Rain: four letters that conjure up a thousand images.
Depending on your mood, it can mean jumping in puddles, looping arms under an umbrella or having a well-earned duvet day. Sometimes it just suggests misery, cold and thwarted plans.
Personally, I love the rain. Despite the bad press, British weather is mild and the main problem with a bit of precipitation is that your hair might get wet and go frizzin’ crazy.
While it might mean you have to postpone your sunbathing session or sports day (a lucky escape), changing your plans to accommodate a little drizzle is no bad thing.
With that in mind, I headed to Maldon in Essex.
Planted on the banks of the Blackwater Estuary, Maldon isn’t the kind of Essex you might be familiar with if your knowledge is based on TOWIE and trips to Stansted.
In fact, this ancient estuary town is home to old fishermen’s cottages, striking Thames barges and sea salt.
Listening to the screeches of gulls and the tapping of rope against mast, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at the seaside.
Although the salty air leaves you stickier than a 99 on a hot day, there’s no sand here. Instead, the banks are lined with famous Maldon mud. Every year hundreds of dirty daredevils head out to this corner of East Anglia for the renowned Maldon Mud Race through the sticky grey sod. If you fancy having a go yourself, sign up quick for this year’s race on the 26th April.
Avoiding the ooze, I dragged Papa S along Promenade Park before taking refuge in The Queen’s Head as the rain lashed down around us.
After a cracking ham, egg and chips, we battled through the wind and rain to drive round to Heybridge Basin, making a slight detour to visit Dad’s old stomping ground from the 1970s (now referred to as The Time Before Supermarkets).
Although the rain had relented slightly by the time be reached the Basin, the wind was still whistling, so we made a beeline for the tea rooms, scoffing their last scones of the day.
Sticky with jam and sea salt, we followed the reflections of tail lights all the way back into London, where I made a really twee and very wobbly little video to remember the day by:
What are your top rainy day activities?