Wet, wet, wet

Wet . . . Wet . . .Wet . . .

Wet . . . Wet . . .Wet . . .

So, how wet exactly is this summer? Well we won’t really know until the season is out – and the sooner it’s out, the better, especially if it keeps raining the way it is. Bring on Autumn, I say, sure it couldn’t be any worse, or wetter, than this miserable so-called summer.

In the meantime here’s a list of Ireland’s top ten wettest summers:

1. 1879 Although no rainfall figure is available, this is the wettest summer on record. Between March and September it rained on 125 days out of 183. 2. 1958 (167 inches) 3. 2007 (154 inches) 4. 2008 (148.5 inches) 5. 1900 (144.5 inches) 6. 1986 (124.5 inches) 7. 1895 (124 inches) 8. 2009 (122 inches) 9. 1912 (121.5 inches) 10. 1985 (120 inches)

So, the summers are definitely not getting any drier but the good news is that our winters do not seem to be getting any colder. Here’s the top ten coldest winters:

1. 1895 2. 1947 3. 1881 4. 1963 5. 1917 6. 1955 7. 1892 8.1886 9. 1900 10. 1941

Get a life!

So, Westlife went out in a blaze of glory, literally, last weekend, which is all well and good but what is Jane Holmes going to do with herself now? Jane, from Britain is/was a huge, ginormous actually, Westlife fan. Jane has spent an estimated £30,000 on her obsession and hasn’t had a holiday in seven years, spending her money instead on Westlife concerts, CDs and paraphernalia.

Indeed when Jane’s husband told her to choose between him and Westlife she had no hesitation. The cleaner, now single, said: “he thought I was joking but he soon realised I wasn’t. Westlife are a really big part of my life”. Jane (44 if you don’t mind) has Westlife tattoos on her left arm and both legs, while the names of the band’s members are tattooed on her forearm. “When I heard the band was splitting up, I was devastated”, said Jane. “I threw my phone down and cried. I love them for the music and they are quite hunky”. Indeed.

Flutopia

Well I didn’t make it to Westlife’s grand finale in Croke Park but I did make it to Saint Canice’s Cathedral last week to a delightful lunchtime concert. Flutopia & Friends it was called and comprised an ensemble of flute players accompanied by violin, bass, keyboard and cello. Flutopia hail from Virginia in the U.S. and this was, according to the programme, part of a series of concerts entitled American Celebration of Music in Ireland.

Under the guidance of Laura Candler-White (on keyboard) Flutopia treated us to a diverse selection of tunes including: The Kerry Dance, O Suzanna, Simple Gifts (Lord of the Dance to us), Take Five, Millionaire’s Hoedown, Banjo on my Knee, some Haydn, the Galway Piper and, of course, The Stars and Stripes Forever.

We also had the wonderful singing of Lisa Edwards-Burrs. This five foot nothing, African-American with the red hair, beaming smile and glorious voice enthralled us with her rendition of The Whole World in His Hands and a very moving duet with her daughter Maima, on violin, of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum. Well I couldn’t praise Flutopia & Friends enough – the recital in St. Canice’s Cathedral was a ray of sunshine in this sunless month of June.

Unfortunately there was only a handful of us (I counted three Kilkenny people) in attendance at what was a wonderful – and FREE – concert. Indeed I was so impressed with their music that I was half thinking of having their names tattooed on my forearm. But I’d stop short of leaving the missus for them.

Football champs

And so it came to pass that on the 24th day of June, in the year of Our Lord 2012, Kilkenny won a football All Ireland title. I kid you not, folks. On Sunday 24th June Kilkenny City beat The Downs from Westmeath in the All Ireland Féile Peil na nOg final by a score line of 1 – 5 to 1 – 1. Okay so it was Division 3 but, hey, an All Ireland title is an All Ireland title, and a football All Ireland title is a rare and precious thing in the home of hurling. So, a hearty congratulations to all the young cailíní on the team. Take a bow each and every one of you – if I were Mayor (and congrats to you, sir, Mayor Seán ó hArgáin on your election to office) I’d arrange a civic reception for you. Well done, again – it was a hell of an achievement.