OPINION: It is okay to complain about the weather when it gets this hot!
I was in Tullamore at the weekend and in one shop I had a quick chat with the very friendly cashier.
Being Irish, of course the topic of conversation was the weather. And given that the temperature outside was touching 30 degrees, the topic of conversation could only be the intense heat.
“It's nearly too hot,” she said, thankful for the air conditioning blasting cold air around the shop. “You can't do anything in this heat,” she added before finishing with, “but I shouldn't complain.”
Now that last bit stuck with me and it's not the only time I've heard in the last week. In conversations, a few people have hovered around complaining about the weather but have stopped short of doing so. 'I shouldn't complain' is like a default response that we are programmed to give even when we think the weather gets too hot. We must think we are going to curse it and the sun god will show its displeasure by disappearing for the rest of the year.
Yes, in a country where the weather normally ranges somewhere between miserable and terrible, we should definitely be delighted when the sun god decides it is going to pay us an extended visit.
Normally when we get Weather Warnings in Ireland it's for rain, snow, wind. You know, the bad stuff. But until this Friday, Met Eireann has issued Status Yellow and Orange Weather Warnings for high temperatures for Ireland with temperatures set to exceed 30 degrees. It's the first time there has ever been a Status Orange Warning for high temperatures in Ireland!!!
For some people this is the dream, basking in the glorious heat and sunshine normally reserved for the two week holiday somewhere in the Mediterranean! And of course those who produce After Sun are making a fortune!
But for others, the intense heat is far from welcome.
Now I like a nice sunny day with a nice breeze as much as the next person but there is a point where a lovely sunny day just becomes too damn hot. At that point, it's fine to complain.
I mean just walking leaves you sweating worse than Donald Trump when he hears the word investigation.
And trying to work outside in this heat? You'll be melting like an ice-cube in a hot whiskey.
For some their job will be a relief from the heat outside with air-conditioning or other such luxuries on hand to cool the air and make conditions bearable. (Am I the only one who lingered too long in the frozen food section of a supermarket at the weekend.)
But for many in offices this week, they are enduring incredibly hot and clammy conditions with a noisy fan blowing warm air in their bright red faces. And that's if you are lucky enough to have a fan! Opening a window provides absolutely no relief either as there is no air circulating outside.
And as for sleeping in this heat? Forget about it.
To put it simply, Irish people are not designed for this heat and neither are our homes or places of work. We all have heating systems where we live or where we work but very few are equipped to cool us down when the temperatures reach this level. And of course our houses are well insulated meaning that even in the evening when the sun eventually goes down and it cools outside, our houses retain the heat built up during the day.
So while we should all be grateful for a break from the usual Irish summers where shivering children are urged to make the best of it and get into the freezing cold sea while dark clouds hover overhead, there does come a point where it is okay to complain if it gets too hot.
Let us know what you think by casting your vote in the poll above!
And whether you think it's just right or too hot, do your best to enjoy it while it lasts as if experience has taught us anything, it's that the miserable weather is never too far away in Ireland.
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