Rainy day in the city

I woke one morning last week and peeked out the window.


The sky was dark, the city was grey. The heavens had opened, it was pouring rain.

When I’m home I love the rain. I know it is filling our dams, our water tanks and the soil profiles that will sustain our crops and our community. It is Mother Nature’s gift to Father Earth.

But this day I was in the heart of the city and I knew I had to walk just a few blocks to my meeting. Will I make it dry and intact or will I have to wear damp shoes and socks for the day and my hair a fluffy frizzball?

I have had some city rainy day disasters over the years. I have stepped in puddles that looked like they were millimeters deep only to find my boots completely covered in a bottomless pool. I have been drenched, I have shivered, I have been soggy.

And yes I have had my umbrella turn inside out. It was karma. I had walked past rubbish bins overflowing with dead umbrellas, stripped by the wind that endlessly blows up Pitt Street and quietly LOL’d. My attention was lowered for a millisecond and bang! my umbrella fell victim. Oh the embarrassment. Im sure I gave some office workers some small amusement over their afternoon coffee as a dashed between covered walkways to my destination.

Today I will need to have all my wits about me. I am walking with suitcase in tow (that is one hand busy), my hand bag that keeps sliding off my shoulders and my umbrella (that’s second hand busy). It will be a well-choreographed dance that will look like I do this every day, like a normal city commuter. Nothing country about this girl! And all this before 8am.

If you are ever faced with this situation here are some tips that might help you survive the dreaded wet city days:

  1. Always carry an umbrella. Always. Even if you look ahead at the forecast and it says it will be fine all week, carry an umbrella. The day you don’t have it will be the day that there will be an unexpected cloud burst timed just as you need to travel to the most important meeting of your life. (Am I being too melodramatic?).

2. If you are waiting to cross the road do not stand at the curb, take three steps back, well back. Within a blink of an eye a bus or car will come hurtling around the corner and splash! It will be like someone has thrown a bucket of water over you. It is not pleasant. Watch those around you – you will see the unbaptized standing close to the curb, the veterans standing well back.

3. Be wary of others with umbrellas as you squeeze through the throng of workers bees heading to the hives, some can be dangerous.

  • There will be the ones that use their umbrella like a shield in front, ready protect their Oroton bag from the elements. Keep a watch for these before they charge and run you down.
  • There will be the man who has an umbrella that is four times as big as it should be and will take out those around him without a care. Give them plenty of room.
  • There will be the gentleman who has a new romance they are keen to impress by holding the umbrella for them and pushing everyone else out of the way. They are difficult to dodge with a suitcase in tow.
  • There will be on the ones who dash in out as if they are frightened to get their umbrella wet, let alone themselves.
  • There are the ones that lower their umbrella when they get undercover and drain the water over the person in front…who will be you!

4. Do not hold your umbrella straight and upright. Its a knack to hold your umbrella on a slight slant, but not too slanted to catch the wind. It takes practice.

5. Puddle depth is deceiving, do not risk stepping into any of them or try to jump them, it will be messy.

6. Do not buy a coffee and attempt to walk with an umbrella in hand. Just don’t do it.

7. Rainy days are the best pyjama day, try it!

Above all enjoy the day; rainy days give the earth life.

Image: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / tomwang

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