It's good to be back in the UK, away from the unrelenting cheeriness, hot sun, strange sports and behemothic shopping malls of Phoenix and embraced by the finest that English weather has to offer casting a comforting blanket over the friendly shops and traffic of Worcester Park.
Cold? wet? grey?....... take me back to Arizona.
The promised storm has arrived and the trains were royally up the creek this morning with the pièce de résistance being the train that hurtled through the station around 7.40 which didn't bother to stop for passengers, probably because it would disrupt the timetable. The sodden, cold and huddled masses eventully poured themselves into a train around 7.50 and in the end it only took me an hour and a half to do what would normally have taken an hour (I'm being sarcastic if you can't tell).
A number of passengers at Worcester Park did try and bolster the spirits of their fellow passengers by attempting to fight off the torrential downpour and associated gales with that mightiest of implements........ the umbrella. Seriously, I know people want to stay dry but the most likely result on a day like to day is to give the assembled crowd an impromptu display of manned flight, with the possibility of dislocating a shoulder as a potential bonus. After the first few umbrellas had been comprehensively disassembled by the wind it was left to the ninjas of the umbrella art to to try and maintain their dignity, which they managed to greater or lesser degrees....... the most spectacular failure being that of an enormous golf umbrella and the subsequent attempts to right the situation left me wiping the moisture from my eyes for more than one reason.
Umbrella spotting has become a bit of a sport in the office today with assorted staff congregating pressed against the glass sides of our building attempting to prognosticate the fortunes of umbrellas and their carriers as they negotiate their way across the road and the adjoining square with such comments as "I give her ten seconds", and "He'll never hang on to that" being the standard fare. The more impressive failures are greeted with an "ooooh" and much respect is given to those who can salvage resurrect their inverted implement.
Maybe it is nice to be back in the UK after all.