The Place Where it Hasn’t Rained in a Thousand Years

Tomorrow we are expecting the first rains of winter.

This news came as a surprise to me as it rained last week… all over the island.
It came as a surprise to me, and also helped explained a mystery that had been bugging me for many years.

You know those movies where the main character suddenly finds that people he/she has known all of their lives suddenly deny ever having set eyes on them before? Well rain and the southern parts of this island can be a bit like that.

“Rain, nope not here. It never rains here. Hasn’t rained here for nigh on a millennium.”
“Really, I was here two weeks ago and it rained.”
“No, that didn’t happen,” their eyes turn cold and they shuffle away muttering, hitting a reboot button located just above the hairline behind their left ear. “It definitely didn’t rain here.”

I read a blog recently where a visiting travel blogger had been caught out wearing just a sun dress when visiting an area where it did rain because ‘locals’ had told her confidently ‘it never rains’.

When visitors say ‘locals’ they don’t really mean real locals, they mean English speaking incomers like me. And plenty of incomers are proficient in one thing, talking baloney. Some should consider taking up jobs as writers of fiction as they can sure spin a damn good tale.

A few years ago I was caught in a monsoon in the place where the travel blogger had been staying; one of those places where it never rains, round about the same time of year. But that will have been erased from memories a long time ago.

Maybe it’s a condition like the one Guy Pearce had in Memento. Minutes after it rains they forget it ever happened.

For years I’ve been bemused by the ‘haven’t seen rain in months’ comments when I know that rain has actually fallen – thankfully some people who haven’t been affected by the Memento disease use Twitter and facebook.

One of them was responsible for unlocking the mystery to this strange condition.

“But it has already rained here,” A woman responded to the ‘first rains of winter’ announcement.
“That wasn’t rain,” came the reply. “That was only a few drops.”

And there was the answer to the mystery.

Whilst one tear drop of water hitting the ground amounts to rain in northern parts, the same doesn’t apply to southern ones.

There are many words that can be applied to describe the wet stuff falling from the sky in the south of my island, but may the gods bring fire and brimstone down on your house if rain is one of them.

It will rain tomorrow. It will be decent rain. A storm out in the Atlantic more or less guarantees that.

And in a couple of weeks time there will be an announcement.

‘Tomorrow we are expecting the first rains of winter.’


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