I was caught out by the rain again today. The skies turned black at five to six this evening, and then began to pour. I borrowed an umbrella but it was pointless; the wind was blowing the rain in waves down the street, soaking my trousers, and within a few moments the pavement was at least an inch underwater.
Fortunately every mentalist in Singapore was desperately driving as fast as they could to get home before their vehicle dissolved in the rain, so if any part of your body remained dry, there would always be some lummox in a BMW you could rely on to splash you as they careered through an enormous puddle.
I was cold. Very cold. This might be the tropics, but when the rain comes down this fast and this hard, it chills you to the bone. I got home, shivering, and had to discard my sodden clothes and then entertain La Serpiente Negra. It had been my plan to go to the track tonight for the usual Monday session, but a combination of the rain and another hard night meant that all I could manage was to pick up after my daughter and then lie down on the sofa. This is always a bit of a disappointment, particularly after a day when I spent my time sat at a desk, waiting for things to happen, rather than moving around very much. Whenever I make it to the track I feel a lot better afterwards, but today, devoid of energy to begin with, I couldn’t even imagine getting on a train and heading out through mist and rain and then putting myself through the wringer. Catching back up is like boarding a train as it leaves the station: the more sessions you miss, the further away things creep and the harder you have to work to get back on. I suppose that I can’t blame jet lag for this lassitude much longer.
Pleasingly, our daughter isn’t startled by the wind or rain or thunder or lightning. As far as she’s concerned, it’s just more stuff going on in the world, to be greeted with a cheery grin as she continues with important things, like pulling all the books off the shelves or drooling.
I’m trying to instil in our daughter some sense that dropping things isn’t completely unalloyed fun. The first time she drops anything on the floor, she gets it back. The second time, likewise. But if she throws something down for a third time, I look at her, much more in sadness than in rage, and tell her she can’t have her water bottle / piece of food / Faberge egg for a few minutes. Whether this makes any odds at all, or if she just regards it as an extra, bonus level in the great game of Make Your Parents Pick Up Stuff, I don’t know, but you have to be able to believe that you’re trying.