As my mother kindly pointed out (after duly acknowledging prettiness of above purchase) these fold-up varieties tend to mess themselves in the mildest of weather conditions. Best to pop them away and surrender yourself to the downpour rather than risk embarrassment as you slide along the pavement with your pastel-coloured appendage inverted into a cone and flashing its undercarriage above your soggy head.
If this does happen to you, at least rest assured in the knowledge you have made a hefty comedic contribution to the public spectacle that is Man versus Umbrella. There are few things in life that will brighten your day so much as seeing someone else's umbrella invert itself whilst on the job, or witnessing the carnage of dead brollies left abandoned on the street after a gusty downpour. (With such an attitude it is little wonder the guy in charge of umbrella-karma has a target permanently fixed on my forehead.)
I suppose the conclusion here is that if you do purchase a purple umbrella with white polka dots and frills you are asking to be soaked and ridiculed. In light of these revelations, my mission for next winter is to become the proud owner of a sturdy umbrella. In the mean time, when it comes to pretty umbrellas, it might be best to stick to those varieties I know and trust. Done and done.
Image: The Mattalogue