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stephen gun
Ina and I were sitting down watching (Lord help us) Bargain Hunt while we ate our lunch, and I recovered from painting the box room and she recovered from a morning dealing with Draco, when it started to rain like billy-oh. A few minutes later we started getting lightning and thunder and Ina remarked that the storm was right overhead.

There was a bang. There were a number of bangs, actually. Then the rain stopped. Looking idly out of the window, I noticed what was either steam or smoke rising against the green of the bamboo. Looking out of the window, I realised that said smoke/steam was coming from the far end of the cat run, where the insulated house is. I charged down to take a look.

There wasn't a lot of it, but it was definitely smoke, and it was definitely coming from off the bitumen roof of the run (or the fence behind it, or the golden hop that smothers it.) I grabbed a garden chair, filled the watering can, stood on the chair, and watered the roof of the run good and hard, while yelling for Ina to join me. (She was hanging out of the living room window.)

The smoke died immediately, and has not come back. We couldn't find the source, but it looks like we had a close strike that set either the roof bitumen or the hop or the wood smouldering, but the rain was so hard it put it out immediately, and I was left to deal with what was left. We are keeping an eye on it - I know how long things can smoulder - but it has started to rain again, so I think we are okay.

The cat run isn't insured, and it is too close to the house for total comfort. If we hadn't been retired, or home, we might have lost more than our peace of mind.

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Definitely a bit too close for comfort! Glad it seems to be under control now. And at least you can be fairly sure it won't happen again. My problem is heavy rain - I have a leak somewhere in the chimney breast which makes the ceiling drip if it rains very hard in a short time, so I have to drape plastic bags over my telly and such if I think it's going to bucket down.

Got to love the English weather, eh? ;-)

With us it's the gutters. Whoever designed this block of six townhouses in the 60s thought the roof drainage would work with only two downpipes on each side of the block, one at each end.

It still doesn't.

Our house is upwards of 200 years old, and it's pretty sound in most ways. I just need my cousin to poke around in the ceiling and find out exactly where the water's getting in. It's not the roof itself as he checked all that last year and it was sound. Just had a downpour before Torchwood started, and the ceiling started leaking almost at once, but it's find now. It's only a small patch about the diameter of a large cup, so it's fairly easy to contain, but it's almost over my TV, which sits on the end of the desk, so you can imagine I worry a bit when it rains really hard :-) But it does have to chuck it down, steady rain generally doesn't cause any trouble.

Eek! That was decidedly too close for comfort . . .

It's bucketing it down here, and the bottom panel has rotted and fallen out of my back garage door. At least the freezer is on a platform . . .

The storm is back right now. However, I think the lightning will normally go for the church tower, or the big trees in Hainault forest...

Oof! That sounds like a lucky escape.

Even more luckily we hadn't put any cats in the run. Hence our lack of complete panic.

Lucky escape indeed! Did you notice an odd smell? Lightning strikes typically leave an ozone smell behind. It is very distinctive, and once you've smelled it, you will never forget it. Living in Tennessee, I've had the (dubious) pleasure of several lightning strikes in my life.

Yes, though there was also a smell of smoke.

Eek! I'm glad it turned out okay. This is exactly why I don't like storms - and there's a massive one directly above my head right now. :(

Ours is back and rumbling as I type.

I am so glad you and the cats are all safe. that is very scary.

Well, if there was an trace left it is out now - it has been raining most of the afternoon and we just had another thunderstorm.

Is Cambridge missing them?

No, we have them too. Horus is not impressed.

The reaction of our cats seem divided by sex. The boys hide. The girls sit on the windowsills and watch the lightning.

Dracopup growled at the thunder, but was otherwise unmoved.

A miss is as good as a mile and it takes a heck of a lot of fire to start a brick house burning from outside.

The cable TV run just outside my bedroom was hit by lightning once (Back in Sheffield) Apart from scaring the hell out of me and Sandy, it did little damage.

I remember the occasion well. It came down the cable into the TV (though did no damage.) There was a hell of a bang and ten stone of dog levitated onto the sofa and lay there shivering...

We have way too many electrical storms here in the so California high desert ... in fact, we had a tree cracked in half by a lightning strike but it was a long way to the rear of our property and way away from the house. That is to say, while I can understand something of what you're feeling, yours was a lot worse than what we had. Yikes.

You know the definition of an "English Summer"? Three hot days and a thunderstorm?

I bet your storms are more spectacular!

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