Rain, rain, go away…
You know it’s going to be grim as soon as you wake up. As you slowly inch over into consciousness, there’s that unnerving noise somewhere in the back of your mind. Kettle boiling flatmate’s tea? Hot water pipes rattling? Leaves rustling in the wind?
No. The early morning (and ultimately) depressing mental effort is just about enough to wake you up sufficiently to realise that the taptaptap-tap-taptap is the rain. It’s turning the soil in the garden to mud. The normally inoffensive concrete outside gets transformed into a putrid grey mess – partly because it’s reflecting the equally disgusting sky. The tarmac on the roads is fairly ugly at the best of times, but a coating of water on the surface seems to turn them into a beastly, black, organic slab of tar.
Eventually, no matter how long you lie in bed hoping that the downpour will abate and the sun will come out and everything will be wonderful, you have to get up and face the wet world outside. And that’s when things start going downhill. If you’re a cyclist, there’s a whole world of roadspray-lubricated pain that awaits you, which probably doesn’t need much comment.
If you decide to go for public transport, there’s a very particular peril that lies in your way. Shepherd’s Bush road is an infamous example: If you’re trying to walk south towards the bus and tube stations on Hammersmith Broadway, there are two enormous puddles that form on the road – opposite each other – every time the heavens open. And, you see, it doesn’t matter that they’re mostly in the bus lane, and that the bus drivers are nice enough to avoid them; because there’s always some indescribably irritating tosser who’ll swerve right into them just to drench you, as if to make sure that your morning was as depressing as it could get.
And once you’re on the tube or your bus, and assuming you’ve managed to get on safely without slipping and breaking your neck on the wet floor, it’s not as if you get a reprieve. Steaming people, steaming clothes, steaming umbrellas, and grumpy commuters. Could it get any worse?
I don’t mean to sound bitter. Sometimes I like the rain; when I’m running, maybe? But right now, I just wish it’d go away…