WOMAN ON THE VERGE: Last hurrah for summer 2022

August 30th, 2022 3:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

The summer isn’t officially over until the credits roll on the Rose of Tralee International Festival. (Photo: Andres Poveda)

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Lunchboxes and school uniforms are being pulled out in households around West Cork, but there’s still time to squeeze in a few more adventures ... so what are you waiting for?

• THERE’S nothing like the Rose of Tralee to pour cold water all over the summer. It’s the equivalent of an omnibus of Where in the World followed by Glenroe, after which you realise you’ve forgotten to do your maths homework, or that it’s Leaving Cert Irish the next day and you never got a handle on the tuiseal ginideach in the end. I’ve absolutely nothing against the Roses per se (although 33 of them does seem a tad excessive doesn’t it?). To be honest, I find it hard to concentrate on what they’re even saying to Daithí on stage in the Dome, as I’m so wildly distracted by their great teeth. But I know that they’re all highly accomplished career women, they can sing, dance, recite poetry, take their shoes off on stage without falling over, and sure some are even married with kids (who said you can’t have it all?). But the festival is so synonymous in my mind with the end of summer that by the time they break into ‘The pale moon was rising above yon green mountain,’ on the last night, I’m pulling out the uniforms and lunch boxes and am weeping. Less ‘she was lovely and fair,’ and more ‘this is so not fair….’

• ‘The fear’ always looms large at this time every summer though – that feeling that maybe we didn’t do enough. My bank balance and waistline tell me that we possibly did too much but I don’t know … did we? My memory is shocking but some highlights include a great boat trip off Courtmacsherry, countless camping trips with cousins, loads of beach days and loads of festival fun. Equally of course there were days at home where we all nearly killed each other (I do like to keep things real) but the six-year-old told me the other day, not to tell anyone, but that I was still her best friend, which I’ll take as a win.

• On the plus side September has become the new January. It’s a chance to get your house in order, (as in literally get your house in order after the summer chaos), and also perhaps to set some goals, or start a project. Some people even like to get a start on the Christmas shopping this month. Yeah, I’m just going to begin by hoovering the car, and perhaps cleaning the BBQ, although someone said we might be due another fine spell later in the month so I’ll wait and see. Maybe I’ll just try to start that book I’ve been carrying around with me all summer and I’ve yet to open.

• What I am very focused on right now is ‘operation wedding guest’ as I’ve got my first invite to a wedding in I don’t know how long. I love a good wedding so I do, and am hugely excited. The timing is great too as after a lazy summer I need something to focus my mind on (besides the fridge), and let’s be honest few things focus the mind more than a wedding. So I’ve pulled out the skipping rope (any day now I’ll actually start skipping) and am spending every spare minute googling combinations of ‘loose and floaty but still chic wedding outfits,’ ‘best facials for middle-aged women,’ ‘eight week exercise plans’ and the like. I’ve a schedule of beauty appointments that I’ll probably need a credit union loan for but sure what about it. I’m actually 10 years married this week myself. The traditional gift for a 10th wedding anniversary is tin so I gave my husband beans on toast for tea! I reminded him though that the more modern gift for a 10th wedding anniversary is diamond jewellery. His present must be delayed in the post or something. Something to look forward to sure.

• Anyway, we’ve still got a few final days before schools are back so let’s throw everything we have at summer ’22 this weekend. Don’t leave anything or anyone behind. Pack the schedule: combine paddle boarding with whale watching (at dawn), followed by a beach yoga session. Discover a new cove, post something cryptic about it on Instagram, watch it go viral, and then forage for your picnic lunch. Visit a farmers market, and Béal na Bláth if you haven’t already, have one last spin on the bumpers, get some chips and eat them on a wall some place, and be back home in time to cover the last of the school books. And remember sure, that mid-term break isn’t too far off.

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