Jeez, this Irish weather!
June, for feck’s sake, and we’ve had the heating on several times this past week or more.
It has to affect us. A dark cloud drifting across our collective psyche. A cold northeasterly rattling through our optimism.
Shivering our souls and shaking our very sanity.
Waiting for the sun to come out, the rain to pi … pass off, or that dreary wind to blow over.
Not like those smug, sun-baked tropical types swaggering around their town squares, stopping in for a cold beer, or a warm natter with their bronzed buddies under cloudless blue skies.
The senioritas and the mamacitas fanning away their attentions as they pick at a splendid sundried salad feast.
No thoughts for us pale-faced Irish, leaning into our predictably unpredictable elements.
Longing for those midnights on the holiday veranda, the kids asleep with duvets sliding off, while we adults sip wine to the beat of the clicking cicadas as the dependably warm air flirts with our arm-hairs.
Would make anyone a bit wonky, this Irish weather. Less than stable.
No matter what we do it catches us out.
Visitors here often remark how the natives never seem to be prepared for bad weather when it arrives.
The sky darkens and the forecast rain starts to spill and we are half-drenched by the time we find our macs. If we have any.
But what sort of life would it be going around with an extra jumper in your bag, or a scrunched up poncho, or carrying an umbrella, just because it might turn bad later?
So we have to be a bit reckless, take a chance, even if we’re always a little worried.
And never stop talking about the weather.
The weekend is given down to be fine …
But there’s rain in it too …
This is the wettest summer since Columbus’s time, or that was the driest May since St Patrick was a lad …
Should we take in that washing before we leave the house …
What if it …
We’re cursed with a temperate climate here, plenty of middling stuff but no extremes. Normally.
And we’re no good at all when it turns really good.
Like when it snows seriously, the country is banjaxed altogether. And it’s the lead story on the news every night. Squealing kiddy high-jinks on toboggans, car roofs peeping out of snowdrifts, cattle rescued from freezing islands … disappearing villages … all sorts of mad stuff.
The local councils are out, putting the salt down on the roads way too late, and of course we have no special wheels on our cars or those chain things that sensible Nordic crowd put around their tyres.
There’s a run on booze and bread in the supermarkets.
Better not talk about snow, though … it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few flakes fluttering down in that nippy breeze, June or no June.
For a country obsessed with the weather, we’re just not used to it.
Not used to weather of any kind.
The sun comes out and we’re already afraid it won’t last, or telling ourselves we will pay for it later.
Or we’re sweltering in the kitchen, windows open, barely moving and gasping for a blast of cold air.
Wondering what it would be like to have predictable weather.
Good or bad.
Like we’ve been watching Fargo on Netflix, the TV series based loosely on the Coen Brothers’ movie of the same name.
It’s a heady blend of noirish malevolence and downright savagery seasoned with quirky humour.
But what has fascinated me more than anything is the snow.
I don’t know what Minnesota is like in the summer, but in Fargo, it’s snowing all the time.
No wonder we’ve had the heating on!
Snow is maybe cool to ski on and pelt a few snowballs in for an hour or two, but day after day ….
Don’t think I would fancy that.
Must do things funny things to a psyche.
All those eye-squinting variations of white and the contrasting black forbidding shadows, driving carefully up those slidey hard-packed roads, off into those low, mythic horizons.
And Billy Bob Thornton coming to waste you with a shot-gun …
Crisp and lung-expandingly clear on a good day. Miraculous blue skies high over majestic fairytale reindeer-bells-ringing panoramas of icy perfection.
But on the fog-bound bad days, I’ll bet it’s morosely grim and treacherous.
Just like Billy Bob’s character Lorne Malvo in Fargo.
But all that snow, all the time!
It must shape perceptions and keep the well-padded, snow-booted denizens in their place.
Literally at times.
Show them nature is boss.
And a tough old mother.
And still people live there.
You get used to anything the weather gods can throw at you, I suppose.
Like we do here.
Dreaming of a proper summer. Whatever that is!
How’s the weather with you?
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