Scary stories from a lovely place
Along with chocolates and familial joy Stephen also seems to have brought with him a change in the weather. The first three days of last week saw rain, thick grey clouds, single figure temperatures and no rays of hope. I mean sunshine. The warmth I enjoyed in my first few weeks seems to have well and truly set sail for the year.
Even though the rain clouds have now passed and we enjoyed great weather for the family weekend, the temperatures are staying down and t-shirts are a thing of the past.
Last week the weather made the kids all stir crazy so we took them to every conceivable indoor place we could find in the greater Dublin area. The local malls with their lifts and escalators got a good going over. We also subjected them to another trip to Ikea.
The cooler temperatures are giving me the opportunity to observe apparent cracks in the Irish psyche when it comes to the weather. The Irish love to talk and complain about it. Nothing, it seems, is considered good weather. In fact the few warm days I experienced are apparently the best weather they had all Summer, even though it didn’t show it’s face until Autumn. But when the rain dawned last week we all realised how good things had been. We even would have settled for clouds that weren’t laden with thick, syrupy raindrops.
On the first few days after I arrived the weather wasn’t brilliant, I mean by Australian Summer’s standards. The temperature was pleasant enough but the clouds were thick. But then the sun dawned, but the temperatures remained cool. At the first sign of those rays the Irish women got out their short shorts and their strapless summer dresses and flaunted them at the park. I guess any sunshine had to count as Summer.
Now that it’s cooler I’ve experienced a diametric response – coats, scarves and hats are coming out all over the place. Sure, 10 degrees is cold, but it’s certainly not freezing and nothing compared to what it will be like in a few months. I’ve been trying to make the Autumn weather stretch out and am resisting the need for layers upon layers of clothing, even though coats would be more appropriate.
Before Stephen arrived and the weather broke I watched a show featuring Irish celebrities and comedians discussing different elements of the local culture. One guy commented that the grim Irish weather means that no one has to worry about having a good body because it’s unlikely it will ever be on display to the general public. In countries like Australia there is pressure to keep our bodies taut and tanned so that they can be shown in the warmer months.
So it may be cold here, but at least we can have seconds and thirds of the rhubarb crumble.