Only wish is for some blue skies and shafts of sunlight

Country Living with Francis Farragher

A couple of weeks back I was having a chat with a farming acquaintance when the sun had more of a presence against the backdrop of a blue sky and he said to me: “It’s amazing how the mood of farmers lifts when the weather improves.”

We can of course do absolutely nothing to influence our skies only to ‘grin and bear it’ but there was a real mood upswing over recent weeks when the weather began to pick. The sight of a blue sky . . . the warmth of an early summer sun . . . the lengthening periods of daylight, really do give us all a bit of a lift.

In the past, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few ‘tickings-offs’ whenever I used a headline about farmers having drought fears on the basis that whenever the ‘d word’ appeared in the paper, inevitably 40-days and 40-nights of rain would follow. A kind of a modern-day St. Swithin!

While the SAD syndrome – a clinically verified form of depression caused by an absence of natural sunlight – has been well documented, on  a more general level there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that weather can either pull us down a tad or lift us up.

Exposure to sunlight, with of course all of the natural UV light precautions in place, can settled us down in terms of relaxation and calmness. It is also a big help to what is known as our Circadian cycle, namely the 24-hour rhythms that our bodies and minds need ‘to keep us steady’.

A key part of that Circadian cycle is of course sleep, and sunlight as a prompter of vitamin D production in our bodies, helps us to slip in more easily into a rhythm of work, relaxation and rest . . . so there’s your excuse for being that little bit grumpier and more stressed from the end of last June to late Spring with the pounding of rain we received.

There is an old joke out in our neck-of-the-woods when radios were scarce back in the mid-part of the last century and there was only one station [Radio Éireann] and just one forecast per day.

Pictured: All that’s needed is a fine day’s weather to fully enjoy the stunning 19th century architecture and stonework of Kylemore Abbey on the edge of Pollacapall Lough in North Conamara set against the rugged backdrop of Druchruach Mountain. 



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