Ditch your phone, fire up the barbecue and read 49 more tips on mak­ing this sum­mer a spec­tac­u­lar one. ( In­cludes ad­vice on 99s.)

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE - Una Mul­lally, Pa­trick Freyne, Conor Pope, Orna Mulc­ahy, Madeleine Lyons & Rachel Collins

1 Get wet We rely far too much on good weather for sum­mer fun and it al­most al­ways lets us down. But what if you tried your hand at some­thing that doesn’t need sun, or even dry­ness? From stand- up pad­dle­board­ing in Dol­ly­mount to surf schools in Bun­do­ran and kayak­ing on the Boyne or sail­ing in Sligo, the coun­try is awash with wa­tery pur­suits that al­low you to cock a snook at the weather while hav­ing oceans of fun. And you don’t have to have any ex­pe­ri­ence or even any ap­ti­tude to knock a bit of craic out of it – you can trust us on that score. With the dra­matic im­prove­ments in wet suit tech­nol­ogy over re­cent years – and their fre­quent avail­abil­ity in the likes of Aldi and Lidl – it it is quite pos­si­ble to stay in the cold wa­ters off our coasts for hours with­out feel­ing a thing.

2 Bring a ball Kids, adult, pets will all be hap­pier.

3 Never plan ahead If there is one thing that en­rages the weather gods more than any­thing else it is barbecue plan­ning. It is an in­con­tro­vert­ible fact that if you ar­range to cook any class of meal out­doors any longer than 20 min­utes ahead of the ex­act mo­ment you plan to put the burg­ers on the coals, then the storm clouds will gather and the tor­ren­tial down­pours will come.

4 Do the ice- cream run One of the great plea­sures of a hot day is ev­ery­one silently ly­ing in the back gar­den

un­til some­one de­cides that such over­heat­ing re­quires ice- cream. Will you go to the shops? Yes you will. Be­cause the per­son who goes to the shops gets to eat their ice- cream on the way home, while the ones in the bag for life you’ve brought are slowly melt­ing. Go to the shops.

5 Dis­con­nect Con­nect with your fam­ily and friends by ditch­ing the phone. Even bet­ter, go some­where with poor re­cep­tion and no wifi and you’ll all be forced to en­joy each other’s com­pany. It will make for a much bet­ter day out.

6 Sun­screen’s not just for hol­i­days We’re happy enough to lather our­selves in high- priced creams and lo­tions when over­seas but when the sun shines at home we for­get all about it which is why, at the end of a nice sum­mer day in Ire­land, the heat com­ing off the burnt peo­ple would be suf­fi­cient to gen­er­ate enough elec­tric­ity to see us through the win­ter. Re­mem­ber, there is no need to be hung up on fancy brands ei­ther – most su­per­mar­kets stock their own creams and oils for a frac­tion of the price you’ll pay else­where and – ac­cordi ng to con­sumer mag­a­zine Which? – they’re just as good as all the rest.

7 Crisps Rain, hail or shine, they are an es­sen­tial. Same goes for 99s.

8 Use this app and don’t get burned Why leave a sun­burned face to fate

when you can have your phone keep on top of it for you. For ¤ 1.09 – or less than the price of a bag of Tayto – the Wol­fram Sun Ex­po­sure Ref­er­ence App will work out where you are and ex­actly how long you can be in the sun with­out burning based on your com­plex­ion, time of day and the SPF you’re us­ing. It also pro­vides a UV fore­cast for your lo­ca­tion.

9 Dodge the traf­fic And speak­ing of clever phones, make use of yours. If the sun shines and you de­cide to take a spon­ta­neous trip to the beach, take a look at Google Maps first. You’re not look­ing for di­rec­tions – you know how to get to the beach – but what you are look­ing for is traf­fic con­ges­tion. The soft­ware uses witch­craft ( we think) to work out how bad the traf­fic is on your route in real time. A quick look may save you spend­ing two hours of a rare sunny day stuck in traf­fic jams swear­ing at fel­low driv­ers and shout­ing at your chil­dren.

10 Go ba­nanas Kids love barbecue but gen­er­ally need to be kept away from open flames. Get them in­volved by bring­ing a roll of tin foil, a bunch of ba­nanas and some bars of caramel cho­co­late. Peel the ba­nanas, score down the mid­dle, and l et t he kids stuff squares of cho­co­late in and wrap them in tin­foil. When you’re fin­ished bar­be­cu­ing, stick them in the em­bers

for 10 min­utes and voilà, a gooey, quick- fire banof­fee.

