The Boys In Blue

The weather forecast for London this afternoon is THUNDERY SHOWERS! I had agreed to go along with a bunch of friend to watch the boat race this afternoon. But because of the weather forecast, my enthusiasm is waning. First of all, I don’t want to get a good soaking. Secondly, the forecasters are suggesting that it might not be possible for the race to even go ahead because it is rather dangerous to stick a bunch of men in boats, each with their own lightning conductor, out in the middle of a stretch of water while there is thunder and lightning.

thundery rain.jpg

Do I want to go and watch the boys in blue? (And of course there is the women’s race too.) It is the Oxford versus Cambridge boat race today. (Oxford wear dark blue. Cambridge wear something a little like duck egg blue.) Yay! Well, it’s yay if you like rowing. It’s yay, if you like the atmosphere created by the crowds drinking beer out of plastic cups all afternoon. It’s yay, perhaps if you have an affiliation with either university.

I like boats – yes. I am not fussed about beer out of a plastic cup on a soggy afternoon. As for the two universities, I am indifferent. My uncle and one sister went to Cambridge. Another of my sisters went to Oxford. My Grandfather was more for Cambridge. I found the love of academia adopted by some of our family (but insitgated and cultivated by my Grandfather) distasteful, and I fought against the idea of going to any university, and instead threw myself into volunteering.

Let’s hope the race goes well and that nobody is struck by lightning. That would be a waste of all that academic prowess. That would be something different on the BBC News wouldn’t it…rather than Brexit headlines, a story about a BBQ boating catastrophe.

Lightning And Chips

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I am curled up on the sofa resting before three long work days ahead. I can hear the rain is pouring outside and the wind is howling. No thunder and lightning tonight. But there is lightning and thunder somewhere, I am sure of it. Apparently there are around 45,000 thunderstorms every day. If you grab a calculator and check, that means there are more than 16 million each year. Right now, around the earth there will be around 2,000 thunderstorms occurring.

lightningWhen lightning strikes we see tremendous amounts of energy. Researchers, who have studied the incredible clouds in a thunderstorm, state that the clouds in just one thunderstorm are brewing energy equal to ten or more of the nuclear bombs dropped in World War II. Only a proportion of that energy is seen as in the spectacular flashes and strikes of lightning.

But as well as being spectacular and rather humbling, lightning has remarkably beneficial results. It produces forms of nitrogen that reach the soil, where plants absorb them as natural fertilizer.

When we were children, my parents would often let us buy a bag of chips on a Thursday night, when the whole family were together. I remember one night Dad parked the car outside the chippy and left Mum and the little ones waiting, while he and I ran through the rain towards the chip-shop. There were great claps of thunder and the whole sky seemed to flash with lightning that night. I held Dad’s hand tightly as we ran through the pouring rain, because I was nervous. It was super scary for me. Dad always wanted me to ask for our chips. Then he gave me some money to pay whoever was working that night. He wanted me to count the change I received, and then say “thank you very much”. My parents never took a day off from training us 🙂

While we ate our chips at home in the kitchen, Dad told us we could be thankful to the lightning for our delicious chips. I stopped being afraid of thunderstorms and lightning after that. After learning that lightning helps to make the soil rich and produces such fine potatoes, that become the best chippy chips – I was grateful for the lightning from then on.

It’s amazing to think that right now around 2,000 thunderstorms will be occurring isn’t it – think of all those chips!

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This post was in response to the WHAT DO YOU SEE? Challenge hosted by Hélène Vaillant, the creator of Willow Poetry:

https://helenevaillant.com/2019/04/02/11001/

Pebble Stones and Flower in Tropical Garden

Thundering And Lightning…Very Very Frightening

ligteningFrightening to some…in all honesty not to me. Instead, I feel a rush of excitement…I want to yell out loud, “Come on!”

I do love a good thunder storm…especially if I am inside the cosy warmth of my bed, watching through my window as the sky lights up.  I then count seconds for roaring rumbles of thunder to follow.  Somebody told me when I was a little child, that each second you count is equivalent to a mile.  It tells you how close the lightning is.  I have no idea if that is actually true, but it has moved me to count seconds between lightning and thunder ever since!

After all the warm weather, we had some terrific thunder and lightning shows in London during the past few weeks.

I read an article recently which gave some examples of “natural phenomenon” which are not only inspiring but are not fully understood by humans. Lightning was one of the subjects discussed.

There was a very interesting quote from Compton’s Encyclopedia: “Lightning produces significant chemical changes in the atmosphere. As a stroke moves through the air, it generates tremendous heat that unites nitrogen and oxygen to form nitrates and other compounds. These compounds fall to the Earth with the rain. In this way, the atmosphere is able continually to help replenish the supply of nutrients that soil needs to produce plants.”

I am not frightened by lightning.  I am awe-struck!  Power on a scale that makes all human endeavour look feeble and transitory.  It makes me want to run out into the rain and cry for joy that such a miraculous and spectacular process is taking place right before my eyes!

One of many incredible aspects of the planet I live on that excite me and fill me with wonder.  I think it would be easy for me to write countless posts about the marvels of creation.