| 13.1°C Dublin

Time to park our woes and enjoy the fine weather



Curracloe Beach in Co Wexford

Curracloe Beach in Co Wexford

Curracloe Beach in Co Wexford

Summer 2022 has so far been slow and erratic. Not even the arrival of Leaving and Junior Certificate exams brought the bursts of sunshine that have traditionally taunted nervous examinees each June down the decades.

However, just six days from the longest day of the year, things appear to be looking up for those of us who yearn for a blast of warmth and sunshine.

Happily, we will be spared the baking heat experienced by our European neighbours, with temperatures there topping 40C in many parts of France and Spain and elsewhere.

In the coming days, some parts of Ireland will experience temperatures of above 20C, bringing a welcome feel-good boost.

Even at that, the forecasters think some parts of the north and west may not benefit to such a great extent – but in this time of very scarce good news, we must take what joy we can get.

The gloomier among us may find the term “Irish summer” something of a contradiction in terms. Sometimes, when you see the depredations wrought by extreme heat, others may deem that to be something of a mercy.

Yet there can be no doubting the many benefits a decent blast of sunshine, be it ever so brief, can bring to Ireland and the Irish people. For a start, everywhere looks so much better when the sun shines, and you don’t have to be a psychologist to see how so many people’s moods are instantly lifted.

The farmers get an opportunity to advance their seasonal work, especially the harvesting of cattle fodder for the winter, as warmth and sunshine generate further grass growth. Fretful business people in holiday resorts see opportunities beckon. Staff at hospital A&Es report at such times that attendances drop, and other services deemed important on non-sunny days are equally left idle.

There is no doubt the Irish people have battled their way through a difficult number of years, from an economic crash that cost the nation the greater part of a decade from 2008 onward through the awful years of Covid-19, which brought suffering and isolation, and then swiftly on to a shameful and distressing war in Europe for the first time in decades.

Many of us know the current spiral in fuel, food and other prices may presage much tougher economic times very soon.

Older Irish people will have weathered a number of economic recessions over the years, and younger people will clearly remember the most recent slump. It is part of our race memory and helps us endure.

Our remedies facing up to all of these things are limited, but one thing we can do is work on our good mental health and help those around us to strike a more positive attitude to life’s ­challenges.

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Meanwhile, in the coming days, there is one ­practical and positive thing most of us can do.

We can park life’s vicissitudes and get out in the open air to enjoy nature’s bounty to the ­fullest. Simply put, let’s enjoy the sun.

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