Whenever it rains and pours and drizzles for a few days in a row, like it has in Sydney this week, the people I find myself feeling sorry for are the tourists. (especially if they’ve come to Australia, because not only is Australia’s advertising all about the fab sunshine, most people have to travel really really far to get here).
But then the other day I was on the train on my way in to work, and it was pouring, and I caught a whiff of a sweet pastry, and then all of a sudden I was back in Berlin. I was there for 3 days in 2008 with my lovely godmother, and had a mostly terrible time, not because Berlin was bad, but because I was waiting to hear if my dad had prostate cancer (he did, but they got it, and he’s fine now). It was mid-summer – blisteringly hot, and I was trying desperately to make the most out of being there, running hither and thither like a lunatic during the day, then going back to my hotel room to throw up from the stress at night (this was almost exactly a year since mum had died, from cancer, so the possibility of it happening again was a total nightmare, to say the least). Anyway, mostly all I remember of the trip is the unrelenting anxiety and that overwhelming, inescapable heat. But then, on the last morning, the blue skies were replaced with deep dark grey and it poured. It felt like the sky knew it hadn’t rained in ages, so it was doing it really well, just to remind us all it could. And so we went to a cafe, and I ordered a large coffee and a sweet almond pastry and just sat, and stopped, and took my time. It was such a comforting thing to be cocooned inside the warm cafe for an hour or so with the rain hammering down. It was the best part of the trip.
Rain can be a sweet thing.