June Rain

Nasturtium leaves after a rain shower.

June is turning out to be quite a wet month so far. After a very dry April and May (actually it has been predominantly dry since the vernal equinox) we are on course to receive a month’s worth of rain – double the monthly average in some parts of the UK – within a few days. How very different to last year’s drought conditions which browned gardens and the surrounding landscape here in Wales. The rain, however, is very welcome and I’m not going to moan about it (well not too much πŸ™‚ ).

Rain isn’t unusual for June – it is the month of the Glastonbury Festival after all – famous for its mud fests. As a past attendee of said festival, I recall weeks of nervously analysing weather charts and long-range forecasts to see whether this particular year was going to be a wash-out; it often was.

One particular year was brought to mind a few days ago: 2007. I think it may have started off dry but the rains came along accompanied by constant leaden skies. I discovered that just because dark grey clouds turn to very light grey doesn’t mean the rain gets any lighter. We took our bad weather kit: wellies; ponchos; and waterproof trousers so still got around the festival – which covers many miles of ground.

One particular day was incredibly wet – many people had decided not to bother venturing out, so in that way it was nice to have a lot of space to walk and look around (the organisers cram too many people in these days making it quite uncomfortable at times). We’d wandered off to one of the outer fields – the ‘green fields’ probably – and the rain turned very heavy. The only shelter was the Steiner School food tent. We decided to make a dash for it and were consequently crammed in with numerous other wet people queuing up for some basic comfort food, and tea in an assortment of old china cups. All the seats had been taken so we were left to stand jammed shoulder to armpit with everyone else – all facing outwards towards the wet field waiting for the heavy rain to subside.

Feeling very hot and claustrophobic, I could stand it no more and decided to don my partner’s spare oversized poncho and walk across to a picnic bench in the middle of the field with my plate of food underneath (I have a vague recollection that it was pizza …… something orange, anyway). There I sat alone for a loooooong time, head bowed, listening to the rain bounce off my nylon hood onto my knees and watching the drips run off at the bottom, feeling like the only contestant in a ‘spot the weirdo’ competition as the faces inside the marquee turned towards me.

A little while later a lone figure wandered over to check I was okay – a member of a band who was playing later that evening. I recall him saying that I looked noble sitting there – or something like that πŸ™‚

It was rather a surreal experience. For a short time I had a field to myself in the middle of the Glastonbury Festival – albeit a wet one, and the recent wonderfully life-affirming smell of warm damp earth had brought the memory back quite vividly.

21 thoughts on “June Rain

  1. wonderful memory.
    would have loved to have a photo of the scene you described.
    it is very dry and hot where i live. in fact today the, the weather service issued a heat advisory. sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you get very much rain where you are and do you get more heat warnings these days? The current cooler wetter weather here is much closer to British Summers of old – and although a little on the cold side, I have to confess I quite like it!

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      1. This past year we received more rain than usual, but the best news is the snow pack in the Sierra mountains was much better than normal and that means the reservoirs will fill and it could mean an ending of our drought. The last couple of years we have had hotter summer weather than usual. When we have wetter weather the vegetation grows more and with the hotter summers the vegetation dries out sooner increasing the fire danger. The last several years the climate has changed so maybe The scientist are right about climate change.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good news about the snow in the mountains easing your drought.

          Yes – these extreme weather conditions really make one think about climate change and its implications. Many thanks for your reply.

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  2. Love the leaves, my mum used to grow these. And even more love your recollections, really very good to hear. I’ve never been to the festival, despite being on its doorstep (and photographing near there recently), but I do have a vast enthusiasm for its taking place – it is a beacon of imagination and enthusiasm in a money-led and often vastly unimaginative world. A πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Adrian – I love their bright cheerful colours!

      Yes – the Festival is a grand idea although it has become pretty corporate compared to its origins, which I guess it had to in order to survive. We haven’t been for about 10 years – not since our old camper van gave up and had to be put out to grass πŸ™‚ I would recommend it to everybody – there’s a lot more to it than the music!

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    1. Thanks for the video. How soothing seeing and hearing the rain fall πŸ™‚

      I discovered a word used to describe the smell of damp earth a few months ago: ‘petrichor’, which as you will know comes from the Greek ‘petros’ meaning ‘stone’ and ‘ichor’ meaning ‘the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods’!
      Here’s a link to a BBC webpage explaining it (hope you can access it):

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44904298

      Wishing you a lovely weekend also, my friend πŸ™‚ X

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