So it seems we’re all doomed. When the weather finally improves and we brace ourselves for a week of real sunshine, with the promise of a real, proper, old-school heatwave – that’s 25C heat for five straight days – how are we to react?
Well, if we were paying attention to Official Ireland’s various bodies, we should all be hiding behind our sofa, slathered in sunscreen, only occasionally breaking cover to launch into a rain dance.
Met Éireann has issued a weather warning and it’s essentially what your mum would have told you as a child – don’t spend hours outside without shelter. Be aware that increased heat means an increased risk of heat stroke (who would have thought?) and of course don’t go swimming alone or after a big meal.
The Transportation Safety Administration has been just as quick to address this burning issue. His wise advice includes such nuggets as being aware of the dangers of “sun glare” through your car window. It wants you to wear sunglasses. It asks you to pay attention to other road users. In other words, these instructions can all be boiled down to one simple piece of advice – don’t be Eejit.
Thankfully most of us aren’t eejits and we’ve responded to that much-needed belt of good weather with the usual Irish reaction to sunshine – unbridled joy and a desire to make the most of it while we can.
This was sort of a stop-start summer for the country. While the rest of Europe and Britain scorched in record-breaking heat, all we seemed to have were overcast days, with some warmer than others. Sure, we’ve had a few decent periods when it seemed like the normally evasive and shy sun would appear longer, but they always flattered themselves to deceive. Now that the sun has finally decided to show its face to us for the next week or so, this is the perfect time to really sit back and relax and enjoy the rays.
I’ve said it before, but it’s a point worth repeating – when the weather is good, Ireland transforms into a Mediterranean society. Work becomes more of a distraction than a regular part of the day. Who wants to look at spreadsheets, budget plans, or work schedules when you can just throw the kids in the car and drive to the beach for a picnic?
Let’s put it this way if I had something to say you would be staring at a blank slate because yesterday I was dying to get off work and sit outside in the garden and stock up on factor 20 and try to get as much tan as possible .
But unfortunately – for all of us – work had to come first and I spent most of yesterday writing while listening to the neighbors’ children splashing about in their paddling pool like they had nothing to worry about, what it is That’s how it should be for children in the summer.
But once I’m done writing, I have the perfect plan — get out the back, open a cold one, turn on the music, and fire up the grill. Sometimes I’ve traveled abroad for this – but when the weather is so nice, there’s really nowhere I’d rather be.
We all know the old saying that an Englishman’s home is his castle. Well, I don’t have a lock, but my back garden has become my refuge; a place to relax and bask in the heat while the dogs make a half-hearted attempt to catch the butterflies. In fact, both of my dogs—increasingly crazier, more demanding, and more spoiled—have even taken to jumping into the seats by the grill and giving not-very-subtle cues that they’d like to eat now, if that were okay.
Of course we have to look out for animal welfare in such temperatures, but dogs are often smarter than humans – if they get too hot, they just go back inside until they cool down.
If ever there were people who deserved to see more of the sun, it surely has to be the Irish. After being drenched in rain for eight months a year and having to spend half of that time turning on the lights at four o’clock in the afternoon, we tend to emerge from our bunkers and blink like moles when the clouds clear. Everyone’s mood improves exponentially and you could say that when our mood rises, we take off our clothes.
I’ve lost count of the MAMILS (middle-aged men in little shorts) who wander the aisles of the local supermarket stocking up on platters of beer and meat that they’ll then burn to ash on their own on the BBQ.
Of course, one of the ironies of being an Irish man is that while our female colleagues tend to look even better when they’re in summer clothes, we guys tend to look even worse – if such a thing is possible.
Nobody wants to see my hairy legs, so I don’t give anyone that sight. But I still feel that innate tribal instinct to put on the Bermuda shorts and wander around my local shop scaring the natives and giving kids bad dreams for a month.
For once, and in the face of some truly alarming global developments – the recent Russian shelling of Zaporizhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant springs to mind – we have a good excuse to forget all our worries for a short period of time.
We’ve all been through some pretty strange years in recent years and the situation in Ukraine has been the last bad cherry on a rancid cake. Between a rapidly escalating international situation and all the usual domestic difficulties we grapple with, it’s no wonder many people feel their fear is through the roof.
This weather is absolutely gorgeous and everyone I’ve spoken to seems genuinely grateful to be caught in a heat wave. so enjoy it Make the best out of it. Enjoy a cold beer with friends in the garden. Get the grill working.
We can get back to real life next week when the weather is expected to return to normal. Until then, though, my mind is more on ice cream and grilled chicken.
This is how a summer should be…
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/the-sun-is-finally-here-so-forget-reality-for-a-while-and-milk-the-heat-for-all-its-worth-41901299.html The sun is finally here, so forget reality for a while and milk the heat for what it’s worth