Spinning on that dizzy edge – 29th December 1994

Cathy and Libby bring little Reg and tall Gough up and they run around tearing the place apart much to Broni’s dismay so we take them to the beach where Reg’s two-year-old mind had difficulty coping with the prospect of water rushing around his feet and when the wave broke and rushed up the beach engulfing those tiny fleshy toes his eyes looked left at me and a curious look sat on his face – wow, what was that? I’m not sure if I like that or not….. it’s pretty scary…. “Mamee, Mamee!” – that kid will knock all the girls dead, just you wait and see.

They leave even-time and Broni rests exhausted with all the running around and she dreams up ways of making the house child-safe/childproof and of course, we can’t afford anything like that.

A huge thunderstorm breaks slowly, building over the mountains to the west and in the distance flashes radiate in the heavens. Soon strikes head for the ground and more and more frequently (we later discover something like 5000 strikes over about two hours, luckily we are away from it and have the pleasure of being able to watch it and it’s like a movie screen looking out through our window. A spectacular flash starts at one edge of the sky and heads out across the sky seemingly following a cobweb, lasts several seconds as it travels across the web to the other side of the sky, a maze of conductors in the clouds. Unreal!

The slow creeping in of night time is accompanied by ominous bulging dark clouds, blotting out the sun, as they rise over the hill on our horizon. Seemingly engulfing the sky, black shadows billowing, dark eyes sinking low and roll, roll on the night.

The ever-present cicada cacophony crescendoes across the humid valley and suddenly it’s set alight by a blaze of lightning, the flashlights of the gods and we sit and wait and here it comes the rumble.

Just a slow mover tonight as we sit in the still night air, in anticipation, eyes ready and expectant.

The low clouds are near touchable if only we could climb. They fly past, like ghostly apparitions, out to sea, speeding to their fate.

Here on earth it is still though, as flashes become more frequent and rumbles come that quicker. And then, as at a switch is hit, the cool wind arrives from the south and you know, then you know it’s only a matter of time.

Sure enough, big globs of water slowly descend and bounce on the dry ground. And more, until a downpour which disappears as quick as it started and its traces a mere dampness and a smell fresher than mountain air.

The storm continues over – ever brighter and spectacular to its gazers.

Cobwebs of bolts, like battling swordsmen, steel and scrape the skies.

Once again we are wowed by nature and it’s many wonders. We are also humbled and consider our place in this world.

13th Apr 2021 – I really did marvel at the scale of storms in Australia. The whole sky just seemed bigger than in England and was a blue I’d rarely seen before. Why the sky seems bigger I’m not sure, perhaps the lack of hedgerows and maybe the knowledge that in Australia, over the hill in the distance are just more hills yet in England, over the hill is likely to be another town. Maybe the unfamiliarity with the stars. I remember having to relearn my understanding of direction as the sun now sat in a different part of the sky than I was used to. I got lost often whenever I was driving around at first. That’s fine though – I love being lost.

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