Dancing in the rain

by Charlotte Fantelli

My favourite, favourite quote (as I have mentioned before) is: 'Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain' - V. Greene

Why?

Well, back before the nappy changing and responsibility, before the nights in front of Midsomer Murders... Back, even before my mental health issues had totally taken a hold. I had a friend Katherine Bryan Merrett!

Summers of freedom

Katherine was a bit outrageous, I was a bit outrageous, and together....

At 14 I learned how to make money. I had been coming up with inventions for many years, but at this ripe old age I found a way of making about £40 an hour- cash! All I had to do was set up a pitch on the street and wrap hair and henna tattoo. 

The police would sometimes come and move me on, but I just moved to another doorway. If they came again I would simply roll up my rug, fold my camping chair over my shoulder and run, a couple of hundred quid better off.

Now while I was doing this I met Katherine. She was beautiful, she was a little like Angelina Jolie, only with luminous silver eyes and bright red hair. 

(Above: Katherine without her bright red hair dancing in the rain)

Kat was a year younger than me, but she too was far older than her years. She soon worked with me hair wrapping (along with most of my other mates) and throughout our teenage years we spent summers and weekends on the dorset beaches, making money and having fun. Our evenings were spent on the beach with a BBQ, driving across the country in one of my modded up cars, or round at my place with a glass of wine - inevitably playing 'truth or dare'.

Katherine... And Me (a few years ago now!)

Teenage fun

Those days were the most fun, I wouldn't like to say we were care free, but we were wild. I remember doing crazy things like chasing down and pulling over a police car just to give my number to the sexy copper inside. We hitch hiked up the motorway in our bikini tops (and trousers) at 6am (which is illegal so I wouldn't recommend this!) Spent nights sleeping in my car after street racing, and of course I had to give her a snog at spin the bottle... Or was it truth or dare?

But the most fun, the thing that sticks out was dancing in the rain. One sunny summers day we were in a supermarket in Bridport (nothing very exciting there...) however all of a sudden there was a torrential downpour and we could hear the summer rain bouncing off the tin roof.

Naked in a field

We looked at each other with a glint in our eyes. Downed our baskets and ran out of the shop, into the car...

We found the nearest field, and with Guns and Roses 'Sweet child of mine' blasting out of the stereo, we stripped off stark naked and ran through the field. We laughed and giggled as the warm summer rain drenched our bodies, we got soaking wet and danced and danced, those guitar riffs have never sounded so sweet.

I can not remember what was said, only that feeling of being 17, young and free...

We did it a few times, always to the same tune, once we ran across cliffs looking down over a hotel - that was fun! Another time we pulled over and invited a random stranger to do it with us (I wouldn't recommend this either as you never know who you might find!)

Summers came and went, troubles came and went, we grew up and found our own responsibilities; she held my hand when I found out I was pregnant at 19, and she was there to say goodbye as my life once again moved me from town to town.

I have not seen the rain with her in many years, but I can't help loving the feeling of rain on my skin and smiling inside at my favourite quote.

Check out what she is doing now - and her amazing art here: http://www.katherinebryan-merrett.com/

 

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Beautifully said, made me all nostalgic
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