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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 26 August, 2019
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It's raining, so here are 6 things to cheer you up

Longest day of the year, you say? So what if it’s not sunny – these might make it better…

IT’S ROTTEN OUT there (on and off – but mostly on). So much for the height of summer, eh? We have some news of interesting things happening around the country that might put a smile back on your face – or at least give you something to do…

(If something made you happy today, please let us know in the comments. Please.)

1. It’s National Music Day…

…And there are people playing music on trains. The picture shows passengers on a train to Kilkenny enjoying being serenaded by White Collar Boy lead singer Gemma Dunleavy. (Image: Jason Clarke Photography.) There are free events all over the country today and this evening; thankfully, most are indoors. Click here to see what’s on.

2. Ben & Jerry’s are giving out free ice-cream…

Okay, they aren’t starting their Ben & Jerry‘s Core Tour until Friday of next week but they are looking for suggestions on where their ice-cream crusaders should stop. You can go to their Facebook app to request that they visit your area. Excuse us for a second – we have something, er, important to do…

3. While you’re tucked up indoors, some people are off for a midnight cycle…

On the face of it, not great timing for  National Bike Week. (Although this mass lunchtime cycle yesterday was in luck). But we’re told some hardy souls will chance it for the Midsummer Night Cycle in Sligo tonight. Everyone is meeting at 11pm at the Lower Quay Street Car Park for an adventurous cycle with the Eire Og cycling club. If you’d rather stay dry, there are lots of bike maintenance, safety and tips classes and workshops happening around the country. Click here and then on your area to find out where you can get wheely into things… (sorry.)

4. Ireland’s got young photographic talent…

From today, you can go to the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin and look at the winners in the An Óige annual photographic exhibition. It’s on until 1 July but you might as well enjoy it while the sun has gone in. (Plus, you get a blast of tropical heat to lift the spirits if you venture into any of the nearby Victoria-era greenhouses…)

(It could be worse. It could be snowing. This image was taken at the National Botanic Gardens by Leon Farrell of Photocall Ireland in January 2010 – you can imagine how welcome the heat of the greenhouses was then…)

5. Strawberries are still growing…

Thanks to the aforementioned greenhouses, there won’t be a shortage of strawberries this summer so you can still have a small taste of sunshine if you make a pitstop to any of the traditional stands on the side of the road. Small nugget of history from Borovalley Fruit Farm (in Wexford, of course):

Until the 1930s, strawberries were imported from Britain and Holland, but by 1932 an Irish strawberries industry had begun. After the Outbreak of World War 2 in 1939 supplies from abroad were cut off completely, as a consequence a strawberry industry developed in Wexford.

So now.

6. We’re still able to laugh at ourselves… (and possibly at the Germans too)

This was the scene in Eason’s of O’Connell Street today. The lads are now auctioning off the flag to the highest bidder in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital and the Oscar Knox Appeal for the Neuroblastoma Alliance. That makes us feel all warm inside. (Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

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