I found some old notebooks at the weekend and it was a strange and eye-opening experience going through them. The oldest one is from almost ten years ago, from when I was sixteen, and it made me smile, frown, and cringe all at the same time. It’s a bit of a mash up – part diary, part story about an Edwardian suffragette, part sketchbook. You can definitely tell I had been reading lots of classics for my GCSEs from the writing style of the fictional bits, and you can absolutely tell I was a teenager from the diary parts (holy moly, the angst!). And from the sketches, I clearly had an obsession with drawing trees and eyes.
The more recent ones still make me cringe a little, though I’m super happy to report I ditched the faux old-fashioned writing style.
I’m so so tempted to get rid of them because the idea of anyone else reading them actually mortifies me down to my gooey and very messy core, but I also know I’ll want to read them again in the future – even if it is just for something to giggle at. It’s nice also, maybe even helpful, to see the progression of my style and my ideas.
So it’s back into hiding they go, ready to embarrass me in another ten years.
Once upon a time there was a woman who went out in the rain – pouring, sideways, punch-you-in-the-face, pissing-it-down rain – and immediately regretted it. She regretted her ballet pump shoes and regretted her flimsy umbrella, though she was thankful for her many-sizes-too-big raincoat which made her look like a walking tent (even if said coat meant all the rain just ran down onto her jeans. At least her top half was dry. Well, all the top half that wasn’t her face. That was very wet).
Anyway, when the woman realised her mistake she figured the best thing she could do was seek shelter in the library.
And the library she found shelter in was noisy.
No sshhhs. No keep quiets. No awkward, stifled coughs. Just lots of people – kids, parents, friends, half-soaked women – exploring and enjoying the library. Not loudly in the grand scheme of things, but loudly in the library scheme of things.
The sound of rain outisde my window early this morning made me happy.
The drips and drops and thousand tiny splashes humming on paving slabs and freshly unfurled leaves made me want to run outside and stay there until my skin became only a half-skin, the rest of it made up of water and sky.
Once I’d got up, once I’d made a cup of tea, once I’d cuddled one cat, two cats, three cats, I stood at the doorway in my pyjamas and listened to the garden echo with rain and birdsong. My toes got wet as they gripped the doorstep. My lungs got clean as they filtered soggy air. My heart got heavy as it realised I wasn’t brave enough to step out into this soaking, squelchy, drowning world because my head had decided it was a silly thing to do.
It was silly. Totally silly. Silly through and through.
It’s natural to want to bask in sunshine, but to want to bask in rain?
That, though, had been the point.
I’ve spent the rest of the day trying to make up for my lack of bravery, but being kitted out with boots and a raincoat kind of takes the magic away.
So tomorrow, I hope it’s raining when I wake up.
If it is, you’ll find me in the garden in my pj’s, clutching a cup of overflowing-diluted-rainy tea, being completely and utterly ridiculous.