I stood in a lift in a shopping centre this morning and a trio of middle-aged, sun-kissed ladies (much like myself) broke that sometimes awkward silence by chatting desultorily about the weather.
‘Isn’t it just lovely’ sez lady 1.
‘Yeah Mary, gorgeous…but what have we to complain about now?’ sez lady 2.
‘Not a ting, not a ting,’ sighed lady 3 with satisfaction.
I grinned. The list was as long as not only her arm but the combined length of the arms of everybody in the country. We live on a godforsaken bog which has been governed for generations by a greedy, corrupt Church propped up by successive subservient Governments, both aided by the cash from the all too powerful big business. So. Where to start?
I think the ladies had it right. When the sun shines in Ireland we should take a day- nay, a week even - off - dismiss to the back of our minds the woes and tribulations of being Irish. We should take to the streets, the beaches and fields of the country, smile at each other, be gentle and kind to one another; sing, dance and above all laugh. Enjoy ourselves. It is but temporary and therefore all the more welcome.
Perhaps when the Azores high moves on we may be refreshed enough to take up metaphorical cudgels again and bat our way into a brave new world. A Golden Age is coming, a real Renaissance.
We can but hope and pray.