It is not quite 7am and the display on the main street reads 23 degrees as I stroll past on my way back from the bakery with a baguette in my hand. Still sleepy from the muggy nighttime heat, I try my best not to scratch the mosquito bites that tingle on my neck and the back of my leg. I’m getting good at it, finally. You see, I am not on holiday. This is my life, this summer so strange to me.
Oppressive heat, intense humidity, thunderstorms, eating meals outside, afternoons at the ice-cream parlour, mosquito bites, the school closing because it is too hot to teach / be taught, day trips to water parks and lakes for swimming – these are the memories my children will have of summer. A summer so strange to me.
|The local pool
|After school on a Wednesday
My childhood summers were filled with playing in the garden, trips to the beach on the sunnier days, believing that if the temperature rose to 20°C you could fry an egg on the footpath, eating Choc Ices, the pain of sunburn and the excitement when the tar would melt on the road from the heat.
My children are growing up as the kind of children I only ever encountered at campsites in France – the kind that have a slight tan year round, the kind that speak two languages and run round in the nip without a thought as to why they should wear swimming togs. The kind that eat foods we’d never seen then and who aren’t at all bothered by temperatures above 25 degrees.
Whereas as a child I looked forward to two weeks of outdoor swimming pools, water slides, the smell of suncream and to eating scoops of ice-cream in exotic flavours like pistachio or mango, their lives are like that every day of summer from May to September.
Yet still they look forward for months to their couple of weeks in Ireland. They plan trips to the beach in their wellies and raincoats, hoping to see horses gallop in the waves. They want to visit Lough Conn, after which one of them is named. They beg to be allowed go back to the Viking exhibition in Dublin and want to go to Tayto Park again. They want to munch cheese and onion crisps and lick 99s “like last time”, to play with their cousins, go swimming with Grandad and eat Nana’s meatballs. “How many sleeps Mammy?”, they ask every evening, longing for their Irish summer, so strange to them. Strange and wonderful.
I’m linking this post up to Twinkly Tuesay and The Truth About.