If you’re in Belfast this summer then keep your eye out for some rather colourful characters as a herd of elephantastic sculptures pop up around the city. A free, family-friendly art trail featuring the beloved Elmer the Elephant character takes place in the city until August 31. Each sculpture in the trail is a different take on the famous David McKee storybook character and has been decorated by local and international artists, community groups, and schoolchildren. The trail has been designed to celebrate 21 years of care at the Children’s Hospice in the city and is in aid of NI Hospice. Above is the ‘Love is All We Need’ Elmer designed by Shirley Copperwhite. To follow the trail and donate go to Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail website or download the ElmerBelfast app for free in the usual places.
If you suffer with dry, flaky, or itchy scalp then you might want to try out Aveeno’s new scalp soothing haircare collection which includes six shampoo and conditioner duos designed for all hair types. The range includes the Daily Moisture+ Oat Milk shampoo and conditioner, the Volumising+ Fresh Greens shampoo and conditioner designed to make hair appear thicker, and the Colour Protect+ Blackberry & Quinoa duo. All the products are suitable for everyday use and gentle enough for sensitive skin. Stockists nationwide and online (€9.99).
One of the founder members of The Nualas, comedian and writer, Anne Gildea, is a well-known personality on the Irish comedy scene. Her memoir I’ve got Cancer. What’s Your Excuse? inspired the feature film The Bright Side which is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Following the success of the Dublin launch, her new comedy show How to Get The Menopause and Enjoy It! started its nationwide tour last night in Kilkenny. Next stops include Waterford on July 21 and Cork on July 22. An informative, funny trip through all things menopause, the show hopes to demystify the menopause in a show that’s been compared to “Billy Connolly meets The Vagina Monologues”.
Tickets available on the website.
Galway International Arts Festival is back with a bang this coming Monday with a full-size festival across various venues and locations. Bringing all the joy and excitement we’ve missed during the pandemic, the event sees everything from opera and theatre to art and music return to the city. Theatre buffs will love the world-renowned Steppenwolf take on Sam Shepard’s True West as well as Druid’s production of the new Sonya Kelly play The Last Return. Street art lovers will be fascinated by Luke Jerram’s Mars complete with surround sound composition by composer Dan Jones. The Heineken Big Top returns with a lineup that includes The Flaming Lips (below), The Stunning, Pixies, and Jon Hopkins. To find out more and to book tickets go to the website.
Having worked as a freelance print designer for big name brands in London, Irish designer Lia Quigley moved to Madrid some years ago and it was here that she established Made Obvious. Having just returned from maternity leave, Quigley has begun working with a local farming family from whom she is sourcing eco-friendly wool to make her new bags. With crochet and retro looks big trends this summer, we particularly love her ‘Mara’ bag which is made with hand-crocheted ‘granny squares’ and a wooden handle (40cm x 28cm including handle). Made to order, €120.
What could be more blissful than the Salt Glow Summer package at Ballina’s luxurious Ice House Hotel and Chill Spa? The Salt Glow Summer package includes a two-night stay in a deluxe river view room with breakfast each morning and dinner on one evening in the 54° 9° restaurant as well as an 80-minute ‘Body Banquet’ treatment with access to the thermal outdoor area. A packed lunch is included in the package — take it with you while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Belleek Woodlands, Moy River or beyond. Prices from €420 per person sharing.