Don’t you DARE!!

rain

Like many people i confess i have been hiding indoors lately avoiding the ever present rain. I do not really mind the rain as a rule but i have no crazy desire to run out into it when i have no need. Not being a driver sometimes does limit my plans but mostly i tend to just get on with things whatever the weather. The rain however has been excessively heavy of late and exceptionally cold so i have been content to merely admire it from my window.  There is something rather relaxing about the rhythmic drumming of the rain against a window pane. 

Alas though i am a little of a magpie at times and when i see something i want i do not let a little thing like rain deter me at all. Seeing a collection of books pop up for sale on a local selling site, my eyes lit up at the sight of a beautiful hardback book about my beloved Lancaster bombers. I just HAD to have this book and two others besides so i quickly rattled off a message to the seller asking could i PLEASE have those books. At bargain prices, a little thing like precipitation was not going to deter me!!

Thankfully the designated sale and time agreed, i was relieved to see the sky had cleared and with a favourite catchy tune ringing in my ears i set off on my mission to the other side of town. You will be relieved to know i did not sing out loud since i really did not wish to inflict my tuneless warblings upon  an unsuspecting public. I rather think the rain would be punishment enough without an onslaught upon their eardrums! But so musically engrossed was i that i did not at first notice a rapidly darkening sky.

”oh no” i exclaimed on spotting the angry looking sky above my head ” Dont you DARE!!”

Yes i confess i have a habit of talking to just about anything and this was no exception. Still obviously the weather was in no mood to listen as a big fat raindrop plopped right onto the end of my nose.

‘Don’t you DARE” i repeated and began to hurry a little faster.

Wasted words, it seems i am no weather whisperer and the heavens opened around me with a rather emphatic whoosh. I actually stopped, put my hands on my hips, looked skyward and snapped half amusedly ”Thanks a LOT!”

Now at this point my boyfriend would be chuckling for i had an expression he finds most amusing. I have a terrible habit of screwing my mouth up to one side in a wry expression that he  finds extremely comical. But yes there was i with my wry expression, rolling my eyes in resignation, hands on hips talking to the sky. Still there was nothing to be done but carry on walking and as little rivers began to run along the road i hurried to the house i was bound for.  

Thankfully the walk was not far and books collected i hurried for home with trickles of rain running down my neck. Cold now i tried to hurry faster when..

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Somohow the rain had gotten into the soles of my trainers and each step was making an air whoosing squeak. By now my socks were getting rather sodden also and i cursed whichever genuis had decided ventilation holes would be an ideal design. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Swiftly i looked around hoping there was nobody around to hear and stamped my feet hard hoping to stamp out the water. My walk had become a little more of a plod as i  squelched merrily in my shoes, rain running like a waterfall from the end of my nose. I guess i am lucky i have an upturned nose i mused for a second, having images of myself with a hook nose and a mouth full of water. This of course made me giggle and im sure any passer by would have found me rather odd with my drowned rat appearance, giggling madly at who knows what. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish EEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Definitely getting louder i realised as i hurried along with Olly Murs singing chirpily in my ears. 

”Dear Darling, please forgive my EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish… i cant stop my hands from shaking EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish, i miss you EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish squish EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe”

So as Olly and i hurried home, in a rhythm of squishing eeeeeeeeeee’s and chirpy singing, i decided that perhaps just sometimes i do mind the rain after all. Nicely topped off by a passing car that flung a nicely timed tidal wave in my direction i decided that in future i shall only go out of my house when the skies are raindrop free. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! 

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Is that for your husband dear?

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Hunting madly through the kitchen drawer i really was far from impressed to find that yet again a screwdriver famine had descended over my once well stocked tool kit. Over the months various members had ‘borrowed’ items and as usual either lost or not returned them home leaving me with few sorry items hiding away in a huddle. What should have been a simple task of changing a vacuum cleaner belt was now turning into something far more complicated but then this is my house what did i expect? The one remaining Phillips screwdriver lurking in the depths of the drawer was far too short for the very deep screws so thoughtfully designed by the people at VAX. Heaving a sigh i eyed the rain resignedly, decided to brave the weather and trudged my way up to a local hardware store. Humming along  to tunes on my ipod i abandoned my very wobbly and now soaking umbrella at the door and headed for the tool section. I decided that whilst i was here perhaps now would be a good time to price up a new tool kit since i’d had one on my to buy list for quite some time and not gotten around to it. 

