| 6.4°C Dublin

We've enough rain of our own, thank you Spain

HAVE they no consideration whatsoever? First, they get into an economic mess on a scale that would put us to shame -- but still manage to get better bail-out terms from Angela Merkel.

Then they destroy our dreams of greatness by not just beating us in Gdansk, but by heaping humiliation on misery with one goal after another.

Now they're to blame for the rain. Well, thanks a lot, amigo.

What have we ever done to Spain to deserve this?

When we were poor and had to scrimp all year for a couple of weeks' holidays, did we lavish our affections on Florida?

Did we savour the delights of the Italian Riviera?

Did we gorge ourselves on the culture of Paris or London?

We did not -- we jammed ourselves into the plane for Benidorm or Torremolinos or Santa Ponsa or the Costa-whatever and spent like there was no tomorrow.

When you wanted your children educated in the queen's English (and out of your hair during the heat of a Spanish July or August), did we turn them away?

We did not -- you sent us your lovely, lively, loud teenagers and we took them to our hearts and sent them back safely, more experienced in the ways of the world ... and maybe with a few more phrases of English.

Then, when the good times rolled, did we keep our newfound wealth to ourselves?

We did not. We lavished fortunes on your apartment complexes and leafy golf courses and chic residential developments, dreaming of the days when we would retire to your balmy shores.

(Fat lot of good that's done us, with your authorities thinking of knocking half of them down now, and the rest worth almost as much as an apartment on a Longford ghost estate).

And you sent us all the hot hair that's led to us being half drowned.

And before you say it, this is not normal June rain.

Every year, within three weeks of the longest day, I notice the mornings beginning to get that little bit darker.

For people who get up at a civilised hour, the difference wouldn't be perceptible for ages yet. But we in the Herald tend to set our alarms for 4.30am.

And today, for the first time since 'summer' began, I had to turn on the lights.

That's one week to the day after June 21 and it's not right. It's making us miserable and grumpy. The children are only getting their holidays from primary school this week and already we feel the best of the summer is behind us.

I'm sorry to have to blame Spain for our rain.

I love the people, the food, the wine, the culture of Madrid, the fishing villages of the north and the beaches of the south and east.

But until they work out how to make the rain fall mainly on their own plain (didn't the Chinese arrange for rain clouds to be shot at and 'exploded', so they could control the rain?), they won't be getting my custom.

Unless I'm absolutely forced to grab a cheap holiday in the sun to escape the floods.