With another status yellow temperature warning issued by MET Éireann, but cloudy skies overhead, team IMAGE is experiencing very mixed opinions. Some of us can't get enough of the sunshine; others can't wait for it to end. This is Opposites Attack, our new debate series in which two writers go head-to-head on the biggest questions of the day. Today, we debate whether the hot weather is enjoyable or hell on earth.
Staff writer and heat hater, Grace McGettigan, says:
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a very pale and freckly person. I have auburn hair and I’m exceptionally vulnerable to sunburn; sunscreen on or not. Any temperature above 17 Celsius is too much for me to handle. I’m at the end of my sweat-drenched tether and I’m prepared to do a rain dance if I have to. Why won’t this heatwave end already?
My second reason for hating this weather is I have absolutely nothing to wear. I’m all about winter fashion; dresses with tights and jumpers with jeans. This heatwave has thrown me far from my sartorial comfort zone. Wearing dresses without tights has led to major thigh chafing. If my legs aren’t rubbing together, they’re stuck together (and the pain of pulling them apart is positively torturous). What’s more; I’m wasting valuable relaxation hours shaving my legs in the bathroom. It’s tough work being silky smooth.
Reason three? I feel really bad for all the dogs who are too warm to go for walkies. My Shih Tzu Clifford is bored stiff at home, and as much as he’d love to go to the park, he falls down from heat exhaustion within minutes. I’m also sad for the birds who have no water to drink, and the bees whose pollen-filled plants are drying out from drought.
Of course, I have a fourth reason. Food. It's too hot to cook anything substantial and I'm over salads. There's only so much rolled ham, boiled eggs and coleslaw a person can eat. Since the sun arrived, I've eaten more bread, cookies and crisps than I have all year. My bloated belly is not impressed, and by the time it gets cool again, I'll no longer fit in the jeans I love so much.
I'm not saying I want the weather to be freezing, but a reduction of 10 degrees or so wouldn't go amiss. Throw in a heavy shower of rain and I'll be a very happy camper... Surely I'm not the only one?
Digital leader and sun worshipper, Niamh O'Donoghue, says:
I'm cold-blooded. Similarly to Grace, I'm also quite fair skinned too... that is until I'm left in the sunshine for a few days. For a little over eight months of the year, I'm pale and a little bit ill-looking. My skin becomes translucent from being cold and my blue veins can be seen from a few feet away.
My love-affair with the sun stems back to a health condition: I don't have a thyroid which means my body can't regulate heat very well. This means that when I'm cold, it's really difficult to get warm again (I'm talking blue hands and feet and the shivers) and it's really insufferable. I keep an emergency hot water bottle under my desk at all times and I have an additional store of them at home. My immune system dips when I'm feeling low and cold and I'm not myself. I too love dressing for cold months, but you feel a weight lift off your shoulders (metaphorically and physically) when it's time to hang up the heavy-duty winter coat.
When the sun finally does come out to play, magic happens: my skin isn't flakey or cracking for the first time all year. My freckles get bigger, my skin begins to glow and my bones feel warm! It's as though my body runs on solar power; I can feel my body recharging with the beautiful heat.
Having already had a cancer diagnosis before, melanoma is very prevalent in my mind, especially during this time of year. But a thick slathering of high factor sunscreen means I can be outside all day without worrying about sun damage. Be kind to the sun and it'll be kind to you! I used to cook my skin to try and get a tan, but I'm way more sun-savvy now and understand how my skin works.
Lastly, what could possibly be better than going for a dip with your beloved pooch post-work? Or an ice-cold cocktail on a rooftop terrace during sunset? Heaven.
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