U is for Umbrellas

I don’t know why I woke up this morning going, “Today, I’m going to write about umbrellas,” but here we are.

Umbrellas.

It’s a weird word. It looks wrong, like somebody picked up magnetic letters a child dropped on the kitchen floor and decided to put them in any semblance of an order.

Apparently, the first recorded folding umbrella came into being in 21 AD. I know. I’m astonished too.. It was used as a source of shade on a four-wheeled carriage in Ancient China.
But they were used in ancient civilisations all over the world as protection from unruly and scorching weather.

My first recorded umbrella had Winnie the Pooh on it. It was awesome! It had alternated red and yellow panels with pictures of Winnie on the red ones. I carried it everywhere – much to my parents’ dismay. You never knew when the weather would turn sour!
On a particularly blustery day, about a year after I first got it, my umbrella promptly turned inside out, and was unable to be put right again. I remember watching its funeral procession as it was driven down the driveway to the tip on the tray of my dad’s ute. I couldn’t believe it was gone.

I never did find another umbrella I loved as much; nor have I had such an interest in them. I find myself missing that loud, red and yellow monstrosity. I don’t know why.

Perhaps the most famous depiction of an umbrella in fiction is Mary Poppins’ classic parrot handled umbrella. I’m quite excited at the possibility of seeing it return in the movie remake (Yes, I did just say that).

When I was a kid, I thought it would be such a cool thing to have an umbrella that could talk to you and help you fly. I mean, what kid wouldn’t. I don’t think I ever went as far as testing out my Winnie the Pooh umbrella in this way. I could have been in for quite a shock if, on a rainy day, Pooh began muttering ‘Oh, bother’ at the rain dripping on his head.

Now, though, I just see umbrellas as a pain in the behind. They are bulky and difficult to carry without getting in the way – whether that be folded or unfolded. If there is even the tiniest bout of wind, the umbrella either turns itself inside out, or, the rain ends up soaking you to the bone regardless of whether you have the umbrella up or not.

Though I understand there are immense pros to having an umbrella handy, for me, those cons are irrefutable … even if they are as cool as my Winnie the Pooh one.

***

See you Saturday!

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