The store itself is very haphazard, cluttered and narrow which makes viewing items properly quite difficult. Far from being hung in uniform military precision as in the larger department stores , these items were much more scattered and overflowing. Deciding to save time i approached a shop assistant for advice which i normally do not do, much preferring to ponder my own choices. Explaining what i wanted the kit to contain i smilingly asked to be shown suitable items at a reasonable price. Immediately afterwards my smile faded and i gaped as the shop assistant blithely asks ”Is this for your husband dear?”

”Ummmmm, no actually its for me” I announced confidently ”i dont have a husband”

Her eyes opened wider and she swept her gaze over my red lipstick, down to my heeled boots and finally settled on my finger polished nails before quietly exclaiming ”OH!!”  

Hmmmm had she been an elderly lady i might have understood but this woman was younger than i am so perhaps she should not have been surprised at a woman buying herself a toolkit. I debated telling her that i can quite happily accomplish all manner of DIY tasks from unblocking a U bend to repairing electrical items. As for flat pack furniture well there i’m almost an expert and super speedy and the go to gal amongst my friends when any is purchased. Showing me two or three less robust kits in between sideways glances i rolled my eyes as she was clearly showing me the more ‘delicate’ end of the range. Definitely not what i was after i want a proper tool kit that can withstand anything i throw at it not a pretty pink barbie kit!! 

Chuckling to myself i decided that perhaps one of the bigger department stores might be more realistic and instead settled for buying the size screwdriver i wanted for the job at hand. Shoving it into my bright red handbag i had to smile at the rather incongruous picture it surely presented to her. So they say the world is much more equal these days do they? Perhaps not so much as you would imagine after all! Ah well, time to go and file my nails whilst baking a cake i think. Tea anyone??

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who do you think you are

We spend our lives surrounded by people, everywhere all around us interacting yet solitary, dimly aware yet so absorbed in our own lives we take little notice of those around us. I like to people watch, i have a strange curiosity about the people around me and i often wonder who they are and where they are going as they rush along oblivious in their own daily lives. The old lady, face screwed up, bent almost double as she battles the wind and rain clutching a battered old shopping bag to her chest. You can see she doesn’t like the rain, her very haste and whole aura of distaste make it very plain as she forges on and tries to hurry just that little bit faster. Where is she going? does she have a doting husband waiting patiently for her return,missing his companion, glancing now and then at the clock to anticipate her return  or does she return to a home silent but for the cries of a ragged looking tabby pacing anxiously by the door. The workman, lunchbox under one arm walking rapidly and purposefully towards his destination, glancing neither left or right in his desire to get out of the cold. He’s less obvious in his distaste but nonetheless you can tell he wishes he was somewhere else. Is there a wife bustling around making dinner whilst children watch with noses pressed to window, waiting to hurl themselves at him as he crosses the threshold or does he return to a darkened house and a meal for one, to take early to his bed unable to bear the solitude for too long a time. The child, oblivious to anything but the pure glee of splashing with reckless abandon through puddles of muddy rain, pulled along by a mother desperate to get home and not inclined to linger like the child. Does he go home to be smothered in a warm towel before perching on a chair, heels swinging, to await the return of rain sodden family members complaining loudly in a clamorous throng about the weather and the journey home or maybe its is not his mother after all and he will not infact see a parent until long after he has retired for the night, greeted only by a perfunctory kiss on the sleeping childs forehead.

And then i wonder if someone else is watching in me and wondering who i am and where i’m going. I try to see myself from the outside and wonder what i would think of me if i were them. Do they see me? Do they know that i dont mind the rain and am in no hurry to get to my destination. Do they notice that i watch them and wonder at their daily likes or maybe notice the small skip around a puddle and think that some recent event has made me want to share a happiness with the world. Do they know that im the one that goes home to the meal for one but later greeted by the family members bewailing the english weather. I wonder what they see when they look at me, do they even see me at all??

