Normally I like rain, especially when I’m inside and other people are not. I watch them getting soaked, and smile. At times in my youth I relished getting caught in the rain myself. Walking home from school through a torrential downpour without an umbrella (no child thinks to take an umbrella to school), I would sometimes pass deliberately under an open drainpipe as I went down Welshmill Road, in the knowledge that I couldn’t be any more soaked to the skin than I already was.
Last Friday afternoon, compelled to walk to the railway station through heavy vertical rain with nothing but my pathetic Sainsbury’s umbrella for shelter, I cursed the weather. It had entirely lost its appeal. I was compelled to take refuge briefly in a convenient shop on Trumpington Street, where I loitered in the blithely optimistic hopes that somehow my shirt sleeves would become marginally less saturated and that the rain would die down. After several minutes of procrastination I purchased two packs of Mentos. On exiting the shop it became apparent that the ferocity of the rain had not lessened with time. My vocal pleas for it to kindly fuck off were not heeded, and I plodded on depressed.
At some point on Hills Road, I had a revelation. No, not a revelation, but rather a reminder that when I was five, in Miss Loveridge’s class at St John’s, whenever going-home time was approaching and there was rain outside, we would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ together. Every time, without fail, the grey clouds dispersed, the sun poked out his impudent marmalade fingers (Vivian Stanshall), and by 3.30 you wouldn’t have known it had been wet at all, save for the trace of a rainbow in the firmament.
Trudging past Domino’s on one side of the road and Richer Sounds on the other, regretting that my journey was nearly over and that I hadn’t thought of employing this strategy earlier, but glad at least of the prospect of five minutes of walking in the warmth and dryness, I attempted a belated hum. Nothing.
Here is a Hungarian cartoon about a man with Seasonal Affective Disorder.