Thursday, 17 April 2014

Day Zero Project: Get an umbrella. Use it.

I’m not the sort of person to use an umbrella. Scotland really isn’t the sort of place to use one either. Unless you’ve got a really sturdy one chances are you’re either going to end up with it blowing inside out or if it is a sturdy one you’ll be able to do a really good impression of Mary Poppins.

I bought an umbrella when I went to Russia back when I was eighteen. This was because I got off the Metro to find that there was a torrential downpour going on outside the station. Three or four of us trooped back onto the platform where there was a little stall selling books, sweets and umbrellas. I picked up a purple tartan one for 350 roubles and by the time I got outside the rain had stopped.

I used that umbrella for years when I got home, even though half of it didn’t always go up, mainly because it was a souvenir of my trip away. Eventually I had to accept that it was past it and consigned it to the bin.

For a while I had one which a friend gave to me. Umbrellas lasted a little bit longer in Glasgow than they did on the island but it went the same way as the Russian one.

And I never bothered replacing it, because what’s the point of having something I would rarely use. But all the same, there have been times, particularly in the summer when it’s been rainy and I’ve thought it would be handy to have an umbrella, especially now we’ve got Tara. I’ve never bothered looking for one though because half the time they seem really expensive for something I won’t get to use very often.

Then when I went down to Manchester for Sport Relief I was given a lovely big umbrella. It’s like a golf umbrella, in fact you can see how big it is in this picture:

That’s from a photo of the four of us who went down sound (which is why I seem to have a hand growing out of my shoulder) and I’m the shortest. We had the thing resting on the floor in the train station when this was taken and it’s almost as wide as I am tall!

It’s a nifty one too. It’s got a button which press and the whole thing just pops out, though I’ve only done that once, bad luck and all. I’ve not had a chance to put the second part of this target into play yet. It’s such a big sturdy umbrella that there’s a strong chance if I went out when the weather’s bad I might just end up in Largs. But at least I’m prepared for a rainy day in the summer.

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