Friday 23 July 2010

Thundery Days and Nights.

We had one of those, lovely, sudden torrential summer showers yesterday. I managed to get into the car after photographing an outdoor exhibition in Oxford, just as the heavens opened up. It was perfect timing. As I reached home it developed into a theatrical thunderstorm. I love those cool, histrionic storms, the noisier the better..... they bring back so many memories.

Like on our first wedding anniversary. We were camping outside Venice, and it was fun. We'd get the water bus across the lagoon most days. It was a blazing hot late Spring day I was in cool white cotton and sandals. Suddenly the sky was split in two by a brilliant streak of lightening and then the most enormous crash of thunder, one of those that makes you physically jump. I think the sound echoed back off the water.

The rains came, and we were drenched from head to toe! One of those Mediterranean downpours. It was just like standing under a waterfall! But it didn't matter. We were in St Marks Square by then and the sun soon came out and everywhere and everything, began to steam...including us!

Another was the first time I went to Paris with three girlfriends. We were invited to supper in a cute little house on the outskirts of the city by a young newly married couple. He was a kind of distant friend of friends, and she was his beautiful, graceful, Martanican wife. We ate in a wooden was lovely....a bit higgeldy, piggeldy, we had fun, a big group of us. It was the first time that I'd ever eaten raw mushrooms.....they were thinly sliced and dressed, someone had picked them that morning....that's all I can remember about the food except someone else arriving with an enormous plastic washing up bowl full of big ripe red cherries from his garden.....ooh and I remember lots of champagne too. It's while we were eating our supper that the sky blackened and an almighty crash of thunder scared us out of our wits! Somehow the glass house made us feel more vulnerable than if we'd been outside. I know it was great food...even though I can't really remember what we ate, and the company was amazing and great theatricals too,thanks to the thunderstorm...An awesome night....

The last vivid thunderstorm memory was about ten years ago we drove from Munich with A's brother, miles and miles, all the way to stay with another brother in Helsingor, Denmark. I've only been to Denmark once but loved, the scenery, the houses the people. We visited Copenhagen and Karen Blitz's house. Went shopping in Sweden, we boarded the train in Helsingor, and the train chugged onto a boat that sailed us across the sea to Helsingborg. It was fun, the three brothers and their wives, and all the children, staying in a lovely big house, not too far from the sea. My sister-in-law, an amazing cook and homemaker filled the house with tea lights and candles and lit them every evening. One night we were using a raklette for supper, it's a kind of fun fondue thing....this sounds so retro....but when we go to Germany they always want to get it out.....I think there's been a revival. Anyway again a huge crash and the lights went out, everything went out except the candles and the tea lights, and we lit even more and cooked prawns and chicken on the racklette and told ghost stories......well we didn't actually tell ghost stories...but it would have been a good time to do so......and there was lots of fun reminiscing going on by the brothers about their naughty childhood pranks....and they were naughty, very naughty indeed.....

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