No, not the Crowded House song. It’s about the weather and dog-walking again, I’m afraid.
We woke late today, courtesy of the archaic custom of putting the clocks forward one hour. This is supposed to mean one hour less in bed, but we slept through that sixty minutes, blissfully unaware.
We were greeted by a blustery day, grey skies and showers. A sort-of April day, albeit a little premature. It was spring-like after a fashion, as it didn’t feel too cold, and the showers came in swirls. During a late breakfast, autumn arrived, as the wind increased to an uncomfortable level, and began to blow things around outside, steadily increasing in strength.
By the time I was getting ready to take Ollie for his walk, winter had made an unwelcome reappearance. It was dark enough to put lights on in the house, and the rain had turned from showers to a driving downpour. I steeled myself for the afternoon excursion, and ventured out across to Beetley Meadows with Ollie. Within seconds, the wind had risen to near gale-force, and the black clouds seemed so low, you could almost throw a stone into them. The rain quickly turned to hail, driving in the wind with great strength, swirling around our unfortunate forms with incredible force, sounding like the beats of a fast snare-drum against my coat and hat.
Even Ollie, normally oblivious to weather conditions, sought refuge under the foliage of a large bush. I had been out for less than ten minutes, but already my cotton trousers were soaked through, and the water and hail sneaked under the collar of my waterproof coat, dampening the neck of my T-shirt. The supposedly waterproof expensive gloves were also sodden on my hands, and much of the ground had turned into a muddy stream. I plodded on for Ollie’s sake, turning my back to the wind to minimise the worst effects of the weather. I could hear thunder, but fortunately saw no lightning, as we were very exposed over there. Nobody else was around; they were sensibly still indoors, waiting for it all to go away.
I carried on over to Hoe Rough, preferring to keep moving rather that trying in vain to seek shelter under trees. Once we had made the short distance to the gate there, the rain stopped. It was abrupt, as if someone had just turned off a hose. Without the rain and hail, the wind was bearable, though I was conscious of many small branches being dislodged, and falling all around us. Even the largest trees were swaying alarmingly, seeming to move of their own accord. I trudged on, with Ollie happier now, and running ahead. We did a couple of circuits around the area, and after we had been out for about ninety minutes, the sun began to break through the clouds. As I headed back to the gate, the sun came out in earnest, blue skies appeared, and it was summer once again. I started to feel uncomfortably hot, wrapped up in waterproofs and a hat, and loosened my scarf too. The gloves came off, and I unzipped my coat.
By the time we got home, although Ollie was still wet, and my clothes were still soaked, I could have got away with shorts and flip-flops. Four seasons in a few short hours. Amazing.