Late this afternoon I went down to the kitchen to make some yogurt soda bread and poached eggs when Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A seemed to haunt me with forgotten rainy day as I stopped to stare out the windows at the wet sky. I suddenly had an urgent compulsion to walk in the rain with my camera. It was very irritating that the bread had only just gone in the oven (I bake small lumps in a muffin tin dusted with flour so it only takes twenty minutes and it tastes really good!). It was about an hour before I’d finished eating and managed to get out the door, but it felt exhilarating to put up my umbrella and walk in the rain. I think I over did it after being poorly this last week, but I really enjoyed it until near the end when the wind picked up while I was trying to take a few photos of the medieval priory and the rain blew in under my umbrella.
Seeing the ancient stones through my clear plastic umbrella I couldn’t help thinking of the people who lived a thousand years ago, walking through similar rainy days. I’m grateful for plastic! I would have been one of the peasants too poor to own a horse, let alone any rain covering other than a blanket like cloak that stank of sheep. Not being a beauty, and a highly opinionated individual (read social imbecile), I suspect my romantic prospects would have been rather thin (some unkind souls would say not much has changed though my Goblin would disagree). Being a cynical-optimist, I like to think as an artist I might have been able to convince some weary 13th century potter or blacksmith to give me a chance (beautiful commodities have always had more value than plain ones). If they liked my work, enjoyed my singing (I can never remember lyrics so I have to make them up), my romantic stories (if you’ve skimmed through The Romance of the Rose, you’ll know that once upon a time men weren’t ashamed of enjoying romances – and good story tellers were prized), I might have lived past the age of thirty…and if I worked really hard from sun rise to sunset I might have had an almost comfortable life before dying of scurvy. Vitamins aside, all the homes (even the King’s) were apparently all cold and damp (if you go into a medieval church almost all of them smell of damp because there’s earth under the flagstones – mold allergy heaven) so endless health issues, but then the weak died young or when a harsh winter gnawed the land. I’m so glad I was born in the 20th century…I get to be married to a Goblin who showers every day and smells lovely…unlike the poor medieval blacksmiths.
This is all that’s left of a much larger group of buildings that would have made up the priory which was built on Anglo Saxon foundation (or something).
I came to a full stop when I saw this leaf lying on the side walk. I really liked the bright green against the dark wet asphalt…and how the rain had run into large water droplets.