Just after 10.30 last night, Julie spotted some flashes of lightning out of the living room window. They grew in frequency and intensity, and were soon followed by the sound of distant thunder from the south. Ollie is not always scared of storms, but something about this one made him jumpy. He was barking at every thunderclap, and pushing against our legs, for reassurance.
It was’t long before the tempest drew closer, lightning illuminating the dark night sky, all the more powerful for the absence of any light pollution in this area. By the time Julie was ready for bed, the flashes were unusually frequent, and the thunder seemed to be above our heads. Ollie had appeared to calm down, and by 12.30, he took himself off to bed. The rain had started, and could be heard falling with some force, but he seemed to settle.
About an hour later, I went to bed. Julie was still awake, unable to sleep for the now continuous lightning, which was lighting up the bedroom like a powerful flash gun, every few seconds. The rain had turned to hail, and was clattering against the windows with considerable power. After a while, Julie got up and closed the window. We had to settle for a fan to combat the humidity, as the water was coming in through the open window at a worrying rate. It wasn’t going away, and the room was in almost permanent illumination, with the thunder rumbling like a jet aircraft overhead.
Julie eventually checked on Ollie, who was no longer resting, but sitting up, and looking very distressed. She brought him into the bedroom and comforted him, and he settled down on the floor next to my side. We were worried about potential damage to the large oak trees, in case any branches fell onto the house. I was also worried about a possible flood in the shed, as this has happened before. Neither of us could quite remember a storm like it in the UK, for the sheer duration and intensity was like nothing we had ever experienced. The sound of the rain and hail on the windows and the flat roof of the extension was so loud, it seemed to be coming from inside the house itself.
We got little sleep, especially Julie, who had to get up for work at the usual time. The morning was warm and calm, and there was little evidence of the tumult of the night before. The shed wasn’t flooded, and no branches had fallen. The ground was almost dry, and nothing untoward was discovered. Some parts of the region had experienced flooding, according to the news, and we had obviously had power outages, as the digital clocks all needed to be reset. But otherwise, all was well.
That was some storm though. It really was.