Woke up this morning at half past three with a bloody great crash bang! I thought the house was falling down, or the Royal Philharmonic had crept into the attic to play the 1812 overture. But no. It was just the mother and father of all thunderstorms.
And then I thought, hell’s teeth, the washing. The line out in the garden was loaded with it. All dry. (Which is important when you are a dilettante washerwoman).
I thought about leaving it. And then I thought about all the other washing waiting to go out…So two minutes later there I was, in my jammies, lightning cracking over the greenhouse, feverishly tearing the pegs off the line and throwing clothes in a basket while raindrops as fat as grapes burst on my head and shoulders.
Then there was another enormous kettle drum of thunder and, almost instantly, the sky split with a horizontal flash as if it were taking a picture of the garden.
The pattering on the leaves stilled for a moment, and then the rain roared down. I picked up my basket and fled.
Back upstairs, job done, I dried myself off, went back to bed with a cup of tea, consoled two uncertain dogs and watched the lightning arc across our neighbour’s field. I felt very, very smug.
Until I had to get up four hours later.