Don’t you hate how smug people who live outside of Scotland are about our weather? They fall into one of two camps, the eye-rollers or the gloaters.
The eye-rollers do just that whenever we tell them they should bring their anoraks. They assume that we are just indulging the great British hobby of complaining about the weather. Little do they realise that though we may be complaining, in reality we are secretly proud of it — so proud that we have enough words for that dreich precipitation to fill a dictionary.
Then they spend their summer (not) hiking on Skye and realise why Scottish people don’t tan.
The gloaters on the other hand often live in warmer, drier climes and lord the fact over us as if it could actually make us jealous when we could easily trot over to Spain for a week if we really wanted to (or the tanning salon down the road if we can’t get the time off work). They just don’t understand how good a good drizzle is for you.
Personally, I like rain. I’m very fond of a good torrential downpour even if I have to go out. If you wish to reside in Scotland for longer than a week then you need to learn that rainy days aren’t write-offs. To help you, here is a list of ten things that you can do with your rainy days:
1. Read a book.
If you need a list of good ones, I can give you a list that will keep you busy until the clouds exhaust themselves once and for all. Finish one that you put down ages ago and have been meaning to get back to ever since. Begin one you’ve been meaning to start in the first place. Pick one at random from your local library and discover something new. In fact, if you ask your local librarian for help, you’ll even make a new friend in the process.
2. Write a book.
Apparently everyone has one in them. I’m not so sure but you could at least try for a plot line then spend the rest of the day imagining how cool it would be if it became a blockbuster with a Hans Zimmer score and all your favourite actors playing the parts.
3. Play some games.
My family has never liked board games. As long as I can remember, my older brother was the banker at Monopoly and always stole money because he said that’s what bankers do in real life. If, like my family, you hate that game, learn a card game or two. You could play Gin Rummy, or Chase the Ace which take a regular pack of cards or you could discover a new and quirkier game like Beverbende, Exploding Kittens, Gloom, or Ligretto. Alternatively, you could resort to good old paper games like the Post-It Note Game, Headlines, Fishbowl, or the Paperback Game.
4. Learn a new skill.
YouTube is honestly a gift to the world. There are so many good tutorials out there on so many different things. You can learn practically anything if you really want to. There is everything from Makeup and how to play your favourite song on guitar to Mongolian throat singing and how to noodle for catfish. Pick something and grab it by the gills (literally with the catfish tutorial).
5. Do that pile of ironing.
You know how the housework builds up. You could make a crack at catching up with yourself. Or not. Probably not. But hey, you could watch some of those YouTube tutorials or catch up on your favourite podcast while you’re doing it.
6. Go for coffee.
There’s something nice about having a cup of coffee and people watching on a rainy day. If you don’t like sitting in coffee shops on your own you could always invite a friend you haven’t seen in a while and have a good old catch-up.
7. Phone a friend.
Or WhatsApp them, Skype them, write a letter, send a morse code message by carrier pigeon… It doesn’t matter. Catch up with a long distance friend who you haven’t seen in a while. It will be worth it.
8. Watch your favourite movie.
Life is Beautiful is in the running for sure. But El Dorado, The Book Thief, and Dunston Checks In are all pretty close too. If you don’t like movies then the Crown, Suits, or Arrested Development are all good television series. You could always try the Dead Poets Society if you could handle it o Captain, my captain…
9. Go to the Museum
They’re often free. I frequent the National Museum in Edinburgh, usually with a sketchbook or my blogbook (or both) and spend the afternoon writing or sketching various exhibits which take my interest. You can always learn something new. The Photographer of the Year Awards exhibition is up at the moment and I’ve still to decide if I enjoy the photos or the pretentious people more. Side note: Don’t get your hopes up because it’s the cliche photos, not the best ones that win. Spend your time in the runners-up section. There are some absolute crackers this year.
10. Go puddle-jumping.
When we were small and it was raining, we’d inevitably get a little stir crazy. My ever adventurous mother would dress us in shorts, t-shirts, and wellies (sometimes we’d take an umbrella) and we would go down our street jumping in the puddles that formed in the potholes at the side of the road. If we got as far as the park without freezing to death we’d do all those puddles too. Then, to top it all off, we’d have a hot shower and a hot drink when we got home. Happy days.
There you are, ten suggestions for ways you can use your rainy days. I can think of a whole bunch more but I’m sure that with a little effort, so can you. Here’s to learning to love those rainy days.