Weather-1, Harley-0

Three things will always scare me – spiders, heights and death.  Plenty of things worry me, however, and the past couple of days have been rather worrying.  After a long hard day of shifting motorcycle spares yesterday, I and my father headed for a friend’s place.  While there we got caught in a full-blown thunderstorm, with a constant downpour of heavy rain (makes British rain seem limp-wristed), and after half an hour the lightning began.

Now thunder doesn’t bother me one jot.  Even when overhead, it just reminds me of an artillery barrage or a broadside – something suitably military.  And after all the time I’ve spent shooting guns the noise doesn’t bother me too much either.  But the lightning which precedes it…hairy, to say the least.  It got to a point where there were flashes of lightning every few seconds – for hours.  But this wasn’t scary.  After the lights got knocked out for an hour, and the rain stopped briefly, we all stepped outside.  It was nearly dark and the wind had started picking up furiously.  There was no thunder, but flashes of light on the horizon.  And then there began the most chilling, piercing wail, raising to a crescendo over a thirty-second period.
I couldn’t work out what it was.  A siren, some sort of natural sound?  And then the friend said nonchalantly, “Oh, that’s just the tornado warning.  Now where’d I put that flashlight…” and he ambled back into the shop.  And I stood out there thinking “Oh shit…” then hurried back in!

Minutes later the rain resumed, the lightning and thunder returned with a vengeance and eventually my father and I made our way back to the hotel, dodging fallen trees, piles of gravel and dirt washed from the fields and vast puddles in the road.  The lightning didn’t help by being utterly captivating as it flashed against the inky black sky.  Today the morning was bright and sunny and seemed to indicate a lovely day (aside from our friend who’s pick-up sank in a car park!).  But by afternoon the weather turned awful again.  Why anyone would live in such a relatively dangerous land I don’t know!


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