A rumble of thunder is always a cue to unplug computers in our district. Everyone remembers when the local power lines got struck by lightning a decade ago and wiped out the innards of most computers, even some that were switched off but still plugged into the mains. New computers are supposed to be fitted with anti-surge devices but anyone ever seriously inconvenienced by a lightning strike is unlikely to take the risk again.

Last week’s daily thundery showers meant being unplugged a great deal of the time, which is not a problem with modern computer batteries, but which led to discussions about how often the UK gets this number of thunderstorms. It turns out that by the weekend most of the country had already exceeded the average for a whole year. CONTINUE