I’m sorry. Excuse me? Did someone order a heat wave? Cos I sure didn’t. But I now find myself trapped in the body of a heavily pregnant lady literally cooking from the inside out. And back in again.
A nurse whose expertise is in dermatology was on the radio yesterday talking about sun safety – which I’m extremely committed to, because my commitment usually involves a low level of activity per annum. Whatever it may say on the label, sunscreen needs to be applied every two hours, she said. As soon as they come out of the water, re-apply, she said. From March to September she said. And all the time I’m thinking, why doesn’t someone just invent a pill? A little pill that protects you both from UV rays and needing a drip to rehydrate you after tackling pasting it on small children. I would buy it – name your price! Applying sun cream to my little lady is like trying to catch a wet salmon, on the run, with your bare hands. Earlier, I cajoled the small man into putting it on and he promptly wanted a nap in my nice clean sheets. Give me strength. Or a nanny. Give me something.
I’m literally finding it too hot to do anything – to cook, to go to the beach, to stand upright. It’s a problem!
It’s scorchio. And there’s nowhere to hide in the Burren…
Some of my favourite song lyrics are U2’s brief description of New York Summer heat – “Hot as a handbag in a can of mace”. That’s exactly how I feel today, as I huddle in the shade in the garden pondering whether or not our water supply can spare another cold shower. I didn’t feel like this when I actually lived in New York over two Summers. Life there was urban and mainly indoors, which was nicely refrigerated (apart from the dash through the subway station) and when your most strenuous physical activity is the stroll to the next bar long after the sun has gone down, the heat is a welcome reprieve from the ice cold air con.
The thing is, and I’ll continue to maintain it, the majority of us Irish are not built for the heat. When we crave better weather, let me clarify, we actually want a bit less rain, a tad more sunshine and a constant of 19 / 20 degrees (max), complete with light breeze. Holidays are different – there are cocktails and midday naps and glorious pools for dipping in. The Spanish, the Portuguese – they know what they’re doing. Their houses are dark havens of cool, they go to work early, they eat late and in between they chill. I’m not on my holidays. I have Supervalu in Gort to tackle along with toddler bedtimes in the blazing sun and a house to keep on the acceptable side of messy (I like to refer to this status as ‘homely’).
And we’re not allowed to complain about the weather. Noooooo way. Because this is what we live for as a country, isn’t it? Sunshine, heat? A ‘proper’ Summer?
Perhaps. I mean, it has some good points too.
On Sunday morning we bumped into friends at the beach and invited them to a small BBQ yesterday evening. Would you like me to repeat that sentence, because who would ever have thought I would ever type those words in that sequence? Nah – you can re-read it if you like – but when does that ever happen? See almost every Summer since 1995 for the answer (hint: never). We planned a BBQ a whole day in advance. That, my friends, felt pretty wonderful.
And then there are the visitors to our country and the kids who have finished school. They’re seeing the country at it’s absolute (sizzling) best and memories – along with record ice-cream sales – are made of this. Let’s face it nations of the world, you haven’t a patch on us when the sun shines.
2018 has been ‘interesting’ weather-wise. Could it be Mother Nature showing us who’s in charge? Keeping us in our place? Ironically, it looks like I’m just gonna have to chill over the rest of this heat wave. It can’t last forever, right? The big wind came and went, the snow… What could Autumn possibly throw at us? Giant, man-eating apples?
I won’t tempt fate…