‘You know when it’s summer in Ireland because the rain gets that bit warmer’. It’s just a saying but how true it is, I’m not sure if it’s selective memory but I do recall the sun shining in Ireland in summers past. It used to be a season, summer for a couple of months before returning to the wet, cold and darkness of winter. Since we Irish have a tendency to grab a firm hold of all that is negative, maybe we are getting our just deserts. Even global warming has shunned us, the hole that we have created in the ozone seems to have been stuffed closed with a big, grey cloud. Yes, behind every silver lining is a big, dirty, rain filled cloud. It seems that we have an utter inability to embrace any sign of good weather anyway. If the sun should shine on any given day, we without hesitation knock our good fortune, ‘it’ll never last, it’s to rain tomorrow ‘.
So let’s look at the positives, when you’re eating your 99 ice cream cone in the warm rain, it could be worse, the cone has very little chance of melting before you finish it. It won’t be dripping down your brand new summer shirt and you won’t have sticky hands on your umbrella. Who wants a summer anyway? Sure don’t we have skin that reddens standing beside the cooker, the hassle of applying factor 100 sun cream is all too much. Legs that spend eleven months covered and hidden aren’t easy on the eye when they get their day of exposure. The ladies can prepare with their false tan, some orange and Umpa Lumpa like but a colour none the less. The Irish man must endure with his natural look, white, turning to a pink, medium rare after a day in the sun.
In an era of carbon footprints and the like, the rain falls, it evaporates and falls on us again, it’s recycling at its best. The tourists love it, it’s a chance to wear that waterproof green poncho that they bought in preparation of their trip to Ireland. Nothing like eating a warm Irish stew on a cold June day, wearing your green pants and poncho.
In most other countries, they have just one word for rain, we on the other hand have many, drizzle, misty, thunder, lashing, pouring, hammering, torrential, spilling and bucketing to just mention a few. We are experts on all things rain, our language reflects our humour, ‘it once rained here for forty days and forty nights and then it became persistent’. Our unique sarcasm allows us to speak in the positive but mean the opposite. ‘The weather’s to pick up next week’, ‘it is yeah!!’, meaning it won’t. So enjoy the summer, embrace the rain, it’ll be winter soon enough again.