highlighting trees and buildings. D blinked and looked up. 'Is it always this beautiful in the morning?' he asked.

I didn't know how to answer.


I don't know why all these old memories are suddenly floating to the surface.