Pluviophily Posted on July 9, 2011

I’m such a pluviophile (and with so few opportunities to practise my passion) that I find myself watching the rain, or at night listening to it, and trying to calculate how many millimetre marks it is filling in the perspex cone in the kitchen garden. I picture the big juicy drops making the tiny water surface jump, or the minuscule misty ones accumulating on the sides until a nice fat teardrop tumbles to the bottom.

We need rain, almost always, and we sure do enjoy it when it comes.

Last night it was forecast. The BBC weather maps were spot on with light brown, darker brown and light and bright blue amoebas floating across, representing clear, cloudy,drizzly and wet patches (almost always from left to right, on the prevailing wind).

I was swimming when the first little drops made themselves felt, from a merely light grey sky. When rain comes on slowly you know it is the real deal. The merest pitter at 8.00 became a patter by 8.15. By now I was in the conservatory. By 8.30 it was a steady hiss punctuated by urgent tapping. The fishscale panes of the conservatory roof were delivering constant rivulets down the centre of each bay. I went out into the yard; yes, there was the gutter overflowing, splashing and spattering on the paving. It always does this after a dry spell; moss from the roof blocks the downpipe. But I love taking a kitchen stool out, climbing on it and reaching to clear the moss, and the subsequent slosh into the drain.

The smell of the soaking garden is best of all. How does rain release so much scent into the air?

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