Today there’s persistent rain. Earlier there was the odd flake of snow, but now it must have warmed up a touch because it’s just rain. But it still feels cold, the damp cold that clings to you. I’m typing this looking out and wondering whether to take the dogs before lunch or after – will the weather improve or worsen? One of the dogs is in here with me, and there’s a smell of wet dog because he hasn’t dried out from the morning walk yet.
Oh – hang on – the snowflakes are back; but they won’t settle.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to going out there again, but because of the dogs, I’ll have to. That’s actually something I really like about dog walking: the dogs have to be walked everyday, at least twice a day, and that means I’ll be outside in conditions I would otherwise turn my nose up at. The dog walker is not a fair-weather walker. It means I get outside into the landscape in all conditions, and see it from all angles, and actually, once I’m out there I find I enjoy it. There are of course days when I’m frozen to the bone, wet through and hating it. But there are others when it’s a joy to be trudging through the driving rain, in a deserted landscape, experiencing what life has to offer. It’s easy to be cocooned inside the heated house, inside our luxurious convenience, but I think it does me good to escape that. To feel a bit of rain on the back of your neck has been a fundamental experience in this part of the world; it would be a shame if it became unusual, a quaint phenomenon to be spoken of on the sofa, or in the hush of the car, as strange and yucky as outside toilets.