Sunday, 20 July 2014

Very, very frightening...

I'm one of those people who love a good thunderstorm. I don't know why, as far as I am aware I wasn't born with thunder and lightening; although there are a few who might believe that I should have been. There's nothing like an electrical storm at night and, as our weather in the UK changes, they get ever more pyrotechnically spectacular.

As a child I used to watch from the landing window in Kings Close, my sisters cowering in their bedroom. I often wonder what I looked like as the lightening lit up my maniacal face. Yes, I was grinning and with each clap of tumultuous thunder my grin became ever wider. Strange.

These days, when I'm able I watch from the top floor of our three story house, gazing out across the chimney pots to the dark distance beyond, I still have that fixed grin. I love the potential danger, knowing that it is unlikely that a bolt is going to hit me, and never - hardly ever anyway - twice. Even so, the house two doors down was once struck by lightening and the sandstone window ledge still bears the scar, the dark mark of an electrical burn, where the bolt took a bite out of it.

I love all kinds of lightening, sheet or fork, and I dream of seeing ball lightening floating somewhere out there in the ether. A friend of mine once saw ball lightening in his house - lucky bugger - how I envy him. For me, the boom of the thunder is best when they make the house tremble and I was taught to count between boom and flash, working out how far the storm was away, although I have no idea how many seconds gap equates to what distance.

Sadly I haven't seen that many spectacular storms over the years. I can easily sleep through them, my snoring so loud that it drowns out the thunder, I am so used to thunderous noise. There was one back in the sixties over the market, another thirty years later on the M5 where lightening was striking the ground, over and over again, in the fields both sides of the motorway, and one real stormfest in Philadelphia which went on for hours, multiple lightening strikes zig-zagging on the horizon far above the hills in the distance.

They say that Thor is the god of thunder. A blacksmith, the trade that was the profession of my family for years. perhaps that explains my affinity with thunder and lightening, who knows?

Thunderbolts and lightening... very, very frightening? No, not for me.

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