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|
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.