heatwave: on being scorched and getting soaked

An unprecedented heatwave (probably due to climate change and attributed to winds blowing hot air up from north Africa and the Sahara) has been making its scorching, record breaking 40+ degrees centigrade 🔥🥵 way across the UK.

It’s been hard without the benefit of air conditioning. The high temperatures have had devastating effects countrywide, exacerbated health problems, taken lives, and initiated fires on our tinder-dry, rain-deprived land and properties.

We’re so unused to temperatures like this, and ill prepared. So as I wilt and melt faster than an iced lollipop, while we sit closer to our two rather feeble fans, I remember another sultry summer and how it led to a spectacular thunderstorm.

It was just before I became badly afflicted by M.E and chronic illness, and when our boys were small and could amuse themselves for hours making sandcastles. I hope the poem below provides some light relief for you, too… ⛱🐚🩱🌊☀️


Darkened clouds rolled in 
from the coast, hanging heavy 
as a canopy over the beach, 

encroaching on the sun's rays, 
obliterating heat.
Thick drops began to fall, 

as we scrambled to gather
our belongings, while people 
shrieked playfully,

and others emerged 
swiftly from the sea.

Towels became raincoats 
and hats. Exiting became
our best option, though 

we were way too far 
from the safe cocoon 
of our parked car.

Clutching children and buckets 
and spades and all,
the paraphernalia of a day 

at the beach, we giggled
and ran, like drowned rats,
drenched beyond belief.

Shivering and sheltering 
under trees, saturated
but strangely happy, 

we watched rainfall morph 
into a barrage of hail, 
while lightning prevailed.

We were struck. Not by 
lightning, thankfully, but
by the way forces of nature 

were pitted against
one another in a battle 
of the elements.

Sheets of rain cascaded, 
followed by sharp stones
of hail, while thunder raged 

and electrical forks
zig-zagged and streaked 
across it all.

The heat of the day 
dissipated under this 
onslaught. And then there was 

a lull. We ran for our car, 
like prisoners released on bail.
And as we sat inside, 

trying to get dry, we knew
we would never forget 
the spectacular sight

of a summer storm 
turning day to night.
© joylenton

This summer is proving to be far too hot for serious thought which is why I’m sharing these memoir style posts about my childhood or later on. Normal service will be resumed in due course! Meanwhile, do let me know if you are enjoying this kind of post. x 😎❤️

13 thoughts on “heatwave: on being scorched and getting soaked

  1. Wow, what a storm that was! I loved your vivid descriptions and felt like I was there. I can’t even begin to imagine how miserably hot it is over there, Joy. Y’all are in our hearts and our prayers as we send cooling and healing thoughts your way!

    • I think your cooling thoughts and prayers are already being answered, Michael. This evening there has been a decided drop in temperature and the next couple of days are supposed to stay that way before it rises again. We’re so thankful for your kind thoughts and prayers and grateful for this reprieve from the searing heat! Bless you, Brother! 😊❤️🙏🏻

    • It is tough, Shirley, and pretty uncomfortable at times. Though we’re not used to having air conditioning because it’s rare for us to have such a scorching heatwave in the UK. There’s a bit of a wind this evening that feels less warm than it has recently so we are thankful for it. Bless you for your cooling blessing. It’s greatly appreciated! x ❤️

    • Dear Bettie, a brief respite has already arrived, praise God! Today and tomorrow will be mild, thankfully, before it gets pretty hot again but not as extreme as the last few days. Outside is now cooler than indoors which has absorbed and retained a lot of heat. So using the fans, plus opening windows and doors and moments spent outdoors are helping us to keep calm and carry on! Bless you for your concern and prayers, dear friend. We’re grateful for them. xo 😊💜

    • How kind of you to drop by and leave a lovely comment, Christine! I’m also seriously relieved we’re in slightly cooler climes even if the humidity has risen higher. As I write this reply, there’s even a hint of tiny raindrops dotted on our window panes. Thunderstorms are predicted and we could really do with a steady downpour, couldn’t we? Blessings of cool refreshment to you, my friend. x

      • Hi Joy, it’s definitely a relief to have the cooler temperatures and yes .. it has meant more humidity. Our house feels so warm at the moment, though it’s only 22° where we are in London. We had a little shower of rain overnight. I agree re the need for a downpour! Blessings to you too 🙏🏽 xx

      • Hi Christine, it’s much the same here in Norfolk. I think our homes have absorbed a lot of heat over a period of time and might take a while to cool down and be comfortable.

        It was a joy to see it had rained overnight. The air smelt so clean and fresh and we even had puddles. Puddles! A relief after weeks/months of drought. May more rain arrive to help save the grass, flowers and plants from being too dry! x ❤️

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