It's the first day of Summer. Inevitably, some might say, it is tipping it down.
If I had not had to go out, then I would have stayed safe (and dry) indoors with Mr B.
We would have pulled up the drawbridge and watched contentedly from Indoors as the rain poured down Outdoors. We would have told each other that the rain would be good for the garden and, in particular, for our sunflowers which are growing apace but will welcome
But, no, I had an appointment in town for my six-monthly visit to my very own Tooth Fairy who goes by the name of Julie and is the very best kind of Tooth Fairy though I must admit I have never
actually asked her how much she pays per tooth and what she does with all those milk teeth she must have amassed over the years.
Standing at the bus stop, sheltering under my umbrella, I couldn't help noticing
that there was nobody else around. Not a single, solitary person braving the elements did I spy in the ten minutes I waited for the Pulse bus. Even the birds were sheltering somewhere out of sight and sound. Fortunately, my stylish umbrella kept most of me
dry - it is decorated with scenes of London Town, like Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and was a present from my Little Sister and her fella so is Doubly Special. I kept a Weather Watch out for other people's brollies on my trip to town but nobody had
an umbrella half as stylish as mine.
When the bus eventually turned up, there were only three other passengers on board; usually I would expect it to be at last half full at this time of day. All of us looked
kind of huddled up and, yes, wet. The driver welcomed each one of us on board with a sympathetic nod. There were the usual comments about it being good weather for ducks, despite the fact that there wasn't s single duck about, not as far as I could see, anyway.
I wonder why we come out with these apparently sage sayings? Aren't we fortunate, in this country, to have a guaranteed topic of conversation on which everybody can express a view? Without fear of contradiction, without rancour, without any requirement for
a referendum on which to gather National Opinion.
In the waiting room, my umbrella drips all over the floor, forming a small pool. It reminds me of those days waiting with my grandchildren for the dentist's
summons when their main form of entertainment was the cold water dispenser. Mopping up the watery evidence was all part and parcel of a dental appointment. When my Tooth Fairy emerges to welcome me into her Inner Sanctum, I apologise for the state of the waiting
room floor but she dismisses my concerns with a wave of her wand. Or, should I say, her arm.
I am in luck. Because of the weather two people have cancelled their appointments with the hygienist so I am able
to kill two birds with one stone and check in for one of them. It means a twenty minute wait but I'm perfectly happy taking up my seat in the waiting room again reading the newspapers and keeping an eye on the floor which is gradually drying out. Outside the
rain keeps pouring down.
A fellow patient dashes in - she has left her umbrella behind. If it hadn't been raining, she tells me, she might well have reached home before realising she was without it. Her umbrella,
I notice, is small and navy-blue. I'm sure it does a reasonable job keeping the rain off her head but it isn't a patch on my umbrella.
Home again and the rain gradually clears. We even see a glimpse of sunshine.
And Tim Peake, returning from his amazing six months on the International Space Station, eats pizza, drinks cold beer - and says that one of the things he has missed most is the rain.
You never know how precious something is until you have to do without it.
I wonder if Tim would like to borrow my umbrella? So long as I get it back, of course...