The definitive guide to the Irish summer

‘One whack of sun and all of a sudden you’ve been in a beer garden for two weeks’

With the fine weather expected to continue until Thursday, Dubliners are making the most of the sunny spell

Mon, Jun 23, 2014, 01:00

By the time you read this, it will be raining. That is inevitable when one chooses to write about the hot weather. Nevertheless, in case the sun comes out again, here’s How To Do The Irish Summer – The Definitive Guide.

How to dress

The second the sun emerges, many grown men suddenly decide to dress like toddlers, and grown women adopt that unique Irish summer look: mysterious guest at a Marbella wedding. I don’t know why this is, but the high street’s penchant for neon T-shirts, printed shorts, maxi dresses and kaftans is a scourge. Real Irish summer fashion only necessitates removing one’s winter jacket.

How to have a barbecue

The sole purpose of having a barbecue is to make your neighbours jealous and to pretend to your peers that you “entertain” all the time. Feel free to perpetuate this facade. Make sure you overfill the barbecue with far charcoal and meat to maximise delicious food fumes over the garden fence or balcony partition. Burn everything to a crisp so you don’t end up as a pixelated talking head on a food safety TV ad. Remember there are other tunes to play on your stereo besides Happy and Get Lucky on constant rotation. Large cans get warm and flat halfway through, so buy short cans preferably in an array of craft beer selections so your neighbours can glower at your discerning taste when the recycling goes out.

If you have a job, remember you have a job

One whack of sun and all of a sudden you’ve been in a beer garden for two weeks. That’s right, you forgot to go back to the office again, didn’t you? Ireland is a rain-soaked nation because if it wasn’t, none of us would be able to get our work done properly and the economy would collapse. Oh, wait. . .

How to go to the beach

Start off by having a massive family argument about the lost swimsuit/beach towels/picnic basket/child. Then move on to a lengthy traffic-stifled journey with the Sunday Game on full blast on the radio. Spend the next few hours engaging in a territorial war with various other families over deckchair space. Trap self in folding deckchair. Pass some time extracting sand from your ham sandwich. Go home sunburned.

How to keep your pets safe

My sister used to have a pug called Pico whose tongue swelled up in hot weather, causing him to faint. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a pug faint, but it really does straddle a previously unfamiliar line between cute and traumatic. Make sure your dogs have enough water. Cats don’t care about anyone or anything, so just leave them alone in peace while they plot to kill you in your sleep.

How to swim

Swimming in Ireland is a contact sport. Cannonballing, jackknifing, somersaults, jumping off high bridges and buildings into water, is completely dangerous but strangely compelling. You will need an up-to-date report on waterborne diseases, a wetsuit, and some serious swagger.

How to do festivals

Like a smattering of Japanese soldiers finally emerging from their Pacific holdouts in the years following the second World War, there appears to be a suspended delusion in terms of what is acceptable to wear at a music festival. Wellingtons started off as a necessity to combat mud, but are now worn even during the brightest of days, on the most arid of ground, even though they’re utterly uncomfortable and unnecessary. Stop. Novelty gear might seem like a good idea until it’s you in a onesie versus a Portaloo. Befriend someone with a camper van. Beware of peaking too early. A weekend festival (or Glastonbury’s five nights) is a marathon, not a sprint. Put protective headphones on your kids (or just leave them at home, kids don’t understand the allure of airstream trailers, ostrich burgers, or appreciate Pet Shop Boys’ early stuff.) VIP areas are rubbish so don’t even bother trying to blag into them.

Don’t complain about the heat on Twitter

The ice caps are #melting. Your 99 is #melting. The badly poured tar between cobblestones might be #melting. You are not #melting. You are especially not #melting when it is only 17 degrees.

Stop saying ‘World Cup Widow’

Unless you are married to a deceased World Cup player, and plan on wearing an official FIFA mantilla for the duration of the summer, this phrase makes no sense. Plenty of men aren’t watching the matches. Men don’t turn into things to put up with or morph into beer and nacho-consuming sloths just because of kickoff. Plenty of women watch the matches. Plenty of women don’t think their male partners have actually died just because they’re watching the Ivory Coast play a game.

Stay here

Why spend your time off queuing in airports, contracting food poisoning, getting your ATM card cloned and playing the I Bet They’re Irish game abroad? In the sun, Ireland is the most beautiful place in the world. Sure, where would you get it?

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