At least for once we can’t complain we didn’t get a decent summer, even if it was a bit (like a good bit) too hot to handle at times and I don’t want to see a BBQ again until next year
• GO on, you’re dying for me to say it aren’t you? Admit it. Fine I will … it was too hot wasn’t it? C’mon, it was! I mean the sunshine has been fabulous, and a great novelty but there was a lot of huffing and puffing going on around the place all the same – and not just when it came to trying to find parking at the local beaches either. (What? I didn’t say a thing about all the enormous 4x4s hogging all the spaces… not a word).
• I’d say if I had to sum up my heatwave experience through food and drink mine looked like: 78% salads, 12% water melon, 6% Aperol Spritz and 5% iced sorbets. Is that 100%? Didn’t think so. Actually, I’m among friends, so more honestly it looked like: 60% ham, 10% bread rolls, 10% sausages, 10% Pringles and 10% Rosé. I’m terrified that if the weather doesn’t take a turn for the worst soon we’ll all get scurvy or rickets or something awful (such as ending up in Dr Eva’s hotel in Portugal for some sort of deep cleanse. The horror.) The higher the mercury soared, the more the routine was abandoned which was lovely for a while until it got to the point when no one even knew what day it was. It was as much as we could do to keep on top of the tides (and we even got those spectacularly wrong more than once). There wasn’t a child in the house washed, actually there wasn’t a thing washed (probably just as well though, given depleting water levels). But sure that’s what September is for isn’t it? Ridding the house of dead flies and sand and reintroducing vegetables and shoes to the kids? Exactly.
• I was haunted that my annual leave from work coincided with the fine spell – I couldn’t believe my luck and I genuinely felt sorry for those who couldn’t down tools, because let’s be honest, the heat was a bit debilitating at times. I’m in good health (outside of that general affliction known as ‘middle-age’) and there were occasions I thought I was going to pass out (we’ve covered the beach parking situation haven’t we?). A few times I genuinely had to poke the dog to make sure she was still with us and even the flies were playing dead on our window sills looking to take a siesta. Look it, consider yourself lucky if you escaped the week without a weever fish sting, resisted handing in your resignation (if you did, blame sunstroke and grovel), or buying a share in a boat on impulse. Also, can we all now please stop saying: ‘Sure where else would you want to be with weather like this?’ and variations of the same. I beg of you.
• Before the heatwave was properly forecast, I booked an afternoon trip to the circus for ourselves and the cousins. If we could have rescheduled we would have, but we couldn’t so … we offered it up, and wore breathable fabrics. When I was speaking to my sister that morning to arrange where we’d meet up, she innocently asked if I thought the tent would be air conditioned. Sure bless her. I can confirm that it was not. So I’m not sure if I was suffering from a touch of heat stroke or what, but I got clarity on a few things during the (heated) performance. Firstly, I finally realised that it’s totally pointless trying to do the ‘mammy’ thing and bring your own snacks with you to the circus, cimena etc. Why? Because your kids will only eat them, and then torment you until you cave and get them something ‘in-house,’ such as toxic looking candy floss or jaw-busting lollies. You’ll only end up doubly fleeced so just let them have the toxic stuff. Secondly, it struck me that it’s very hard to impress kids these days. There was one circus act that was insanely good (and potentially dangerous). Basically it involved a girl balancing on her tippy toes on a chap’s head, while he was balancing on a tight rope. It definitely wasn’t the kind of thing you’d be trying at home and we were warned not to move about due to the levels of concentration involved (most of the crowd mustn’t have caught that bit). It was edge of seat stuff, but the kids (the ones in my group anyway) seemed only interested in getting more popcorn – and didn’t care a jot about the girl clinging to life by her toenails.
• But … there’s always a but … another act involved a traditional clown who had a machine that blew puffs of air into the crowd. That’s it. Nothing else. And strangely that got the best reaction from the lot of them. They went wild. The whole two hours could just have been just that and they’d have been happy with it. The girl risking her life could have taken it easy and helped out in the sweet truck. So the moral of the story is that kids are impossible to figure out and will wreck your head. Also, that they’re happy with less than we imagine. Keep it simple is my approach: some sand, a ham sambo, a swim … and sure with weather like we’ve had, where else would they want to be? Oops.
• Finally, fabulous chef Caitlin Ruth and equally fabulous make-up artist Siobhan O’Mahony are co-hosting an event on Saturday August 20th as part of Timoleague Harvest Festival. They’ll share all their tips on how to host an effortless party at home. There won’t be a Pringle in sight! See social media for ticket details.