Being such a wet weekend, it’s not surprising really that I started thinking about raincoats.
Over 500mm of rain in the last couple of days in my neck of the woods – by my calculations (but I’ve never been good at that sort of thing – I still remember being mortified to get a grade of 2/10 for a measurement test in Year 7, ouch!!!!).
Thinking back, it must have been a wet summer the year I started school.
I have vivid memories of everybody having to suit up in yellow raincoats and rain hats to walk into or out of school on wet days. We weren’t allowed umbrellas, they were probably worried we’d poke somebody’s eye out – they were reserved for students in the upper grades, or adults.
Maybe raincoats work well in climates with a wet winter, but they are horrible in summer. Being made of a thick plastic, those old yellow raincoats were bulky, heavy and uncomfortable. I’m not sure they succeeded in keeping us dry when they just made us even hotter and sweatier!
And the rainhat had a habit of dripping icy water into the collar of the raincoat, before it trickled down your back, ugh.
I usually walked to and from school, but on rainy days my mother took pity on me and would pick me up. (What I wouldn’t have appreciated then is that it must have been quite a production, as she had a toddler and a new baby that she had to wake from their naps in order to collect me.)
While I waited for her to arrive, I would play with the seed pods from the African Tulip trees that grew along the street – racing them as boats in the water that surged along the gutters.
Hard to believe but that’s fifty years ago now.
Which got me thinking … whatever happened to those old yellow raincoats?
They are known by many different names, depending on where you live – a raincoat, a macintosh or mac, a sou’wester or slicker.
I haven’t seen one for years!
I don’t even remember my kids having them when they started school.
Working from home, I’m usually able to avoid going out in the rain. These days I have a cheerful rainbow brolly, and a red spray jacket for protection (although that does mean feet and lower half are exposed to the elements).
I’ve even worn a rain cape a time or two, for example when visiting a theme park on a rainy day.
A quick search on Google and it seems you can still buy a yellow raincoat if you want to – but I don’t want 😉 .
Do you remember wearing a raincoat, or perhaps your first umbrella? Miss 25 had a rather fetching red ladybird brolly when she was a nipper!