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Summer time and the living was easy

Bring me sunshine 

People all over Mayo made the most of the belated summer sunshine last week

Edwin McGreal

If we’re not used to rain at this stage then we’ll hardly ever get used to sunshine. No matter how often it rains in the west of Ireland we seem to, collectively, get engulfed by a wave of depression. Our coping mechanisms with bad weather are about as durable as river plains in monsoon rain.
So it was asking a lot for the people of Mayo to be prepared for the wave of splendid weather that descended this week. Mothers and wives from Killadoon to Killala were telling their children and husbands to slap on the Factor 50.
“Ah sure I’ll be alright,” was the general reply during the day followed by pleas for after-sun cream that evening as men and children found it hard to even sit down with their new lobster look.
Once bitten, twice shy? Not for a second. “Sure I’m burned now, I won’t get any worse,” was the refrain.
In workplaces across the county people moaned last Thursday and Friday of having to work when the temperature outside was in the mid to high 20s. Teachers were cursed, so were those who had the audacity to book holidays at such a fortunate time but anything that could be left until a wet day was and very few offices were inhabited at 6pm on those evenings.
On the beaches from Silver Strand to Lacken Strand, from Dugort to Elly Bay and inland in Pontoon, the hoards flocked.
Usually the cold waters of the Atlantic mean it is a brave person who will brave them for a swim. It was a brave person last week who wouldn’t go into the water to escape the heat.
Ice-cream sales rocketed around the county with ice-cream vans covering more mileage in the last week than they probably did for the entire months of June and July.
One van driver pulled over outside Mulranny to get some food for himself. It took him an age to get going again with so much other passing traffic pulling in to get some 99s off him.
No more than in work places, any housework that wasn’t urgent was left to one side. The dishwasher could be left until night time to be emptied, the hoovering could wait until later in the week but it would be considered sinful not to get the washing done during the heatwave. Sure wasn’t there great drying in it?
Parents introduced their children to the concepts of sandcastles and boogie-boarding while kids themselves lived out their own, real-life Olympic Games on the beaches of Mayo. Several 10m sprint world records were broken. It was a welcome break from sitting in front of the TV or trying to master Call of Duty Modern Warfare on the games console. And that’s just the adults.
The scorching weather even threatened to oust even Katie Taylor as the hot (get it?) topic of conversation. Maybe that’s why the sun went in at the weekend - we reckon Katie had a word in God’s ear that she wanted the weather to stop taking centre stage. And we all know even God is afraid of Katie Taylor.
Please Katie, can we have some more sun?

email edwinmcgreal@mayonews.ie with your comments