You know it’s Winter in Ireland When…
Haha you funny person you!! 😀
Seriously, it may be hard to tell – here the difference between summer and winter is only about 8° C so the variation between the two seasons, for some hardy folk, means wearing a jumper over your t-shirt on the odd day.
So I think I’m finally becoming Irish myself, here I am discussing the weather. Although to be fair, my husband’s family from the South African Northern Cape talk about it at great lengths too, usually for very opposite reasons. They long for rain and relief from the extreme heat when we haven’t seen the sun here all week long as one drench day blurs into another.
I looked up the Met Eireann website and it’s actually surprisingly interesting. Now I have a little more understanding for other people who have always thought so. Did you know that the weather averages are measured over a thirty year period? Well I didn’t. Also did you know that there is a WMO (the World Meteorological Organization)? It measures the weather, not meteors though and I think it may be the weather equivalent of the World Health Organisation but without the breastfeeding recommendations (or maybe not, should spend a little more time on research possibly).
It is said that Ireland has a temperate climate with few extremes and when occasionally the unexpected meteorologically speaking occurs everyone talks about it for years (for example the big snows of 2010 – how could we forget those?) The average summer temperature is around 16 to 18°C and the winter about 8 or 9°C, but the most remarkable statistic of all is that the relative humidity at 9am on the coast or inland every single month of the year, come rain or shine, is always in the low to mid 80%’s. Hardly surprising that conquering damp and mildew is one of my biggest struggles.
So now that it is November, Winter has officially arrived and this is my favourite beach season. During the lull between storms the sea usually offers up an array of peculiar objects; on our most recent walk we made a silly raft out of a fishing crate, half a pallet and a tall bamboo flag. Disappointingly it all fell apart on the second wave. I also love how the Irish landscape green vividness is broken up by bands of grey tree skeleton mist punctuated by darker swathes of fir.
There may not be a huge variation in the climate yet each season has it’s own distinctive characteristics and charm. So here are my Winter observations:
- The GAA pitch is finally empty and sleeps under a foggy blanket.
- I am chased up and down the country lanes by looming oil trucks where before I was trailing tractors.
- Every second person on the street asks my children what ‘Santy’ will be bringing for Christmas.
- On the days it is sunny people talk about how lovely it is today.
- There are very few flowers.
- At midday my shadow is twice as tall as myself
- The afternoon air smells of peat smoke.
- My sitting room is coated with a layer of dust from the fire.
- The lawn mower breathes a sigh of relief and enters hibernation.
- You can not picnic outside unless you’d like a damp bottom.
- It’s just not the right season for certain activities apparently, like visiting most historical sights or places of interest, as they will be shut up until after St Patrick’s day.
- When I bring in the washing it’s hard to tell whether the clothes are wet or just cold.
- I am driving my children to extra mural activities after dark at five and then at four pm.
- It is dark enough in the evenings for alfresco candlelit dinners at last but what on earth would you do that for you eejit?!
- My hands freeze when I read in bed.
I grew up next to the beach in South Africa, I have certain expectations about the summer and sand combo which are completely inappropriate for Wexford, Ireland. So here I am ‘enjoying’ the seaside in summer time:
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