Accept the rain you cannot change
Singer Adele recently advised us to set fire to the rain, but for a number of reasons, I can't really concur. For one thing it's just not technically possible - I didn't even see anyone at the Street Performance World Championships last week attempt it.
No, on the issue of large amounts of water falling from the sky, I'm afraid it's got to be the serenity prayer that guides you. You might know it:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."
Whether you believe in God or not this is good advice, because only a fantasist would hold out hope that some day, it will stop raining in Ireland and not start again.
Ireland is a rainy country. It's famous for it. What is confusing is our state of permanent denial about this fact.
Commitments Director Alan Parker, asked about filming outdoors here, said: "Rain is also very difficult to film, particularly in Ireland because it's quite fine, so fine that the Irish don't even acknowledge that it exists."
The aforementioned Street Performance World Championships took place in Fitzgerald's Park last weekend. Saturday was fine, in a week otherwise entirely composed of watery grey skies and puddles, but Sunday was a return to form. This seemed to come as a surprise to most of the people there, decked out optimistically in maxi dresses and sandals (lots of women), jeans and decidedly un-waterproof jackets (me) and shorts and t-shirts (one particularly delusional man).
The people who didn't seem at all surprised were the tourists. People who've been here for a few days, or even a few weeks, seem to have cottoned on. You need an umbrella. And a raincoat. And maybe a giant roll of clingfilm, a pair of wellies and a tent.
Some of us have lived here all our lives and yet, every time a cloud bursts, we whinge as though someone has stolen our lollipop. And then we make it the subject of every conversation, as if a shower of water were as rare and remarkable as one composed of meteorites.
Sunday's festivities were brilliant. A nice man from Bristol sold me and probably 1,000 others a rain poncho for €2, and suddenly the rain was no longer an issue. Actually, the ponchos kind of added to things.
I presented Kanturk Foróige Club with a certificate for their win in our poster competition. They too were decked out in plastic ponchos, so our publicity photo for the occasion is rather unique.
Most things that you can do in dry weather, you can do in rain. Once you have the appropriate equipment. In Singapore, in the rainy season, it pelts down rain. Absolutely lashes. In Melbourne, Australia, it rains, heavily, and unexpectedly, during the winter. In tropical countries, it rains heavily practically 24/7 for half the year. And you don't find everyone wittering on about it as if they'd never seen precipitation before.
Rain is part of our culture (can you picture Seamus Heaney getting a Nobel Prize in a dry country?), our agriculture (green fields don't make themselves), and, yes, the tourist experience (they fully expect it - it's us that feels disappointed for them every time).
People who've been flooded have every right to be upset about the rain and its catastrophic effects on their lives. As for the rest of us, it's time we accept, even embrace, the rain. Get yourself a plastic poncho and get out there.