Getting the Most out of a Soft Day

If you’re heading out for the day in July, you normally have a checklist of things that you simply cannot be without. Whether that’s a picnic rug and a good book for lazing in the park, swimsuits and goggles for a dip in the pool, or maybe even a coin or two in case you happen to hear the cheery jingle of the ice-cream van as you doze on the beach.

A ‘Soft Day’, while not your conventional summer weather, likewise has all of its own nuances and requirements to ensure that you get the most out of its charming nature. So, leave the Factor 50 in your beach bag, and read on to discover the fair necessities for appreciating the best of Irish weather. I’d hold on to the coins though – you never know when a cosy cup of tea and a scone might come in handy!

If you’re currently experiencing a heatwave and wouldn’t mind a taste of a more refreshing climate, then make sure you’re signed up for this month’s Irish at Heart subscription box – it’s the perfect way to revel from afar in the splendour of a soft day!

An Open Mind

This is definitely the first thing you need to bring when venturing out to experience the beauty of a soft day. If you have it in your head that you’re simply going for a stroll in the rain, then you’ll never appreciate the intricacies that this beautiful Irish phenomenon has to offer.

A soft day is like a summer’s day with a cooling misty drizzle, or as my dad always says “it’s the kind of rain that soaks you without you ever noticing.” Its beading drops hang in the air, lie on your skin, and graze the leaves as it shrouds its surroundings in a gentle dewy glow.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Ireland on such a day, then be sure to get out there and embrace it.

Cagoule

Now that we’re all ready to get out and about in the great outdoors, there’s no point pretending that you’re not going to get wet… so some form of jacket is likely to be needed.

Soft days aren’t necessarily cold, so I would leave the big padded numbers on the hook in the hall because they’ll likely just make you feel hot and bothered – especially if you’re walking around at a decent pace.

In my experience a cagoule is the way to go. A light waterproof jacket that will keep you dry, but through which you can still feel the gentle winds, light rain, and occasional beam of sunshine. If you don’t have one you can pick them up at a fairly affordable price, and sometimes they come with their very own bag that you can easily roll them up into for when the sun peeps out from behind the clouds.

Layers

While a big padded jacket is definitely a no-no on such occasions, the art of layering is a handy talent to acquire when faced with the prospect of venturing out on a soft day.

We’re not talking hats and scarfs here but arming yourself with a t-shirt and a fairly cosy jumper will best prepare you for the temperamental temperatures that could be in store.

You might find your jumper demoted to being tied round your waist after ten minutes, in which case it could serve as a makeshift guard against the saturated grass if you happen to want to sit down and rest awhile.

Either way layers that can be easily peeled off and reinstated are definitely the best way to ensure you enjoy each moment of the ever-changing weather.

Type of Shoes

Now on to the shoes. Nothing ruins a brisk stroll like soggy toes, and although you won’t FEEL yourself getting damp on a soft day – you’ll definitely have some drying off to do when you get back home.

The slight rain in the air won’t fall hard enough for puddles, so you can leave the welly boots at home (unless it’s been raining the night before and younger members of your party are particularly fond of splashing). However, it’s definitely not a time to crack out the flip flops either. In fact, anything open toed would best be avoided as the mist will have your soles drenched in seconds which (while refreshing) will result in a very slippery walk!

A pair of trainers or comfy shoes would be your best option, preferably ones that you don’t mind getting a little damp and possibly muddy depending on how adventurous your walking route is!

Umbrella

I add this one in hesitantly as, much as I love a good umbrella (especially those with brightly coloured patterns), the feeling of a mild mist dancing across your face is such a delightful sensation that it would be almost criminal to hide away under the branches of a brolly.

However, that same mild mist can cause havoc with your hair – so if you have a particular reason for protecting your locks then an umbrella would probably be a good call. A soft day is never accompanied by those snapping winds that would turn a parasol inside out on itself – so it’s actually rather pleasant to use one without this worry playing at the back of your mind.

If you opt for the brolly you can always ditch the cagoule for a while, and feel the silky spray playing across your arms instead of your face – it’s really not an experience to be missed.

Camera

With so much beauty around, you’ll be sure to want to capture a moment on your camera roll (especially if you’re an Instagrammer).

Most of us have this capability built into our various smart phones but, while the picture quality may be excellent, it should be noted that you may experience some touch ID issues with your screen (and fingers) soaking up some of the moisture from your surroundings.

I wouldn’t particularly worry about this doing any damage, but it may lead to slight frustration – especially if your one of these people who always has their phone in their hand. So, if you have a digital camera that’s been feeling slightly neglected with all of the mobile innovations – then now would be a good time to charge it up.

Of course, when you spot that perfect shot of a silky spiderweb bejewelled with sparkling raindrops, you can always be prepared with a small cloth or tissue to wipe away any mist that has settled itself on your screen.  

A Spot to Appreciate it From

Lastly, this is something that you should never be without when it comes to truly embracing the beauty of a soft day.

It could be a bench in the park, a sheltered spot under a tree, or simply leaning on the wall at the end of your garden. Wherever you are, just take five minutes to breathe in the beautiful spell that this weather casts across the landscape. The trees will seem greener, the grass will smell fresher, and lakes will take on an almost mythical appearance as they stretch into the distance under a caressing cloak of mist.

By the time you get home you won’t even care that you’re soaking wet, or that you hair has frizzed or your shoes are damp – it’s all part of the experience of a soft day, and there’s nothing else like it in the world.

2 comments

  • Lovely! I would love to be walking in a country field or path during a soft falling mist! My dream is to be once again in Ireland!

    Donna Vosper
  • We have a trip planned for this October but sadly because of conditions, may be canceled til next year😓

    Barb DeVillers

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