As Met Eireann threatened us with the potential disaster of temperatures returning to normal in the coming days, it got me thinking. The current “so called” heatwave that has this lovely green Island declaring drought status and introducing water restrictions is in my opinion, using the accepted old geezer argument of “call this a heatwave “ nothing, compared to what we had to go through back when I was a nipper. How bad were the heatwaves when I was younger? You may well ask. Well let me tell you.
It was so hot; donkeys were climbing trees in the early morning just to lick dew off the apples. Water restrictions? Pshaw! We had to wash ourselves using salt and milk until the cows udders dried up from dehydration. After that the whole country started to smell like feet. There were ducks trying to swim on glass-topped tables, cows were laying chickens and and chickens were laying hard boiled eggs it was so hot.
We had to drink feckin’ imported beer and the zoo closed down because there was nothing to see. All the African plains animals stayed inside in the shade and the whole ice-cream shop liquefied. Mullingar was a desert for six weeks, people in Cork became disorientated when all that was left of the river Lee was in fact “the banks” and in Kilkenny, all the cats melted.
Cavan people were digging up their buried cash to pay smugglers to go across the border to Northern Ireland and bring back bottles of something called Evian. There were non-native lizards (not that there’s any other kind) immigrating to catch the sun on garden walls in Finglas and Ballyfermot, and the only ones finding it easy were toothless grannies who had seen it all before. They had an uncanny ability to garner refreshment through the sucking of lemons. Us Dubs thought, given the amount of whingin’ the Culchies did about Dublin getting everything, that they’d have been able to get refreshment from all the sour grapes but oh no, they complained even more than us.
The farmers who had been whining and moaning for the previous 600 years about the fact that it never stopped raining and were therefore poor, started saying that they were sorry, and could they please have the rain back. The colours on the Friesian cows were blending together so that all over Ireland there were fields of dehydrated grey-looking cattle with absolutely no sense of humour.
Children were sticking to each other in school and teachers were looking for more days off. All over Ireland there were scaldy pink heads, and tops that should never have come off, were coming off. Mr. Universe it wasn’t let me tell you. There were men with sandals and argyle socks, naked from the waist up wearing Paddy caps and proudly displaying their beer bellies with not even the decency to suck in.
Now I’m not saying it has not been a hot few weeks don’t get me wrong. It’s not often we can count on continuous sunshine week after week in Ireland, and it has been hard to keep the butter from turning to water, but young people today just don’t get it. Everything was worse in the old days. It’s a fact. Except for the whole concept of ‘The good old days’ which ironically were always better.
In the last few months we’ve had a succession of red storm warnings. There has been pretty much everything fecked at this little place from hurricanes to arctic blasts and snowstorms, and now a flippin’ heatwave. It’s like all the other weathers have spotted that the rain has been keeping Ireland all to itself for all these years and now they are all trying to get a piece of the action.
People are actually saying things like “It’s too hot.” For the love of all that’s holy lads, we whine about the damp weather from one end of the year to the other and the first bit of decent weather we get and what do we do…start moanin’. I heard someone complaining that we should have bigger reservoirs and we wouldn’t have to cut back on water use. For feck sake! It’s usually raining in summer, why do we need bigger reservoirs for a once in a thirty year event. Get over yourself.
There are more important things to worry about like, what’s the best solution to gentlemen’s supermarket shopping attire in this weather? I found myself freezing my nethers off as I worked my way through the frozen food section, because it’s really not a shorts and t-shirt environment. I mean what’s the dress code?
Speaking of dress code, lads… seriously, the vesty top you wore to Lanzarote six years ago, beige with a faded, unrecognisable print on the front from Dunnes Stores, with three-quarter length, blue shorts (waist 28” –Belly 40”) and a pair of flip flops, is not appropriate attire – anywhere- anytime –any weather. Kop yourselves on and show a little dignity.
But like I say, we are losing the run of ourselves. There are lads and lassies all over the world in far warmer climates, putting on coats in similar temperatures because it’s too cold. Fair enough it is a little bit on the hot side, and Ok it is a bit tricky finding a choc-ice or a brunch in every shop, but seriously like I already said, this is nothin’. Now the weather when I was a lad …
But hold fast. The recent vile threat from the Met office, is that we may be about to see that oh so familiar sight again soon – rain. As sure as eggs is eggs it’ll return. We all know it but we just don’t want to face it. The truth be told, if it wasn’t for our new found desire to preserve the planet, most of us would secretly – if we thought we could get away with it – starting burning smoky coal and upping the emissions from our cars, just so Ireland could get a bit of the auld global warming that’s supposed to be going around. Never mind the 800 years of oppression from the British – sure we’re bessie mates again now. Prince what’s his face and your wan from Suits are over at the minute drinkin and carousin’ and telling jokes about football coming home and watching kids play hurling in Croker. What about 800 years of feckin’ rain? That’s the big issue. Don’t we deserve a break?
You know what’s next. The temperatures will fade, the clouds will appear, we’ll all be looking out the window saying things like, “hopefully it’ll clear up for the weekend” but knowing in our hearts and souls that it’ll bucket down on Saturday. There’ll be whispered talk of “sure maybe we’ll have an Indian summer in September” but afraid to be greedy after a few weeks of good weather, we won’t say it too loud in case in doing so, we jinx it.
There’ll be “the kids’ll be back to school soon” before long and “sure then Halloween will be on top of us.” Oh yes and it’s a fast and slippery slope we’re heading down then I tell you. You know it, I know it, the dogs melting on the streets of Ireland know it – It won’t be long ‘till Christmas…
Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
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