A Glasgow morning had been heavy with warm fog and darkening skys. At breaktime in year one Neil & I kicked a ball between us and from gate to post. If the ball was angled just right it would result in a perfect rebound to your playing partner who would attempt the same shot. The more of these you got in a row, the more satisfying the game was. We counted each pass, hoping to reach twenty. Neil played for Motherwell and I played for the Pars!
Although it was mid February, the rain began heavily, like a tropical storm; not gently with tiny wind blown drops first felt on the face, but with dark shapes that appeared on the ground. One after the other landed about us. Very quickly they became more frequent and in only a second or two, the heavens opened. My uniform cap was drummed by the falling rain and instinctively we stopped our game and looked up.
The whistle sounded signalling the end of playtime but for some reason we remained rooted to the spot at the far and of the concrete enclosure. Still looking skywards I removed my cap and opened my mouth to taste. We stood in a gushing shower. I'm concsious now that its taste was not tropical however. Instead I recognised the faint metalic and familiar coal fires at the back of my throat. Neil struck a familiar pose and as the other children ran off back to class he continued to look skywards, squinting from the rain in his eyes.
As if welcoming the torrent's arrival he outstretched both arms and waggled his fingers. We looked across to each other, ignoring the ball as it rolled far away from us, and smiled. 'Jeeessuuuss', said Neil, thats proper rain. Our maroon blazers were now soaked and the puddles now forming at our feet were deep enough to splash in. Sandles and socks had been relatively dry but we soon fixed that by splashing each other! You might think we looked like we were playing at the local baths or imagining a day trip at the seaside. Instead of passing the ball we gleefully traded splashes. By now we seemed to have forgotten we were at school.