After yesterday’s post about what a glorious day it was, this was the view from my bus this morning:
Welcome to an Irish summer. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Last week, as you all know, was not one of my better weeks and I was too pissed off to write about being pissed on, but my disposition is now sunny enough to write about rain.
I realise that since I live in Ireland the rest of this sentence is not a real surprise, but last Thursday morning it rained.
And what rain it was. It fell downwards, it blew sideways, it may even have rained upwards for a while. It lasted for only five minutes or so, but they were the five minutes during which I walked from my bus stop across the river to my office.
I had an umbrella, but an umbrella is simply a hat with a handle, it protects your head but little else. My shoes, trousers and for some reason the hair on the back of my neck (I may have been slapped by an unintentionally flying fish as I crossed the bridge) were all soaked by the time I arrived at work.
I sat down at my computer. It was not a pleasant experience. My trousers were cold and damp, and I could feel my legs rapidly becoming the same.
I was in danger of drowning by osmosis.
Then I had this idea:
I typed standing up for an hour, by which time my trousers were dry and I could once again let them touch my delicate skin.
It’s the kind of thing you can only get away with if you work in a room with just one other person, a girl who has known you for over seven years now and is already well aware that you are nuts.
I’m really proud of myself, though. It surely is the ultimate example of thinking outside the box.
I’m on a break. Even prisoners get out into the fresh air occasionally, otherwise how would they organise breakouts, play football against the Nazis, leak dirt out down their trouser legs (er, that last phrase needs a bit of work, might come back to it later) or do any of the other deeds without which the world of film would have fewer stories. So I have just a few minutes to relate this tale of what happened at the weekend.
It rained on Saturday evening. Serious rain, and coming from an Irish person that’s bad. The rain fell straight downward in painful, soup-like blobs. Think of the bit of Singin’ in the Rain where Gene Kelly stands underneath the broken drainpipe, and then be told that it was heavier than that.
Only the hardy would have ventured out to the pub on such a night. Only the foolhardy would have left the pub before the rain stopped. Only the fool would have left the pub with no umbrella.
Anyway, I was walking home from the pub through the rain with no umbrella when I could actually feel the water trickling into my pocket. I clenched my ipod in one hand and my mobile in the other, fearful of what the rain might do to them. When I got through the front door I deposited both on the hall table, then removed absolutely all my clothes (calm yourselves, girls) and stood under the shower, which, though it is a power shower, was not as heavy as the rain. When I came out I took all the wet clothes and deposited them on the floor in front of the washing machine, since it was running at the time.
Yesterday afternoon I was watching football when I realised that something was nagging at me. I had passed the hall table several times during the day and in my mind’s eye I could picture the ipod, my house key and my phone sitting there. I went to the hall and looked and, sure enough, there was no sign of my wallet.
I looked under the table, I looked beside the table and then, as you do, I looked on the table again. Then I looked in my coat pocket, though I never leave my wallet there. There was only one place left.
In my jeans, in the washing machine, I found my wallet. There was no money in it (that seems to be the default setting of my wallet these days), but there was my brand new monthly bus ticket, all 98 Euro worth, just waiting to begin its month’s work this morning. There was also my Pacemaker Identification Card, which is not, as you may have imagined, a sturdy indestructible plastic thing, but is essentially a folded up piece of cardboard with an awful lot of vital information about me written on it. In biro.
Luckily, though, we hadn’t actually turned the washing machine on. All we’d done was unload the previous wash, stick this lot in, and then left it there. After all, if we’d turned it on we’d just have had to empty it again later, and that’s too much work for a Sunday.
Just as well we’re lazy.
Since Tuesday was our anniversary and we were going out I decided to take the rest of the week off, if only because I still had 27 days holidays left and the year is now more than half over.
So I’m off now until Monday, although any of my Irish readers who saw yesterday’s Irish Times would have already guessed that. They’d have seen this:
and thought “oh, looks like Tinman’s on holiday”.
Guess I’ll be watching a lot of TV.
Last night it rained all night. I love it when that happens.
I love waking two or three times during the night, hearing the rain bounce off the flowerpots, garden furniture and general clutter of the Tinbackgarden, and snuggling down and going back to sleep.
I love the slight edge of coolness that it brings to warm nights such as last night.
I love the earthy smell as the thirsty ground drinks in the rain.
Of course, it’s morning now, so I wish it would bloody well stop.
Yesterday’s Irish Times reported that the weather was expected to provide a little respite to flooded areas this weekend, saying:
“Met Eireann last night said there should be little rain between today and Monday”, and that “tomorrow (i.e., today) will be bright and cold with occasional scattered showers.”
Yesterday evening we had a massive thunderstorm and torrential rain, and it has not stopped raining today since I woke up, ten hours ago.
I sometimes wonder why I bother trying to think up jokes for this blog, when I know in my heart that I’ll never match the comic genius of the Boys From The Met.
Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning the weather is not, for once, because I’ve nothing else to say. It’s because ten days ago we ordered a skip to get rid of some old furniture and a load of other accumulated crap that I’m convinced people creep in at night and leave in our house. Some sort of anti-burglars, perhaps.
We ordered the skip for four days but, as often seems to happen, they have been in no hurry to collect it, so it has been outside, not just during this weekend, but during all of last week as well, and, while we certainly haven’t been as badly affected as some of the rest of the country, we have had a lot of rain.
I reckon the skip must be about 40% full of water at this stage.
I just hope I’m here when the truck comes and tries to lift it.
On four different occasions during the seven-minute walk from the Dart to the office today I had to step over the remains of a dead umbrella, lying sprawled on the footpath like a drunken daddy-long-legs in a kilt.
Each of them had obviously belonged to an owner who didn’t know how to use an umbrella in bad weather, which was unfortunate since it is during bad weather that umbrellas are supposed to find their true purpose in life.
The umbrella does have a cousin in the brollus putupus family which thrives best in a sunnier climate. This is the parasol, which is not indiginous to these shores. The parasol’s natural habitat is the deep south of the US, where it is utilised by ladies who say things like “oh, Ashleh”, and whose house gets burned to the ground by “those damned Yankehs”.
(I’ve just read the opening sentence again. It is clear that it’s the umbrella and not me that’s sprawled on the path, isn’t it?)
As with any pet-owners, people who buy umbrellas should learn some of the basic rules about caring for them before adopting one. Fortunately, there is only one basic rule – an umbrella likes to face into the wind. Facing the other way causes the wind to rush up the brolly’s skirt, and they will be quick to tell you that this is not nearly as much fun as Marilyn Monroe made it look in The Seven Year Itch (you just know I’m going to show the picture, don’t you?). Such an event turns the umbrella quickly into a wind-bag, and this can be fatal to umbrellas, though not apparently to politicians (or indeed, certain part-metal bloggers).
One of the saddest things was observing how the umbrellas, after many, well, minutes of devoted service, had simply been left on the street by their owners, who hadn’t even had the decency to give them a decent burial in a nearby litter-bin.
Please remember – an umbrella is for life, not just for drizzle.