11 Turn the tide There’s no point go­ing through the trauma of get­ting your­self “beach ready” ( and we don’t mean go­ing on a diet, we mean pack­ing the wet­suit, sun cream, um­brella, togs, wind breaker, flask of tea, the tow­els – but not the good tow­els – the gog­gles for pre­tend­ing you’re go­ing to put your head in, etc) if you ar­rive and the tide’s so far out it’s touch­ing Holy­head. Tide apps such as Ir­ish Tides and Tides Ire­land take out the guess­work.

12 Have a sense of hu­mour You left for work in noth­ing but a tiny pair of shorts and now it’s snow­ing heav­ily and all your friends are dead. Af­ter sev­eral days track­ing elk through the tundra you’re con­tent­edly cov­ered in thick deer skins and slathered in an­i­mal fat but sud­denly ev­ery­one is wan­der­ing around in sin­glets, eat­ing Tan­gle- Twis­ters and lis­ten­ing to Don Hen­ley. It’s like the Ir­ish sum­mer wants you to look like a com­plete tool. If it could talk the only thing it would say is: “Ha ha ha, you stupid p****”. All you can do is laugh, I sup­pose.

13 Ch- ch- ch- changes You’ll need them if you’re bring­ing your brood to the beach or lake or out for the day. Carry a full change of clothes for ev­ery­one un­der 12 and an ex­tra set of undies for ev­ery­one that’s go­ing to be mess­ing about in the wa­ter.

14 Be a tourist in your own town It is al­ways il­lu­mi­nat­ing to see your world through the eyes of the peo­ple who spend big bucks to visit it. So think about the big­gest at­trac­tions in your neigh­bour­hood and de­vote a sum­mer’s day to check­ing them out. They may be bril­liant. They may also in­volve an open- top bus tour through the more grimy ar­eas of the Lib­er­ties and end­less traf­fic jams along the Dublin Quays but you won’t know un­til you try.

15 Re­call sum­mers past On any sunny day make sure to re­gale young­sters with tales of The Big Sum­mer of your youth. Re­count how you fished in a creek, rafted down a river and played in­sen­si­tive pranks with your friend Tom Sawyer be­fore re­al­is­ing that you’re ac­tu­ally re­call­ing bits of Huck­le­berry Finn. At this point, you may silently re­mem­ber a whole sum­mer play­ing Sonic the Hedge­hog with the blinds drawn and a GP say­ing “rick­ets are quite un­usual in a boy his age”. But say noth­ing. Th­ese lit­tle bas­tards al­ready think they’re bet­ter than us.

16 Put the sand­wiches some­where where they won’t be sat on Warm egg salad sam­bos are bad enough with­out half the fill­ing squished out into the tin foil.

17 Help a tourist If you see one look­ing lost, stop and help them out. Be nice. It will make you feel bet­ter about your­self and make them feel bet­ter of our coun­try. And re­mem­ber we will need all the tourists we can lay our hands on when the tech gi­ants and big pharma leave us.

18 Sun down­ers and star makers On a warm clear evening, drive some­where re­mote and watch the sun set. Take mag­i­cal pic­tures on your phone. Then, rather than rac­ing home to crack open the Chardon­nay, hang about a bit and mar­vel at a the night sky. Haven’t a breeze what you’re look­ing at? No wor­ries, the Sky Guide app is amaz­ing. It shows where all the con­stel­la­tions, plan­ets, and satel­lites are and all you have to do is point your phone to­wards the sky. There is a free ver­sion but the en­hanced app costs ¤ 3.49 and is just deadly.

19 For­get tis­sues A packet of tis­sues? Tis­sues? Ha! You will need an en­tire six pack of rolls of kitchen towel to cover a pic­nic on the beach/ top of a moun­tain/ road­side pit stop. You’ve been warned.


Drink like a Euro­pean On a sunny day in this coun­try, so­cial norms change. At the slight­est shift in tem­per­a­ture you can re­place your busi­ness suit and brief­case with short- shorts, flip flops and a bum bag. You can also de­cant your gin from its usual hip flask into a big wine glass and drink like a Euro­pean right there at your desk. You’re not a prob­lem drinker who’s on their last warn­ing from HR. You’re just French!


