Monday, 28 July 2008
Strike Me Down!
It's been warm and summery here for the last two or three days. Today, it got a bit tropical, and this evening a thunderstorm arrived during the Emilia Show.
I don't like lightning. People die every year from electrical accidents with toasters and things, whilst the energy in one bolt from the blue could keep 10 houses powered for a year. Besides which, I don't want to get hit by something that's 50,000 degrees Farenheit. That might hurt.
Thunderstorms are rare here, and they are the only time that I wish I wasn't living in a top floor flat. They've just wired all the flats for satellite TV, and the dish is outside my lounge window, with a thick cable running through my attic. So if it hits that I'll probably end up with my whole ceiling ablaze.
When I was a child, I remember that we used to count the time between the lightning flash and the thunder. People used to say that a second was a mile, but then at school we learned that the speed of sound was not a mile a second, but about a fifth of that, and suddenly I didn't feel so safe.
So I've given up counting. You know when it's overhead when there are no seconds between the flash and the very loud and violent crash. I wandered into the stairwell and stood there when that happened, then decided that it would be embarrassing if anyone saw me hiding and went back in.
There's not really anywhere to hide, anyway. These days everything is wired for electricity, so the lightening can get you wherever you are. People have been fried in indoor swimming pools, apparently, and I read a while back about someone in this country who was struck whilst doing the dishes in his kitchen. The lightening hit a pipe, channelling the deadly charge to his sink. He survived because he was wearing those ridiculous yellow rubber gloves. I bet his wife felt guilty about nagging him to do the washing up during a storm.
Oh well, in the time it's taken me to type this, sort out a picture, and so on, the thunder has gone, and I have cheated death for the time being. Maybe one day the scientists will find a way to harness all that electricity. Then this blog really will be lightning powered.