In a Word . . .

. . . Summer

I've said it before. I'll say it again. It's time we marketed the Irish summer abroad. Yes, as in "Come to lovely Ireland, where the humidity is negligible and the temperatures never too hot. Come to the land where all can be out in the midday sun."

Imagine how pictures of people strolling through our unspoilt countryside, even in a soft Irish mist, would go down with the denizens of Paris, Rome, New York, or Dubai as they are housebound in heat of 40ºC-plus.

“Come to temperate Ireland where the weather is tamed and everything is green except the people.” That should go down well.

Never one who liked any temperature above the mid 20s, I so much prefer the Irish summer. Even the rain proves acceptable then. Two student summers in New York brought this home spectacularly when the heat made it impossible to function during the day and the humidity kept us awake at night.

With no air-conditioning, we bought a fan. It was like an airplane engine, So, though it was cooler, the noise meant no one could sleep then either.

Last June, a heatwave brought more record-breaking temperatures to parts of Europe. The World Meteorological Organisation has said this year is on track to be among the hottest, and that 2015 to 2019 could yet be the hottest five-year period on record.

The European heatwave was “absolutely consistent” with extremes linked to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, it said. Climate scientists have also warned that extreme heatwaves, such as those experienced in Europe this summer, will become more frequent

Meanwhile in Ireland, temperatures reached a high of 28ºC degrees at Shannon as our fellow Europeans cooked. What greater advertisement do we need to entice heat-scalded neighbours to come and enjoy this beautiful island in humane summer temperatures?

But it is not just our neighbours who ought to begin to think this way. So too must those indomitable, if daft, Irishry who take themselves and their tender children to sauté at continental locations in the hot summer months.

Irish people should holiday in their favoured European and US destinations in either spring or autumn, and at home during the summer. We Hibernians are not built for the heat and humidity of summers abroad.

Summer, 'hot season of the year'; from Old English sumor.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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