Game play “Are we there yet?” “I’m thirsty.” “I need to go to the toi­let.” “Molly punched me in the face.” We love our kids – ob­vi­ously – but a long car jour­ney can be a try­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. If you’re tak­ing a road trip with small­ies plan some games in ad­vance so you’re not left think­ing up things on the fly. To get you started we have three: There is I Spy ( obvs) – top tip: ban things that were out­side the car for half a sec­ond as you sped along a mo­tor­way. Road Trip Bingo is al­ways a win­ner but it takes prep. Print out be­spoke bingo cards and give each player a pen­cil. When they see some­thing on their card, they scratch it out. The more items you have on the card the less time they have to fight. With I’m Go­ing on a Pic­nic, the first player says, “I’m go­ing on a pic­nic and I’m bring­ing... an ap­ple” or some­thing else that be­gins with A. The sec­ond player re­peats what the first per­son said, but adds some­thing that be­gins with B. And on it goes. Make the prizes sub­stan­tial to keep in­ter­est lev­els high.


Carry on camp­ing Buy a cheap tent. Pitch it in the gar­den ( or some more ex­otic lo­ca­tion if you are brave). Sleep in it. Fun is guar­an­teed.


Have a job that re­quires you to be in­doors Due to the fail­ure of our par­ents to work harder and pro­vide us with trust funds, many of us have to “work” in “of­fices” where the pre­vail­ing weather con­di­tions are be­side the point. “Young­sters” with “sum­mer hol­i­days”, in con­trast, get to have weather- re­lated co­nun­drums and bliss. In the sum­mer they are ei­ther sul­lenly house­bound or can be found frol­ick­ing in the sun. Mean­while the rest of us must toil weath­er­less in air- con­di­tioned steril­ity. Here at The Ir­ish Times, for ex­am­ple, we are strange, pale crea­tures who re­fer to every­thing out­side the build­ing as “the out­lands” and strangers as “out­landers.” The va­garies of sum­mer mat­ter not a jot in our pur­suit of truth.


Bring cash You’re gasp­ing, and those quaint out- of- the- way cafés you read about of­ten don’t take cards. Dis­as­ter strikes when the near­est ATM ma­chine will in­evitably turn out to be 35 miles away.


Buy the kids wa­ter bal­loons Ac­tiv­i­ties such as pack­ing up the car to go to the beach re­quire ef­fort, stress, and money. Bring sum­mer joy to the kids on the es­tate by load­ing up on wa­ter bal­loons and let­ting them run riot. Hours of cheap amuse­ment and rel­a­tively harm­less ( un­less you’re in the fir­ing line). While you do run the risk of end­ing up in Smyths buy­ing the H20 X500 PUMP AC­TION BA­ZOOKA once the sim­plic­ity of bal­loons runs out, you know you want to. Lock and load.


Ice, ice baby You can buy bags of ice for a few euro in most petrol sta­tions, su­per­mar­kets and cor­ner shops th­ese days. Throw one in your cooler bag and wave good­bye to sweaty cheese and warm drinks.


Learn the lyrics to every Ed Sheeran song This is a ne­ces­sity for a sum­mer’s day when Sheeran blares from every car, ra­dio, phone, and errant voice up a lad­der fix­ing the gut­ter. While Sheeran’s com­plex­ion is no friend of the sun, his mu­sic cer­tainly is, so make it your busi­ness to bel­low along.


Fire up Bring­ing a dis­pos­able barbecue? They’re a great way to have sausage sam­bos on the beach, but they cool quickly so you’ll need at least two if there is a gang of you. And be sure to dis­pose of prop­erly.


Jump in the sea Like every­thing th­ese days, sea swim­ming has been com­mod­i­fied. But don’t you wish you were one of those whole­some, hardy, Happy Pear types? It’s time to start your sea swim­ming ca­reer ( be­lieve us, it’s a ca­reer, and the first step on your path to In­sta­gram in­flu­encer en­light­en­ment and part- time yoga en­trepreneurism), and what bet­ter mo­ment than when the sun is shin­ing. Head to a sea swim­ming spot that’s very pop­u­lated, and jump in, emerg­ing with a goofy grin, ra­di­at­ing smug­ness, and bab­bling about chakras, the Camino, and pro­tein balls. Trans­for­ma­tion com­plete. Note: this only works in Dublin.


