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Top ways to beat the sun in this heatwave

Everyone in this part of the world is struggling to live through the heatwave that has rocked these islands floating in the Atlantic. So whether you’re chilling in Milton Keynes, dabbing in Dover, farting about in Fermanagh or burning in Bishopstown, you’re definitely suffering in this uncomfortable heat. Here are some simple tips to survive this awful curse the burning sky ball is putting us through.

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Conserve water

Irish Water have already announced that water reserves are dangerously low throughout the country, and many towns & counties are already without water. While your taps are still running, it’s good to fill a good few containers in your house. I got this advice from my grandfather, who said you should always fill your kettle before you go to bed, because no matter what happens, you can always have a cup of tea in the morning. And I mean, yeah, you can have a cuppa, but it’s a million degrees outside [citation needed], so the full kettle may be better used by just drinking the room-temp water, filling bowls for your pets, or watering plants, I’m not going to judge your priorities here. Fill any water bottle you might have lying about (which allows you to feel less guilty about using so many single-use plastics), if you’ve got some massive picnic flasks or any sealable bottle/container, fill that sucka with water. You mightn’t have enough to have a lavish path, or fill a paddling pool, but you should be able to survive the few days until the water is (hopefully) turned back on.

Drink water

Yeah, this is actually super important. Please drink water. This might seem a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised. Our planet is about 71% water — about 60% of our bodies are water — so water is pretty central to our survival as a species. You can generally, in ordinary conditions, survive without eating food for about three-four weeks. Water, however, you could barely scrape a week without. The heat, humidity, and sunshine means you’ll be much warmer than usual, and will likely expel more water from your body through sweat. Be sure to keep a glass or bottle of water by your side, sipping from it from time to time to keep you on the up-and-up. Add ice if you really want to help yourself to keep cool. Don’t forget your pets — you’d be surprised how easy dogs and cats get dehydrated in this kind of weather (goldfish less so, but it’s still good to keep an eye out).

Wear Sunscreen

The ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99 can tune out here, because they already know what’s up (can you believe that song went to number 1? Madness). Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in Ireland, and it’s for good reason: we are terrible at taking care of ourselves. Because it’s generally quite cloudy here, we think we can go off gallivanting without a care in the world, but that’s just not true. UV Rays can still work through a bit of cloud cover, and with the ozone layer still being quite thin over Ireland, it’s incredibly easy to get a small bit of skin burn (or worse). Before you head out, be sure to lather yourself in cream on whichever bits of your body you’re likely to expose to the world — believe me, in this weather you’re not going to want to wear your hoodie for long, so don’t bank on it protecting you for long. Be sure to get your face, the backs of your ears, your chest and your neck — people always forget these bits, despite them being right…erm…under your nose.

Pray to the gods, old and new

This is such a simple step that everyone skips. Global warming? Climate change? Bah! This surge of sunny weather is the work of a mysterious group of deities from different cultures and credos. Snowstorm? Zeus kicked Amaterasu in the shins. Monsoon? Cthulhu and Neptune are fucking again. Thunder and lightning? Thor is bopping about to the latest Carly Rae Jepsen tune. For the sun, we must offer up a sacrifice to the Egyptian god Ra. I would generally recommend libation, but if you really want to secure a bit of cloud cover for a nice relaxing summers day, then you can’t go wrong with the classic brazen bull. If your giant cattle statue isn’t made of the traditional bronze, you can make do with steel or clay, or generally any material that won’t melt.

Defeat the sun in combat

Scholars have been debating how to defeat the sun since time immemorial. Leading thinkers believe a nighttime assault is the key to victory, but some traditionalists insist that a billion lions must be involved in any such maneuvers. Whatever you do, be sure to prepare yourself for a long-haul. I, myself, have tried and failed at this, so if you have ‘stab it with a long pointed stick’ as your main idea, you better prepare a plan B — just trust me on this one. While you may be tempted to launch your attack at night, the sun is over 149 million kilometers away, so you’re better of starting at dawn. No one has attempted this and returned safely, so if you’re successful we will appreciate your sacrifice, and you shall be celebrated as a martyr in the streets.

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Rob O'Sullivan

Rob O'Sullivan


Freelance journalist, writer & radio producer based in Cork. I cover politics, art, pop culture, sport and more. Personal twitter over on @RBOSull