A little while ago my boss got in touch to see how I was doing. “How’re you feeling?” She asked. “Wistful” I replied. “That’s so terribly British of you.” It’s funny, because I hadn’t really put any thought into my reply, it was genuinely spontaneous, and I don’t think even I realised how true it was until I said it.
Later I confessed to an Italian friend how much I was enjoying the grey day. The drizzle resonated, it felt comfortable. It felt, Shakespearean. I remember writing at university about The Bard’s use of weather to indicate mood or tone, and about how Kurosawa captured this so astonishingly in his Japanese adaptations, I thought about how whilst the better weather in Italy was one of the many (many) reasons for wanting to live here, I had missed the emotionally expressive nature of constant, persistent, gets-you-wet-without-you-realising drizzle. Don’t get me wrong, Verona does “damp” like no other city I’ve experienced, but it is combined with glorious sunshine, and frankly humidity just doesn’t have the gravitas that drizzle does.
You can settle in with drizzle, you can light a candle and lean in, let it envelope you and justify you lack of motivation after weeks of mooching about the same three rooms. And in Verona you have the best of both worlds, because here when the grey settles in it is often warm enough to open the windows and let that fresh rain smell flood in.
And so, I shall be curled up here with my cup of tea (yes, all right, glass of red wine), huddled under a quilt, cat at my feet, listening to the comforting drip, drip drip and enjoying a wonderful British dose of wistfulness before the sun returns tomorrow.