What happens when the sun shines in Ireland?

Last week something very unusual happened.
I know for many of you,
it would not even register in your day.
For me however it was mind blowing.
Every day for a whole week,
the sun shone!
Most days there was not even a cloud in the sky.sunshine

I cannot remember the last time this happened.
Rumor has it that it was one week in May last year.
Personally I reject that rumor.
I think on that occasion,
we ran out of sun after five days.

On the first of our sunny days last week,
Ireland woke up and held its breath.
Was it just the usual joke,
where the sun shines,
until we all get dressed in our shorts and t shirts,
venture out,
and then are met with a cold wind and maybe even rain?
Having been fooled so many times we were careful.
That first day we wore our more usual summer clothes,
long pants, and jumpers!
We died a death.

So the next morning when we awoke,
and saw another beautiful day dawning,
we dared to hope.
Clothes usually put away for our two week holiday abroad,
were dusted off and worn with delight.

By the end of the day,
the sunshine had begun to affect the whole nation.
As we walked down the street,
Friends and strangers shouted out,
“Hi, isn’t it glorious?”
“Welcome to Summer”.

In true Irish fashion we began to gloat.
“Poor Mary’s gone off to Spain,
I hear its cloudy over there!”.
“Yes, sure Sean and the family are in Lanzarote,
and it’s raining!”.
Nothing could make us happier than hearing these sorry tales.

As the beautiful weather continued,
I became more and more aware of how we Irish,irish red heads
were obviously not a nation naturally born to tolerate sunshine.
The Irish skin is of a milky white nature,
often covered with an infinite number of freckles.
The Irish mentality is to love dark skin,
and to believe that some day with effort,
Irish skin can be transformed to that of a Mediterranean nature.
Sallow and brown.

As a result, by day three,
half the population were wandering about,
with glowing bright red faces,
and striped red legs.
Shoulders and backs,
looked like they should be treated for burns in casualty.

By day five another change had begun.
Normally Irish people are stunned,
when they meet anyone who decides voluntarily to holiday in Ireland.
The only reason they can understand and accept,
is that of people coming over here to investigate their family tree.allihies
However because of the beautiful weather,
national pride began to swell.
“Best country in the world”,
“Who needs Australia?”.
“Isn’t Ireland a great place to live?”,
were said loudly and frequently to anyone who would listen.

Our beaches were packed,
not an inch of spare sand to be found.
Passing by department stores,
you could be forgiven for thinking,
that looting was rife.
Hoards of people were pouring out,
arms loaded with sun chairs and food coolers.
There was a run on burgers, steaks and anything at all,
that could be thrown onto a barbecue.

The true nature of the Irish is the love of “craic”.
Any excuse for a gathering and party.
For the majority of the year,
we settle for house parties, pubs or family occasions,
to really enjoy ourselves.
However the glorious weather was the perfect excuse.
Time to party.
We don’t see it often, so tools were downed,
work was forgotten,
and for nearly a week the country went on holiday.

My daughters teacher did not seem to understand,
that summer was happening.
So as my daughter happily played outside,
I completed her maths homework each day,
and told her she got her maths all right for a change!
What a wonderful week it was.
Sadly today our Summer is over.
Dark clouds have returned,
the sun has moved on and temperatures lowered.
The redness of skin will fade,
the country will go back to work.
However the smiling and good feeling will live on,
as we talk for the next twelve months,
about the fantastic Summer we had.

photo credit: jm whalen via photopin cc
photo credit: e³°°° via photopin cc
photo credit: thor_mark via photopin cc
photo credit: Captain Kimo via photopin cc

33 thoughts on “What happens when the sun shines in Ireland?

  1. We had the same weather here, tric. Week before last my work closed down for a week’s holiday. I cut the grass on the Monday afternoon, the first day of my holiday. It started raining in the evening. It was still raining on Tuesday. It continued raining on Wednesday and Thursday. There were some breaks in the cloud on the Friday. On the Saturday, it stopped raining. The Sunday was glorious sunshine.. I was back to work on the Monday last week and the sun got stronger and stronger. Each day was hotter than the one before. Talk about bad timing – Ggrrrr !!!

    P.S. I’m impressed you could do your daughter’s Maths homework – I’ve long since forgotten almost all the maths I was taught at school 😳

    1. Oh pox. We’d love to have commented on how unlucky you were taking the wrong week off, you would have greatly added to our already good day! Luckily my daughter is only eleven and dyslexic so maths still manageable and teachers expectation very low!
      Also remember how young I am. I had my kids when I was so young it was barely legal! Well that’s my story anyway.:)

  2. During one of our Ireland trips in one day we experienced: fog, rain, sunshine enough to put a red glow on the skin, and snow at night when we ran along the river. Grant it we were moving about the nation that day….but it is not THAT big. 😉

    1. Sounds very familiar. Our weather and our history are probably the two main factors in shaping us as a people (in my opinion!). We have learned to enjoy ourselves regardless, but I have to say this country in good weather is magic!

