We lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years and out there earthquakes seldom make the news, despite their prevalence. I read that there are several small tremors daily but only sensitive scientific instruments, and probably small dogs, can feel them. One morning, however, Bill was having breakfast in a diner when the hanging light fixtures started swaying. At that same instant the building where I worked was also swaying and from the 14th floor, that’s not fun. When we moved to the east coast of the US we thought that we’d left all of that behind only to discover that Atlanta sits beside the New Madrid fault line that’s been shaking buildings since the early 1800s. You’d think that moving another 4500 miles east to France would get us away from all that.
We see the front of our house many times a day because we’re often out to go for a walk, to take out some trash, to check the mail, to pick up a baguette, etc. I can’t say that I study it each time but we do see it enough to notice major changes. In the picture you can see the huge crack that has suddenly appeared in the wall. We don’t know if that’s just the plaster or if the building itself has shifted. Hmmm, what might have caused that?
The top item in the news here a few days ago was an earthquake in the west coast city of La Rochelle, about 500 km/300 miles from Carcassonne. I made the mistake of looking for some more information and discovered a website that displays every earthquake that has occurred near you in the past few years. It’s like reading the ingredients list on a package of hotdogs—don’t do it. Did I really need to know that because the continents of Africa and Europe are crashing into each other we are surrounded by sites that have had recent seismic activity? I already knew that Germany is essentially one big dormant volcano just waiting to wake up and now this. Yesterday I noticed some fallen plaster on the sidewalk outside an apartment building in town. If the hanging lights in our kitchen start swaying, you’ll find me outside!