I’ve alway been pretty lucky with the weather.* My new compatriots and I went to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, for training in April. It was snowing and 20 degrees when we took off from Washington, DC, but by the time we got there, the temperature had risen to 45, the snow had melted and it was brilliant sunshine. In two years of frequent travel to New York, it only rained on me twice. I’ve taken trips to Dallas and Seattle and northern Michigan and Miami, and everywhere I go, people tell me that inexplicably, I’m there for the very best seasonal weather they can remember. People joke that I should hire myself out to tourist boards … enough that I started to believe it. Alison has warned me that I was tempting Fate, but it never seemed to matter. Then I came to London, and met my match.
Don’t get me wrong, I worked my magic for the first month or two that I was here – Londoners told me it was incredible the string of sunny days they were having. I went home for three days in late May for my birthday, and it poured rain while I was gone, but a la Minnesota, the heavens didn’t open up until I left town and stopped just before I returned. I was welcome here, even if the city wasn’t giving me a stipend for bringing them such tourist-friendly weather.
Then I decided to open my mouth. I started this blog, with this same title, and apparently offended Ambisagrus (the Celtic god of rain, wind, hail and fog – I figure it’s his home court). The very morning after I began penning the entry, I set off for work without an umbrella and a gray, steady rain caught me out. What’s more, I got turned around coming out of the Tube and spent an extra half hour wandering in the deluge before I got to the office. Your fearless narrator arrived at work like a cat who’d been fished out of the spin cycle in a washing machine. It was immediately apparent that there were forces more powerful than myself who were unhappy that I’d been taking credit for things ultimately beyond my control, and I was fully prepared to abandon any further attempt to do so. I told Alison that I was giving up the entry, and the skies cleared for a little while.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be enough. Since those several weeks ago, it’s rained almost every day. London has turned into … well, London. We get brilliant spells of 65 degrees and sunshine, but that’s only to lure you into walking the two miles back to the hotel. The clouds are quick and mercurial. Once you get far enough that the bus doesn’t make sense any longer and you’re beyond range of any convenient Tube stations, those rain clouds show up and do their job.
Mercy, Ambisagrus. I beg your forgiveness. I will never send another resume to a tourism board as long as I live and I’ll stop hearing “Nice day we’re having, eh?” and telling people that they are welcome. The only thing sunny around me under my control will be my disposition. Chance will be only that; I’m not “The Weather Man”; Karma brings the clouds and takes them away, not Alan coming to town. Do you hear me? Mea culpa. Enough already! I’ll never say “if it doesn’t rain,” smirk and knock wood without meaning it again. I’ve kept the title of the post out of a sense of irony only. Please, gods and goddesses of the weather, and the Universe in general – accept my humble public apology. My suits are shrinking and I think there’s mildew in my ears.
* Not counting anything Boy Scout-related. Our reputation was to get hit with everything Ma Nature had in her arsenal, to the extent that we took pride in our moniker, “The All-Weather Troop.”