There was a time when I didn’t leave the house by choice for days when it was raining. Eventually I came to realise that it wasn’t the rain keeping me indoors, it was the way I looked at it. I bought myself some large umbrellas, including an orange one, of course, and one designed like a giant sunflower. I added to these my pair of wellies and ventured out into the weather with my camera.
Upon moving to Weymouth, I found that although it didn’t seem to rain as often as it had in Oxfordshire, the strong winds here turn the showers into horizontal rain and render my large umbrellas not much more than useless.
I bought myself a long waterproof mac. It came with a detachable hood, but hats are much more my thing and far be it for me to pass up the chance to buy a new one, so I bought a rain hat to match my mac.
With my hair bundled up into my hat, my coat zipped up under my chin and my feet protected by my wellies I set off out to brave this new world of horizontal rain.
As the rain dripped off the rim of my hat and ran away down the outside of my mac, I waded through puddles in my green and orange wellies like a five-year-old, and if the weather was wet enough to wear my waterproofs to work, then I would wade in the sea on my way home.
I was reminded of a blog from a friend in Norway where she often said “there’s no such thing as bad weather, there is just the wrong clothing.
Since this new virus has been here, my confidence has taken a huge battering. I work for a supermarket chain and so have been going to work throughout the pandemic as its been unfurling. I am a creature of habit and so I have found it very hard to adjust to the new measures needed. I only work three days a week, but even staying at home for my four days, I find it very difficult to step out of the safety of my home into the “new normal” which has been created to keep us all safe. I honestly think that if I hadn’t had to go to work each week I would have become some sort of hermit, retreating into the sanctuary of my home in the physical world, but retreating further into myself and rattling around in my head with the fairies, and unicorns until a time I felt safe enough to come back out again, if ever.
The world outside is starting to wake up, stepping out into the new normal. The things I long for, visiting with my girls, coffee and cake with friends, these aren’t the norm yet, but I can buy what I need, I can walk in the park and meet people out of doors. Social distancing, it seems, is the way forward, washing hands often, using hand sanitiser, and standing in queues. And if face coverings and protective gloves are the right types of clothing to move this strange reality forward then so be it.
I can’t fully embrace this new way with open arms, it’s all so different, with too many changes, but I’m going to just put one foot in front of the other and see how far that gets me, stepping out into the here and now, where the words “Stay Safe” have turned into a casual greeting.