Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Rainy Day Musings

Perfect for a rainy afternoon, here are a few musings on books and stories about umbrellas.

First, a suggestion for picture book reading, here is a new story from Korea, called, charmingly, The Thingamabob. It's the story of an elephant who isn't quite sure what it is that he's adorable tale and great to read aloud.

Then, who knew that Robert Louis Stevenson was so funny? Read his essay on umbrellas, written with a friend who states:
'Not the least important, and by far the most curious property of the umbrella, is the energy which it displays in affecting the atmospheric strata. There is no fact in meteorology better established—indeed, it is almost the only one on which meteorologists are agreed—than that the carriage of an umbrella produces desiccation of the air; while if it be left at home, aqueous vapour is largely produced, and is soon deposited in the form of rain... '

After that, check out The Umbrella, a quarterly art journal that is archived online and is full of wonderful tidbits of art and amusement. Sadly, it ended too soon, with the editor's final illness. But 1978-2005 is available to be perused thanks to digitization.

And finally, a verse from a delightful little poem my husband wrote some years ago -- this is the final verse and one of my favourites:

Umbrellas are useful in all kinds of weather
They can even be used as a boat
Like the boy in Madras
Who to impress a fine lass
Crossed a stream like a knight o'er a moat
And together they travelled the stream that unravelled
And off into the sunset did float, did float,
And off into the sunset did float.


  1. Love this post. And don't forget my very small but likely to slowly grow list of lost literary umbrellas!

  2. Kerry - thanks...I am sure that your list of lost umbrellas will inevitably increase


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