The wind truly howled last night. The storm came in and the rain battered hard against the windows, keeping me awake half the night and making me almost believe we had been magically transported up into the mountains. Every so often I would hear a scrape outside as someone’s bins went past, or a For Sale sign from further down the street, and I wondered idly if, by morning, we would have accumulated a harvest of poorly-secured neighbourhood trampolines in the garden.
When morning dawned, the recycling boxes were scattered around the garden but nothing seemed to have blown in and nothing blown out. By the time I sat down at my desk with my second cup of tea, the wind had abated, the rain stopped, and the sky was clear and blue. It looked as if it was going to be a fine bright sunny day, and the weather forecast concurred that no more rain would be coming.
Even though there were reports from the Bristol colleagues of hailstorms so violent they were setting off car alarms, the weather here still seemed positively bright and friendly by midday, and the forecast still promised peaceful sunny calms. I set out for my daily walk without a coat, wary that with one I would overheat. Nevertheless, when I was at my furthest from home, the sky began to darken. The further hilltops faded from view. First fat, heavy fast-blown drops of rain fell on me, as I trudged down a muddy lane; then sharp-stinging hailstones a few millimetres across. I stopped by the wall of one of the village chapels, noting how the village on the other side of the valley had faded into murk and disappeared.
By the time I reached home again, the sky was clear and the sun was out, but I was chilly and damp. I probably shouldn’t trust the weather forecast quite so much next time.