I felt the earth move under my feet…

It was 7.20am on a Sunday morning. I know because they told me later on the radio exactly what had happened at that time.

Each Sunday morning my beloved Irish Setter, Connor, is adorned with collar and leash, bundled into the car and sets off with me to dog training. We are working hard to perfect the precise discipline of Obedience trialling as well as Rally. To date we have successfully traversed the beginner levels and started working towards the next stage. Connor is managing well…I have much improvement to make. The work is intense and challenging but loads of fun for both of us. I have every confidence we’ll succeed at this higher level once I straighten out my footwork.

Anyway, before leaving home I need to ensure that everyone has breakfast, my brother Peter has his instructions for the morning and the geese and hens are released from their beds in the shed where they are kept safe each night.

I was at the stage of letting out the geese when I heard it. A loud, consistent, rolling rumbling sound accompanied by a distinct vibration underfoot. Believing at first that it was a very large truck passing by I thought little more of it; that is until it dawned on me it wasn’t fading away as it would if it was a passing truck.

“Must be thunder” I reasoned though I couldn’t see any storm clouds.

The rumbling and strange vibration continued for a few more seconds then stopped as suddenly as it had started.

I shrugged it off. The animals were behaving normally, the sun was shining and time was slipping away. Time to leave.

Excited and happy as usual, Connor led the way to the car leaving me to follow behind with a backpack, water bottle, dog treats and all the rest of the paraphernalia necessary for a couple of hours outing with a dog.

I turned on the radio to catch the news just after we negotiated the first roundabout. And then I discovered.

At 7.20am I had experienced my very first earthquake.

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