Friday, 23 June 2017


The "mini-heatwave" may be over but I never cease to be amazed when I see how crazy the country gets when the sun comes out. I know Ireland doesn't get much heat and I have to get my yearly fix somewhere else, but as soon as the temperatures hit the low 20s, Irish people go a bit overboard...

Beaches are invaded

And some people regularly forget about the tide. Unfortunately, car insurance doesn't cover for drivers' stupidity...

They start sunbathing, with the results we all know

At the beach last week-end, this man was sunbathing with his girlfriend and I swear I just wanted to go up to him and triple the amount of sun cream on his body. The poor man was as white as paper and I knew from the start he would end up like a lobster. And he did.

They undress

Literally, as shown in this video of a naked guy on the canal... More seriously, one ray of sun and Irish people take the tops, shorts and flip-flop out. I was in my cardigan all week at work, and sure the weather was nice, around 22 degrees, but my colleagues kept making fun of me for being wrapped up. It's not hot guys, it's just warm!

They moan

"I'm roasting, it's scorching, I'm melting, Oh lads, I am not aaaable for this heat !!!!"

But they are in a good mood at the same time

Your boss brings ice-cream to the office, the playschool organises a water balloon fight and the primary school takes the kids to the beach. This year they also skipped homework for a couple of days because the teachers wanted the kids to be active outside instead of doing homework! And  for the adults, nothing is more enjoyable than an ice-cold pint of Bulmers in the local pub beer garden...

Unfortunately for Ireland, the weather is back to normal. Maybe it's a good thing for all the sunburnt people out there, but I hope it doesn't last too long and we can enjoy more good weather this summer (I am being VERY optimistic I know!).

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Ignorance is bliss

If my memory is still intact, it was 2005. My husband and I were visiting a friend in Kinsale, near Cork. He invited us to his place because he had just moved back from Dublin, and he wanted us to see how beautiful the area was. He was right. The village was like an Irish postcard, with colourful houses and narrow streets, full of pubs, seafood restaurants and a little harbour.

It was really hot that day, well, by Irish standards anyway! Our friend was working in a pub close to the harbour so we went for a drink, and during his break we all sat down outside on the wall, looking at boats passing by.

As we were soaking up the sun, we started to talk about our life in Ireland. We didn't have any serious commitments at the time, none of us. There was no mortgage, insurance, or kids in the picture. I was still driving my French car in total illegality. My job was easy, without any real responsibility. We didn't have any worries, really. Maybe just paying the rent on time and the phone bill which was always expensive because of the calls back home. We had a cosy appartment, great neighbours and in a village we loved. We were going out regularly and had many friends from a variety of horizons.

We were thinking of going back to France though, but at that point in the conversation, our friend asked the question: "What is it that you like most about living here?". The answer came so naturally that I still remember it to this day (well, maybe not in exact terms, but the general sense is still there!): "What I love about Ireland is that we live here in total ignorance. We have an easy life and with our salary we can live comfortably for our needs. We live in that little bubble and we're not really interested in the economic or political state of the country because it doesn't affect us".

And as we were finishing our drinks, feeling the gentle breeze on our shoulders we all thought the same thing: "This the life!"

Of course, as the years went by, things changed, as they always do. I finally bought an Irish car, we applied for a mortgage and bought an appartment, had kids... And we started following the news and budget announcements more because this time it was affecting us, especially during the recession.

Surprisingly, I  had the same conversation the other day with a friend I hadn't seen for years. I was in Paris for work and we met for a meal. She was nostalgic about her life in Ireland, and if her health was better, she would be thinking of going back. And then she said it. The same thing I said all those years ago. She loved living in Ireland because she was in her bubble of work and friends, of going out and visiting the country. She was oblivious to the political or economical aspects of the country because it didn't affect her.

So maybe that's it. Maybe that's the reason why French people love Ireland so much. Let's face it, only a minority stays for the long-term, but for those who went back to France and long for their experience in Ireland, what is it that you loved about the country? Could it be this sense of freedom, fun and the fact that you were not really affected by anything else other than your little bubble?

I still love Ireland of course, but the innocence stage is long gone. We've been through a lot in the past 10 years or so, but yesterday at the beach, soaking up the sun on what certainly was the hottest day of the year, I thought to myself "This is the life!".