I know, another moan about the weather. But you don’t have to read it…
Julie headed off to Norwich this morning, so I had an early lunch, then watched the news. The sun was so bright, I had to slide one half of the curtain over, to stop the reflection making the TV screen impossible to see. After catching up on world events, I decided to go out earlier with Ollie, and make the most of the bright afternoon.
I got ready, and chose to wear my short waterproof coat over a T-shirt, and take my trusty stick, instead of the umbrella. It seemed unlikely that I would need an umbrella. Not only was it bright enough to contemplate sunglasses, the BBC weatherman had predicted sunny periods for the east. As usual, Ollie was up for the walk, and we headed out to Beetley Meadows, me using one hand to shield my eyes from the sun. Emboldened by the conditions, I decided to head across to Hoe Rough, for a bigger walk.
As soon as were we through the gate, the sun disappeared. It was as if someone had switched off all light over Norfolk. It was as dark as evening, and almost other-worldly in feel. Then the rain came. There was no warning patter, no drop that says “I’m on my way,” just a deluge from out of nowhere. Torrential, icy, sleet-laden, and decidedly unpleasant. No point sheltering under the trees, as most of the leaves have gone now. The sodden ground turned to slick mud in seconds, and I soon had trouble staying upright. The sleet and hail was actually painful against my head and face, and the temperature dropped a few degrees in seconds.
Up ahead, Ollie was trotting along unconcerned, looking for all the world as if he was enjoying a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, on a warm July afternoon. I caught up with him, but by now I was having trouble seeing, as the water cascaded down my head into my eyes, stinging them with the cold. I rested against a tree trunk for a while, hoping the ‘shower’ would pass, and cursing the smug BBC weatherman for his impish forecasting. I am sure that they secretly know roughly what time I go out with Ollie, and deliver false predictions to catch me out.
Of course, it didn’t pass. It just rained harder. The coat was keeping my body dry, but my legs were soaked, so I just carried on. At the riverside, I had to hold onto the wire fence to stop from slipping over, so I headed back to the thicker clumps of grass in the centre. The ground around these was strangely spongy, so it was like walking on the mattress of a bed, wearing heavy rubber boots. This is very disconcerting, I can assure you. After seventy-five minutes of this torture, I had seen enough, and turned for home. Ollie would have to lose out on forty minutes or so of his walk, or there was a good chance that I would take a tumble, and spend the night on Hoe Rough.
As I got back and opened the side gate, the rain stopped. By the time I was in the house, changed and dried off, the light from the setting sun was illuminating the street. I shook an angry fist at the sky, and cast a spell on all weather presenters.
Is it any wonder I take it so personally?