Southern Star Ltd. logo
Premium Exclusives

WOMAN ON THE VERGE: Roll with it, whatever the weather!

July 18th, 2023 3:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

WOMAN ON THE VERGE: Roll with it, whatever the weather! Image
What I love about my friends and family is that they don’t let the weather get in the way of a BBQ! That attitude is a bit like me and my Oireachtas TV viewing these days ... all hell could be breaking loose around me and I’ll still be tuning in. (Photos: Shutterstock)

Share this article

Ah sure it wouldn’t be an Irish summer if you didn’t need your rain gear and sun screen … in the same day.  Besides, having the sun shine for your barbecue or outdoor event is really just a bonus, and not to be expected!

• IT’S a grand country, if only we could put a roof on it. If I had a euro (no longer a penny, blame inflation) for every time I heard that during the week I’d have enough for a few days away in the sun (some place dodgy, but still). Seriously though, when the sun goes in and the mist descends, it puts a whole different complexion (think pasty pallor) on things doesn’t it? 

It’s like we all go from looking like we’re in a Bord Fáilte ad, merrily paddle boarding along the Wild Atlantic Way, to suddenly resembling extras in Fair City, all surly and grim, with bad haircuts (and scared of meeting Carol). 

Rainy days in Ireland can be well, challenging. It would help if I got proper rain gear. I’m a bit like Bruce Springsteen with his 57 channels and nothing on. I have the same number of jackets but not one is waterproof. And sure all the kids will wear is the new Cúl Camp gear (I wonder if a group of us contacted them would they consider a hood for next year’s kit?).

Anyway, spare a thought for anyone planning outdoor events during these less-than-predictable summer days. Talk about having to think on your (soggy) feet. You’re going to need a plan A, B, and possibly even a C – depending on what weather warning is in place (could be anything from heat to thunderstorms). You’d want nerves of steel, and some sort of insurance policy that covers marquée hire. I wouldn’t bother with the professional blowdry either … there’s no avoiding the frizz.

• Summers in Ireland have always been the same, though. I came across a photograph the other day of my mother trying to cook a breakfast on a camping holiday in the 80s on a gas ring in the rain, holding a brolly and still managing a smile (probably a fake one, but fair play to her for the effort). A few things occurred to me when I saw it: mainly why didn’t one of us hold the brolly? – also would cornflakes not have done us? Or, better still, why didn’t we go out for breakfast? Although ‘going out’ for breakfast wasn’t really a ‘thing’ until recently, was  it? 

Bottom line, when you holiday in Ireland, you have to toughen up, and roll with it, whatever the weather. Sure it’s part of the craic. Character building. We’ve already had a few picnics in the car. It was … snug. I might forego hot beverages for health and safety reasons next time, or look into an awning of some kind.

• Staying with all things weather, I was properly freaked out to read how Inland Fisheries Ireland last week suspended salmon angling at the Moy Fishery in Ballina, Co Mayo and the Galway Fishery, in Galway city, after prolonged warm and dry weather conditions caused water temperatures to exceed the 20C threshold in both locations. The fish, it seems, were suffering from thermal stress as a result (sounds like how I feel most days, to be honest). 

UN secretary general António Guterres also warned ‘climate change is out of control’, as an unofficial analysis of data showed average world temperatures over seven days were the hottest week on record. ‘If we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation,’ he said. 

I know I normally try to keep things light here, but this all sounds very ominous.

Keep planting those trees, folks. It’s all down to the trees.

• Anyway, we’re bang in the middle of show season. I love a nice afternoon spent at a show (that’s an agricultural show, just for clarity). Where else can you get to see animals of all shapes and sizes, the best of arts and crafts, browse stalls selling just about anything (a big hit at Barryroe Show last weekend was, wait for it, ‘Silly Spray’ which all grown-ups were tricked into spending silly amounts of money on!); catch up with people you haven’t seen in years; try your hand at winning ‘Best Dressed,’ and hopefully get your photo taken for The Southern Star before heading home with a bag chips (having already had an ice cream)?

 I had a lovely chat recently with Kitty Cotter, a stalwart involved in Dunmanway show for years. People like Kitty are literally keeping the show on the road in towns all over West Cork and they deserve to be applauded for keeping this special tradition alive. See this week’s farming section for more.


• Finally, it occurred to me that ratings for the Oireachtas TV channel must be going through the roof by now. Lots of people didn’t even know it existed until recently, and now spuds are being left to boil to bits on the hob, kids are being let run wild, and phones are going unanswered as we’re all glued to proceedings for the obvious reasons. It’s sort of like Italia 90, just with less collective celebration and more outrage. I was properly shook after Marty Morrissey’s car revelations, so much so that I’ve been frantically scouring the house for stuff I’ve borrowed off people and forgotten to give back. So far I’ve found a dress, three books, a trifle bowl, and a foreign adaptor, but there’s a few more drawers and presses to go yet, so say nowt. 

Sure, it could happen to the best of us, right?

Tags used in this article

Share this article

Related content