A comment from London ‘Wonderful, warm, welcoming and, oh so comfortable. Thank you!’
The day had begun normally for Hanover House – Veronica had experimented with making rye bread but with unsatisfactory results as she didn’t have a ‘dough paddle’ for the breadmaker (now ordered on Amazon) – although the outcome did taste good. A little later, the Autumn Gate film team arrived and I gave a short interview about the house for the promotional video that they’re making. Later, however, the climate took a hand in shaping subsequent events.
The weather has been decidedly mixed over the past week or so, apart from it being an early autumn with horsechestnuts (conkers) cascading into the park behind like shrapnel, and onto our river path behind the house (Sophie loves them), we’ve had cloud, sun, wind and rain in regular alternate bursts.
Today had been one of those, mostly dry with sunny intervals, although a grey cloud did loom around tea-time. We were going to Cineworld to see the new Jane Eyre, and it is approximately a 5 minute rapid walk away. Booked into the 5.40pm performance we had to leave at 5.30, but as our feet hit the front door step, the first drops fell. Within seconds there was an absolute deluge, with sheets of rain sweeping the streets and the gutters running like rivers – we had to go and despite our umbrellas and as fast a pace as we could go, our backs and trouser legs (in my case) were soaked, likewise skirt (not me), socks, tights and shoes. Arriving at the Brewery (fortunately half with covered roof) and having passed other damp pedestrians cowering in doorways – some without visible rain protection – we entered the cinema drenched, to the surprise of those already inside who weren’t even aware of the impending rain.
Squelching our way into Screen 4 (our usual opera Screen), it was already filling up fast and we made our way to a remote end (we hoped) on the back row, where we proceeded to strip off in the semi-dark. I only removed pullover, but Veronica took off jacket, shoes, cardigan and eventually under cover of dark, her skirt. We hung our clothes over the seats in front to dry and hoped no-one came to sit next to us, or immediately in front. Fortunately, we must have looked sufficiently disreputable for the latecomers to give us a wide berth. After the interminable adverts and trailers, the film began, with our clothing smelling distinctly ‘wet dog’ but soon engrossed in the excellent film, the time passed quickly, until the lights went up and we had to dress again in our still damp clothing before making our departure into a by now dry outside, with only a few puddles to show the passing of the storm.
Another rapid dash home before our damp clothes cooled too much to initiate hypothermia, and fortunately not meeting any guests or friends, we put the gas stove on, brought in the even wetter and dirtier Sophie we’d left outside with a bone when we went out, made ourselves cocoa and had a hot shower, before settling down with a bowl of pasta in front of the Last Night of the Proms. An early taste of the winter I think!