Ciro & lightning 061 (Small)Last night, after a hot, humid day, I went to the front of the house to lock the door at just after 7pm. Looking out of the window, I stared in amazement at what I saw.

Roughly in a SE direction, I spotted sheet lightning. It was lighting up part of the sky in a semicircle, and as I watched, I noticed that it was flashing almost non-stop, with slightly varied strengths and colours.

It was followed every few seconds with a blast of fork lightning, which shot out to the left every time. But unlike usual fork lightning, it wasn’t flashing downwards. It would shoot out horizontally.

As I think I was the first one to go outside to watch it, it must have just started. I shouted to my husband and we both went into the garden, followed closely by all our neighbours. We couldn’t see them, but we called out to each other, and we were all Ooh-ing and Aah-ing  when there was a bigger than normal flash. Strangely, there was no thunder at all. Not one rumble!

We could hear phones ringing as everyone passed on the news. Apparently it could be seen for miles around! The sky was perfectly clear but a bit hazy, and filled with stars. Although in the glow of the lightning, we could see some soft, light clouds, they weren’t storm clouds, and it was pitch black on the ground.

Our Polish neighbour came home from work, where they’d all been watching the display. He said that he’d seen something like it in Poland, and it means that tomorrow will be a nice day. ‘What does it mean in England?’ he asked me.

‘It means that aliens are landing,’ I told him, which he thought was very funny!

We kept going indoors, then popping out again, fascinated, to watch what was happening.

Gradually, as the hours passed, the pauses between each batch of flashing became slightly longer. Then when we thought it was getting weaker, it would blast off again, lighting up the sky all around it.

When I went to bed and looked out of the window at 12.30, it was still flashing, but much slower, and it had shifted a bit to the left.

There were severe storms in other parts of England last night, but not a drop of rain around here. And, as I said, the sky was full of stars.

I’ve seen spectacular storms while sitting on verandas in Spain, Greece, and other countries, clutching a glass of wine and staring out to sea, but I’ve never in my life seen anything like what we watched last night.

It just wasn’t anything like normal lightning!