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‘Love me, love my umbrella.’ James Joyce.

I’ve been thinking about umbrellas a lot this week.  (Sad, but true.)  That may have had something to do with the fact that we have been absolutely deluged with rain and, consequently, I seem to have spent most of this week being poked in the head, dripped on, tripping over or dodging bloody umbrellas.  (If that is not the reason I have been thinking so much about umbrellas I obviously have entirely too much time on my hands . . . )

As you may have guessed, unlike James Joyce, I am not really a fan. For myself, I have always found umbrellas to be more trouble than they are worth.  They never seem to go up (or down) exactly when you need them to, they turn themselves inside out at the slightest breath of wind, one of the spokes will inevitably pop out of its sheath thereby threatening to poke the eye out of any unwary passerby andnot leastthe rain always seems to come in underneath them anyway and you still end up getting soaked.

That is not to say that I don’t own an umbrella, of course.  In fact, I own several.  There are two in my car, two more in the house (that I am sure about) and (I think) there is even another one hiding out in the laundry somewhere.  But, the thing is, I don’t remember ever buying any of these umbrellas (or any umbrella, ever, for that matter) nor I can tell you the last time I ever actually used one of them.  (How did five unwanted and unused umbrellas manage to survive my last major house cleanout?  No idea.)

It not the umbrellas themselves that bother me so much.  It’s that many umbrella-users don’t seem to take into account how their umbrella wielding behaviour impacts those around them.  Surely there is some kind of polite umbrella-etiquette written somewhere that should be adhered to? Like, perhaps you should wait until you step outside before opening up your umbrella.  (Apart from being just plain rude, has no-one ever told you that opening up an umbrella indoors brings bad luck?)  Or that it might be nice to shake the rain off your soaking wet umbrella before coming into the coffee shop.  And don’t get me even started on the matter of personal space . . .

Still, perhaps I am making too much of a fuss.  Perhaps I have dodged my last delinquent umbrella—for this week at least.  As I finish writing the rain clouds are starting to move away and the sun is trying to struggle through . . .

. . .  which puts me in mind of another sort of umbrella that I really don’t mind so much.  (In spite of my earlier words I am not a complete brolly-phobe.)  I am, in fact, quite partial to a lovely big parasol, which moves about only just enough to keep the sun off me, thus enabling me to sit comfortably in the shade while sipping a suitably chilled beverage (which, if I am lucky, might even contain its own teeny, tiny, umbrella . . . )

Ahhh . . . roll on summer . . .

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.’ Ambrose Bierce.

The weather bureau says we are in for more rain this weekend.  Well, of course we are.  It has been gorgeous while I have been working in the office all week—warm, bright, clear and sunny.  If rain is coming it is sure to be here just in time for the weekend . . .

walking in rainI don’t deliberately go out walking in the rain any more.  I used to love it (providing the rain wasn’t torrential enough to flatten you onto the pavement of course) but then I had my ‘boys’ to walk with me, and inclement weather made no-nevermind to them.  Harry and Frank were born and bred in Armidale—tough country boys through and through.  Freezing temperatures, snow, rain, storms—nothing stopped them from going outside or wanting their daily walks.  We (or rather I, as neither of them would be seen dead wearing anything resembling a coat) would just bundle up and out we would go.  Their enthusiasm never waned.  Harry was still demanding his daily walk at 19 years of age.

My, how things have changed . . .

muddy-dogMabel has a deep-seated aversion to rain.  As she does to having baths.  I used to think it was just the water itself that upset her, but she is quite happy to go and stand up to her oxters in any muddy puddle she can find, so that can’t be it.  She doesn’t seem to be scared of the rain either—which in itself is notable, as she is scared of almost everything else.

(Did you know that ‘fear of rain’ is a real thing?  I didn’t—it’s called ombrophobia I’m fairly confident that Mabel doesn’t suffer from that.  I think it’s more a case of she just doesn’t like to get her ‘hair’ wet.)

legscrossedMaudie isn’t quite as ‘precious’ as Mabel (although she will scream bloody murder if you try to put a raincoat on her) but the rain does always have a hilarious effect on her.  A rainstorm always makes Maudie want to pee (it never fails) and she will inevitably hover around the back door with her legs crossed for an extraordinary amount of time (always looking at me as if I should be doing something about it) before eventually giving in and making a mad dash out into the garden to relieve herself.  (Rain or no rain, when a girl’s gotta go, a girl’s gotta go.)  She will then hurtle back inside (joyously triumphant in having completed her mission) and then make a huge song and dance about drying herself off (on the carpet, or the rug, or (if I can’t catch her in time) my bed . . . )

And then there’s Molly.  Ah Molly.  I love her to death you know—but sometimes . . . .  Offer to take Molly out in the rain and she is all smiles.  Running in circles, barking and doing her little ‘happy’ dance.  All good. Until I get her out of the house and maybe as far as the end of our street and, that’s it.  stubborn-dogShe will then decide that perhaps a brisk walk in the rain was not the best idea after all, and she will plant her little fat bottom down and flatly refuse to go any further (backwards or forwards) and I’ll end up having to carry her home.  (Are all pomeranians that stubborn, or is it just her?)  It’s honestly not worth the aggravation.  (Note: The picture at right is not of me and Molly, but it was heartening to find a pic that proves other people have the same issues . . . )

PouringRainLast weekend it rained and it rained and it rained.  On Sunday I held off ‘walkies’ as long as I could (due to all the reasons listed above) but once I saw a slight break in the clouds we were off.  The girls were so excited, I got them all the way down to the end of the breakwall before they realised the rain hadn’t quite stopped.  I started to get those ‘you brought us out in the rain?’ looks.  We turned for home, and picked up the pace.  I was hoping the girls wouldn’t notice that the rain was getting heavier.  They noticed.  We were still out on the breakwall when the rain turned into the sort of deluge that Noah had been waiting for.  ‘Come on,’ I cried, “Run!’ and I started running myself (no mean feat I can tell you).  When they didn’t all overtake me like they usually do, I looked over my shoulder to see the three of them, heads down and ears flattened, all trotting forlornly in a single file behind me.

Dog-shaking-cartoonTo make matters worse, Mabel would stagger three steps, stop, shake herself vigorously, stagger another three steps, stop, shake, stop, shake . . . holding the other two up in the meantime (there seemed to be some unwritten rule about ‘jumping the line’). Unreal.  (God only knows what the neighbours must think.  Anyone looking out of their windows to see me laughing hysterically (it was all pretty funny) waving my arms about and dashing back and forth chivvying up three bedraggled, pitiful looking little dogs must have thought we were rehearsing some weird circus act.)

20141228_105902Once back inside the house of course, all the horrors of the past half hour were immediately forgotten and they reverted to their usual seething, writhing mass of wriggling, giggling, yay-we’re-at-home silliness.   Little feet, heads and tails were duly dried off (using, judging by the amount of washing I had to do later, almost every towel in the house) group hugs were duly dispensed, and that ‘special’ doggie aroma began to fill the air.  (‘Eau de Wet Dog’, mmmm. . . )

Finally, calm, dry, fed and exhausted from the trauma of the day, it was time for a nap.  On mum’s lap.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.   Let it rain again this weekend.  See if I care. There is nothing quite like the love and affection of a damp, tired-but-happy little dog—or three . . .

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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