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Grey Skies


It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He bumped his head, and went to bed,
and couldn't get up 'till the morning.

Do you know this old English kids song? I don't remember when I first heard it, although I suppose I must have been very young. People from England are of course very familiar with rain, and some of them joke about the length of the rainy season in that country ... 12 months! But as I left England when I was only five years old, I don't remember much about such things. I spent the next ten years living on the Canadian prairies, where there really isn't any such thing as a 'rainy season'. There are plenty of thunderstorms during the summer, and lots of snow in the winter, but I don't remember ever having an umbrella ...

When our family next moved to the west coast of Canada, to Vancouver, I became much more familiar with rain. Although the Vancouver winter is very mild indeed, with not much snow at all, it can be very wet. Nobody can live there without using an umbrella! The grey days pass by endlessly, one after the other ...

Here in Japan the entire national mood seems to change when the weatherman tells us that the rainy season has officially started. Mold grows on the walls, our bedding becomes stale and stuffy because there are so few chances to air it out, and sometimes it even seems to be raining indoors! But after some weeks have passed, just when you think you can't stand any more, the weatherman then brings the news that "The rainy season ended yesterday ...."

Of course, that doesn't mean it stops raining, only that the rainy season has ended. We still have to keep an umbrella close at hand, and will need to do so right up until the blue autumn skies appear. But children in England know an easy way to make it stop ...

"Rain, rain, go away ... Come again some other day ..."