Now then, don't get too excited but apparently we had an earthquake in Kent last night. The epicentre was near Sandwich, but the specialist earthquake chappie interviewed on Radio Kent was very dismissive of this lovely town, preferring instead to say the 'quake was 'close to Ramsgate' because 'people in the UK would be more familiar with the name of that town.' Ha! I don't know why he didn't say it happened in London and have done with it. For heaven's sake, he was in Scotland - what would he know about our Southern Tory environment? (Sorry - last time I shall mention anything to do with elections until 2015 - promise!)
Anyway, to put it in perspective, the Kent Earthquake registered VERY low on the Richter Scale - around 250,000 times less than the Nepal earthquake - and most of the early morning callers to Radio Kent were reporting a sound like 'a big lorry going by' or 'a heavy crack of thunder.' All lasting between 2 and 3 seconds. The space between now...and now. No damage done, although I understand a couple of ants sustained mild concussion when a leaf fell upon them. They're okay. They have been offered counselling by Kent County Council who have just forked out almost £200,000 of council tax payers' money to settle an unpaid income tax bill which should have been paid by many of their employees who had claimed expenses for travel to and from work and didn't realise they should have declared it as taxable income. But that's another story - don't get me started; I'm having a nice day at home and my blood pressure is currently in a state of chilled being.
Anyway, I thought Radio Kent were making a bit of a meal of this earth tremble, but p'raps it is a slow news day. So I sloped off into town to try AGAIN to find some sandals (got 'em! Pink!), to stock up my reading pile (4 novels purchased - well, it is half-term) and to get Andy some new tops - T shirts, summer shirts, you know the thing. Something bright and Hawaiin. (Joking!) As you know, Andy is coming to the end of his diet year and has lost almost 6 and a half stones yet he has shown a determined resolve to avoid buying new clothes that actually fit him. Except trousers. He's had to buy trousers because a man who has lost 10 inches from his waistline cannot walk about in enormous trousers without certain gravitational issues occuring, no matter how comedic they might be. I know teens wear their trousers halfway down their skinny bottoms, and it might be a rebellious fashion statement of da yoof, but it looks ridiculous.
But tops? Nope. Andy the Slender is still walking around in shirts that make him look like a 5 year old dressing up in his dad's clothes, or as my dear old Gran used to say, 'Like a sack of potatoes tied up with string.'
So whilst Andy is on a mission in Birmingham I am going to perform a Ninja attack on his wardrobe. I've bought him 3 t-shirts and 2 short-sleeved summer cotton jobbies (no buttons on the collars - why would you put buttons on a collar?). It's okay - he won't notice. He might pull a bit of a puzzled face when he dons one of the newbies. He might say, 'I don't remember this t-shirt.' And I'll say, 'Oh, that? You've had it for AGES.' And all will be well.
Back to Trembly Kent...
...by the time I had finished in town, the Radio Kent Earthquake News Reporting had reached enormous and magnificent proportions. But then it didn't help that they had exhausted all the sensible and pragmatic adult witnesses and had moved on to a bunch of very excitable primary school children.
'It was really, really loud!' shouted one dramatically breathy girl. 'It was like, you know, a supersonic jet taking off! My bedroom windows were rattling AND my wardrobe doors crashed wide open! It was REALLY SCARY!!!' (I was holding my breath at this point, awaiting the additional news that it had lasted for HOURS and HOURS because that would have made my earthquake day. Sadly, the child reined herself in.)
Ah well. It makes one think, doesn't it? How fortunate we are to live in Britain. One of my students - a 14 year old girl - has had to return to Nepal to help take care of her family who have been affected by the earthquake there. It struck me as a sad and desperate thing for a child to have to cope with.
We are fortunate indeed. And much blessed.