“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment”.
Well, until such time as I sign a deal with an outdoor clothing company, I beg to differ. The company that creates the first truly waterproof pair of workman’s boots will be praised to the roof tops or fell tops. Until then, I will have to rely on my Sealkskinz waterproof socks. (Shameless plug).
Weather plays an important role in the life of outdoor folk, and we’re all outdoor folk really, whether we work outside all day, all year round, or choose to spend our leisure time outdoors; walking or gardening or dog walking, or, as an old customer once said to me, without a hint of irony, as I stood outside her kitchen door, dripping wet: “You won’t believe how wet I got going from my car to the supermarket this morning”.
However, I think it’s on the bleakest days that I notice the light a bit more. Normally, after a day of near solid rain, a patch of blue sky (enough to make a Dutch boy a pair of trousers as my old Gran used to say) will appear at 3pm and the sun will have a go at warming and drying the place up and the day won’t have seemed so dreary. Especially if there has been a potting shed or glass house to tidy up; it’s amazing how conscientious a tidier-upper I can be when it’s raining outside.
In the Winter, if there’s Sun at 3pm, then there will be a sunset at 4ish (As my old Gran never said, but it seems to be true, but don’t take my word for it, study the skies.) I understand the hopefulness of a sunrise and what it will bring to that day. But give me a sunset, the fireworks of red and pink and purple and gold and sheer “ta-dah” of a sunset, almost saying to the moon, “follow that, if you can” and the moon will follow, but it can’t compete, because it can’t compete, because it’s light is more melancholy, but just as necessary because it plays a supporting act to the flamboyant leading light .
There are a couple of gardens I work in that have amongst the best sunsets, they are both near The South Downs with lots of trees silhouetted around. But nothing beats the sunsets of the South Coast, Cooden Beach or dear old Brighton are my favourites. Walking westwards along the prom, watching the sun dipping and almost fizzing into the sea as starlings swoop will always gladden my heart and which is why I want to retire to a beach, and spend my days phoning radio shows and my evenings throwing a ball for Sprout with The Dancing Queen next to me.
I do apologise, I drifted off for a moment there, I was supposed to be bemoaning the British weather and the travails of working in it all year round, but really, it’s not that bad, skin is waterproof and tomorrow’s another day and most customers bring out a cup of tea and we do have the beautiful British summers to look forward to….