I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but my family is under a curse.
Whenever we plan something outdoors-ish, it rains. When I was a kid, barbecues were never forward planning affairs – Dad would hack up some wood (none of this gas-powered nonsense in my childhood – my Dad espoused Neanderthal principles: Step 1: kill beast; step 2: apply fire; step 3: gnaw on charred result of first two steps), and mum would ring around our friends and neighbours, saying “He’s lighting the fire. Bring beer.”
I barely remember it, but for my sixth birthday, Dad planned this backyard extravaganza. Mum and both her best friends were all pregnant, and Dad swore and declared that they wouldn’t have to lift a finger, the whole thing would be outside, he’d put up a tent in the yard, and it would all be fabulous. It rained so hard you couldn’t even see the tent from the back door. So we had twelve five- and six-year-olds, all the aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbours and three pregnant women crammed into our tiny lounge-room, popping balloons and shrieking (that’s the part I remember).
There are numerous other examples of this phenomenon throughout my life, up to and including the October school holidays his year, when I (foolishly) stated out loud my intention to make the boys weed the garden-beds. It rained for the whole two weeks.
Well, I have decided to use the curse for the greater good. I announced clearly and out loud several times over the last few weeks my intention to again spend these school holidays working in the garden, and it has worked. I wasn’t sure if reverse psychology would work, but it is raining right now as I type this, and if I work hard, will continue to do so for the next six weeks.
I hope you’re getting the benefit of my bounty.