Grey Rain

Flabbergasted by the wetness of English weather, I ask my sweet elderly English friend if people ever managed to have picknicks. »Oh, we do try« is the dry answer.
One of the greyest picknicks I remember was on the beach near Brighton. The colour of the pebbles matched the sky and soon after we had sat down on our blankets, it seemed to match the colour of our faces as well. We were all slightly cold. Shivering, I passed around slithers of salmon, to be eaten with perfect bread, fluffy and white like the clouds above us. We drank Champagne.

My German friends had wondered at my newly gained hardiness when I spent time back home. While they were wearing jumpers, I was fine with a T-shirt. You have goosebumps for hours, but you forget. Children have blue legs in England, like some overlooked anthropological phenomenon. Sitting on the beach in a stripey blue and white deckchair, staring at the grey horizon for hours while drinking tea and having dreadful fish and chips is a perfect day.


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