It wasn’t the first time the earth’s moved for me

I USUALLY get the blame for any unexpected rumblings at our place.

One minute I'm sitting in front of the telly minding my own business; the next I'm being forcibly removed to the balcony in case the "seismic activity" results in some sort of explosion.

But I was at work when Thursday's earthquake hit and none of my colleagues are as nasty as my wife.

So no one turned to me and asked "was that you?".

No one yelled "get outside with the dog!".

And certainly no one hit me with a rolled-up newspaper.

When the Daily's office briefly shuddered on Thursday morning my workmates didn't even consider blaming me. They were too busy looking wide-eyed and wondering if they were the only ones who had felt the building shudder.

Personally, I thought I was having some sort of episode.

"I'm done for!" I cried, clutching my heart and falling to the floor.

"Tell my wife I love her and that I died a fearless death."

By the time I realised no-one was rushing to give me mouth-to-mouth, everyone was back at their desks and talking about how they'll always remember where they were when "the big one hit" in 2015.

I remained calm (apart from the heart-clutching incident) because it's not the first time I've been in a quake.

I actually lost my earthquake virginity in Thailand a couple of years ago.

We were lying on our bed in a Phuket resort, having a bit of an afternoon nap, when it felt like a giant had grabbed the building in both hands and shaken it backwards and forwards.

Bang! Bang! Then nothing.

And then all hell broke loose as tsunami warning sirens began sounding and people began running all over the place shouting instructions in garbled Thai.

"We have to get out of the building," I yelled, so we headed down the stairwell.

"But what if there's a tsunami? Shouldn't we head for high ground?" my wife pointed out.

So we headed back upstairs.

"I don't know these buildings will survive another shake," I warned.

So we headed downstairs again.

It was there we met another Australian couple who were equally unsure what to do.

So my wife took control and solved it as only she could.

"Do you guys drink bourbon?" she asked.

They said they did.

"We've got couple of bottles in our room - we may as well head up there," she decided.

And that was how we saw out the rest of the day and into the night - perched on the balcony of our hotel room, braced for more quakes, scanning the horizon for a tsunami and working our way through our supplies of duty-free bourbon.

Which was a damned sight more fun than this week's effort.

Although I don't reckon anyone would have objected if I'd cracked open a bottle of something.

Purely for medicinal purposes, of course. My heart's not as young as it used to be.


Lismore Gallery exhibits capture our reach

Lismore Gallery exhibits capture our reach

As a public facility the gallery's remit is ensure reach is broad

Escape the screens and let's get cycling

Escape the screens and let's get cycling

cycling gives your mind a break and your body an influx of oxygen

Gallery exhibits a 'portrait' of Lismore

Gallery exhibits a 'portrait' of Lismore

Two of our best photographers give Heart & Soul to new exhibition

Local Partners