Don’t feel even a smidgen of guilt if we do get a fine week!

Country Living with Francis Farragher

ONE shouldn’t really get too hot under the collar when listening to the news or hearing stuff that’s actually quite factual, but I’m afraid life is not as simple as that.

There have been many times over the past five or six weeks when I nearly had to check the calendar to see if this really was midsummer.

I don’t know how many times I was caught out with a T-shirt doing a bit of physical work on the farm, or on the lawns, only to quickly retreat back into the house for a gansey or even a winter jacket.

A little consolation for me last week was a confession from a work colleague who also had to officially ditch her ambitions in relation to summer warmth, by calling in the hot-water bottle from its seasonal slumber to keep the feet warm in the minutes before the arrival of The Sandman

On one of those evenings, I returned to the living room base with a small dose of the shivers only to be ‘confronted’ by George Lee on the box, telling me of the likelihood of Ireland breaching the 33°C mark over the next five-years.

Now, of course, I do accept that George Lee was only doing his job in reporting the findings of a detailed climate change report from Maynooth University academics, but I’m afraid I just couldn’t ‘warm to it’ that cold July evening.

At times, it takes me back to the days of ‘compulsory Irish’ at schools and the fear that you wouldn’t ‘get’ your Leaving Cert if you failed Irish.

Instead of nurturing a love for our native tongue in non-Gaeltacht areas, we instead got the feeling that it was being forced down our throats.

Sometimes, the carrot can be a far better tutor than the stick, and at times there’s a lot to be said for ‘a bit of coaxing’ when it comes to issues that seem to trouble us so much.

Pictured: A real ‘brrr’ in the air has made the Summer of ’24 the season for jumpers and jackets. IMAGE: THE GUARDIAN.


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