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How To Use Your Umbrellas Without Causing Havoc

Umbrellas should make your life less complicated, right? I mean, you ought to be able to get through your day without making life more difficult for the people you meet on the street, especially when the rain is torrential and everyone wants to get home for tea. They don’t make a highway code for umbrella use, but if they did, we think it would have the following guidelines. Umbrellas

First of all, remember that you’re not the only one out there. When everyone’s line of sight is hidden by the fabric of their own umbrella, it's not hard to imagine a collision is likely from an oncoming commuter. A friendly nudge of someone else’s canopy is frustrating, but it's not half as bad as impaling the stranger with the sharp end of your brolly. Or being impaled by theirs. If we could all just remember to take charge of our own space and be aware, perhaps we could all stay dry and remain injury-free.

People do strange things in the rain. They run. They keep their heads down. Laden down with dripping shopping bags, they lodge a mobile phone under one ear, clutch their umbrella handle to their chest and assume it will do its own balancing act. A sudden gust of wind or an oncoming mirror image will mean havoc gets caused. Walk, don’t run. Hold your umbrella safely and get off the phone. It's common sense really.

If you’re one for a bit of panache in your umbrella carrying skills, you might like to try the advanced manoeuvre where you raise your own umbrella slightly as someone passes with theirs. This works well if you happen to be taller than the other person, as their own rain protection can safely occupy the space you’ve left, allowing you both to pass by, with just a bit of an overlap. However, if you both do this at once, you know what will happen. Stay alert and never assume another person's umbrella skills.

What about those extremely windy days when you forgot your sturdy golfing umbrella and bought a cheap compact one from the local chemist? While you’re working on the technique to stop it folding inside out, or failing that, to try turning it (in vain) back again the right way in a force 10 gale, you probably want to make this mental note: get a decent umbrella. In fact, choose one strong enough for the job you’ll need it for. In the meantime, so as not to cause havoc, quickly dispose of the broken one in a bin, so that no one trips over the debris.

So those were just a few tips. Hope that helps you avoid causing umbrella-shaped havoc today.

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