Are you enjoying the heatwave?
There are some things that go hand in hand with summer in Ireland, the sun isn't, strangely enough, one of them. But now that the glorious sunshine has returned, here are seven things you will definitely be seeing more of....
1. Children will miraculously appear
Yes, there are rumours that there are children living in Co Leitrim but only their parents and or/teachers actually know they exist. Because of the availability of TV, iPads, Xboxes and a whole host of other antisocial toys, homes across the county are usually bereft of any life in the front or back gardens for roughly 99% of the year (with the exception of First Communion parties). Now that temperatures are up you will suddenly see so many children about the place you may think they've been shipped in from other countries just to enjoy the good weather.
2. Socks and sandals
Whoever started this fashion trend deserves to be slapped with their own Penny's special-bargain sandal/loafer. This is usually a style statement only chosen by men, but there are sad women out there who are just as guilty of this fashion crime. The only explanation we can come up with is that these people opt to wear socks with sandals because 'just sandals' is a step too far for their delicate sensibilities after a winter of boots/wellies...either that or they have incredibly ugly toes....
3. Strange sunburn patterns
Nothing, ahem, screams 'heatwave' in Ireland more loudly than really odd cases of sunburn. Whether you're sporting the one-arm-lobster - from having your arm out the open window of the car; the ol' farmer's tan - where you look like you are still wearing a white tank top after you've taken your shirt off or, my favourite, the halfie - where you've fallen asleep in the sun and are now sporting a half red face/body because of the way you were lying down - you'll find plenty of fellow victims here in Ireland.
4. Sitting in the front garden
The mercury has hit 20C so cue bringing out the kitchen chairs so you can sit and bask in the sunshine of the front garden for an hour or so. Well done, you've avoided the pitfall of so many in Ireland - buying garden furniture you'll never use because of the usually incessant summer rain. Now bask in the glory of knowing you've saved yourself about €400 and you still get to sit outside like that posh shower next door.
5. The wasps
Good weather? Check. Having an outdoor BBQ or event? Check. Now just wait for the wasps to come and ruin it for you. Aggressive, largely pointless and really, really fast on the wing, these are the unwanted 'cousins' of the humble bee and they are bitter little beggars. Let's not forget they have the ability to sting you multiple times and not have the decency to die. Worse still they are drawn to all the best parts of summer - the 99s, that long awaited cold pint of beer or cider and all your exposed bits - just like a moth to a flame.
6. Flip flops
Ignoring the fact that flip flops is a totally stupid name for something that is actually a pair of thongs (yes I am Australian), we'll be seeing plenty of people trying to slide about in them over the next week or so. If you really want to amuse yourself watch people in flip flops try to run anywhere without losing their inevitable flip, or flop, or whatever they want to call their footwear. This is a skill only mastered in the southern hemisphere - it should never be attempted in Ireland, even if you did spend 12 months backpacking round Australia 5 years ago.
7. Having a 99
Oh the joys of spoiling yourself with a 99 on a hot summer day! Go on treat yourself and feck the diet, have that flake and the strawberry sauce as well...we may not see another summer like this for years.