Dear December, four and five: hashtag Storm Desmond.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Let’s be rather British and talk about the weather. (NB: I wrote this on Saturday but seemed to fall asleep before clicking: publish. Thus the 'yesterdays' and 'last nights' that don't quite match up...)


While I was waiting for the traffic lights to change yesterday evening, I saw a red umbrella blow straight out of a little boy’s hands. It was broken and twisted inside-out, the fabric rippling and sodden wet and absolutely no use to him as a rain–shield any more – but he was trying to keep a tight grip of it even so when the wind whipped it from his slippery fingers and dragged it away down Renfield Street.

I have always wondered who those people are that abandon their umbrellas on the pavement. ‘Litter louts.’ ‘Lazy folk who can’t be bothered walking an extra five steps to the bin.’ On wild days, Glasgow’s streets are littered with them: broken, twisted umbrellas. Black ones. Pink ones. Hello Kitty ones. Ones with stripes. They always look a bit to me like dead spiders: legs bent but still twitching. Only, now I wonder whether most of those umbrellas aren’t in fact abandoned by people of questionable character. Maybe they’ve just been stolen by the weather. ‘Quit messing around with that brolly, fool, and let me run down your face. Let me tangle your hair. Let me slip into the gaps between your sleeve and your wrist and make you shiver. Feel alive!’ 


I got rather up close and personal with the elements myself last night - on my walk back to Queen’s Street Station a few hours later after dinner. I was (foolishly, yes) wearing a coat without a hood. I had forgotten my hat. The ribs of my umbrella had snapped earlier. By the time I turned onto Buchanan Street I’d given up struggling to keep my hair dry with my scarf and, for the first time all day, I let my shoulders unknot themselves and gave in. The rain slid down my face. My shoes were flooded. ‘Oh stuff it, it’s dark and I’m not going to meet anyone I know at this time of night anyway*. Bring it on. "Be thou me, impetuous one!" It’s only water.)’

(*I did actually run into someone I knew though, ha. What are the odds? A familiar figure walking up the street towards me through the rain. It could have been a rather beautiful filmic moment if I hadn’t looked so much like: this <-- click the link.) 


So yes. I got utterly, utterly drenched (and we - the three of us in this little flat - have stayed bundled up inside all day today). When my flatmate had a cup of tea waiting for me coming in through the door last night, I could have cried with gratefulness. 


Song a day:

Friday's song: Pool House by Dustin O'Halloran because I was listening to it while I was working, and listen often when I'm writing. It's from the film 'Breathe In' which is one of those lingering kind of films that is on the one hand kind of beautiful (in terms of the cinematography, the music, the natural feel of the acting, the subtlety) and on the other hand is kind of devastating and unsettling (it's about things spiralling out of control, about a dangerous idea that should stay just that). 

Saturday's song: Jump for my Love ...because I came across this clip from Love Actually again this morning and it made me laugh (and is exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me). 



Note: Pictures by Japanese illustrator Rie Nakajima (I can't find  central website to link you to, but I found these pictures: here.) 

2 comments:

  1. Loving your December series - I always do an internal leap for joy when I see a post of yours. The writing! Swoon. Sometimes it's nice to get drenched, isn't it? I know it's ghastly, too, but living in cities makes me feel so disconnected from nature that it's nice to be reminded of its power. Your housemate sounds lovely too! x

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much, what a lovely comment. And yes, I agree - if you don't have anywhere to be, there's something quite cathartic about walking in the rain. My siblings and I used to ask our Mum 'please can we go outside?' when there were really heavy rainstorms. We'd dash out the back door, do a lap of the house, lift our faces up to the sky, and then come back in laughing and quite quite soaking. Ahh...

      ~Melissa

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