Sunday, 28 October 2012

Seasons out of Sync

Thursday, 01/11/12 was the beginning of winter here in Ireland and I'm sure England, France and many other countries besides.

Why I'm mentioning this, is because many people I come across are complaining about how cold it has suddenly become.

I have news for these people, it's always cold in winter, no matter where you are in the world, Ireland is no exception. Now, to be fair, it is colllllllld! but not as cold as some countries.

They are also complaining about how often it rains or it seems to be raining all the time.

I am convinced that it doesn't rain as often as we think, at least not in Ireland and when it does it's what our American tourists call 'Soft Rain'. I am sure our tourists are correct and it is soft but that's not what we remember, no! we remember it rained or is raining. Raining seems to be in our psyche, deep down, going back generations. There are people in Ireland, today, who remember rain going back to the twelfth century, I kid you not, it's deeply engrained.

To be honest, we have nice weather, some sun, some rain, a little snow and some breeze, never storms, tsunami's, earthquakes, hurricanes or unbearable heat. We have pleasant weather that is to be envied by one and all, including Australians from Cairns, Americans or whoever loves our weather compared to their own extremes. The problem with our good weather is, it never arrives when it should. Everyday is different and often we have different weather at different times of the day, it is pleasant.

I am convinced that Irish people are delusional in the extreme; they perceive it to be summer all year round. Believe me this is true, we can't see beyond summer or our dreams of a hot summer and this leaves us being disappointed with our weather. It should be sunny all year round, twenty two degree maybe twenty five, just enough to burn our skin, giving us a reason to complain about the heat.
One of the great things about Irish weather is'It will change' constantly, every moment of every day.

Obviously it's not summer all year around, just May to July and no more, though it does tend to rain a little during this period, not much, just enough so we can remember it forever.

I believe we need something else to focus on, something positive, cultural, natural, beauty, to give us a lift.
The ever changing colour of the clouds, trees, mountains. Just look around, its changing all the time. No two moments the same, open your eyes and see.

Why we never focus on our rivers, trees, wildlife and the environment around us. To give you an example, our rivers are exciting and ever changing. Every hour they change, their emotions, demeanour are never the same. There are also so many different parts to our rivers, history, fish, birds, bridges, growth under the water that can be seen in the right light.

Take the river Liffey, passing through our capital city, separating north from south, an exciting and alluring river, changing by the minute. Often angry, turbulent, sometimes placid, gregarious, welcoming other rivers on-board.

If we study her we can witness change by the minute, random ripples ever changing yet often unyielding, staying the same. The light reflecting of these ripples creating shapes and effects as only nature, the artist, can. It will be angry, turbulent, snappy and a few hours later, placid, calm, sedate, though always beautiful. a joy to behold. a bit like the Irish temperament

The same can be said for our trees and bushes, green in summer with beautiful flowering while in autumn the various shades of rustic browns and gold are a joy to behold. Winter is the most exciting when our trees and bushes are naked, exposing their bare branches and myriad of shapes, silhouettes against the overcast sky. Frost, icing, dripping as the sun gently caresses the white coating, slowly releasing enough liquid to crystallise into ever evolving creations that inspire and fascinate. Barren, raw, rough but revealing to those who take time to study, admire and relate to. This is what our writers, poets and dramatists use for inspiration and life.

How can we alleviate this problem or condition as I heard one of our local cynics refer to it recently?

My solution is to move the seasons a little, to sync with Irish weather and wishes.

You could say what's so special about Ireland, that we can have seasons when they want them and I can understand your question. I will answer by agreeing we are special, certainly a special case, this is how we are referred to by most heads of governments in Europe and possibly further abroad but if this is the case I haven’t heard it.

We are a special people who bail out the banks in Germany, France, Holland and possibly further afield if only known. We do this without complaint or regret and remember we are experts at complaining about weather; a special people.

Here's what I suggest and I would like to hear your opinion as I am open to change, weather and opinions.

I figure that, our best month for weather is September when the children go back to school, let’s call that summer, at least one third of the season.

Now! Supposing Evelyn Cusack (One of our weather people) or one of the other forecasters recognise it's going to rain or snow, let’s call that winter. They can successfully foretell the weather three days ahead and that should be enough to announce a summer. Say! Monday Wednesday and Thursday will be summer days with Tuesday being Autumnal, sounds good to me and keeping with the seasons. A little randomness is good for the soul and creativity.

The same could be said for spring, winter and if you want to devise a new season, who knows.

I have seen buds on the rose trees and sprouts of daffodils on Christmas day, signs of spring. Now! I would only refer to it as spring if there are signs, otherwise I'd leave it as winter but we would be told on a daily basis as to what season today was. If Evelyn predicts it, summer, if not winter or whatever.

At least with this type of sync, we could relate the weather to the season and possibly understand what was going on.

I saw pictures on a friend’s phone of snow in Dublin city centre last Thursday night, 25/10/2012 and we call this time of the year autumn. To be fair to the season there are nice rustic colours on the trees and all the leaves are on the ground as they should be, but snow, I wonder. Should we have announced that last Thursday was a winter night even though the snow crept through the radar without anyone predicting, even the farmers who are predicting a bad winter this year. (I think they do this every year and when it happens, occasionally, they tell us "I told you so")

There would need to be rules, like a season can only be announced if the Meteorological service predicts the appropriate weather, otherwise it stays as is. They would of course have told us previously what it was, as they predicted.

The benefit to others like tourists, is, they could book a late flight to Ireland if it was to be summer on Tuesday or at least, if they love our rain, they could book a late flight and immerse their sun tanned bodies in our soft, caressing rain.

Having said that, don't book late on Ryanair or that could cost you your house or potential mortgage for your future house purchase.

An agreement could and should be reached with our department of foreign affairs and transport on reasonable fares and by this i mean cheap fares, for this type of travel. If our department can make representation on behalf of Ryanair, with the Russian government, surely this can be repaid with suitable fares for this type of travel. Let’s call it 'Season Sync Fares', sounds just right and cheap.
Ryanair need to remember it was our government who gave them free slots in Gatwick airport when they needed them, time to repay.

Farmers could benefit here also, in that they could harvest their crops when Evelyn announces the appropriate weather and need not appear on our news bulletins telling us, yearly, how they are going to lose a third of the harvest due to the wet weather. Now they can leave it until Evelyn and co permit it.

We are all winners.

JC-DUBLIN-A City of Seasons.