… as I said to Tony while it pelted down as we floated round the outdoor heated spa pool at the hotel. Hot pool … upturned face … cold rain: fab!
Reminded me of other such moments: a summer thunderstorm in Bev’s pool in Canada when I was a teenager (OK … OK … there were some good things about being a teenager …); rushing outside with a bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap while a Counsellor at summer camp in the US (“Camp Awosting: where boys learn by doing!”) to ‘shower’ under the runoff from the cabin eaves during another fantastic, torrential rainstorm (the showers were grim); a surprise rain shower during a magical day at Bains Kloof in South Africa when I was 12 (now that really WAS a long time ago …).
Chicago gets fantastic summer storms of course; but of course they might matter rather a lot if I were on my way to work and trying not to arrive looking like a drowned rat. There was that wonderful time last year, though, when Pam, Tony and I – having just given up on Mamma Mia at the cinema – were on one of Chicago’s great ‘lower level’ streets (see the last Batman movie for Gotham visuals …) when a great storm struck. Very atmospheric … water geysering 5 or 6 ft up through the drains and falling in sheets off the street-edge above … tornado sirens going off in the background … all amazingly “alive”. Pam was fortunately wearing her running shoes (ie the 4 inch heels rather than the 6 inch version), so we were able to escape to the nearby Billy Goat Tavern to wait out the storm.
None of this was so fabulous for Mark & Menna and the kids, who – at that very moment – were stuck in their aircraft on the ground at O’Hare, poor lambs. Perhaps divine retribution for that time when Menna made a slight mistake about the timing of the wet and dry seasons when we were planning our visit to Ghana …