Friday 20 June 2014

A Yellow Warning
What heat!  What fantastic, glorious, reddening, scorching, buttery, melting yellow heat.  Windows are open everywhere.  Birds are singing their little hearts out at 4am.  Lots of dubious tan lines.  People eating ice creams the size of a small child.  Guzzling bottles of water.  Wine and beer coolers being put through their paces. 

Who doesn’t love this weather? Okay, I know the lady down the back is pregnant and you have my sympathy – about your discomfort I hasten to add.  Been there with Lovely Liam.  Not pleasant. 

Forgive me as I am about to begin with all the good things about summer.

Good/great/fantastic things about summer

Vitamin D.  Sunny D.  Sunshine’s little gift to us.  However you want to label it, Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and it helps keep our immune system healthy. It’s all good!

Ice-cream.  Smoothies.  Picnics.  Salads.  Corn flakes.  Corn flakes?  Come on.  Who wants to turn on the oven in this heat?  All of the above are perfectly acceptable for dinner.  You just don’t have to tell anyone you are eating corn flakes for your second meal of the day.

Long runs in the middle of the day.  Just foolin’ with ya!  Are you off your rocker???  In this heat?  Unless you are willing and able to rise at 6am in the morning to go for a run, I recommend reserving any moving quickly for ice-cream runs.

Wine.   Cold, ice cold glasses of white wine of an evening as the kids are bouncing on the trampoline when they should be in bed.  Who cares if they won’t be able to get up in the morning?  Who cares if the neighbours are wearing earplugs to drown out their shrieking?  Not you.   You are sipping wine.  Ice cold glasses of wine.  ‘nuff said. 

Swimming pools.  Paddling pools.  Garden hose.  Water guns.  With all of that sun cream we need to apply to keep blistered skin at bay, the kids will need to be washed each evening.  If you don’t possess a power hose and your house is minus a gable end, the above will do the job nicely.  Don’t forget to add shampoo.

Lack of clothes.  Nobody said anything about being naked.  I mean shorts and t-shirts for the kids.  Dresses for the lady grown-ups.  Everyone wears shades and the bigger they are, the less of your face you will have to cover in make-up which melts off before mid-day anyway.

Lovely childhood memories of summer

Long grass.  Lying in it on a blanket with the sun beating down on our bodies.  Bodies plastered with baby oil or just the vegetable oil from under the kitchen sink.  Yes, we did that.  One of my sisters turned a beautiful, golden brown underneath all of that grease.  Me?  I was that sacrifice offered to the molten god in the sky and ended up with blisters and the inability to bend my legs for the rest of the week.  

Melted Tar.  Fess up.  You played in it as a child as well, didn’t you?  All of those gorgeous, shiny, sticky, black puddles at the side of the road taunting you, daring you to test it out.  Bring it home and leave it on the sink in the bathroom and all over the towels.  The smell of it still brings back those memories.   

Comics.  Friday was comic day in our house.  Reading them after school in the garden.  Taking a cardboard box from the garage and setting it upright in the grass.  Draping a towel over it, lying down with my head inside the box and using said towel as a shield from the sun as I read.  With just my legs sticking out.  Covered in vegetable oil.

Lemon Juice.  Convinced this would transform me into one of the Wakefield twins in Sweet Valley High, I went mad squeezing lemons and sitting in the sun with the juice in my hair trying to make it blond.   Two and a half decades later, I prefer my lemons in a G&T.

Pretty Woman.  Remember Julia Roberts in that red dress when she met Richard Gere in the hotel foyer?  I think I fell in love with her myself there and then.

Bad/not so great stuff about summer

Heat rash. Even if you have never experienced this affliction, you will know of someone who has.  Your neighbour, your granny, the dog.  Heat rash can be diagnosed as little itchy bastard spots that appear at the first hint of heat.   On top of the discomfort, it is most unsightly. 

Heat rash

Fat hands.  Fat feet and a fat face.  Mine all mine.  It’s like my body thinks I am pregnant and bloats up.  My fingers resemble little sausages with freckles.  My flat feet become wider and I have to loosen the straps on my sandals.  My body insists on retaining an extra 7 pounds despite running my arse off and it being too hot to eat chocolate.  It’s just not fair!

heat rash AND fat hands.  Lucky me!!

Sun Burn.  I was that fool over the weekend who neglected to apply adequate sun cream.  Make that, no sun cream at all.  There was a delightful breeze.  I was wearing a light cardigan.  Yeah.  I was burned.  Not badly but enough to make me go FFS in my head.  I also got a lovely heat rash for free!

Heat rash, fat hands AND sun burn.  Lucky me!

Hay fever.  This does not apply to me.  Directly. But it is in the house creating coughs and sneezes that wake me up in the middle of the night so I suppose in a roundabout way, it does apply to me.  Although thankfully the sufferer seems to be getting off lightly compared to previous years.

Christy Moore armpits.  Apologies to Christy for poking fun at him at my expense.  I sweat during the heat, okay?  The right arm pit particular is a real pain.  It’s the Christy Moore of armpits.   Deodorant laughs at me.  I have tried the heavy duty 24 hour stuff.  Nada.  I even went through a weird phase where I purchased a salt crystal thing on line and used that.  They saw me coming, I’m afraid.  These days I am using a good old bar of soap.  And it works!  For ten minutes.

Leather seats.  In cars.  At school meetings. Anywhere.  Just don’t sit on it!  A layer of skin will come unstuck from the backs of your thighs as you peel yourself off it howling in pain.  Never a good look.

Whatever your thoughts/ailments/memories of summers now and past are, enjoy it.  Buy up that last paddling pool tomorrow before they are all sold out.  It happened last year you know.  And all that was left in the supermarket fridge was one bag (split open) of ice-cubes.



  1. Great post... nodding to lots of that... not the heat rash thankfully! Loving the past week of good weather... kids going outside "willingly" , everyone (especially Mammy) calm and happy... spirits raised... BUT... everyone sapped of energy after three days of sunshine! Let's face it... we Irish are just not bred for the sun!

    1. I agree. My lot don't venture outside until 6pm or thereabouts and then I can't get them in! Definitely not able for the heat. Having said that, long may it last.

  2. ah, I had a wee titter at this post Gwen. Not at the sad, burny bits of course ... They don't look like your wee lady hands. Are you sure you didn't superimpose them on for effect ?

    1. Burny bits all are gone now, thankfully. Reckon it was wind burn. Don't tell anyone but they're Mister Husbands hands!!!

  3. Funny funny stuff - and all because it's true!!
    Love your glamour shots of scarlet décolletage. I nearly dropped the baby at that point! X

    1. I could never and still can't pronounce that word! Cleavage is as far as I can go. Although I know someone who once described her own as a "crease." Much laughter!

  4. Oh my goodness what a funny post! And so true about the irish summer, though I do feel abit deprived as I never did the cardboard box and comics😄 discovered your blog via Busy Mama , and looking forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Maria. You're very welcome and I hope you enjoy your time here. Thanks for your comments. Yes, the cardboard box was great. These days my super spoilt kids have sun glasses and proper tents to get into. Spoiled I tell you. Spoiled.