Monday, September 4, 2023

Rain, rain go away

It always used to be the boring bit at the end of the news, but I live for the weather forecast now. Staying at home with kids for four days a week means you're constantly praying for a few days of clear weather to get out the house, and let the wonderful little hellions run loose and wild.

It's been a wet year around these parts - thanks again, you fucking climate-denying troglodytes - and we've barely gone three days without some kind of downpour. So it's been hard to get the kids outside, and we've been stuck in the house a lot, and going a bit stir crazy. 

You can only solve the same jigsaw puzzles and play with the same toys for so long. And you can give kids TV in moderation and they police their own habits, bored of Scooby Doo after one and a half episodes, and demanding immediate and humiliating entertainment. Just give me one day when they can run free on the playground, that's all I ask.

Unsurprisingly, I have embraced the usual hypocrisies of being a parent, because when I was a kid, I used to love the rainy weekends.

If it wasn't actually raining that bad, or was just a summer shower, I'd be out in it with my mates getting filthy in the mud and causing mischief down Hill's Creek. If it wasn't an actual storm, it wasn't any excuse. 

But if it was too cold or windy or whatever, a rainy weekend was an excuse to stay inside and watch TV or read books and comics, without getting hassled about it at all.

In the early eighties we had two TV channels and two channels only, and I will always remember how absolutely fucking dire Sunday afternoon television was. I still get the shivers when I hear the Antiques Roadshow theme song, no matter how much booty some old biddy has suddenly scored. And if it wasn't that, it was probably bloody motorsport or the fuckin' Onedin Line, which has a truly great opening credits and nothing else to offer.

There were no video games, (although we did have a Atari rip off that lasted for a surprising amount of years), and you could only go through your Viewmaster rolls a finite number of times, but I usually spent those eternally bleak days rereading my comics over and over again

Getting stuck into a Batman/Superman reprint comic which felt like the most important in the world, or trying to figure out what the hell was going on in the one Uncanny X-Men comic I had (it was #151, which is a spectacularly confusing issue to come in on), or making a list of the 2000ads I still needed to get. (There were a lot, and there would be a lot for years to come.)

Now I'm slightly scared of the kids ever getting really bored, and the house is already overloading with books, toys and games. It keeps us busy when we're stuck inside because of the rain, and we don't have to worry about watching fucking golf on the TV.

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