Saturday 17 March 2018

Helen Moorhouse: We’re getting better at this summer lark, but don’t forget the Wibbly Wobbly Wonders

We're getting better at this summer lark
We're getting better at this summer lark

WALKING through Dublin City Centre last Thursday morning was an absolute joy. Dappled sunlight on the pavements, birdsong from the trees, gulls wheeling overhead. People smiled, restaurant staff added the finishing touches to their outdoor tables, a shining old Routemaster bus growled its way along Dawson street en route to a 'special event' - if there was a soundtrack it would have been Vivaldi.

The teenage me would have written a shocking poem, I'm sure. As it was, I absorbed the sights, the sounds, the scents of what is a bustling, attractive, interesting European capital city and thought to myself; 'do you know what lads? We're getting better at this oul' summer thing'.When I was growing up, a bright May day in Ireland was marked by wrestling for an hour with a deckchair, screwing up your face and singing a song that celebrated both the severity of the Liffey's odour and the presence of intoxicated people on public transport. And I'm not even from the capital.

So who'd have thought that one of Michael O'Leary's enduring legacies to this country would be that he's been instrumental in making us quite good at hot weather? Over the last few years, many of us have visited places that we mightn't have seen had it not been for 99c flights into airstrips at least fifty miles away from away from the actual destination but like very cold moths to Mediterranean flames, we Irish embraced cheap flights and package holidays and turned life from black and white to colour. And travel broadens the mind – like sun missionaries, we have come back from fortnights by the pool, city breaks and unbeatable deals to hundreds of destinations enriched in the ways of coping with the climbing mercury.

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