Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: The sun has got its hat on, so enjoy the great weather while it lasts, but please stay safe in the sweltering heat

Editor's Viewpoint

In Northern Ireland a great talking point is the weather, whatever it might be. And there is a special reason to rejoice in one of the hottest spells in decades

The sun has arrived with unusually perfect timing for the start of the summer holidays, and it conjures memories of our own youth when, as we thought, the sun always shone and the tar bubbled on the roads.

We tell ourselves: "This is how every summer should be, just like in other countries."

We go to the beach, we live mostly outdoors, we buy new garden equipment, we stop to smell the flowers, and we marvel at a humble bee getting drunk with nectar from a purple lupin.

The sun - for the most part - brings out the better side in us. People seem more relaxed at work and in the street as we enjoy the rare hot weather.

As ever, there is a price to pay. Apart from the dangers of too much sun without protection, we now have a hosepipe ban. This will inconvenience gardeners and vehicle owners, but it is not a huge sacrifice in the wider scheme of things.

Of course, there are those who have to work in hospitals, nursing homes and other places of care through the good weather.

There are also the emergency services risking their lives rescuing people in trouble on land or at sea, and the Fire Service, which has to battle gorse blazes and other emergencies.

The farmers are always anxious, with too much sun or rain posing particular problems, and even other people in everyday life need to make adjustments. Some cannot cope with hot weather, however much they want sunshine, and many of us are finding that sustained heat also affects our energy and work ethic.

It is important to keep safe in the heat, but most important of all is the ability to savour this rare hot sunshine in a place which has more than its share of cool, wet summers.

Remember that no matter how endless this good spell seems, it is but a fleeting thing. So enjoy it while you can.

Belfast Telegraph

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