Tuesday, 19 May 2009

It's raining again...

It is raining a bit. Okay, it's raining a lot, pouring in fact and, like any normal person I'm out in it getting thoroughly wet. Except I'm not like any 'normal' person at all. All the 'normal' people, like the vicar, for example, are in their cars, nice and warm and dry.

I'm out because I'm running. I hear a car approaching from behind, so I pull in to the side and wait for it to pass. But it doesn't, it stops, the driver's window descends and the (very lovely) vicar ask sweetly: "Do you want to be out in this? Because, if you don't it'd be no trouble to run you home..."

"No really, I'm fine, I like it," I say.

The vicar looks astonished. "Are you sure? It's no trouble, really."

"No, it's really kind of you but..." I say from the depths of my water resistant running jacket which I am thinking of taking off because I'm too hot.

"You are sure? Really?" She's long given up on trying to save my soul, but she's not ready yet to give up on saving my body. Does she really want a soaking wet, slightly muddy, sweaty runner in her lovely warm, dry, pristine car? I might splash the embroidered vicarly robes she's wearing (she's in the full Dibley works and fabulous they are too.) It seems she does. "It's really no trouble," she repeats, hopefully.

"No I'm fine, honestly," I laugh, as if to prove the point. The vicar smiles back at such madness, gives up and drives away.

I take off my jacket and run on. Big droplets of water hit my arms, sizzle and steam off. I run on, in my own, slow, splashy ploddy way for another hour or so and arrive home, six and a half miles later, convinced I'm dry, but actually soaking wet (that's technical fabrics for you - they wick, they're great.)

It's happened before. We were due a farm inspection, Tir Gofal or something. Granny in the annexe was dealing with it (paperwork is G in the A's department, heavy work is Brian's department, I'm somewhere in the middle with the children.)

There's a severe weather warning. Really heavy rain, especially in the Welsh hills, says the weather person. Some localised flooding. Just perfect for a run (actually she didn't say that bit). I splash down the road towards the hills, water sheeting around me. The road, sloping towards me, is running with flood water. The water is above the height of my ankles, at another point it is calf-deep. I approach the T-junction. A car turns towards me, stops, the driver looks at the state of the road and thinks better of it. It's the Welsh Office farm inspector.

"I've just seen your daughter," she tells G in the A in a 'she's completely mad' voice.

"Yes," says G in the A, in an 'I know she is' voice.

But oh, there's something magical about running in the rain. The air is moist and cool and easy to breathe. You don't get so hot or so sweaty-salty. Everywhere is washed and shiny. There's something magnificent about being out in the elements. The hills look fabulous, peeking out from under heavy clouds, all brooding and dark.

Coming in to get warm and dry is lovely too. You don't get that lovely snuggly warmed up feeling when it's hot and dry and sunny. That's when you can't get cool again, when you're hot, sticky, burned and uncomfortable. Sunshine makes you parched and gritty.

I know I've moaned about it raining in the past. I know I moaned all last summer that it's less fun when it's raining, but only when I'm not running. When I'm running it can rain all it likes.


  1. E says this about running in the rain. You've almost tempted me to give it a go with ole Lolly dog. I feel I've been moaning about the rain in every blog I've read today. But certainly, your vicar, that IS the sign of saintliness, to offer a frankly unappealing baggage such as you made yourself out to be, a lift!

  2. And running by the sea too; the rocks lost under the breaking waves, spume drifting over the clifftops and gulls screeching as they hover in the wind. At Ceibwr, Strumble,Dinas...

    It makes you feel more alive, I think.

  3. I do so love reading your posts; they are like a breath of fresh air and remind me of when I was young (well younger). Thankyou. I too have been out in the rain today (very wet this afternoon in the Cotswolds); I'm gardening and it's muddy and I get so wet I decide it's not even worth sheltering in the greenhouse. I cant run any more, but know what you mean. Exhilerating.

  4. Yes, you're right! ( I would have contacted you earlier but berludy BT has fouled up again - everytime it rains we go offline, - it's dry at the moment so may be ok to comment, finger crossed).

    Thank you for Monday, wasn't it nice to meet up with Withy?

  5. No, sorry, not convinced - love your words but don't want to run - in the rain or not.

  6. What a lovely Vicar! I love being in the rain, really heavy splashy rain. I don't run but do walk a lot. Some of the best walks have been when I've been caught out and got soaked through in moments, makes me want to laugh and sing, something so liberating about it.

  7. I can't say I'm with you on running in the rain - for a start, how can you see properly with rain pelting into your eyes and drumming stingingly onto calves? At least you're not cold, I suppose, if you're running. I can imagine it's probably better than trudging grumpily through the rain, as I am wont to do. But not much.

    PS Didn't mean to be rude about your name. I always think Welsh Margarets are kind of exempt from the Margaret and Barbara rule.

  8. Milla - running with Lolly in the rain sounds a great idea until you arrive home with a stinking, wet dog. I bet she'd love it though!

    Mark - Absolutely right about running by the sea and the whole thing making you feel more alive. Not sure about running at Dinas though, I'd probably trip and fall off the edge!

    Wild Somerset Child - Thanks for your lovely comment. It is exhilarating to be out in the rain.

    Chris - Yes, Monday was lovely. We'll have to do that again.

    Faith - No it's not for everyone. Some people have more sense!

    Calico - I have been known to sing in the rain too!

    LBD - The rain doesn't sting because it evaporates on contact with hot skin. Very refreshing. You weren't rude about my name, it's just always Margarets or Maggies! (The vomiting woman in Little Britain, the baby in The Simpsons, any horse, dog, iguana etc on TV...) Come to think of it, I do know where the biscuits are...!

  9. Singing in the rain - yes.
    Running in the rain - I'll just read about it, thank you.
    I'm sure we don't have clergy members that drive about in full regalia - in fact we don't have vicars over here at all. They're all pastors, which don't sound half as interesting, and even a bit strict and dry, while vicar sounds rather cosy and friendly.
    Anyway - uplifting post!

  10. God no, Mags I couldn't cope!!! I loathe the rain so much that I am sure I would bore myself by moaning the whole time! x


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