Saturday 6.05 am. Cala Deia, Mallorca: We’re in the middle of the mother of all electrical storms. It’s taken nigh on 8 hours to reach us. I first saw flashes on the far horizon around 10 pm. Thick gobbets of rain drove me in at around midnight. I slept for a few hours with the windows wide open, but then I could feel the wind building. Ozone was zinging through the air and making one’s ears sing. I shut the windows fast and unplugged my computer. The lightning was permanent by this time, as was the thunder – like a cavalry charge of the Heavy Brigade. Finally, I could take the strobe effect no longer. One’s heart was racing and one felt sick. It was impossible to look at. Seriously frightening. I shut the inner shutters and still the room was highlight through the cracks. Even now my ears are singing – and the thunder is coming back. Sweet Jesus! Hours and hours and hours of it. I should think the animals out in the fields and olive groves are rigid with fear. Frankly, the ozone is so powerful one can scarcely breathe. The rain is throwing itself down outside. The thunder seems to be walking across the water. As one’s ears clear, the rain and wind get stronger and stronger. There was a moment there when I thought all the shutters would be sucked away. One’s heart races uncontrollably – I’m thirsty as hell. This is an extraordinarily primitive feeling. It’s by far the longest storm I’ve ever experienced, at nearly 9 hours so far. Believe me, you wouldn’t have wanted to be in a sailing boat tonight. Even I felt vulnerable here in this great house. I kept my feet firmly off the floor and now, well, let’s just say I can feel my fillings. In a minute I am going to open the shutters again and take a peek. What a humdinger!! Jesus. It’s still going on, though it seems (I hope) to be away from us now. At one point it moved away and came back. Uh oh. Here it comes again. The rain is redoubling in energy. Maybe it’s going around in circles. Wow! The lightning is coming back, I think. I’ve never known anything like it. It’s simply continual. When it was over us you simply could not look out of the window – impossible. It made you sick to your stomach to look out. Like a million camera flashes all at once. It’s still difficult to breathe. And the horizon is lighting up again. We are still pre-dawn here, and the contrast is stupendous. This is the storm I saw a few years ago with C – sheet lightning. But straight over us this time. You really don’t need it. Oh fuck…I’d better switch these lights out.
6.50 am: The storm is persisting, but a fair way away now. The sea sounds like a leaking cistern through my open window. My bones hurt and my teeth are still on edge. The main storm hit us at about 5.40 – as I said, a 6 hour approach. One can hear the banging of the surf and the distant rock of thunder. The sky is still lit up from time to time, but nothing like before. On the Eastern horizon there are the beginnings of a faint luminosity – the sun, not the storm. A long way to go yet, though. A lot of water under the bridge…(Casablanca). In the distance the sky is still lighting up like Gotterdammerung….the outline of the headland is becoming gradually clearer, with the occasional distant flash of sheet lightning. One is a good deal calmer now. The actual storm itself, when it was on one, was terrifying. The only word for it is all-encompassing. Sort of takes one’s full attention!! No more sleep for me this morning, I think. Now the cicadas are starting to chirp. Bush telegraph? “Shit, Johnny, you never heard anything like it. Damn thing nearly blew my wings off.”
7.00 am: and nearly all clear….The sea has ripples on it like the back of a walrus.