Russian Winter

What is the opposite of an Indian Summer? That seems to be what Ireland is experencing at the moment. While I’ll admit that these are temperate climes and the likes of Canada and Russia have it far worse , winter simpy doesnt want to relent it’s grip. It’s strange for me to talk about the weather as some sort of blog fallback but when the weather starts affecting your lifestyle it is a genuine talking point.

My barbecue lies shivering and cobwebbed in my untouched shed as I see little reason to wheel her out (that’s right my barbecue is a ‘she’ but I havent named her yet). My Canadian brother-in-law would use his barbecue throughout the year and a couple of feet of snow certainly wouldnt deter him but I’m different. I need a sign that summer has at least reserved tickets to visit Ireland this year even if its just a weekend break en route to the London Olympics.

A lonely barbecue…

I’ve always liked to imagine there is a weather machine up there somewhere and a mischievous little imp is at the controls. It seems at the moment that imp has left it set for winter and gone off to kick a footy around. Why wouldnt she, above the cloudline is permananent sunshine  (thats right the weather imp is also a ‘she’). Somewhere above the jetstream where its all starry skies and shimmering aurora. It’s no wonder that the machine has been abandoned when there are so many wondrous things to be seen above the weather. I’d happily go and reset the machine only I dont have any magic beans and all the pilots I know work for Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand and dont go above 30,000 feet.

Still, as miserable as I sound there are small signs that this stunted spring wants to reveal itself. I can see it in the Malahide Demesne as I drag my aching joints around its 3.5 kilometre circuit. There is the new green of a spring canopy beginning to show, however self-concious and the budding and blossoming of magnolia trees and other relatives is a sign there is warmth ahead. As much as I do go on that warmth does not have to be extreme. I’ve experienced over 40 degrees in Egypt and -15 degrees in Sweden and while I wouldnt particularly like to go outside that range I would happily take 15-20. Compared to some I have been lucky though. Living most of my life in the winterless north of New Zealand has perhaps not given me a tolerance for the highs and lows that only Ozzies and Eskimos respectively know.

I am not one of these sort that get two or three warm days and start complaining about the heat. You will never catch me doing that even in 40 degrees. No, I reserve my complaint for the cold and in the meantime wait in eager anticipation of the much maligned, often missed and dearly loved – Irish Summer.

Oh, and as for my barbecue, I christen thee…………………..Eleanor.

Eleanor \e-lea-nor\ as a girl’s name is pronounced EL-a-nor. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Eleanor is “sun ray, shining light“.

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