Monday, July 09, 2007

Valence - deux - a turn in the weather, thunder and lightning

My last missive from Valence noted the lack of swings and bricks in this area of France. Since then we've noticed swings in people's gardens, but still none in public parks. And some bricks were found in an exposed patchwork wall of a rural house.

The weather turned too. On an post-dinner walk along a canal and across some playing fields last night, grey clouds gathered. Then the thunder and lightning started. That was about 8.00pm. The locals were playing boules and snacking at the little bar.

Ten minutes later, the bar was boarded up and the boules' players had vanished. Bad sign. But despite the spectacular sound and light show, we had no more than 15 minutes worth of rain.

Sitting out in the flat's little balcony three hours later, the lightning was still flashing and the thunder echoing all around the flood-plane that Valence is built on.

And then about 3.30am there was another burst of thunder and lightning.

Such a difference from the burning sunshine of Saturday. And so beautiful to watch the lightning arcing across the sky, like a celestial firework display. Looks like I caught two shots of the lightning on my camera ... no way to upload them until I get back home. But no where near as good as the fingers of lightning and panoramic flashes that lit up the hills while we just sat and watched, not bothered to take more snaps.

Some people reassuringly tell their children that lightning is only "God taking their photograph". Well, he must have been playing with new digital camera over Valence last night! Hope he got some good shots - Google Earth/Maps would appreciate some more up-to-date images.

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