Outside it is raining. Not just a bit of light rain that you could probably put up with and go or a walk if you wanted to. No, this is the sort of rain that wakes you up in the night, the sort of rain that permeates every layer of clothing you are wearing; including the expensive waterproof coat you treated yourself to for just such an occasion. It is pissing down.

If you have been in the UK for the last couple of months this won’t be a surprise to you, you have endured this too and have become adept at remembering to take a coat/umbrella, timing trips from the front door to the car with split second precision, driving only routes that aren’t prone to flooding and talking at length about how bad the weather is with friends and acquaintances.

If, on the other hand, you are in the USA this may help you understand the bleakness of our rain; my youngest son announced he ‘would rather be in Florida’. We did of course challenge him about this, reminding him that it had also rained hard when we were in Florida – point to us.

He countered with ‘yes, but the puddles are warm.’ Game, set and match to him I think.

Anyway, it’s raining and we are all inside doing things, there is a TV show on in one room, music in another, art work taking shape at both ends of the kitchen and general hubbub of things happening quietly, independently of each other but in the same space.

We are lucky to live up a hill and so not be affected by the flooding that is causing misery to many other people. Nevertheless, the garden is awash, the leaky back guttering that needs fixing is leaking away to its heart’s content and the water butt is already well-stocked for next summer. The run –off from the garden has worked its way under the patio, unseating all the slabs I lifted and reset last year – I guess I’ll be doing them again this year some time.

For many years I have dreaded rainy weather. As a teacher it only ever means one thing – wet play! The horror of having hundreds of children unable to access an outside play area for a day or more was enough to reduce me to a trembling wreck. The havoc and chaos that ensued was always draining, the mess and breakages dreadful, the lack of an outlet for burning of excess energy made afternoon teaching hell.

The overall result of all this poor weather is terrible; flooded homes and fields, damaged roads and buildings, noisy children and housebound pets. But I have to be honest and say that an enforced day at home once in a while with the heating on, a book to read and some projects to get on with is good for the soul.

These are my top 5 rainy day songs;
UB40 – I think it’s going to rain today – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5b-_lhBfD8
Jane Siberry – it can’t rain all the time – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfZzkhfz89c
Tom Waits – Rain Dogs – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsuQj0ZGE6c
The Pogues – Rainy Night in Soho – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3MKMF-qIZk
Nina Simone – I think it’s going to rain today – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjQgN-PhBEU


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