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Thunderplumps and rainbows and other magical things…

May 20th, 2008 · 12 Comments

Hmmm… with a title like that, you’re entitled to think I’ve lost the plot or something.

Let me see if I can explain.

I love this thing called blogging. And I love the connections that the internet brings my way, that allow me to make friends in far off places. If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d know two wonderful women in Scotland, I might not have laughed in your face, but I certainly would have been sceptical, no matter how shiny your crystal ball.

But wonder of wonder, the crystal ball would have been correct. I have met (virtually) and got to know Joanna Young, who is now a good friend and a valued contributor to The Calm Space. Through Joanna, I met Amy Palko, and her beautiful photography graced this month’s Breathing Space.

Ever since hubby and I spent time driving through Scotland in our just-married and childless years we have loved the place. It doesn’t hurt that I married a Wallace – and that my father-in-law’s name is William! We both can trace our roots back to that small, cold, so-picturesque country on the other side of the world.

I have often said I want to go backand have Christmas in Scotland in a castle … coldness and open fires and woolly jumpers and mulled wine and snow balls and all that magical, fairy-tale stuff that a hot summer Christmas in Australia just isn’t conducive to.

Um… so what does this have to do with the title of this post?

Well… the Scots, you see, they have their own language. Yes, they speak ‘English’ but they have another, beautifully rich and evocative language that is uniquely theirs. And sometimes they talk about things, and I have no idea what they are talking about.

Recently Joanna went to Chicago for SOBCon08 and gave Brad Shorr a book of Scottish words and phrases. Brad gleefully shared some intriguing words from the book. One of them was Thunderplump.

Say it out loud. Thunderplump. mmmm…

I read his post (thanks to a pointer from Rosa - another magical connection) right after a thunderplump had passed through here on Saturday.

Here’s a couple of the photos I took (as inspired by Amy, I’m learning to see things through a lens…)

The storm hits! What a downpour...

Typical sub-tropical storm – came in from the west and down it poured. The gutters just cannot cope…

the storm leaves as fast as it came, over the mountains and far away...

The storm retreats over the mountains to the north…

The beauty of a rainbow to the east… taken from my front door. Hope remains.

Yes, a thunderplump is a thunderstorm… don’t you love it? Can’t you just hear the word, rolling around the mouth before exploding out in a barrage of scottishness?

What magical things have exploded in your world lately?

Tags: Calm Space · Heart and Home · Noticing Miracles

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joanna Young // May 20, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Thunderplump – funny, I’ve never heard this word before! Just as you say, this world of blogging keeps us connected…

    By the way it’s warm and sunny here today, nowhere like it in May… though I can understand the appeal of cold, snowy Christmas in a castle too…


    PS Love the pictures! Isn’t Amy great at inspiring us to look at things differently?

  • 2 amypalko // May 21, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I just love this post, Karen :-) So pleased to have inspired you to take these truly breathtaking photographs. A perfect thunderplump indeed!

  • 3 Darren Daz Cox // May 22, 2008 at 4:12 am

    I love the feeling of being just out of the storm under the porch when it’s warm enough to be outside!

  • 4 Karen Swim // May 23, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Karen, I loved your photographs and in them it reminds me what Amy has said about sharing your world with others through your lens. I share your warm feelings about the blogging community too. It is wonderful that this medium of expression has enabled us to connect to so many from around the world.

  • 5 Bob // May 25, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Hi, Karen, wonderful post and really lovely sequence of photos. Thank you.
    About “thunderplumps” – an old lady I remember from childhood used to just say “plumps” – in fact, I can still “hear” her say, as she looked up at a dark, foreboding sky, “Aye, looks like plumps!”

  • 6 karen // May 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Oh wow, guys. Sorry I haven’t replied to your wonderful comments before now – I have been away for a weekend ‘respite’ with my husband…

    @Joanna, isn’t it interesting you haven’t heard this word before? Thanks for the comment, and I feel a verra strong connection to you…

    @Amy, thank you – you truly are an inspiration to me. I have just been away for the weekend to a breathtaking place in the country (it felt like we were on top of the world) and took more photos than I care to count. Now I just need time to load and fiddle, and you’ll see the results. Thanks so much for being you.

  • 7 karen // May 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    @Darren, thanks for coming back… I love a good storm, and most of the time here in Queensland it’s warm enough to be on the ‘porch’ (we call ours the verandah) as long as the wind isn’t blowing in from the north and driving the rain under.

  • 8 Wendi Kelly // May 30, 2008 at 5:28 am

    What a great word! I followed over on Amy’s links Less Ordinary. Her recommendations are always right on target!

    What a wonderful site you have and amazing pictures! Your site reminds me a lot of Amy’s and I do mean that to be the highest compliment.

  • 9 karen // Jun 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    @Karen – thank you. That warmth of connection and friendship is very special, isn’t it? I feel that this online community has introduced some amazing people into my life, and I am so blessed to have them come visit me here and leave their kind words – you’re definitely on that list.

    I’ve noticed Joanna starting to call us the “two Karen’s”… and I am honoured to be included in the same mouthful as you!

  • 10 karen // Jun 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    @Bob! Wow – thanks for visiting, and so sorry for my tardy reply to your kind comment. You’re so welcome here.

    Oooh… your tale of the old lady saying “Aye, looks like plumps” gave me goosebumps! I wish you could leave audio comments – I’d love to hear you say that with the brogue.

  • 11 karen // Jun 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    @Wendi – thanks for following… that’s the way we welcome new friends in this magical, online world, isn’t it?

    I am so honoured that you find my site reminding you of Amy’s. That is the highest praise to me, thank you.

    I hope you’ll come back and visit again.

  • 12 Karen Swim // Jun 3, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Karen, I share that honor! You make me proud to be called Karen. I love what you’re doing here and I am so happy to have found you. I love our Scottish ladies and am amazed at how they have wrapped their arms around us all. :-)

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