Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I hear thunder

The concensus is that this summer has been rubbish (weatherwise, that is) back in April (and that was early April) we saw crazy temperatures of 30 degrees C, but since those heady days it's all gone downhill (at least here in Germany anyway) This last week we've had the odd day of proper summer, where it's too hot to be outside and all Jas wants is to play with water and all I want to do is sit and hide in the cellar, where it's blissfully cool and where the dog retreats as well, but these occasional days of summer have to be paid for with either thunderstorms or days of rain, or both. Fun.

Last Thursday the sky went black shortly after 6pm, the day had been scorching so of course there was a fee due. By 7pm the storm was in full flow. There was thunder and lightning and rain and winds that threatened to overturn the useless* sun umbrellas. Over the noise of the storm we could only just hear the fire engine sirens as they were kept busy removing fallen trees and pumping out flooded cellars. The damage was all too evident the following morning, paths covered with gravel washed from the flowerbeds, branches littering the roads and my poor sunflowers now mere bald heads, their petals strewn throughout the garden.

Sunday was another decent day (at least where I live, my German teacher who is 30-40 minutes away** reported a day of such crap weather that the only activity that made sense was to decamp to the cinema) hot enough for me to suggest going down into the tourist hotbed that Kettwig becomes on a sunny weekend and getting an eiscafé (me) and an erdbeerbecher*** (him). The charge for such a lovely day was a thunderstorm that raged for over an hour in the evening. Sheet lightning this time, not fork and at one point pretty much constant thunder. I love a good thunderstorm (I blame my mom) but part of the fun is counting the gap between the lightning and the thunder to find out how close the storm is, this is kind of ruined when the thunder is continuous! Logan however, was not amused. He struggles with his immediate reaction which is to flee to his place of safety (under the stairs in the cellar) or staying next to me****, during a long storm he will do both, probably hoping that I'll follow him down to the cellar.

Yesterday was a pretty typical (for this year) summer day, grey to start with and coolish, the odd rain shower and then as the afternoon progressed the heat increased. There was nothing to suggest that payback would be required. So I was quite surprised to wake up in the middle of the night, and on a trip to the loo feel I was going to be hit by lightning - we have a velux window in the roof of the bathroom and the storm (or at least the lightning) was clearly right overhead. I didn't linger. Of course neither child was awoken by the following storm, it was just me that was kept awake for an hour while the thunder rattled the roof above my head.

A final thought; I do find it funny that two of Rudolph's reindeer mates are named Donner (thunder) and Blitzen (lightning) especially when the others are called such normal 'horsey' names - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet and Cupid, maybe that was what fitted the rhyme, unless of course the names preceeded the song...

* useless only in the sense that there has been too little strong sun to warrant their use, they do actually function perfectly, when there is sun that one needs to be shaded from.
** traffic and weather dependant.
*** strawberries and icecream in a bowl topped with cream, almonds and strawberry juice (it's big)
**** and I mean next to, I might have been standing in the kitchen doorway, watching the arial action but he was trying to get under my skirt.

Word for the day; das Gewitter - thunderstorm

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