I was going to write a long, meandering, nerdy post about my writing process – about markdown formatting, and version control, and compiling blog posts into e-books, but then realised I had a much better story to tell. You see – just as I was leaving the office to cycle home, I felt a drop of rain.
My journey home takes me through the depths of a country estate for the first mile – weaving through tree lined avenues. While turning the pedals, and growing more bitter with every passing moment about the gusting headwind, I squinted up at the sky overhead. The clouds were either about to empty themselves spectacularly, or the spaceship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind was about to land.
It didn’t take long to find out what might happen next. An almighty crack of thunder rang out, and tumbled down the valley, bouncing off the river as it went, followed by the entire sky lighting up. I wondered if a giant Monty Python hand was up there somewhere, playing with the light-switch. Then came the rain. Lots of rain.
The rain arrived so quicky, so ferociously, and accompanied by such spectacular thunder, that I started looking at the trees as I passed beneath, wondering what the chances were of being hit by lightning. I know you’re not supposed to stand under trees during lightning storms – and my rational thought processes were being turned inside out by the gala performance of “God Emptying his Wheelbarrow” going on right above my head.
I soon forgot about the music and light show of course – because within another minute or so I had been hit by so much rain I could have done a pretty good impersonation of Aquaman. Not quite Jason Momoa of course, and not feeling great about the feeling of rain running through my collar, down my back, and into my underwear. It occurred to me not long after that my feet felt heavy too. Of course my feet were heavy – my shoes were now full of water too (I tipped them out at the back door when I got home – pouring them like little watering cans onto nearby plants).
I think perhaps the worst part of cycling in torrential rain isn’t the water falling from the sky, or the soaking underwear, or the squelching socks. It’s the water the bike lifts off the tarmac, that flies through the air, and sprays you like a spray-tan booth – only in this one the spray tan is made of mud, tar, oil, and exhaust fumes, and some of it ends up in your mouth, in your eyes, and up your nose. It’s quite difficult to describe the taste. Let’s just say it’s not something you would order off a menu.
So. I got home. As is usual, I walked into a scene of mayhem where dinner was half cooked, and I received telephone instructions – not unlike Charlie’s Angels – of what to do next. Before setting about the half-prepared meal strewn across the kitchen worktops, I stripped off my sodden clothes, and threw them in the dirty washing.
Perhaps it says something about our family that nobody found it odd at all when they arrived home that Dad was standing in the kitchen in a soaked t-shirt and boxer shorts, pan-frying chicken to make fajitas.