Why have I been going the long way, I don't hear you ask, but you're going to be told anyway. Because it's been raining persistently for a week and the short way is now a mire into which I could sink and no one would ever know (and I wouldn't be able to hear the cheers from those who diss my song list posts, mentioning no names but she rhymes with Cheek! Oh!).
During my walks round the long way, I have learned some stuff.
Lesson 1. Temptation from the fish and chip shop is remarkably easy to resist at 7.45 in the morning when it's shut anyway and you've just had a
Lesson 2. There are three kinds of drivers where puddles and pedestrians are concerned. Driver 1 spots the puddle near where you're walking, waits for oncoming traffic, then edges around the puddle. Wave thank you at this kind. Driver 2 isn't really looking and so it's not until he's splashed you that he realises and puts up an apologetic hand as he passes you. Don't wave thank you at these drivers, but don't make any rude gestures either. Driver 3 is actually looking for people to splash, and people who wear red coats can be seen from miles away, and planned for. This driver plays a little game with himself called 'can-i-splash-her-so-the-water-reaches-chest-height?' He often wins. Make whatever gestures you like at this kind of driver, but if his brake lights go on and the car slows and pulls in, dash into the nearest garden and hide - as well as you can in your postbox coat, you blithering idiot - under a bush.
Lesson 3. Umbrella-etiquette is not yet a British skill. When you're walking on a narrow pavement with an umbrella the size of a hot air balloon, and you see someone coming the other way with a similar umbrella, you have to make some kind of decision. Dipping your umbrella to the left is one option, but when it snags on a bush and brings you to a sudden halt, you are going to look a fool. Or worse, you may find you have stabbed an innocent little birdie that was in the bush, and when you have just been miraculously healed by birdies, that's not kind. Dipping your umbrella to the right so that it hangs into the road in front of a passing goods truck is not a great option either unless you are happy for it to travel to Sweden on the truck's bonnet leaving you to arrive at work looking like an old mop. Forging on ahead so that you meet the other umbrellee head-on is another option, but unless you are three foot six and they are seven foot nine, you're not going to reach a happy compromise. One of you is going to have to take action. One other possibility is, as you get near the other umbrellee, to shout, 'Oh, I'm SO glad it's stopped raining', so that they think they look silly and put their umbrella down. Then you can squeeze past them with your hot air balloon still up and run like hell.
I have history when it comes to telling people to put their umbrellas down, though, so be warned.
|Hm. Maybe if I carried one of THESE, the other umbrellee would hurriedly cross the road anyway ........|