Thursday, April 16, 2015

Days of grey weather

Grantland's Molly Lambert made the observation that Los Angeles is not a great "bar town" for one obvious reason—all the driving—and one not-so-obvious reason: "There is nothing," she writes, "that is not better in Los Angeles when done outside."

Ireland's natural beauty is simply invigorating. There is much to be enjoyed when outside. To stroll through Killarney National Park, to take in the Slieve League, to sit beside Clew Bay—it's like opening the windows for the first time in spring; the mind is cleared, the soul refreshed.

At the same time, the notorious Irish weather means there is much that is better when done inside. Like sipping a pint in a pub. Where, by the way, a frequent topic of conversation is the weather. I don't know if the Irish engage in more weather-related chit-chat than folks from other parts of the globe. They probably don't. But from my experiences, the Irish may possibly be the most unapologetically fickle about it.

Van Morrison has something neat and tidy to say about the Irish weather. From "Madame George": "And the rain, hail, sleet, and snow." And then later: "Say goodbye in the wind and the rain on the back street." All the major elements of the Irish weather are mentioned. And when the song's central character departs, the weather adds a touch of melodrama. Morrison's lyrics also have something meaningful and personal to say about the residents of Belfast: Despite days of grey weather—the ashen cloud cover, the ever-changing precipitation, the stubborn winds—they still live lives of tremendous color.

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