20 May 2010
It’s that soul-sapping energy-eating spirit-quenching windcheater-cheating sort of rain. The kind that when you go inside, through the first open door where they serve coffee, which naturally is at least fifteen minutes away from your location when the rain first came down, makes you discover all the inlets in your wet-weather clothing you never knew were there.
‘Would you like to borrow an umbrella?’, says the kind man in the coffee shop. I try to make him understand that, actually, I wouldn’t, because while it’ll get me home in a slightly drier state, I’ll then need another trip out into the rain just so that I can take him his umbrella back. Not to mention that I’m bound to break umbrellas. Even if I do venture out to bring it back, the frame will be twisted or the spokes hanging off. Those umbrellas you see jammed into litter bins every time a storm comes off the Channel? Yes, those are the micro-light umbrella I bought from Boots and the tiny one that even fits the handbag the size of a hard drive I take on evenings out and the tall one the size of a walking stick I once took from a relative’s umbrella stand. Except they’re not, because I got tired of buying what were essentially disposable umbrellas, and I invested in a ski-slope-worthy winter coat, where even the Velcro fasteners have Velcro fasteners.
The ski-slope coat is currently a couple of hundred miles away from me, because, of course, it never rains there like that this time of year.