Thanks for the Rain

My thankfulness walk today was taken in the rain, and guess one of the things I was thankful for. Yes, my trusty wellies! I love my pink wellies. I’ve had them a long time, used them a lot, and they are still pretty and practical.

Funny, I used to dodge the rain whenever I could, but since I’ve been taking my thankfulness walks round the garden, I really don’t mind it at all. I might mind, of course, if it was pouring in torrents, but gentle rain – that I can take no bother. It’s rather pleasant. Living in Scotland, we really have to get used to it. But after all, that’s why Scotland is such a glorious, lush, green country.

My novels are all set in various parts of Scotland, so rain often features in them. It would be odd if it didn’t. So how do my characters cope with the rain? Like me, they have no choice but to get on with it, but they don’t have to like it. Mirabelle does.

Mirabelle is totally unfazed by the weather. She turns her face up to catch snow on her tongue, to feel gentle rain on her cheeks. Perhaps you’d like to read a wee passage about her preferred outerwear, come rain, hail, snow or sun:


An Excerpt from Searching for Summer.

Mirabelle adjusted her position, resting her face against the cold glass, listening to the rain so close to her cheek she could almost feel it pock her skin. She stayed like that until the side of her face felt flat and cold. A shiver ran through her and she hugged the duvet closer.
Was Summer cold? Was she dry? What coat was she wearing?
Seized with a need to know if her daughter was adequately clothed for the weather, Mirabelle abandoned her window vigil, letting the duvet fall in a frilly, floral snowdrift and rushed to the closet in the hall. She raked through the coats and scarves and assorted rags and tags hanging there.
She herself hated coats, never wore one: too restrictive, too formal. Instead, no matter the weather, she would wrap a poncho or some soft, colourful material around her shoulders. Two layers if it was cold, three if it was colder. When heavy with rain, she’d hang them around the house to dry: multi-hued banners proclaiming her artless individuality. When the fringes frayed and tattered, she’d discard the shawl and use another.


So what about you? Do you cope well with the rain, even liking being out in it? Do you have a favourite coat or pair of wellies? Or a favourite umbrella?

Do share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you.


The Reluctant Detective Series

Searching for Summer ~ Traces of Red ~ Rusty Gold



No, it’s not a typo! I’m not talking about the Gas Board. Let’s face it, why would I? They don’t talk about me. They don’t even send me a bill. Well, why would they? There’s no gas piped into our little village: the nearest they deign to come is almost three miles away. So, no gas for me…well, not the kind you cook with, anyway.

No, you might be surprised, aghast, even :-), to realise that I know some big words, some unusual words…some foreign words, even. So there!

A smorgasbord for you today.

Firstly, in case you have been lagging behind–no, I am not back to pipes, gas or water–and are unaware how far we’ve travelled, last night I posted the Day 13 page of our Cycling odyssey and am proud to announce we have completed 600 miles so far.

I’ll pause here for your applause.

Thank you!

In these days of fast travel by plane, boat, train or car, 600 miles in 13 days may sound pathetic, but believe me it’s not. It represents a gargantuan effort on my behalf. I have managed to do all my duties as ‘domestique’ for Gus without once knocking him off his bike. (See, told you I knew foreign words!) It’s not been too shabby an effort on his behalf either, of course. I hope you’re remembering what I told you earlier about us being in our sixties and Gus just getting back on his bike a matter of months before we set off on this adventure. Come on now, you really must keep up!

We’ve gone through villages, towns and cities. We’ve Oohed! and Aahed! at some gorgeous scenery. And we’ve got to know a little more about the places we’ve been through or past in this country we live in. How about you? Have you been enjoying the trip? I hope so. If you’ve been left behind, do feel free to catch up. I’ll hold back a minute or two till you do. There’s so much more to see and enjoy and the passenger seat is empty, so climb aboard!

Next on my smorgasbord is the weather. Sorry, it has to be mentioned. If you live somewhere warm and sunny, with a nice even climate, balmy soft breezes and kind, mild evenings, then you will not understand why British people seem always to want to talk about the weather.

It’s because it’s like a troublesome, crotchety old housemate! It can never make up its mind from one day to the next what it’s going to do.

Yesterday, I looked out my summer dresses. At last, I thought, spring has arrived! Today, it’s smirring pitiful rain, the wind is whistling nonchalantly as though it doesn’t care that it’s May already, and I have the heating on.

Which brings me to the next item on the menu. My daughter sets off for Australia on Friday, to attend the wedding of a friend. We have been receiving photos from some of the guests who have already left for it. They have sunshine! Unadulterated, gorgeous, glowing sunshine! I want to climb in her suitcase! I dream of lying on a beach, reading a good book, sipping some delicious fruity concoction…I’d be sitting in the shade, of course. Imagine! There are countries where you have to seek the shade!

Sorry, like a good Brie, some of the items on my menu have run into one another. Just to round them off with something sweet and punchy, how about this poem I found on someone else’s blog. It’s by Langston Hughes and I just love it.


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes