Monday, June 10, 2013

Ah the good weather!

Ah, the good weather! A whole week of uninterrupted sunshine and balmy temperatures tuned Ireland and residents to holiday mode. Out came the sandals and the flowery dresses,the BBQs, the coconut lotions and, of course, the fake tans. The whole nation poured outdoors and rightly so! it has been a while since the last time we had seen Mister Sunshine in such glorious conditions.

Having moved to Dublin recently, I sure missed the long strands of County Wexford this week! We finally hit the beach on Sunday and chose to head out to Portmarnock mainly beacuse it was handy and accessible by public transport (driving to the beach on a sunny Sunday in Ireland is mission impossible). So far so good. The train was packed with teenagers high on hormones and sunshine. It was amusing enough but we chose to head to the middle of the beach to leave the crowds at either end. It was just pure heaven. That's what a Summer Sunday afternoon should be all about!

The far end of the beach, closer to the village, looked chockablock. But the most shocking part was seeing the amount of rubbish being scattered about the place, totally without a care or concern for people around, let alone the environment. A woman with her toddler and baby unwrapped her kid's icecream and proceed to bury the wrapper under the sand, not a worry in the world. Groups drinking cans on the grass were too busy having a good time to worry about binning their empty cans. Piles of empty glass and plastic bottles accummulated in the dunes, on the sand and the grass. Wrapping paper, leftover food and all sorts of litter dotted the place. Dogs were having a fun day at the beach too, but many owners chose to ignore their pets' poo, waiting for a bare foot to land on it. By 7 o'clock, once the tide was out and the main crowds had left, the vision was truly appalling.

It strikes me as strange that people are so keen to get out and make the most of the sunshine and the coast, while having no respect whatsoever for the space and the nature they've come to enjoy. Surely they'll expect to find the beach still there, clean and tidy next time they come... maybe we can put it to the side effects of sunshine, or call it mass national sunstroke... maybe we should just blame a lack of manners and of civil duty. And hope next time Mr Sunshine comes, we've all cooled down a bit and are more prepared to deal with our natural spaces responsibly.

Weather is due a change this week, rain will be back in Ireland. A bit of normality. I hope Summer does visit again this year.