This is not going to be an amusing post. Or an informative one. Or even, it must be said, a vaguely interesting one. And, happily for everyone involved, it also won’t be very long.
Because, I’m just too depressed to bother.
It has, you see, been raining quite a bit lately. I’ll go further, it has been raining, heavily, for as long as I can remember. And, I’m not saying that lightly. I honestly can’t recall a single point in my life when water wasn’t leaking, spurting or pouring from the sky. When cycling to work wasn’t an endurance act. When walking the dog on the Common wasn’t like taking part in a World War I re-enactment of life in the trenches. Except, of course, for the lack of gun fire, and barbed wire, and enemy troops. We do have the mud, though, and the puddles and the grey, sodden people with vacant looks in their eyes.
In true British fashion, everyone was taking it in their stride for the first few months but, just lately, the novelty has worn off. The good-natured “mustn’t grumble” has turned somewhat darker. People are beginning to not only grumble, but to downright complain.
And get a bit touchy. Tourists have been flocking here ‘for the weather’. Apparently, as hard as this is to believe, there are places in the universe where it is hot and sunny, where ‘your eyeballs hurt in the heat’ and where ‘it’s like trying to breathe while inside a furnace’. And so, people lucky enough to live in such paradises are arriving on our sodden shores in search of moisture. They are talking ecstatically about the prospect of using a rain coat, and an umbrella and, even, wellies.
I know, I find it hard to believe too, but it’s true. I just hope that these insane people are astute enough to keep those subversive thoughts to themselves, because the native population has lost its collective sense of humour on this topic, and sense of proportion, and grasp on what is permissible to do to aberrant people in a civilised society. I’ll say no more. You know who you are. And, you have been warned.
Although scientists are trying to explain to us why this is happening and are drawing diagrams about misplaced jet streams and clashing weather fronts, no one is listening. Honestly, who really cares about the where and the why. All we want to know is the ‘how long’.
And that is one thing the scientists are not telling us. And so, the bargaining with the gods of weather has begun. As in ‘It’s ok for now, as long as it has stopped raining in time for…the Olympics, Christmas, my grand-daughter’s wedding in 2023’. Of course, it won’t work. The weather gods are not listening. But, it does make us feel a bit better, as if we have some control over all this, as if we are doing something to make it stop.
And, who knows, perhaps it will stop. Someday. Stranger things have happened.
But, in the meantime, I’m off to stand in the pouring rain, in a muddy field to hear Paul Simon singing about being warm and dry and in South Africa, among other things. My cousin Robin, who is from a desert, thinks it will be fun. He’s also paying. I did toy with the idea of turning down this offer. I am, after all, sick of being wet…but, I’m not crazy. At least not yet. A few more weeks of this though, and it may be another story entirely.
Not Leo Tolstoy (aka Eileen Riley)