Traveller's tales

Friday, June 30, 2006

Rain (not Fog)

Rain, up the valley, down the valley – rain in the city centre – rain in the suburbs of this great and very wet city. Rain filling drains running into swollen rivers – Goyt, Etherow, Tame and Irwell. Rain by the bucketful, rain cracking the flags, coming down in stair rods and wetting streets and squares, roofs, and chimney stacks that are lost in low cloud that envelopes the city on this wet morning in a calendar of wet days – the wettest May on record.

Locals are used to it, sunny one day, wet the next, wearing clothes for yesterday’s weather, making sure you don’t get caught out – commuters carrying rolled umbrellas on fine days, unrolled today as rain tipples from a sky that looks as if it’s still got plenty more left to drop on shoppers, fed-up with rain, but who will complain it’s too hot tomorrow a half hour after the sun comes out.

Acid rain gnawing at Queen Victoria’s impassive features - washing bird lime off her - keeping pigeons off till it stops. Rain streaming down shop fronts, masking special offers and cheap holiday offers to pedestrians dreaming of sunfilled days on beaches or beside swimming pools in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, the Italian Riviera.
Robert L. Fielding

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