The Thunder Down Under

April 23, 2007 at 4:37 am (Uncategorized)

Llew and I were invited to Cas and Simon’s place for dinner last night, and whilst there we were all treated to an absolutely spectacular thunderstorm that started just as Llew and I were leaving home. The sky falling in seemed as good an excuse as any to stop in at Shore Club en route, and we sat there stunned and impressed as chaos reigned outside. When the break came, we were ready, hightailing it up the steps to Cas and Simon’s block, which sits right out over the Fairy Bower near the sheltered cove of Shelley Beach.

Their place has jaw-dropping ocean views right up Manly and then north along the coast – it really feels like you could reach out and touch the horizon when you’re sitting on their balcony. We found out last night that they’re moving, so I’m very glad we were able to sit out there and enjoy the storm with them last night.

There have been a few fairly fierce electrical storms across Sydney recently – certainly we get them severely on the coast – and it seems to me they’ve increased in frequency, at least compared to the last few years. I do remember them happening a lot when I was little, and perhaps it’s that association with youth that explains my almost childlike reaction to these storms now. They still thrill and terrify me. Cas and I both cried out at one particularly ominous, bellowing clap of thunder. You could see jagged sticks of lightening stabbing down into the ocean, lighting it up for a second so that the whole ocean looked…skeletal, almost, like we were viewing it under X-ray. It felt so brutal, so dangerous, and we were all there huddled undercover, sipping red wine and feeling very, very small. It’s kind of Big Band weather, I think, no mucking around. All the instruments – or in this case, all the elements – combining together to produce an awesome spectacular, a feat of light and sound. Ka Boom.

One lone bat flew haphazardly past the balcony, looking panicky and lost. He swerved down the side of the building and flapped off toward Manly, looking for all the world like a commuter taken unawares by the storm. I imagined him cursing, muttering to himself about the damned weather, ruing the decision to brave it and get home. He dodged and weaved through the rain like a man with a wet briefcase – in a hurry, pushing through, but half blind from the pounding wet weighing him down. We watched him until he merged with the inky night and disappeared, our attention drawn back to the horizon as another shuddering bolt of lightening lit up the sky. We waited, tensing slightly, ears pricked for the delayed growl of thunder sweeping in to shore.

What a night.

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