A Walk in the rain

I went for a walk in the rain this morning. I go every morning to get the paper, over an increasingly difficult route, and have a swim when I get back.

As a New Years resolution, I decided that it was about time I increased my activity level, and this is instead of the gym.

Sunday was a day of domestic crisis, and yesterday there was cyclonic winds and rain as we copped the last of cyclone Olga’s influence. This morning I decided that a little wind and rain weren’t going to hurt me, actually the thing that would hurt me would be sitting on my backside in an office all day.

I’m very glad I did go, what a wonderful and inspiring thing to do. I used to go walking in the rain quite a lot and I’d forgotten how good it could be.

To start with, the usual people weren’t out jogging, walking dogs and generally looking disgustingly fit. Not a scrap of lycra to be seen! I decided to walk a more sheltered route than my exercise route as I feared that as I neared the top of the hill I would be blown away like Mary Poppins and end up in the mud flats.

The wind was gusting and swirling and blowing the rain in waves, and I suddenly saw the attraction in sailing – that is if you have an expensive hotel to go back to.

Last night I was very glad to be tucked up in bed while the wind roared through the trees and this morning there were branches everywhere but not too much damage. As I cut across the park I was rewarded with a transformation – the old stormwater drain, usually stagnant and full of algae and rubbish, had been transformed into a majestic whitewater torrent, with a seductive call to jump in and flow away. Closer to the shops, a tree had been uprooted in the night and fallen across the highway. The neatly sawn branches were the only sign of what must have been frantic activity over the small hours of the morning. The pub’s ‘flags of the world’ were completely shredded, a reminder that the affairs of men mean little to mother nature, and even part of the facade of the new shopping centre had been torn off.

Among the buildings, the wind was even more gusty. It was quite a workout hanging on to my umbrella, and I wished I’d brought a smaller one. I saw one game fellow paper getter who I say hello to each morning. He looks like the only thing keeping him alive is his morning walk to get the paper. He is grey, fat and slow, but shuffles out every day nevertheless.

Inside the newsagent, the local paper had been delayed – waiting on photos of the storm maybe. On the return journey, the usually gentle incline became a battle into the teeth of a gale. I really got wet and wished I’d brought a bigger umbrella. Actually there was only one to be had, so I had to be content I had one at all.

Even humble gutters had been transformed into clear mountain streams, and as I rounded the corner I felt like a mariner coming into safe harbour.

Until I realised I’d locked the front door and had to squelch around the back.

Dripping, I entered to a blessedly silent house – those of you with children will realise what a rare thing silence at 6.30am is.

Rain hail or shine – different weather will give you a whole new perspective on your neighbourhood. Get out there!