The traditional response around here to any incomer who is unwary enough to remark on the weather being fine is either ‘Aye but it’ll no last, mind’ or – in the unlikely event that sunshine is forecast to continue for more than one day – ‘Well, but we’ll pay for it.’
I was reminded of this today as I woke to the sound of the rain battering the skylights and saw that we were facing an amber warning of rain from noon today. February can be unremitting in its grimness, but it does throw up the occasional day or two when the wind drops, the sun edges out, and we all dare to hope that spring might be on it way (clearly the Weather Gods know all too well that it’s these brief glimpses of respite that are the real killer by this point in the year). Sunday and yesterday were just such days and I had duly made the most of them. And now the bill was due.
I don’t know whether it’s lockdown, or a slow dawning of common sense, but in the past year I’ve found myself much less willing to go out in properly grim weather unless I really have to. The Met Office can be a bit free with its weather warnings at times, but it tends not to muck about with the amber ones (I’ve never actually experience a red one, and I don’t think I want to) so the sensible approach would probably have been to batten down the hatches, forgo the paper and enjoy our nice warm waterproof house. But today was also Binday, and Binday cannot be so easily denied.
Given that the weather was forecast to go from merely windy and raining to blowing a hooly at lunchtime, I reasoned that it was better to just get wet the once and get it over with. So I donned the full wet-weather gear, complete with wellies, and wheeled the rubbish down to the road end before cycling the rest of the way down for the paper.
And, a bit like eating liver, it was … fine. I mean, it wasn’t exactly pleasant but I wasn’t blown across the road, no driver overtook me while speeding through a puddle, and at least I had a roaring tailwind at my back for much of the ride home. That said, I did discover that rain doesn’t need to be frozen to pepper your face like so many tiny needles, and I did need a complete change of clothes once I had got home, if only because my waterproofs lack a certain amount of breathability.
And then – changed, warm, and enjoying a well-deserved cup of coffee at my desk, I got to enjoy the best bit of all: watching the weather get worse and worse, and having absolutely no need to go out in it again.