Nasr, our Omani gardener did not believe in rain. Rain in his view was capricious, perhaps not even nourishing for his precious periwinkles. He preferred to rely on the heavily saline mains water for our small garden in Bahrain.
The important point is, of course, that he preferred to rely on tap water for plants rather than on the uncertain predictions of weather forecasters or that of older, wiser heads. In his view, if a plant needed water, it needed water immediately. Waiting for the possibility of rain was not in question.
In fact it is likely that people holding their breath whilst waiting for rain in Bahrain would die. A small island, highest point perhaps 150m above sea level, with an average annual rain fall of around 8 cm – just imagine. The wonderful gardens of Bahrain are created on uprising fresh water springs, not down falling rain. Oman has its mountains, like the Jebel Akhdar, to catch the winds and make rain as well as the springs of the oases.
For his precious golf greens JP follows Nasr's precepts, if a green looks like it needs watering, you water it, despite predictions of heavy rainfall the following day. This is what has happened in the last few days. Two out of the eight greens have been thoroughly spoilt by getting water on demand, pond water admittedly, not tap water which is too expensive. Since when it has not stopped raining.
Enough has now become too much. The rain gods have gone over the top. The grass is so wet it is upsetting the sheep's digestion. We no longer have sheep pellets to fertilize the grass but something more resembling mini cow-pats. The sheep are looking very grubby behind and the sheep shearer, who is due very soon, will not be pleased. Mind you, a man in his profession is never pleased. Either the sheep are too damp to be properly shorn, or too dry; either they are too wild and unco-operative or too calm and unco-operative. Sheep have got passive resistance down to a fine art.
Anyway, the sheep are due back in the barn Wednesday night, no doubt protesting all the way until they remember inside = cereals, then there will be a rush. It might even make them ignore, insofar as they can, the worm treatment that is going to be
administered. A quarantine of 24 hours for the treatment to work and they will be sent outside again – where the temperatures are supposed to top 24C without rain.
Nasr would be dubious. But perhaps it is now time for the rain gods to go play monsoons on the other side of the world, Nasr's side.