We were woken this morning at 6.15 by a flash of lightning and an almost simultaneous crack of thunder, and were very surprised to find that the lights still worked - usually, we lose power whenever there's a close lightning strike. It was only when the kettle, after five minutes effort, had failed to do more than gently warm the water for our tea that we realised that the wattage was miserably low - though the street lights down Pier Road was blazing away as usual.
Having phoned our electricity board, Scottish Hydro Electricity, at 6.45 to report the fault, we watched a miserable dawn, with more hail showers and Ben Hiant sporting a white cap for the first time this winter.
A little later the Clansman came up the Sound, butting into a heavy swell pushed on by the near gale force westerly. The electricity board phoned at about 9.30 to say that engineers were on the way, that it was the Ormsaigbeg spur that had been struck, and they would get back to us in an hour or so to tell us what was happening. By this time we already knew - Hughie Maclachlan had rung us with the story.
When we walked down to the location of the problem, just up the Portuairk/Sanna road from the turn, one engineer was already there and had made the site safe. Prior to that, the fallen wire was sparking all over the place and Hughie and Gillespie Cameron had had to close the road. In the picture, one of the lines running to the left from the top of the pole is missing.
By 11.00 a full team was at work and telling us that they would have power restored within the hour - but not before Scottish Hydro Electric had again rung us to give us an update. The power was back on by 11.45.
Full marks to Scottish Hydro Electric for excellent service. Now our next problem is BT - the strike took out our broadband router. Fortunately, we have a spare, but it's very slow.