Saturday, 12 May 2007

Rain, Rain...

Ever since I mentioned that it was sunny in Saunton it has been raining. Blankets of rain. Vertical, horizontal and perpendicular rain. Rain that splashes up off the ground and meets rain coming the other way. But not wanting to be confined indoors to television, or table tennis or even the swimming pool, we have carried on as before. Locals have become used to our cagouled figures passing by, hoods tightened against the wet, determined to continue with our holiday schedule.

When we arrive at the bicycle hire shop, children in three coats each, adults wiping rain out of their eyes so that they can see the way ahead, it is so wet that the owner hasn’t even opened for business. We have to make an emergency call to him for equipment.

Kitted out, we cycle along the Tarka Trail through wheeling squalls and blustery showers. My daughter is behind me in a covered trailer, so is for the most part dry. Occasionally I shout backwards into the gale to find out whether she has succumbed to hypothermia yet. We lose some as we go along, but the core of the party reaches Instow, turns round and wearily cycles back on soggy saddles, clicking grimly through the gears, against the same blurred background. In the end the weather lifts a little and I open the front of the trailer so my daughter can see her surroundings. “Are you ok?” I shout over my shoulder as usual. “Yes daddy but I’m a bit wet” comes the reply. I’ve been cycling in the rain for an hour and a half, I think, and you complain about a little drizzle? “Never mind, we’ll be back in a minute” I shout.

We arrive back at the cycle shop and the owner comes out. “Oh dear” he says, looking at my daughter. “Oh dear” he repeats.

I look round. Everyone looks round. Not being a frequent bike rider these days I have forgotten about the spray thrown up by the back wheel, most of which has found its way onto her face. She looks like she has been on night manoeuvres. Peering out from under the mud she says accusingly “I told you I was a bit wet.”

20 comments:

mutterings and meanderings said...

She, us women have fortitude in the face of adversity!

I loved Tarka the Otter when I was a kid. Loved it. I even had a Tarka soft toy.

Phoebes Mum said...

Fantastic biking story. Made me laugh like a drain!

@themill said...

You want to be careful - you'll have social services after you!

Stay at home dad said...

M&M - Yes she puts up with a lot! I don't know anything about Tarka. All I know about otters comes from Ring of Bright Water.

Phoebes mum - Hello! Thanks for dropping in. Serves us right for doing domething energetic...

@TM - I know, I know...

The Good Woman said...

A friend here in Scotland once told me that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. I suspect you went to the same school of weather management.

Poor wee soul. Hope she scored a hot chocolate for her stoicism.

Stay at home dad said...

Yes, I'd agree there. Well you have to in the UK don't you!

Chocolate all round afterwards... of course...

Omega Mum said...

It's the archetypal family hol, isn't it? Well done for living it for the rest of us.

beta mum said...

Poor little sausage!
I cried buckets when my Mum took me to see Ring of Bright Water. I couldn't believe they let it happen - in a film!

Annie said...

Send some of that rain my direction! We desperately need it here right now.

Getting outside in whatever the weather makes for a FUN childhood. Good job!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ha ha! I think you also deserve a hot chocolate (laced with something alcoholic) for pulling her in a trolley! those things are hard work.

Brought back damp memories and grim-faced parents determined to drag us out to 'do something fun' when we'd all rather be curled up somewhere warm.

HOpe the weather picked up
Pigx

Stay at home dad said...

Hello OM. Yes, very archetypal. And a lot more activity than I would indulge in, left to my own devices...

BM, I remember it well. There was a vogue for it then. Watership Down, ROBW, Born Free etc.

Hello Annie. You're welcome to it! I looked at your blog and thought it said '...whinging one day at a time'...

Pig, yes you're right and no it didn't!

rilly super said...

dear stay at home dad, I hope you don't cycle past Madonna's house with your daughter in such a state or she is liable to be adopted before you can even reach for the wetwipes.

For those fans of the Ring of Bright water film, I do recommend you read the books, which are beautiful and bear little resemblence to the film. He was certainly an interesting fellow, that Mr Maxwell.

Stay at home dad said...

There's no anwer to that one!

Omega Mum said...

re: Rilly Super on Mr Maxwell - had no idea he was into otters as well as running that great big Mirror Group.....

rilly super said...

He even liked to swim with his beloved creatures omega mummy, That's why he jumped off the yacht.

Stay at home dad said...

Oh that he had been that sensitive..

Reluctant Memsahib said...

you made me laugh. it's raining where I live to. Alot. And I live in Africa where its not supposed to rain. Alot. I'm also mid move. Husband is on (sunny, dry) end of particular African country we live in. And I am in wet cold end. And my wellies, all my fleeces and my raincoat have gone to join him. So I am sloshing through puddles in my flipflops looking like poor white in Africa which is never a good look and means people stare at me - for all the wrong reasons - in school car park.

Stay at home dad said...

Reluctant Memsahib - amazing where people call in from. That's a vivid peep into your life. Thanks and good luck in the rain...!

The Grocer said...

Thanks for the laugh at the end of this one, your daughter obviously has the Stoic gene from somewhere.

Stay at home dad said...

Yes... not always apparent though!