house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


It's been four months, four months of rain, rain, rain. It went from welcome to quaint, to boring, to annoying, and now to fully spectacular and scary. Is this the grand finale, I ask myself, all hope. In answer the wind howls and snaps trees, sends roof tiles into short awkward flights, drives rain up trouser legs and inside collars, plays on... The air buzzes and crackles and whirls in a demented whistle.

It's funny while I write, but now I've got to get up and go to work. I'd much rather make the fire and write on. Black clouds are being chased across the sky, blinds are rattling. I finish my coffee and cram books into my bag. I run to the car, toes-curled-inside-boots, wet after five steps and frozen for the rest of the afternoon. Great.

I remember the monsoon rains in the Maldives, also having to get out of the house and run to work as the sky dissolved with dreadful abandon. The streets in Male, knee-deep in warm, flowing water, like walking insinde the veins of a stirring giant. The moment, early on in every trip, when umbrellas became leaky, useless toys, flapping and folding like broken herons.

There comes a point in any storm when I abandon any attempt to keep dry. Once I let go, there's this small frisson of exhilaration, like shrugging to myself, "how mad is this?..." and "why not?", and loving it. Free and drenched, I would slow down and absorb the deluge, walking from home to jetty, from jetty to office, along the streets of Male, under the warm, all-encompassing shower. Then, back inside, I would invariably sit at my desk, dripping for hours, drying slowly in the frozen breath of the air conditioner.

That was the Indian Ocean, the warm monsoon, but this? I search for something good to say about this relentless Lusitan storm, this wet and angry winter that just doesn't let go. I drive inside a wall of water. It batters the windows and the roads start looking like brown, frothing waterfalls. Finally it comes to me, a good thing to say about all this: we won't be seeing any forest fires in the hills today.


At 26 February 2010 at 08:25 , Blogger Magnus said...

Good for the garden though...
and we haven't lost any trees yet.

All my boots are wet
my trousers damp
the world's a marsh
(and i'm its tramp)

At 19 March 2010 at 21:21 , Anonymous Rupert Wolfe Murray said...

And we thought the weather in Portugal was ideal

At 10 April 2010 at 04:18 , Anonymous Jen Scott said...

Monica, this blog is beyond fabulous. You definitely must write a book. Seriously. At some time between conspiring against mutant chickens, teaching English to lazy hazelnuts and creating a paragon of sustainable rural living. Entirely selfish on my part of course - I could write your writing all day :)


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