“A soft day” is a phrase you will hear frequently in Ireland. In the west of the country it is usually followed with a gracious salutation, of “thank God.” These soft days occur regularly where Atlantic mists envelope the mountains along Ireland’s rocky coastline.
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Characteristics of a Soft Day:
A soft day is a description of the weather, and is probably very unique to the Emerald Isle. It is a day when the precipitation is a cross between mist and drizzle and is sometimes referred to as “mizzle”.
The rain does not fall to the ground in heavy droplets, but seems to hover and linger in the air. Yet this rain is too heavy to be classified as mist, and it is not vaporous and rolling like fog. It only takes a few minutes outdoors on a soft day, to be soaking wet.
A soft day is refreshing, and can be unexpectedly bright. The air is crisp, but not sharply cold. It’s just damp, damp, damp.
It’s not exactly rain. You can’t really sea any raindrops.
It’s closer to a mist, a pervasive mist that clings to you, your clothes, your hands and the tip of your nose.
It seems to seep through everything, work its way under your clothes, leaving you feeling wet from the inside out.
As I was writing this post I remembered a poem we learned at school describing these soft Irish days.
Poem By Winifred M. Letts:
The English poet, Winifred M. Letts, spent quite some time in Ireland as a little girl. Her poem “A Soft Day, Thank God” describes these typical Irish days with magical words. In the first verse she says:
“A soft day, thank God!
A wind from the south
With a honey’d mouth;”
Then in the second verse she adds:
“A soft day, thank God!
The hills wear a shroud
Of silver cloud;”
Waking up on a soft day requires decisions – is it a “day for the bed or the high stool”?
So for anyone planning a trip to Ireland this summer, don’t forget to pack your rain gear. Not many tourists have the opportunity to spend the day in bed, tucked away from those Irish mists.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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