Wanted. Oh, how I wanted. Never in my life have I given a monkey's about an umbrella. Will it keep me dry, was the extent of my demands. Beyond that, a big resounding meh.
Then last October, I saw a picture of this umbrella and my heart did a strange palpitationy thing. Wanted. But they were impossible to get hold of... and, in fact, will not be manufactured again. For 3 months I've had it in my Wishlist (it appeared for a day, but my order was cancelled... agony!); for 3 months I've scoured umbrella shops and online stores, all to no avail. But a couple of days ago I finally got my umbrella, and it's every bit as pretty as the photos make it seem.
I've added a few, as everywhere it's been sold seems to have the same photo, so it's hard to actually see exactly how it looks. The bird is the shape of a sparrow or finch, and is pink and blue. It is printed onto the side in 2 places (official photos made it look like it might even be separately attached) "behind" the actual cage, which is printed in a dark grey.
The actual umbrella is clear PVC - very, very light - huge, with a smooth opening/closing mechanism (slide up, slide down, tadaa) and a silver hook handle. The description has its dimensions, but it's hard to imagine how that will equate in person. There's pretty much room for 2 or 3 people underneath, depeding on the width of the people involved. I'm 5"3 and when my head is near the top inside, the birdcage reaches around my elbow, meaning am *completely* protected from the rain, even if it's that mean slanty one that comes in from the side. And, actually, being inside does make you feel safe, somehow. Like you're in a fort. That's decorated with birds.
It feels sturdy enough. It doesn't feel like there's anything metallic that could snap so its being a little more flexible feels like a benefit rather than a result of shonky build-quality... still, it's too rare and beautiful to be anything less than careful with.
If you're humming and haahing about whether it's worth the cost, it probably isn't. And yet I'd spend the money all over again without hesitating. I'm sure at some point someone will create a variant that will be just as beautiful but, until then, this is just the prettiest, most magical umbrella I've ever seen. As I write, am just beginning to get over a nasty bout of flu... and yet never have I been so desperate for it to rain so I can go out in it.