Londoners, I find, are wont to exaggerate the weather. Rain becomes ‘biblical’; heat makes life ‘unbearable’. This, more often than not, in downpours that wouldn’t make a Saigon resident flinch, or in temperatures considered cool in Mauritius.
Sometimes, though, the weather truly does take a turn. A massive, lashing storm, for example, can barrel through the city, slinging drops the size of fists at rooftops designed for drizzle.
And, when it does, it’s an awe-inspiring sight – often because it looks so out of place in suburban streets where showers are the norm and the drains can’t handle torrential precipitation.
Today’s unrelenting rain offered just such an experience. I found this quiet Chiswick street, with its pastel-shade houses and leafy surroundings, to be the perfect contrast against a sky so dark as to be considered a phenomenon.
Before the heavens opened, foreboding rolled around the roads, cafés closing their doors and leaves loudly rustling as if to forewarn of what was to come – saying “some so-British-it’s-not-British weather is about to pelt down upon you”.
And, as it inevitably arrived, the houses seemed to wince, wishing away this unwanted weather. “Bring us drizzle,” they seemed to cry. “For that we have umbrellas.”