Veering West

COLM TOBIN: The clocks have sprung forward but nobody has told the weather

April 3rd, 2023 11:00 AM

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THE relief. Finally, the clocks have sprung forward to lift the dark cloak of those long winter evenings. The cold weather remains, and the rain just won’t go away, but at least there’s a bit of a stretch in the evenings again. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that felt like a particularly long winter. I thought that time was supposed to speed up inexorably as you got older, but that was, as the kids might say, super-leadránach.

You’d have the urge to burst out into the evenings now, to make the most of the bright hours that have opened up. But although the body is keen, my brain is still partially in hibernation mode. I’ll go out for a cycle at the weekend maybe. Or next week. In the meantime, I’m happy to just stare out the window and look forward to the long months of summer to come. 

Dr Samantha Dockray from the school of applied psychology in UCC was on Brendan O’Connor’s radio show at the weekend to talk about how to cope with losing the hour of sleep running up to the changing of the clocks. The transition takes a big toll on us, according to research. Dockray spoke about how it has negative consequences for our physical and our mental health. 

Apparently, we’re much more likely to have heart attacks, cause car accidents and develop diabetes as a result of a simple shift of an hour. Our circadian rhythms can be destroyed in the process. Good grief. Who knew a flight to France, with the hour difference, would involve life-threatening levels of jet lag. 

Of course, there had been moves to remove ‘Daylight Savings’ entirely across the EU back in 2019, but that was put on ice due to Covid.

And God knows Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has been banging his drum about it every year since, becoming a sort of Martin Luther King for clocks. 

He has a point, though. The reason Daylight Savings Time was invented was to add an extra hour of daylight to the evening in the northern hemisphere, saving some money on candles in the process. So you get how out of date it is. (Although, it has to be said that we do spend about a quarter of our disposable income on Yankee candles in this house).

So I say that a change is definitely worth a look. In the meantime though, I’m going to enjoy the newfound joy that ‘spring forward’ brings, because it mightn’t be with us for long.

Dede stars on the double 

ONE thing I’m definitely going to try during one of the long summer evenings ahead is to visit the award-winning Dede restaurant in Baltimore. 

Yes, this week, West Cork had more culinary glory, in the form of two Michelin stars for Ahmet Dede’s restaurant. Dede now joins Chapter One, Restaurant Patrick Gilbaud, Liath and Aimsir with two stars – a truly incredible achievement for the Turkish chef and his team. ‘This is for Ireland, and this is for Turkey,’ he said afterwards.

This wonderful news from back home came just days after Dublin Airport, just up the road from me, was severely disrupted for several hours by anti-immigration protesters, or #IrelandIsFull morons, as I call them. I don’t know if any of you reading this have been seeing much of this divisive, racist stuff on social media recently. Facebook tends to be awash with it.

Next time you do, and a little niggle at the back of your brain goes ‘maybe Ireland is full, maybe we should be tightening everything up’, cast your mind to Baltimore and Ahmet Dede’s restaurant. Bloody foreigners, coming in here enriching our palettes, revolutionising our local cuisine culture and making West Cork a foodie destination.  Ireland isn’t full. But it looks like Dede’s restaurant will be for a long time to come. 

So, like many hundreds of others, I guess I’d better join the waiting list. 

Any quack at all in Clon?

DID you all hear the one about the duck who travelled from Cork city to Clon in the grill of a van? It’s not a joke, but an incident reported by the West Cork Animal Welfare Group last week, which said the little bird got stuck in the grill of the van in Cork and somehow survived the trip to the south west. I’ve heard stories of lads going on the tear and thumbing home back in the day, but this one takes the biscuit.

What must the poor duckie have thought when he got to Clon? 

Will the duck go back to its family and tell the tale of being carried off at a 100 miles an hour around the Bandon bypass, I wonder? 

And will other ducks start trying it? Will they then experience the lovely lifestyle in West Cork, eating out in Michelin-star restaurants and enjoying the quack at traditional music sessions? 

Will this cause an influx of Cork city ducks, quacking like Roy Keane, and commuting to work in the city like so many of the humans do? 

Duck it, sure why not?

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