Mr. Wackford Squeers, the headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, “had but one eye and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two”. Dickens is not specific but I have always thought the poor man the victim of an umbrella. After a lifetime dodging their vicious barbs on the rainy streets of London it is surprising I have any eyes to spare, never mind but one. The answer to the marauding umbrella tine comes from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where entrepreneur Stephen Collier has developed an entirely new and pedestrian-friendly version of the ancient prophylactic.
The Rainshader, a cocoon-like contraption which resembles an old motorcycle helmet, was designed mainly for use by spectators at sporting events. But as a basic nod to human kindness it appeals to the nerd in me. I am minded to order one here from Amazon. It’s only £27.50 but I just cannot decide which colour to get. Better to get everyone else to buy one so I can walk down the street unmolested. Never did like umbrellas in any case.