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Stormy, stormy night

A door slammed shut. Upstairs, I was startled awake by the sound. Throwing the duvet aside, I felt my way in the dark to the stairs and padded downstairs in my bare feet to investigate. The kitchen door was strangely obstinate to my push when it suddenly gave way, pulling away from my fingers and revealing a moonlit kitchen, the wind howling through an open window.

The winter storms have started here now and, according to the news, 1500 Irish households awoke this morning to find their electricity gone (lucky, or unlucky as you might see it, our power is still on). I closed the window and made my way upstairs when I heard a sudden burst of out-of-key singing outside. Peering out the bedroom window I saw a small group of wind-swept, drunken neighbours making their merry way home. I checked the clock: 2:30am.

God bless Ireland and thank GOD it’s only a Friday and not a Monday that I’m getting to bed at 3am. The storms and the late nights can only mean one thing – the deliciousness that is the Irish winter is here at last.

Ireland thrives on inclimate weather. It seems to suit the mood. Irish people might love a bit of sun, but they don’t trust it. It’s unpredictable – hiding itself behind the clouds the second they step out with their sunglasses and swimming gear on. Winter, on the other hand, is cold. It’s wet. It’s familiar . . . comfortable, even. It validates one’s decision to stay in the pub for another jar. The huge piles of coats inside the door. The smell of peatsmoke fires. The soft haze of the town seen through a gentle rain.

God, I love this place.