Sunday, 28 August 2016

Al fresco dining

 The Setting:

A country house on the Edge of Nowhere.

Image borrowed from

It is an unexpectedly beautiful late summer's afternoon.   Guests have gathered for an al fresco celebration meal.  

Chef is presiding over the large barbecue, while the housekeeper is pouring generous glasses of Prosecco,  with apple juice for the young ones.     Lazy, relaxed dining, what could be nicer.

Suddenly, the sky changes from blue and sunny to dark and stormy, enormous raindrops begin to fall and thunder begins to rumble.  

The table is abandoned; everyone makes a grab for plates of food as they dash indoors.

The storm intensifies, rumbles become fighteningly loud clashes while the lightning flashes completely illuminate the darkened house.   Rain becomes torrential and the terrace is soon under a couple of inches of water as the drains struggle to cope.

Gradually things settle down again, the food has been rescued and the big kitchen table is groaning under the weight of it all.      The younglings prefer to take their loaded plates through to the sun room where the drama of the storm can be fully appreciated.

That drama is greatly increased when there is a power outage, something we are used to as it often happens during stormy weather.  

Our London guests were very surprised to hear this and seemed a little relieved when the lights came back on less than two minutes later.

By the time this had occurred for the fifth time,  plans were made to put the generator on standby.   Luckily, this proved unnecessary.  

Each time there was an outage and we were plunged into darkness which caused the children laughed at the delicious fright of it all, while slightly merry adults began talking about how it would all make a great setting for an Agatha Christie country house murder and a quick headcount was taken when the lights came back on, just in case!

Just another Bank Holiday weekend in England so we really should have known better than to plan an outdoor party.


  1. wasn't it amazing! i've never seen lightning go on and on like that!

    1. It was very impressive. Poor Dobson was trembling like a jelly for the duration, the grandchildren thought it was rather wonderful though. It is a long time since we have had a storm quite that dramatic or so prolonged.

  2. The lighning here on Saturday was absolutely crazy. I havent seen it like that for years. No black out here though so at least we escaped that.

    1. Hello Sol, I'm glad we don't have storms like that, often - but it was quite exciting, too. I bet you were glad you had your roof back on! How is the decorating going?

  3. We had a storm during the night a few days ago. We were woken by thunder and could see the lighning flashes through the curtains which hang at the French doors to the conservatory. We both just rolled over and hoped it would pass quickly!
    It sounds like you had much more fun!

    1. Hello Scarlet, Today is totally different, brilliant blue sky, very warm, slight breeze and lots of sunshine. Simply beautiful and a real change from most of this summer. The hedgerows are studded with bountiful berries and the trees are beginning to turn, autumn is definitely coming - probably my favourite season. How is it all going on the new allotment?

    2. ps Belated birthday greetings to your lovely daughter.x


Lovely to hear from you!