Saturday, January 30, 2010
In London the rain falls with grey monotonous regularity , unexceptional, unloved and constant. Just simple, plain rain and a part of the backdrop of daily life . It's not always so. Sometimes , when we used to walk the two boyz along the beach in Scotland the fine North Sea rain, driven angrily landwards by the gales ,would whip and craze our faces like thousands of tiny needle points. We would return home from the shore with our skin red and raw from the elements. Last night we had an new experience, Pyrennean rain - an altogether different sort of downpour caused by the updrafts and thermals from the mountains. Instead of falling in nondescript uniformity it somehow managed to coalesce into large blobs, four or five times the size of ordinary raindrops. This alien rain threw itself determinedly down from the sky, landing on the road with the satisfying sound of eggs sizzling on a pan, and flooding the ditches with torrents of mud . Within a hundred yards, our evening walk had become an uncomfortable affair. We were soon as drenched as if someone had turned a fire hose on us. Wilf and Digby quickly took stock of the situation and made the decision that this was not the weather for a stroll and turned purposefully back towards the house their coats soaked through to the skin. Even those things we most take for granted - like rain - can surprise.