Yesterday it rained buckets. From mid-morning through to darkness, it rained constantly; drumming on the roof so that it hummed, fading to a soft pattering – a weather song for the day, a background to fingers on a keyboard. This morning it had stopped, and Hoover was eager to stretch her legs.
She danced about my feet and fished my socks out of my wellies, urging me to put them where they properly belonged, the sooner to get us under way. It wasn’t cold. Who needs a hat? I thought. Who needs a coat? We set off up the track.
Sheep sheltered in a huddle of wool. Kara whickered as we passed. Poppies danced over the spiky heads of the short stemmed wheat. At the top of the hill the Dorset downs spread out before us.
Down into the next valley and up the other side. Up past the barley field and onto the top. Hoover ran ahead to check for deer. I called her back and she turned, her ears flapping in the breeeze. Could she pretend she hadn’t heard me?
“Wazzis?” I called, holding up a piece of biscuit. Deer or biscuit? I could see Hoover wavering. Looking over towards the Dorset Gap I spotted weather heading our way.
“Come on, Hooves!” I called. “No time to waste!” The wind swung round, Hoover chased past me, I strode on. The weather pursued us. The hills disappeared.
We were caught.
The funny things is that once you are sodden, and you’ve given up being annoyed at the foolishness that made you decide to abandon coats and hats, it’s quite nice being wet. Rain that drops off hair and trickles down the back of your neck just tickles, the walking keeps you warm and there’s a rhythm to the squelch and sploosh of footsteps that brings on a song.
And it’s so good to arrive home.