Friday, March 18, 2011

How to take care of your Umbrella > You need to because of the unpredictable weather.

I love my umbrella big and strong!
My notebook is finally repaired! Cost me RM330. So happy to be able to be online at home again, and share some tips to my beloved followers here. For the first entry after a long hiatus, I will write about umbrella. You see, in a country like Malaysia, where there's rain at such unpredictable hours, an artiste need to carry an umbrella with him at all times. For me, I love my umbrella to be big and strong, but nice enough to fit into my bag. I broke a few umbrellas in my lifetime before, and learned my lessons in maintaining an umbrella. Now I'm departing all those knowledge, so you can use your umbrella for a long long time. Like anything else in life, an umbrella needs your careful upkeeping too. I know umbrellas are cheap and cost like RM10 per pair, but you'll be surprised how much money you'll waste from just buying umbrellas alone and everytime you throw away a spoilt pair, you are actually affirming your own carelessness. So why not learn to appreciate the little little things in life? More will be given to you in the future if you do. Or would you rather go into the rain and kiss it like Billie Myers?

1) Trim the edges so it looks smooth
Like my newly bought umbrella, use a scissors and trim the threads around the it. Even for a new one, I notice a lot of those stray threads around. It's better you trim those threads away, because if you just let it hang there, the thread will surely get entangled with your bag's zipper or your wrist watch or whatever, causing the thread to lengthen and make the umbrella's fabric surface thinner. Even umbrella needs to look presentable, like the bushes in your garden. Don't let any unwanted threads hanging here and there, looking unsightly.

2) Handling the umbrella
Taking out your umbrella for use and closing it requires you to be careful too. I used to be in such a rush to open and close my umbrella without realising how much harm I've caused my poor umbrella till it broke. Don't rush to take out your umbrella for use when you notice the rain coming. Stay calm, gather your mind and gently open your umbrella. Feel the handle extends out from the sheath and slowly opens the top. Be aware how intricate the insides, under the umbrella top with all the sticks and threads and screws supporting the opening above. I had one umbrella where the screw came off, causing the stick to loosen, jut out and fall from the supporting. The stick became sharp at the end and tore right through the top fabric of the umbrella causing a giant hole when I pulled up to open. A hole in the umbrella only allows rain water to seep into, so what's the point of using it? So becareful of how you open and close your umbrella. Open it slow, and one trick I've learned when you close the umbrella after use, be sure the button edges formed a circle enclosing the handle (refer to visual). That's the visual sign you've closed the umbrella properly.

3) Positioning your umbrella in your bag (or wherever you choose to carry it into)
Now, a busy entrepreneuring artiste like myself always runs here and there and on the move. So in my world, everything is in motion. I've learned my lesson in the past, where I placed my stuff in the wrong spot, causing it to mesh and squashed into a rotten shape. Same rule applies to your umbrella. Put it in the best spot/angle where you're free to move and doesn't hinder your way and motion. Depends where you put it, I almost always put my giant stick of umbrella at the end of my bag, where my bag zipper will end to enclose the top. That way, when I carry my bag on my shoulder, the giant potruding stick will not block my elbows and arms. Notice how firmly snug my umbrella is in the green cover with latch.

4) Finally, just let your umbrella "hang"
This is important after heavy use. Open your umbrella and place it on the floor or wherever that's dry. Never forget to take out the umbrella in your bag after heavy use, for it'll spoil the fabrics of your umbrella from the wetness or worst, leave mildew with a kinda strange smell in your bag! Remember it is wet, drenched in the rain, well, in urban cities like ours, are toxic dirty rainwater. You need to just open your umbrella and let it rest in the sun. That way, your umbrella will thank you for all the care you've put into it and bless you with many rainy days of trustworthy use.