The last few days have been warm, dry and sunny but as so often happens a thundery low pressure has moved north from France to spoil things. So yesterday the weather started going downhill and in the evening lightning lit up the sky, thunder rolled and there were some heavy downpours. Although we have had severe thunderstorms in the past it very often seems to be worse to the east and south of us and so it was last night. Certainly there was a reasonable gap between flash and thunder - I think a 5 second time gap between the two is equivalent to about a mile away in distance and this seemed to be as near as it got.
I have to say that I'm not too enthusiastic about thunderstorms but nevertheless am in awe of the power of natural phenomena. What happens in Britain of course pales into insignificance compared with recent events in SE Asia. First there was the cyclone in Burma and now the devastating earthquake in China. Another 1000 shelterboxes left East Midlands airport for Burma this week and I think I heard that the Charity are now gearing up to send supplies to China. Another Westcountry based Charity, RAPID UK, whose office is at Jacobstowe near Okehampton in Devon, has a team on standby to be deployed to China if needed. RAPID is an acronym for "Rescue and Preparedness in Disasters" and their well trained volunteers are always ready to assist when an earthquake or similar disaster occurs anywhere in the World. Much more about them can be found at their website here.
What brilliant organisations these two are! More power to their elbow!