Thick skin Must be able to with­stand the sand­blast ef­fect of hur­ri­cane- level gales at the beach and wa­tery sun­shine that burns pasty skin to a crisp faster than you can say “mine’s a Solero”. Also must be ca­pa­ble of re­tain­ing enough body heat to sur­vive a 4- sec­ond dip in the At­lantic or eat­ing al fresco af­ter 5pm, and the barbs of tipsy rel­a­tives af­ter a nice fam­ily day out.


Buy a pop up gazebo Be one of those peo­ple who ev­ery­one is jeal­ous of at Elec­tric Pic­nic, but in the com­fort of your own gar­den. Lit­tle­woods sell pop up gaze­boes ( gazeba?) for ¤ 49.99, and apart from the in­evitable argu- ment that will ac­com­pany put­ting it to­gether, your food and drinks will stay cool, and the kids can be pe­ri­od­i­cally ush­ered into it to avoid sun­burn.


Read a good Ir­ish book Lolling around on a lounger for the day? Catch up on your read­ing. There are loads of good new ones out per­fect for a sum­mer read. Try Louise O’Neill’s The Sur­face Breaks, Eithne Shor­tall’s Grace Af­ter Henry, Donal Ryan’s From A Low And Quiet Sea, or Ju­lian Gough’s Con­nect.


Pop- up tents The noughties ver­sion of the wind- breaker. Great for keep­ing all the bags and gear to­gether, and great shade for the dog, too.


Get a good tan Not in the sun, ob­vi­ously. That’s for amateurs. Tan­ning is a bit of a catch 22 sce­nario. In or­der to get a tan, one needs to ex­pose one’s skin, yet in or­der to ex­pose one’s skin, one needs to be tanned, ap­par­ently. Any­way, pro­tect your­self from the rays, and try a false one. Co­coa Brown’s one- hour tan mousse works for that in­stant hit.


Hold the DIY A sunny day of­ten feels like the per­fect time to paint the house, clean the win­dows, weed the en­tire gar­den, or clear the gut­ters. Just re­mem­ber that when it’s ac­tu­ally very hot, stren­u­ous ac­tiv­ity can knock you for six, and cause dizzi­ness and de­hy­dra­tion. Feel free to cite this point when asked to do any kind of DIY or house­work when the sun comes out. If you must go on a gar­den­ing or clean­ing binge, do it early morn­ing or in the evening, and don’t be sweat­ing buck­ets in the mid­dle of the day.


Keep an eye on your pets You may throw your­self at the sun’s mercy, but your pets prob­a­bly have other ideas. Cats will just glare at you from the shade, plot­ting your down­fall, but dogs may ac­tu­ally need some in­ter­ven­tions. Make sure dogs have plenty of fresh wa­ter to drink. Be es­pe­cially aware of not leav­ing the dog in your car while you’re in the petrol sta­tion raid­ing the freezer for Tan­gle Twis­ters.


Bring air­line sick bags

We’re not ad­vo­cat­ing steal­ing ( hon­estly, air­lines) but if you hap­pen to get your hands on some air­line sick­bags, they’re great for nau­seous kids in the back seat when you can’t pull in on a tiny wind­ing road on the Ring of Kerry.


Crowd source For a suc­cess­ful day out, you will prob­a­bly need to in­clude other peo­ple or the prom­ise of other peo­ple. They will make your lot be­have bet­ter.


Have an­ti­his­tamines at the ready Mid­sum­mer heat can also mean das­tardly hay fever for many peo­ple, so you don’t want to be left sneez­ing in the house while ev­ery­one else is reen­act­ing a John Hinde post­card out­side. The pollen count es­ca­lates in Ire­land from May on­wards, so get ready to com­bat your hay fever be­fore it strikes.


Give the ex­er­cise a break Much like strain­ing your body with DIY, go­ing for a run when the tem­per­a­ture rises may not be a good idea, es­pe­cially if you’re used to jog­ging in our de­light­fully dull, cool cli­mate. If it’s a hot day, take the day off run­ning. Be alert to the symp­toms of heat ex­haus­tion, which is what hap­pens when your body over­heats and you lose too much wa­ter and salt. If you’re feel­ing weak, faint, nau­seous or get a headache af­ter you’ve ex­erted your­self, chill out in a cool place and drink a de­cent amount of wa­ter.


