6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

Clare Mackintosh: Waterproof in Wales

PUBLISHED: 14:22 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 07 February 2017

Who cares if it rains all winter? Not me

Who cares if it rains all winter? Not me

Archant

‘Not a bad day today,’ the lady in the newsagent said as I followed her gaze out of the window, over which water was cascading from the gutter above

When I broke the news to friends and family that we were moving to North Wales, the response was consistent and predictable. “You do know it rains there?” “It rains everywhere,” I replied gaily. It’s hardly the Costa del Cotswolds, after all. Muddy walks and wet school runs have been part and parcel of our winters (and frequently our summers) in Chipping Norton, and so they would continue to be in North Wales. I doubted I’d even notice the change in climate.

We moved at the start of September, benefitting from one of those wonderful Indian Summers that feel like a reward for good behaviour. Then, as the days became shorter, and summer slipped slowly into autumn… oh my GOD THE RAIN! It poured down for hours, days, weeks at a time. It gushed down drainpipes, rushed along pavements, and puddled into every available pothole. Two months later and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d returned from a dog walk without wet trousers, wet socks, wet underwear, for heaven’s sake. Was this climate change? The apocalypse? Or was it just… North Wales?

I heard the warnings of my naysayer friends echoing in my ears. Why didn’t I listen? Would it have made a difference? And then something struck me. As I set out on yet another wet school run, water seeping between my damp collar and my neck, it occurred to me that, in the midst of these biblical rains, I hadn’t heard anyone else complaining about them. Not a soul. “Not a bad day today, is it?” the lady in the newsagent said, one morning. I followed her gaze out of the window, over which water was cascading from the gutter above. On the high street, a woman was battling with an umbrella; drenched from the waist down by a passing car driving through the puddles. “Not as wet as yesterday,” the newsagent continued. And I had to give her that; it was indeed marginally less wet than the previous day, when I had contemplated borrowing a kayak and paddle to splash my way down the street from our flat to my rented office. Not as wet as yesterday.

As the week progressed, and the rain continued to pour, I realised the newsagent was not the only Pollyanna in the village. “Lovely and mild today!” declared a man with an enthusiastic Labrador. And indeed it was. Positively balmy, if one compared it to – say – Iceland. It seems that, in North Wales, weather is just a state of mind. And why not? ‘Nice day’, is, after all, entirely subjective. Who decides what’s nice and what’s not? Just as some people are sun-seekers, wanting nothing more than to stretch out like a lizard on a white-hot beach; others prefer the wintery pleasures of bed socks, hot chocolate, and a DVD box set. Why not be a lover of wet weather? Why not embrace the sound of raindrops on roof tiles; of swollen streams over rocky river beds?

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, and fortunately there is no shortage of Welsh outdoor shops willing to take my money. Boots (obviously). Waterproof trousers. Waterproof gloves. Waterproof coat, with hood. Waterproof hat, for extra wet days. Frankly, if I could find a waterproof balaclava I’d happily hand over my bank card.

And so now I sally forth looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, every step accompanied by rustling and creaking from my not-quite-worn-in waterproofs. Arriving at work I shake myself like a dog, shedding rain drops in the lobby before venturing upstairs to my office to divest myself of each water-logged garment. Who cares if it rains all winter? Not me.

Clare’s bestseller I See You, published by Sphere is out now in paperback. For more information or more from Clare Mackintosh, visit her website or follow her on Twitter! @claremackint0sh

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Fri, 09:49

Britain is home to many an unusual tradition, and the region of the Cotswolds is no exception. Here are 11 of the strangest pastimes from this corner of England, including cheese rolling, duck racing and wool sack racing!

Read more
Tue, 12:00

As the weather warms, blossom blooms from the trees and colourful flowers burst from the ground, we can’t wait to explore the Cotswold countryside. We pick 9 walks that will make you want to lace up your walking boots straightaway!

Read more
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Plants, painting and plans.....The Walled Garden at the Museum in the Park, Stroud is now open for painting workshops with Pegasus Art

Read more
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

There are many beautiful spots in and around the Cotswolds to lay your blanket down and enjoy a good old fashioned picnic! Here are 13 of the best…

Read more
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We never tire of pretty pictures of the Cotswolds. Here are ten of the best shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Friday, March 24, 2017

The Cotswolds is a county of beauty: with mesmerising views of the scenery, beautiful landmarks to discover and rolling green countryside to explore, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a walk. We pick 8 walks for you to try and have found the nearby pubs to prepare for your ramble or reward yourself when you finish!

Read more
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Call yourself a true Cotswoldian? We’d love to put you to the test! Take our quiz to find out how well you really know the Cotswolds

Read more
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

They say Cirencester is the capital of the Cotswolds but the quintessential villages that adorn the northern half of the region are equally as beautiful. In no particular order, we pick 10 of the prettiest north Cotswold villages you need to explore

Read more
Monday, March 20, 2017

Forget the bad press, says Tracy Spiers, visitors are flooding back to the beautiful riverside town of Tewkesbury

Read more
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Improving Cirencester’s appeal as a classic market town has been 50 years in the planning and is at last coming to fruition, as Tracy Spiers explains

Read more
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Head to Stroud Subscription Rooms on Saturday March 4 from 10am to see how you can get involved with the National Trust Cotswolds

Read more
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Get hare-ing! From March 25, the Cotswolds will be teeming with 80 five foot-hare sculptures for visitors to spot throughout the region

Read more
Monday, February 20, 2017

In our latest literary ramble, we explore the golden backlanes of this pretty Cotswold town

Read more
Monday, February 13, 2017

We pick seven special and unique ways to pop the question in one of the most romantic and beautiful places in England… The Cotswolds.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search