It looks like its over, this glorious summer of 2013. In early Spring we feared the worse with constant rain and bitter cold but then it started…… a few good days to begin with and promises from Donegal fishermen and New Zealand forecasters that we could be in for something special and boy were they right.
We rushed out in the early days to soak up this precious sun, afraid it would disappear quickly like it did in so many other years..but this year was to be different, the sun and heat stayed and stayed and stayed and pretty soon we got used to it. We were able to plan things, outdoor parties, BBQs, trips to the beach, the parks, the river banks.And it got hot, really hot. Tar began to melt, Irish people burned, sun cream and smooches were the biggest sellers in Coachford. Car parking became an issue at the Inniscarra boating centre as people and their pets did everything to cool down.We even found it hard to sleep in warm bedrooms at night. It reminded us of our sun holidays in Spain and Portugal but now in 2013 we were having better weather than those countries. We found we had nothing to talk about, nothing to complain about, the weather forecasts bulletins were shorter and of course we had the usual whiners ” ah feck it, it’s too hot”, “it’s not natural”,” we’ll pay for it in the winter”. We didn’t care.
We were having a ball. Everyone was in good form, kids were enjoying their best summer ever while we were comparing it to the long hot ones we remembered from our youth. The leaving cert students found it hard to study in this constant sunshine but it made it easier to celebrate their escape from a school that they had outgrown. The procession was baked in June sun and so were those in holy communion and clerical costumes. The Cul camp was hot, hot hot. The child of Prague statues were almost redundant in their role of bringing good weather for the many summer weddings or maybe these statues were responsible for it all along! Farmers raced around as usual collecting silage fearful that this would not last. Bouncy Castles and Gazebos were seen in almost every garden. Cider and Prosecco were the drinks of choice. Al fresco dining became the norm and each and every glorious day was to be welcomed, embraced and enjoyed.
A thunderstorm in mid July brought fears that fresher (windy and colder!!!) weather may be on the way but it never materialised and we didn’t want it. We’d put up with the muggy nights, the hot cars, the crowds at the beach, the poor fashion sense of the socks and sandal brigade, the constant BBQ burned sausages and undercooked chicken drumsticks and the “I’m thirsty” children. We’d put up with all of that but please please don’t take away the sunshine.
Our summer of 2013 seemed to go on forever. From the sun grabbing days of May and June to the almost acceptance of ‘this is normal’ July and to ‘it surely can’t last’ of August to the unbelievable early days of blackberry picking September. Of course there was the odd day when it dared to rain but this wake up call only reminded us of how lucky we were to be wallowing in this Mediterranean heat on an island in the north Atlantic in this summer of 2013. But those rainy days will be long forgotten in years to come as we recount this summer to our children and grand children and no doubt it will be exaggerated. We’ll tell tales of four long months of searing temperatures, of tyres melting and metal buckling under the heat of 2013.
And now as the nights are getting cooler and smoke rises from the chimneys all around us, as we order in heating oil and bags of coal once more, let us remember the summer, the craic, the fun, the friends, the laughter of the children and the warmth of the sun on our faces and look forward to 2014 and the hopes of another good one.