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Published: April 25th 2006
When I was much younger, Mother warned me against the dangers of using an umbrella or flying kites in thunderstorms. Quite what she imagined would possess me to stay outside at the first hint of rain on the few occasions I have ever flown a kite is beyond me, but today in direct defiance of her sound advice I was outside at 6am in the most magnificent storm I have ever seen under an umbrella. I woke to a deep booming sound and flashing lights on the curtains (neither of which are particularly rare in a town where neon rules and ‘biggest and loudest’ wins the day). This was thunder and lightning on a grand scale though, and I walked down to the harbour to watch the display. I’d decided it was safe to use an umbrella in a rain storm if you’re stood beneath a twenty-storey building (and so far I’ve been proven correct). The lightning was quite a sight as it lit the sky, although the local smog means it was only directly visible within 4km or so. Walking back to my flat, the gutter was a 3ft-wide stream and moving at a quick jogging pace.
By the time I left for work the weather was dry again and flooding was limited to localised patches of pavement. It wasn’t until I left the MTR station at Heng Fa Chuen to walk the ten minutes or so to the depot that I realised I’d left my umbrella at home, and the heavens duly opened to drench me. By half-past nine there was weak sunshine, of course, with the rain holding off for most of the working day, reappearing in time to soak my walk home as well.
Since the weather isn’t inviting I spend the evening indoors writing, listening to music and playing computer games. I spent five years at University earning the right to sit around and do nothing and no, I don’t have anything better to do. Amongst the tunes on the CD player today is, of course, “Why does it always rain on me” by those capitalising meteorological satirists, Travis.
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