#3 The Rain

Billy Connolly says: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.”

In the summer of 2009, Jem and I walked 110 miles of the Pennine Way with everything we needed on our backs. We carried tent, sleeping gear, cooking equipment… and thankfully, we had great weather for most of our ‘holiday’. The first night, though – just beyond Blenkinsopp Common – it rained, and the sound of rain on canvas cannot, in my opinion and that of many others, be beaten. Tucked up in your sleeping bag, knowing everything is safe and dry, you can relax and let it lull you to sleep. The second advantage of the rain on that particular night was that the ground we were camping on was not remotely porous and we had our own, free waterbed for the night. I have seldom been more comfortable.

The following morning I was less enraptured by the fact that it still hadn’t stopped. We had to don all-over waterproofs, pack away a soggy tent (which weighs considerably more, Jem will tell you), and tramp off through the mud. We couldn’t get our Kelly Kettle lit for a much-needed cup of tea until, desperate, we dropped a tealight in the fire. That cup of tea was the best I’ve ever had.

But once you have acclimatised to the constant wet, and when you are warm enough, with a packet of chocolate digestives for emergencies and a new gas cylinder for your stove, the great, wild outdoors becomes the most beautiful place in the rain. Other people stay indoors, unwilling to brave it, so you feel like you’re alone on this uncontrollable, unpredictable planet.


But it needn’t be anything as dramatic as that, either.

7 a.m. when you really want to be in bed. Open the front door and the heat of the day is just revving into gear. But overnight it has rained. The world looks clean and shiny and new again and the air is full of that unique and unmistakeable slightly metallic smell that always follows nature’s purge.

I love the rain.


4 responses to “#3 The Rain

  • Susannah


    Reading this has bought back memories of one episode from my younger years, my then partner and I (and our two dogs) toured Wales in a tent. I remember sitting crosslegged in a tent with bob dylan playing on a tiny, tinny cassette player, the sweet smell of something we were smoking ๐Ÿ˜‰ (well, I ‘did’ back then) . . .and the rain pitter, pattering down on our canvas roof.

    I agree rain is a thing of beauty.

  • char

    It is in the eye of the beholder – we went out on Thursday at school pick up which is inevitably a cue for rain, but this time rather than begrudge a wet march through it we went in search of puddles to splash – rarely has an hour in the rain been enjoyed so much

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