For those of you who have my book Heading North, you may be familiar with the first sentence of the foreword:
I am a northern guy.
For those of you who don’t have the book, I have a feeling that you can read the foreword over on Amazon for free. I haven’t checked this, though, so don’t hold me to it.
As a northern guy, in particular a Mancunian, I have become quite accustomed to rain. We have many ways of describing the types of rain that we experience (by types read measures):
it’s chucking it down
it’s pissing down
(And you wonder that I’m a poet?)
I’m sure there are many more, such is the rich, colloquial tongue of my local bards, but these are the most common refrains.
From around lunchtime today our old, precipitous friend rolled in, on this-the final day before the looooong school summer holidays. I hope the kids do get some good weather, especially for my own sanity, but, as a northern guy, I have a confession to make:
I have learned to love the rain.
My friends think me insane, but this is the weather that I have learnt to associate with home. Returning from sun-kissed lands and arid deserts, the slow transition from blue skies to slate-grey cloud outside the airplane, water gathering on the panes, serves as the welcome herald of north-west England, the hilly ground in which my roots are sunk deep.
Who doesn’t love to watch a deluge, or feel rain on your upturned face on a balmy day? Or sit calmly reading on a stormy night, torrential downpours battering the house?
And there is one more boon: our wet summers help to deter the into-early-hours garden parties and roaring quad bikes that disturb the neighbourhood and keep the kids awake.
I know, I know – I’m getting old.
Bet that rain isn’t good for rheumatism.