Saturday, January 16, 2016

The rain on my roof



The last few days in Rotterdam have been wet; so wet I was beginning to work, live and sleep in my Wellington boots. Not that I mind that; they are a very natty tartan and I love wearing them. But, I have to confess to hating rain with quite a passion, so sitting in my barge of an evening has seen me glowering at the ceiling and being volubly stroppy with Mother Nature, although I'm sure she can't hear me above the cacophony.

But why do I dislike it so much? Let me explain...

On the hatches of my hold, heavy rain positively clatters and sounds much louder and more intense than it really is. Honestly, it's deafening at times. I find it an immensely depressing noise and with the dark skies and looming clouds, it makes me feel very shut in. My barge doesn't have many windows, so even in bright sunlight, I have to open the entrance hatch to appreciate how lovely it is outside. Since this hatch hinges upwards rather than out, I can't, for obvious reasons, have it open when it's raining (well, I hope it's obvious anyway). It's dark enough outside, but on wet days it's even darker inside and more than a bit cave like.

But that's not the only reason. I've loathed all types of precipitation involving the various forms of H2O since I was a child, I really have. I can remember a particular day in the winter of 1962 when I was walking home from primary school with my sister. I would have been seven at the time and my sister was nine. It was snowing and my little grey wool school coat was soaked. My feet, in my school lace-up shoes, were so cold I felt as if I'd got marbles on the end of them instead of toes, and yet at the same time they hurt like crazy.  I was a very unhappy young bunny and to support my protest, I remember crying all the way home. In fact, I believe it was that day that sowed the seeds of my desire to live in a warm country, something I achieved for nigh on twenty years in South Africa but much later on.

Snow...one of the dreaded forms of H2O that I loathe
Talking of that beautiful, but challenging land, one of the points very highly in its favour was that it didn't rain in winter and very rarely snowed either. From April through to September, it was not unusual to have no rain at all on the highveld and I just loved the winters there. Many of my friends used to long for the spring rains, but I never did, not once.

If that makes you wonder why I live in rainy old Holland now, a country with more water per square kilometre than almost anywhere else in the world, I will admit I sometimes question my sanity too. The thing is, because of all this water there are all these barges, which I do love - my own Vereeniging especially - despite the gloom in bad weather. It was also how and where I met Koos, who is the reason I stayed here in the first place.

So going back to the beginning again, the pelting rain gets me down, but if I want to live on a boat, then it sort of goes with the territory (or the water).  Added to that, the benefits in good weather far outweigh the downsides...remember my waxing lyrical about spuddling on a hot and sunny afternoon?

Spuddling with the big ones. Okay, it doesn't look hot, but
you get the idea.
So what do you think of rain? Do you like the feeling of being cosy indoors while it's pouring outside, or do you find it depressing and inconvenient? Feel free to vent...I won't mind!...

20 comments:

  1. How do I like the rain ? O Val!
    Well you know I live in Ireland and it rains an awful lot. There are different types of rain, from the very fine rain which is known as mist, to another fine one to which we say "It's a soft day" and a heavy rain to which my old neighbour would say "It is a barborius day Mel" I have no idea where that word came from, except that everyone uses it.
    In the summer sometimes the rain is warm and it is like walking in a shower. Heavy rain is known as "Effin bucketing it down !" Then there- is the shleet and the sh-now the white stuff and I don't like the cold nor the frosht at all. I enjoy being warm and snug with a good fire put giving out with lots of heat.
    This winter I bought some fleece ankle length slippers and my tootsies are now grand and cozy.
    What I really enjoy on cold nights is to light a couple of candles and just enjoy the warm shadows.

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    1. Oh Mel, I enjoyed your comment so much! The "shleet and the sh-now" and the "frosht"! Very evocative...and I can just imagine the candles with the warm shadows. Lovely! It's the poet in you :)

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  2. I really hate it....you can't push a buggy and hold an umbrella over your head at the same time! Little G sits under a plastic rainhood that makes her look like something pre-packaged, and I get wetter and wetter. Uck! And now we have SNOW!

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  3. Hi Val - I had a tin roof in Jo'burg .. so can understand your splattering noise ... it does make a shindig! Mel's comment makes absolute sense ...

