Monday, October 12, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

I didn't make it to every lecture at College. For some reason it was much harder to get up for a 12 noon lecture than a 9am one. I know, it was a tough few years.

My fellow geographers and I would trade notes on any missed lectures, so our studies wouldn't suffer you understand. I recall one frigid East Anglian morning as I dozed at my desk, my toaster at my feet was my only source of heat. In blasts S. brandishing the most outlandish lecture notes I'd ever seen, and trust me, we'd had our fair share of early agricultural maize dispersal maps and post-modern polemics. Apparently S. had sat through an hour about a global climatological phenomenon called an El Nino in which 5O THOUSAND SEABIRDS DIED!! SUN SPOTS?! Her emphasis. As I re-typed the notes in to my trusty Marks and Spencer word processor and pressed save I thought ­thank God I stayed in bed and nursed my hangover on that one. Didn't miss anything there. Goodbye El Nino, won't be seeing you again.

Great decision that. On a par with me deciding not to learn Spanish in the sixth form because 'I couldn't see myself visiting Spain that much in the future'. I'm a right little clairvoyant.

It's just starting to rain as I write this. The beginning of my second El Nino in California. The first was in 1998 when we were first married. It rained so much a mudslide tore through my husband's place of work. He works outside so when it rains he doesn't work. We were newly married though and surviving on love and freeze-dried noodles. We didn't care. Now we have two hungry mouths to feed, two even hungrier mortgages and we have relocated to the bottom of a hill denuded of all vegetation by recent wildfires. This is going to be great.

El Ninos are predictably unpredictable. They happen in cycles of 2-7 years, much like my kitchen floor cleaning. A lot of research is being done in to their causes. SUN SPOTS! Scream S's notes. One sign here in Southern California is warm ocean water. If you've ever watched Baywatch and lived in So Cal you will know that every time David Hasselhof threw himself in to the surf they had to bleep him saying FUCK ME THAT'S COLD. Pamela probably had fake boobs to provide some extra insulation. Our water comes direct from Alaska. Do not pass go. Do not pick up any heat. None. That's why we use wetsuits in August and laugh at the perplexed looks on the faces of the MidWestern tourists. Right now the water is 68º, almost 10º higher than usual. Everyone
is talking about this being the bouncing 12lb newborn El Nino with no epidural.

Now I really miss rain. I miss cloudy days and cuddling up on the sofa watching a good movie. It's so hard to do that here with gorgeous blue skies chastising your idleness. Santa Barbara doesn't do drizzle. The Pacific storms slam in to our mountains and the rain pours in torrents back to the ocean, turning streets in to rivers and burn areas in to mudslides. It's primeval, humbling, and not a little scary when you're responsible for the roof over your head and the heads of several tenants.

A massive storm system is poised off the coast right now, the light rain of five minutes ago has turned in to a downpour. LK is probably looking in to getting expanded cable. I'm going to put the worrying on hold and plan on a luxurious soak in the tub with a glass of whiskey while I listen to the rain cascading down tonight.

First let me turn off the sprinklers....


Anonymous said...

The winter I was pregnant with Cooper, San Diego was under the influence of the Pineapple Express (AKA: we got enough rain that it hardly mattered that my maternity pants were 2 inches too short . . . had they been any longer they would have been soaked on my jaunts to the grocery store to get more chocolate.) I always thought California was weird enough . . . sounds like El Nino makes it more so!

Hyphen Mama said...

I love how you make El Nino chat hilarious. Now I'm running off to read the next post...about rain!