There was the most incredible storm in London last night. My housemates and I turned off the lights and sat down and watched it. Babs sat cross-legged on the cushion she uses when playing the N64, Iani sprawled over the window sill, and I curled up on the sofa idly thinking about going to bed.
The storm made us feel slightly better about the fact we’d never bothered to get curtains for our huge bay windows (a fact which fucks off anyone who stays because they have no choice but to wake up atsunrise), because last night it became the world’s GREATEST plasma screen telly. The brightest swathes of light we’d ever seen flashed and lit up the room like a Dulux swatch, sneaking in between the glass and darting around the walls. Purple-white, blue-white, pink-white, pure white, all you needed was cornflower and you’d have a tasteful design statement.
We ooh’d and aah’d like it was the Common fireworks all over again, but better. The fireworks never do enough of those beautiful golden stockings, the ones that drizzle down the sky like little diamonds and make you feel totally focused on wonder. The lightning just kept on outdoing itself: brighter, sharper, covering the sky and taking absolute control. “You there! You scummy peasants sitting slack-jawed in your house - you’d better turn off that N64 because I rule this sky and if I can be arsed, I will certainly slide down your aerial and burn you bastards to a crisp, and then the only one not weeping will be Kat because she’s the only one who’s got any insurance.”
(I am still fuming about the fact I am paying to hope I don’t get robbed.)
The only thing that screwed up this gorgeous scene was the Noise. Gentle rumbles of thunder I find really peaceful and calming. It reminds me of being snuggled up under a rug at my parents’ house, with a roaring fire and a plate of crumpets to shut out the monsoon drowning the Hampshire countryside. That’s one of the nicest feelings in the world, especially at Christmas when you know there’s going to be something involving Martin Clunes being worthy coming on telly in a minute and you can have a good doze halfway through. That thunder is good. The Noise however is not. I become utterly useless when confronted with sharp, abrasive noises (an irony my folks used to roll out endlessly when I was a Vile Teenager) so whenever tractors, or ambulances, or motorbikes pass I have to clap my hands over my ears like a particularly delicate old biddy.
In terms of thunder, the Noise is that tumbling crack you always associate with forked lightning, where it feels as through something is trying to force its way through the sky. That’s truly horrible. It makes me panic – I lose the ability to think clearly and get that rare feeling where you suddenly remember you’re an animal, or at least have all those survival instincts buried within you. (Incidentally, it’s a sign of how fucked up we’ve become as humans that that instinct only kicks in for namby-pamby things like thunder and pictures of furry spiders, and not for, ooh I don’t know, crossing the road in front of a moving bus.)
”It’s not finished,” proclaimed Iani in Vulva-esque tones.
The thunder cracked again.