Tag Archives: Rain

It might as well rain until September…..

“The weather here has been as nice as it can be”…….not! Yesterday’s blue skies and hot sun turned to grey, overcast and, at times, just downright wet. But we had agreed we wanted to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty and, come on, we are Brits and used to a bit of weather. I confess to chickening out on the tour bus down to Battery Park when I opted for the inside seats rather than the open deck. Once there, it was fine again and I was giddy enough to persuade Carolyn that the top deck of the boat was the best place to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the New York skyline, etc. It was – but blooming windy so we both resorted to kagools rather than go down a deck.

We alighted at Liberty Island, took the ubiquitous daft selfies, walked the circuit and refused to contemplate climbing the inside of the statue. Poor lady, with all those tourists swarming all over the place! Anyway, we came, we saw and we left!

Next stop was Ellis Island, along with the announcement about America being the land of the free and a nation of immigrants. Nowhere is a better example of this than New York, but it would appear to an outsider such as I that, currently, any new immigrants must exclude Mexicans and Muslims. Just a thought.

We had, thus far, managed to stay dry, so emboldened by our good fortune (and as it was fine), we opted for the top open deck. Big mistake. Within 5 minutes of our 1 hour and 10 mins ride uptown, the heavens opened and the Big Bus was awash. Interestingly, as the bus moves quickly I found it a trifle painful to get heavy rain on my face. “On your right…..”, said the tour guide. “Ouch”, said I, (or words to that effect) as my left ear received a gallon of rainwater. Getting off at the end of the ride, I squelched and dripped. Carolyn suggested McDonald’s for a burger, a coffee and a warm, dry place to sit for a few mins. Of course the rain stopped immediately and only renewed its apparent challenge to soak us to the skin as we stepped out of the door. It was funny, especially after a hot bath and dry clothes.


Carolyn’s Curios & Musical Notes 🎼🎶🖌

Kath has a penchant for politeness and understatement – it was WET and we were saturated. It was not an unavoidable happenchance caused by the heavens opening unexpectedly. The forecast said RAIN; the skies said RAIN and, even when it was raining and we were asked if we wanted to go downstairs, inside and dry, we sat there resolutely like… ducks! However,…

I’d never been to Liberty Island and, other than from the air, had never seen the Statue in person, as it were. Somehow, as Kath alluded, the current political situation almost required me to remind myself that the history of the United States is one of multiracial, multilingual, multicultural and pluralism of religious beliefs. What is going wrong, I wonder? In the U.K., we have similar issues and it’s the very group(s) professing the more fundamentally literal views of Christianity who seem to be the most bigoted and, frankly, unChristian. It was reassuring to hear the commentary on the boat reminding us that America – and particularly New York – prides itself in being cosmopolitan and accepting of anyone who wants to come to this country. Still?! The sign on the left says it all, I think. Researching Daniel Boorstin, I came across another quote worth contemplating.

One of the snippets of information which our Bus Tour Guide related to us was about Peter Stuyvesant, a Dutch notable and benefactor, who built the original Wall from which Wall Street got its name. The wall was built to keep out the Native Americans from his part of the then New Amsterdam, now New York. Our guide suggested, I suspect tongue in cheek, that he got the Native Americans to pay for the wall. Of course, over history, the Native Americans have paid a far greater price.

The musical notes for the day? The first had to be, “Didn’t it rain, children” of which I remember a black and white Granada documentary version from eons ago sung by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. My second ear worm was Gerry Marsden’s version of “Ferry ‘cross the Mersey” which, related to the purpose of Liberty Island’s Statue, could be retitled “Ferry across to Mercy”.

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Finally, as a prelude to beginning the road part of our American Music Road Trip tomorrow, the driver for our journey… extolled in Stevie Wonder’s wonderful:

“Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there’s Basie, Miller, Satchmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose.”



First (and last?) Tango in Buenos Aires

Where were the rain jackets, the umbrellas and wet weather gear? Why, back in the cabin!


“Don’t cry for me, Argentina” but this morning Buenos Aires wept buckets.  The forecast was for an occasional shower but between waiting at the ship’s muster point and setting off on a trip which involved quite a lot of walking around BA, the heavens had opened.  Where were the rain jackets, the umbrellas and wet weather gear… why, back in the cabins?!!

It became more and more farcical and laughing was all you could do.  We got off the bus during a slight lull in the deluge at the cemetery to ‘visit’ Eva Peron.


However, by the time we had paid our respects, marvelled at a cemetery with nothing but extravagant mausoleums and made a dive into the shelter of the entrance, we were in the middle of a tropical storm of monumental proportions.  The path became a river and steps down to the road provided a cascading waterfall.  Hilarious.  Outside stood a young man selling umbrellas.  He named his price, I named mine.  He went lower and so did I, but in the end $3 bought me some shelter and I was fractionally less of a drowned rat after the 100 yard dash to the coach.
We got off the bus again to look at the artists’ area with the brightly coloured shops and houses.  I got as far as a coffee shop and enjoyed the strongest espresso coffee I have ever drunk anywhere.  Hours later, I am still flying!  It certainly helped with the tango.
DSCN3859 DSCN3858This is such a beautiful city with fabulous buildings, monuments and parks and I would have loved to soak it up, as opposed to getting a real soaking.  I did have to peer hard through the rain drenched windows to see anything.
Fortunately, I am blessed with a sense of the ridiculous and whilst being in awe of the driver as he negotiated the by now flooded avenues, I found myself laughing at the sight of a tiny rowing boat coming towards us being washed quickly from a side street.  It was a young boy having fun.  At about the same point, a woman had taken off her shoes, hitched up her dress and was wading thigh deep along the pavement.  The water must have been over the axles of our coach but the driver kept on going and we made it to a less flooded area.
Then it was time for a few of us who had booked a tango demonstration and private lessons to get to grips (!) with our allocated partners.  “The tango is very sexy… relax, give me your body and I will make it sing”.  Blimey!!  What fun though.  I am not going to go into detail here… ask me when I am home… I am still laughing (and blushing)!!!  If you have ever watched ‘Benidorm’, think about Mateo, the Spanish barman, making you wrap your leg around him as he gets up close and very personal.
And what do you think had happened by the time we left the dance floor and were just a short ride to the ship?  The sun had come out and was cracking the pavements.  A look to the heavens, “Thanks, Pal, you got me this time”.  It was different (very), the Argentinian tango was a new experience (hmmm!) and what’s a bit of rain to a northern lass?!