It was two years ago today that, after two decades of life in the vast urban sprawl of London, I packed up only what I really needed and got on a flight to Belfast. I quickly settled in Downpatrick and it’s here that I’ve been ever since.
The circumstances under which I came back to Ireland are well documented in this blog so I see no need to waste space repeating the story. I only need to say that, far from ever regretting the hasty and unceremonious way in which I left London, I bless the day I returned to Ireland. Thursday the 31st of March 2011 is the day when I was welcomed back to the land where I grew up. I may have many memories of my life in the capital but I have no intention whatsoever of leaving Ireland again, not even to get any of the stuff I left behind in London. I’ve severed all my official links with England (with the exception of an ISA with the RBS and a dormant account at NatWest which I must get round to closing). The only BBC radio stations I listen to are Radio 3 and Radio Ulster and I haven’t bought a British newspaper since long before I even thought about coming back to Ireland.
My past is in London and that’s where I’ve left it. My heart is in Ireland and that’s where I’m staying.
My grandmother used to say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. March 2013 is doing the very opposite. It started off promisingly with the sort of mild weather one would expect in April. Now in the last week of the month we’ve got gale force winds, rain, sleet and snow, not to mention sub-zero temperatures at night.
I’ve spoken previously on this blog about how much I hate winter with all the horrible weather that comes with it and I won’t waste space repeating myself here. I’ve taken up enough space with diatribes against the winter weather already. But the fact that this blast comes after the spring equinox, a time when the spring is supposed to be bringing everything back to life, could be proof that the weather is completely going to pot.
Evidence of this can be seen in my front garden. There’s a row of daffodils that were supposed to have bloomed at least two weeks ago. At present they’re only budding and if this cold snap continues much longer they’ll simply perish.
Another effect of the horrible weather is the T-Mobile/Orange/EE network is down.
It doesn’t bode well for the rest of the year. Irish weather never was very predictable at the best of times but this coming summer could be an even worse wash-out than last year, or there could be a two-month-long drought with blistering heat, water shortages and gorse fires.
But I’m not one to dwell on pessimistic thoughts. If this summer is anything like the wash-out the last one was I can always go puddle-jumping. I did it a few times two months ago, the last time the playing fields were waterlogged, and I enjoyed it! It really brought out the child in me. I was wearing old shoes and I didn’t care if they got soaked, flooded and ruined. I revelled in the freedom of walking through puddles up to ten centimetres deep and not worrying about keeping my shoes and socks dry.
Now I wouldn’t do it now in this cold snap, and I’ve thrown out my old shoes. So if I want to go puddle-jumping in future I’ll have to do it barefoot and I’ll have to wait till it’s warmer.
(I think it’s nice that my inner child is in such good spirits!)