As is my wont, I went up to the pub tonight. ‘Up’ is right because the walk there is slightly uphill. But that is OK because the walk back home is all downhill. Nice. The walk is about a quarter of a mile – no big deal.
When I turned out, it was raining slightly, so I put on a coat. I have had that coat for 30 years or more. The beauty of it is that it is slightly insulated by padding. The important word there is ‘slightly’, thus it is perfect for those evenings which are neither warm nor cold. We get a lot of those evenings in the UK. It has a hood, which is not quite useless. It is just a piece of nylon, I suppose, but it does somewhat deflect rain but still does not completely stop some rain gaining access. I suppose that the hood was designed with micro holes which were small enough, generally, not to permit rain drops to penetrate.
Well, fine in light rain, but the rain got heavier on the way back home. Not very heavy, but a bit heavier. My coat started to absorb the rain and my trousers started to get wet. My journey was only a quarter of a mile, and the rain was light. Even so, I was not ‘comfortable’.
On the way home, I began to reflect.
My reflection began with why I no longer own a ‘proper’ raincoat. I have lots of coats of one sort or another, and I generally do not use some of them at all. They are nice coats, and some of them are very new (prezies), but I never wear them.
I think that it is a case of ‘need’. We might consider several weather conditions without going to excess.
Very cold = heavy, padded coat. Very cold and wet = heavy, padded, and waterproof coat. Both conditions can be combated by a heavy, padded and waterproof coat. There is no need to differentiate between the two conditions.
I do not need to describe other conditions – readers get the idea.
As I walked home from the pub in the slight rain, I thought back. It was normal in the 1960s and beyond for men and women to wear long raincoats. Those coats reached beyond knee length and they were waterproof for all intents. They did not have hoods. Males and females wore hats of one sort or another when it rained. Caps and trilbies were most common for men. Women wore – damn it! I know not what. The carrying of rolled up umbrellas was ubiquitous.
On my way home from the pub tonight, I regretted that I no longer own a ‘proper’ raincoat.
Why do I no longer own a ‘proper’ raincoat?
In the 1950s, 60s, everyone owned a ‘proper’ raincoat.
The obvious answer is that we experienced lots and lots of rain. People were prepared for lots and lots of rain, which reflects the prominence of long raincoats, furled umbrellas and trilbies. From around 1970, the expectation of rain got less, and so ‘proper’ raincoats, furled umbrellas and trilbies were no longer needed. During that long period of time, the rains ceased. That is not to say that rains were insufficient for agriculture. In fact, during the 1950s/60s, harvests were often ruined by incessant rain.
Incessant rainy conditions are not unknown. I forget the name, but there was a diarist in the 1700s who complained that the incessant rains meant that she could not ride out on her horse for days on end.
In the last couple of decades, we in England have not been troubled by the sort of weather which requires ‘proper’ raincoats and head-gear.
And so I thought about the fraud of ‘Global Warming’. For a while, a decade or so, we did not need ‘proper’ raincoats because there was little rain. Now we do.
I need to buy a ‘proper’raincoat which reaches below the knees and has a water-proof hood.