There’s no such thing as bad weather, I recalled a friend saying recently and I tended to agree. As long as you’re dressed for the elements, you can actually enjoy them. It was this attitude, that had condoned what might be referred to as an insane urge, to walk along my local seafront recently and watch the huge waves crashing to the shore, in the turbulent weather we were having. Wrapped up well, with layers of warm clothing, waterproofing was sealed with a wonderful cerise jacket, recently purchased from a really nice local shop. The length of this anorak, allowed it to cover my ample buttocks, as far as about an inch above my knees, below which were the bottom ends of warm black trousers, For added benefit, I wore thick winter tights, underneath said pants, the feet of which were covered in warm wooly socks, to keep my tootsies toasty, then placing these toasty tootsies in an old pair of M & S walking shoes.
More wrapping ensued in the shape of a thick woollen scarf, pulled up over my face, just two blue eyes, peeking out from the gap created once I had placed a cozy fur hat on my head. Matching pink wool gloves kept my hands warm as I pulled up the hood of the waterproof jacket. My armour was complete. Mind you I’d have to turn my whole feckin body each way to look right and left, when crossing the road, such was the restriction of the layers and the jacket, especially the hood and the hat. If ever in need of a neck collar, in the absence of acquiring one, such attire will do the job, just as well.
Smiling smugly, I approached the front door, specs tucked into my pocket as they don’t come with windscreen wipers and sure visibility wasn’t good for anyone, let alone a short sighted, hearing impaired aul one. Wind and rain assaulted me as I stepped outside, but not to be deterred, braved the gales and what appeared to be rain, until approaching the seafront, realised this was more like feckin hale. Thanks be to Jesus, for the scarf covering my face but this was taking the proverbial mick, I wasn’t prepared enough for this surprise onslaught. For a second, I considered returning home to retrieve my prescription swimming goggles, sure who’d see me, it wasn’t likely there’d be anyone else mad enough to brave this weather. That thought was quickly dismissed, when the beachside cafe came into view, with lights blazing and customers looking cozy, gazing out the windows. I wasn’t so visually impaired after all, even through the hail.
As it transpired, there were other things to worry about, as I realised that this ‘amazing’ jacket I had bought, was waterproof alright, so waterproof that the rain was rolling right off it. My warm wool gloves were now fingers of sogginess, clinging to freezing digits, trouser legs stuck to both my tights and skin, socks equally soggy. The shoes were the icing on the proverbial cake, fast filling with water, dripping from the legs of the sodden trousers. I was literally squelching as I walked.
Now being a woman of good intentions, often ruined by temptations, usually of the edible variety, I knew that if I was to enjoy my chocolate that evening, without as much guilt as normal, it was imperative that I finish this walk. So, on I squelched, dripped, froze and trudged.
Realising it was important to get away from the seafront as the return journey would be against the wind and hale, I changed course, now pacing through residential areas, making the best of it, smiling now and again, even giggling, thinking how typical this scenario was. My route took me through the town and on a positive note, I spotted a shop that, though I could most definitely not visit in this state, was a potential spot for gift ideas and thus noted its situation for future, more suitably attired outings. Next to this store, was a flower shop, outside of which stood a beautiful, natural Christmas tree. Suddenly I experienced an irresistible urge to stop and smell the pine (I do this sort of sniffing in bookshops, actually smell the pages inside the covers of the books. My son disowned me once, warned me first that he would disown me if I indulged in my book sniffing fetish, but I went ahead and did it anyway. He immediately walked out of the shop, assuring people with his eyes and gestures that he was most definitely not with me).
Stepping towards the tree, I noticed a couple, appearing to need to pass, so obligingly, moved even closer to it. Lifting a branch towards my large nose, while simultaneously pulling the scarf from my face, I leaned forward to sniff the aroma. To my horror, snot, mucous, whatever you want to call it, dripped from my nostrils, onto the pines of the festive tree.
Hearing murmurs behind me, I robotically moved my soggy frame, in an anti-clockwise direction, to see where the noise was coming from, possibly with goo still dripping from said orifice, such was the speed it all happened. Well, wasn’t it only the feckin couple who had appeared to be walking by moments before. They were now, quite obviously, considering buying the tree for their home. ‘Oooh’, I heard the lady exclaim, there’s a baby slug on one of the pines’…I didn’t stop to hear the rest, just took a squelchy step sideways and left them to it, suppressing a naughty grin as I did so.
Carrying on along my merry way towards home, yes merry, even in that state, mainly at the thought of the goodies I could eat tonight. In fairness the same amount of goodies would be consumed any other night, except doing enough steps ensured the possibility, slight though it may be, of losing a few ounces of the fat stuff. Sure, with the water in my shoes, the soggy trousers and the weight of the soaking jacket, I might have burned up more calories. Every little helps. So, feeling mischievously childish, with about 200 yards to go. I decided that whatever puddles there were, on the way home, this aul one would be walking through them, purposefully.
Do you think there was a feckin puddle on that last leg of the journey! Not on your nelly. When the paths of the town were being paved, they must have had the most meticulous tradesmen on the council, paving ours. Now, the road was a different story, there were a few puddles there, but there were also feckin cars. If they weren’t parked, they were being driven and apart from the odd splash on an unsuspecting pedestrian, there wasn’t enough water to make a puddle, though there was plenty falling from the sky. ‘Feckin typical’, I thought as I was about to cross the road to my home. Just then I looked down at the double yellow line painted on the corner, no car, no van, nothing, except, a nice deep puddle and guess who stepped down, into the water, stood there, did a little dance, without even looking, robotically or otherwise, to see if there were any onlookers. Feck that, this was fun, nobody would begrudge me these fun moments. As the saying goes ‘fill your boots’ or shoes in this case and fill them I did, with lots of water, grinning from ear to ear.
It was only on opening my front door and eyeing the carpet, that I realised, taking off my shoes wasn’t an option. It would be better to keep them on, as the wet socks and tights might make more of a mess than the squelchy shoes. So, wiping them on the mat, I made my way to the bathroom, to derobe. Off came my jacket, absolutely drenched but underneath, the layers of upper body clothing were perfectly dry. The waist and seat of my trousers were also dry, as were the top of the legs, but the lower part was a different matter as all clothing below the hem of the coat was soaked right through. ‘Well’, I thought, ‘this jacket was worth every penny I’d spent on it, but I’ll have to go back to that shop…..to buy the trousers to go with it…and wellies too…..plus a yacht to complete the purchase, coz this coat ain’t made for walking, it’s purely for sailing the seven seas!!