Thursday, October 14, 2004

Never toy with English weather

This morning, as M was leaving the house, I asked him if he wanted to take an umbrella with him. He scoffed and said something to the effect of ‘For England’s pathetic little drizzle? Naaaah*’

We giggled about the benign weather over here and called it a few emasculating names – this was our mistake.

M is from Brisbane you see, where the tropical raindrops can give you a concussion as you run down the road trying to avoid being completely soaked. When it rains in Brisbane, the heavens open up in a veritable tsunami of dampness that can obscure the view, fill the gutters and wash away small domestic animals. M thinks the rain here is a joke.

So I walked to the local store to replenish a few supplies once he left, thinking that I could handle anything that came along just wearing a couple of t-shirts and a pair of his khaki pants (yes, I love to borrow his’s a wife thing).

As I was paying for the groceries, I heard an ominous sound...the wind was howling so loud that everything in the store stopped.

Then the rain started.

Not the usual kind of rain that seems to drift down apologetically, trying to avoid people if at all possible (it’s terribly rude to drench people, you know). It was the kind of rain that I remembered from Australia and it was battering against glass and plastic, making a terrible racket and making me realise I had severely underestimated conditions outside.

I did what any self-respecting woman does in such circumstances, I swore profusely and got on with life.

Walking outside, I was accosted by a wall of cold air and tiny droplets knocked off the larger ones as they tried to hit everything in sight and deconstruct the world. Well, there was nothing to wait for, I took a deep breath and began walking home.

Halfway there I was already squelching in wet sneakers. The last leg to the front door was all but swum before fumbling with a wet key and a wet lock as freezing droplets of water wormed their way down the back of my shirt and made their way excruciatingly slowly down my skin.

By this time I was shivering and probably looked like the kind of cat you bring home and dry in front of a fire before coaxing it to drink warm milk and checking it for any known diseases. A glimpse in the hallway mirror confirmed my suspicions of severe bedraggledness.

Now, I’m not superstitious and don’t believe in fate or destiny or luck or any such silliness...but dammit did I have a feeling that I was taught a lesson this morning.


*Naaah = ‘No’ in Aussielish. It’s a particular sound that I’ve only heard from fellow islanders.

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