The curious incident of the trampoline in the night-time

While we slumbered, our new toy was causing mayhem on the Dart line

Alice and Piers Postma in their garden in Monkstown, Co Dublin. In the early hours of Friday morning, high winds lifted their trampoline over the garden wall and onto the Dart train line. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Alice and Piers Postma in their garden in Monkstown, Co Dublin. In the early hours of Friday morning, high winds lifted their trampoline over the garden wall and onto the Dart train line. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Sat, Dec 28, 2013, 01:00

We’ve all gone into neighbours’ gardens searching for lost balls – but how often have you found yourself knocking on their doors looking for a 12ft trampoline?

It’s disconcerting to wake up on the morning after a storm and see a big blank space in the garden where the trampoline once stood. How could something that big disappear from a garden bound on all sides by high walls?

Googling “trampoline and wind” throws up hundreds of results. It seems it is not that unusual for trampolines to be carried off by high winds – sometimes with awful consequences. I had images of the trampoline careering down our road, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Our house is sandwiched between the Dart train line and the sea in Monkstown, Dublin.

The neighbours’ gardens yielded nothing. From a vantage point on Seapoint Avenue, we surveyed the territory. But there was nothing to be seen on land or sea. It had simply vanished.

I recorded our loss on Facebook, and was instantly bombarded with links from news sites. We had slumbered away our morning, oblivious to the drama going on over our garden wall. “Trampoline” was trending on Twitter while we idled over a late breakfast. Lifted by the howling wind during the night, it had crashed over the garden wall onto the Dart line.
Wreckage
It brought down the overhead lines, and services between Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire were suspended for most of the morning. While we slept, railway engineers untangled the wreckage, deconstructed the trampoline and stowed its warped parts in a nearby lane.

The children are mourning the loss of their favourite toy. We are mourning the loss of the €600 we spent on it only months ago. But we are grateful the wind took it in the middle of the night, when no trains were running and nobody was hurt.