Ben Lowry: Now I understand those older people who want cooler summer weather

When I was younger, I listened with amazement to older people in Northern Ireland say during a spell of warm weather that it was ‘too hot’.

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 6:01 am
Updated Saturday, 7th August 2021, 6:32 am
Damp weather in north Belfast on July 28 2021. Even the damp recent weather is not so bad, writes Ben Lowry. Picture Pacemaker

It seemed to me ungrateful and ridiculous given how pitifully little sunny weather we got.

It also struck me as almost parochial, and a rejection of the sort of sunshine that large swathes of the global population experience, and expect, almost every day.

But my view on this is changing and I am becoming more and more like those people who complain of the heat.

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Now, if I go abroad to a hot climate, I prefer to go in April or October, before it becomes oppressive.

And I even partly wanted the recent very hot spell in NI to end (but another part of me wanted it to continue all summer).

The difficulty was caused by the fact that we are not geared up for the heat.

We do not have houses that are designed to stay cool and we do not have easy access to outdoor swimming pools.

But also, I have come as I get older to enjoy the NI summers, for all their unreliable nature.

Even the current wet spell is not bothering me as much as it once would have done.

An elderly relative of mine, who is very well travelled, said that he always loves to be in the Province during the summer. The weather is at its best, and so the beautiful NI outdoors is at its most enjoyable.

There is a particular pleasure, I find, in almost never having to wear extra layers. Even if it is wet, a light waterproof coat will suffice.

These simple enjoyments, which as a youngster I thought absurd, will become all the more important if climate change turns out to be as bad as the predictions toward the worse end of the spectrum.

There have always been droughts and wildfires, but it has been scary to read some of the recent blazes, and scary too to read of some of the abnormally high temperatures in countries that were already very hot in summer.

Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter acting editor

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