My mother came for a visit and since we are having such glorious weather I took her for a walk around the grounds of Ardgillan Castle.
It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day today – clear blue skies and a bright happy sun. So to make the most of this glorious weather I will be heading down to the beach today to watch surfers battle with the bay.
Every year a hoard of surfers (both kite and wind) and volleyball players, boggie boarders and beach lovers spend a weekend on Bull Island showing off their skills and competing for a win. The event is called Battle for the Bay and has been running for the past ten years, no matter the weather, so luckily for them this year the sun is shining down on them.
Before I head out I need to charge my camera and hopefully I’ll find a few pictures to snap once I get there.
With all of my end of year assignments handed in and all of my students work graded it is now time to start thinking about the summer that lies ahead. My plan is to head over to Germany for a few weeks – some family celebrations and a wedding are calling – and I have decided to stay there and write.
My trip abroad is only one month away so I’ve asked my godmother if I can stay in her weekend get-a-way and she has said yes. So I’ve booked an outbound flight and now I need to figure out when I’ll be coming back.
With that in mind I have a lot to plan, organise and finances to sort out – emails to write are at the top of my list for today. And since I will have a house guest staying in my home while I’m away I need to make sure everything is tidy and clean.
But for now I can say I am getting excited about what lies ahead and only hope everything goes off without a hitch!
It’s meant to be raining, according to the weather forecast, but the sun doesn’t seem to have gotten that memo. For now it is shining and keeping those rain clouds at bay.
Studies have shown that we become nicer when the sun is shining, we tend to be quicker to answer researchers, give directions more readily and we even reach further into our pockets and give larger tips. Even the stock-markets trade more and is three times more likely to go up when the sun shines. Yes, even traders and investors feel more positive on sunny days, but unlike us they don’t just buy an ice-cream cone but put their money into bonds.
This happiness and optimism that awakens in us when the sun comes out to play is called the “halo-effect”. Now the halo effect defines how we see things due to our knowledge of an other thing. So, if someone is good at say card games we assume they are good at dice games too, or if someone is bad at football we assume they are bad at basketball as well. And when the sun shines making endorphins bounce around in our brains we just assume everything is good, because we feel good.
Sadly the downside to summer frolicking is that the suicide rate goes up. The reason behind this is that someone who is feeling low sees lots of happy, jolly people and it makes them feel worse about themselves so they become more prone to seeking a permanent solution.
But with all that said I just think most of us love the luxury of letting the warmth of the sun caress our skins and enjoy wearing light summery clothes. Of course we have to be mindful to not burn but letting the sun tickle us helps produce Vitamin D and as our skin is highly efficient at doing just that only 15-30 minutes of sunshine creates the same amount as drinking 200 glasses of milk would.
I am not a fan of milk myself I think I may just treat myself to an ice-cream, let my skin take care of the vitamin D production and let my endorphins run wild – what a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
As someone who is living in Ireland you quickly learn that while Seasons are something that happen through out the year they can also happen within a single day. The sun can be shining in the morning, a sense of Spring lingers in the air at noon you suddenly get hail storms and biting winds and you can’t help but feel like Autumn. Then maybe the sun breaks through and you realise you are wearing way too much clothes and an ice-cream is all you really want suggesting that maybe it’s summer after all. But then the evening arrives and the temperatures plummet and frost paints pictures with ice on your windows and you know it’s really still Winter. Sometimes the only way to truly know what season it is, is to look at the trees and plants and see what they are doing!
The world around me is anything but vibrant – grey skies lots of rain and a different storm front everyday. But because winter seems to have taken a grim and grey hold of the world it seems perfect that the theme of the week is vibrant – a visual counterbalance to what we see.
One more week and it will be September and the summer truly over, autumn at our doors- 21 days if the calendar is to believed. I have no idea where the time went and with with only a few sunny days between May and now I seem to be still waiting on the summer sun.
But since no one can stop time I suppose I will just have to cut my loses and get on with it. After all autumn can be so beautiful – the leaves turning gold, the winds playing with the leaves and the last of the warm summer days saying their goodbyes.
And, like spring, autumn brings new beginnings: the semester restarts, my Masters begins, my birthday is approaching and another year is on the horizon. So maybe instead of mourning the lack of a summer I should be looking forward to all that is new to come.
However as the rain beats down on my windows it is hard not to long for a bit of warmth. But since weather is as unchangeable as time I think I will just decide to stay in and enjoy the pattering of the drops at it creates a soundtrack for my Tuesday thoughts.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
At this point the summer should be in full swing but somehow it never really arrived. After a very wet and miserable weekend and a mixed bag of rain and sunshine today I think it could be time to come to terms with the fact that we may not a get a summer this year at all.
And while I know that this is always a possibility in Ireland right now I do grave a week of just heat and sunshine. Maybe it has to do with the need for more vitamin D or maybe it is just my simple desire to wear short sleeves and sandals. But either way I think the desire for some summer sun is very understandable at the end of June.
However no matter how hard I hope for or how much I long for this years summer to finally make an appearance there is nothing I can do to convince Saint Peter to comply. But not one to give up easily I have decided to buy my own little bit of sunshine in the shape of sunflowers. Now their happy yellow heads greet me every morning, indoor sunshine at it’s most beautiful.
Just living is not enough … one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
Hans Christian Andersen
This year the Irish summer has been very temperamental – low-ish temperatures , cloudy and rainy days interrupt the warm sunny ones. But since today the sun has come out to play I have decided to make the best of this urban summer day.
After a morning spent at the desk I will be meeting a friend in town and hopefully the evening sun will invited us to drink some cocktails outside. And to get myself into the mood I have been listening to some Beach Boys – Kokomo; Fun,Fun,Fun & Good Vibrations are truly the perfect soundtrack to a sunny summers day.
Not so coincidentally last week was the opening of Love & Mercy, a film that takes a look at Beach Boy and musical genius Brian Wilson’s breakdown in the late 60s and ‘resurrection’ in the 80s. Lucky me got invited to a day of Beach Boy fun in the sun with pizza and beer, deck chairs and sand – all which all took place in the very urban setting of Dublin’s Smithfield.
So while summer on the beach may be what we all long for – feeling sand between our toes and the waves against our legs – most of us have to make do with an urban variation – glistening asphalt and packed parks.
But I have decided to make the most of my urban summer and don my sunglasses in style and let the Beach Boys do the rest!
The beautiful weather has been holding my attention these last few days and even the mugginess, the heaviness, can’t persuade me to not love the feeling of summer. Loose, light clothing, open shoes and cold smoothies perfect my holiday attitude, even when sitting at my desk.
But since I have been in Dublin, no real holiday in sight, I have been taking delight in watching my tomatoes grow. There are about 10-15 small green fruits hanging on my plant and I believe that my kind may actually be cherry tomatoes as the have gone from darker green to a paler shade, which means they should start to redden up soon.
I can’t wait and have to admit seeing my path tomatoes grow is making me more excited than I thought possible.