Well, I don’t like it when I’m camping. But most of the time, it really doesn’t bother me the way it seems to bother other people.
I find myself having those typical conversations about the weather.
Isn’t this weather horrid?
Yeah, I know. It’s awful.
I say it’s awful, but I don’t really mean it. Most of the time I’m thinking, I’m glad it’s raining. I don’t say it, because at best I’ll get a funny look. A worst, I’ll be stripped of my British citizenship.
Though I like to think perhaps we are all harbouring a secret affection for the rain.
I’ve often wondered why I like the rain. I spent a whole dissertation trying to work it out. In my dissertation I wrote about rain as an integral part of northern landscapes. I wrote about Manchester, Haworth and Thirlmere and how rain has shape those places both physically and culturally. I thought my northerness had something to do with my love of rain, and maybe it does to some extent, but actually I think the real reason I like it is that I find it comforting. There is something deeply comforting about being inside, warm and dry on a rainy day. In fact, there’s even something comforting about going out in the rain. The way the streets seem to clear of people and everything is blinkered by the hood of your rain coat.
I think perhaps this comforting feeling goes back to my childhood. When it rained I wasn’t allowed to go outside and play and my mum couldn’t hang the washing out to dry, so she would put it in the dryer. The dryer would always make the windows downstairs steam up and so, on rainy days, I would sit by the lounge window and draw pictures in the condensation.
It sounds like a made-up, idealised version of the past and perhaps it is. It’s not as though my mum was constantly doing laundry (although perhaps she would attest differently!). But the wet, rainy laundry days stick out in my mind because I was cocooned up in the house. I was warm and dry and the world outside was a blur beyond the steamed-up windows.