For weeks now the weather has been completely, utterly, and typically British. Staunchly. Proudly, even. It’s been changeable though mostly wet, windy, and colder than expected for the time of year. While not very pleasant to inhabit, something about being immersed in the kind of weather where we grit our teeth and go for bracing walks in the wet, because it is important to Have Fun in the Outdoors, has been very appealing to me.
As I was scurrying through Russell Square on my way to work on a particularly gusty and wet morning, I couldn’t help but feel it was the Blustery Day and I was little Piglet being buffeted along. (And believe me, it takes a lot of wind to properly buffet somebody of my stature. Although actually on second thought, my centre of gravity is much higher, so perhaps we tall ones are more easily blustered than others. Somebody must be doing a thesis about this somewhere. Blustering research is in high demand these days.)
One day it was cloudy but not actually raining so I went for a walk in Gray’s Inn Gardens (known eternally in my head as The Lawyer Gardens because I can never remember what it’s actually called and it’s surrounded by many law firm chambers. You could wade up to your knees in them over there.) With all the rain we’ve been having the foliage was lush and fresh, giving off that springtime smell of damp vegetation. The colors were beautiful, deeper and richer than any ordinary day. Somehow the grey skies made the trees and flowers seem luminous, as though they were themselves the source of the light that day. Even the brick buildings, always elegant, seemed suffused with mystery. The hues were like the colors of a garden in a dream, vivid and refreshing.
But then, you can’t trust it, this weather. There was another day where I saw a guy striding gamely along in a stiff wind who suddenly found himself carrying an umbrella frame to which no actual cloth (perhaps the most integral feature of any umbrella) was attached. He appeared nonplussed by this development.