Reporter: And now, Mrs. Skinner, can you tell us your story? What happened at your farm when the earthquake passed?
Mrs. Skinner: Oh, it was terrible. I'll never forget it to my dying day. I hope I never see anything like that again. It was terrible. Well, we always get up, Jack and me, at about quarter to five. He has to milk the cows early, you see, and while he's doing that I make his breakfast. I was in the kitchen when it came. Suddenly the whole house was moving. The coffee pot flew through the window, and I was on my back on the kitchen floor. The noise was terrible. Well, I knew what I had to do. You have to get outside, you know, it's safer there. So I ran through the house and opened the front door. Then I stopped—I couldn't believe it—everything was different, everything had changed, nothing was in the right place any more. You know outside our house there is a path to the gate—there was I should say—well, the path wasn't there any more. In front of the front door was our rose garden, not the path! And next to the rose garden were the eucalyptus trees, and behind them the raspberry patch—just as before, but they had all moved, moved about five metres to the left, to the south that is. On each side of the garden path we had a line of beautiful old cypress trees. Well these had now moved right down to the end of the house, to the left again that is. And the path had completely disappeared.
Reporter: But that's incredible, Mrs. Skinner. Do you mean that everything in front of your house had moved—what?—five metres to the left, I mean to the south? The raspberry patch, the eucalyptus trees, the rose-garden, the two lines of cypress trees—all had moved?
Mrs. Skinner: Yes, everything had moved into the place of the other!
Reporter: But your front path had completely disappeared?
Mrs. Skinner: Yes, that's right. Oh it was terrible, terrible.
Reporter: And your husband Jack? Was he all right?
Mrs. Skinner: Yes—but the cowshed had moved too—it had moved several metres. Jack was all right—I could see him running round after the cows—all the cows had escaped you see. They were running all over the place—it was impossible to catch them.
Reporter: So Jack, your husband, was all right.
Mrs. Skinner: Well he was a bit shocked like me, but he was all right. Oh, I forgot to tell you about the granary—that had moved south too. Its normal place was behind the house and now it was near the cowshed. Can you believe it?
Reporter: Incredible, Mrs. Skinner. And the house itself—what about your house?
Mrs. Skinner: Well then we saw what had happened. Everything had moved one way—that is, to the south—except the house. The house—can you believe it?—had moved the other way—the house had moved north. So the house went one way and everything else—the garden, the trees, the granary—went the other way.
Reporter: Incredible, Mrs. Skinner, absolutely incredible.
A funny thing happened to me last Friday. I'd gone to London to do some shopping. I wanted to get some Christmas presents, and I needed to find some books for my course at college (you see, I'm a student). I caught an early train to London, so by early afternoon I'd bought everything that I wanted. Anyway, I'm not very fond of London, all the noise and traffic, and I'd made some arrangements for that evening. So, I took a taxi to Waterloo station. I can't really afford taxis, but I wanted to get the 3:30 train. Unfortunately the taxi got stuck in a traffic jam, and by the time I got to Waterloo, the train had just gone. I had to wait an hour for the next one. I bought an evening newspaper, the 'Standard', and wandered over to the station buffet. At that time of day it's nearly empty, so I bought a coffee and a packet of biscuits ... chocolate biscuits. I am very fond of chocolate biscuits. There were plenty of empty tables and I found one near the window. I sat down and began doing the crossword. I always enjoy doing crossword puzzles.
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