Thursday, 3 May 2012


I lay in bed last night listening to the thunder.

There’s something about that sound I really like.  I like its unpredictability and the often surprising volume of its outbursts, and I still count the seconds between the thunder and lightning to determine how close it is, relishing that moment when the two strike together: “Ooh it’s right above us now!”.   Maybe it stirs something in our primordial depths, a reminder of the true power of nature, of how small and insignificant we really are in its presence. Those deep, vibrating, rumbling drum-rolls and sudden shocking, smacking claps excite me.  Make me tingle.  Thunder seems quite sexy.  As it finally fades away into the distance like a marching band, I find myself missing it and hankering for a slight return.

When I was a kid the sound of thunder was attributed to two main things.  One, my favourite, was that it was “the clouds banging together”.  This seemed particularly credible at night-time, and conjured up a vivid vision of angry, animated black clouds (with frowning expressions) crashing into each other like dodgem cars, little concussion stars circling their battered fluffy faces. The other explanation was that “God is moving his furniture around”.  My secular family background didn’t seem to matter – school had provided the vague belief that there was some grand superhero type character living in the sky, and the idea that he had wooden floors and was a bit clumsy when repositioning his three piece suite seemed acceptable enough.

Having about as much understanding of science as the aforementioned three piece suite I can’t get my head around what really causes such a spectacular weather phenomenon.  I think I’ll just stick to the notion of the blundering cumulonimbus.  They must be feeling pretty battered and bruised this morning.

(no blustering, stormy, metal soundtrack here…
instead just something tenuous from the land of Thor the thunder god)


  1. Funny my wife and daughter are the opposite to you - they pretty much scream at every rumble. We didn't have a storm last night, but one the night before... miraculously my wife slept through it which is most unlike her. I like the sound of rain, thunder but don't like the sound of wind if it is too violent, I think back to the big storm in 1987 when at 4am in the morning the bedroom window blew in and I was trying to force something into the hole to stop it all, cutting my feet on the broken glass in the darkness as the power had gone - never like wind since then

    If we ever had a real downpour my Mum would say "God is emptying his bath" - she used the furniture one as well.

  2. I grew up in a Chistian a pretty strong Christian culture...and God never got the credit for any of this stuff BUT...the Devil's stank a** was always up to no good.

    My favorite, and it still tickles me when it happens, is when it rains while the sun is shining...the Devil is beatin' his wife.

    It's been a ferocious couple of nights on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You would've loved it last night.

  3. Love the clashing clouds idea - absolutely perfect. I got the god repositioning his sideboard answer too when I was a kid, though I do remember my parents laughing a lot when I asked why he was doing it himself when he had "angels to do that sort of thing".

    I'm a big fan of thunder too. I've had some magical moments in the Pyrenees watching a huge electrical storm roll itself darkly out from the mountains towards me. Although luckily, I've had most of those moments from inside a nice warm house rather than on an exposed escarpment half way up the Breche Du Roland. That would probably be more terrifying than awe-inspiring...

  4. You're lucky, I love a storm but we hardly ever get them where I live just buckets of rain. Maybe I'll just get teased by the odd rumble and I'll excitedly run to the window hoping for the 'perfect storm' but then nothing. Rubbish. Angry clouds bumping into each other, love it, I will tell my 3 year old boy that. Whenever it thunders.

  5. Angry clouds banging together it is, then!
    Funny how there are all those god/devil explanations too -I imagine all cultures throughout time have used imaginative stories involving their deities to explain weather phenomena...
    I love that about emptying the bath, Furtheron. That's awful about the '87 storm, though, and I think brings home how dangerous extreme weather can be when we don't really expect it 'to happen here'.
    That's a colourful thought about the devil/wife rainbow, e.f. - and bet he gets the blame for a lot (but hope it's not toooo ferocious down there right now in Mississippi?)
    And how sweet that you thought the angels would do God's household chores, Kolley! But like you, I just enjoy from the sanctuary of the indoors...
    Hi, flycasual, and thanks for dropping by - will try and send a few storms your way!

  6. Ferocious is a monthly event...Ungodly is every couple of months...Unthinkable is every couple of years...and Biblical is every 30...

    Stalker alert: I actually thought about you and your blog when I was driving in it...because I was listening to the Allman Bros. There's no better backdrop for One Way Out than a s*** storm at 80 miles an hour. The only reason I had it on the trip was because of the Jim Dandy post.

    1. Ferocious weather, alligators and poisonous snakes? Makes me realise how cushy we have it over here - we're very good at moaning about it all though...
      (Couldn't get link to work I'm afraid)

      I don't mind a good, honest up-front stalker ;-) Glad the Dandy post influenced your listening habits that trip!

    2. It was a picture from the storm surge during Katrina. I'll it on the blog this week...I've got some stuff from that trip to put on anyway.

      I'm a stalker...I have an iphone and a lot of down time between bursts of activity.

    3. I'll look out for the pic, e.f., thanks.

      And somehow, self-confessed 'stalking' cancels itself out, don't you think?!


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