I'm not the kind of girl who generally gives a shit about the weather. I have fair skin, freckles and wear a size 14 (UK) jeans, so it's not like I have some great desire to be lolling about in a string bikini in the sunshine but... I do enjoy the possibility of catching a few glimpses of the sun.
I am a happy person. I like to laugh. I usually see the funny side of things, look on the bright side of life. I do. Honestly. Said "bright side" is obscured by constant rain, wind and near perpetual darkness here though. The bright side might require some kind of miracle laser eye treatment with a side of mood-altering eye drops.
Something happens when it rains constantly and it's dark by 5pm. Something switches gear in my neurons and I get miserable. The good thing is that I am aware of this happening and I have the ability to switch over into something more cheerful. The bad thing is the regularity with which I have to make this concerted effort to shift.
As a Southern Hemisphere native, I have always taken sunshine for granted. I have even complained about it. I hated getting freckles. I bemoaned the pressure to DO THINGS when the sun was shining. There is such a ready excuse to vegetate when the weather is bad. I have spent 25 years of my almost 33 in sunshine though and I tell ya it's something quite intrinsically linked with my psyche.
It isn't Ireland's fault that it rains here all the time. I'm sure Ireland would like to be dry sometimes. Certainly the vast numbers of youths in Ugg boots must pray for the rain to end at some point. I can't imagine soggy sheepskin boots make for pleasant footwear. I'm sure, given the choice, even Irish sheep would have a more durable coat than waterlogged wool.
But here we are in November on the slippery descent into Winter and I need to just process this and commit to the layers, the hat, the gloves, the coat. I made a lifelong commitment to boots many years ago.
Winter with a toddler offers a whole new potential for misery. I can barely persuade my personal toddler to wear a nappy, let alone trousers AND the 47 additional layers required to face life outside the front door. Our usual salvation is the park around the corner which has offered daily (sometimes twice daily) entertainment for the last 6 months. Now the swings are butt cheek high with water and the usual wipe with a muslin cloth ain't going to cut it. The slides are more like something from a water theme park, only without that whole 'enjoyment' factor. I don't have any idea what we'll do indoors for the next 5 months. I do foresee having to put everything back into the kitchen cupboards many, many times over. Macs never seems to tire of his own special brand of stocktaking in the kitchen.
On the upside, we have a month in South Africa booked and that truly is the light at the end of this gloomy tunnel. I can't wait to see my little boy with sand between his barefoot toes and his button-nose slathered with sunblock. He will enjoy that so much.
Until then, Starbucks will be our daycare ... not a lot can get me down after a double tall non-fat capuccino... or 6.