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.
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,
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,
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.
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.