Bantry Street, London, SE5

Mostly I really love heavy rain, especially when it comes along after days of hot stickiness and freshens up the atmosphere.

I like climbing onto walls and hanging off railings to avoid big puddles, or splish-splashing through them depending on my current welly-wearing status.

I love watching it streak downwards especially when it falls dead straight, but also when it’s being blown at an extreme slant.

I love the way the big drips splosh into puddles of their own creation, creating criss-crossing circular ripples and rebounding droplets, whilst the surfaces of the world glisten.

I love the sounds it makes as it batters against all manner of different objects and materials – metal roofs, glass windows, concrete paving, fabric umbrellas…

And I love that earthy smell it produces. I’ve recently discovered that this smell has it’s own special name – Petrichor – meaning the scent of rain on dry earth. It’s a scent that consists of a combination of oils released by plants during dry periods and chemicals produced by soil-dwelling bacteria. The scent occurs as these oils and chemicals get liberated from the soil into the air by the rain – from where the amalgamated ‘smell’ is ready to enter our nostrils. Incidentally, Ammon Shea, a man who read all twenty volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary and wrote a book about it, emerged from his experience clutching Petrichor as one of his favourite new words.

The only thing about heavy rain I’m not so keen on is the way it causes our netball courts to get so slippery that our matches get cancelled.

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