Only in England

Finally after weeks of uncharacteristic rain worthy of an Indian monsoon we finally get to see a little sun here, two whole days in a row and hopefully counting. Whilst temperatures in England may be far from the norm for this time of year it is nonetheless pleasantly warm and skies of a glorious blue. For many it is a relief to put away the umbrella, shrug off the coats and woolly sweaters and bask in the rays of a long forgotten sun. 

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But this is after all England and we would not be so very English were it not for our quirks and oddities that in any other country would raise an eyebrow or be distinctly frowned upon. 7am on a Sunday morning and child next door is outside in a paddling pool screeching and bellowing at the top of his voice waking those who, having worked hard all week, are enjoying a Sunday morning lie in. Not for much longer it seems. Yes the sun is out but it is far from pool weather especially at such a time of day but as is so typical of us the first sign of sun prompts us to behave as though we had suddenly become a country much more tropical than we are.                    

                                                      

Everywhere girls parade in outfits so tiny as to be almost non-existent, clothing more worthy of some Caribbean beach than a less temperate day in the far milder west. To their favour my last boyfriend adored these much younger scantily clad girls and had perfected the art of double take and 270 degree turns of the head in a most impressive way. Chance it to say that being so very typically English has its merits for some after all. 

Next comes the supermarket, now this has only brought me here in search of a pint of milk for my coffee but is already packed with shoppers fighting frantically over the last package of bread rolls for the requisite barbecue on an English day with some semblance of sun. Overweight men, shirtless and sweating parade the aisles shuffling along in the flip flops they are so unused to wearing but which are rapidly dusted off as the day looks set to be fine. This is not a sight i wish to see and should i go to any other country i expect i would not but here it is just another average sight. Oblivious and totally uncaring as to how they appear to others, red faced and already grumbling about the heat yet it is not yet the hottest part of the day.

So funny a race we British, we complain constantly about the rain or the snow and welcome the sun with all the abandon of welcoming a lover after a long absence yet so very rapidly we revert to type and grumble instead over the heat and the lack of breeze. After many weeks of rain and constant wishing for sun from the masses, ironically, should the weather hold, in a few days time the wishes will be the total reverse. You cannot help but laugh and wonder if it is just in the nature of we English to need something to grumble about and surmise that as a result we should never be happy no matter which situation should present itself. 

As i go about my daily business today i cannot deny i shall be tipping my face up to the sun and enjoying the warmth of it while it is here but as much as i enjoy a barbecue i shall not be battling the queues for a fight over supplies. Should it rain tomorrow i shall not mind that at all so perhaps i am not so typically English as all that. I wonder are we the only ones to have such typical behaviour or if it is a norm that occurs everywhere wherever we go. 

I wonder

Avoid getting wet

As anyone who lives anywhere near me will tell you, today it rained. I expect it was the same for much of the country but when i say it rained i mean it came down in sheets, really heavy torrents of rain. Having already got a soaking on the way home from the gym i pretty much hoped that was it for the day and since i had the dentists this afternoon i knew i had no choice but to go out. Dear daughter number one duly piped up and volunteered to accompany me and i was happy enough of the company. 

So 3pm and the sun has disappeared but the sky remains dry as we ventured off into town and the dreaded event awaiting me. Actually it wasn’t too bad but just as we emerged a very darkened sky burst showering us with big, fat, cold raindrops and no chance of shelter. My hooded coat was still drying out back at home so i was stuck with second hoodless one and pretty much fathomed i was going to get wet.Cue internal shrug and  an air of ‘oh well’.  As the rain continued to pour rivers began running down the streets matching the ones running down my hair and into my neck and puddles already remaining from earlier began to reach larger proportions causing us to hop over them.

