Wednesday 30th January
Sometimes I carry an umbrella but more often than not do not bother, it is all too easy to lose them. So yesterday, Monday night, I was umbrella-less and although having watched the weather the night before and was quite prepared for rain, I had no idea quite how wet it would be.
I have been soaked on a few occasions, mostly when I was younger. In London you don’t really expect it to rain that badly, and there are tubes and buses everywhere, so surely you don’t need to get that wet.
The office I work in on a Monday is about half-way between Green Park and Bond Street stations, and as Green Park is one stop closer on the Jubilee Line to my eventual destination I never think about using Bond Street. I started walking towards Piccadilly and the rain, light at first got heavier and heavier and I was quite wet when I reached the Underground. As all too usual these days the carriage was packed and though I scanned the faces as we approached stations no-one got up. I had almost forgotten the rain by the time I emerged above ground. I had to pop into my doctor’s to pick up a referral letter, so beat my way across a wind and rain-swept piazza to the bus stop. Almost the entire working population of Canary Wharf seemed to be waiting there and I tried in vain to shelter from the downpour. The first two buses were full and after ten minutes I eventually ended up, again standing, on a D7. Straight into the doctors and out into the rain again and another wait for a bus home.
I only had to walk a few hundred yards but the rain by this time was coming down horizontally, and an umbrella would have been useless anyway.
I was totally soaked and had nothing to lose by taking the dogs, restless for a pee, for their walk by the river. I came back and my coat was dripping, my trousers below the knees completely sodden. Changed and refreshed I sat with a cup of tea and marvelled at the power of the rain, and its ability to reduce the strongest of us to a damp squib. Thank goodness I had had my trusty waterproof hat to at least offer some protection or I would have been a real drowned rat in all senses of the word.