Rainfall Nostalgia

As I was woken up during the night by yet another downpour, and that rain is still falling as I sit at my computer, I got to thinking about rain.

No surprise there, as anyone who has ever read this blog will tell you, I write a lot about rain. A lot. Having to walk a dog in all weathers, and with outbuildings liable to flood when ground water gets to too high a level, I can assure you that rain matters a great deal to me.

But what about before? Before I retired, and had time to resent the rain spoiling my free time, restricting my movements, and making my daily dog walks miserable.

I didn’t even own an umbrella until 2001.

That was the year I started working for the Metropolitan Police in London, and could no longer drive to work.

I had to either get a bus, or walk for almost thirty minutes to my new place of employment.

That meant being out in the weather dressed quite smartly, and then having to work a long shift with no facility to change wet clothes. I suddenly realised that you could get very wet in just thirty minutes.

I started by buying a weatherproof coat. That offered some protection, but my trousers and shoes still got soaked of course. I wasn’t too bothered about my head, as I had little hair to worry about, and what was there was cropped very short.

But by December of that year, I decided I definitely needed an umbrella, if I wasn’t going to spend the first period of my shift trying to dry out, sitting in damp clothes.

Remembering the old adage ‘You get what you pay for’, the John Lewis department store was my umbrella shop of choice. Not for me one of those over-sized and ubiquitous golfing umbrellas, which are totally impractical on the crowded streets of Central London. No, I had need of a classic ‘brolly’, a Gentleman’s Umbrella. Black of course, with a wooden handle, and a traditional slide and catch. The ‘automatic’ variety did not appeal at all.

I paid extra for one that was ‘guaranteed windproof’. The wind can be fierce along the streets of that city, especially in between high-sided buildings.

It was just what I needed, and kept me dry for the next eleven years, never letting me down, and never once blowing inside out in high winds.

I still have it now, and it is as good as it always was, exactly eighteen years later.

I think I am going to need it today.

72 thoughts on “Rainfall Nostalgia

  1. I can never seem to manage an umbrella-I always am prone to have my hands full of something. Flooding is a mess though. I finished you r Russian series and loved it -I think you did your usual excellent work. I am impressed with your ability, under all circumstances. The series was educational and held my interest too. The work you put in it showed up. For some reason, I couldn’t “like” it on the computer-of course, it is raining here! Truth! haha! best wishes, still your fan. Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading all of Russian Sector, Michele. It was my first try at historical fiction, so I was very pleased with the response. My latest serial is set in America, so I am taking a chance, as I have never been there.
      Best wishes as always, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in Mumbai, India where I stay, it rains for almost 5-6 months in a year. This year it went to 7 months. I enjoy the initial rain when it starts in June but then flood starts everywhere and it becomes very difficult to commute. Rain is beautiful, when you are indoors 😄😄😄😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No parking available, Herb. I worked close to Trafalgar Square, right in the very centre of the tourist areas, and close to lots of galleries and famous buildings. Most police stations were built in Victorian times, and had no staff car parks. Parking on the street was hardly ever available, and would have cost around £12 an hour on meters. That would have been a total of £144 for a 12-hour shift. 🙂
      I could sometimes drive in on Sundays, when there was no parking charge, but spaces were at a premium, and if I couldn’t find one, I had to turn around and go home, then get the bus.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a sturdy umbrella, eighteen years is a long time. For three consecutive years now, I get an umbrella from our Mayor’s office along with some groceries during my birthday. I have so many umbrellas now with Nissa adding to them almost every year from their office.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now the climate is changing we have more drought and farmers get anxious and when the rain comes it doesn’t know when to stop.
    Years ago I delivered milk in the old glass bottles ,driving around in a milk float with little shelter and often in the dark.
    Many of the milkman wore fingerless gloves to grip the bottles , and at the end of a round you were cold and soaked.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We are kindred spirits when it comes to the rain Pete! I grew up on the stuff here in Seattle and have had numerous umbrellas of all shapes, sizes, and colors, many of the fold up variety that were almost useless in the wind. I still remember the bus rides downtown, with steamed up windows, trying to find a place for a drippy umbrella. Ah those were the days! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have three coats with hoods, but having them up drives me mad. I feel like I am peeping out through a periscope, and I can hear the material rustling against my ears. That’s why I started to use the umbrella again. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pete, a very wise purchase…it serves you well…we are having a bout of rain here in Los Angeles – after a 6 month dry spell, so it’s much needed…and since NO ONE walks here, no one gets wet! Oh, not really joking: EVERYONE drives EVERYWHERE here….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. (1) “I didn’t even own an umbrella until 2001.” Is it fair to assume A.D. rather than B.C.?
    (2) This year, we went through Spring, Summer, and much of Fall without any rain, but we got soaked last week and this week. I know there’s an umbrella around here somewhere. I could have washed the thick dust off of it!
    (3) The guy in the CSR Culture Shock Award video clip gets struck by lightning over and over again—and he doesn’t even carry an umbrella!
    (4) Did you see Mary Poppins a-shoppin’ at the John Lewis department store?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rainfall Nostalgia
    DECEMBER 6, 2019 ~ BEETLEYPETE

    As I was woken up during the night by yet another downpour, and that rain is still falling as I sit at my computer, I got to thinking about rain.

    No surprise there, as anyone who has ever read this blog will tell you, I write a lot about rain. A lot. Having to walk a dog in all weathers, and with outbuildings liable to flood when ground water gets to too high a level, I can assure you that rain matters a great deal to me.

    But what about before? Before I retired, and had time to resent the rain spoiling my free time, restricting my movements, and making my daily dog walks miserable.

    I didn’t even own an umbrella until 2001.

    That was the year I started working for the Metropolitan Police in London, and could no longer drive to work.

    I had to either get a bus, or walk for almost thirty minutes to my new place of employment.

    That meant being out in the weather dressed quite smartly, and then having to work a long shift with no facility to change wet clothes. I suddenly realised that you could get very wet in just thirty minutes.

    I started by buying a weatherproof coat. That offered some protection, but my trousers and shoes still got soaked of course. I wasn’t too bothered about my head, as I had little hair to worry about, and what was there was cropped very short.

    But by December of that year, I decided I definitely needed an umbrella, if I wasn’t going to spend the first period of my shift trying to dry out, sitting in damp clothes.

    Remembering the old adage ‘You get what you pay for’, the John Lewis department store was my umbrella shop of choice. Not for me one of those over-sized and ubiquitous golfing umbrellas, which are totally impractical on the crowded streets of Central London. No, I had need of a classic ‘brolly’, a Gentleman’s Umbrella. Black of course, with a wooden handle, and a traditional slide and catch. The ‘automatic’ variety did not appeal at all.

    I paid extra for one that was ‘guaranteed windproof’. The wind can be fierce along the streets of that city, especially in between high-sided buildings.

    It was just what I needed, and kept me dry for the next eleven years, never letting me down, and never once blowing inside out in high winds.

    I still have it now, and it is as good as it always was, exactly eighteen years later.

    I think I am going to need it today.

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    One thought on “Rainfall Nostalgia”

    Michael McDaniel
    DECEMBER 6, 2019 AT 3:59 PM
    Pete,

    Unlike you, I have always loved precipitating weather. I enjoy your straight-up descriptive writing about the everyday habits of your/our life.

    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete,

    Unlike you, I have always loved precipitating weather. I enjoy your straight-up descriptive writing about the everyday habits of your/our life.

    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

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