“And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.”
We could coin a thousand different names for this precipitation - not just the prosaic sounding "rain", "heavy rain", "light rain" and so forth but other more creative terms. "It's a soft morning," we might cry as we peer through the mist at the road before us. Or, on speaking to the neighbour, we observe; "a bit damp again today" while torrents of raindrops bounce off ever surface and dribble into every nook and cranny, discovering the weaknesses of sheds, garages and even the houses we live in. Words like drizzle, smattering, bucketloads and, of course the seminal, "pissing it down" all battle with stair rods, lashing and downpour.
And the rain never stops.
Out in the garden, on the rare occasions when needs must have driven us up the path, all is mud, puddle and morass. The pond merges into the lawn which, in its turn, becomes a sodden border - more water margin that herbaceous. Even the cats and foxes tiptoe gingerly across the lawn - a swathe of grass that, were I to walk across a few times, would soon revert to its original sticky boulder clay.
And still it rains.
One wonder at the limits to the capacity of the soil to hold this water. A thought that's stressed by the rivers flowing down the gulleys into the middle of the village. Every drive, each field edge and even the gutters of the terraces pour more water into the streams. Looking over the walls to the real streams there are deep, churning, brown waters that have replaced the sparkling little delights that once filled these valleys.
But no let up to the rain.
So we sit, fractious, annoyed and grumpy in our little coops - watching the world, as if in Ballard's dystopia, get ever damper. And we row, we pass coughs, colds and headaches from one to another unable to take those germs out into a clear, bright world and let them die in the fresh air. And because we have to go out sometimes, everything is damp. Boots, socks, coats our very souls - all not quite drying out from the persistent rain.
But no end to the torrents of rain.
Rain is good, it brings the growth, the green - the beauty of England is mostly down to the rain and the work of the water it brings. But just as with chocolate and pork pie, it's just about possible for us to have too much of that good thing. For a time to arrive when you wish it to stop, when you've had enough. That time is now.
In 2013 I'd like it to stop raining.