I have to say that some of these occasions, creative license aside, aren’t that inspiring, such as Umbrella Day. I mean, I love a good brolly, particularly a nice automatic with genuine wood handle (oh yes, classy stuff indeed), but writing a blog post about it isn’t very interesting, especially if it hasn’t been raining. So instead I decided to find out a little bit about the object itself, you know, feed my intellect a little; and though they’re only morsels of information, I’m sure we can all find ways of dropping them into conversation when we’re next in the pub.

For example, did you know that the very top bit that sticks out is called a ferrule? You did? Well done, but did you also know that the part below the ferrule is the open cap? You knew that too – right, you’re clearly an umbrella aficionado, good for you. But how about the fact that umbrellas have been in use since the dawn of time (give or take a few billion years) and were even included in Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army, buried with him in 210-209BC? Look at the guy above sat in his horse drawn chariot – not only was the first Emperor of China protected against any scuffles in the afterlife, he could even jump into this and keep dry in the event of an unexpected downpour.

Then there are all the cool synonyms for umbrella, such as the aforementioned brolly, as well as rainshade (makes sense), gamp (named after Mrs. Gamp in the Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit, who often carried a parasol), and the truly amazing bumbershoot, which I think has just become my new favourite word.

But you know which umbrella I like the best? Those little ones you get in cocktails. I think I might whip up a nice Long Island Iced Tea to relax with after all this exhausting extracurricular activity – even more refreshing than a light drizzle.


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