Rain, rain, go away…

Overcast in the Sahara

Overcast in the Sahara.

When I was in my 20s I lived on tour with a traveling circus. For three years I moved with them from city to city, mostly in northern Europe, and no matter where we went it rained. A lot. Even the locals remarked on the unusual weather.

“It’s never usually like this at this time of year.”

In 2002, we spent the summer in Vienna. While we were there, pretty much the whole of central Europe flooded. We decided the big top must be creating its own weather system.

“We should take it to the desert where it could, at least, do some good.”

Nearly ten years later, on a trip to Morocco, I spent the night at a Berber camp in the Sahara desert. A hugely-anticipated adventure. After a long afternoon spent bouncing across the desert in a battered four-by-four, after mint tea and biscuits at the top of a sand dune, after an al fresco dinner in the Berber camp and an exchange of songs around the campfire in the growing darkness, I settled down for the night in my sleeping bag on a raft of wool rugs under the stars. Or, where the stars would be if it weren’t completely overcast. I drifted off to sleep as the camp settled around me… only to be woken up at one o’clock in the morning by cold rain on my face.

It rained on me in the Sahara desert.

Grumbling, I dragged my gear into the shelter of the Berber tents.

Clearly, the problem wasn’t the big top. It was me. I plan to sell my services to drought areas worldwide. Watch this space for my rates and availability.


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