An acquaintance remarked: “Walking in the rain holds little appeal apart from the coffee stops in some sheltered area.”
Nor for me as a rule (and I prefer tea to coffee). If it had been raining when I got up I wouldn’t have bothered. I’m not inclined to be a masochist.
The rain didn’t start until I got to the seafront in Eastbourne. It was no more than a few drops in the wind at that stage so it seemed a good excuse to put the new ultra-lightweight anorak to the test. I’d bought it for exactly that sort of situation; to be stuffed in a corner of the rucksack in case of unexpected summer showers.
By the time I’d gone the length of the beach the weather wasn’t getting any worse, so I thought: “Sod it, I’ve come all this way. I might as well at least do Beachy Head. If it gets seriously worse I can always get the bus back from there.”
And by the time I got there my mood had changed. Not only because I’d left Eastbourne behind (there was something more than faintly depressing about the place) but also becasue although the weather wasn’t wonderful I was enjoying myself.
If you don’t go walking it’s hard to explain. But there’s something wonderfully elemental about standing in the wind under a glowering sky. The turf had that soft spring in it, the jacket was holding up (I didn’t get much more than a bit damp around the edges all day) and it just seemed too good an opportunity to waste.
The sun is shining and my legs don’t feel too bad, so I think another stretch of the Thames beckons.
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