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MOTHERING SUNDAE: Looking gorgeous despite the damp
THIS rain is hammering down and the boys are out splashing with cricket bats.
They’re so wet that I don’t know why they bother to wait for the washing to drip-dry before putting on clean clothes.
Although my running has been rather “drowned rat” this week, I prefer to keep dry under my jumper and, to this end, bought the most expensive rain mac that shimmers in rich purple and wouldn’t look out of place on a chic Parisian boulevard.
I wish it made some effort to keep the rain off but it is too French to be concerned with mundane practicalities: one quick shower and the damp sets in. And so, surprisingly for such a beautifully-cut coat, it reminds me of family camping expeditions where it rains right through the tent.
Now I’m grown up, I’ve finally admitted that staying under canvas with a family pack of thigh length wellies and a strong blitz spirit is not fun, however romantic it might be waking in a wild flower meadow with the lark’s dawn chorus.
And so we have been secretly enjoying a weatherproofed version of wild camping. A caravan. And as an April’s worth of water bucketed from the sky over a Cotswold weekend away, I thanked the stars above for our portable shanty town, though the residents of Chipping Campden may have been less impressed by the tin roof rolled into their green valley. We saddled up the bikes for some undulating routes and set off chasing rainbows.
One of the great things about having children, is that you appreciate much more the time when you don’t have them, and, in a few weeks while they’re at their dad’s, the Partner-in-Crime and I are planning to pedal to Paris.
He assures me it’s all downhill, and it certainly looks that way on the map. Besides, the first 80 miles are across the South Downs and nobody has mentioned any Ups.
Although the useless purple mac is temptingly classy for Paris, the French themselves say, it is necessary to suffer to be beautiful. So, after 210 miles, I will be gorgeous in Gore-Tex.
- Esther Browning is festival director of Oxfordshire Artweeks next month.