Amongst the very few wedding presents that we were able to take with us to London were a pair of beautiful umbrellas from The Bay, thoughtfully given to us by Imelda and David (themselves newlyweds! Hurray!).
This turned out to be a smart move: We quickly discovered that London’s rainy reputation is well-earned. So, I’ve now added to my leaving-the-house bare essentials list of “wallet/cell/keys” (does anyone else rhyme this off in their head before heading out the door??) the London absolute essential of an umbrella.
This is probably the best-quality umbrella I’ve ever owned. It is compact yet sturdy, feels solid in your hand and has never once made me worry that it might flip inside out. Its stripey, bold pattern brightens gloomy days (sometimes I feel like I’m sending a secret signal to other Canadians and glance around to see if anyone appears particularly interested in my umbrella) and puts a spring in my step whenever I use it. Allan, who has never owned an umbrella in his life raves about how much he loves it, and I’ve always secretly loved that we own matching umbrellas.
This evening when we returned home from a fantastic dinner with my Aunt Alyson I reached around the side of my backpack to put my umbrella away when I discovered that it was missing. A frantic search around the flat, back out the door, down the elevator, through the courtyard and out to the front entrance of our building proved fruitless. I was inconsolable.
Allan thinks that the umbrella slipped out of my backpack’s side pocket without me noticing. I can’t help but take the more cynical and pessimistic view that it was opportunistically snatched up as we were walking down a busy street or exiting a Tube station (which, of course, is a bit ridiculous. But a classmate of mine sheepishly admitted that he keeps worrying people are going to kidnap his baby because he’s so darn cute – even though my classmate used to believe people who thought this way were crazy – and I feel the same about my awesome umbrella).
Allan tries to make me feel better by reminding me it’s just an umbrella, there’s nothing to be done about it, and we can buy another one and he’s right, it’s an umbrella for crying out loud. But whenever I used it I thought of: Allan, our wedding, Canada, good friends, home. My days will be a bit damper without it.