A Short Sharp Storm

I was engrossed in Chicago John’s Bartolini Kitchens.  In the last few weeks he’s posted so many things that were driving my taste buds wild, and in the back of my mind a little list was beginning to accumulate new reasons for looking forward to being back in Australia – burrata in particular, so I could try out his Lemon, Burrata and Spinach pasta, and Toni’s Beets and Burrata Salad.  I noticed I was bent at the waist, nose almost pressed to the screen.  It was four o’clock in the afternoon, and almost dark.

4 O'clock in the Afternoon

The bamboos were dancing erratically, and heavy raindrops began splashing to the ground – there was a whiff of that pungent scent of the earth exhaling pent-up heat and dry dirt. Small overflows from the gutters sent the bamboos juddering even more, heavy water droplets sliding down twiggy branchlets.

Rain, at last!

I wasn’t convinced, and came back to read about home-made ricotta – one of my favourite things on earth.  I didn’t see the lightning.  Just the shock of it leaping from the computer through the palm of my hand before a deafening and discordant gunshot/whip crack/rattle/bang of thunder made me yelp in alarm.  I quickly unplugged the computer and sat, grateful for the sudden chill, as a couple more clouds collided overhead.  And then they moved on.  By 4.30 it was over.

Not a breath of air stirs the leaves – replete and, I’d swear, already more plump and greener than they were before.  The farmer in me will never consent to call that rain – but the gardener?  Well, Papa used to say 20 minutes of decent rainfall will take water down past parched roots to pool in rootballs, so I’m a happy gardener tonight – I’d say most things fared better than they would have if I’d been down there wielding the hose.

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44 thoughts on “A Short Sharp Storm

  1. Oh how it is so wonderful to smell that rain that settles the dust… that’s when the farmer in me wants to go outside and stand in the rain… then the lightening reminds me to stay inside… and when it’s all over, I want to taste the earth that always smells edible…

  2. Beautifully written. You are incredibly lucky that your computer still works – I’ve known several people whose phones, TVs and computers have all been killed by lightning.

    • Aren’t I just? Whether through storms, or electrical surges because of supply issues i’ve fried two iPods, two sets of speakers, two televisions and a refrigerator in four years! I’ve watched as lightning’s jumped from switches just to my left right across the room to the metal bolts in the windows and down into the power points and telephone box below. It’s pretty scary! I usually manage to gague the storm and unplug but it tricked me yesterday.

  3. A fine description of a quick moving storm. Sometimes I’d like to shout, “What’s your rush?” At least it was long enough to give the gardens a drink and dampen the dust. More will fall next time.
    Thank you for mentioning my blog. That was quite kind of you and I do appreciate it.
    Think you’ll make ricotta? You won’t be sorry.

    • You’re right – no complaints – any rain – even rain on the run like that, is welcome in the ‘dry’ season.

      It was a pleasure to mention your blog – it’s a place I like to go and when I write those ‘factual’ sort of posts, it’s nice to make them real – ’cause that’s how it happened! Yes, when I get back to Australia, and get settled, I’ll be making my own ricotta – what bliss it will be 🙂 And EllaDee is on the lookout for the burrata so I’ll know where to source it when I get back – it’ll be the first thing I make!

  4. Wonderful post. There’s nothing like a good storm, with rain, of course. The fragrances before, during & after, knowing the garden has had a good drink, and for those in the country that the tanks are a little fuller. I see your thoughts are on your return. It’s good to have things to look forward to. I’ve also been catching up on ChgoJohn’s posts, and have vowed to go ‘burrata hunting’ 😉

    • Please try to remember to let me know what you find out about Burrata shopping in Sydney – I cross fingers, toes, eyes there’ll be a supplier in Brisbane, but I fear this is going to be something I have to carry back in the plane whenever I’ve been down to Sydney to see Craig, or even worse, from Melbourne after a much more infrequent visit to Nina!

  5. oh the fresh breath of the storm! brilliant description, i was jumping in fright at the lightning and imagining a fried computer … so glad you were ok … checked out Chicago John but sadly all his recipes have ingredients i am allergic to like meat and cheese … how boring am i??

    • I used not to be afraid of storms – they were too rare and exciting, in my childhood, and it wasn’t till I came here and saw how dangerous they can be that I’ve begun to be a little more cautions, JM – on top of which, I’m becoming a little concerned my ‘luck’ is running low and there’ll be a storm soon when the computer gets a nasty jolt!

  6. I forget what a wordsmith you are. This is a thoroughly delightful post. The words just feel good to my ears and make me jump too. I was almost struck by lightening there for a second. Ah, I can feel the storm and smell the earth in your words that take me back to my childhood. Thank you for this treat! 🙂

    • Anay, darling – how wonderful to read your kind words! By the way, I was thrilled to see the other day that your delightful post about the longhorns was Freshly Pressed – well deserved my dear George 🙂

  7. Sounds utterly wonderful! Wish we got monsoons down this far. It would be bettter than the heatwave we’re currenly enduring.
    You really have a wonderful way with words.
    & I hate doing this, but I mentioned you in my post ‘a walk in the heat of MtLawleyshire’ (I think that’s what it’s called – the one before tonight’s subdied sunset). It has bark in it 🙂

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