I can’t decide, but I do know its been raining for a whole week and all I seem to do is go outside, walk, get wet and dry out again. It really saps your enthusiasm and drains your will.
Some time ago I estimated that in a single week I walk for about 10 hours. This isn’t for my health, I have buses and trains to catch – then I have to do it again in reverse to return home. As you can imagine, umbrellas are important to someone who spends a lot of time on the hoof.
Ah yes, umbrellas. I remember a time when I thought an umbrella was just a piece of cloth stretched over a metal frame, but that’s just for beginners. At first I thought I could get by with a cheap one, but then the wind blew too strongly and snapped my cheap piece of kit like a cheese straw. So I went upmarket and spent some silly money on a brolly with a fibreglass frame; guaranteed not to break in a gale.
This was my Excalibur. Something I began to see as more than just an umbrella: it was a tool! Holding it up against the wind felt like sailing, even though I was only trudging along and killing time. You can feel your muscles working and the umbrella responds against the wind like a kite, flexing and twisting in your grip.
Sadly I left it in the pub. Most of my umbrellas fall prey to loss, but in the end I replace them and carry on like before. There is something sad about a broken umbrella lying in the street, a testiment to our wasteful ‘just in time’ consumer society. You can’t beat a good bit of kit, and a brolly looks stylish, but do they go to Heaven when they die?