TIME FOR A SUNNY HIATUS

School‘s out and everyone is hoping for a heat wave except for the Spanish boys that dished me out a plate of Paella at the Clipper yacht festival. Diego hails from Barcelona and Anton hails from Madrid but they weren’t missing Spain at all. They live in Belfast now and are very happy that they have left the searing heat behind in their Spanish cities. “Can you imagine trying to work in forty plus degrees of heat every day?”  Diego asked me, shaking his head and moving the paella round the massive pan.

I tried to imagine it and could only agree with them. That kind of heat would be unbearable. Perhaps it’s a case of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side,’ and it sure is greener here with all the rain but the Spanish guys didn’t have a problem with the rain at all. They liked it. Imagine liking rain!

I phoned Mum and Dad up to check if they were all set for their few days away. I’m taking them, and the kids to Wicklow. Mum seemed a bit hesitant on the phone so I asked her was she looking forward to the holiday. Again it came back to the weather. “I hope its nice weather,” she said. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee good weather but it is playing havoc with packing the suitcases. Unlike packing for Spain or Portugal, when you are holidaying in Ireland you nearly have to take the whole wardrobe with you. I know I’ll arrive at Mums and find her deciphering through a bed full of clothes to try and create layers that can be peeled off or hauled on. Suitcases will be jam packed and it will look like we are never coming back! Yet, when grabbing a Ryan air flight to somewhere sunny, hand luggage will do.

So I’m not relishing the thought for packing for five. After the coats, and cardies, and jumpers, and walking boots, and umbrellas are packed, there won’t be much room for anything else!

Still, I’m looking forward to a hike round the Wicklow Mountains even if it turns into a short stroll or drive since my company will decide the pace of the day. I’m well prepared to go with the flow and have Plan B in place if the weather doesn’t deliver. There’s a swimming pool, a games room and a few other indoor activities in the vicinity including an indoor garden.  It’s always good to holiday in Ireland in an area that provides a roof over entertainment so at least there is an alternative to sitting with sombre faces looking out at the rain. Let’s hope the sun shines but failing that, dry and warm will do.

I asked the Paella boys about their holidays and where they were going to spend them. They looked at me and then said simultaneously “What holidays?” Apparently, they are going to be flat out making Paella at every market, festival, and summer event happening in Ireland plus they are in the throes of opening their own restaurant. They have no plans to go back to Spain any time soon. “…perhaps in the winter…” It was an afterthought.

Now, I think if I had a home in Spain I would never be out of it but the heat isn’t everyone’s answer to a good holiday. Still, I hope the sun shines on them Wicklow hills, and I hope the sun shines in you, if not on you, where ever and however you spend summer. Regarding this column, I’m taking a short summer hiatus but I’ll see you back here in September. Have fun!