—Celia Johnson, Brief Encounter, 1945.
God, the weather in Ireland and England is depressing. The damp air sucks the latent heat out of your body year-round, and shoulders are permanently hunched against the rain. In mid-July, people huddle in pubs at three in the afternoon. When my Dad felt the first rays of sun at Alghero airport last week, he shook his head in disgust:
‘At this moment, I don’t care if I never see Ireland again.’
And yet people don’t seem to accept that this miserable climate is here to stay. They slosh through freezing puddles in sandals, because that’s what you wear in July. Me, I wear a cardigan and a down vest indoors and out, and I pity the snotty, shivering children in the rain. But the countryside is lush and neon green, and the cattle are sleek. And when the watery sun finally does make an appearance, the Irish look truly happy.