Friday, 4 July 2008

Thunder and lightning on the 4th of July

Out here in the US, we have been enjoying the 4th of July. Two years ago, Viola posted on our first Independence Day. Last year, we missed it because we were flying back from the UK, arriving in Washington DC late in the evening, and just in time to see a few fireworks in the sky as we drove home. Unlike that occasion two years ago, we didn't get the chance to go to the pool, but we did drive into Durham, and we spent an enjoyable afternoon with friends over there. We were back before dark, so we repeated our walk around the neighbourhood of two years ago and watched the fireworks which were being let off all over the place. Perhaps one of the first things one notices as a Brit doing this is the odd feeling of fireworks in the warmth of a July evening rather than the freezing cold of a November 5 in England. One also can't help noticing that people, at least round our way, are rather more cavalier on the safety issues than they are in the UK. The fireworks are let off in the middle of the road, and people just balance them on the road and walk right up and light them, and everyone seems to stand, and sit, pretty close. Mind you, didn't hear a single ambulance siren while we were out walking. But this year was dramatic because at about 9.30pm, a film-style thunderstorm began to develop, with forks of lightning, loud thunder and flickering lights in the sky of the kind that I used to think were just a film cliché before we moved here.

With the rain dampening everyone's fireworks, the evening's fun was over, and we returned home to catch the latest Big Brother eviction, a documentary about Abba and Mamma Mia and a discussion about how excited we were about tomorrow's final episode of this series of Doctor Who. On the latter, we have a plan of action to avoid accidentally hearing any possible spoilers between broadcast on BBC1 and our viewing an hour or so later. Oh, and it seems that SciFi Channel have a Twilight Zone marathon. It began very early this morning, and is still going on as I write. Could be a late night.

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