The Calm During The Storm

torrential rain 1

I wanted to start this monologue with a simile that aptly describes this seemingly endless precipitation currently blighting Blighty.

Within that prose, I wanted the colloquy to paint a picture of such clarity and descriptive quality that would render readers awestruck, before saying “Oh bollocks, I forgot to record that James Nesbitt drama last night!”

I was badly in need of inspiration and desperately sought dialogue that offered the reader a vivid minds picture of the torrential West Yorkshire rain.

In need of a sounding board, I turned to my wee spouse, who was sat on the sofa watching a Mary Berry cookery programme.

“Can you think of a simile that effectively describes this continuous heavy rainfall, Karen?” I mumbled to her through a mouthful of wine gums.

“Is a simile where you compare two words, or scenarios, to each other?” she responded, with one eye on the TV watching Ms Berry making roast butternut squash soup.

“Yep.” I responded, as I sat in front of my laptop in eager anticipation of Mrs S’s literary guidance.

“How about, it’s raining like somewhere that rains a lot?” came an underwhelming response.

“Yes but where does it rain a lot? I need somewhere or something I can compare it to!” I attempted to clarify.

“How about Birtley? I’ve just spoke to my mum and she says it’s raining up there!” came her reply.

I appreciated her input but I don’t think writing “It’s raining like in Birtley!” adequately achieved my objective of an eloquent, descriptive simile. The north east town is a grim place in any weather, but if you’re lucky enough never to have been there, you won’t understand that comparison.

“I’ll think about that one!” I lied to Karen, not wanting to sound ungrateful for her ‘help!

So being no further forward, I spent several minutes racking my brains for erudite, eloquent dialogue that would convey a lifelike picture of the tempestuous storm outside of Chez Strachan.

I sought words that created such a vision that you can actual envisage yourself being an unwilling victim of the blustery winds and its associated rainfall.

Poetry that takes your mind to a destination so realistic that you impetuously rush to the understairs cupboard for your umbrella! …….. Unless you don’t keep your umbrella in the downstairs cupboard. I’ve no idea where you keep yours, but that’s where I keep mine and I recommend it if your seeking a good storage place for your umbrella

I’m pleased to say I eventually achieved my objective. After much deliberation, brain storming and thinking about it, I’ve finally found the descriptive words I’m looking for.

It’s absolutely pissing it down outside!


I’m as sad as everyone about the passing of so many legendary celebrities since the start of 2016. The loss of David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Alan Rickman and Terry Wogan leaves a big void. They were proper celebrities, with a god given ability to entertain.

They certainly weren’t part of the production line of insipid clones, who fall from today’s conveyor belt of ‘talent’. People who pass quality control, for their 15 minutes of fame, on looks and the fact they can recite the contents of a profanisaurus.

bowie t-shirt

The reason I bring up the subject of the glut of legends passing since the turn of the year is not to have a swipe at some of today’s celebrities. It is to highlight that on social media some people are clouding the issue of which celebrities have recently passed.

What I mean by that is the other day on my Facebook timeline, someone had shared a news story that singer Joe Cocker had died. I was going to share that news to my Facebook friends with a suitable comment of condolence. However, as I had a feeling Cocker died a while back I checked online before posting.

Sure enough, he had died in December 2014 and thus wasn’t part of the 2016 glut of passing legends. I’m glad I checked otherwise I’d have been a bit late to the party cascading that news!

To close, I just want to convey part of a conversation I had this morning with an acquaintance. He seemed in a good mood after his family arranged a surprise birthday party for him, yesterday evening.

“Did you get a shock? Did they (the family) manage to keep the arrangements a surprise?” I asked him over the phone. There was a brief silence before he responded

“I’ll say I got a surprise!…… I didn’t even know it was my f***ing birthday!”

surprise party

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