Ben Lowry: August is the least likable of the four summer months in Northern Ireland

The 12th annual Belfast Mela at Botanic in late August 2018, with bad weather. August is a nice time to be in Northern Ireland, but the weather can be unreliable and late in the month almost autumnal. ''Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
The 12th annual Belfast Mela at Botanic in late August 2018, with bad weather. August is a nice time to be in Northern Ireland, but the weather can be unreliable and late in the month almost autumnal. ''Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
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A long time ago I recall a well travelled relative of mine saying that he never left Northern Ireland between May and August.

“It is so nice here then,” he said.

Over the years I have come to a similar conclusion.

While our summer weather is, by international standards, poor, it is by our own low expectations pretty good. The sunshine count goes up, the wind levels go down, and it is generally warm enough to go around without heavy clothing.

Gardens and the countryside are at their most lush. The days are long and full of hope.

And there is less traffic.

The least palatable of those four months, however, is August.

It begins to get noticably darker, particularly at the end of the month, when the super long days are over and the equinox is suddenly only a matter of days away.

One evening earlier this week I felt chilly for the first time in what seemed like months.

A cool, damp, grey August day can give you a sudden and unwelcome foretaste of looming autumn.

I remember how it felt as a child when we began to see the dreaded Back To School ads, long before the summer holiday was in fact over.

September is for me a gloomy month – but not in southern Europe, where it is still sunny and hot, it continues to feel like high summer.

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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