The best thing about playing a musical instrument is that it gives you something to do when it’s raining. I’m sort of joking because on an unseasonal day like it is where I am today – non-stop rain and unbroken grey skies forecast for 24 hours – I do feel somehow in some tiny instinctive way as if playing the viola will alleviate the gloom and provide some welcome shelter and warmth.
It never does, though. I guess the viola is just too temperamentally melancholy, or I am. And in the circumstances, I can never think of what to play and end up standing there uselessly, viola drooping under my ear like a waterlogged branch.
So it occurs to me that what I would like is a book of pieces, specially written to be played in the event of rain. Although I am no composer, I imagine they would be little ruminations, incantations, exercises and other whatnots, some intended to ward the bad weather off but others with the more achievable aim of guiding me to a state of patience and acceptance. Perhaps there would be a gentle ritual element involved. Or perhaps they would just be something to do while it’s raining.