I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve heard people say ‘Don’t you just love a cold/rainy/wintry day when you’re tucked up inside all nice and warm/dry/cosy and listening to the weather outside?’ (delete as applicable). Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say that, I think I’ve only ever read that people say that. I’ve never believed them. What could possibly be good about a day so miserable that you have to stay inside and shelter from the weather? Well, I never believed them until today. I think I’ve experienced an epiphanic moment, to put it in GCSE English Literature terms (I’m sure GCSEs have moved on since I did them but it’s topical so I thought I’d throw it in there).
Today, after months of relentless brightness and sweltering heat, it finally, gloriously rained. And with my exciting new propensity for migraines triggered by brightness and heat, I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to see rain! I took my toddler for a walk to see all the animals (we saw disappointingly few large animals prepared to be approached by an excitable small person and patted enthusiastically) and really the only large animal who played along was our neighbours’ enormous black dog who managed to escape from his own house and came along for the journey, frightening the few passers-by that we encountered with his resemblance to a Rottweiler.
I’m not sure who started it really, whether it was the retriever who cannot pass the smallest standing body of dirty water without hurling himself headlong into it for a really good soak and shake or the toddler who is unduly influenced by Peppa Pig and her obsession with jumping up and down in muddy puddles, but we ended up with two offending parties who had to be hosed down on arriving home.
I’ve accidentally discovered a beautiful area near the river close to where we are living which seems to be home (or at least feeding ground) to all sorts of distant and difficult to identify birds. So while I tried to memorise the markings and sizes of a variety of waterfowl, including some enormous herons in the treetops, my daughter occupied herself by leaping up and down in some construction-related clay as it turns out she has a limited attention span for long distance herons, and the retriever first coated himself in mud and then attempted to throw himself down the bank to catch some tweety type birds on the edge of the marsh. We made a swift retreat, with a toddler still disappointed about the lack of oxen but mollified by finding more puddles to redistribute on our way home.
After a thorough bath time (and accompanying tick check), the toddler is now out for the count. The runaway retriever made his own way home to our neighbours’ and is probably also still recovering from all the excitement. I was delighted to be able to open all the windows in the house and let some air circulate. Recently it’s been so hot and bright, and I’ve been so migrainey, that even opening the curtains during the day still feels like a novelty. I’ve discovered that there is only a very brief window of opportunity between the sun dropping behind the mountains and the arrival of the mosquitos, so even with stifling heat, we have to wait until after mosquito happy hour before we can open all the windows and let the house cool down. And this is the winter!
I was even quite pleased to have to shut the windows this afternoon because the rain started blowing in, and hearing raindrops striking the corrugated roof outside the bedroom window was profoundly comforting.
So I take it all back. Don’t you just love a rainy day when you’re tucked up inside all nice and dry and listening to the weather outside? I know I do.
This post was originally published on the 20th of August 2020 and has been transferred from my previous blog (Brazil from the outside in hosted by Blogger) after some technical difficulties with the site.