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31/07/2021

Billy O'Riordan: 'UFO hovering over Clonmel bringing joy to many of us...'

This week's column in The Nationalist

Tipperary weather looks warm and mainly dry for rest of week and into weekend

Warm and dry weather forecast for Tipperary

A UFO has hovered over Clonmel this last week bringing joy to many.

The unidentified object in question of course is the glorious sun above. As I write, all the windows are open - to no avail - in an effort to bring some relief from the relentless, penetrating heat.

The house has been frantically searched for the portable heater with the “cool” setting, alas, to no avail.

Having found the yoke - tucked in behind a pair of wellies - the thing blew out as much cool air as you’d get from waving a copy of The Nationalist, frantically at your face.

I guess that I’m destined to sit here and melt for the next few days, until the inevitable showers come along towards the weekend.

The good weather has added a certain Continental flavour to the town’s ambience. Our streetscape, having been altered with the appearance of outside tables and chairs, now with parasols and awnings added, gives the appearance of Cadiz instead of Clonmel.

Even the locals feel that they are on holiday as they walk the altered precincts of the town – a town visually transformed by the advent of outside dining.

When the heat arrived, I bravely or some would say, foolishly continued with my daily cholesterol busting walk.

However, as each day passed, I was forced to hold up the white flag and surrender to the sun. The garden needs a clip and a trim, yet I wait long into the evening each day for the temperatures to drop, to no avail.

I’m reduced to watering a few plants, after 9pm at night and making lots of gardening plans for when the weather does finally break.

The indoor dining passport arrived on my phone earlier this week. Many citizens of south Tipp received their Covid passport either through an electronic device or by post.

I am delighted to receive mine with the strong hope that I, at some point, will be allowed to make use of it. I’m looking forward to slapping my passport on the counter, as I gratefully order a chicken curry ‘n’ coke.

I know some feel that it is an erosion of their human rights, that it has been proscribed that they must have this document to order a kebab ‘n’ chips, but you know we all have choices. I have a right to feel safe in a restaurant or public house.

The staff working there has a right to feel that the customers are vaccinated and safe. This compares in no shape or form to any type of apartheid, it has zero comparison to conditions experienced by the Jewish population in war time Germany and any such comparison displays a total unfamiliarity with the history of the holocaust.

I feel that this is a minor imposition brought in for public health reasons, as a short term measure to protect lives. People are free to disagree.

Poor old Tipperary came up short in the Munster Final. You’ve got to hand it to the team for putting on a magnificent display in temperatures reaching the high twenties. From a fella who waits until late at night to water his plants, these are remarkable athletes.

All credit should be given for the speed of the match given the penetrating heat which the teams on the pitch must have experienced. They really are a credit to the county.

As I complete this week’s column in a room more suited to a country spa hotel - the sauna room - sweat along my brow, I must pop upstairs for a quick shower.

Back to my column, the strange thing is, when I left the shower it made no difference to my body temperature.

The more I dried; the wetter I felt. I could run upstairs and have another shower and I’m sure the result would be the same.

Perhaps, if I took a cold shower it would have the desired effect? If I were that brave, I’m not a Tipperary hurler, y’know.

Here’s to the good weather, enjoy it while it lasts.

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