Sunday, October 28, 2007

Walking in the Rain

The trouble with glasses is they are so bad in the rain.

Tonight’s rain was that fine rain that speckles and spritzes against your face. Fine - so it’s a form of moisturiser for the skin except moisturiser is better.

Here’s the problem though - you may need specs to see - but in the rain they cloud over and (far from helping) they dim your vision.

I’m a fundraiser for Amnesty and that means I’m a streetwalker – not a hooker you understand - but I still walk the streets. I knock on doors and raise funds.

So I set out tonight knowing I’d get wet. It rains - you get wet.

It helps to do my job with a light heart and a smile on my face. I’m friendly – but when it rains like this, supporters don’t want to come to the door. I guess they don’t want to get wet either.
Tonight the streets and the pavements had that sheen – they were slick with moisture.
The night had gathered early and spread a cloak of darkness before its proper time. A gloomy Hitchcock film noir kind of darkness.

There’s rain and then there’s rain. As I grew up I was told that the Eskimos, now called the Inuit, have a zillion words for snow but we just call rain “rain.” Actually we also call rain by storm and drizzle and mist and showers. But I don’t have the language to describe this fine misty drizzle that permeates and wets everything. A constant, unremitting sadness that falls softly from the sky and makes London such a dark and shiny place.

This rain isn’t isolated or local or patchy or scattered or sporadic. It isn’t a shower (anyway what is a shower – when it rains it rains. If you are in a shower it’s raining.) No this is consistent.
As I walked I could feel and smell the rain and see the haloes of light around the streetlights. A fizzing of the light around the bulbs – some yellow some white. I could also hear the difference the rain made deadening the traffic noises like a blanket of calm.

The rain has its own beauty but unsurprisingly tonight’s walk and tonight’s fundraising were not a great success.

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