Soft Day, Thank God


Sir, - I do hope that Brendan Clifford (August 8th) was being facetious when railing against Irish weather forecasts and forecasters. Why shoot the messengers bearing bad news? After all, they are merely doing their job - and very pleasantly, consider the dismal tidings they bring. Think of the charming Elisabeth Byrne and Evelyn Cusack. It is almost a delight to hear and see those gorgeous girls tell us of gales approaching from the Atlantic and moving gradually eastwards over the country during the day! As for the young Fleming man who winks almost conspiratorially as he tells us the worst, where would we be without his good-humoured approach to the most appalling weather?

But, to be serious for a moment, aren't we really blessed in Ireland with no extremes of weather? We are neither washed away by typhoons and tidal waves (despite Kevin Myers's recent tongue-incheek prognostications) nor burnt to a frazzle by searing temperatures and raging forest fires, Why not accept and enjoy what we cannot change?

On a recent holiday in the west, while most of us grumbled and moaned at not being able to lie out like grilled sardines on burning sands, the rest of the tourist world went about stoically and sensibly indulging in what they could do without a heatwave. They were walking, cycling, swimming, caravanning, pony-riding, golfing, hill-walking, mountain climbing and generally having a healthy, active time during the day, followed by good food, drink, music and "craic" in the pubs and hotels at night. A marvellous holiday!

Are we Irish becoming a nation of moaners and softies? And what has happened to the old people's "soft day, thank God"? - Yours, etc., Vera Hughes,

Moate, Co Westmeath.