It’s Not Always Magical.

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Oh, it’s been raining, raining, raining! Still! When I ask if this is “pretty normal” for the month of May, I am of course told that there is no normal for weather patterns in England. Nobody has any theories about when the sun might come out or when we can put away our winter coats. I don’t know why I even check the weather forecast. I think it’s just my die-hard optimism. I don’t believe what I see when it looks like rain for the week, but I do hope and plan for the sun when I see it predicted. Still, it’s all rain.

Yesterday morning, I checked the forecast for the coast– it showed a little sunshine beaming behind some whispy clouds. The temperature was supposed to be 52º, a whole four degrees warmer than at home. So, we drove out there. It rained the whole way, and I kept checking the weather updates as we got closer. Nothing changed– sunshine and 52º all the way! Well… When we got there, it was 45º, windy and pouring rain. But we were at the beach! First, we popped into a pub to have a drink and warm up, hoping against hope that the rain might stop. We had packed a picnic, but knew we couldn’t eat it anywhere indoors…

So we hurried to a bench facing the water, took our picnic blanket and spread it across our laps. We huddled together and ate our cold food, shivering and trying to pull our jacket hoods over more of our faces. We did not eat slowly. We did not savor. We choked it down and tried to enjoy the view. I took a few pictures with my camera phone, wondering if this was a memorable moment or not. It was comforting to see other people also muddling through, intent on a fun day at the beach, but miserable. Maybe we had checked the same weather source.
We quickly packed up our lunch, and I took Amelia to the bathroom as Jeff put our stuff back in the car. She looked cheerfully at me as we thawed our hands in the warm water at the sink, “Well, that picnic sure was… intense!” Yep! That’s the perfect word. We all hopped back in the car, and sped home in the rain. Later, she was more frank: “You know, we should have just stayed in the car. That was pretty terrible!”  She was kind of right. Thankfully, the views on the drive home, even in the rain, are always wonderful.

At least we tried! Sunshine, come soon!!

(To see this little coastal town at it’s best, click to visit Aldeburgh with us.)

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11 Responses to It’s Not Always Magical.

  1. Keren May 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Oh, I know the misery of not seeing the sun! I wish I could send you our Midwest weather. I’ve been complaining about the “90 degrees already in May” but after reading your post, I think I’m going to shut up and try to feel grateful! =) In Seattle we used to have ‘candle-only’ mornings where we wouldn’t turn on any electric lights until after breakfast. Something about making eggs and showering by candle light made the ‘dreary-dark’ feel special and cozy instead of depressing.

    • Ariana May 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Yes, enjoy that sunshine! After my first winter in Portland, which was very, very long– I resolved to never complain about hot weather ever again. I have mostly been successful! I definitely took for granted the sunny California weather I enjoyed for so many years…
      I like your cozy candle idea. My one comfort at the moment is that at least the sun comes up at 5 a.m. and sets closer to 9 p.m.– so there IS daylight. The winter was really dark and difficult!

  2. Elie May 8, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Optimism at it’s best…Or, worst?

    • Ariana May 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Optimism at its best, with the worst results? Eh, at least we got out of the house!

  3. monika May 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    I can’t get over Amelia’s response; that’s hilarious! Quite a dry sense of humour for a 4 year old 😉

    • Ariana May 10, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      I know, she’s really funny that way. She’s actually almost 6, but she has always had a very grown-up way of saying things. Even though it was pretty miserable, she managed to stay cheerful and “game” throughout!

  4. monika May 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Oops! I thought she was 4… She is the same age as my Viggo then (he turns 6 November 1st).

    Well, it is still quite dry and funny, even if she is almost 6!

  5. Marisa May 12, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Oh my gosh – I love this! Because I can relate so much living here in Seattle. Those folks huddled behind that boat look so much like Seattle picnicers! (not me though – I don’t do cold) ha! We have been lucky though this spring – lots of nice weather and it is going to be in the 70s and 80s next week! Here is to your weather turning around soon – you’ve got to keep the hope alive. In a normal spring round here hope is the only thing that keeps me going!

    I love what Amelia said! When I was reading through and you said “we knew we couldn’t eat anywhere indoors” – I was thinking to myself “the car, the CAR!!” I’m a cold wimp though – I’d never have your cold-weather picnicking fortitude! 😀

  6. Ariana May 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Oh, super jealous of your warm weather, Marisa! It’s still dipping to about 35º at night here, and days are usually rainy, windy and cold. We did have gorgeous weather last Sunday, when we got to together with Sarah’s family to go punting– so I have to be very thankful for that!

    We have actually had a few picnics in our car by now! The weather is SO unpredictable!!

  7. Katherina May 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    ahhh… I’m also praying for the sun to come out SOON!! I want to get to enjoy the fact of having a park and the canal nearby!

    • Ariana May 21, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      I know what you mean– when the sun is out here, it is unbelievably gorgeous!! It has not only been rainy, but also just cold and windy, which really does make it harder to enjoy our surroundings, no matter how resolved we are to do so!

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