Bloody umbrellas, they are a menace.
I am not a fan of the umbrella at the best of times.
I find that wielders of umbrellas are all too often a) dangerously incompetent at the task, and b) of the exact height to bring the sharpened spikes that protrude from the protective canopy precisely in line with my eyes.
At the very least there should be some kind of driving test before people are let loose with umbrellas in populated areas.
However, after my recent visit to the Upton Blues Festival I have developed an even greater loathing of this most foul instrument of torture.
Picture the scene: it is a pleasant afternoon in the village of Upton upon Severn. You are gathered with like minded music lovers, pint in hand, enjoying a blues band playing on a nearby stage.
And then it starts to rain.
If you read my earlier blog you will know that rain was a major feature of the weekend.
And I mean this was proper rain. It started slowly at first, but quickly built into a crescendo of stair rods that would have had Noah reaching for his tools as animals started nervously forming up into pairs outside his front door.
I did what any sensible person would do: I put up the hood on my waterproof jacket and continued to watch the band.
Or I attempted to continue to watch the band.
Everyone else, it seemed, had decided that the best approach was to remain in t-shirts and light jackets and put up their umbrellas.
Not just little umbrellas, but bloody great big golfing umbrellas. And for reasons that are unclear to me, they often held them aloft high above their heads.
The stage immediately disappeared behind a brightly coloured fabric barrier.
Well that’s just great isn’t it. How could they possibly imagine that perhaps the people behind them might actually want to see the stage? This preposterous notion clearly never entered their heads.
And that’s not the only problem.
Now smug and dry beneath their mobile awnings, they appear blissfully ignorant or uncaring about the torrents of water now sheeting off the taut fabric and running like Niagra falls over the edge and down the trouser leg of any nearby victim.
They seem unaware that as they gaily twirl their umbrella above their heads the rain flies off spraying across the face and down the neck of those around them.
And they appear entirely unperturbed by how annoying it is that they seem so much drier than me. Especially as my waterproof jacket turned out to be not that waterproof.
Well, lesson learned. Next year I’m taking an umbrella, and it’s going to be massive!