News Brendan O’Connor

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Oh, how we love to be overheated - while it lasts!

Published 27/07/2014 | 00:00

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The sunshine vitamin could help treat bowel cancer
The sunshine vitamin could help treat bowel cancer

You get the feeling that this will be one of those summers the kids will remember in years to come. One of the mythical barometer summers against which they will measure future, crappy summers.

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They will think, "Am I imagining it or were the summers different when I was a kid? Were they endless and sunny?" The fact that this is the second good summer in a row will cement those memories.

Indeed, there is a dangerous sense of entitlement growing among us now. People are starting to talk with confidence again about holidaying at home. They are booking that mobile home again for next year. It's almost as if you could rely on the weather. And of course that is one of our national malaises. When it is sunny we imagine it will be sunny forever.

We can never envisage it being any other way. Years and years of hurt are forgotten. All those crappy summers we spent looking out at the rain dissolve. We Irish don't need self-help gurus from America to tell us to live in the moment. We have always practised our own version of mindfulness and being in the now. That's what you get when you are a nation that thrives on delusion, denial, secrets and lies. The upside of it is that when things are good you firmly believe they will be good for ever. And the lessons of the past are quickly forgotten.

But of course, there is always the shadow lurking too, the feeling that we don't deserve things to be good and that there will be a terrible price to pay. Indeed, there are those who would say that this weather is a bubble, that it is not sustainable, and that we are only fooling ourselves. And there are others who don't understand why pessimists who talk down the weather would not just go off and . . .

When they remember this summer the kids will also remember a certain giddiness about the adults. In years to come they will probably put it down to drink or something. Because in years to come the great property bubble of 2014 will be long forgotten.

Judging by our form in the last decade we will have had several more property booms and busts by the time the children of 2014 have grown up. And you can be sure we will have learnt nothing.

And Enda and Bertie and Brian will have merged into one at that stage too. We will forget which one predicted a soft landing and which one confidently predicted that the bubble would last another 18 months to two years, while stressing that of course it is not a bubble.

Enda knew he was safe enough being ambivalent about the property bubble that is not a bubble, because he knows that we are all a bit ambivalent about it. While all right-thinking people know that 25pc price rises in a year in the capital are not healthy, there is a certain quickening of the heart too when we see the numbers. The fact that the CSO are the property porn merchants now even legitimises it a bit. It's like when the Guardian covers a tabloid story in an ironic way. It's respectable jollies.

We know in our heart of hearts the rain will come all too soon. Indeed, it is perhaps this sense of the transience of it all that makes us go out, yet again, and get thoroughly burnt.

Sunday Independent

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