My Relationship With Rain

040719

I have come to appreciate the rain. I would mostly claim to love it, although I hate what it has done to some of my shoes!

UmbrellaGrowing up in England, I know a lot about rain. I have umbrellas a plenty – one in each bag that I use regularly. I also have a mini-umbrella hanging from my front door latch, so I can grab it on my way out if I am going somewhere without a bag (which is rare – I am almost always lugging numerous bags around with me).

The only thing I don’t really like about the rain is that it often means grey overcast skies. I like blue skies. I grew up in the north west of England and  for a long time everything seemed so very grey. Grey pre-fab housing estates. Grey pavements and roads. Grey school uniforms. Grey cloudy skies. Grey grey grey.

green england.jpgHowever, after my first holiday in a hotter country which was dry, and had orange sand everywhere and very little green and hardly any flowers. I came back to England and suddenly saw not grey, but green everywhere. I realized that for so long I had been seeing grey, but there was abundant green all year round. It took me a while to realize how gorgeous England is because of all the rain that comes our way.

azaleasI grew in appreciation for the rain and I started to realize that the more rain there was, the more lush was the summer. The more rain, the more beautiful and colourful the flowers. I love what the rain does to our gardens, to the parks, to the countryside. It certainly does make England extra pretty and very lush at times.

I remember reading an article about how many countries have to conserve water carefully. I feel bad admitting it, but hardly anyone thinks about conserving water in England (except during a rare hose-pipe ban) because there seems to be an abundance of it. Although, this is probably an area where Brits do need a bit more education.

wrong shoesThere are times when I have been all dressed up and on my way to a special event when the rain has of course been inconvenient. I have had had a few disasters.

There are times when my sister’s village in North Wales is cut off because both of the bridges either side of town are flooded. As children, we sometimes found that our route to school was flooded, with as much as six feet of water pooled in the underpass under the dual carriage way that separated us from school. That meant either walking along the roadside (which had no pavement) next to cars going at 70mph, or trying to go a longer way round and hope that other underpasses were not as badly flooded.

Of course when I am wearing appropriate footwear, puddles are a completely different matter!

Living in England, I am used to rain! I have not let the rain interfere with my plans too much. I am a walker. I have walked mile after mile in pouring rain – for fun! So long as I am wearing good waterproofs, the rain does not bother me at all. But it’s all about wearing the right gear.

When it rains, I often hear a certain tune start to race through my head. The ultimate homage to that feeling of a joyful heart, smitten with love, and how that makes you feel on the rainiest of days.

_______________

This post was in response to the writing prompt provided by Sarah Elizabeth Moore:

Writing Prompt #14

The Boys In Blue

The weather forecast for London this afternoon is THUNDERY SHOWERS! I had agreed to go along with a bunch of friend to watch the boat race this afternoon. But because of the weather forecast, my enthusiasm is waning. First of all, I don’t want to get a good soaking. Secondly, the forecasters are suggesting that it might not be possible for the race to even go ahead because it is rather dangerous to stick a bunch of men in boats, each with their own lightning conductor, out in the middle of a stretch of water while there is thunder and lightning.

thundery rain.jpg

Do I want to go and watch the boys in blue? (And of course there is the women’s race too.) It is the Oxford versus Cambridge boat race today. (Oxford wear dark blue. Cambridge wear something a little like duck egg blue.) Yay! Well, it’s yay if you like rowing. It’s yay, if you like the atmosphere created by the crowds drinking beer out of plastic cups all afternoon. It’s yay, perhaps if you have an affiliation with either university.

I like boats – yes. I am not fussed about beer out of a plastic cup on a soggy afternoon. As for the two universities, I am indifferent. My uncle and one sister went to Cambridge. Another of my sisters went to Oxford. My Grandfather was more for Cambridge. I found the love of academia adopted by some of our family (but insitgated and cultivated by my Grandfather) distasteful, and I fought against the idea of going to any university, and instead threw myself into volunteering.

Let’s hope the race goes well and that nobody is struck by lightning. That would be a waste of all that academic prowess. That would be something different on the BBC News wouldn’t it…rather than Brexit headlines, a story about a BBQ boating catastrophe.

We Cannot Control The Movements Of Storm Clouds

Another post based on an e-mail I sent to Stuart during my job in Notting Hill:

Last night there must have been a terrific storm performing.  I heard rain hammering down above my rooms and grand cracks and crashes of thunderous fury.  I was so exhausted after the long day of house-keeping that I fell asleep very easily and slept the night through like a baby.

I truly thought I was going to have an easy morning today after all the work I did yesterday.  At 5.30am I was sitting up in bed, sipping coffee and thinking I would give myself “just another minute” before I jumped in the shower…when suddenly the door to my bedsit started to open gradually.  A little face appeared…it was one of the little children who live upstairs.

The children know they are not allowed to walk into my room without knocking.  We are all trying to strongly discourage them from being interested in my little abode at all.  Their father has forbidden them and he has told me I must tell them off if they go into my room.  I am not very good at shouting at children.  I respect that in some cases a parent might have to shout at their children in an effort to make them realize what they are doing is dangerous, or foolish, or wrong.  I have never been a parent and I don’t know how to shout at a child.  I try to reason with them.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t.  I don’t think I am winning with this subject.  The youngest hates being told off, he hates me trying to reason with him.  He will run away.  The only way I can catch his attention is by speaking some Mandarin Chinese to him.  He is fascinated by this.  He has only just turned five, but he is eager for me to teach him as many Chinese expressions as possible.

I often find their toys under my bed or in my bath tub.  The lodger thinks it’s funny to encourage the children to play little tricks on me. (Afterall, when I clean their rooms I use their toys to create comic scenes…at the moment Darth Vadar is reading a copy of Vogue I found lying around and one of the trolls is sitting in a toy car with a little teddy in front of the car on his back, as if he has been run over.) I found an item from my underwear drawer on one of their teddies about a week ago. I understand their curiosity, but we must instil in them a realization that my rooms are off-limits. Young children rifling through your underwear drawer is so annoying!

Understandably, I was anxious as to what he was doing walking into my bedroom.  I was about to tell him off sternly, when he whispered with an urgent tone that there was a large pool of water outside of my door.

I jumped out of bed because I realized the little munchkin was unlikely to risk getting in trouble like this if there was no truth to what he said.  He was serious. Just up the steps from my room, sure enough was a large pool of water. I asked him to go and wake his father and tell him what had happened. So, the morning turned out to be quite different to the one scheduled.  Every resident in the building has now seen each other in our nightwear.  A roofer came…well, you can imagine how the day went hey?  We all just got on with it and now peace and order are restored, and the house is still gleaming as I managed to do all the tidying up and cleaning as well as dealing with the leak / flood situation.  Another six washes have been through the machine.  The normal clothes washing and all the towels we used this morning.

Aaaah…so this leads to yet another proverb for today:

We cannot control the movements of storm clouds hey!

Storm Clouds

I really feel I need to lay my head on a pillow and have a little nap – starting work in my pyjamas is not ideal is it!  I am going to head out to see some friends.  We have planned to have a drink at a bar near the river.  It will be lovely sitting outside in the sunshine enjoying the cool evening breeze.

Aaaaaah!  I have to say on sunny days like this, England is gorgeous.  It is just the rest of the year when skies are grey, and we are blown about with gusty wind and always slightly damp because the rain seems to come at you from all directions.  We have to make the most of this sublime sunshine, because we have a problem that as yet we have never learnt to overcome.

We cannot control the movements of storm clouds.