    As you can see we had some snow .. but it's going now - whether tonight will be ice - remains to be seen ... the temperatures, at least down here, aren't that cold yet. There isn't a lot of wind now - having had the rain and gales earlier in the week ... hence my cold, I suspect ... so I'm not under the sheets, but just hope it goes away overnight! It's not that bad thankfully ..

    Cheers - I can see the advantages and disadvantages .. Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary! The rain has stopped now, but the temperatures have plummeted. Get better soon! I hope you can stay warm and snuggled down until it's over!

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  4. I don't like rain with wind. I don't mind getting wet but blown off my feet is another matter. I have to say every time I have been to The Netherlands it has rained...even back in 1968 when I went there first. The only time it didn't rain was when we (my artists and others) did the Eindhoven Rock Festival (1991 I think) and it was dry the whole three days. But I don't mind rain in Holland, there is so much to see and do, and gliding along the canals is a joy come rain or shine.

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    1. Isn't that funny, Jane. Here, we always think it never stops raining in England! I actually think there's little difference between our two countries. The canals here are a blessing though.

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  5. Val. I only like the rain if I am indoors, curled up with a good book. If I have to venture out in the wet stuff, I am not a happy camper. So, I do understand your lament. Smiles, Lynn

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    1. I'm glad you can empathise, Lynn :)

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  6. I don't mind it being rainy as long as I feel cosy and warm, and i| know I can get sun when I need it. lack of sun bothers me more than rain. It IS strange that you have ended up in Holland though - I really think their weather is gloomier and rainier than ours! :)

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    1. I think the question of who has the most rain would cause quite an argument between the Dutch and the English, Jenny :) Me, I think it's the same, but yes, I long for a drier, sunnier climate...often!

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  7. I don't mind warm rain, but here in Scotland...it's COLD! I hate being cold, which makes me wonder what on earth I'm doing in Scotland...the answer, of course, is Alan. When I have trouble falling asleep at night...I dream about doing rock work around a house in sunny Arizona in the U.S. But having read your "Walloon Ways"...I sometimes go to sleep on a water-rocked barge...the water under the barge, not falling on top of it!

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    1. That's the worst, Steph, being cold AND wet....nothing worse. It was why I left the UK in the first place. Now I'm dream of taking my barge to somewhere warmer and drier...there's no much nicer than going to sleep on the water - as you say! :)

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    2. Oh dear, I am going to be the odd one out! I love the rain and the snow too. I know what you mean about how loud the rain sounds on a boat. On our sailing boat it could be quite miserable when it rained too. However, during the long hot Italian summers I crave rain and I just loved it during those 8 months in Bath. From the gentle drizzle that did not really get you wet to the heavy downpour that soaked you to your knickers but was invigorating and made me laugh out loud (knowing I was a short distance from home and dry clothes helped there :)

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    3. You aren't alone, though, Tonia. Many of my South African friends loved the rain and snow too. Koos does as well, but I've hated it my whole life. I don't somehow think that's going to change now, although being caught in a summer storm can be quite fun - when the rain is warm! I like the getting wet to your nickers bit too :)

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  8. I really like rain, but then we don't see it very often. The sound on the roof at night is lovely, and I happily go for my daily walk in light rain (but not thunder-storms!) However, it becomes miserable when it rains for weeks on end (not that we've seen that for a generation or so). And not, I don't like cold/wind/rain all at once either! What a fun topic Val, and I hope you get some sunshine soon.

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    1. It's been lovely today, Patricia! Very cold, but very bright, which is infinitely preferable to the rain. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!

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  9. I actually quite the the rain, but it does depend on the type of rain! I understand where you are coming from with the lack of sunlight, our lives changed so much for the better when we had the new hatch fitted that lets the daylight in. I now like being all cosy and listening to (and watching) the rain on the cabin roof. It's also good for stargazing.
    I treated myself to a huge see through umbrella that almost comes down to my waist and covers me and anything in my arms. Fab for getting from car to boat xxxx

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    1. Oh Fran, I can imagine your lovely new hatch makes all the difference, and I love the sound of your see-through umbrella! xxx

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