While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I just saw lightening and heard thunder for the first time in maybe a year. When I lived in Brisbane thunder storms were as common as stubby coolers (why stubby coolers don’t have their own Wikipedia page is beyond me). In summer, you could set your watch by the storms (start at 3 o’clock, done by half past).

But thunder and lightening in Edinburgh? It just doesn’t seem right.

The downpour that followed the flash’n’crash lasted 6:40. I know coz I was listening to Tool’s ‘Ænema’, which is a great storm song.

[Aside: In 2002, Tool came to Wellington. A university acquaintance asked me if I was going to the concert. I said yes. He said, “You are so Palmerston North.” By-the-by: I didn’t rate the concert, and haven’t listened to Tool’s last few albums, but every time I listen to Ænema (the album) I’m not disappointed.]

I’ve been slowly but persistently reminded this week that I don’t know much about Edinburgh. I arrived in autumn, I’ve done winter, am ensconced in spring, but summer promises to be something quite different. Just this week there has been an explosion of people dining al fresco, wearing shorts, and playing frisbee in St Andrews Square at five o’clock. This is a side of Edinburgh I don’t remember seeing when we arrived in September, even though the weather was reasonable. I guess there’s a big difference between a good day in spring (after the slog of Winter) and a good day in Autumn (after better days just weeks before).

This also reminds me that I haven’t had a proper summer in over a year. We were in Australia/NZ/Southern Africa for the Southern Hemisphere’s winter 07, then switched hemispheres in time for the tail end of an Indian Summer in Italy/Croatia, but it quickly went to pot as we ventured further north through Europe.

I’m not sure what to expect from summer in Edinburgh. I should probably expect everything: shit days, sunny days, storms, floods, midges, sunburn, windburn, frostbite…

As long as I can wear my jandals once a week, I’ll be happy.

PS: I lied. I witnessed a storm in Venice in August. My brother the photographer took this photo:

1 comment:

Darren said...

Yes I did take that photo :) I haven't seen thunder since then either, although there was one time when I was driving in the country back from Wellys when I saw a few flashes in the sky but wasn't sure if they were from oncoming cars flashing their lights or it was really the sky so it doesn't really count