Our Man is not quite sure what to think about the big quake that swept through these parts a few hours ago. The aftershocks are still reverberating every 20 minutes or so, one just right now. It's almost half midnight, 10 hours since the quake struck, and still these damned aftershocks are enough to rattle the windows, shake the floorboards and knock books off the shelves. The kids and my wife are, thankfully, worn out though, and are in bed, a couple of feet away from me as I type.
But every time the house shakes, I have to make a quick decision: Is this one worth waking them up so we can stand in the cold outside? No, not this time, seems to be weakening. Twenty minutes later. Another aftershock, worse than before. Now do I wake them? No, not this time. I look over every now and then and see that my wife isn't sleeping.
Just as well. Now the mother-in-law is our analogue Twitter, popping her head round the door to stage whisper the news from the TV. The latest is that Owarai, a resort town 40 minutes up the road, is half submerged under a tsunami.
From my perch, and wooden walls and single pane windows I can hear, well, nothing much. No sounds of drunken salarymen coming home. No sounds of cars driving past.
No sounds of life. Or death.
No buildings came down here, there were none of the explosions or tsunamis being shown on TV. This is a commuter town, so we won't be getting firsthand reports of what it was like in Tokyo until the city's menfolk can make it back home - probably not till tomorrow lunchtime.
But we do have Twitter and Facebook. No, seriously, they have been great. The SMS text message for mobile phones was down, phones were useless. Except Twitter was working. Suddenly I could find out what was going on in Tokyo, down the street and relay that to people who cared. My family, friends, former colleagues and folk I have done little more than click a link to have checked in to see we're OK. A heartfelt thanks to you all. Gosh. Dropped the third person there, so you know Our Man means it, er, I mean it.
The earthquake shook the house for god knows how long this afternoon. Probably less than a minute, but if you told me it lasted an hour, I wouldn't argue with you. There's nothing quite as disorientating as standing in the street watching the lampposts sway and wondering if your house would collapse in a neat pile of rubble or spill out onto the street.
And not really caring.
You see, I am immensely lucky, I work at home. My wife, younger daughter and mother-in-law were with me on the street. My elder daughter was at school, a three minute walk away. Within 10 minutes of the quake we were all together. That was all that mattered.
Now, I'm hearing that many thousands of people are unaccounted for around the country, you probably have a better picture of that than I. My heart goes out to them and their family.
Is there anything you can do?
Right now, I'm not sure. But I'll think of something.