Like the rest of the country, we’ve had a lot of rain. The ground is sodden – the high traffic areas in the garden are thick, slippery mud – and it’s not really been walking weather. But the dog and I both need exercise so when the sun peeked out this afternoon, we set off briskly.
It was lovely – crisp and clear and sunny.
And then two miles out – and two miles from home – the clouds lowered, the sky went the colour of steel, and the rain … and then the sleet … started. It was really sudden, like someone had flicked a switch. So the gloves went on and the hood went up (in my case, anyway – the dog just put his ears back and looked put out) and we trudged on. After a while it cleared and a small patch of blue sky was visible, but I was glad to get home to dry socks and a cup of tea!
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When I choose a word for Weekword, my choice is often based on what I’d like to see other people interpret; I rarely choose something because I’ve already had an idea for a post. This means I often find myself scrabbling around at the last moment trying to think of a post for my own word. But this choice was a bit different, because it came out of a thought I had on Monday.
We’ve been having pretty grotty weather here lately. It’s been chilly without that lovely autumn crispness. Drizzly rain that goes on and on, rather than downpours which fade into pale sunshine. Wet mist that doesn’t lift, just hangs around like a bad mood all day. When the weather’s like this, it’s easy to think that the outdoors is ‘nothingy’. It seems to be lacking – the temptation is to stay inside and ignore it. But sometimes that’s not possible (when one has a dog who needs walking and small people to get to school) and the outdoors must be faced.
I walked the Little Girl to the school bus on Monday, and turned to walk back to the house. My first instinct was to put my head down and get back through the grey drizzle as fast as I could, but something stopped me. Even on the greyest, most unprepossessing day, our little valley has something going for it.
The river wasn’t a low, clear trickle, singing its way over the stones as it is in summer, nor a thundering torrent as it is in winter. It flowed gently along, quietly, a thin brown like petrol station hot chocolate. The ground beneath my feet had gone to mud – in some places balletic leaps were required as I hadn’t worn wellies. There were no pleasant breezes or high winds, just a gentle buffeting which made leaves flump wetly from the trees. And the autumn leaves, without the sunshine to illuminate them, didn’t glow with that bright, joyous flame immortalised on all those photos of fall foliage. They glowed gently through the murk, like a fire banked down until the family return.
The elements – water, earth, air and fire – not in their pure, flamboyant state, but there nonetheless. Subdued and muted, perhaps, but not gone. Not nothingy.
I enjoyed the rest of my walk back to the house.
Why not go and see what the other Weekworders have come up with this week?
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Aaaand I’m back to Weekword! It feels nice.
This week’s word is defined thus:
1. (sometimes initial capital letter ) resembling or befitting Don Quixote.
2. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable.
3. impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.
The weather in the UK is never predictable. Never ever. I do sometimes think it must be nice to live somewhere where you can plan a barbecue for a certain date and know it won’t rain. Or even to get up, see what the weather’s doing and know it’ll keep doing that all day. I wonder sometimes if there are other countries that have so many weather related proverbs and sayings and old wives’ tales. Off the top of my head I can think of a dozen – most to do with the presence, or absence, or quantity, of rain! The weather is, famously, a British obsession (and one of the few topics it’s safe to discuss with strangers).
Today we’re going to a wedding and I’m going to layer my summer dress with a cardigan and a wrap and take wellies (and an umbrella) as well as my sandals. It would be nice to just look outside and choose my outfit accordingly – but on the other hand, I think I’d miss the variety and unpredictability of the British weather. It does mean you always need a plan B (‘inside if wet’) but it also means I appreciate sunny days enormously. And of course, without the rain, there wouldn’t be my beloved green everywhere.
Our little valley is especially quixotic – we look at the weather forecast for the nearest town and take it as a guideline only, because quite often we find ourselves in a little microclimate. All around us is being pounded by rain – we’re out in the garden sitting on blankets. Or the heavens will open and the rain will pound on our roof – and later on, neighbours a couple of miles away will say they haven’t had a drop.
Pop over and see Carmen for links to the other Weekworders.
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