Umbrella Etiquette

It’s time to have my first blog rant…

London this morning is miserable – it’s January, it’s particularly cold and it’s very wet. So as I stepped out earlier I was filled with dread, not because I mind the typical English weather, but because the rain brings out the worst in a specific group of London commuters – the vicious umbrella wielders.

As I edged down the narrow passage towards North Sheen station, I was faced with a mass of bodies walking towards me – a Westbound train must have just arrived. As predicted this hoard contained a number of aggressive, self-absorbed commuters proudly flaunting their oversized brollies. As I squeezed past one his weapon clipped a covering tree and drenched me with mega-droplets. I am now both soggy and angry.

And things will only get worse. Whenever it rains the pedestrian system outside Victoria station becomes almost impassable. They simply don’t seem to realise that their umbrellas double their width, giving them an unfriendly, imposing and dangerous wingspan. Heads, hats and specifically eyes are immediately at risk, and if you are skewered don’t expect an apology.

And the worst culprits…golfers. Their gigantic brollies may be a necessity for tramping down the fairway, or even ambling down a country lane, but they do not fit within a city centre.

No-one is safe, although at 5′ 7″ I can usually duck under the majority. For once my below average height is a distinct advantage.

But if it rains tomorrow I will fight back. I will fish out my own brolly and launch a strategic counter attack. And be warned, at my height I can strike a telling blow to the armpit, chest or neck!