A Summer with a difference
Serendipity mused Peter, that’s a big word. When he had decided to stay on home ground this year and booked a holiday in the west of Ireland for himself and Rita he had not expected such glorious sunshine. It was an added bonus as they found peace and solace in that holiday retreat. They came home completely refreshed in mind and body.
Their neighbours Pat and Joan had a completely different experience as they joined the maelstrom of passengers at Dublin Airport. For many years now they had followed the sun to warmer climes. This year however after years of absences the sun had decided to come to Ireland instead. It arrived unbidden, in the beginning of summer, just as the children were released from school for their annual holidays. Forecasters predicted a heat wave as temperatures soared. Everyone was caught unawares. People had got used to travelling overseas. Frazzled holidaymakers caught off guard turned their backs on the sun and headed for the airport, their hard earned cash squandered on trips abroad. Unruly children inhabited busy places. Restaurants filled with those taking early flights as they filled their mouths with tasteless soggy junk in impersonal food halls. Queues formed at departure gates, while passengers juggled luggage, documentation and the most essential item of all, the smart-phone. And if it had been smart enough it would have told them to stay at home.
At home even the animals were unhappy as they craved water. Farmers cried out for a few drops of rain for the parched earth to restart growth. Water shortages were reported in the cities. Neighbours spied on neighbours sprinkling their lawns, or washing the car as the drought began to bite. After many years of dark and dull summers the arriving sun was like an unwelcome stranger in a foreign land.
Even on the playing field it was a summer of discontent. Kildare was about to play Mayo in Dublin as GAA Chiefs attempted to break their own rules. In their eyes the pitch in Newbridge was too small. ‘There were health and safety issues.’ ‘It could not accommodate a full crowd’ they said. As Kildare stood their ground those from such far off places as Belmullet searched the map or programmed their sat nav for that little town of Newbridge to witness their counties superiority on the field of play.
Yes, it was a summer with a difference as Kildare wreaked their revenge. Even those who had travelled from those western parts had to admit they were fairly beaten as the final score was revealed Kildare 0:21 Mayo 0:19. A wave of pleasure spread throughout Kildare. The victory had achieved that which even the sun could not accomplish.