    1. Its funny but we think everywhere else in the world has better weather than us, I remember when I lived in Australia missing the green of Ireland and understanding for the first time ever we have green because we have rain!

      1. People in Britain and Ireland love to pretend that their lack of sunshine means anywhere with more sunshine has “better” weather than they do.

        In reality, the British Isles – at least the south – have in world terms a very comfortable climate without the extremes of most of the world. The annual average top temperature in southern Britain is a near-perfect 15˚C, and although it is cooler further north, it is not extreme compared to most of Asia, Africa, Australia or the Americas. Moreover, the British Isles lack so many climatic extremes found elsewhere in the world:

        1) extreme heat and humidity as found in the humid and subhumid tropics
        2) extreme cycles of drought and flood typical of the semi-arid tropics of the Eastern Hemisphere and the Brazilian sertão – to which can be added extremely old and infertile soils and extreme variability of runoff that can required orders-of-magnitude larger storages than in (most of) Europe
        3) extremely dangerous heat as found for most of the year in the subtropical arid belts, which makes outdoor work difficult and dangerous due to the hot sun, and also makes air pollution far worse since there are few winds to dissipate it
        4) extremely dangerous hot sun and thin air as found in the highlands of Tibet, the altiplano of South America, Yemen and southwestern North America (it is true that on paper these places can be quite pleasant)
        5) extremely rapid changes from heat to cold like occur on the Plains of the United States, where in winter temperatures can range from Antarctic cold to shorts weather (within February, Havre, Montana has ranged from -49˚C to 23˚C)
        6) extremely dangerous and dry cold as found in the northeast of Asia where the absence of humidity can dessicate and crack the skin very quickly
        7) extremely heavy snowfalls as found on most of Canada, much of southern Alaska, and the northwest Pacific whereby metres of snow can fall even in low areas with very strong winds
        8) extremely dangerous tropical storms as found in the eastern coasts of Asia and North America and much of coastal Australia
        9) extremely dangerous fires as found in most of Australia, a large part of North America, parts of the Mediterranean basin and also the subarctic taiga

        Once all these factors are considered, it is clear that even with the deficient sunshine at least 80 percent of the world much have worse weather than the British Isles, and the proportion to me may be more like 90 percent especially for England.

        In fact, the way I see it, people in England complain about the weather because they are spoilt by so comfortable a climate, with chilly though not severe winters and very mild summers, and a lot of rain if not as much as southeast Asia, much of tropical Latin America, Japan, southern Alaska, or even parts of the Adriatic Sea coast. If England really did have worse weather than most of the rest of the world (in fact the vast majority of other countries have worse weather than England even if I admit bias against hot weather) its people would most likely tolerate faults in the weather much better than they seem to.

  3. I never realized how cloudy and windy it was there! The grass is always greener on the other side…… Right??! Glad you had a great week.

    1. Yes it is the best feeling looking out and seeing blue skies. I had a friend who went to Saudi Arabia to work. Every morning for months she woke up and exclaimed to her friends “Oh wow lads, its a beautiful day!”.

  4. I have to say Tric having moved from sunny South Africa all the way to rainy Vancouver, I can fully relate to your love and appreciation of the sun! The best part for me in your post was definitely your unapologetic admission about doing the maths homework…not only that you would do that for your daughter (I just love that!), but that you called it ‘maths’…Here it is math…and that word drives me crazy every time I hear it… simply because growing up we called it maths!!

    1. Thank you. I have become a very bad mother with time I’m afraid! Oh I think I would have to add the “s” every time I would hear someone say Math,just like yourself it would drive me wild. We are all glued to the forecast here now in the hope we get the promise of more good weather soon.

  5. My sister and I just returned from Kilkee. We were so surprised at the sunny weather. The day before we left home, the forecast was still predicting rain the entire week. I am one of those who went to Ireland for the weather. The sun made for spectacular views and pictures, though.

    1. Kilkee is a beautiful spot especially in the sunshine. Isn’t that typical, you come not wishing for nice weather and you get unbroken sunshine! I hope you had a ball.

      1. We certainly did! I know my sister was thrilled; she had not been looking forward to the chill in the air and the drizzle. It worked out quite well.

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