I sincerely hope that the weather has improved immeasurably by the time you read this. As I write this in July, we are being visited by the sort of apocalyptic weather conditions that give endangered species selection anxiety – I doubt it’s any coincidence that a colleague of mine has just named his newborn son Noah.
This time last year, Dublin Bay was picture-postcard gorgeous and we had a healthy sunkissed glow about us as we paraded our flirtatious wares along the seafront. This year we’re lucky if we can even get out for a bracing power-squelch along Sandymount Strand, and any bare flesh accidentally on view is a pinker, bluer shade of pale than normal. July has just been a month of Mondays.
Regardless of the Bishop of Carlisle’s assertion that this is indeed a biblical deluge sent by a vengeful God to punish every one of us for being gay, an acquaintance of mine suggested, in a fit of rousing Live Earth-induced euphoria, that our dismal summer is caused by global warming. “Oh yeah,” he announced, “it’s all connected to macro effects from the El Nino activity in the Pacific and Atlantic.” I asked him from whom he’d gleaned that nugget of information. “I think it was Pussycat Dolls,” he said.
Now, I’m no Michael Fish (come to think of it, neither is Michael Fish these days) but I can’t help feeling that my acquaintance doesn’t know his Pussycats from his posteriors. Surely the last thing we were to expect from global warming was even more crap weather? Here was me thinking that ‘warming’ suggested more sun – that if we were going down, at least we were going down tanned.
But no, not here. While the rest of Europe is escaping El Nino’s wrath and melting under vicious and unremitting sunshine, we are being lashed out of it by the worst spell of rainfall in living memory. You know things are bad when alcohol sales and online casino revenues are down. Bulmers are reporting seasonal losses as cider drinkers vote with their kettles. Bulmers’ loss must surely be outdoors shops’ gain, so long as they’ve been canny enough to keep their rainwear out beside the camping gear. Unscrupulous market traders are making a killing on their stocks of disposable, soluble brollies too; the boom times are here and it’s not even time to start selling explosives. Far away from here, child labourers who’d normally be stitching footballs at this time of year are instead furiously moulding multicoloured gumboots to keep up with our demands.
And don’t even mention the music festivals – a weekend of untold mud and misery for the price of a fortnight in the Algarve. Or, indeed, half a night of watching it rain on Barbra Streisand’s parade.
All the same, you have to feel sorry for Central Europeans who chose July to come to Dublin for their holidays – helpless blighters with day-glo backpacks being forced to watch our city go by through steamed, streaming windows on yet another sightseeing bus tour. Which must beat yet another circumnavigation of the Merrion Centre – but only just. The poor sods arrived here with their trench coats and left with trench foot.
So here’s to August. Assuming we’ve been spared the curse of St Swithin’s Day, we’ll all be out spit-roasting ourselves, lathering our rusted BBQs with TriFlo and looking forward to the sunniest November on record. Let’s do this greenhouse effect thing properly, or not at all.