Last week I went to bed -as you do- about 10.45pm and after 15minutes of reading I had reached that pre-sleep drowzy ,dreamy stage, when I realised my cat who usually curls up and sleeps straightaway, was agitated and prowling about the bed. Of course I told her off but she did not stop.
As I wondered what the problem was, I heard a sound like fireworks outside..most unusual in this backwater of rural of France. I opened the shutters...and to my absolute horror saw that my neighbours huge Dutch barn (full of wood and pallets) was well ablaze, a column of flames higher than the roof!!
For a second I thought I was dreaming it, but then reality took charge and I ran for the phone.
NOW...I was still a bit cotton wool headed, and could not remember which number I had to phone for the pompiers...was it 16?17?18? In the end I stabbed for 17 and after a cheery unconcerned song a man responded..it was the police!!! I had the sense to slowly give the details and make sure he knew where I meant and he said he would contact the fire service. They arrived 25 minutes later -we are out in the middle of no-where - but too late to save the barn.
NOW...all this hopefully should stir a few grey cells in all of us . Firstly make sure your are familiar with the right numbers for the fire service..I now keep a printed list under the phone. Secondly..not a bad idea to either write down or memorise directions,road numbers and descriptions of where you are -especially if you live in the backwater places...GPS directions are good. And finally check your security if you keep a deep freeze or washing machine in the garage..shorting out of the freezer connections is assumed to have been the cause.
If you have time, call into your local fire station and ask what happens when you make a call...they ask all sorts of questions!
You may think this is all unneccesary and that you would deal with it but I can assure you that dopey with sleep, when they ask questions you are not expecting it is not that easy to respond.
I hope all this is something you will never have to use but as my driving instructor use to say "always expect the unexpected!" In this case perhaps save a disaster.
Sorry you had this to cope with, Goldenoldie, give you a few grey hairs!