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Dancing in the rain.

July 27, 2013

It’s raining in my corner of South East London. Raining storybook style with enormous drops of rain that hit the ground with a satisfyingly audible splash. There has been vivid flashes of lightening splitting apart a steel grey sky and loud rumbles and crashes of thunder reverberating around roofs and trees.

The cars and buses driving past my flat make a glorious splishing noise as their wheels hit the pools of water on the Tarmac and the outside containers of plants and flowers I’ve been nurturing since spring have magically revived. I can carry as many cans of water as I like up and down the stairs to keep them going but nothing has an effect like this cool refreshing rain.

There have been times over the last eighteen months when I’ve cursed the rain, hated the eternal dampness and greyness but todayI welcomed it. I love the effect sunlight has on my mood and the way it makes the blue of the sky brighter and the green of leaves and trees glow in relief. It’s fantastic to wander to work before seven in a sleeveless shift and not feel cold, wonderful to sit in the garden sipping cool drinks until long after darkness falls or dabble ones toes in a small person’s paddling pool.

However it was time for the weather to break. I’ve found the heat and humidity enervating. I’ve struggled to breathe because heat-waves increase the pollen count and pollution and I’ve not had nearly enough sleep. I know it has been much worse for others. Indirectly this weather has hospitalised my grandmother because the nature of her illness means she forgets to drink with predictable results. Everyday when we visited her the “cold” room on the ward has a new complement of elderly who must be cooled down, rehydrated and if they have respiratory conditions given oxygen. Fortunately most of them recover. Sadly some do not.

We really aren’t geared up for hot weather on our island probably because we are so unaccustomed to it. In many parts of the world they’d mock because we call this hot. This afternoon I found the humidity almost unendurable and one of my friends performed an interpretive rain dance in my sitting room in the hope relief would come. It seems her efforts were not in vain.

I greeted the thunderstorm this evening with delight. I threw on my shoes and headed out to walk in the rain. I wanted to feel the rain on my skin and breathe in the cool fresh clean air. I revelled in the drops of water that dripped from the trees and rolled down the back of neck and turned my face to the sky to feel the rain on my face. I even essayed a dance step or two in the privacy of the lane twirling my umbrella like a lunatic. (The stars of Singin’ in the Rain can sleep easy in their beds tonight.) My inner five year old loved splashing through the puddles in flip flops too.

Since arriving home I’ve flung all the windows wide to let the fresh cool air and gentle breeze permeate my flat and get rid of all the stale hot air that has collected. It’s so lovely to be able to breathe properly again. I am hoping for a long undisturbed sleep too.

It would be nice if there is more sun tomorrow but tonight I shall give thanks for the rain and to L who clearly summoned up the storm.


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