Sunshine is overrated. There, I’ve said it and now you’re going to think I’m a bit weird. I don’t like going to hot places and you will always find me covered up and in the shade if the temperature is over 23 degrees. The heat makes me itchy, agitated and bad tempered. As for getting a tan, all I get are fiery blotches everywhere topped off with straw hair.
Instead you’ll find me holidaying in the Nordic countries, northern Scotland or Canada where I can wrap up in a parka jacket, scarves and gloves but when I can’t do that, I love walking in the rain, especially here in the Malvern Hills.
Growing up in the Peak District of Derbyshire, I was hardened to all kinds of weather. My mother would say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices and let’s face it, as a rule, you’re not going to die if you get wet. The rain never prevented me from tramping the woods with my Jack Russell or helping my Dad with some outside tasks. ‘Don’t be nesh,’ he’d say, a colloquialism for feeble.
As a cross country runner in my day, mainly uphill running, I relished the squelching of the mud under my studded boots and my thin running vest clinging to my skin. My fringe would be plastered to my forehead as the water ran down my cheeks. I loved it. Rain made me feel fresh, alive, renewed, just as it does now, even when it trickles down my neck or nose I laugh.
The rain can be drizzling, mizzling, spluttering, spitting, driving, pouring, spotting or hammering. Look at the fabulous range of words and idioms we can use to describe it.
Singin’ In The Rain with Gene Kelly was one of the most successful musicals ever filmed so there must be something in that glorious feeling that some of us share.
I have a friend who takes a golf umbrella everywhere he goes, just in case it rains. Fortunately he’s over six foot so it’s unlikely that too many people will find themselves minus an eye but let’s face it, they are unwieldly and unnecessary except for those people who shudder at the idea of the damp and cold seeping into their bones.
In the seventies I lived in Vancouver, a rainy city, and couldn’t understand why so many people, mainly incomers, complained about it. It was the one thing guaranteed to quell any homesickness.
Did you know that hearing the pattering of rain against the window is one of the most peaceful sounds nature has given us? If we are warm, cosy and safe that is. For others, it can be the most miserable. I understand that having spent two nights in a tent which collapsed under the weight of a downpour. Any idea of romance was soon washed away.
Rain provides us with all kinds of excuses not to do something. Meet up with friends, go out to a night class, go shopping or meet obligations which require donning rainwear.
I say, put on your waterproof, take your telescopic umbrella if you must but get out there. Turn your face to the skies, close your eyes and drink in nature’s nectar.
I believe Rowan Atkinson once said, ‘I love walking in the rain because no one can see me crying.’ Now there’s a thought.