I actually wasn’t that concerned but dear daughter who had sadly decided to wear ugg style boots was now squelching along complaining loudly. She doesn’t realise but she is actually very funny when getting cross which she does very easily and loves to complain. If dear daughter is not happy then you can be sure EVERYONE will know about it. So as we hurried along i was trying desperately to hide a smirk as dear daughters complaining turned into a rant. Now anyone who has seen the cartoon Dastardly and Mutley and seen Mutley when he gets cross will easily envisage what i mean. A non stop stream of loudly muttered complaints and curses, freely decorated with bouts of sarcasm and you could almost see the dark cloud glowering above her head.

Me?I laughed. I trudged along soaked to the skin with rain running down every free space and i laughed. The more she ranted the funnier i found it which didn’t go down too well and in mild temper she started to stamp her feet hard which given the way people walk in ugg style boots reminded me of a duck and made me laugh all the harder. Of course this only resulted in her stomping into a really deep puddle totally soaking any part of her that wasn’t already wet. So this how we got home, she and i, her glowering and ranting and me laughing so hard i could hardly walk. I have no doubt she did not intend to be funny but oh, she was. 

Of course i am nice and on reaching my home i did give her dry shoes and socks and placate her with coffee but something tells me that in future it might be a good idea to avoid getting dear daughter wet!!

Just Singing in the Rain

I’ve always had a saying, one i invented myself but pretty much sums up the way i see the world…

‘LIFE HAS A FUNNY WAY OF WORKING OUT EXACTLY HOW ITS MEANT TO NO MATTER WHAT WE TRY AND DO ABOUT IT’

Do i believe it? Yes of course i do. Call me optimistic, unrealistic, whatever you choose for i shall not mind at all. Yes i have been told i have a Pollyanna attitude to life but i have always had a steadfast refusal to be anything less than positive and so far this has served me pretty well. 

I remember a year ago, one very grey stormy day when the rain fell in sheets and raindrops bounced upon the pavement looking for all the world like they were trying to get back where they came from. I waited and waited hoping that it would ease and i could make a mad dash on an unavoidable errand but it didn’t stop. It rained and rained and rained. It pretty much summed it all up when i peered out of my window and saw a small duck sheltering under the tree at the bottom of my garden.

Regardless of this i had no choice but to leave the warm dry comfort of my home and battle the weather but then i stopped and thought that hey, i had no choice so i could either smile and make the best of it or be miserable and make the whole thing ten times worse. 

Half an hour later with most colourful umbrella twirling around over my head i was skipping through the puddles humming ‘Singing in the Rain’  watching all the unsmiling faces huddled into coats, head down against the rain and i had to smile and shake my head for i actually wasn’t minding it so much at that point. Yes my socks were wet and yes a stray raindrop was trickling down my nose but it made me laugh and i shook my wet head crazily much in the manner of a very soggy puppy. 

Humming my way through the puddles i was slightly startled out of my skip and sing routine, which amazingly for me was rather in tune, by a hand on my arm and i splashed to a stop . An elderly gentleman clutched my sleeve,rain running down his cap and disappearing into his collar, and smiled at me. ”Do you know” he said to me ”yours is the only smiling face i have seen today and you’ve made my day”. Of course i beamed at him and explained my philosophy and he chuckled and thanked me.

As he shuffled off i stood and listened for as he walked i could faintly hear him humming…Singing in the Rain.

I often remember that elderly gentleman and i feel glad that i made him smile for had i given in to instinct i could so easily have been yet another gloomy face in an already gloomy sky. 

I may be a Pollyanna, but strangely i do not find this an insult but instead much of a compliment. And whenever lifes skies are grey i shall twirl my colourful umbrella, hum my little tune and smile at those that pass me by. For i have found that often that little ray of sunshine is just enough to lighten someones rainstorm and who knows you may just, if you’re lucky, make someones day. 

                                                 I’m singing in the rain
                                                Just singing in the rain
                                                 What a glorious feelin’
                                                     I’m happy again
                                               I’m laughing at clouds
                                                So dark up above
                                              The sun’s in my heart
                                              And I’m ready for love
                                         Let the stormy clouds chase
                                            Everyone from the place
                                             Come on with the rain
                                            I’ve a smile on my face
                                              I walk down the lane
                                              With a happy refrain
                                                   Just singin’,
                                              Singin’ in the rain

 

Lyrics courtesy of Arthur Freed

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