The imperfect storm

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A HOT wind blows from the south and brings dense cloud from Africa. We watch it roll in on two levels: white mist flooding valleys and swamping mountains in great waves; and a high bank of greyness blocking out the sun. We hear dull echoes of thunder as the wind gathers strength . . .

Across the valley of the Rio Guadalfeo, the great bulk of Sierra de Lujar is still bathed in sunlight – but the clouds fill the gap and soon the mountain is lost from view.

100_2980Lightning flashes. Thunder cracks. Dogs bark. Dust billows in olive groves as branches sway. And an eerie darkness settles on the land – two hours before darkness is due.

We watch the storm from the kitchen window – Andalucia rocked by violent weather from another continent. We wait for rain. Then we wait a bit longer.

One spot. Two spots. Big spots, mind. Three spots, four spots. And that’s about it.

There’s a lesson learned. The rain in Spain falls mainly somewhere else.

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16 thoughts on “The imperfect storm

  1. Yeh, it’s raining over here! Has been for weeks! And they call this summer! Oh & the wind as well……I wonder if those pink tablets would work.

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  2. I’ve got to say the place names sound epic – Rio Guadalfeo, Sierra de Lujar. I would expect dramatic weather over those! I can tell you where the rain is falling, Alen – here! It’s unseasonably cold, too. Love those clouds over the mountains.

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  3. Very poetic and sad somehow. The country could probably do with a proper downpour. Hope you are able to cope with the heat.
    Best of luck to the 5 of you,
    Hanna

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    1. Even the Spanish people are complaining about the heat, Hanna. Paradoxically, Spain’s most southerly ski resort is only about ten kilometres away as the crow flies. No snow at the moment, though.
      Cheers, Alen

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      1. Haha I had to look that one up, Alen: As the crows flies. In Denmark we have the expression: Far far out of nowhere. Well this is Google’s translation. But we use the words: “Far far away where the crows turn around” meaning the end of the world. But maybe you are familiar with that term too 🙂
        Happy day to all of you,
        Hanna

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        1. I didn’t know that term Hanna, but I do now. “As the crow flies” means in a straight line across all terrain. But I’m sure that crows don’t really fly in straight lines all the time.
          Alen

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          1. In Danish we say “Bird flight line” instead of “As the crow flies.
            I think it’s charming that the crow is selected as the lucky bird to fly in straight lines without detours 🙂
            It seems like crows have to accept many things without being asked at first (Big Smiley Thing)

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  4. Watching a storm develop over mountains is an impressive way to spend time. I also think the Spanish way of raining is something we should test in Britain. Get the storm out the way in four of five enormous blobs, instead of the millions of very very small ones like we have over here.

    The first photo reminds of the time I drove over Birker Fell in the Lake District and the cloud was rolling like a blanket conveyor belt over the Scafells.

    It’s raining now, but the sight is tempered by the smell of a gently boiling ham shank in the kitchen. (Couldn’t think of any other way of mentioning my ham shank!)

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    1. Chris, I just love a ham shank. Not only are they delicious, they are also excellent value for money.
      Storms are always entertaining so long as you’re not stuck out in them with no shelter. A friend and I once got caught on the moors above Ingleton in a hell of a storm, and we were carrying a load of steel-wire caving ladders. The lightning got so intense we dumped the ladders in a hollow and took shelter in a second hollow about 100 yards away. It was a frightening experience and lasted about an hour. When we got down we found a pig that had been struck by lightning and all its shanks were cooked. Made that last bit up.
      Cheers, Alen

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      1. I’ve been lucky not to have been caught out on the tops in a lightning storm. Thoroughly drenched is as far as I’ve been caught out. Was it one or two people killed in the Brecon Beacons a few days ago?

        On a lighter note, my ham shank cost £3 from the farm shop and I’ll get three meals out of it. One of the best cuts of meat you can buy.

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