Spare tyre Stop wor­ry­ing about how your stom­ach looks in your new togs, and think about your real spare tyre. Check that you have one be­fore you leave home, and that it’s not punc­tured. Noth­ing damp­ens a day out like wait­ing for road­side as­sis­tance at 9pm.


Don’t go shop­ping As we all know, hell is a series of stuffy, air­less, over­heated chang­ing rooms where your body ap­pears to swell to twice its size, or at least suf­fi­ciently to turn your shop­ping trip into a Mr Bean sketch as you at­tempt to get out of those skinny jeans you grabbed from the rail­ing in shall we say an “am­bi­tious” size. No­body wants to be do- ing the chas­ing- your- tail- turn try­ing to yank down a zip on a dress you’ll prob­a­bly never buy. Try win­dow shop­ping in­stead.


Don’t give into sum­mer FOMO When the tem­per­a­ture rises, In­sta­gram, Face­book and Snapchat light up as if ev­ery­one has sud­denly been cast in that MTV show in the 90s. Just be­cause ev­ery­one else is tak­ing self­ies with Teddy’s 99s, do­ing the hot­dog legs thing, and tweet­ing stuff like “Costa Del [ in­sert Ir­ish town name here]” with a mil­lion sun emo­jis, doesn’t mean they’re ac­tu­ally hav­ing fun. Clon­tarf is not Mal­ibu, calm down.


Mo­bile hospi­tal Don’ t let falls and scrapes fin­ish your day. Carry an­ti­sep­tic wipes and large scale ban­dages for those re­ally bad knee and el­bow grazes that come with added grit in them.


Go for cot­ton or linen There i s noth­ing worse than un­com­fort­ably sweat­ing in the heat. Get cool and breezy with cot­ton or l i nen clothes, and put your­self, and your threads, at ease.


Don’t com­plain about peo­ple hav­ing fun in the sun Noth­ing sucks the joy out of a sunny day than some­one rant­ing about the fol­low­ing: peo­ple play­ing mu­sic in the park, kids jump­ing into the wa­ter at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, skate­board­ers tak­ing ad­van­tage of the weather, the busy­ness of the beach, lads with their tops off. Give it a rest, Grandpa Simp­son! The sun is for ev­ery­one.


We know you’ve a six- pack but... Lads, put your tops back on. It’s only 15 de­grees out and you’re in town.


Don’t travel too far It’s the sun, not a des­ti­na­tion or set­ting that makes a sum­mer’s day in Ire­land. Do you want to be sit­ting in traf­fic to some­where ev­ery­one had the same idea of go­ing? When you’re sit­ting on the mo­tor­way glow­er­ing at your fel­low day- trip­pers, you’ll wish you were back in your gar­den/ yard/ street/ bal­cony/ park soaking up the rays. Keep it lo­cal, and you’ll have more time to en­joy the weather with less stress.


Re­lax Take a sec­ond to stop wor­ry­ing about the kids spray­ing lighter fuel on the barbecue, or the cat steal­ing slices of ham from the counter, or the pollen, or the traf­fic re­ports, or the low wa­ter pres­sure, or the wa­ter bal­loon aimed squarely at your head, or the shorts from Pen­neys that must have shrunk in the wash be­cause you only had one white cho­co­late Magnum to­day ( okay, maybe two), or Face­tim­ing the cousin in Aus­tralia to brag about your sum­mer ver­sus their win­ter, and en­joy it. It doesn’t hap­pen too of­ten.


Start a sun- based re­li­gion or, al­ter­na­tively, go on a hol­i­day It be­gins as a hushed ru­mour ut­tered by an old man in the pub. He has heard tell of a fiery ball that hangs in the sky just beyond the clouds. He thinks it might be called “Je­sus.” This is dis­puted by a cal­low youth who says that the fiery ball is a gate­way to hell and that we’re bet­ter off down here in the driz­zle. Be­fore long there are two pros­e­lytis­ing fac­tions build­ing pyres and talk­ing of “in­fi­dels” and “heresy” and it’s only early yet. You go home slightly tipsy and book two weeks in Malaga, aware that this might

get you cat­e­gorised as “a witch.”


Have chips when you get home This ap­plies to most days, re­ally, but def­i­nitely a sum­mer day in the sun. For­get mak­ing din­ner. Stop at the lo­cal chip­per, grab a few bags, lash on the salt and vine­gar and fin­ish your day the right way.


No 29: Jump in the sea

No 14: Be a tourist in your own town No 22: Carry on camp­ing

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