Seagull at Dingle Peninsula April '10

Seagull at Dingle Peninsula April '10

I know many of you will be saying this is something to hate about Ireland but it’s just a laughable fact of Irish life that has shaped who we are. I figured that I’d be better tackling it early in this series! At the moment there is a t-shirt, wind breaker, wool coat, flip flops and a pair of wellies in the boot of my car, most people I know are the same – the saying ‘better safe than sorry’ should have been invented by an Irishman trying to prepare for the weather!  The guy in the picture above wasn’t affected by the changeable conditions in the Dingle Peninsula this weekend – one minute I was gasping at the beauty of Dunbeg Fort, the next running for cover to avoid being washed off the edge of Ireland!

As the saying goes ‘If you don’t like the weather, stick around for 5 minutes’, as it’s liable to change into a different season. Despite this, the Irish attitude to weather is the ultimate triumph of optimism over experience: every time it rains we look up the sky and are shocked and betrayed.

We go through each of the 5 stages of grief within a second:

  1. Denial – ‘this can’t be happening to me’, 
  2. Anger – ‘this friggin country, I swear to god, I’m leavin…’
  3. Bargaining – ‘Just five more minutes and I’ll be home then you can rain all you want!’
  4. Depression – a good old dose of bitterness and pity as you get a slap of rain across the face. 
  5. Acceptance – reach for the umbrella nestling in your bag, pull up the hood or just take a free shower.

On the other side of the coin – for the most part the weather is manageable. We don’t have blistering heat or sub zero conditions (well most of the time!), nor do we have to worry about natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons or whirlwinds.

One that I am particularly grateful for is our lack of large bugs and poisonous creatures (I refer to non-human species here!) – Snakes, cockroaches and tarantulas immediately come to mind.

Also, we wouldn’t have half the raw poetic, musical or storytelling talent that we have if it wasn’t for being tortured by the weather. 

And if all those reasons were not enough – it’s got more to do with giving us the gift of the gab than the Blarney Stone – for when you’ve got so much weather to moan about – your never short of conversation!

I’ll leave you with the words of one of our tortured geniuses:

March – Patrick Kavanagh


 There’s a wind blowing
Cold through the corridors,
A ghost-wind,
The flapping of defeated wings,
A hell-fantasy
From meadows damned
To eternal April


And listening, listening
To the wind
I hear
The throat-rattle of dying men,
From whose ears oozes Foamy blood,
Throttled in a brothel.


I see brightly
In the wind vacancies
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Poetry blossoms
As the first flower of truth.


Rainbow March '10

Rainbow March '10

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