Absolute Write, Brits, Communism, Crusades, Cyprus, Drew Barrymore, Engels, Marx, Neuromancer, Night City, Paphos, Rain, Rainy City Roller Girls, Rainy Days, Richard I, Roller Derby, Vampires, William Gibson
Taking a break from Vampires for a moment to talk about Rainy days (can we squeeze in a link there? Well, er, Vampires can’t cross running water and, er, ok, I’ll stop trying and just blatantly jump out of topic for this one…). Rainy Days is the topic of this month’s Absolute Write Blog Chain.
As several of the Brits on AW have commented, this is a topic we can do. We are renowned for our weather. While the US has tornadoes and hurricanes and Windy Cities and Kansas and the famous New York snows and all that dramatic weather, we have our famous ability to talk about it. And, for all that it is a stereotype and a cliche, it is true. We Brits do indeed talk about the weather a lot. Especially the rain. Because it does it so bloody much here.
It’s true. In fact, there is compelling and irrefutable historical evidence* that the true and sole reason for the Crusades was so that Richard I would have an excuse to build a series of castles on ‘critical tactical locations in the Middle East’ which also happened to be on sunny islands in the Mediterranean with easy access to the beach and a short hop across the bay to the local tavernas. You see, we love our wonderfully rainy weather so much that we declare long and pointless wars in sunny climes just to get away from it so we can talk about it to foreigners in their own language** Holidaying Brits the world over should be proud that they are maintaining a tradition of avoiding the rain which has been practised since the Middle Ages. Including the creating carnage on the beaches aspect.
But apropos of the above, I have an even greater reason to talk about the rain than the average Brit because I live in Manchester, a city which has its own sinister micro-climate which ensures that it rains here more than any other place in the UK (with the possible exception of parts of Wales but general concensus there is that the gods have a grudge). Manchester is, in my opinion, the place that William Gibson was really describing when he talks about Night City in Neuromancer. A place so grim and damp that it could be argued it was directly responsible for Communism because of the effect it had on Marx and Engels. Put it this way, we have a Roller Derby team*** who call themselves ‘The Rainy City Rollergirls’. That has to mean something with regards to our association with the wetter of the weather phenomena…
So it was with great surprise that, in the middle of last month, I read a headline which said that the UK was potentially about to suffer drought (apologies for the Daily Mail link here…). This was in a week in which I had spent several hours standing at open bus stops while the heavens poured down upon me, when my usually reliable waterproof coat failed in its primary function due to the sheer volume of water that was hitting it and when we did not see a hint of blue sky at all even once it had stopped (temporarily) raining. Of course, in typical media bias, the newspapers were actually talking about a situation in which some people who lived in the south east (which has the lowest rainfall, the least number of reservoirs and the highest population) might have to reduce their water usage by not using hosepipes rather than
what I would call a real ‘drought’ which has a more cracked earth and dessicated rivers feel to it. Still, it made me think about the UK’s relationship with rain. We hate it, we try to get away from it, we hide away under waterproof coats and yet it is actually a very essential environmental feature. Without it, we die. On a less dramatic note, without it there would be no ‘green and pleasant land’ for poets to witter on about (and also no daffodils, which may be a relief for those who are no fan of Wordsworth). Rain is like the unwelcome member of the family who we have to invite to our parties but shun when he arrives. With the environment changing so dramatically at the moment, maybe it is time to embrace mad old Uncle Deluge and appreciate him while we can. Perhaps next time it rains, more people might leave their hoods off and turn their faces to the clouds to feel the water run down their faces for the sheer joy of celebrating the fact that it still rains and so we might continue to live for another decade or so? Perhaps…
Hmmm, got a bit environmental there for a moment… do excuse me….
*Absolutely convincing evidence which I cannot, for reasons I cannot explain, show to you at this point in time but trust me it is compelling and irrefutable and comes from the same reliable source as the evidence that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that William Rufus built Newcastle Keep close to where Newcastle Central train station was to (eventually) be built in order so he would have a great view for his obsession with train spotting. They planned a long way ahead these Normans, you know…
** Which always seem to sound almost exactly like English but spoken really loudly and slowly.
*** I have no idea how we acquired a Roller Derby team or even how it came to be a sport in the UK, I blame Drew Barrymore… though I have noticed very few men complain about a sport which sees young women skating aggresively around a ring as being ‘not cricket’ but then, maybe I am reading the wrong newspapers. It took a lot longer than this for us to discover ‘American Not at all Football’ and ‘Baseball’ to the extent of having our own teams so clearly the trick in exporting sports is to ensure plenty of sexy young women in your teams…
Participants and posts:
Please feel free to check out these other great blog posts which form part of this chain.
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
julzperri – http://www.fishandfrivolity.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
hillaryjacques – http://hillaryjacques.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
AFord – http://af12.webs.com (link to this month’s post)
Tomspy77 – http://thomas-willam-spychalski.webs.com (link to this month’s post)
ronbwriting – http://ronbwriting.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
J. W. Alden – http://www.authoralden.com (link to this month’s post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Turndog-Millionaire – http://turndog-millionaire.com (link to this month’s post)