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There’s a lot more to finding the X factor of an Irish summer than finding your factor 50

Miriam O'Callaghan


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Brittas... or Brindisi? The high temperatures drew people in their thousands to the beaches of Co Wicklow - and elsewhere - at the weekend. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

Brittas... or Brindisi? The high temperatures drew people in their thousands to the beaches of Co Wicklow - and elsewhere - at the weekend. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

forty foot

forty foot

A man applies sun cream on the sea wall at Seapoint in Dublin on a hot summer's day. Picture date: Friday July 16, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A man applies sun cream on the sea wall at Seapoint in Dublin on a hot summer's day. Picture date: Friday July 16, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Brittas... or Brindisi? The high temperatures drew people in their thousands to the beaches of Co Wicklow - and elsewhere - at the weekend. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

FIVE seconds of summer and in the high latitudes we expose ourselves to the sunlight, as antidote to the blue light and backlight of Zoom, Teams and Facetime that have left us, after 18 months, underexamined, overexposed. If we are lucky enough to work from home, this year has been a humdinger for creep and reach into our private lives; the all-seeing eye of company, the company, pursuing us to kitchen tables, box rooms and bedrooms, shrinking us to fit our new existence as a nodding, talking head in centimetres squared.

Before Blur Your Background became a thing, left us looming at each other like holograms or the resurrected, I chose a curtain so dreary it signalled ‘hostage’ or ‘undertakers’: work is work, but home is home. Yet, like everyone else, I gawped at the curated lives flashing on TV, wondering if, in the meta-realm, the guitars so perfectly pitched were left untuned, the pianos unplayed, the Proust unread.


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