Oh didn't it rain, children

It's been raining heavily for some 48 hours on and off - mainly on. At 04.30 the raindrops turmed into heavy hailstones; woke me up with a rattling on widow panes akin to a detachment of WW2 machine guns. I thought of the red deer out on the hill, wondered why they never seem to be much bothered by weather conditions we think of as hostile. Ditto all wild animals, birds and bees for that matter.

Grandfather Islip had a well-used phrase or saying whenever I moaned on about the rain: 'Bryan, God made us all waterproof', he would pronounce. Which used to drive me crazy when all I wanted to do was get out in the fields bird nesting (yes it was still legal - indeed regarded as educational - to collect birds eggs in those distant days) or down to the river with my fishing rod or those other more forbidden things that small boys used to get up to. But when to the days of my childhood returning I look out through a rain-running window over wind tossed branches to a half obscured, white driven Loch Ewe I am happy to be warm and dry inside.

Rain should after all be good. Water ranks alongside food and ahead of clothing, shelter and sex in scale of importance to (our) lives on earth. When I worked in Saudi Arabia water was more expensive than petrol. Now it's a toss up which of these will be the cause of World War Three through a combination of population growth and resource depletion.

Never mind. Just as my adopted country sells its excess of oil and hydro electricity to our more affluent neighbour down south, one day we will make ourselves rich through our excess of all this wonderful, God-given drinking water.

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