Saturday, 4 July 2009

The thunderstorm.

The font of all knowledge is away in France celebrating July 4th with American friends. My comments that July 4th isn't a Scottish holiday and that France is a strange place to go to for an American holiday were met with a certain froideur. Anyway, in my partners absence I have been able to revert to my standard caveman like status and am contentedly wandering around in shorts and bare feet.

Last night we had a thunderstorm of such ferocity that the lights went out and the house rocked and shook with the bangs and roars of the storm. The atmospherics seemed to be situated directly overhead our little patch of paradise. Digby, who god bless him, is not the bravest of beasts was joined to me at the ankle. Everywhere I went, he went. At dinner time he simply refused to come out to eat on the porch and sat immovable and miserable under the kitchen counter.

In Scotland thunderstorms are pootling wee affairs. If my high school memory of meteorology serves me well you need at least one mass of warm air colliding with cold air to make an electrical storm . In Scotland there are many moving masses of air but they tend to be cold, indeed very cold, and as a result what electric storms there are tend to be rather tame. In contrast French thunderstorms are amongst the best. They roar and growl for hours on end as the warm air from the coast or centre comes barging into the cool air from the mountains.
When we were living in the south of France the two boyz had their first taste of real storms. Wilf always sleeps through them ( although even he was a little alarmed by some of last nights bone jarring bangs ) but Digby finds them simply terrifying.We have always felt it best not to give him extra attention during a storm in case it reinforces his phobias. On our second night in the new house in France we were congratulating ourselves on how well the two troubadors had settled in after the three day journey in the back of the car from Scotland. After we turned in for the night a huge storm blew up accompanied by strange banshee wailings from the wind. I woke up in the small hours from a deep sleep knowing that something wasn't quite right. In my half awake state it felt as if the the top of my head was covered in a thick,soft, warm blanket. And then the blanket moved. Thinking it was a snake or something equally dangerous I sat bolt upright in bed and hollered at the top of my voice.The font of all knowledge roused by the screaming leapt out of bed in the dark, demolishing a bed side light in the process. Switching on the lights we came face to face with an equally startled looking Digby who now completely terrified and convinced that his worst fears had come true, promptly emptied his bladder. Tested to the limit by the lightning and thunder he had somehow managed to stealthily get into the bedroom, climb on the bed and nestle down in the safest place he could find in the gap on the pillows between the headboard and the top of my head. The joys of dogs!

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