Meathwoman's Diary: Weathering the nostalgia of bygone summers

I for one, thought that I had been swallowed up in some kind of climate change vortex and teleported to a parallel universe when I jumped on to a train in Drogheda heading in the east Meath direction.

By the time we had organised the kitchen sink that comes with transporting a six month-old baby, well, anywhere, I found myself glancing out the window at Laytown and seeing a vision that had I not just paid €15 for a train fare could have been mistaken for the French Riveria.

Families, couples, elderly people, dogs, cats and just about anything that was familiar with a traditional Irish summer were out in swim suits, deck chairs and inflatables determined to inhale every last bit of sunshine and heat this little country had to offer.

Kids were sunburned, 99s were melting, pre made sandwiches were going soggy but everyone seemed aware that this was something special.

They say what's rare is wonderful and I don't think that phrase came to life more than the unprecedented weather we have experienced over the last few days. If I were to be over sentimental, I could say that it even made me feel a little emotional because that old saying, there is no better place in Ireland when the sun is shining really came to life.

It was also the first train journey for my infant, the same mode of transport I took to attend pre-natal appointments with him in a Dublin Hospital. But the view from the train window we all revelled at was one I could never have imagined on those brisk winter mornings, although they held their own beauty all the same.

Long before Michael O'Leary was charging us for the privileged of breathing on a plane that left you about 200km from your actual destination, a trip to Bettystown Beach was a treat for many of us.

The difference was that by the time you packed your bucket and spade and headed the 25 minute journey from Slane, it felt like you had been trolled when you arrived and were met with the gust of sand to the face and getting in the water felt like a punishment rather than a joyful pursuit!

I'm not sure if we should be grateful for or worried about these unparalleled temperatures but one thing is for sure this heatwave has created life long memories for us all giving us the opportunity to enjoy and experience our own natural amenities that usually seem so elusive.

Our final destination was Malahide and having a bite to eat on one of the now pedestrianised streets with views of the Marina was better than any sun seekers Mediterranean getaway.

We rediscovered the beauty of our little island during the pandemic from our world heritage site attractions, to scenic walks and local businesses. If the chaos at Dublin Airport showed us anything over the last few weeks is that we are all in a hurry to feed our wanderlust again but lets not disregard the charm of our own island, whatever the weather.